Day two of the banyan

Not much progress was made yesterday, as both my children were visiting. So no post yesterday. I still managed to sew the silk outer layer together, though. I’d never sewn silk before and wasn’t prepared for it to be so inclined to fray. My goodness! I double sewed it, but I think I’m going to go around it with some fray-stopper liquid too before I assemble the whole thing.

Here is the silk layer sewn flat.

Then I carefully concertina’ed the square bits of the hips to give a whole bunch of folds at the hips:

Which you can’t honestly see very well. That gave me at least 8 layers of fabric bunched up in one place, which was fine for the silk – I could sew through that – but I could not imagine it going well when I tried to do the same thing with the fur fabric. I decided I would just cut the fur fabric off in a taper from the point of the hip to the full width, and not bother with the pleats. The fur’s going on the inside anyway, so you’re not going to be seeing it when worn.

Then I stitched up the fur. Again, I’ve never sewn fur fabric before. I was surprised that it was much easier than I’d been expecting. I only have an old Singer sewing machine – one of the first electric models with the cast iron body and gold decals. You know the ones. It’s ancient but it handled the fur fabric without difficulty.

So this is where I am now; I’m at the point where my impatience is telling me to bung one inside the other and start stitching them together. I still haven’t worked out what I’m going to do with the collar, but I can do that as the last step. It’s also still too long, but it will be better to cut the bottom hem when it’s assembled so that I can get a long suffering family member to pin it up while I’m wearing it.

As I say, I really want to sew it together now, but I think I ought to hold my horses long enough to put fray stopper around the silk and double sew the fur. The last thing I want is to assemble it only to have the seams fall apart.

So that’s it for today. I hear that there’s going to be arctic weather next week, so my aim is to finish it over the weekend. Wish me luck!

Also, I promised

Here is my shed, to which I flee with my laptop to write my books,

and for which I really ought to buy either more insulation or a better heater.

Gratuitous moment of advertising for my pride and joy. See my hummingbird blanket? That was a Christmas present all the way from the USA. A beautiful thing!

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