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I wish I had this workshop to help me! Instead, I have the “assistant” who tends to howl and a room full of garments to finish and alter. The skirts of the brown gown are done and want only tape at the hems, so I can, in theory, move onward to sleeves. I’ll have to scrap plans for an HSF petticoat this weekend, as I have really fallen behind.

Menswear, to finish and to alter

Battle Road inspection/walk through is Saturday, and second hand reports of the reactions to letters received have me thinking about authenticity, standards, and communication. Last Saturday, I went to see Sew18thCentury and had a lovely time. Not only did we have a delicious late lunch and tea, an interesting chat about ideas and sewing and all sorts of things, I also got to get outta town on my own. (For growing up in a city, I am very happy to spend time in open spaces with grass, trees, and cows.)

I mentioned to Sew18thCentury that we’d wrestled with Fort Ti and chosen not to go because we did not, in our estimation, meet standards, and she was surprised that we didn’t. In truth, we did not. The guys clothes weren’t right, and I know our blankets aren’t right…heck, our tent’s not right.

What makes it all worse is that I know these things aren’t right. So I’ve tracked down blankets and just need to order them, and the tent–well, not this year, but maybe next, I can get around to sewing a linen bell-back tent. Mr S has learned back-stitching and whip stitching this week, so in a year we could tackle a tent together. It’s a process, and this year, unless there was a miracle of increased speed in sewing, I still wouldn’t go to Fort Ti in September.

But what about Battle Road? This inspection is not just for safety, it’s also for dress and appearance. This has thrown me into a tizzy: the jacket’s not done and the coat’s not altered. If the guys don’t pass inspection, they can’t be part of Battle Road, and I’ll feel bad that I didn’t put alterations first. But realistically, I can’t imagine getting their things done by Saturday morning. At least the coat will have the alteration marks made by the master… the road to hell may be paved with good intentions, but the road to Battle Road is paved with pins and linen thread.