Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Elusive Irishman's Kit

Progress on Ash's new Irish Garb
Progress on Ash's new Irish Garb Ash started out the season with a borrowed plaid and shirt and several sharp pointy objects. After a few faires he decided that he would like an Irish outfit for himself. I come into this because Ashlin bought me my sewing machine in return for me being his sewing slave. :D
Ash's first Faire outfit. Valhalla 2008

Part one as I mentioned in a previous post is the leine or Irish shirt. These are unique from other nationalities from the time period due to their enormous sleeves. However not as enormous as they have been portrayed in recent history with huge drawstrings and such. Ash's Leine went together very easily, simple white linen and I bought the pattern from

Finished Leine, I have no idea why oh why I have no pics of him in it at Folsom Faire. He has requested a closure of sorts to be added to the front, other than that it fit the bill.
Next was the Ionar. Sigh and that is where I am temporarily stuck. We bought the fabric in LA, and he chose good wool in dark blue, coat weight wool. My poor Singer did not like 4 layers of coat weight wool and expressed this too me with broken needles. Everything is done with the exception of attaching the skirting to the body...
Here is my normal sewing maching, nothing fancy, gets the jobs done.

Couldn't do it, so we called in Big Bertha...

Let me introduce you to Big Bertha, a 1951 machine which my father and sister both swear can sew through anything, including fingers. Took half a day for my friend Clint to figure out how to work her. Now I need to find needles and give it a go. If it works then Ash will have a completed ionar to complete his Irish look, and I will have one more project marked off my list.


  1. is there a shoulder seam in the leine? and is the sleeve done like a modern one, were the seam is on the under arm?
    great work.

  2. It's been a long time since I did this particular leine, I do believe that it does have a shoulder seam and that there is a seam on the underside of the sleeve. The new pattern that I have used since, does not have the shoulder seam but does have the seam on the bottom of the sleeve. In fact I usually reinfoce it with two stitch lines since the sleeves tend to be used to carry everything from car keys to rocks.

  3. thank you, would you say one style /pattern is more comfortable than the other?

    1. I like the second pattern personally. I'm not a huge fan of reconstructing history's patterns. The more I learn to sew, the more difficult her patterns are to me. But they are usually a good place to start.