Saturday, May 14, 2011

Hose, attempt one

Here's my fist attempt at hose, using my fabulous new leg to drape and fit (sort of) the pattern.  I used the 16th century pattern from Textiles and Clothing (the MOL book) as that particular set of hose had no seams under the foot.  I have, as a result of a car accident almost 2 years ago, developed some less than fun problems with my feet and having seams running under the arch of my foot seems like it might be a bad plan.  Probably less so with wool hose, but as I want to make linen hose for now (I live in Virginia, it gets humid and I die) seams under my arch are right out.

Anyway, here are the results.  I'm not 100% happy with the fit of the foot but overall they came out pretty well.  Certainly they are wearable and fit as well the ready-made pair I bought at 12th Night.

I made one mistake/change in drafting the pattern that I need to go back and correct before I cut out the next pair (which will be yellow!) - I cut the sole and side gussets in one piece and cut the whole bottom of the foot on the bias.  There is another pair of extant hose where the foot is constructed in this way, but the pair from London has the gussets and sole cut separately and on the straight grain.  I think this will work better on my foot.  Also, the heel seam needs to extend UNDER my heel a bit, which I did not do to avoid a seem under my foot, but I think the hose will sit better on the leg if the seam goes all the way around the curve of the heel the way the original hose to.  I also want to tighten up the fit around the lower leg and ankle just a bit.  

I'm also wondering if they made these footed - i.e. for right and left feet, or if they were ambidextrous.  The way the seams were sewn on the original would allow you to wear it either side out, so I suppose you could fit it more closely and effectively have a left and right foot.  I didn't want (and still don't) to have footed socks, as that's just one more thing to think about before my coffee, but does argue in favor of hand sewing and careful finishing.  I think if I snug the whole thing up I will eliminate most of the bagging thats resulting from making the foot right/left neutral but this is something I'm really curious about now.

Overall I'm pretty happy with these as a first attempt.  Having never made cloth hose before, it went pretty well and I'm pleased with when I ended up with.  They aren't perfect but I learned a lot and feel a lot more confident going into the next pair.


  1. They look great!

    I've made hose both footed and ambidextrous. Since turnshoes have a bit of extra space in the toe, I haven't found the ambi ones to be a problem.

    As for the seam under the foot, you're right, I think you'd feel it more with linen than wool. But with my wool ones, I don't feel the seam at all. If you lap the seam correctly, you can't feel it at all. Naturally, YMMV with foot issues... I've had foot surgery, so I understand weird feed!

  2. Awesome! I love the color.

    My first attempt resulted in right and left footed hose. The points at the ends sit closer to the big toe on each foot. That's what I ended up with using my leg dummy, so I just went with the flow and cut mirror patterns.

    I agree that going with the separate gussets is probably the better way to go. I tried a full sole with gusset on my second pattern, but it didn't go together well at all.