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22 August 2008 @ 07:52 pm
DIY spats/gaiters  
I cobbled these gaiters/spats together with the materials I had on hand, which wouldn't have been my first choice of materials but hey, you work with what you've got:


Top still needs hemming.

I am stuck at home recovering from ankle surgery and while my friends have been good sports about fetching me juice and paper towels and other necessities from the grocery store, I think asking them to go to a craft store and re-stock my supplies is stretching the bounds of friendship. So, these are the things I had laying around. Lacking grommets, I crocheted some edging and sewed it on to thread the lacing through. The gaiters are made of three pieces of upholstery remnants. I tried using both lacing and ribbon for the closure; I prefer the ribbon. If you can believe it, I did this all by hand as my machine doesn't work. With a machine, I think I could have whipped it out in an hour but of course hand-sewing all those pieces took much longer.

I still haven't finished the top and bottom hem, and I'm debating whether I should add some crochet trim, maybe to the bottom as I kinda wanted them to be a bit longer and cover the top of the shoe.

These are easy to make using the duct-tape method of pattern construction so if you've been debating trying to sew a pair, go for it, especially if you have sewing machine. This was my first attempt and I think the next pair will be even better. 
Current Location: the sofa
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Kittywolf13kittywolf13 on August 23rd, 2008 12:19 am (UTC)
those are darling and i rather like the "patchwork" look of them!~ :)
mllevioletmlleviolet on August 23rd, 2008 12:29 am (UTC)
Thanks! Thought they might work for a ragamuffin costume...
Naminaiteiru on August 23rd, 2008 12:23 am (UTC)
Those are pretty darn nifty! ^^ I'm off to make my boyfriend a pair of spats later tomorrow.
mllevioletmlleviolet on August 23rd, 2008 12:29 am (UTC)
Thank you! It turned out to be a lot easier than I thought, and I plan to make more of these.
isaiasascough on October 17th, 2008 10:33 am (UTC)
If you still owe more on your mortgage than you can pay, and you depend on your job to bring in that money, you could be in trouble.
dizzyclockworkdizzyclockwork on August 23rd, 2008 12:47 am (UTC)
sooo cute!
mllevioletmlleviolet on August 23rd, 2008 02:35 am (UTC)
Thank you! They were a cinch to make.
Aislinn: Sewing Machinepurpura on August 23rd, 2008 12:47 am (UTC)
Oh, but I love the crocheted bits for the lacing. That's such an innovative/creative touch!

mllevioletmlleviolet on August 23rd, 2008 02:37 am (UTC)
Thank you! It was the only thing I had on hand to make them lace up, but it turned out okay. Necessity is the mother of invention!
luai_lashire: calla lilyluai_lashire on August 23rd, 2008 03:46 am (UTC)
And invention is the mother of steampunk! ;)
BoilerGothmantisred on August 23rd, 2008 01:15 am (UTC)
These make me happy
mllevioletmlleviolet on August 23rd, 2008 02:38 am (UTC)
Thanks! They make me happy, too.
Mavetmavet on August 24th, 2008 07:16 pm (UTC)
Any suggestions for someone wanting to make spats who is both grommet-less and cannot crochet? Buttons and button-holes maybe?

Also, is the material standing up due to the stiffness of the upholstry fabric? As much as I enjoy slouchy leg-warmers, I would like to know how to keep spats from turning into them inadvertently. ;)

Thanks in advance! I love the fabrics you used for yours!
mllevioletmlleviolet on August 24th, 2008 07:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Suggestion?
Thanks! I just happened to have those small fabric scraps left over; it was either that or green jacquard which somehow didn't look right so I opted for the patchwork. Button holes would work just fine, if you have a machine that does them. I don't have a working sewing machine and doing button holes by hand would be tiresome, so I came up with the crochet and lacing as an alternative. The buttons would make for a more traditional Victorian looking spat; laces are more like the WWII military gaiters.

As far as why the material is standing up, well, it is fairly stiff fabric, but I also have it laced tightly. I don't know how well it'd stay up if I was marching around. I haven't worn these out, and have only walked from the living room to the mirror in the bathroom. It is possible they'll slouch on a more extended walk. If that's the case, I plan to use sock garters to hold them up.

There are a few spat patterns floating around the Web; here's one

I made my own pattern by wrapping my leg with toilet paper, then with duct tape, then cutting off the duct tape where I wanted the spats to open. The result is a curved pattern so I had to lay it flat and make another cut to create a curved pattern. I think this resulted in a more close-fitting gaiter than if I had used a premade pattern.

It's very easy to make these, so I hope you give it a try. Good luck!

lookfarlookfar on August 30th, 2008 03:08 am (UTC)
Wanted to show you this:


in the Pyramid Collection catalog. They have a lot of well-priced costumey clothes. I've never bought a garment from them, but the other stuff I have bought was pretty good quality. I suspect that the sort of reproduction JaneAustenWear is a bit shoddy because otherwise it would be massively expensive, but I often see things I like in this catlog.

Hope you ankle is all better!
mllevioletmlleviolet on August 30th, 2008 05:38 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I love that catalog, though I've never bought anything. I am too cheap but sometimes they have stuff on clearance. I have seen that outfit - someone on the steamfashion community bought it and posted pics. I am a bit too modest for that cincher top, being rather well-endowed, I'm not a proponent of the 'corsets as outerwear' style. Maybe if I was a B-cup it'd be okay, but being a double DD, I'd be liable to poke someone's eye out with the boobage. Maybe over a ruffly blouse, though. For the skirt, which I actually like better than the bodice, I can make a skirt like that. Well, maybe not quite as good but it's fairly simply modification. Just take an existing full skirt and add the skirt lifter straps to the waist and hem, using a snap or button for the closure. You can use old belts or ribbons or whatever. It's really easy, I have done it with several skirts, and I layer them to create a sort of fake Polanaise effect. Works for Victorian, pirates, steampunk, gypsy, and all kinds of costumes.

I was all excited to get my cast off yesterday, but then the doc put another cast on, it's fiberglass so it's lighter but sadly I'm still on crutches and it's so hard to get around Manhattan that I am basically stuck at home. Subways are really not ADA compliant and I feel sorry for people in wheelchairs or who are on crutches or canes permanently. Hardly any stations have elevators. I have no choice but to work at home till I can walk again. If only I had gotten my sewing machine working before this happened, I'd be happily occupying myself, but it's missing a part that's hard to find. I thought I'd be gimping around by now. It's going to be another month on crutches though. I am trying not to think about the fact that my leg will be unwashed for six weeks. It seems like a minor point but I'm overly fanatical about personal hygeine. It is hard not to to be whiny about being a total crip. I can't even take a class this semester because it's impossible to get to school. But maybe this will give me a chance to get some writing done, I have a bunch of half-finished fics laying around.

Thanks for the link! If you like the skirt, I guarantee you can make one just as good, if not better, if you have a full skirt to start with.
lookfarlookfar on August 30th, 2008 10:36 pm (UTC)
It's a weird catalog, what with the fairy wings and vibrators, isn't it?

I was on crutches once for eight weeks and I got really depressed from the lack of activity and competency. Don't do what I did and eat M&Ms on the couch the whole time. : )
mllevioletmlleviolet on August 31st, 2008 07:43 pm (UTC)
It is weird - I guess 'stress relief' can be interpreted in a variety of ways. They do have some gorgeous clothes, though.

M&Ms are contraband in my place. I have no self-control, I'd rip through a bag in one sitting. My policy is that if I want something sweet, I have to bake it from scratch, and most of the time I'm too lazy. I thought for sure I'd be eating constantly out of boredom but because I am so inactive, I hardly eat anything. I am probably eating 1/3 of what I would normally eat. I think I'll find that I've lost weight once I return to Weight Watchers meetings when the cast comes off.

It is hard to combat depression, though. It's gorgeous out and there's so much I want to do, but just getting down the stairs is a huge hassle. My arms are bruised and my sides are all chafed from the crutches. It's really hard not to feel sorry for myself. Maybe I'll hobble down and sit in the courtyard of my building for awhile just to get some Vitamin D.