Every so often interesting projects turn up out of the blue and I have to say that love it when this happens.
Give me a puzzle and I am on it.
This week I am making a pattern for a friend who spend quite some time in the Arctic decades ago and wanted to make herself a new winter coat. She wants a modern take on a traditional amautik.
I have not checked all the information I was told about, and I do not pretend to know very much at all about these garments. Just be forewarned.
She told me how the Inuit would wrap their babies when they were small and carry them inside the coat, up against the mothers back. The coats were cut in such a way that as the babies grew, they were accommodated by the shape of the coat. The hoods were made large enough to cover the heads of both the mother and child.
The babies were held in place with a cord or sash that looped through a hanging cord at the centre front of the coat, pulled down between the breasts and wrapped around the waist holding the back of the coat tight and keeping the baby inside. She recounted how the mothers would line the inside of the coat back with moss, (no diapers then) that would absorb the child's urine and feces for later removal.
She gave me a child's size cotton amautik that she had, which I took a pattern from, and I have to say it was a very complicated garment. More complicated than it looks.
I am refraining from posting a picture of the pattern I made, as I believe that it is considered the intellectual property of the Inuit and that needs to be respected.
It was quite fun to design a coat for her incorporating some of the traditional aspects of the amautik.
I will have a mock up fitting with her tomorrow, and I am interested to see if she likes it. I know the hood isn't quite right on mine, but I really was winging it! Hooray for mock ups! She plans on making the coat out of melton, and has a nice little Arctic fox in her freezer (really!) that she may use to trim the hood....
The other puzzle I am working on is a soft case for a stand up bass I made for another friend almost 20 years ago. The zipper finally went!
Just a wee repair, but it was another one of those fascinating puzzles that grabbed my attention. His old case was not sturdy and it was falling apart and I took it on myself to make a new one all those years ago.
In other news, if you want to see the waistcoat for the Opera in action so to speak, click here.
The beautiful dress and the other ladies' costume was cut by my colleague Margaret.