Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Bosom Friend, or Sontag from Godey’s

This pattern (and illustration) came from Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine, January, 1860. The pattern, with updated terminology by Colleen Formby (copyright 2006), is also available for free from http://www.raggedsoldier.com/sontag.html as well as at http://www.rolloadams.com/missmargarets/godeys2.html. Ms. Forrmby’s pattern, with an accompanying article about knitting in the era of the American Civil War, can also be found in Piecework (March/April, 2009)

The original pattern called for “small bone or wooden needles;” I used 4.5mm/ 7 US, not small at all. The knitted fabric is a block pattern. “Crimson double zephyr” was suggested for the body with white for the border and black to be “darned on…in imitation of ermine.” I chose a warm shade of brown and a soft one of pink, (Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted’s Bev’s Bear and Victorian Pink) instead, with no imitation stitches. There is a button and a loop on either end of the wrapping sections, and the tassels are attached to the body with i-cords for “passing round the waist and tied in front.”

My sontag, knit to the pattern, came out rather small in spite of using a worsted wool in the hope of enlarging it bit, and would fit a slim girl of thirteen or fourteen. The garment would be worn over a dress, providing another layer of warmth which would stay in place and allow movement of the arms without the fuss of a shawl.


Deborah said...

I love Godey Ladies! My mother loved the fashions from that era. I imagine it was because she was in college when GWTW was released. Fortunately I have two copies she bought and used for inspiration.

=Tamar said...

Formby does say that the pattern runs small.

One More Stitch said...

Lucky you, Deborah, to have those editions of Godey's!

My mother loved historic clothing, too, and she, as a child, had GWTW paper dolls from around the time of the release of the film. I wish she had kept them!

One More Stitch said...

As for the sizing, I should have heeded the warning in the updated pattern and done a larger piece of swatching. If I make another sontag, I will go up a few more sizes in needles and SWATCH!!!!!

I have been working on another style of the garment for a few years now and cannot get the size to work out at all, at all. Same problem so I just might jump to much bigger needles and thicker wool.