Wednesday, January 3, 2018

2018 Plans

It's going to be a busy year...!

*Jane Austen Evening: I'm wearing my embroidered gown!

*Burnley and Trowbridge shift workshop:I'm teaching this one again, so I need to get my handouts in order...

*Burnley and Trowbridge sack gown workshop: I'm assisting Brooke Welborn with this workshop. I can't wait to learn from her! 
*MOH fashion show: I need to make an 1890s skirt to go with the jacket of my bicycling outfit to make a "normal" daywear outfit. I'm one of the organizers for this and providing a lot of garments for it. Need to make sure they're in good repair and wearable!
*Francaise dinner?? I probably don't have time for this but I really want to go... And I have a new sack gown started!

*Agecroft performance: I'm doing a first-person performance and I'm very excited to put my theatrical and creative writing skills to use! I'll need to finish my 1616 bodies, make alterations to 1616 gown, and make a lace ruff and cuffs, bum roll, vizard... And memorize the show!
*Ft Fred: I'll be shopgirl for Burnley and Trowbridge which means I need clothes for 4 days! There's no telling what the weather will be this far in the future... This event is notorious for crazy weather! I'll probably be altering my brown wool gown and making a second wool petticoat.

*CW Garden Party?? It's so expensive but it looks delightful and it's in my backyard...

*Tailored to a New World Conference: try not to lose my mind while running this conference again! My 1616 gown will be wearable for this though, so that's exciting. 
*JA Summer Program at Chapel Hill: I'm giving a lecture at this! There will be a masked ball but I will probably just wear my spangled ball gown and be some sort of flower fairy...

Costume College: 1530s or 40s Tudor gown for the Gala. I doubt I'll have time to make anything else specifically for CoCo, but that's okay! There are lots of things that I can wear.

Corsets and Cravats 1860s Symposium: I'm giving a lecture and teaching two workshops! There are a couple social events in the evenings at which we are encouraged to dress in period clothes, so right now my plan is to make a black Swiss waist and white corsage

After that... I don't know! Which is fine with me! Well, I will probably go to Gettysburg Remembrance Day, but this is quite enough to think about for now! :)

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2017 Sewing Year In Review

I was a TERRIBLE blogger this year! It's just so much easier to share pictures on my Facebook page and Instagram, and I haven't had it in me to do any serious construction or research posts. Hopefully that will change this year!

Even with my continuing wrist and thumb issues, I sewed a bunch of things in 2017. The biggest project was my embroidered Regency gown, which I never got pictures of in France! Hopefully that will change at the 12th Night dinner this Saturday, if it doesn't get canceled due to snow... Being part of the imperial court at Malmaison was a dream come true, but definitely used a lot of my sewing mojo. I haven't been able to get in a good groove since then although I still made many little things after that.

So without further ado, here's what I made in 2017:

*1860s half mourning dress

*1560s gown, kirtle, partlet with ruff, cuffs, and hood (This needs a new hood and a photo shoot with the ruff and cuffs properly ironed!)

*Late 1770s stays

*Bernhardt early 19th century stays

*Madder-dyed wool petticoat with upperbodies

*The Embroidered Gown! 

 *1807 Ensemble for Malmaison: striped muslin gown, striped silk pelisse, organdy chemisette, bonnet, and a new shift

*Dimity gown, checked linen apron, and striped linen petticoat

*Dark fairy/witch/Hecate/Halloween gown

*1918 outfit

 *1840s Cloak

 *1860s corset and drawers

*Black silk mantle and pink silk petticoat

*Green silk calask and cream wool mitts

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Where Has the Year Gone?

It's officially July... When did that happen??

I've been sewing nonstop (in spite of my wrist) but I haven't updated either of my blogs in a very long time. It's much easier for me to update my Facebook page and Instagram, so that is where most of the pictures of my finished work has been going.

Here's some of what I've been up to. You can check out my Facebook page for more info on these projects. I do still plan to do proper blog posts in the future, but not as frequently as you'll be seeing new content on FB and Instagram. So check those out!

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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Under and Over: 1860s Half Mourning Cotton Dress and Cage Crinoline

Last weekend I once more had my 1860s mourning display set up at a local Civil War reenactment. About a week before the event, I decided it would be crazy totally reasonable to finish the half mourning printed cotton dress that I started two years ago. I'm glad I pushed through and finished it because I'm quite pleased with the dress even though it's cotton (what can I say, I love silk and wool!).

To make a cotton dress more interesting, I did a yoked bodice with pleats and piping and played a tiny bit with the directions of the stripes. The bishop sleeve, while not really flattering, is useful if I ever want to roll up the sleeves in a working environment like cooking or doing laundry. The bodice is only partially lined in the yoke and in a strip under each arm, as seen in a few originals like this yoked dress.


I also thought it was about time to photograph my Needle and Thread 116" cage crinoline and petticoat that were made last year. This kit is so incredible... If you're serious about 1860s clothing, it's completely worth the investment as every single piece is perfectly reproduced from originals. I got the 110" kit and squeezed it out to 116". Looking back, I should have called up Needle and Thread and asked for a few extra yards of hooping because they have excellent customer service and I could have made the cage 120" like I originally wanted. 116" is fine, though, and looks very nice under my black and white checked silk dress (I'm not wearing it in the pictures above because the skirt for the cotton dress was cut to fit over my old 108" hoop). Because of the considerable back thrust of the crinoline, I need to make a little bum pad to support the back of the crinoline and keep it from tipping forward. But I'm trying not to feel too badly about it because this original is doing the same thing! ;-)


The petticoat was inspired by this original at the Met, and others like it.

Friday, December 30, 2016

2017 Plans

My hand is really hurting right now, so I almost feel foolish for writing this out... But daydreaming about sewing plans still makes me happy, so *shrug*.

Right now I'm dying to start the historical Star Wars cosplay I came up with last night. I finally struck on an idea that I really like and would be easy to make (no hard-to-find fabrics or intricate accessories and I don't mind using undergarments I already have). I've got a couple months' lull now that it's winter and I think it would be pretty quick to make. 

So... here's Edwardian (c.1904) Leia! I just bought the fabric, too, a silk/cotton blend ottomon (ribbed). Still need to figure out what to do for the belt, but that can definitely wait until the dress is finished.

Next will be either a cotton print sack gown or a 1560s ensemble. It all depends on if I can go back home for Faire in May. Unfortunately these gowns are pretty labor intensive and would have due-dates within a month of each other, so I don't know if I can pull off both. But we'll see!

Finally, I have three gowns that need to be made for a very special event in September, one of which I'm embroidering! I've already got the skirt panels ready to start working on, so hopefully it will be finished in time... 

Then it will be time to get ready for Gettysburg in November, and I think I'll finally make a new full mourning dress. The fabric has been waiting very patiently in my stash!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

2016 Year in Review

I feel like I was constantly sewing something this year but have very little to show for it. In truth, I think I spent many nights after work just being lazy, as I'm finding it harder to come home after sewing all day to...sewing all night. And as I mentioned in a previous post, my wrist/hand is still causing me problems even after the surgery. I'm planning to see my doctor in the new year but I'm not hopeful.

In addition to sewing at work and sewing at home for myself, I took commissions for two other museums, which I didn't get pictures of before sending them off. But my work is now on display at Mount Vernon and the New York Historical Society.

Another issue is that there are quite a few garments that I made this year but haven't gotten pictures of, or they're wearable but not "finished" and thus not photographed. But hopefully I can start taking care of that in the new year, at least for my 1860s ball gown and 1616 gown.

It's probably worth noting too that I organized and ran a conference at work and got a raise and promotion!

Even thought I didn't sew a lot, I went to many wonderful events (like Costume College!) and had a great time with friends regardless of if I was wearing an "old" dress. Next year promises to have some great events as well. I haven't quite figured out what my 2017 sewing goals are, but there will be a blog post when I do!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Early Seventeenth Century Wool Gown

I've been wanting to make a new early 17th century gown for some time now, mostly because I have learned so much since I made my green wool outfit. The idea behind the gown was for it to be representative of a common woman's Sunday/holiday best. This year's Publick Day event was the perfect excuse, although I waffled over whether or not to make something new until about two weeks before the event. So this gown was handsewn in two weeks, amid work and everything else. Michael blocked new hats for both of us. He is becoming quite the talented hatter!

These pictures are from the gown's third wearing, on Thanksgiving for my work's annual event. Someday I'll starch my darn cuffs enough that they won't start going wonky after a few minutes! I'm wearing the gown over my newest petticoat with upperbodies.

Ignore the white threads all over me; I was sewing a shirt!