Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Christmas Plaid

In the spirit of Christmas, for Dickens this year I thought it would be nice to have a little holiday plaid. So I have added this lovely green, gold, maroon to the collection. 

As it is real silk and there for expensive I only purchased enough for just a skirt, and will just match it with one of my black velvet jackets and blouses.

I like 1850's skirts because for the most part they can be ridiculously simple just one seam to close the circle, another seam for the waistband and then a long running stitch to cartridge pleat the width into the waistband. Which I do all by hand, usually while watching tv, cause I'm crazy like that ;)

The other trick I have taken to doing is instead of cutting off any excess material from the length I pleat it up a foot above the hem length so that as I wear out the bottom edge of skirt I can just let out the pleat, roll under the frayed hem and re set the pleat just a bit smaller, it can really extend the life of a skirt especially one that is worn out of doors and gets plenty of wear and tear at re-enactments.

The technique is not original to me and was most commonly used in children's clothing to extend the wear of a garment by allowing the length to grow with the child. This usually involved several rows of smaller pleats that could be let out one at a time and then conversely taken back up when the garment moved down to the next child.
I just adapted it to extend the life of my hems :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

A finished project

I'm back! Or at least I feel like I'm back :) even though I have been continuing to sew off and on for the last month, this weekend was very productive and felt like one of my old sewing weekends. Among a few other projects to follow, I finally finished the silver dress from last month! And I mean finished, like absolutely everything is done on it, which is rare for me as I feel like I am always tacking something down last minute ;)

While I had originally thought about decorating the skirt with big velvet swags, when I tried it I wasn't happy with the look.

So I went with a thin velvet band around the bottom, simpler and much better.

The buttons are little woven cord rounds, with the loops done in velvet cord to match the turn back collar and skirt trim.

And I made this little velvet belt with bow cause I just felt it needed a little more detail to feel complete. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Time to start collecting . . .

For Dickens fair that is. And the first few pieces to arrive are a shawl, a calling card case and a new set of boots. 

The boots are from oak tree farms (http://www.oaktreefarms.com) and are wonderful, they have the right shaped heel and look and are well made. 

Though they do run very small so go a size up. 

These are the veil, but there are other really good looking boots for the Victorian era. I also want a pair of the Catherine's, they have a canvas upper and leather lowers.

Next is this cute little silver calling card case that will hold my money nicely and has a little ring at the top to hang from my chatelaine.

I have been watching lots of items on eBay for chatelaines. I would like a nice little sewing set to wear at fair as I am often mending something or the other for someone during the fair. I hoping for a scissor, pin cushion and needle case. Maybe a tape measure or thimble holder too :)

And last but not least is the shawl, and this was a really big score for me as I have badly wanted a Victorian paisley shawl since last year and they usually go for more than I am willing to spend. But finally after much patient searching I found one I liked and in good condition and was able to snag it in my price range!!

It's mostly black which I think will actually make it more versatile. And it's huge, it this picture it's folded into quarters and is taking up most of my full size bed :) 

Friday, October 5, 2012

A sewing update

I'm still here I promise, life has just gotten super busy lately! 

I am still sewing, it's just that there is little that is noteworthy right now. I am finishing up the silver dress, setting the hem and the front closure (boring).

And I have started draping the next 1850s project which is a short fitted jacket. There wasn't a pattern I could find that would do what I had in mind so I am just making my own pattern. I spent the weekend draping and tacking and pinning and marking and readjusting and seam ripping and then repeating till my little fingers hurt! (tedious) 

And because its fall (yes I know it was 100 degrees on Monday) I can't help myself but start crocheting again. I am making granny squares because they are quick, small counts and easy to carry with me. 

See nothing noteworthy ;)