Friday, December 28, 2012

The Year in Review

Rather than a written recap of my sewing and events over the last year, I'm just going to do pictures :) enjoy!

Friday, December 21, 2012


I did it! Completely finished, hem and all, not even a last minute stitch needed :D 

And now the really hard part! . . . How to get the whole dress stuffed into my carry on suitcase WITH all my other normal clothes for the weekend ;)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Getting closer

To having this dress done on time!!

I was able to set and sew down all the braid on the front, complete with toggles and set and finished the collar :)

The braid and the whole dress in fact, is being stylized after a british military frock coat. Of which Michael has two of course ;) one for the Coldstream Guards the other for the 13th Hussars. This is a picture of his guards frock coat , up close for detail.

And this is of a Victorian officer wearing one.

It was a common practice in just about every era to incorporate military styling in women's fashion especially in hunt wear and overcoats.

My dress is really coming together, all that remains for this iteration of the dress is getting it hemmed which I will finish>tonight! In the future I intend to add to the sleeves, back and skirt, passementarie, like you see on the military frocks done in narrow black russia braid.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

An Update

So the dress has been fitted and the front set. Even got my buttons on :)

This evening will be the collar and front braiding.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Last Dress

So I have finally started to make progress on the last dress scheduled for Dickens fair. I had a big set back on my schedule due to an early season cold that had me down for a few weeks :( but I am much better now and really trying to get the dress done (or at least done enough to wear) for this weekend. 

The dress started months ago, when I made a mock up and fitted the top portion of the dress. Which then turned into the new black velvet jacket for this year :)
I had the whole dress cut out before the fair even started, but then things got put on hold during my cold. Now however the dress is assembled! And I am working on fitting and setting the front closure and hemming the dress. Here it is on the dress form, looking dark and plain. 

The dress is made out of a summer weight wool suiting in dark blue, and as it is all one piece it weighs a ton!! I like the look of it though, the princess cut is very flattering, and i think it will look great once it has it's military inspired decoration on the front (if I get that far this year ;)

Updates to follow shorty! As I am really determined and putting some long hours into it this week

Monday, December 17, 2012

Updates from the Dickens Fair

As you can probably tell from my lack of posting the fair is keeping me very busy! What with all the traveling and long days AND a normal 9-5 job I haven't had time for anything else including sewing. 

But I am having an absolute blast again!! :)

There's not a lot of pictures to show for all the fun I am having, as I am too busy to stop and remember to take photos, so any photos are coming from other people that Michael finds on Facebook :)

Here is one of my friend Laura and I. I'm wearing the new silver dress and she is wearing my new plaid skirt and the Spanish jacket and waistcoat from last year. It's fun having someone my size to raid my closet and help me wear all my stuff ;)

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Start of Dickens Fair

Was last weekend, and it was a blast. The first weekend is always 3 days as we do the Friday after thanksgiving as well as the weekend. The first couple of weekends are my favorites as the crowds are a little thinner making it easier to walk around, and we all still have the energy to run around :)

Aside from a good start to the fair i also got to meet two wonderful fellow bloggers for the first time! Maggie of and Lauren of they are both wonderful women and amazing costumers. We got the opportunity on the last day to sit down and chat for awhile along with my friend Nicole of, which was just so much fun, so rarely do I get to sit with such creative and like minded people and enjoy such great conversation.

For the weekend I wore my new plaid skirt with various shawls and jackets. I have a large black velvet cape from last year as well as the new short military inspired jacket I made this year, though that one didn't last very long as I caught one of the braid loops and it tore so now I have some repair work to do before I can wear it again, which I most certainly will. And I did get to make lots of good use out of my new paisley shawl. 

Michael wore his Scottish kit. I love his Argyl and Sutherland Highlanders uniforms, the plaid is beautiful and it has so many little details and accessories, my favorite accessory being his badger sporran which I have named spot ;) and what girl doesn't love a man in a kilt? Right ;)

Michael wears a different regiment every weekend so this weekend will be the King's Royal Rifle Corp and I will wear my red silk from last year.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ancient underwear

Or at least that's what my sister calls it when I make period undergarments. In this case though it is more of an over garment for said undergarments. 

As creative procrastination I decided to make a short robe/ boudoir jacket to go with my new chemise and drawers for Dickens this year (mind you the chemise and drawers are still sitting in pieces in the sewing room, that's the level of creative procrastination I have attained ;).

I based the jacket off of this fashion plate drawing from my harpers bazaar book.

To avoid having it look like part of a wedding trousseau  I added the purple accents to it. And the lace trim is actually 3 different trims put together :)

The sleeves are definitely my favorite part, open and flowy like the fashion plate.

Okay now back to real work ;)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Lining the Hats

My part of McPherron and Sons hats was the quilted linings. The linings are made of silk with a thin wool batting for the quilted part.

We chose to go with the diamond pattern as it seemed to be the most common reoccurring theme in the photos of originals Michael has collected. And it was relatively easy to make as the pattern was continuous.

Previously michael had used custom woven labels on the inside but the originals seem to be stamped or embossed with the makers mark. And since you can find anything online now, I figured we could find a place to custom make us a stamp with his logo and then apply it to the lining using a metallic gold fabric paint. And sure enough we were able to do all that! Making the custom stamp online was ridiculously easy, and the fabric paint came from dharma trading company online as well.

The really hard part of the whole thing was getting the stamp to apply right, it took a lot of finagling with ink application and pressure and a lot of practicing on my part :)

The end result is truly very stunning which is a great match for the very stunning hats he makes. And it was a lot of fun to be a part of the process this time :)