Thursday, January 31, 2013

HSF Challenge # 2

The Challenge: "to get something off your UFO pile, Finish off something that's never quite gotten done, or stalled halfway through, start a project you've always meant to do but never had the excuse for, or create a UFO that you'll finish in another challenge."

I decided to finish the jacket from my turn of the century walking suit started two years ago.  

Fabric: it's some polyester something or  another that came from the stash. What i like is that it looks woven and is a light green ish blue. I lined the jacket in navy blue acetate. (I forgot how much I hate that stuff!)
Pattern: Truly Victorian pattern #498 1898 Eton jacket. As this was an earl piece for me it appears to be unmodified.
Year: 1898 

Notions: none at all, it's very simple fashion fabric and lining. I could have boned the seams for stability, but decided against it in the end.

How accurate: I'm going to be generous here and give myself a 8 out of 10. Points docked for non period fabric choices. But the pattern was drafted from a period pattern and they had sewing machines at that point so that counts in my favor too.
Hours to complete: 4, two nights of sewing after work.

First worn: the skirt and blouse were worn a few years back, no idea when I'll wear the whole out fit with the jacket. It's not an era I do a lot in, but I feel it's good to have at least one outfit per era is possible ;)

Total cost: no clue! It was all stash fabric from so long ago I don't remember what I paid.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


On the jacket. 
Body and collar together

Still need sleeves and lining but that stuff is already partially assembled.

It's funny to me how fast things go together once I take the time to sit at the machine :) it always seems so much longer when I have to cut the pattern out at the same time, it's my least favorite part of the whole process!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Turn of the Century Walking Suit

I started this suit over two years ago and managed to get the skirt and shirt done but didn't end up finishing the jacket before the event, so went with out and never got back to finish it.

The skirt was first worn for a women's suffrage historical rally and parade down in balboa park two years ago:

That's my little sister in front of me with two of our friends.

The jacket will be from Truly Victorian pattern #498 1898 Eton jacket, it's all cut out and has been hanging out in the stacks waiting for me to get around to finishing it off.

Monday, January 28, 2013

A stitch in time

Micheal found it on eBay of course and decided it was something I would love since I've been embroidering a lot lately :) 

It's an embroidery pattern for the Coldstream Guards badge, which is a regiment he collects.

It comes with two different sized transfers and has directions for stitches and colors.

It's probably from the time around WWII, though I really just guessing there. I just love that it's approved by the War Office! :) I think I'll make myself a handkerchief with the small one in a corner, though I will trace the design rather then heat transfer to preserve the kit. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Where good sewing projects go to die

The stacks, I call them.

Here is my list of unfinished sewing projects, from which I will be finally completing one for the next
HSF challenge:
1. Ball gown bodice to match red silk 1860s dress
2. Ball gown bodice to match silver 1860s dress
3. Jacket to match already made skirt of a turn of the century walking suit in green
4. Late 18th century chemise de la reine
5. Striped silk robe a'la francaise
6. Skirt for the brown wool regency Spenser jacket
7. Black velvet late Elizabethan open gown
And in a completely different pile of unfinished projects there's a men's sack suit in brownish plaid wool for Michael ;)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

HSF #1: Regency ball gown

The challenge: ". . . to sew something that would have been worn in  __13, whether it be 1913, 1613, or 13BC".

I chose to do an evening gown from the regency. It is actually a UFO that I started last spring and didn't finish in time for the event. Previous work got me as far as having the under dress cut out.

Fabric: the under dress is made of a sagey green poly satin from the stash. At one point I think I had close to 20yds of this stuff and this dress is likely the last full size project I will get out of the fabric as I am now down to about a yard. The over dress is an embroidered silk chiffon that came from one of my favorite sellers in the LA Garment district, it just spoke to me and i had to have it, at the time i didnt even know what i was going to use it for. I bought 5yds originally and this project used just under four, so I have some to spare :)

Pattern: the body of the dress came from Butterwick pattern 6630.The sleeves I drafted in myself as I didn't want a puffy sleeve. The over dress came from Butterwick pattern 4890though with heavy modifications to the front so it would meet in the middle and drape away low, also I shortened the train a good foot as trains always make me nervous and would hate to ruin the dress by having it stepped on, as the silk is fragile to a degree.

Year: per the challenge it's 1813 ish :) I was copying this fashion plate:

Notions: hooks and eyes for the back closure but I might take those out later and have it lace closed as I trust lacing more when dancing. Even when alternating direction on hooks and eyes they can still slip. Also there a little pearl buttons to close the front of the dress where it meets. 

The trim at the edges is just wavy cut fabric, it's okay, and looks nice at a distance but is not what I had in my head so it will likely get removed and replaced when I find what's in my head ;)

How accurate: I give this one 4 or 5 out of 10, the patterns were definitely not historically accurate but the resulting shape is. Also the under dress fabric content is not correct nor is the embroidery on the silk, having been done by machine. And most of the ensemble was machine sewn. But I feel it is a good match to the inspiration fashion plate so it gets good points there. 

Hours to complete: 20-23 hours. The hand sewing took me a long time as did messing around with the skirt of the over dress to get it to layout like I wanted.

Total cost: stash fabric and notions are hard to calculate but I remember the silk being $25 a yard and about four yards went into this project so something like $100+. 

First worn: this dress has not been worn yet and likely won't be worn for quite a few months, as I think the nearest Regency ball is this summer, as we can't make the Jane Austin evening happening this weekend.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Evening headwear - Regency

So my plan for my new evening dress is to make a turban for its headdress, now granted im not going to wear this dress anytime soon so that might change :).I just think they are so extravagant and different, see: 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Chirp chirp . . .

Says the little bird. Well at least that's what I thinks my little sewing bird would say if it could :)

For Christmas my mother got me a reproduction sewing bird. At the time I thought how beautiful, but not likely to get much use in my world. Ha! Then comes along the HSF challenges and here I am using it :)

I set it up at the kitchen table which had the right width and with my traveling sewing kit I was fully functional. That and catching up on my TiVo and I quickly and painlessly got through all the hand sewing for the regency over dress. What a super helpful tool!!! Totally going to use this little guy for all my hand sewing. The more I hand sew the more I love it!

My little repro bird came from The Victorian Trading Company. And is quite sturdy if a little on the small side.

This museum site had a nice overview of the history of this sewing tool

Really neat stuff and it would be cool to have a real one some day . . . 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Regency evening gown progress

So I have decided I am copying this fashion plate: 

Only instead of a yellow under dress I am going with green which is much more flattering on me :)

The green under dress is fully constructed i just need to set the hook and eye closure for the back and some trim to the edges like on the fashion plate. It went together in a flash, well it helped that it was already cut out :)

The over dress is being more tricky and time consuming, the material is so thin and fragile that I am having to sew it all by hand (so not my favorite thing to do!) but it's the right thing to save this fabric and make it turn out well. 

I'm almost done actually just need to finish the scallops up the front. And add the little button and loop closures to hold it closed in front.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Regency evening gown inspiration

For the latest Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge I am going to do an 1813 evening gown. I want to do color and something fancy like the below. As beautiful as the pure white gowns are, on me and my super paleness, I just disappear, color is my friend ;)

Lace overlay on an evening gown:

The use of color in regency gowns rather than white.