Thursday, May 9, 2013

Historical Sew Forthnightly Challenege #9, Flora and Fauna

Last week I completed my entry for the HSF challenge number 9 Fora and Fauna.
I wasn't particularly creative with this one and chose to make a dress from a floral print cotton that i already had waiting in the stash and had been planning to use for a new dress for a while. with Madame Kat's Jane Austen tea party coming up it was the perfect excuse t make up a new dress. while choosing a floral print dress may not be a stroke of genius  at least the dress itself turned out quite lovely.

The Challenge: Flora and Fauna


My pretty pretty fabric
Historic reproduction, stylized floral print in cream and wedgewood blue from 97 District Fabrics


Self drafted based on extant garments and fashion prints from the 18teens, i do not know of any pattern either commercially available or in one of the many costuming books that has a dress with the flat fronted bodice so popular in the mid regency so i kind of had to do some guesswork on it's construction. I used a slightly altered version of the pattern I drafted a while ago for my Ingres portrait dress.

The Ingres portrait dress used the same bodice pattern.

Year:  ca. 1813

Notions: Gutermann's poly thread. store bought piping "oyster" colored, hook and eye tape, fabric covered buttons

How historically accurate is it? Perhaps 60/40  The pattern and fabric and design is period accurate, and all visible seams are done by hand, the ruffles are pinked on the edges which is a period method of decoration. The pinking is  however treated with fray check, while some sort of anti fray treatment was indeed available in period it was certainly not the store bought stuff I used. The piping was store bought and is a poly cotton blend so not accurate either, though piping was all the rage for the 18teens on so the  look is correct, the back closure is a mock button closure with self fabric covered buttons over hook and eye tape. This certainly is not period correct, mock button backs did exist but hook and eye tape did not. i would have done a regular button closure but the fabric was too thick for the button kit i was using and i had to super glue the tops to the bottoms to keep them form popping off, i figured they would not be able to take the stress of actually keeping the back closed, so i decided on a mock button back instead. All non  visible sewing is done by machine.

Hours to complete: not sure, I worked on it for most of last week. all together i spent perhaps 15 to 20 hours.

First worn: 

At Madame Kat's Jane Austen Tea Party on May 4th 2013

Nothing completes and outfit like a parasol and a glass of champagne!

Total cost: 
$25 for the fabric, $8 fr the piping and about $3 for the buttons the thread and hook and eye tape from the stash, so around $36 or so.

 I wore my new frock with my humongous puff top stovepipe bonnet that I made at the Lydia Fast bonnet workshop, and at the tea party i added a chemisette and ruff to complete the over the top ruffly look of the mid 18 teens, I call this my blueberry muffing ruffle monster outfit! It rocks!

Worn plain without the chemisette.

the back view in all it's skirt trailing glory

And from the side to show off the bonnet trim!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Historical Sew Forthnightly Callenge 7

Looks like I am on a blog post roll right now.
This is just a short one however to show of what I made for the HSF Accessories Challenge

I made a pearl beaded early regency reticule.

The Challenge: Accessorize

Fabric:  Block printed Indian cotton

Pattern: Sense and Sensibility Reticule Pattern

Year: 1795 -1805

Notions:  Poly thread, gold tassel. silk ribbon and faux seed pearls.

How historically accurate is it?                                                                                                                                           
Perhaps 80% the fabric, pattern, and silk ribbons are period correct all outside seams are hand sewn, but the inside seams are machine sewn and the pearls are plastic. I'm not sure of the fiber content of the tassel though it did come form India just like the fabric, and that's a plus right?

Hours to complete:  Perhaps 4, the beading took longer than I had expected..

First worn: At Madame Kat's Jane Auten Tea Party on May 4th 2013

Total cost:  Free!!! The fabric was a leftover scrap from a dress I made for a customer, the pearls ribbon and tassel all came from the stash!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Springtime Sewing

I hang my head in shame for not having written a post in over a month. I have the excuse of having been extremely productive these past weeks, but I'm afraid I also had absolutely no blogging mojo....
And what have I been up to lately? Well, a whole lot! Its crunch time for the Louisville Jane Austen Festival. I'm trying to get all my commissions out of the way before the end of May so I can concentrate on personal sewing and lot's of travel in June and July.

In April alone I produced an entire regency wardrobe for a customer. Consisting of 2 different drawstring dresses, 2 open robes and a petticoat ,

Open robe #1 made from a purple and gold sari i brought back from India

back view of the open robe isn't it just yummy?!

and a side view to show off how prettily that skirt billows out!

Drawstring dress #1 made from a lovely Indian block printed muslin

Drawstring dress #2, a v neck drawstring style made from a plain white cotton sateen

Bodiced Petticoat made from plain white muslin with 3 rows of pin tucks at the hem and a wide eyelet ruffle

Open Robe #2 , made from another one of those perry silk Saree's i got in India, this one is a rich green with a yellow and gold border

I made a set of short stays for another customer,

White short stays bound in pink.
Trimmed with bobbin lace and lined in a cute  pink cotton  floral print.

Made a dress for Charlotte, because we had a reenactment at Woodville and she had outgrown all her reenactment clothes,

Charlotte's new dress, it's made from  peach and white striped voile using the sense and sensibility 1780's girl's dress pattern .Somehow I only have a decent picture from the back.

I also re trimmed her old bonnet.

I ripped the yucky shiny polka dot poly ribbon and fake flowers off her hat and replaced them with yellow berries and soft green silk ribbon. looks so much more period correct now
Then  I made a lovely new gown for my friend and probably best customer Erin,

V neck drawstring dress made from one of the beautiful sheer cotton Saree's I got in India.
I made a cool triple hem from the sari border.
 Made some lover's eyes,

This is my personal lover's eye based on my husband's eye, it's a mourning style because he never comes out with me to costumed affairs,so I consider myself a "regency widow"

The locket is 2 sided and I added a lock of my husbands hair in the back like I have seen on some original lover's eyes.

Also made this one it's based on Prince Albert's eye, cause he was hot. it's for sale for any of you Prince Albert fans out there..
 Trimmed a hat
 I shaped and trimmed this straw bonnet, It's trimmed with some really cool feathers, paper flowers and ombre ribbon all in shades of peach and green. It's for the store as well.
And last but not least started on a new dress for myself.

My newest frock
Oh and I also made a beaded reticule!

And a cute little reticule, do you recognize the fabric?

 April was a busy month indeed! and may is shaping up to be even worse. I still have a couple of commissions to complete and then i need to make things for sale from the Jane Austen festival as well as some regency clothes for my cousin Regina who will be visiting from Germany in June and will be traveling to to The Heritage Fair at Spencerville with me. So I apologize in advance if you won't hear much from me until after Jane fest. I will try to squeeze in some blogs, but I won't make nay promises!