"Resign yourself, Catherine! Shops must be visited! Money must be spent! Do you think you could bear it?" - Northanger Abbey

Monday, November 28, 2011

Dresses, Patterns etc.

So my mock up of drawstring dress...lets just say it didn't turn out very flattering (pics later) so I will either unpick, adjust or use as petticoat.

On more positive note. Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion 1&2 arrived at the weekend...I've had my nose in them ever since. Wanted to try out some of the patterns but I have tried scaling up patterns before and its been a disaster. And being low on 'scrap' fabric. I decided to make them to the size of the pattern in the book. They might fit a doll. But I like that it would make them quick to put together to see how they looked.
Page 44
This all makes me what to scream. Why can't I get clothes to fit?!!!!!


I've calmed down now. It doesn't look so bad when I put a sash round it. But it does look like what it is and that's a dress made out of a sheet.



Back (Which is too wide forgot original pattern opened at the back so should have taken some of the width out.)


Sunday, November 27, 2011

And now for something completely different...

And now for something completely different, well not sewing related...some of my musical (I hope) squeezebox wrangling.


I loved a charming creature, such a very timid maid,
She can stand almost anything but of water she's afraid,
She'll have a tidy fortune when her uncle dies some day,
While on a voyage to Dover once, that girl to me did say.

Oh! Joe the boat's going over,
Oh! Joe you naughty man she cried,
Oh! Joe I wish you'd been in Dover,
Before you ever took me on the water for a ride.

The weind was blowing rather rough she clung so tight to me,
The boat began to pitch and toss, all on the briny sea,
She looked so wild she cried aloud in a frantic sort of way,
Her arms she flung around my neck and then to me did say-

I told Matilda don't be afraid now there's a dear,
With a smile she looked into my face, and gave me such a leer,
A kiss then on her cheek I stole, oh, she seemed rather shy,
And while I was kissing her, that girl to me did cry-

We landed safe in Dover, her uncle there we found,
He died two days after that, and left her eight hundred pounds.
I made Matilda my dear wife we're so happy night and day,
While sitting by her fireside sometimes she'll say-

A maid in Bedlam (I love my love because my love loves me) Lyrics
Abroad as I was walking, one evening in the spring,
I heard a maid in Bedlam so sweetly for to sing;
Her chains she rattled with her hands, and thus replied she:
"I love my love, because I know my love loves me!"

Oh! my cruel parents have been too unkind!
They've drove and banished me, and tortured my mind!
Although I'm ruined for his sake, contented will I be;
I love my love, because I know my love loves me.

Could I become a swallow, I'd ascend up in the air;
Then, if I lost my labour, and shouldn't find him there,
I quickly would become a fish, and search the flowing sea;
I love my love, because I know my love loves me.

With straw I'll make a garland, and dress it very fine,
I'll mix the same with roses, lily, pink, and thyme,
I will preserve it for my love when he returns from sea;
I love my love, became I know my love loves me.

Just as she was sat weeping, her love came on the land,
Hearing she was in Bedlam, he ran straight out of hand,
And, as he entered in the gates he heard her sigh and say,
"I love my love, because I know my love loves me!"

He stood and gazed on her, hearing his love complain,
He could not stand any longer, he bled in every vein;
He flew into her snowy-white arms, and replied he:
"I love my love, because I know my love loves me."

She said, "My love, don't frighten me; are you my love, or no?"
"Oh yes, my dearest Nancy, I am your love, also
I am returned to make amends for all your injury;
I love my love, because I know my love loves me."

So now they are married, and may they happy be,
Like turtle-doves together, in love and unity.
All pretty maids with patience wait, that have got loves at sea;
I love my love, because I know my love loves me.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Regency Dress for Jane Austen Festival

I have finally decided on an outfit.
Dress. I am going make...
This one.
See link
Although will make the spencer longsleeved.
So, last night I decided to try to see if I could do a drawstring dress using the S&S pattern as my base and using the 'moulage template' to compare and adjust so I knew how deep I needed to go to fit (see I can work some stuff out myself). Oh and I made sure I added ample fabric to top and bottom of bodice just in case. I can get it over my head, the armholes don't feel like the are too far forward. Got to put the drawstring in and see how it feels next.
Now I get how to add the drawstring about the neck.
I'm confused how to add it on the waist? Trying to figure out of I should slightly gather the bodice first attach to skirt pieces then add the drawstring like on my modern clothes is like little loops the string goes through. Or is there something that needs to be done on the bodice first? Or do I just use a sash?
Haven't got enough spare fabric to do a long skirt so might do a shorter one so I can experiment.
My aim is to have a dress I can pull over my head rather than struggle to do up with a back opening. Don't want 'snaps' as they might undo. Buttons I avoid not having buttonhole option on my machine. Hook and eye again its the coming undone problem.

I'm thinking about doing this for my hair/head dress.
But having turban/hair wrap in pink and white instead of blue and white.

Quick Update
I'm wondering if I should now change design as my mock up drawstring isn't really suiting me. Plus I really aught to use the material I bought originally.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Regency Dress - getting it to fit

My 'pattern' for bodice (ignore the darts-I moved those later)

I was really struggling with getting the bought pattern to fit me correctly. So at the advice of the lady from this blog. I made my own pattern using two rectangles to make a lose 'tunic' which I then pinned and cut and drew on while wearing to create the shape I wanted. Still need to tweak the back. Lower the collar a little and add in the curved seams but I just wanted to put it together quickly to get the 'fit' right. And when it comes to it I may cut the collar front a little lower. When it came to the darts in the final toile I used the 50's dress I had made as reference.

I used an old oversize shirt I'd got for the bargain price of £1 a couple of years ago. (I'm quite liking the plaid with cream look on the dress. lol!) Now I know if I like the fabric on an oversize blokes shirt I can buy it and turn it into my bodice material.

Next step is the skirt...which definitely needs another panel or two in it to make it wide/full enough.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Some regency dress designs

"Can you make me a cambric shirt?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Without a seam or needlework
Then you shall be a true lover of mine."

Here are some I drew out quickly....got a few more I need to scan in. I have a shirtdress at home I find really comfy...and it just happens to be empireline. Quite tempted to use the top part as a 'template'.
I also have a smock top I like the top and sleeves for.

Well anyway here is some sketches color will be added later.
The bodice would be a solid green and the skirt a white with yellow and green flowers. Trimmed with olive green ribbon.
I like the dress on the right

Dress on the Left has top based on the photo at bottom of page. The right is simple drawstring would be done in faded pastel pink or white cambric with floral braid trim.

Dress on the left is 'nautical' inspired (would be in blue & white). Dress on Right white petticoat with crossover pellise in a solid colour.

Spotted this dress on another blog. I think it would suit me.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Regency Dress part 2

So I'm having an argument with my toile at the moment. It just doesn't fit or flatter with or without the appropriate foundation garments.


Inside Back
 I ended up for some reason with the bodice being bigger than the skirt. So Instead of pleating the skirt had to gather the top more. So plan A has failed.

Plan B is to try and make my own pattern (with help-if a certain person doesn't decide she's got more important things to do)

My plan C is to buy a modern maxi dress, put it with my chemise and have a shawl or spencer jacket.
Example of the kind of look
Of course the model there is 8 inches too tall (can you believe it only £5.99!?). I'd have to take the length up. But you get the idea.

I'm only going to get to do the saturday anyway.:(

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Regency Dress

So I've been planning to go to the Jane Austen Festival in Bath for several years and each time something stops me. But this time I'm thinking properly seriously about it. And planning my outfit.
Day Dress

Evening Dress
My 'plan' is to have a plain petticoat with some embroidery round the base. Then have 2 open robes.....Short sleeve for evening, long sleeve for day. Also bonnet for the Day/Outside, turban or beret for inside. Got some nice feathers and ribbon I want to use. It won't have a train for practical and cost reasons.
Although I do like the 2nd open robe shown here.
Been looking on the V&A website. A lot of the open robes like this one have 3/4 length sleeves.
I like this as a colour for the 'evening' dress.

This is as far as I've got with what was supposed to be a toile...but I put so much effort into it I'm gonna tidy it up a bit, finish it and use it. Wear it as a petticoat maybe?
Bodice and Skirt
The bodice is sewn (no sleeves) and the skirt is tacked ready for sewing.  The fabric...well when I read the word lining when I first gt the pattern the only thing market lining that was cheap where I bought the fabric....well it was curtain lining. So its not exactly flimsy. lol!

Well choices are:

I like the ones described here. Torn between the 'capote' and the rope turban.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

1930's/40's style

I do like looking at the old newsreels some of the make do and mend ones are great for ideas.
This has an interesting 'waistcoat' element.

FASHION HINTS (aka PATCHWORK & HATS) (issue title - S.O.S.)

I do wonder where you ordinary woman would just have a hat block hanging around.


Although the 'clothes' they make from a shirt etc. Look nice. But they don't give instructions. :(

And now an appropriate poster so the novice seamstress....

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Crazy patchwork

I wanted to use up some of my small scraps that I can't really use for anything else...so decided to do some 'crazy' patchwork. Using the rest of the skirt I cut up for the crinoline as backing. Sitting doing it while watching TV.
Might applique some music related shapes.

Edit 2: Did a french knot...well several...

Latest photo:

Some lazy daisy

Saturday, November 5, 2011

1950's dress - update 4 - the crinoline

Dress so far
So this morning I made my petticoat/crinoline to make the skirt stick out. I did originally intend to use the online pattern...but in a sort out I came across an old white linen tiered skirt with elastic waist and thought Ii might cannibalize the material to save me work.

You can see I even left the little loops on for hanging it on a coathanger.

 And Here it Is at work..not quite sticky outy enough but I'm working on that....

Needs another ruffle at the bottom of skirt

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hat disaster!

So...I just wasted a load of time trying to make another hat. Wanted to use the really stiff interfacing I bought aaaagggess ago to make a proper sticky out brim....well it was a bit of a disaster.  At least I only used 'scraps' too small to make into anything else.

My little old machine really didn't like it. Was playing me up something terrible.  The needle wouldn't stay thread and it was making a scary noise.
My sewing machine, balanced on ironing board as don't have sewing table.

And can't use the more heavy duty one as its decided to break (was making a burning smell and pedal got stuck on 'go').

Back to the hat. I made the 'wings' of the brim too big so ended up looking like a deerstalker. So cut them down but now it looks a mess.

The brim should have been like in the picture below

The one lady Edith (far left) is wearing
Instead it turned out like:
Top View

Inside View

Side View

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

1920's hat - part 2

So I re-drafted the pattern for the brim of the hat, keeping the existing crown.

Larger 'flip'

Tried to modify the back to 20's style.

Stitching close up

The hat is fine..just...well it doesn't 'sit' like I want. I want it to sit back on my head but it wants to be flat.
Soooo....I rejigged the pattern. First I elongated the 'triangles' that made up the crown to make them taller.
Then I re did the brim virtually from scratch using this as inspiration.
Of course this is just a 'toile' to see if the pattern worked before I used the proper material. I also haven't interfaced any of the fabric here as I would normally. Oh and that's another thing I am debating adding interface to the triangles too or maybe just lining the crown? But not sure how to do that and not have stitches show through. I'm also gonna put bias binding round the brim.
This is just for the flip up brim....
I have some heavy duty interfacing I plan to use for my 'downton abbey' style hat.