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

Monday, February 25, 2013

Embellishment - (HSAL) Challenge 4

For the [historical sew-a-long] Embellishment challenge I decided to create a 1920s 'flapper' ensemble. Firstly I made up a basic plain black dress as per the instructions on the 'american duchess' blog. Modified it by using ribbon for the straps and just hemming the top same as the bottom. 

I straight dress with no waistline is never going to look great on me as I am an hourglass. So the embellishment for me is a way of trying to create some shape a 'fake' waistline. My first step was to add fringing to the hem. I ended up with 2 different lengths of fringing as the shop ran out of the longer type so the 2nd layer was shorter.
I had enough of the longer fringe to do a 'V' shape.
I found it made my shoulders and arms look hefty so looked at examples of sleeves on 20's eveningwear.

Source: imamuseum.org via Lady on Pinterest

And decided on some flutter sleeves. This was the first time I'd made any and had to draft from scratch. So a lot of googling was involved to find any tutorials.

I basically drew a large circle then measured over the strap to get the armhole size. Then drew a circle that size inside the larger circle but offset to one side. Cut out the large and small circle and where the circle was thinest snipped it open.
The sleeves had a hand rolled hem and staystitched where it attatched to the strap.

The Challenge: #4 Embelishment

Fabric: crepe backed satin

Pattern: drafted from instructions

Year: 1926-ish

Notions: 3 metres of fringing, cotton thread, ribbon, half a meter of chiffon.

How historically accurate is it?: I hope its historically accurate. I've taken inspiration from various images although its not as ornate as the originals I think its in the spirit of the age.

Hours to complete: about 3.5 days

First worn: 10th february

Total cost: approx. £15

Friday, February 22, 2013

1940's Dress for sew-a-long (planning post)

Now I've had the fabric and the pattern ready for this dress for quite a while....just not quite got round to it before. My original inspiration I think was the dress Mrs Bee made. I saw it in person and thought I want one like that.

Butterick 5209. Took me ages to find a fabric I thought looked 40's enough.

Source: flickr.com via Lady on Pinterest

It reminds me a bit of the dresses above. If this works out I will make it again in a polkadot but with solid colour waistband. See about changing the closure position and adding sleeves. I like to do it exactly as the pattern the first time, and only change stuff second time through.

I'm hoping to do some matching accessories. A hat and purse.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Petticoats and Ruffles (HSAL) challenge 3

So for the historical sew a long challenge no.3 'under it all' I chose to make a petticoat. After spending ages umming and aahring about what era it should be made for...I decided to go for a generic one that incorporated historical techniques but could be used for both modern and historical.

Firstly I used a basic A-line skirt pattern for my petticoat waistline then I cut two 45" strips of fabric, sewed them together. I then pintucked that strip of fabric to stop the petticoat wrapping round my legs or collapsing with weight. Then added them to the top half by pleating to fit.

Then having run out of white material used some of the pink to make a ruffle. As I sew by hand I used a technique I'd heard about where you sew over a chord to gather before attaching to the petticoat.

I then tried the petticoat on and pinned the waist darts I needed. Sewed them, pressed. Then sewed down the lapped seam at the side.
Finished the top edge with bias binding. Made a loop and button and a hook and eye.

The Challenge: Under it all No.3
Fabric: polycotton
Pattern:  Self drafted.
Year: No particular year although originally basing it on a shortened 'edwardian' inspired petticoat.
Notions: Self bias (stash) button (stash) hook n eye (stash) cotton (stash) string (stash).
How historically accurate is it? I'm not sure (you'll have to tell me). But I tried to make it as a historically inspired rather than commit to one era.
Hours to complete: not sure about hours only took me 4 days to complete by hand.
First worn: When I took the photo's on Sunday....found it comfortable and useful in the snow to keep me warm.
Total cost: I made it from my stash so technically it was free. But the polly cotton is £3.50 per metre and I think I used just over 2 metres.