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

Monday, September 30, 2013

HSF Challenge #20 Outerwear - Cloak

The Challenge: #20 Outerwear

Fabric: Melton wool (turns out its 50%wool / 50% poly), polysilk lining.

Pattern: Simplicity 5786. Chose view A but cut it shorter than on the cover.

Year: 1840s? Victorian? I hope it can be used for a few eras though.

Notions: Thread, buttons, ribbon.

How historically accurate is it? I find it hard to judge. I tried to get the spirit of the time right. The tartan is a nod to queen victoria of course.

Hours to complete: 3 hours.

First worn: Well worn it round the house a few times. But hope to wear it out on holiday.

Total cost: Well the wool was a bargain price. The tartan and the other lining was leftover fabric from another project...so I guess so I say £20-25?

It was quite simple constructionwise, got the basics done quickly.
 I pinned the cloak and hood together for below picture. As you can see I lined the hood in blue silky material.
 But there was a problem....I used up it all on the hood lining. So I had to go serching for some more. Now the stuff I planned to use had gone walkabout.
 ...and what I had left either was the wrong colour or there wasn't enough of it.
Taking inspiration from costumes in detail. Decided to use different fabric to line front and back. Tartan in the front and white silky in the back.
I also took an idea from costume in detail and added a loop at back of the cape inside so if it gets windy I can pass a ribbon or belth through it and tie it snug to my waist.

I used 2 hook & eye plus a ribbon for closures. Inspired by the little cape I saw at Kensington Palace.
In Queen Victoria display at Kensington Palace
I have wanted a cloak ever since I saw those old 'Scottish Widows' advert. And thought wow that looks so fab...I need to get a cloak like that. lol!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

HSF Challenge #19 Wood, Metal, Bone - Bow Clip

The Challenge: #19 Wood Metal Bone

Fabric: Cotton twill

Pattern: Self Drafted

Year: N/A

metal clip, wire.
How historically accurate is it? Not sure. this was one of those I have no time left I'll throw something together project. I thought bow ties are cool. And there seems to have been some kinda bow in history so I'll do that.

Hours to complete: 1 hour.

First worn: 21st september

Total cost: Just made from scraps. So can't really judge price.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Edwardian Ensemble - Lace & Bows

I've really surprised myself...I used a modern shirt pattern that fitted as my bodice base...then used images of edwardian patterns like in Frances Grimble's Edwardian Modiste to modify the bodice and redraft the collar and sleeves. This was only ment to be a muslin mock up...but its turned out perfectly wearable. (the proper one will be in white with a red 'bow' and a little more lace insertion.)
With sleeves and back pinned in place.
 The bow was originally an idea to cover up a little error I made with the collar. I think I need a collar stand and then the collar or else I end up with an unsupported 'gap' in the centre front.
For the skirt I used sense & Sensibility beartrix skirt pattern. I did it in green polycotton as originally intended to use it as a petticoat under the proper skirt. But I rather like it as a skirt in its own right.

  I decided to add a little cameo to the 'bow' on my blouse. I erm...superglued it on. Hope it stays ok.
Last thing I need to do is make a belt/swiss waist and finish trimming the hat.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Downton Abbey Blouse - Version 1 - Drafting the blouse

The first blouse I'm going to remake is Lady Mary's from Downton.
I've made a few modifications. My sleeves are not 'cut on' in this version (this is working out the fit and as I'm not that familiar with how to adjust kimono sleeves I decided to go for set in sleeves). Its made out of different material -as already stated as this is a trial version- so no lace insertion. but I might add some tucks to the centre pannel.

I used the pattern I'd created for my edwardian blouse and added length to it, changed the collar. Also moved the opening to the front from the back. The collar was borrowed from another pattern which I then modified.
For some reason I ended up with a collar that stood up at the back reather than laying flat. So I just went with it.
On left is modified to how I want it to be. On Right is original.
I still need to make a few changes. The collar wasn't quite long or rectangular enough so I will recut.
I also need to cut out the sleeves. There will be opening on the side of the panel at the front. Buttons probably or snaps.

Any comments or advice welcome.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Posh Day Out

So today was my posh day out it all started with finding the TARDIS.

It was sat outside earls court station. I asked the doctor for a lift to Kensington Palace.
I arrived in the right place but...it seemed to be in the wrong time. ;) Learned more about queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
Also got to see queen annes appartments and hear about the court rumours.
Also took the route through the rooms to mee the King...

but only people there were a few courtiers playing cards.
So took another trip in the TARDIS back to the present day. And took a look round the fashion exhibit.
Some beautiful dresses on show. This one was my favourite.
There were also some other dresses on show I was surprised at how small the waists on them were. 

Queen victorias dresses in particular. She must have been same height as me. 

Some dainty slippers.
All in all a nice day. Finished off with a afternoon tea at selfridges.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Downton Abbey Blouse - Some thoughts on autumn sewing

Yes I know I'm a bit late...others have already commented about these blouses. Its the colder weather it makes me think of autumnal colours. ;)

I prefer lady ediths version. The colours I think would suit me. Also I have a green skirt now that will match. I did wonder if this pattern would do? Or this pattern (the blue check one)? Or this vogue pattern View B with shortened sleeve?
Or check this out (page 59) I know its a 1920's pattern but it looks similar except square rather than round neckline.
Which colour combo do you prefer?

But I maybe I should be brave and try to draft my own using gerties portrait blouse as my starting point? I could borrow sleeves from another pattern. Or use my now fully tested edwardian blouse pattern as a base and modify the neckline. I can't tell is it over the head or button up the back?

The second one it the above blouse. It looks very like the folkwear armistice blouse. But I think I could probably draft it myself...its just the collar that bamboozels me. I really need a book/course just on drafting and sewing collars. I think I'd have the buttons like in the folkwear pattern but do faux buttons on other side to match.
I really like lace insertion now I've discovered how to do it. Now I need to find the right belt....

Monday, September 16, 2013

Lizzie Hexham Dress - Some thoughts

So I've got it in my head I want a 'victorian dress' but I don't want it to take tonnes of fabric and need hoops. So I will go for more of a poorer 'lizzie hexham' inspired outfit. And Wear my dress over a corded petticoat.

I started by looking at some of the patterns around. They all seem to be aimed at American Civil War re-enactment.

SO I'm taking a cut n shut approach to it. I like the basic cut of Laughing Moons Day dress pattern.
But looking closely....

- The skirt seems to be a basic one with gathered panels. I can draft that myself easy.
- The Bodice buttons down the front. And has those curved seams like my regency dress.
   So I might be able to use my TNT shirt pattern. But add darts at the front waist and alter the back for curved seams.
OR I could use the portrait blouse pattern change the front to button up and at the back curved seams.
- The sleeves I can take from the beatrix jacket.

For rest of the impression. I have an apron already, all I need is a shawl. Oh and to make corded petticoat.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Clog Dance - an outfit

I had lots of plans to make an outfit...then forgot them in excitement of making Doctor Who outfit. Then realized this week I'd only got a few weeks left. Eep!

To read more about my clog dancing see this blog.

I got a burst of inspiration reading this on the website history page:
'The clothes worn by the dancers usually included velvet knee breeches, a shirt and a velvet waistcoat completed with a brightly coloured sash. The clogs themselves were often hand-made. The lace-up low miner's flat type of clog was used, the irons having always been removed. The clogs most preferred for dancing were made from ash as good clear beats could be more easily obtained. The more common beech or sycamore working clogs did not produce such sharp beats.'

 I've highlighted the relevent elements.
Velvet knee breeches - well this I would replace with a velvet skirt.*
A shirt - Well I have two options homemade or shop bought
Velvet waistcoat - not got time to make that.
Brightly coloured sash - This can be done quickly. I have green, gold and burgandy to choose from. My sash will be worn round the waist.

*I tried to make a elasticated waist dirndl type skirt but the velvet didn't gather well and was too heavy. So I shortened it and pleated it instead. Sewing onto a waistband (using this technique) like I used for my Edwardian skirt. Except I used petersham ribbon.
The hem dipped down at the back...that was my fault for hemming it before I had finished and had to make changes to my original plan. I have a choice...either claim its a dipped hem skirt. Or bustle the back over a petticoat. I think I could use hook n eyes to make it easy to de-bustle in modern wear.

Dipped hem -

As you can see above hem didn't come out quite stright...

Bustled - 

Both shown worn over my pain white short petticoat. If I have time I'll also make a coloured oen to double up.

So what do you think? Which do you prefer bustled or not?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Doctor Who Costume - Fitting the skirt (petticoat)

I'm making a Edwardian skirt to go with the ensemble but this skirt needs a petticoat. So I'm using the petticoat as a test run for the pattern. Only difference will be that I'll add a flounce to the petticoat and maybe some lace decoration.
The finished petticoat will fit into the historical sew fortnightly challenge. I pleated the back. Seen here the waistband closures are missing and the hemming has not been done.

You can see here its worn with the toile of my blouse. Self drafted edwardian blouse - well I took a shirt pattern that fitted and modified the peices to reflect period pattern peices on this site. This is the mock up shown with beatrix skirt (WIP). Just working out how to do the collar. I think it needs to be cut on the bias. Will do the proper one in a white polycotton and use sleeves from my beatrix jacket pattern. I also need to add another half and inch to the back peices (and a facing) for a proper overlap for the buttons. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Doctor Who Outfit - Fitting the Jacket - Part 2

Having cut out the fashion fabric and hand basted all the seams....I then decided to try it on the dressform to check the fit. Particually with the collar attached (as many of you know I ALWAYS have collar issues).

You may note I haven't interfaced the collar. I know *shock horror* but with my interfaced collar woes I decided not to interface.
Now I wasn't sure if the back and front princess seams needed to line up...but I was getting excess material sticking up around my shoulder blade/armhole area.

So I took the back seam in a little (see image above) and it seemed to solve that problem. Along with altering the shoulder seams slightly.
Not sure if this was correct...but it looks ok to me?
Anyway next step is to sew the rest up then try fitting the sleeves.