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

Friday, February 28, 2014

HSF 2014 - Challenge #4 - Under it all (chemise/camisole)

Yes another double challenge....I finished my chemise faster than I expected...so I decided to make something else from the leftovers.

The Challenge: #4 Under it all
Fabric: White cotton
Pattern: None.
Year:1800 ->
Notions: insertion lace (broderie anglaise), ribbon
How historically accurate is it? Its all hand sewn. Made from 100% cotton. Only the ribbon is synthetic.
Hours to complete: Could have done it in a day on the machine but it got spread out doing it by hand so I lost track.
First worn: For fitting.
Total cost: £12
 I liked how the lace insertion looked. And I'd be inclined to use it in preference to bias binding for future projects of similar ilk.
Apologies for the wrinkled fabric...its been stored away since I finished it and haven't had chance to iron it. lol!

The Challenge: #4 Under it all
Fabric: White cotton/polycotton
Pattern: None. I draped it using the camisole on page 55 of this book as inspiration.
Year: 1920-1930
Notions: insertion lace, ribbon.
How historically accurate is it? Its all hand sewn. I used a period sewing instruction book as my reference. So I think pretty close. My material looks close enough to nainsook recommended by the book. ;)
Hours to complete: Did it in one evening and a few hours all by hand.
First worn: N/A
Total cost: made from stash.
Seen here worn with the skirt I use as a petticoat under quite a few skirts/dresses. You can tighten the lower strip of lace insertion to raise the waistline and give more 'pouched' look.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Sewing bee - WWID - week 1

Cotton - Sleeveless top with Facing
Firstly I hate facings and understitching so it would usually be something I'd change. Bias bind the neck and armhole instead.
I've not done a button thread loop before...they look so weak.
But the first challenge is about following the instructions. So I'd have to just do it. Probably understitch by hand depending on time. I'd also choose a floral print cotton.

Wool - Wool Skirt Redo -seriously though long blue wool skirt..where did they get it from? I want one.
I actually like the wool skirt as is. ;)
Two options.
1. I'd manipulate the fabric to make a steampunk-ish bustle skirt and add some trim.
2. Cut it shorter. Use some white fabric to make a pleated strip to add to the hem. Add gold braid over the join and then gold buttons on the front for a nautical look.

Silk - Nightdress
I'd make one like the one on Page 77
I haven't sewn with REAL silk before only synthetics. So I'd stick to something simple and hand sew ans much as possible. Probably a pink crepe de chien with white lace and pink ribbon.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

HSF 2014 - Challenge #3 - Pink (1930's Blouse)

The Challenge: #3 Pink
Fabric: Pink floral print polycotton. Green polycotton.
Pattern: Franken patterned. Used my TNT blouse pattern and made modifications. I wanted to make it a bit longer but I made a small error and with no spare material I had to go with it.
Year: I was inspired by a pattern cover from 1937.
Notions:Pink buttons
How historically accurate is it? The shape is right but the 'poly' in the poly cotton is probably wrong but its affordable and washable.
Hours to complete: 8-10 hours approx. Took me one evening and one day.
First worn: Only finished it today so not had chance to wear it. Plus its to be worn with the skirt - unfinished in the picture- and a hat I'm making for another challenge. So won't be worn till its all complete.
Total cost: Well this was found in my stash I think I got it on sale so its a bit hard to calculate.

I altered the original pattern so it had a back yoke. Changed the sleeves so they 'puffed out' more. Also changed the collar from pointy to more round. I did consider making a matching belt in green but ran out of fabric and time.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sewing Bee 2014 - WWID

The purpose of this little 'article' is when watching The Great British Sewing Bee' I always think up what I would do if I was on the show. And before the 100th person says "you should apply"….I wouldn't be comfortable with sewing etc. with camera's watching and that pressure. Plus I am not that good with a sewing machine. I'm not one of those people with a special foot for every eventuality. So I'd need to sew a lot by hand.
I would sew-a-long with the show but I don't have time as I have several sew-a-longs on the go. So this will just be hypothetical.
I'll examine each challenge each week saying what I would sew and why and how. Where I might go wrong and where I'd excel.

All the posts in this series will have the tag SewingBeeWWID14

Saturday, February 15, 2014

HSF 2014 - Challenge #3 - Pink (Lady Mary Blouse)

The Challenge: #3 Pink
Fabric: pink polkadot
Pattern: No pattern. Self Drafted.
Notions: buttons, embroidery floss.
How historically accurate is it? I made it based on a white one I saw in downton abbey.
Hours to complete: N/A
First worn: Only finished it today so not had chance to wear it.
Total cost: Because this is a UFO I can't remember.

 I even did some embroidery by hand in pink on the blouse.

Started it a while ago and it took so much tweaking and adjusting to try and get close to the look I wanted. I put it aside. But on seeing the pink challenge decided to finish it off. Its based on a blouse I saw in Downton Abbey (hence the name).

Friday, February 14, 2014

Sew Casual - some thoughts

Every time I get to a weekend I look at my wardrobe and think...I haven't got anything casual to wear round the house. You know on the days you don't want to 'waste' your normal clothes when you know no one else will see you but you don't want to be lazy and hang around in your pj's and dressing gown.

I will not resort to the ubiquitous 'onesie' or tracksuit. I want something easy to wear but not look like I'm wearing a giant babygrow or about to go out jogging. ;)
So I am looking into history for inspiration. I can see several options....obviously this has been a problem throughout history.

Tea Gown/Asthetic Dress - meant to be worn at home or when close family and firends visit. Next step up from a dressing gown really.
House Coat/Dress - I've seen a few of these from a 1920's, 30's, 40', 50's and 60's. Always reflecting the current fashion trend.

They tend of be of the 'wrapover' kind. Not sure what you would wear underneath, a slip perhaps?

Or would some elasticated waist trousers and a vest top work?

What do you think? What is your choice of vintage 'at home' wear?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Nautical Ensemble - Part 2 - Breeches

They were my swing trousers...but due to the wear and tear of the washing machine. They shrunk in length and the zip broke. So decided to convert them to fall front trousers. It took a lot of guessing to work out how to get the right look. First I cut off the bottom of the hem of the trouser legs so they came about mid calf in height.
Firstly I unpicked the back zip and hook and bar. I then sewed the back seam up but left the 'waistband' open. I then cut open front seam and waistband down to a point that would allow me to get the 'breeches' on. I then finished the edges and added eyelets to front waistband so I could tie it closed.

 I added some eyelets to the back so I could adjust the waistline.

 I then sewed on the 'flap' that would cover the front opening and marked where to put the buttons. then sewed the button holes and added the buttons.
 Then the trouser hems. I used the other cut off end of the trouser to make a cuff. I then made a placket the usual way. And sewed on the cuff. Then marked how tight I wanted it and made the buttonhole and added a button.

Voila! Finished!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Nautical Ensemble - Part 1 - Waistcoat

This is on my 'I want' wishlist a regency nautical inspired ensemble. You can see some uniforms close up here.
 There's the jackets like the one below that have the pointed collar and are double breasted.
But then I think the earlier style (1805) would be easier to replicate when you know my trouble I have with making collars look neat. I think I could find enough of the blue wool fabric to make a spencer.
First off though I have made myself a waistcoat from some blue ticking type material I had in my fabric stash. It can be worn over a dress or with trousers and shirt.
I draped it using instrutions for male regency waistcoat but then raised the waistline and added darts to make it femanine.
There's a kick pleat at the centre back to accomodate the pleats of the dress when I wear it. Yes, I know its shown here with trousers...broken ones but that will be explained in another post.
I managed to complete it in one day from drape to sewing the fabric and even doing proper seam finishes..yep I hand overcast the seams. The collar is stiffened with left over calico. Its unlined and I used bias strips of fabric to finish the armholes. It was done with mixture of hand and machine sewing. And it does fit me better than the dress form. ;)

I might perhaps add some white material and a gold button on the collar.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

HSF 2014 - Challenge #2 - Innovation (Bustle)

Everyday I'm bustling...
The Challenge: #2 Innovations
Invention:  Well I'm bending the definition here. Its a re-invention rather than an invention. As was pointed out to me bustles were around before. But they were reinvented for what fashion was in at the time in shape and placement and materials.
Fabric: White poly cotton, quilt batting
Pattern:N/A Self drafted
Year: 1880-1890
Notions: bias binding
How historically accurate is it? well I did some research looking through pinterest. And noticed the shapes and patterns and tried to make something resembling the smaller bustles.
Hours to complete: 3-ish
First worn: Tried it on a few times but not worn properly as outfit not finished
Total cost: free...all from my stash.

Yes. I've given in...but I do love the bustle fashions. Forget I have nowhere to wear the finished outfit. lol! But I am starting small with the subject for challenge two and making a bustle.
There seems to be as many different types and styles as there is people...but I decided to focus on making something easy to store and simple to make. And also not too big so I can sit wearing it.

 I also needed it to be practical for if *ahem* I needed to go to the loo. At least if its not all boned and wired I've got the posibilty of rolling it all up and away.
 I added a small 'tail' to the stuffed pad. Then added ruffles to that.
I think I might add more ruffles at a later point if I feel it needs more.
Above is what the bustle looks like underneath my edwardian skirt which I'm using as a 'stand in' skirt at the moment till I make the foundation skirt.