February 08, 2015

Some Project Plans for 2015

I have a feeling that, mostly for economic reasons, this will be a stash busting year. I'm going to try to limit myself to projects that I can make from what I already have. I do have lots of fabric but nothing much longer than 3 or 4 metres so I guess it'll be all regency type dresses and not splendid early bustle poofy confections! I do have several Regency themed events coming up in the near future so it all fits quite nicely.

So I typed all that yesterday and then today I promptly went out to a local fabric shop to finally snap up some fabric that I had been humming and hawing about forever, on the last day of their winter sale, for a Victorian fashion plate recreation that I have been thinking about for years!

It's a pink and white candy striped cotton for a dress based on the pink and white natural form outfit that is in the masthead of this blog. All I need now is to find a plain pink for the underskirt and accents and I'm all set! The stripes are narrower than in the fashion plate but I don't think I could pull off wide stripes and this was handy and not too expensive so 3mm stripes it is!

I found a close up of the fashion plate and discovered that what I thought were pleats all around the overskirt are actually tassels! I wasn't too sure how I felt about that but after reading a great article from Your Wardrobe Unlockd on how to easily make yards of tassels I think I'll just go the whole hog! I can see myself spending long evenings tasseling but it'll definitely make for a more unusual dress! Oh! Maybe this will fit nicely in with the June HSF theme "Out of your comfort zone", making millions of tassels is not something I've done before, whether it'll all get done by then though I don't know.

Millions of tassels...

The other stuff I have on the list to make, and that I have all the fabrics for already, include...

- A cream linen long sleeved regency day dress
- A white cotton voile regency short sleeved / ball type dress
- A gold silk regency ball gown
- A spencer or Pelisse in either a blue velvet or a blue linen
- A regency bonnet or hat
- A brown linen 14th century kirtle and veil/head dress

Some of the Regency stuff will need to be made first and there will be more on those in future posts. What will actually get made remains to be seen! I don't want to rush anything or put myself under too much pressure, there's been enough of that the last six months, so we'll see what happens! 

February 03, 2015

Historical Sew Monthly 2015: #1 Foundations

I've always wanted to participate in the HSF but never had the time so when I saw the HSF changed to a monthly challenge for 2015 I thought I'd give it a go.

I'm slightly late in posting this but I did get it made in time, just wasn't able to get photos done until now! In the end I gave up on getting proper ones of it on so please excuse the slightly crappy iphone photos!

The first challenge fitted in nicely with my project list as I needed to make a bodiced petticoat to go under a Regency dress that I will making soon. I am quite small chested and didn't want to bother with stays so I hoped this would provide me with super-comfortable support.

 I reckoned the trick for me to getting some Austen era shelf-yness was basically to push everything from the bottom up with a few well placed darts until I got something resembling apples on a tray. And it worked! It was more reminiscent of breast binding than "lift and separate" but if it gave me some bosom to heave I didn't mind! And it is comfortable too.

I wanted it to be washable and very easy care so I didn't bother with any boning and just made it to button up the back. I did however use a layer of coutil as my lining in the bodice. I have to have it pretty snug to get the effect and didn't want the fabric to stretch. I found the coutil gave plenty of support and firmness to the bodice on it's own. I don't know if this was the best way of going about things but it seemed to work fine and everything stays in place. I am slightly wondering if I should have boned the back and laced it but worst comes to worst I can replace the back panel and do that. I wanted to be able to throw this in the washing machine so was hoping to get away with it without that.

The back of the bodice

I referred to Zip Zips tutorial in using the Sense and Sensibility regency pattern for making a bodiced petticoat with a few modifications along the way. I also referred to Your Wardrobe Unlockd's article on Regency petticoats. I had a lot of fitting to do to make it truly fit but now I should have a good base bodice pattern for all my future regency projects.

I also realised I can fasten it at the front and then swivel it around to the back and then put my arms through the straps and wriggle it up with a few adjustments so I can even dress myself to levels of decency before having to ask for help which is good.
I also included a few good sized tucks at the hem to help it hold it's shape and because I like the look of them :)

The Challenge: Foundations

Fabric: Cotton sheeting, coutil from the stash

Pattern: Based on the S&S regency dress bodice pattern and Zip Zips bodiced petticoat tutorial, with modifications

Year: The shaping is 1810-ish but could be used for earlier or later

Notions: Four buttons

How historically accurate is it? It's machine sewn and I'm not too sure if a bodiced petticoat was often used in place of stays but the general shape is pretty authentic I guess. Done as a quick job with a few time saving short cuts so not quite the neatest petticoat ever.

Hours to complete: This was something I picked up and put down many times and just worked on gradually but including fiddling around to fit the bodice and a few mock ups would probably take 6 or 7 hrs or so.

First worn: Other than dancing around my bedroom it has yet to be worn!

Total cost: Around €20

Gratuitous cat pic