Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A merry christmas to all!

The best present I cold have gotten was an end to finals.  Huzzah!

But a lot of time to sew and watch terrible adaptations of sub-par Lincoln novels (I'm looking at you, Gore Vidal) is also very appreciated.

So when I was visiting St. L (my hometown, yo) we stopped by a quilt store and I got some lovely ochre CW repro fabric.  However, there were only 4 yards available, so I decided to make a regency dress instead because my usual 1812 one is awfully farby and in need of a revamp.  The fabric monster in me told me to buy it, and it sort of leapt into my hands!

Not going to lie, I have some pretty A+ selfies
 Just the basics:
Pattern: Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion (but fudged a lot)
Fabric:  Cotton print, linen
Time:  About 2 weeks, on and off, but it's all handsewn and I had some major fitting issues.
What I would change?: The sleeves came out wonky and the back gapes a bit, so I'll have to fix that before I wear it in public.

also note my creepy new/old vintage mannequin from my dear neighbor...

Also, we had a regency ball last week, so I thought that I'd post some pictures of my sad old regency ballgown...  Ohhh, the memories I have of this thing.  I need to seriously re-do the back before I wear it again, as it is literally ripping apart at the moment.  But it's such a lovely silk taffeta!
Sorry the quality is terrible... Here's a group shot of the youth brigade, though.
Also, if anybody wants a tutorial for paper-curling their hair, please don't hesitate to ask!  It's super fun and easy.
Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Fauve in Furs

The rest of my family has finally returned from the sunny shores back to the frigid lands of suburban Chicago, so I was able to convince my papa to take a few pictures of me in my new paletot and vintage for capelet in the 7 inch deep snow and 10 degree weather (isn't he a doll!)
My muff was left out in the rain last year, and hasn't since re-acquired its floppy softness.  But doesn't it look pretty!
Showing off my very snowy Robert Lands and flannel drawers
Ignore the... uh... telegraph wires.
I wish that I had had the time to enter this into American Duchess' photo contest... oh well.
I look a wee bit homicidal. But isn't my pallor fashionable!
All in all, I don't think that I'll put fur on the cuffs, but I will DEFINITELY change the collar into a standing collar.  As it is, it simply isn't cooperating, and it won't take too long either.
Huzzah for decent selfies!

Friday, December 13, 2013

One thing I won't miss about Chicago

... will be the weather.  4 degrees at mid-day today, with a healthy 7 inches of week-old snow on the ground.  Gotta love lake affect snow!
I apologize for being so late to update - a combo of finals, last minute college essays (ultimately unnecessary) and a half-finished hand sewn bodice that refused to fit because my new corset changes my shape so drastically.  But after looking at Samantha McCarty's absolutely lovely paletot I decided that it might behoove me to make one of my own, seeing as I had all the makings of it in my stash.
Selfie game sooooo strong
 I apologize for all of these pictures being taken by myself of myself - my parents are enjoying a well deserved vacation whilst I am home alone, and thus I have no photographers.  Count on nice, pretty pictures being up by Monday, though! (If I have time while finals cramming.)

The lowdown:
- Pattern: Drafted from History of Fashion with few modifications - it was literally three big, rhomboid pieces with sleeves.

- Materials:  Silk taffeta, muslin, and batting lining, wool gaberdine that was at one point a skirt, cannibalized fur coat.  I had a long moral discussion with myself about using innocent critters to clothe myself, but as they had already been killed and made into a drab looking coat I decided that it wouldn't be any more dignified to let the fur gather dust.

- Time: Only about a week, actually, but the quilting took up most of it.  If I had stuck with a plain lining I could have done it in a day or so.

- Positives:  Really cozy!  The fur is amazingly soft (:c) and I'm happy to finally get rid of some of that low slub silk and all of that red wool (though I still have a bit left...)

- Negatives:  I somehow messed up the sleeves. As usual.  But it doesn't make it structurally unsound, so I'm keeping them.  Also, I'm going to need to redo the collar, because it's too bulky.  And I wish that I had cut the fur at an angle so I didn't constantly have to take up the excess at the top, but there's no helping that.  A big thanks to the ladies at the SA for instructing me in proper fur cutting techniques!

 The lining was all machine quilted into diamonds.  It's silk and muslin at the bottom and the batting begins at about stomach level (you can sort of see where it gets more opaque in the picture.)
 The whole thing was bag lined, and then the outer sleeve was put on, and then the inner sleeve was whipstitched to the body to hide an raw edges.
Inner sleeve
Gutta-perch like buttons
I'm debating whether or not to add fur to the cuffs... One one hand, cozy and warm, but on the other hand, I feel like they would flop all over the place and get in my way.
My inspiration picture has cuffs, but..

I also found these pictures of myself from TN.  I don't even want to talk about how low-cut my dress ended up being. >:c
My baby boo!
Now I must go study like mad for finals, attend many Christmas parties, and start scratching together a RevWar kit for next year.  Ciao!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

I interrupt your usual programming...

I'll get back to pretty clothes soon enough (I have a regency dress and a paletot on my plate) but I wanted to share the good news: I got in to College of William and Mary!  I'm so excited; I'm going to be living right by Colonial Williamsburg, taking classes where Henry Clay and Thomas Jefferson did before me. I'm mad revved!
Aaaand now I have to get a Revwar kit together. C'est la vie.