Monday, May 27, 2013

It's the time of year for sheer!

Photo credits to R. Winslow c:  Lizzy and I at ECD

And as school is almost out, I thought that I'd indulge my love of sheers and finish up my post-AP surprise project.  So here it is!

Do you think that Stephen Douglas would approve?
 It's  very sheer cotton silk.  I took these pictures after midday ECD, in which I put several holes through the hem. :c
I made it with my usual bodice base pattern, without swinging out the side seams (I only wanted a subtle gather) and the sleeves are double puffed.  I also made a pair of detachable self-fabric undersleeves to match the original, but they don't have any closure yet so I'm not wearing them in these pictures - it's far too hot for them, anyways.  I debated doing a hem facing, but decided that the fabric was too light and many originals didn't have one, anyway.

Showing off my swaggin' hat

 The back seams are overstitched for a neater look.  I never got around to doing the same treatment for the side seams, though...

Ugh!  The buttons took forever and it took me a very long time to figure out HOW to do them when the sheer was so prone to fraying and ripping.  Eventually I figured out how, but not before the bottom buttonholes ended up a bit janky.  At least I had a new show to watch to keep me occupied, though I feel that getting into Supernatural with finals coming up is going to be a bad idea.

In other news, I got some wool/silk blend to make a middle/lower class dress. I'm also making myself a new set of underclothes (my petti is very short, you can see,) all by hand, of course.   Next time I update it'll probably be about Tennessee! 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

From Farb to... Fab?

So I'm still alive, and still sewing, despite my school schedule - I thought I'd organize a list of what I still need to work on before the Athenaeum:

- finish buttonholes and re-set sleeves for my post-APortfolio surprise
- finish new chemise and overhoop petti
- wool 1860s dress
- re-do black silk sleeves
- closure for the black sheer

Yeah... All that in a month or so.  And I do so hate doing buttonholes on a sheer that frays as easily as my surprise dress does.  :c

In better news, I've had a complete failure trying to make an 1860's hat out of straw.  I think I'll leave it to the professionals.  I did, however, pick up a straw hat from the resale shop where I usually get my gloves from - it looked a little strange and didn't quite fit my big stupid head, but I thought it had potential.
Unfortunately, I forgot to take the 'before' pictures - just imagine the crown being ~1.5 inches higher.  I cut it off and cut it down a bit and sewed it back onto the brim...

and covering the jointure with thin cotton grosgrain ribbon sewed on with silk thread.
 Then came the fun part - I decorated it with some silk ribbon that I had lying around, some paper roses I got from Michael's, a blue ribbon from Ian's scrap stash and an antique lace lappet that I've been wanting to use from some time, and that I absolutely adore.

Endless admiration for people who can take flattering selfies.  I look really terrified.
 I tried to shape the brim by wetting it and holding it down for a couple of hours, but t didn't work too well.  I might just give in and end up wiring it to get the proper shape.

Aaaand I'll probably have to get a different color of elastic.  Or maybe I'll just pin it on, erp.

So I went from a questionable straw pith helmet to... Something vaguely in line with 1850s-1860s fashion!  It feels sooooo good to have headwear that's not bubblegum pink.

Update:  The brim has been wired!  Glory glory hallelujah!

Now 30% more accurate of a shape!
 And I'll get around to changing out the elastic for a darker type and I'm debating cutting up a piece of lesser-quality chantilly lace that I have to tack to the brim like a sunshade.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Picture post

Just to give a couple updates on what I have been sewing instead of studying for my Euro AP next week (and my English one this week, but who really cares about English APs?  Not me, evidently.)

 So to flatter my ego here are finished!shots of what I've been posting about:
The original dress (on the right...)
And my version!  (a bit simpler, but hey, I had a time limit)

 Or, the Epic Saga in which what was Supposed to be an Early 1860's Dress becomes a Distinctly Late 1860's Dress.
This is the dress I made with the gold silk from Italy.  I hope that from far away you can't notice that it's actually dupioni.  You can, however, notice that the weight of the fabric and my own inability to fit the back makes the back hang strangely, and the waist is far too long.  And, due to the amount of space I put at the front that's unpleated (which does fit with the painting I based it on...) the dress ended up looking much more 1865-67 than 1860-65.  Oh wellsies..
My waistband was doing... weird things...
Paired with a silly silk apron I whipped up with silk left over from my 1820's ballgown, which I cartridge pleated and whipped to a cord I found lying around.  The straw bonnet form is from C, and I trimmed it with hemmed strips of silk taffeta I had in my stash.  Yay stash!  Yay ridiculous technicolor color combinations!

And the black Christmas fabric dress I wore to Douglas day - I found out that I misfit the bodice and that it could, indeed, close at the top!  I did so hate having a v-neck - they seemed quite out of style by the 60s. 
It's silk taff., decorated with velvet ribbon around the wrists, with no collar (shame!) and dobby viole undersleeves.  The skirt is double box pleated, as was frequently seen, and the bodice pattern is from an original pattern (which does explain why it's so high waisted on 5'7 me.)
With a silk shawl I grabbed last-minute form my armoire

Tulips everywhere!
Once I'm done with my surprise post APortfolio project, I'll start on my sporty straw 1860's hat a la these pictures:

And also a working-class RevWar impression.  And also learn how to use my mother's lap-loom to make my own homsepun.

Friday, May 3, 2013

One more round..

I know I post a lot of these pictures here.  I really can't help it, though, this is my first experience with extant garments!  I'm having so much fun and by the end of the month, fingers crossed, I'll have my own little show at the historical society.  So here's a beautiful piece that I found tossed inamongst the Edwardians on the clothes rack in a garment bag that I quickly rescued and brought down - it's in rather poor condition, though stable - almost all the lining of the back is torn off, though it seems sound otherwise.  The accession tag read '1870s,' but I read it more as a late 60's, especially with the sleeve jockeys.
 So here's the inside.  It's a crisp, thin silk taffeta in a lovely chocolate brown color.  You can see the buttons - silk covered, with little rhinsetone?-ey bits.
 Closure always fascinates me, no pun intended.  Little hooks and eyes went halfway up the bodice - maybe the buttons were later additions?
 Aaaand here are the eyes. 
The adorbs sleeve jockeys trimmed with velvet ribbon and lace.
 Sleeve details
 The sleeves are wide coat sleeves and are fully lined.
 Boning on the bust darts - the boning is individually bound and sewn into the slashed-open bust dart.
 Attaching the pleats to the lined bodice.
 The skirt is a mixture of knife pleats, at the front, and cartridge pleats at the back.
 Roughly 10" hem facing.

Most of the 60's dresses I've seen here have self-fabric stand up collars, not replacable white ones.  Here you can also see the piecing- there's a lot lot lot of piecing going on here, not just at the neck (which is a strange place, I'd think) but also on the side pieces and at the top of the skirt, to name a few.