Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A new poofy cap

I'm hoping, at this point, that by rite of the sheer volume of my wardrobe I could get an internship at he Margaret Hunter shop in Williamsburg.  And what does every aspiring seamstress need?

A dormeuse cap!
Complete with terrible tee shirt, messy 30 second hair and feverishly red cheeks

The pained grin/grimace
I found a 1 yard x 54" remnant of silk organdy at Vogue and I snatched it up, then used my basic pattern, with a slightly larger caul and a wider back piece (about 2" wider, to get more puff.)  The ruffle is selvedge edge, and the quilling (bloop bloops is definitely the technical term) is half selvedge and half hemmed.  The whole thing is hand sewn, as usual.

Just the facts:

Era: probably later 1770s

Materials: Silk organdy, linen thread, cotton twill tape

Time: About three days = 6 or 7 hours

Pattern:  Kannik's Corner

Verdict:  I really love this cap, and I like seeing how my
work has improved.  The fabric is a lot stiffer and a lot less brilliant white than I thought it would be, but by hair is dark and the stiffness means it holds a fold well, which is nice for roll-hemming.  I also just like the idea of wearing a silk cap - it feels so luxurious.
Look how sheer the fabric is!
 My teeny rolled hem
 Constructed the period correct way - all one layer.

And speaking of luxury, my cheap bottom-of-the-barrel beige jubilee linen/cotton blend came in the mail, so at least I'll have one more underpetticoat/work skirt.  More stuff to work on while sick.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A marginal improvement?

So!  I have finally almost finished my new pair of handsewn stays.  I know, it's been a while, although I do have several excuses (involving work, an amazing Wauconda, and an unexplained illness) as to why the binding is wonky and the lining very much not applied.  But I'll save those for later.

On to the trainwreck!
My first two pairs of stays were noticeably much, much too large.  And I'm not one to measure twice before I cut once (or measure at all, really) so I did some considerable pattern alteration and made the natural assumption that it was going to stretch with wear.  (Which it hopefully will, because...)
 You could drive a semi through the back gap.  I blame this mostly on my hip-to-waist ratio.
 Despite the lack of lining, the odd binding and the omnipresent, inescapable bosom crush, I really do like this pair of stays.  It takes about half an hour to lace up in all but it looks very neat and it does give me a nice figure without making me look like a prepubescent lad like my old pair.
Teeny tiny stitches!
Just the facts:

Era: 1770s, presumably

Pattern: J P Ryan's strapless stays, heavily altered

Fabric:  Wool gaberdine outer layer, linen interlining, linen thread treated with beeswax, cotton twill binding (though I want to replace it with doe or kid leather at some point) wooden reeding and a few pieces of flat steel for the back and poly satin ribbon (the cotton tape broke....)

Time:  About three weeks, on and off

Cost:  None!  All from the stash.

Thoughts:   One of the seams is ripping at the bottom because I tried to pull it in over my hips.  That's really all I have to say.  If anybody notices that I am wearing it too high or too low please tell me - I'll wear it a bit and see if it molds to my body and if the gap is still that large I'm going to split it and put in two small panels to help even it out.  But!  Comfortable, and it fits much better.

What I was Watching: Stepford Wives, two seasons of The West Wing, Hannibal, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, listening to WTNV

Edit:  This is the same shirt I wore when I took pictures of my old pair!  I'm not even going to Dartmouth (it is a really comfy shirt though.)

Monday, July 7, 2014

A simple slat bonnet

Sorry about the radio silence!  I've been traveling on vacation, preparing the house for sale and working on my stays without the benefit of long school hours to bore me into working on them.  Also, reading and researching.
But I do want to keep myself unburnt at Wauconda this weekend, so I shipped up a slat bonnet from the SA pattern (it literally took less than two hours) with the blue-and-white-ticking-that-will-not-die and the cut up cover of a sketch pad.  It's my own little fortress of solitude, and it's awful comfortable.

Hopefully the stays will be done within a week or so, but I'm not betting on it...  I've got such bad summer sewing dysphoria.