Saturday, February 22, 2014

Reduce, reuse, re-sew

 So... While waiting for new fabric to come (neeheehee) I decided to take care of some long-needed refurbishments in my existing wardrobe.  First up, my black silk Douglas Day dress.  You all remember that? It was so small at the bust I had to turn it down into a v-neck, the waist was too large, the back to narrow and the sleeves were too tight and ill fitting.
And... Now!  (ignore the lack of undersleeves and my petti kicking out the skirt at the sides, merp.)
I took in the waist substantially, let out the back seams and overstitched them to compensate for how creased they were.
I then entirely re-did the front, taking off the hooks and eyes tacked there and replacing it with the hidden hook-and-eye application method, as well as adding buttons down the front to add visual interest.  I also had to take off the neck piping and cut the neckline down because it was too small at the back.
And then, lastly, I re-did the unsalvageable sleeves, as I was lucky enough to have enough fabric left to make new ones.  The only trim on them is a line of narrow black velvet.

The bodice is not basted to the skirt yet, which explains some of the strange fitting issues in these pictures as the bodice is quite high-waisted on me (it's from an extant pattern from before I knew how to make successful mockups.)
 And then I took official photos of my altered paletot - I switched the collar to a standing one, tried to neaten up the shoulders, re-applied the fur trim and added the big fur cuffs.
There is still some work that has to be done on this before it's in truly wearable condition (or, wearable with pride) but for now I'm happy that I was able to save an old project instead of starting a new one.
But speaking of new projects....

*maniacal laughing*
Guess what I just bought fabric for....

Monday, February 17, 2014

Revwar basics

Yes, still kitting up, as it were.  Bit by bit.
 Ignore my (admittedly pretty quality) AP Euro t-shirt.
I actually made this last week in a day and a half, which is pretty impressive given my record of procrastination.  We were driving down to Springfield to see the Lincoln Museum, which was a wonderful trip wherein I took selfies with Robert Todd Lincoln, but that's a whole different story.
 The entire cap is one layer, as is correct (instead of double layers with the caul and ruffle sandwiched inbetween)
 The kind of sloppy whipped gathers - each piece was individually hemmed with a rolled hem and then the ruffles were drawn together using the thread from the hem.
 The drawstring at the neck.
The view from the top!

I used Kannik's Corner's mob cap pattern with some very fine linen and cotton tape that I got from Reenactorfest, and will definitely be making a few more of these for Williamsburg (maybe one with a double ruffle, or a pleated ruffle.)

Now I'm on the last leg of refurbishing my black silk 1860s dress and I've rec'd a good amount of royal blue silk taffeta as a present for that blue ballgown that I've been dreaming of ever since I found all of that antique chantilly lace at a thrift store in Watervale.

Hopefully when I'm done with them it won't be too snowy out to take pictures!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

My first 'good' dress

Naught but the most quality selfies in 3 feet of northeastern snow.
I finished my second Revwar dress this week, which I'm pretty gosh darn proud of.
 Just the basics:
Year: Roughly 1770
Fabric: Williamsburg collection cotton print, linen lining, petticoat of unknown and unknowable organic origin, cotton and linen thread.
Pattern: My usual JP Ryan pattern
Time:  About a week and a half, working all day in class, entirely handsewn.
What I would change:  I might re-set the sleeves, but at least they're long enough.  And I want to re-do the pleats and make them smaller, and make a matching petticoat if I have enough fabric left.

I also went to Reenactorfest last weekend, which was an absolute blast- I wish that I'd brought my camera, but we had all sorts of high-energy fun and met some wonderful people, and I spent a lot more than I should have.  For instance, this lovely (and unironed) short cloak, a lot of period makeup from the lovely litttlebits, and a lot of fabric, notions and patterns from various and sundry sources.

And here are some detailed shots of the dress itself as a closing statement:
 The inner lining with the en fourreau pleats tacked down
 The skirt pleats, which are tacked on then overstitched.
The shoulder-piece, which is overstitched down on top of the sleeve cap.  (and also a bit of basting thread, whoops.)