Monday, December 29, 2014

A 1950s dress

The wool that I initially had gotten for the riding habit ended up being a lycra blend, so I didn't want to use it for 18th century.  Now I probably have enough wool blend for the rest of my life.
One of my favorite vintage dresses is a plaid 1950s dress that I got in mint condition with the tags still on it, and I feel irresponsible for wearing it instead of preserving it for posterity.  So - I made a similar dress so I could wear it without guilt.

These are not very good quality, sorry!
Just the Basics:

Year: 1950s, I presume

Pattern:  My bodice block

Notions:  Wool blend from, zipper from the costume shop

Time: About a week even.

Verdict?: I should have lined it because it's a little bit itchy, but I can always wear a camisole under it.  One of the arms is not placed well in the armscythe, so it pitches the back forward; the zipper is also, true to my form, not very well set in.  But it is very cute and does its job well!  I hope to one day put some more trim on it, I think it looks a little plain.  Maybe some thin black velvet to head the tucks and eyelets on the neck and sleeves, like the original.

I've recently gotten my hands on some of B&T's new printed fabric (they're absolutely lovely folks! wow!) as well as some silk organza, which is going to be a few new caps and ruffles.  So that ought to give you all a pretty good idea of what's coming down the pike!  I hope you all have a lovely new years.

Monday, December 8, 2014

A long overdue riding habit

This, unfortunately, is the one case where waiting too long to finish something only diminishes my pleasure in it being done.  But it is perfectly alright now, and I can move on to the projects I put on the back burner!

What is it:  A riding habit from approximately the late 1760s.
Materials:  Wool from Burnley and Trowbridge.  In retrospect a plain weave was a poor choice; I think a twill/gaberdine would have been stiffer.  But there was a whole fiasco involving, and I just wanted a dealer I could trust.  The lining is linen except for the silk taffeta skirts, the thread cotton, the brass buttons also from B&T.
How long it took to make:  A very long time, working in increments.  I could have been done in a week or two, but I dragged it out until the end of the semester.  I also wore the petticoat for the halloween tours, and it was quite warm indeed.
Construction:  Roughly based on the Janet Arnold pattern, as well as a large cross-section of later 18th century riding habits.  I debated making the front one-piece, but ultimately decided to keep it as a separate bodice and skirt; I took the round collar off last minute because it kept flipping up.  Unfortunately, I didn't think to take any construction pictures, but oh well.
Verdict?: I wish I had made this out of a twill so that the bodice wouldnt've been quite so disastrously wrinkled.  And the collar needs a little bit of work, and the hem could be taken up a few inches.  But overall it's surprisingly comfortable and cozy and I love the color and the buttons.
Secondary verdict:  It's sturdy enough to climb in!
With the boo....
I'm not quite sure what my next project will be, but I'm almost done with a 40's dress I made from my rejected wool and I have plenty of colonial/regency projects planned for local events and for when I get home for break.
I hope all my followers have a happy holiday!