Monday, February 27, 2012

Hat Overload

I hit up Target the other day in search of a large straw hat to use with my 1912 costume and I came across some super fun finds in the accessories department.

Target has at least four different varieties of boaters.
I took this particular one home with me and decided to change it from Granny going to church, to a 1912 hat.

 I sewed on two layers of tulle over the crown and two more around the crown, I then glued on the flowers. I would love to pair this with a gibson girl blouse and a dark skirt for a lower class impression.

Here is my inspiration for this hat. These two are my favorite characters from Downton Abby.

Target also has a wide selection of cloche hats.
Unfortunately I forgot to take a before pic of this hat but it was very simply decorated with a cream grosgrain ribbon. I think one may be my favorite.

The hat on Edith (right) was my inspiration. It's just too bad I haven't been able to find a hat with a similar shape. Then it would have been perfect. Unfortunately this hat was worn in a scene where the start of WWI was announced. Making it too late to wear to a 1912 event.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Making History: Historical Gloves B5370

To add to my repertoire I'm attempting a pair of gloves to wear to the upcoming Titanic Exhibit. I'll be using B5370 which seems to be fairly straight forward.

I decided to use view F first as a jumping off point. I wont be copying the details exactly but using the pattern as a guideline.

(Right) back
(Right) palm
 Here is the first go I had at it. I did hand sew them because I just found it entirely too difficult to sew the gussets in on the machine. I'd really prefer to use the machine but I'll do whatever is best.
(Left) back
(Left) palm
 My second try went a little better but instead of my seams being too loose I made them too tight. And obviously I need to refine them if I ever want to wear the final product in public.

I chose a micro suede in a color called papyrus. It's nice and soft and not too stretchy. I know it's not correct but I really don't think I'm up to the challenge of sewing leather gloves.

American 1900-1925
American 1900-1930
French 1900-1925

French 1900-1929

 I trolled around on the MET website last night and found these gloves in their collection. So round two I'm going to use a fabric a little more sturdy and maybe I'll try using the machine again.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

1912 Dress Inspiration

 I've finally been able to jump on the band wagon and try to make myself a dress to wear to the San Diego Titanic Exhibit. I am beyond excited, I've been green with envy watching everyone making theirs. But now I get to participate although I'm quite behind. And I haven't yet decided on a pattern! Currently I'm torn between two patterns/ideas. I also started Downton Abby last night which is greatly influencing my already befuddled mind.

I apologize for the picture but here is the Reconstructing History Ladies 1910s Three-Button Suit. This would be great seeing as it feel like it would be meant more for traveling and visiting. But would cost more to make and could possibly make me want to commit murderous acts upon my sewing machine.

But after watching Downton Abby last night I had the idea to just go with something simple and easy. Going this route might save me some money and would still be lovely.

I like this pattern from Rocking Horse Farm for their 1915 New Empire Day Dress. I could see editing this and adding on to make it work for the inspiration I found.

The dress on the right of each picture worn by Laura Carmichael in episode 7 at the garden party really caught my eye. Very simple accessories and dress and the same for the other two as well.

Sometimes I build up extraordinarily high standards in my mind and then try to force myself to accomplish them without the skills necessary to do so. So this might be the better route to go. It just looks comfortable. I worry about my corset though. I'm uncertain if I will have time to make another for the teens and might have to end up wearing my Victorian one instead. Although it might be smarter to take the busk out of my Regency stays and wear it loosely. Because going sans corset just doesn't seem right with my shape.

To add to my confusion I ordered Patterns of Fashion 1860-1940 the other day and am awaiting its arrival. It it has something more interesting and doable I might forgo a pattern from a store. This could be risky but I might be able to work on two simultaneously. Still excited and eager to get working! Wish me luck  ;)

Friday, February 17, 2012

1845 Day Dress Inspiration and Muslin

 Here is the dress I'll be using as my model for parts of the 1945 Day Dress project. It comes from the KCI collection and can be seen in detail here.

 One of the more interesting details of the dress is the honeycomb smocking on the center front of the dress. Last night I played around with it a little bit and came up with this. Now let me tell ya I had no idea until this morning that this embroidery technique was called smocking, let alone that it's embroidery and that it existed. 

 This is kinda sorta how I'd like the center front on my dress to look. I prefer the pleating and the smocking to the gathering the pattern calls for.

 Here is what I had originally constructed using the pattern as is. It looks baggy and sad with just the gathering at the shoulder.

 Granted I know I could have probably done a better job with this......but I didn't. So I'm not ruling it out completely for future use.

I found these tutorials that seem useful. They show two methods for the smocking.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ruffled Petticoat

Here is my new ruffled petticoat. Yay! I used the directions from Rocking Horse Farm for a ruffled petticoat that is included in the Polonaise, Levite & Round Gowns pattern. I simply added four extra tiers and opted for a back closure instead of side closures.

 This took me about two weeks to put together. It's not that it was particularly difficult, it was just really boring. Not to mention sitting cross legged on the floor for hours spreading out the gathers really hurts. I like to listen to a book on cd while sewing and that's what saved me during this project. Thank you Charlotte Bronte for Jane Eyre   :)
 As I was sewing all of this material it got to be so heavy it felt like a comforter sitting on my lap. I haven't put it on yet so I can only imagine how heavy it will feel.
Under the ruffled petti is my corded petti and my bum pad. I added another over the top to see how full it is.
 For the life of me I can't seem to find a picture of an original or a fashion plate showing one of these. So I can't attest to the historical accuracy of it being used under a dress from 1845.

 I'm super happy with how it came out and with any luck it should work over a hoop skirt too. Hopefully I'm at the end of my undergarment saga and can move on to the actual dress.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Regency Short Stays For Sale

On a side note I'm also selling a pair of Regency Short Stays that I purchased off of Ebay about two years ago. 

They are a 36 B and made from white denim. They have brass eyelets and metal boning at the sides and front.

  They haven't ever been worn besides trying them on when I first got them and finding they didn't fit me. They are for sure meant for a much slimmer woman than I am.
So please check em out on Ebay. I'm asking 45.00 and I originally paid 75.00.

Kannik's Korner: Womens and Girls Caps

So here is the Kannik's Korner Caps pattern. I started with view A the Round Eared Cap with a single ruffle. I liked the pattern overall, it gives directions for the correct hand sewing stitches to be used and so on. I completely hand sewed mine.....ugh.
 So after I finished the cap I eagerly placed it atop my head's a cap. I'll have to start over unfortunately because the cap is slightly small for me. Even with my hair in a bun it doesn't want to stay on my head.

 And the ruffle looks ok on the foam head but on me it isn't all that flattering. So I'll give the pleated double or single edging a try.

 Well at least the foam head is modestly attired now ;)

 I'll be interested to see what it will look and feel like in linen instead of cheap muslin. I have it waiting in my stash just asking to be made into a cap.
Perhaps I'll go the rout of Claire Fraser and stoutly refuse to wear one.