Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sometimes the sewing gods smile upon you...

With the Jane Austen ball outfit behind me, I thought I would start my next project: a 1905-ish ensemble, in the spirit of the historical building my husband and I purchased last year. I found a period photograph from the town, showing ladies dressed for day, and I've been planning to copy one of the outfits.

As per usual, I thought I'd start from the inside out. I went into the stash, to look for fabric for a petticoat, but I didn't have any. I was about to go to the store, but thought I should check the petticoats I have first, just to see if anything would work.

Major face palm!

At some point last year, I already made the petticoat! How I forgot, I have no idea, but here it is!



The skirt I'm planning is fairly narrow, so I'll have to see if it needs a second petticoat, or if the chemise and drawers will add enough heft under there.

Yay! One down. Now on to the rest of the outfit.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Costume de Bal


I was lucky enough to get tickets again this year for Pasadena's Jane Austen Evening. It really is a lovely event. A nice mix of people. Dancers and costumers and those that do both. I was lucky enough to finally meet some ladies I have only met online, and also see some fantastic costumes. I must say, I think the most gorgeous outfit was an 1820's ensemble. Perfect hair, perfect dress. I wish I had thought to take a picture!

But isn't that just what happens when you're having fun? I totally forget about the camera. I wish I had gotten some better pictures of myself, too, but here is what I have. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Slowly but surely, a sweater is appearing.


Slowly, slowly, as I find time to fit in some knitting, the 1900's cycling sweater is coming along! Can you believe that huge piece is the sleeve? Holy mutton! I just started on the second one. So, I'm nearly there.

Just keep ribbing, just keep ribbing...

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Ten Minute Tea Cozy


This has absolutely no historical value, whatsoever. I can't even pretend. But it was so cute and easy, I had to share!

Lately, Ive been on a tea kick, and I've been using a sad little towel to keep my teapot warm. This morning, I was pinning all these darling knit tea cozy patterns, planning to make one, but then I was at Target today and saw this darling little knit hat and lightbulb!

I opened up the hat's seam a few inches, on one side, for the spout. On the other side, for the handle, I machine stitched a rectangle between the ribbing, sliced up it, turned the selvages to the inside and button hole stitched, with yarn, around the slit, to tidy it up. This side can be seen in the photo below. Basically, it's a giant buttonhole.


And now, I have hot tea to fuel me up for some real sewing. Cheers!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The 40's Dress

While I don't love this one on me, It was quite fun to sew. I got to explore new things, like bound button holes. And wow, these little dresses happen so fast. I'm so used to yards and yards for gowns, so this was like poof! A dress!



I made it up because I was supposed to serve pancakes, WWII-attired, at a fundraiser for Honor Flights. I ended up not going, because I had to stay home with my injured pup.

Poor thing. She had a horrible accident, but she's ok now. It was a rough go, though. Two months I stayed home with her and gave her medicine around the clock. Whew. So glad that's over. She looks pretty good now and is back to her old self, albeit with one working eye. I liken her to Princess Ana de Mendoza. She's still pretty!


But anyway, back to the dress! It was McCall 3230, done up in a cranberry on white, checked shirting. It was fairly simple, but had some pretty details. It was the first time I had a reason to do bound buttonholes. Surprisingly simple, if a little fiddly, but so neat and tidy looking.









And so, there it is. I ordered a belt kit, so maybe soon I will finish that up, too.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Repairing a 19th Century Hair Comb


I found this Georgian beauty last year and loved it, despite it's toothless grin. I thought there had to be some way to fix it.

Well, this afternoon, I finally took it to the jeweler, and they said no go. The comb is an alloy, probably pinchbeck or ormolu, and they didn't have the ability to repair such a material. Ah well. But not to be defeated, I ran straight up the street to the craft store.

They did clean it for me, though, which really shined it up. It was kind of crusty before. 


The seller had kindly included a spare coral bead, which was faceted like the rest of the beads on the comb, but just a bit bigger. But two were missing, so I picked up some similar beads and some thin jewelry wire.


Ta da! 


Pretty darn close, all things considered. 

And the wire is just wrapped around the comb, so I didn't resort to glue or anything permanent that could damage the comb.


So yay! Now she has a new life. I think I will wear her to the Jane Austen Evening at the end of the month. Just think, two hundred years later, this lovely diadem gets to attend another ball. And hopefully many more after that!

Friday, January 2, 2015

2014 in Review

As the months go by, I always think to myself how many things I would like to sew and I feel like I never get anything done, but then, by the end of the year, I look back and, wow, I actually made quite a few things!

This year was sort of empty, event-wise, so I didn't make up too many full outfits. I kind of wandered around from era to era, stitching up some things that struck me in the moment, and some that lend to vague plans for future outfits. 

All in all, I was pleased this year at the quality of my work. I think general sewing skills, as well as historical accuracy were expanded upon, and while I didn't get everything I wanted done (impossible lol), the things I did work on and/or complete, I'm quite happy with. Yay! I also made my first foray into vintage sewing, which I thought was really fun, since they can be worn modern context. 

So, here went 2014!

I started off with a whole outfit for the Jane Austen Evening. I made some adjustments to my Regency undies, made a dress and petticoat, shoes and a reticule.