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.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The New Years Dress

Happy New Year, all! 

Ok. So I decided I like the dress. Yay!

It wore it to a New Years party last night and it was very fun to wear, very comfy and stretchy, and very warm, too!

It's Butterick 5533, from the 1930's, made up in cranberry and navy plaid wool crepe. I'm not sure what year, exactly.

I ended up deviating from the pattern, which called for a continuous, lapped CB placket and buttons, and went with a side zip. I just sewed straight up the back to close the slit. Didn't have time to mess with all those buttons. 

The zip worked out great. Because of the nubbly nature of the crepe, the prick stitches almost disappeared around the zipper.

I faced the hem, cuffs and neck with self bias facing. The extra weight around the hem worked out nicely for the drape of the skirt.

And the belt.

And for the neckline, I didn't have a drapery weight, so I used a 5p. Aw, the Queen :)

Friday, December 26, 2014

The belated Christmas dress (that I may or may not hate).

After the quick and easy success of my wool trousers, I thought a dress would be a breeze. I was going to see The Nutcracker Saturday evening, so on a whim Saturday morning, I started in on a 1930's frock, somehow thinking I could finish it in a day. Crazy, I know. 

Well, I actually got pretty far. I gave up a half hour before I had to get dressed to leave. I was one hem and closure short of a wearable dress.

The closure, though. Ick.

I'm not sure what to do, now that I have no deadline to finish (maybe New Years?...). In my speed race, I was thinking of slicing the back open to the hem (currently it ends in a slash that goes into the CB skirt piece) and putting in an easy zipper. The pattern, however, calls for a continuous lap placket, closing with worked button holes and buttons. 

But in all honesty, I don't know if I'm going to like this dress enough to commit my time to all those button holes/loops. I'm not sure what to do now. I could do tube button loops. Not that that is much easier. Not to mention, hard to get in and out of! Or do I close up the back with a seam the length of the dress, and put a sneaky zipper or hooks in the side seam? Help. Opinions, please!!

Well, it's on it's way, I guess. I don't know if I like it, though. It's kind of a weird fabric, which is not terribly flattering on the body. It even makes my mannequin look fat! I might change the sleeves, which may help, since, in general, the dress kind of swallows me up. Maybe the festive little flouncy sleeve on the pattern envelope... Something needs help.

And it looks so chic in the illustration. Haha, I thought this had a chance of being a one day project! Bah!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

HSF #23: Modern History. A pair of 1930's trousers.

The Challenge: #23, Modern History

Fabric: Lightweight wool suiting in a green Glen plaid

Pattern: Wearing History's Smooth Sailing Trousers

Year: 1930's

Notions: Thread, buttons

How historically accurate is it? Good, I guess.

Hours to complete: The prep took an afternoon, and the sewing another afternoon. Very quick.

First worn: Last weekend, for a Christmas party

Total cost: I think I got the wool on sale for about $7/yd. And it took about 3 yards, I think.


Well first off, Merry Christmas to all! I hope everyone has been having a lovely holiday season.

Over here it's been pretty busy, but I still found a couple afternoons to whip up a new pair of 1930's trousers. I so love the Wearing History pattern! It goes together so nicely and quickly and just makes a really good looking pair of pants.

For this pair, I used some lightweight plaid wool. I deviated from the pattern by adding a lapped, side closure with buttons instead of a zip. Next pair, I want to add some pockets!  

And they're comfy enough for playing with the pups, too!