Historical Sew Fortnightly 2014 Challenge 1

The first challenge this year was to get to all that boring, nagging mending done.  I was surprised at how little I had to fix. Some how I thought I had mountains of it.  Actually, the worst part was getting into my storage space and inspecting each piece for problems.  That forced me to tidy things up a bit and put up a few more hooks on the walls. After all, what was the point of mending all the clothes only to have all the hats and parasols mangled by being piled up on top of each other.  So now I can report that my storage space is tidy and therefore safer for all my goodies.  I’ll count that as a mend.

As for the actual sewing mending, I got a good laundry basket full of it done.  Granted, half that basket was full of my modern winter coat that had popped two of its buttons.

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I also did some repairs on my hoops.  The dang thing was too long and I kept stepping and tripping on it.  I removed the bottom hoop.  I also reinforced my tubing hoops with some wire so that it would hold its shape better.  (My electrician son is going to come home from his trip and find that his mom has “borrowed” some of his electrical stash.)  One of these years I’m going to pitch the whole thing and invest in a kit from Truly Victorian.  These things of mine are desperately ugly.  Their saving grace is that once the petticoats and skirt are on, it is acceptable…unless I am stepping on it.

This was not the most exciting challenge but it is nice to know that when costume season begins again, I will only need to do some ironing to get ready and there will be no panic-stricken hunts through the house looking for safety pins to jury-rig my clothes together!

The obsessed see things differently

I was at a thrift store and I saw a cute little child’s/craft hat and a crocheted (pineapple pattern) tablecloth.  But, I didn’t see a child’s hat and tablecloth.  I saw….SAM_1675

 

I’m playing with ideas to fix the table cloth so that it no longer looks like a tablecloth and it no longer needs to be doubled up (which hides the pattern).SAM_1676

The hat needs some embellishment and perhaps a tiny bit of shaping but it is a cute little hat that would suit the 1880’s I think.

In lieu of…

I am lounging in a post-Christmas haze of laziness.  Well, that is not exactly true.  I have been producing…just not in the sewing department.  After a busy year sewing, no huge Historical Sew Fortnightly projects due for a bit and no costume events until we leave this deep freeze, I haven’t felt the need to sew for a few days.  I have been lounging on the couch knitting random blocks of…well knitting.

I have been making blocks for a knitted quilt with the goal of using up a huge ball of turquoise acrylic wool.  This wool is completely useless for Victorian wear because of the color and fiber content and it isn’t a color I’d use for modern wear-too pastel.  Lord knows why I bought it.  Anyway, I have a book of random knitting stitches and I thought I’d make this turquoise wool up into the blocks using the different stitches.  In addition to using up the wool, I will be finding out what these stitches look like and how difficult they might be.  Ones that I like, might one day be used in a larger project.

Now, other sewing/costume bloggers resort to using photos of their cat being cute when they have nothing to offer in terms of completed work.  In lieu of the cat I don’t have, I give you my dog Ginger.

I was changing the blankets on the bed one day and look who climbed in.

I was changing the blankets on the bed one day and look who climbed in.

Awe….

I know she needs a good grooming but, just look at that face.

I know she needs a good grooming but, just look at that face.

I could just kiss her…and I do.  She has been a sweetie pie sitting on the couch with me as I wallow in my post-Christmas laziness.

 

Another card courtesy of Miss Shirley

For Christmas, my pal Shirley, gave me 3 cabinet cards.  Two were head shots of the same woman 10 years apart.  She also gave me a card that shows the full length of a dress as she knows that this is what I covet most in these cards…the opportunity to see the dresses, as they would have been worn at the time.  And if I can get ideas for my dresses, well all the better.

I'm guessing, by the dress, that it is an 1880's picture.

I’m guessing, by the dress, that it is an 1880’s picture.

It looks like the pattern I used for my Travel outfit. I did the two tone bodice like hers.527235And my Half Grand Surprise dress.293287I had pleats on the bottom too.  Only mine were sewn onto the bottom and hers looks like they are on an under skirt.

I wish I was as skinny as she was!  And she didn’t battle the girls either!

Bounty of Christmas

Sharing my Christmas haul seems a bit “old news” now that Christmas AND New Years have passed but I have nothing new in the sewing department to share with you all.  Grin and bare it, my friends.

A new iron to replace the one I dropped and broke.

A new iron to replace the one I dropped and broke.

It heats up like a dream!

A shirt and jewlery.  Shirley pointed out the bling would look nice with a ball gown.

A shirt and jewelry. Shirley pointed out the bling would look nice with a ball gown.

Some items I will find useful when on vacation in February.

Some items I will find useful when on vacation in February.

And my vacation can’t come soon enough.  Did you know that my town was colder than the North Pole and MARS these last few days!?!

A pendant from my Mom.  See how it matches the picture on my book of Queen Victorian?

A pendant from my Mom. See how it matches the picture on my book of Queen Victoria?

Well chosen Mom, well chosen.  And the fun gift of the year goes to…my toy elephant!

Elephants are my one weakness.

Elephants are my one weakness.

But, what is so fun about that?

When you squeeze him, his eyes pop out!  Now that is fun!

When you squeeze him, his eyes pop out! Now that is fun!

There were a few other gifts that would bore you more than these do.  But, I loved them…especially the coffee…yum.  I did show you some of my gifts from Shirley already and perhaps I will show you the other one next time….

 

 

 

 

Year in Review and Final HSF Challenge

Happy New Year!  And as every sewing blogger knows, now is the time to reflect on how much we managed to get done.  Wow!  It is really amazing how much I got done once I got out of my slump and there is only 2 reasons I was so productive-Deadlines and Challenges.  The vast majority of those came from The Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenges.

There was crochet fingerless gloves and an 1950’s costume for work.  There was my 1900 widows weeds that includes a petticoat, skirt, bodice with hand-made frog closures, a serious hat and a “scary hat” for Halloween, and a cape.SAM_1466

I’ve knit a modern scarf and a Victorian shawl.   I have worn the shawl with my 1840’s Copper Penny dress and that includes 3 petticoats, the dress, bonnet, reticule, hand-made lace collar, and a muff.SAM_1559 (2)

I upgraded a hat for my 1890’s walking suit and made several pieces of jewelry.

I made a complete 1890’s swim suit which includes the suit, the skirt, the hat and shoes.

15I’ve made my first corset and I’ve made a handkerchief to give away.

I’ve made an ugly 1880’s Tea Gown…twice.SAM_1619

I’ve made my 1873 Polonaise that includes skirt bodice and hat.SAM_1371

Now for the final challenge I give you my new 1870’s mantle (that may or may not be worn with the above outfit).

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The Challenge: 26 Celebrate

Fabric: Unknown, likely a synthetic blend

Pattern: TV501 1871 Mantle

Year: 1871

Notions: buttons, trims, thread, hooks and eyes.

How historically accurate is it? The pattern is accurate, the print is plausible to my eye, it is half machine sewn, half hand sewn which is plausible as well. The fiber content of the fabric is not. 70%?

Hours to complete: 15

First worn: just for this photo.

Total cost: $90