Winter has over stayed it’s welcome

The weather shows very little sign of letting up.  It will be April tomorrow and there still is so much snow on the ground that it looks like January.  This picture showed up on Facebook the other day and if it weren’t so depressingly true, it would be funny.

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I guess the unending winter has the benefit of keeping me busy on my sewing projects.

 

Swinging from one project to the next

I’ve made some good progress on my Silky Skies bodice.  I’ve got all the buttons done and the trim sewn on (that was hours and hours of hand sewing). All that is left is to finish the seam binding on one arm hole (and then stick to sensible eating so that I don’t grow out of a bodice that really is pretty tight already).

SAM_0003When I’ve been bored with all the hand sewing, I have been working ahead on the black and white project.  It will be a snood.  SAM_0004

I’ve  been making the pattern up as I go along and I’ve made some changes until I have now got a system that seems to work.  I think no one will be able to tell that the beginning rows are not strictly like the rows that are further along.  Technically, the black color may be a bit off.  From what I’ve been reading, it seems that they tended to match the hair color with the snoods and I have brown hair not black.  I guess black on brown wouldn’t have been completely impossible.  There wouldn’t have been a wide variety of threads to choose from in 1860 Manitoba.  The thread is also pretty thick but was the thinnest I could find here.  If I’m having that problem now a days, it could have been a problem back then as well.

 

HSF 14: challenge 6 Fairy Tale

When I started the Historical Sew Fortnightly last year I made 4 goals. 1) try to have a submission for every challenge-which I did. 2) don’t make or spend a lot of time on something that really wasn’t wanted or needed. Try to make the challenges bend into something I was planning any way-which I was good at.  3) try to use as much of my stash as possible.  And 4) try something new each time.  I always did.  Usually, it was just a new pattern. Those goals were useful for me so I carried them over.

I had an idea for the fairy tale challenge.  I was going to make an outfit from my son’s web comic but I really wasn’t that excited about it.  It missed the mark in several ways.  It missed goal 4 (try something new) because I would have used patterns I’ve used before and it would have been in colors and fabrics I used before. It missed goal 3 (use stash) because I would have had to buy all the fabrics.  And it missed goal 2 (don’t make something I don’t need). The patterns I would have used would have been from the 1890’s, which I have a lot of.  It would have also created a brown day type wear outfit, which I already have. (That is it on the right.)299931_309657815804742_863642331_n

In fact, I would have used the same shirtwaist from the previous outfit.  Perhaps if I was in some sort of re-enactment group where I needed to be in a costume all day/everyday for several days in a row, variations on a theme would be useful but not for random outings through out the summer.

So in the interest of saving time (and money) so I can work on things I do want and need, I did a soft entry for this challenge.  It is a nod to the Princess and the Pea.

The base is fancy and symbolizes a crown and the green beads symbolize the pea.

The base is fancy and symbolizes a crown and the green beads symbolize the pea.

Sorry for the blurry photo. It looked fine on the small screen of the camera.  You get the idea.

The Challenge: 6 fairy tales

Fabric: none

Pattern: self drafted

Year: any time

Notions: earring hooks, beads, bead heads, beading pins and the foundation finding

How historically accurate is it? 0% No attempt was made at accuracy.  It is plausible and small enough that it wont crack camera lenses or send other hobbyists into fits of rage or angst.

Hours to complete: half an hour

First worn: for the blurry photo.  Don’t want to put it on again to re shoot!

Total cost: $15 (with a lot of left over parts that ended up in my beading stash)

I did use up some of the purchases for some modern day earrings which will get used and were somewhat needed/wanted.

SAM_1989If I want to go all matchy matchy, I could wear the pair on the right with my Silky Skies Dress.

 

They are truly evil

I was so sure those darn sleeves were gonna be a snap to finish.  Just sew them in right?  I sewed them in and started on the button holes so that today I could just sew on the buttons and trim and I’d be done.  I got it all done with time to spare.  But then I took a good look at those dumb sleeves.SAM_1985

They are way to wide! Once they have an arm in them, they balloon up to mutton sleeves which is not the look I was going for.

A whole lotta work had to be done to rip those massive puppies all apart and cut about 4 inches off of the sides to bring them down to size.  And honestly, they are still to big but you know I don’t care anymore. I just don’t know what went wrong.  I’ve never had this problem with a Truly Victorian pattern before.
SAM_1987That is a bit more reasonable.  No one will mistake them for mutton sleeves now.

As well as the sleeves, I got the button holes done and that implies that I got the lining done too. SAM_1986Today will be trims and buttons while I sit in a small town cafe ALL DAY waiting for my dog to get her dental work done.  (Don’t get me going on the cost of using a city vet for getting my canines canines cleaned.)

Ah, you poor thing

I’m gonna pass on a real blog post today.  My puppy is sick and I just can’t concentrate on anything but her.  I’m hoping it is just a thing that will pass on its own but since she can’t answer my questions, all we can do is just sit there and look at each other and hope for the best.

Update: it seems it was just a 24 hour thing!  Yeah, she is all better…until she goes for her dental work in 3 days…

Sleevils assembled

I’ve got my sleeves built and they are pinned to the dress waiting for me to attach them. (No progress photos)  Not gonna happen until this weekend I think.

I am so pleased with myself. My last two attempts at making sleeves have gone fairly smoothly.  The trick has been to label all my pieces every step of the way.  Once I’ve cut out my pieces, I place a pin on each piece, marking what is the correct side (if it is not obvious to the eye).  I do this before I completely separate them from the pattern piece.  When the wrong side looks the same as the right side, I can end up with two right-handed sleeves if I don’t carefully mark them!  Yup I’ve done that.  Only to fix it and end up with two left sleeves.  (Just kidding. But I did sew one seam with the wrist of one piece neatly lined up to the arm pit of the other one.)

Once the inner and outer sleeves are sewn I try them on (with the seams of the fashion fabric in and the seams of the lining fabric out).  Then I label those as right and left.  If I don’t do that, I end up with a right sleeve sewn to a left sleeve lining.  Arg!  Done that too…to both sleeves.  I’ve also sewn the lining to the sleeve and ended up with the seam of the lining NOT in between the two layers but on the side that would be next to my arm because I didn’t have one of the layers flipped properly.

Then more trying on and pinning and trying on again so the elbows of the sleeve and the sleeve lining are pointing in the same direction before I sew them together at the wrist.  One more try on before basting the top of the sleeve  together.  Can you believe I once sewed a sleeve on, only to discover that the lining had twisted completely around and I couldn’t get my arm in?  The last try on is to make sure I haven’t done that again.

All the marking, trying, and testing is a direct result of LEARNING THE HARD WAY! And this tutorial would have been way better with pictures…. May be I will re write it on my next dress and take photos.

Trudy on guard

Have a look at the photo I posted yesterday.SAM_1983

This is my dress form, Trudy, sitting in my living room window.  She is standing there because the hoops she is wearing are too big to keep her in her usual places.  She usually sits in my walk in closet (when not in use) and some times she sits in my bedroom in the corner when I’m working on something.  No one sees her there except my husband who has gotten used to seeing her in the closet or lurking in the corner of the bedroom.

With this current ensemble, she is too big for her usual spots and so the living room is the safest place where no night-time wanderers will be tripping over her or crashing into her.  She is a bit creepy standing in the window, but unbeknownst to me, she has been creating a stir with the neighbors.  One neighbor confesses to waving to her and being freaked out by the way she just stood there…staring! The thought of it is simply hilarious to me.  Oh Trudy, she stands on guard for me!

HSF 14: #5 Bodice (sorta)

My elliptical hoops took so long to make that I lost a lot of time for the next challenge: the bodice.  I had one week to make the due date which was yesterday.  But, there were obstacles.  The biggest one?  My boss would not have been sympathetic if I missed a day or two for sewing. (We should be given sewing days AND sick days).

For that reason, I’ve had to adjust my goal a bit.  My submission for the challenge is my mock up for my bodice.SAM_1983

I think it fits pretty good: fitted but with enough ease to leave room for all the other layers that still need to be attached.  SAM_1984

I wont see this submission as a loss because the reason I needed to do a mock up in the first place (I never do them-I know, I’m bad) is because I’ve lost some weight and I was going to need a different combo of pattern pieces (if you work with Truly Victorian patterns, you know what I mean).  I didn’t want to start hacking into my real silk (another thing I rarely do-I usually use poly blends because of cost) without knowing if I could make it fit.  I’m going to use the mock up for my lining.

The Challenge: 5 Bodice

Fabric: cotton broad cloth

Pattern: TV443

Year: 1861

Notions: thread

How historically accurate is it? Pretty high actually 95%.  The fiber content is good and I think the materials and colors are appropriate for what I intended for the dress (and afternoon or day dress).  The machine sewing is plausible.  The fact that I made a mock up at all is more authentic than usual for me.

Hours to complete: 6

First worn: not yet

Total cost: $0 all stash.

I can be such a smart a**

Another (much more well known) costume blogger asked the question “has Gone With the Wind inspired you.  Well, off course it has.  Who can look at those dresses and not want them.  But, the smart a** in me just can’t say that.  I have to say yes and post this photo:carol-burnetts-gone-with-the-wind-curtain-dress-21360861

I’m sorry.  It is the first thing I think of when I think of copying a GWTW dress.  That skit just kills me!

In reality, the gown Carol Burnett is spoofing is actually quiet lovely and fun and worthy of a good copy attempt!GWTW7