Goin’ out Edwardian style

I had my first event in Edwardian Fashions.  I finished the Trumpet Skirt I was working on and paired it with my shirtwaist made from a table cloth and wore it to the Urban Gallery display at the Museum of Man and Nature.  Lottie was also in Edwardian fashions and Shirley came in modern clothes and played “photographer”.  Here are some of the highlights…


You can almost see the authentic Edwardian belt buckle in this photo.  You can’t see the pin stripes in the skirt at all!


In a lot of my photos, my shirtwaist was riding up under my left arm and my hat had slipped WAAAAY back.  Sigh.  And I looked in the mirror before we started!


The dummy behind the counter had a similar shirtwaist on as the dummy in front of the counter!


Lookin’ for the laudanum and found the laxatives instead.


Lottie’s hat is the best! She took apart 3 hats to make this baby!


Time to play the harlot!

Then it was time to go home and play with the photographs.



Weekend joy

This past weekend is how I envision my dream life.  My retired life?  It was fun and productivity in things I enjoy doing.

I had visits with my two children…always a plus for me!

I had a costume event with Shirley.  We went to Dalnavert Museum where they hosted a Dracula theme exploration of the house.  I don’t have pictures because the house was darkened and photographs were not permitted (because it would ruin the experience of the others at the event) but I did get one of us at the coat check/bar.


Shirley went 1890’s which suits the house and I went 1880’s because the color suited the Dracula theme.


Sunday, I bought new fabric because the fabric I planned to use for my next project was insufficient.  Love excuses to amass more stuff for my hoard. And unusually, this time I am starting a new project because I finished one.  I have a corset cover now.  I had to adapt a pattern that I borrowed from Shirley as it simply would not contain the girls.


I am pleased with the result.  My mannequin, Trudy, is wearing a blood red corset and you can not see it.

I really needed the corset cover because of my Edwardian shirtwaist.  To much skin would show…even by modern standards!  And the cover does the trick.


All in all, a productive and fun weekend!

PS I did not kill my dog.  I was training my son on how to give her insulin and was so busy talking I could not remember actually measuring, checking and rechecking that I had the right amount in the needle.  Tense night as I worried that I had over dosed her!  Turns out I did fine.  I just didn’t remember doing it!

When the urge gets stifled

I felt like sewing this pass weekend.  And now my sewing room is functional.  Not done yet, but functional.  I’ve had a corset cover cut out for ages and I thought “here is a quick project that I can use to fan the flames of my sewing urge.”  It is like a curse thinking that.  I got the whole thing assembled and was ready for the finishing the edges when I did a fitting.

Dang thing was way to small!  I had to redo all the darts and part of the side seams.  Only thing I didn’t have to alter was the shoulder seams!  Even those I’m thinking about.  If I let them out a bit I will have a bit more room in the pits.  I decided to set it aside and look at it again next weekend.

Here it is so far.IMG_20171003_075551700

I decided to get going on that cover when I made my Edwardian shirtwaist.


In the above photo there is a chemise under the shirtwaist.  The chemise hides the corset.  (Yes, my dress form wears a corset.  I put the dress form down to a smaller than me size and put a corset on it that fits me.  I laced it as tight as I wear it and then stuffed the loose parts.)  The corset showed very plainly through the Edwardian shirtwaist.

The new corset cover will have even better coverage than my poor chemise-especially in the cleavage area!  Much more suited to my mature age.


HSF 2017 Challenge 2 Remake Reuse Refashion

February’s challenge is done.  It is two months late but worth it!

The Challenge: 2 Remake Reuse Refashion

Material: Battenberg lace table cloth


Pattern: TVE41  Plain Blousewaist


Year: 1903

Notions: Bias tape, buttons, hooks and eyes


How historically accurate is it? The pattern is good (thank you Truly Victorian for your dedicated work).  Linen was used as was Battenberg lace (though the lace was added after the shirt was assembled).  It is a vintage or older table cloth so the weave might be more accurate than a modern linen, but I am only guessing.  The color is good.  My buttons are plastic which is not ideal-possible but not common.  It is intended for day wear for my persona (upper middle class middle aged woman).  I think the silhouette is good.  Biggest problem is the corset-not the shirt itself. I give it about 85%.


Hours to complete:  Not bad, once I got going.  I’d say about 30.

First worn: Not yet

Total cost: $15 for the table cloth, $5 for the buttons.

I’ve juggled around my projects and gave myself an easy one to work on next weekend.  That should get April’s challenge off my dance card.  Stay tuned.


Doing well on my sewing goal for the weekend

I love it when a plan comes together.  I worked on my Edwardian tablecloth shirt most of Saturday afternoon.  The sewing saints were smiling on me and the sleeves went in with not one stitch needing to be undone!IMG_20170422_204724

I am very pleased with how well they are hanging!IMG_20170422_162614201

The collar looks pretty good I think.  I do wonder how it will fare with my double chin.  Even starched to cardboard consistency, it may succumb to the pressure.


I pinned up the back to see how it looks.  The pattern matching went well.


It seems a bit on the snug side. There will be gapes.  Hmmm.


I think I will put buttons every inch rather than every 2 inches like the pattern suggests.  That may help.  If not, I will put some hooks in between.  Hubby with his clumsy man hands will love helping me with that!

The buttons, button holes and optional hooks are all that is left.  I have it in my mind that I want little pearl buttons.  The stash doesn’t have those.  I may have to do some Sunday shopping to get some.  The button holes have to wait until I know the size of the buttons or those would be done by now as well.

I made myself “work” this Easter weekend

I’ve been dragging my behind on all my projects.  Last month’s HSF project is late.  The previous month was late.  This month’s will be too.  I think next year, I will create my own UFO project challenge and skip HSF-it isn’t inspiring me to get crap done any more. Perhaps it is because, with a huge wardrobe of costumes, I now no longer NEED to get things done or face costume events in the same dress.  I have something for everything.  Or may be I will create a challenge where the goal is to finish a really elaborate dress in stages (eg do beetle wing embroidery on the left sleeve in May, the right in June.)

Anyway, this past Easter weekend, I tore myself away from my latest binge of the Sims game and got some work done on my table cloth becomes shirtwaist project.

I got the skirt part attached.  It is the part that gets tucked into the real skirt.  I didn’t have enough table cloth for that so I just used a cotton broad cloth.  It shouldn’t be visible so it doesn’t matter.IMG_20170417_150214785

The next step was to finish the opening on the back.  This involved an extra step or two as the lace created huge sections where there would be nothing to attach buttons and button holes.IMG_20170417_142604760

The pattern piece for the back has lines that show you where the folding under is to be done to create the strong finished edge.  I made a pattern piece the same length and width of these lines and used it to cut out long rectangle strips from the table cloth. I sewed those onto the wrong side of each back piece.


Wrong side of back piece.


Correct side of back piece.

Basically, what I did was flat line the portion that needs to be folded over. Then I continued as instructed.  Once all the folding and sewing was done, the lining and frayed cut lace is hidden and there is enough strong material to support buttons and button holes.


This is the wrong side of the back piece all tidied up and strengthened.

Next step was to get the collar attached.IMG_20170417_155225064_HDR

It will have optional collar attachments but is pretty enough to stand alone.

I also got the sleeves sewn and reinforced and the cuffs made.  Next step is figure out which sleeve and which cuff is left and right then attach the cuffs and the sleeves to the correct spot (hopefully only doing that once per sleeve).  Then I need to make the optional collar, hand stitch the inner seams of the collar and cuffs down, make the button holes and sew on the buttons.  If the sleeves don’t get me, I could have it done next weekend.  (Fingers crossed).

The project Cha Cha

You know how projects can be: two steps forward, two steps back and a little side step or two.

The steps foreword happened with my Edwardian blousewaist.  I have sewn the main seams on the body.  img_20170319_202657443.jpgI like the way the embroidery and lace look but I’m definitely going to have to get a corset cover organized with this thing (and a proper Edwardian corset)!

My idea for dealing with the lace at the seams (bias tape) seems to be working.img_20170319_202636265.jpg

That lace isn’t going anywhere!

Two steps back: that happened with my knitted undersleeves.  I’m going to have to take them apart.  They are just going to be too tight.  I don’t know how tight they are supposed to be but I’m pretty sure they weren’t going for compression garments or arm corsets.  I had hoped that I could just follow the instructions and count on heavier wool and bigger needles to make up the difference but it wont.  Drat that means I will have to do some math to figure out how many rows and stitches I need.  Since I was starting from scratch, I thought I may as well buy a second color and see how it is supposed to look with the stripes.

And the side steps: I made an impulse stop at a thrift store and picked up some wooden knitting needles (like I need more) and this fabulous strip of sari fabric.  img_20170319_202724856.jpg

Oooh.  Shiney!

Obviously I can’t use this for Victorian wear.  And it is a bit much for modern work wear.  I’m thinking an over the top beach wrap.img_20170319_202948509.jpg

Well, have a good week folks.  Hopefully, I will be disciplined and be back in a couple of days with some progress to share.