Sewing in the dungeon: round 2

I have made some more progress on the bolero.  My first session (Saturday) got me this far.IMG_20160416_170523409

And Sunday I made some headway on assembling the trim (it is a combination of 3 elements) and creating the “lapel” that is in my inspiration.  I also got the sleevils assembled with only one glitch (I made two right sleeves with the lining-doh!) and trimmed one and attached it.IMG_20160417_161044452a

Just for fun, I took “Paint” and doctored the photograph to show where I will add more of the trim.IMG_20160417_161044452

I wish the ribbon that I wove into the lace showed up better.  Hmmm.  Am I over thinking things again?

FYI: I asked the Facebook Historical Sew Fortnightly members their opinion on whether this pattern would work sleeveless.  Consensus is yes based on this picture.13047957_1085913514803791_6468210391760382875_o

The face in the above drawing is a very young one but I’m hoping that I could make a sleeveless one and not be a mutton dressed as a lamb.  Youth fashions looked a lot like adult fashion with shorter skirts and lighter colors, right?

I also found another inspiration fashion plate.  I need a contrasting skirt….petersons1865aug244x450…as well as a matching one.tv242colorfin

Progress Report-sewing in the dungeon

My son moved back home (yeah!) but I lost my sewing room (boo).  I did not wish to go back to the days where all my stuff was scattered all through the house and sewing days meant no family meals because my table was occupied.  So I cleared some crap out of the laundry room and set up head quarters there.  Today was the inaugural launching of sewing in the dungeon and it went well.  I have been working on TV444 which is a Spanish Jacket.  The inspiration is the black dress on the left.tv242colorfin

Since my version will be in red, it is obvious that the goal is “general impression”.IMG_20160416_170523409

Bodice and sleeves are assembled as well as the lining.  I’ve stopped here to consider how I will trim this because there is a good possibility that trimming will be easier at this stage.  I’m also considering relaxing those darts a bit.  The added bulk of the shirt seems to be making, what should be a loose item, seem a bit snug.  But it may not be needed as I am squishier than Trudy.  Lets just say there is more “give” in the strategic spots.

As a quick side note, I am thrilled at the latest addition to my Home Pastures dishware set.  It has been ages since I found a piece at a decent price!IMG_20160415_054559738




Progress: latest project

I’ve been working on a knitting project.  I had tons of wool (unfortunately a blend but believable to the lay person) given to me that I thought would make a good version of this.image

The pattern suggests white and red.  I’m assuming that a Victorian woman would chose other colors based on taste and availability so mine is yellow and brown.img_20160320_190650399.jpg

It is working up well.  Trouble is, as I’m working it up, I’m realizing that it uses way more wool than I thought it would so I may have to start making the brown stripes wider and the yellow narrower.  The pattern does make the yellow narrower, but I don’t think it is going to do this fast enough to prevent me from running out of the yellow.  But, I’m going to go with the idea that Victorian women would make this adaption if they were running out of wool too! Hopefully, the change wont look cockeyed and drive my OCD into high gear.

HSF 16: pleats

The Challenge: #2 pleats.

The sleeve cuffs were to be gathered according to the instructions but I used pleats.  I gathered the top of the sleeves.  The bottom hem could be gathered into a waist band but I went with the loose tuck in version (just a straight hem.)IMG_20160228_175355360

Material: cotton blend

Pattern: Truly Victorian TV441 1861 Garibaldi BlouseIMG_20160228_175306356

Year: 1861

Notions: buttons, trimIMG_20160228_175348353

How historically accurate is it?  The pattern is correct.  The fabric is a poly/cotton blend.  The trim is, at best, a blend but I am fairly sure the lace part is totally poly.  The buttons are plastic which is incorrect from my quick research. It is machine sewn, which is plausible but the button holes would have been done by hand not machine.  I believe the colors are plausible.  I’d give it about 60%.

Hours to complete: About 10

First worn: Not until this summer some time.

Total cost: The trim was given to me, the buttons were well under a dollar. The fabric was on sale and came to under $10.

This is the first piece for my 1861 Señora dress.


Confirmed: my job does get in the way of my “art”

In between catching up on the laundry and grocery shopping, I have been spending the remainder of my vacation in the sewing room.  I have completed the 1872 Lilac Dreams bodice!  Yeah me!

Truly Victorian 1872 Vested Bodice TV403

Truly Victorian 1872 Vested Bodice TV403

The white part has little white buttons running up it that the glare washes out but I was making myself crazy trying to get the fabric to not look blue and didn’t notice I had washed out the white part.  Me thinks I need a better camera.


I think I may need to tack that bow down a bit more.  It seems to be sitting a bit cockeyed.


That is how it is supposed to sit.

In addition to finishing the bodice, I have cut out and sewn two skirts a la assembly line style.  There is a purple skirt to go with this bodice and a blue one for another project.  I’m at the hand sewing stage now.  They both might get some trim but I’m going to wait and see how they look with their bodice and over skirt first.  They might not need anything…especially the purple as the pattern it pretty wild on its own.


HSF 14: Challenge #15 the Great Outdoors

During this time of troubles I am in, I do find that knitting (and watching hours and hours of movies) has been soothing…takes my mind off of it all….which worked out wonderfully for the last Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge.  It is a bit of a challenge to imagine any scenario where I’ll be wearing this thing as it is summer and I may be starting hot flashes!  I break out in a sweat just looking at it!


What the item is: sontag

The Challenge: The great outdoors

Fabric: n/a

Pattern: Godey’s 1860 which was up sized and dated by this blogger.

Being more fluffy than the blogger, I had to do some guess work to up size it even more. I think I may have gone to far. It seems a bit baggy.

Year: 1860

Notions: 1 button about 600 yards of blue and 100 of white.

How historically accurate is it? Wool is acrylic but pattern and tecnique is correct. It would have been hand made by the lady wearing it or giving it as a gift. Plausible that all types of ladies could have worn it…working class to upper class. I guess an upper class lady would have worn it puttering in her yard on a cool day. So about 80%

Hours to complete: @40

First worn:not yet

Total cost: $30 in wool. Pattern free and I had the needles for years.

If I can get myself going…

My next project is to be a mantle for my 1870’s gown.

I think this might be my favorite photo of myself in this photo shoot.

I didn’t need a mantle for this shoot.  I was a tad hot as it was.

And I plan on using TV501 from Truly Victorian and some leftover material from the dress.

Ideally, I’d like to make it reversible so that sometimes it can match the purple and sometimes the green.  That is all dependant on if I can get it to do that without destroying any resemblance to accuracy (I haven’t actually read the pattern yet to see if it is possible or done the research to see if it is plausible) and if I have enough of the fabric left over to pull it off.

But, the real challenge is getting my butt into gear.  Maybe if there was some inspiration….

Nope, not yet.  Sigh.  Oh, for a few days with nothing else to do and tons of energy and drive!

Prancing in the Purple Polonaise

Shirley and I went out today and had a little photo shoot.  We both had new dresses that needed to see the light of day.  We went to the Conservatory in the park.  Victorians loved the hot house conservatories!  Today I will share my ensemble and tomorrow I will share Shirley’s!

Posing in the petunias in a Purple Polonaise

Posing in the petunias in a Purple Polonaise

How about a side view.

I think this might be my favorite photo of myself in this photo shoot.

I think this might be my favorite photo of myself in this photo shoot.

Back view.  I like the bows and bobbles on the back of this thing.  I think I look better going that coming!

If you ignore my scoliosis, this is a pretty good shot too!

If you ignore my scoliosis, this is a pretty good shot!

And now for the hat…Lots of grapes and roses!

This shot was taken in the conservatory, next to the fish pond.  It was sweltering hot in there!

This shot was taken in the conservatory, next to the fish pond. It was sweltering hot in there!

Thanks for viewing!  See you tomorrow!