Monday, October 19, 2015


I'm being a bad blogger...but I'm vain and like to post pictures of things I'm making that look like something! And I've been bouncing around between Gettysburg projects like a hopped-up flea. But lately I've been talking up my blog to some new people I've met ("oh, yes, I have a blog..." *tries to look important*) so I probably should update it at least once this month, eh?

First off, I'd like to say hello to all the lovely people I met yesterday at Fort Mercer. *waves* Another Amanda wandered across this blog and realized, hey, we're practically neighbors, we should meet up at this event! Her regiment was quite friendly (and only thought I was a little weird for dressing up on my own and going as a member of the public, haha)...I think I'll be seeing more of them! :)

And had an open house at the Indian King Tavern on Saturday - so I had a very 18thc weekend! I didn't get any pictures, as they were just rewears; cream jacket and red petti Saturday, and red wool gown and red petti Sunday. I found a new appreciation for that dress on Sunday...I haven't worn it in while, and I forgot just how nice and warm it is! I brought my cloak but left it in the car...with the temps in the low 50s, I was quite happy with my mitts. (Okay, this has been your PSA for warm woolen gowns; carry on.)

So, sewing? First, a very fuzzy-wuzzy 1860s winter hood for the shop. Pink and fuzzy!
This is the unprofessional version...I didn't list it in the shop like this, haha.
Also a silk organza apron, but that's not nearly as fun as the fuzzy hood, imo. And two laces...but I didn't make those! Just acquired more of them than I need!

Done attempting to (badly) pimp out the shop; what did I sew for me? Wellllll...

- I mocked up, cut out, and sewed together the basic pieces for my ballgown bodice. Stalled out on the eyelets for the back lacing, because ugh, so many eyelets. It's made of silvery-cream silk satin, and will be trimmed in lace if I ever get around to buying the rest of the ten miles of lace I need for it!
Plz note all the basting stitches I was meticulous enough to put in. This is out of the ordinary for me...
- I then got completely derailed by the idea of making slippers. I had thought about it, but I really wasn't going to...then I came across The Pragmatic Costumer's tutorial about making 1850s slippers, and I thought...well that doesn't seem that hard! I had all the materials on hand, so I decided to make two pairs: one for wearing in the cabin, and ball slippers.
Prepping for the mockups...
I got most of the uppers sewn together during one sewing day, and finished the cabin slippers in a couple days' work after that, and then decided to take a break to rest my hands. These would be a much quicker project if you decided to machine sew them...but I didn't.
The house slippers are vicose gold and red damask (not documentable in my very limited research. Berlin work was madly popular for house slippers, but I wasn't going to try to do that in time for Gettysburg! "Fancy" and "in the scrap bin" were my criteria for this particular pair!), and the ball slippers are red silk satin leftover from my 18-teens bonnet. Both are interlined with cotton duck canvas, and lined in cotton and linen, respectively. The house slippers also have a layer of wool batting in the backs - the fronts of the uppers are lined in rabbit fur.

I also put the fur around the tops - these are very nice and snuggly slippers! It was a small pelt and I only had one of this color, so some of the joins don't lay nicely - but they're house slippers, I'm not too fussed.
The soles are a fairly thin leather I had just laying around (as you do), and these slippers have a layer of wool batting in between the sole and cotton-covered cardboard insole that I pasted in to cover the seam.

I haven't bought any books on shoemaking (YET), so I won't pretend to you that any of this is period; I just did what seemed practical. The slippers of the time were notoriously flimsy anyway, so as long as they survive the Gettysburg weekend, I'll be satisfied!

- I also have a day dress in progress, that I can't remember if I mentioned? Seafoam green flannel with fuchsia twill trim.
Bodice pieces cut out
The sleeves are ready to be put on, but I'm not sure I'm 100% sold on them, so I moved on to the skirt, haha. Avoidance tactics!
This took ALL DAY to do, and I sewed my finger in the bargain. With the machine. Owie.
The hem cutouts will have a fuchsia flounce peeking out from behind them...which I was going to tack right onto the skirt, but have to make a separate underskirt, in point of fact. You could see the stitches on the outside very well and they looked terrible. Underskirt it is! The flounce is half sewn on to that, as of now.

And I have dubbed it "the marquee dress"...because that hem totally looks like the edge of a tent marquee, and yes, I realized that before I cut it out. It amuses me, because there's enough fabric in this skirt to make a tent anyway!