Saturday, December 27, 2014

Ball and Battle of Trenton

And a finished stripey dress! Sort of finished, anyway. I knew I wouldn't have time to do all the trimmings I want on it before the first wearing, but that's all right. Still a lot of fun to wear!

Yesterday I and a few friends went to a Colonial Ball in Trenton, and today to the Battle of Trenton reenactment. We were very lucky to have (relatively) warm, sunny weather for the battle! I don't need any more middling-class wear (at the moment...) so today's outfit was a rewear, but I did get a bee in my bonnet to make a new anglaise out of my $4/yd silk taffeta!

You see, I have plenty of middling-class things, and my 1780s dresses, and my pink sack gown, but nothing to dance in, you know? Not that I did a terrible lot of dancing (I'm very bad at it), but it's the principle of the thing. And I wanted something short enough to keep clear of my shoes...

Monday, December 22, 2014

Another stripey dress

Just a very quick quickie post to say I'm working on a new dress for the event I'm going to the day after Christmas. There's a Colonial Ball in Trenton, NJ, and as it's cheap I kind of couldn't resist. I am always of the opinion we don't do enough 18thc stuff!

The Battle of Trenton reenactment is the day after, and I'm going to that too, but don't need anything new for it (since I did just make that wool jacket for the last 18thc thing I went to...).

I'm further along than this pic, but it gives you an idea of where I'm going! And the fabric.
Don't know that I'll have time to do all the trimming I'd like, but I'm happy with "wearable"! My pink sack gown is my backup so this is a nice stress-free project. So far, haha.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Candy stripe plaid dress

I went to Pennypacker Mills with two friends last night for their Victorian Christmas tour; PPM is an 18thc house that was added on to and remodeled in 1901(ish?), and they did a great job of decorating for the season. Everything was lit by oil lamps, and they had Santa, a bell choir, and a candymaking demonstration in the kitchen. And free hot cider after the tour!

None of us have any late Victorian or Edwardian winter-wear, but we've all got 1860s, which always seems very Christmassy to me. Most of the tour was too dark for my poor old camera so I didn't bother taking it out the whole least til we got to Taco Bell afterward! That was well lit, haha. But we made sure to get pics of my new dress while it was still light.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

1860s and an 18thc bed gown

I'm having an event-y sort of weekend this upcoming Saturday and Sunday, but I went on an impromptu window-shopping/historical society visit in an adorable little historic neighboring town today, with Robin. Of course we had to dress! Just my old grey dress, but we bundled up and felt very festive. People thought the town hired us. Quite funny.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Quick update

I'm in retail, so today and tomorrow will be madly busy for me (at least I wasn't on the opening shift, eh what), but I haven't posted here in a bit so I thought I'd do so today!

I have been sewing; after the Pumpkin Tea I decided I needed a new dress for a little Victorian Christmas event at a local historic house. Totally needed. I had some plaid silk taffeta from Jen Thompson in the stash, which I think is shaping up to be a very nice 1860s dress. That'll be worn the weekend of Dec. 13-14, but I'll take a couple pics when I finish it, which should be well before that!

This week, I also made a cute-ugly print 1960s shift dress for Thanksgiving...which turned out to not fit over my butt, so no photos of that.

And I just bought some imperfect Renoirs from American Duchess' sale! You're welcome.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Pumpkin Tea 2014

A friend in Virginia hosts the Regency-themed Pumpkin Tea around this time every year, and this year I was able to make it, along with some of my local peeps, which made for an entertaining (if very full!) car ride down. The order of the day is eating and socializing, and believe me, there was plenty of both! I must mention that the pumpkin soup was especially amazing.
The lot of us, from In the Long Run

Monday, November 10, 2014

Making an 18thc jacket

So...I love my cranberry wool gown, but I've been wearing it for upwards of three years as my only cool-weather 18thc, and I have become a Little Bit Tired of it. I only had a week to make something after Halloween at the Met, but I thought I could make a simple wool jacket in that time.

(Spoilers: I could!)

And since occasionally fellow costumers ask how I make things, I thought I'd make this into a "This is how I sew" project. Usually I'm pretty bad about documenting the sewing process.

(And if that's boring to you, you may skip to the end and the event pictures!)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

I went up to the Death Becomes Her gallery exhibit with a few friends, we met up with some more of our costumer friends, and had a really good time! There was only one lady in historic costume that I didn't know (at least as a friend of a friend), which either means I know a lot of awesome costumers (which is true), or that there were way more gothy-steampunky outfits than historic (which is also true). It was fun to see so many people dressed up at the Met though, and lots of them thought we were super-awesome...which is always very flattering!

Plus, I was on CBS news! Just very briefly (they took a couple-second clip from when I was modeling for the drawing session), but, still yay! Link to CBS's video here...and yes, Leia totally is a fashionista in every era, hehe!

I wasn't terribly concerned with getting pictures of my dress, partly because I'm not thrilled with it, and partly because the lighting in a museum is not great for getting photos of a black dress! There are a couple on my own camera, and then a friend got a shot of some of us modeling for the drawing class, but that's it. If more turn up I'll post them too; I'm sure there are lots of the general group floating around!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mourning gown bodice

This past week I've managed to finish the bodice of the 1816 mourning gown, apart from the one line of trim that goes under the bust, which will wait til after I put the skirt on.

They're not great pictures, since I took them tonight, and indoors with an all-black dress doesn't work very well...but here's what it looks like so far.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Another update!

But no pictures. Sorry, boring.

Our planned Ren Faire outing was yesterday, but the weather was absolute rubbish (rained all day), so everyone decided against going. There wasn't another date we could all attend, so in a way I'm glad I didn't finish K Parr! Not that I'd have worn her to a mud-filled faire either way. Fabric's too expensive for that.

I've ordered my black fabric for the mourning dress, have a pair of 1770s stays in progress as well as a 1770s shift, and made a wool twill under-petticoat to wear with my 18thc stuff. It's purple and pink and very cozy. (The petticoat was yesterday at a surprisingly productive sewing day.)

Oh, right, I did make a black reticule to use with my mourning dress, and took a picture of that. Hooray picture!
It has dodgy tassels. And I apparently sewed the whole thing with navy thread without noticing til the very end, oops.

Friday, October 3, 2014


I guess it's time to do an updatey sort of thing here, no? Poor neglected blog.

And I'll have to confess that I'm not going to be able to finish Katherine Parr in time for the ren faire. She keeps throwing all these little snarls in the works, and while none of them are omg huge disaster, I can't work them out by the 11th. Even if I drove myself crazy (and took a week off work!) I don't think I could finish in time. I want this to be my best effort, not corner-cutting because I'm fed up with it.

But you'll see her again, promise! After Christmas at the very latest, as I've made some more costumey plans...which I've got to tell you are such a relief. (Which is how I know I'm correct to put this project on hiatus.)

A quick rundown: I'm going to the Met's Death Becomes Her exhibit for their Halloween event, and am planning on a c1816 evening dress. I got the bodice and sleeves all mocked up and fitted the other day, but have to wait to order the overlay fabric til next paycheck.

Planning on going to Fort Mifflin's Siege Day in early November (Rev War), and while I love my cranberry-red wool gown still, it's 3 years old and I'm SO tired of it! It's my only cold-weather it's time for a new one. I'll probably make a jacket out of fabric I already have...or I may be very bad and buy some fabric for a new gown. We'll see.

And then there are tentative plans to attend a Colonial Ball in Trenton the weekend after Christmas, and go to the 350th Battle of Trenton reenactment the next day. Cold-weather plain clothes are taken care of (though I kind of want new bits and bobs like a new cap and under-petticoat), and I technically have a fancy dress, the pink sack...but I also have some new striped silk laying around, and I'd really prefer an English-style gown at a ball.

And to that end...I started making new 1770s stays this week. My current stays are the Corsets & Crinolines 1780s pair, and while I love them still, I've been wanting a pair with a lower waist for a while.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Laurel Hill Concert

And posting those cocktail party pictures reminds me that I never posted about going to Laurel Hill in costume in July. WHOOPS.

(I was waiting for someone to send copies of some really nice shots she got of me, and then she never did, and I just forgot about the whole thing.)

Laurel Hill has a series of concerts every summer, and I occasionally go to one with my mother and grandmother. Of course I have to dress for them! This one was the Wister Quartet, at the end of July. Most excellent music, and such a wonderful setting for these intimate little performances.

(A spider definitely did crawl up my skirts and bite me on the thigh [scandalous!]...but, you know, I figure it's all part of the historical experience? To be fair to it, I felt it tickling and tried to swat it, and then it bit me, so I don't really blame it.)

I wore a new-to-me dress, and got to have the utter satisfaction of replying, "No, I didn't make it!" to people's queries all night! I bought it from Samantha of The Couture Courtesan; I have the great good fortune of being very close to her size, and actually had a bit of cash left from my tax return when she sold off a few dresses this spring. I've never been wildly thrilled with my green Regency evening dress, so this was a perfect way to get a new one without having to make it!

And it's all hand sewn. Let me tell you, I got a good deal! I haven't had an opportunity to wear it since the Laurel Hill concert, so I'm glad I got pics. Enough chattering! Pictures!
I didn't get a good shot of it, but the necklace was a birthday present from my friend Isabella, and it went perfectly with the dress! Thank you! :)

Downton Abbey Cocktail Party

Last night was the DA cocktail party at Laurel Hill, in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. The Women for Greater Philadelphia, who own the house, put it on, and were absolutely tickled to see us. It was optional to wear period costume, but of course we heard about it and decided it was a perfect opportunity to dress up!

Typically, I got next to no pictures, but I defend myself that it's hard to hold a drink, a purse, a plate of tiny cakes, and wrangle a camera all at once, while wearing gloves! I made sure to get a couple of my new dress, anyway.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Belvidere 2014

Hooray, an actual event! A few of us managed to get up to Belvidere's Victorian weekend today - it's a cute little Victorian town in North Jersey that has this weekend every September. They've got lots of oldey-timey stuff, food, and vendors. Afterwards, a carload of us drove out to Fabricland on a tip from a friend, that there were $5/yd silks. Between that and the silks from Belvidere...we were pretty well packed in!

Unfortunately I remembered to snag a passer-by to snap a picture of us only after the group had split up, but I did get a couple of the four of us.

And I met a reader of my blog, who came up and introduced herself. Congratulations, you're my first "I think I read your blog..." meeting! :D Lovely to meet you, and I'm trying to get a group of us together to visit Allaire during the Christmas season! (I'm not too scary in person, and I love meeting People From The Internet, so if you ever see me at an event, come up and say hi!)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Some mid-century (modern) dresses

Back from our Not-So-Grand Tour of New England! We drove up Monday and stayed outside of Boston for two nights, then down to Plymouth on Wednesday, Providence Thursday, and drove home Friday, stopping in Sleepy Hollow/Tarrytown on the way. The only time I'd been up to New England was a school trip to Boston about ten years ago, so I was excited to go back. So much Historical Stuff (I planned a lot of our itinerary; can you tell?), and the scenery is just beautiful. My mom agreed with me, Lil' Sis...maybe not so much.

Don't worry, this isn't where I inflict all my touristy pictures on you, just my What I Wore. Since I spent most of the previous week working on some new dresses, I thought I might as well get snaps of them too.

First off is a cheater. I didn't make it, it's vintage. (I had one more dress in the works, but ended up putting it aside in favor of Katherine Parr. Right, that's a thing I'm doing...) It's just a cheap little house dress, but it's very comfy, and is synthetic so doesn't wrinkle. A good thing for what ended up as eight hours in the car! I keep meaning to take a pattern from it. Uh...someday?
Outside our hotel in Quincy. Charming view of the rail bridge.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Sewing Sunday (oops, it's Monday)

Just a quick update, then I'm off with the family for our (Not-So-)Grand Tour of New England! We'll be back Friday evening so you won't even miss me here. Since the vast majority of sewing this week has been modern dresses for said Tour, I'll post about those when I get home.

I did also finish sewing spangles on Katherine Parr's forepart, though. That's something!
They're little tiny 2.5mm spangles, so they don't look like much on camera. I promise they're very nice in person!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Progress (?) Report

I got kind of sidetracked from K Parr this week. I'm going on a Family Vacation next week, and wanted to make a new dress or two for it. (Look, I work in a job where I have to wear ugly sneakers and ugly polos, so I like to dress up when I'm not at work.) I successfully finished a novelty print 1960 skirt, and am close to finishing a Hawaiian print late-50s dress...but got stuck on the piping tonight. I always forget how much I dislike piping.

But I finished the eyelets in the kirtle bodice and tried it on (yay), to discover it's not quite snug enough (no yay), and cut all the panels for the kirtle skirts and their linings.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Progress Report

First off, this week I finished the French hood as much as I can without pearls and bling. I confess to not loving the upper billiment's gold trim, but it has to stay until I can find something nicer, which I rather doubt I will. Non-cheesy gold trim (of the right shape for this, no less) is really hard to find!

Awesome bathroom mirror shots.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sewing this week: More K Parr

This week I decided to keep on with the coif-making I started last week, and so mostly worked on the French hood. Though I did take a day in there to sew the kirtle bodice - half the front is now boned, and I stitched together the back piece.

As of today I've finished the paste, which is the colored bit of the French hood. Here's how it looks on my unimpressive styrofoam head:
It doesn't have the braids across the crown of the head that I'll wear with it; that's what gives it stability and just a little bit of height. (Not a great big crescent plopped on top of the head!)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

This week in sewing

More Katherine Parr! Finished farthingale, started boning the kirtle bodice, and started work on the foundation layer of the French hood.

I may have to add more fluff to the bumpad later; have to see how much the weight of the skirts affects it.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Your weekly sewing report

Figured I ought to try and get back into my weekly updates here, even if they aren't much - just so I don't have to write out any more long posts like last week's!

I didn't do a lot of sewing this week - I took a day off Katherine Parr for an attempt at making a 1950s bra top (Simplicity 1426, view C). I say "attempt" because I got it to a try-on-able point (i.e. mostly finished) and discovered it didn't fit in the least! That particular pattern variation is not small-bust-friendly. I could pick it apart and fix it, but I wanted it for a quick and easy project that I  could wear to a party this past weekend. So much for that!

As for K Parr, I got my forepart/lower sleeve fabric in the mail, which is the last big thing I needed for this project (except for, um, the jewelry), and so of course I had to lay all my fabrics out to see how they'll look.
Red & gold silk damask for the forepart, taupe silk damask for the gown, and white fur for the sleeve turnbacks!

And last night I finished sewing the reed into the farthingale casings, which means I just have to figure out the little pad to keep it from swinging forward, and it'll be done!
Here it is flat, for your preview...

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sewing day - Katherine Parr

Long time, no update! I did warn you...

Recap as to what I'm working on: a group of friends and I decided to attend our local Renaissance Faire this fall as the Six Wives of Henry VIII. Tudor England was one of my first loves in history, even before I started costuming, so of course I jumped right in! Between my affinity for the period, and the fact that I haven't done a Big Project in a while...I decided to make this a Big Project! Entirely hand-sewn, and accurate as I, personally, have the time/money/materials/knowledge to make it.

Katherine Parr is one of the more well-represented wives in terms of surviving portraiture - I had three I was considering, but after a preliminary materials search, I chose the well-known one in the National Portrait Gallery.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Victorian Party

Tardy post again! It's a rewear so I didn't bother getting my own pictures, just concentrated on enjoying myself!

Saturday I attended Madame Modiste's Victorian party; we had absolutely perfect weather - not too hot, partly cloudy, with a breeze. Eating snackies and chatting with well-dressed friends all afternoon, what's not to love? (Besides the closing of lanes on the bridge I take to get there, so it took almost twice as long to get there!) Plus Kat and her husband were celebrating their ten-year anniversary by renewing their vows, and they decided to share the ceremony with all of us!

I originally planned to finish the long-neglected natural form cotton dress, but after the last-minute spencer sewing two weeks ago, I decided I didn't want to be doing any of that this time, and that I have a perfectly garden-party-appropriate 1860s dress in my closet anyway.

I did still have to put fastenings on, so I took it out on Thursday to do so - and was glad I did, because the right undersleeve had frayed right through its seam(a flat-felled seam, no less!), and there was a 2" hole. The sleeves were too tight to allow me to sew another seam, so replacing them it was. And it had to be both sleeves, since I didn't have any more of that particular fabric! Annoying, and now the undersleeves don't match the neck yoke, but whatcha gonna do?
A couple more photos from other people (mostly In the Long Run, as usual) after the jump!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sewing Sunday: All over the place

Not having a looming deadline has allowed me to indulge myself this past week; I have a tendency to jump around from project to project, and that's been in full swing!

I'm making good progress on J's Regency bonnet (well, alright, that could count as a looming deadline - this coming Saturday), I started Katherine Parr's smock, and I dragged out an ancient UFO. Said UFO is a 1798-1800 neoclassical gown that I started Before the Automobile's robe a l'Athenienne from this spring inspired me to want to finish it, but I've just had time to think about it this week. Thankfully it only had the bodice sewn together, because I want to go in a slightly different direction than originally intended...which means the bodice has to come apart again. Well, the bodice is pretty small, so that's not much of a problem!

I mocked up, cut out, and started sewing the petticoat bodice yesterday - like Merja, I'll forgo shift and stays for this gown, so I needed a petticoat bodice that would let the bust sit at a more natural line. My short stays definitely do not qualify for that, so mockups it was.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Riversdale House & Picnic

(Yet again I'm shamefully late at post-event updating! I completely forgot my camera this time, so I didn't have any photos of my own. Excuses...)

On Sunday I joined a group of friends at the Riversdale House museum in Maryland for a picnic, house tour, and general lounging on the lawns! We had beautiful weather for it, and a nice turn-out. I wore my "Lizzie Bennet" dress, and made a new bonnet and lightweight spencer to go with it. The bonnet came out nicely (except that my hair's poking the back out in the weirdest manner in pictures. I suspect an errant bobby pin), and the spencer's fine except for the completely unacceptable woobly collar. I put it on during the car ride down, and, well, it looks like it! Oh well.

(Pictures from In the Long Run and Isabella)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sewing Sunday

Hey, I'm remembering to update promptly; go, me! No pictures though, so it's a boring update.

Currently I'm knee-deep in the early Sunday there's a group of us taking a trip to Riversdale House in Maryland, and since it was built in the early years of the century, naturally we're dressing Regency. As you might know, I've got quite a sufficiency of warm-weather Regency dresses...but I want something new! As usual. To that effect, I've got a light blue, lightweight linen spencer half-finished, and silk in the mail for a new, simple bonnet.

And I'm still poking away at the other Regency bonnet I'm making for a's at the be-flannel-ing stage now.

And I've been really starting to collect my thoughts and materials for the Six Wives project, which I don't think I've talked about here. The Ren Faire in our area has changed their scenario for this year - they've always done QEI, but this time they're changing it up to Henry VIII. And some friends and I thought it would be fun to do the Six Wives (yes, the scenario is set in 1525, but it's not like the Ren Faire is this paragon of accuracy that we're disrupting...); I picked Katherine Parr, partly because my first Tudor dress was c1530s and I want to try a farthingale this time! We chose our ladies in February, and yes, I've been keeping Katherine in the back of my mind since then! We'll probably go in October, so as to not roast in our velvets and furs.

As I said, I've started collecting my materials, and I've been on the hunt for a suitable damask for the gown for I'm waiting for my swatches to get here. Hopefully one of those will work! Katherine's going to be a compromise of "as accurate as I can make her with the info I have and materials I can afford". That is, when I'm Doin' It Wrong, I want to know why I'm Doin' It Wrong!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

1913-15 suit

Mentally I've already moved on to the next (Regency) event, so it feels a bit disruptive to go back to the 20thc, even if it was only a few days ago! So you get a quickie post without too much narration.

(All photos in this post are courtesy of In the Long Run, unless otherwise noted.)

This past Saturday, I went to the Winterthur estate in Wilmington, Delaware to see their Downton Abbey costume exhibit. Here's our group shot - there were quite a lot of us this time!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Teens outfit coming along

But I'm in crunch time, and I need to sew more than I need to blog!

I'm in wearable shape - the hat and blouse are finished...
Yes, it's a demented pirate hat.
...the petticoat is finished (it still needed a waistband), and the skirt will be finished as soon as I finish sewing the snaps on. I wanted a jacket as well but I don't know that that's going to happen in three days, all of which I work!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sewing this week

Let's try to get back into a weekly update here, shall we? Mmm-hmmm, we'll see about that!

As you know, half this week was spent hunting the camera cable and recovering from Fort Fred, but I did manage to do a couple sew-y things, besides washing and putting away all my things from Fort Fred. (This doesn't always happen in a timely fashion, so it's noteworthy!)

First, I darned the hole in my striped petticoat that I wore to Fort Fred. Where did the hole come from? Who knows! Very Mysterious. But now it's all Authentick and Liv'd In, or something.

And then I worked on the mockups for my 19-teens skirt and blouse. I'm going to see the Downton Abbey costume exhibit at Winterthur Museum in Delaware with my friends on May 17th, and of course we're dressing for the occasion! And of course I need something new.

I've had some light blue wool in the stash that's wanted to be a teens suit for forever, and I bought a light blue and white rayon print to use for the blouse. I decided to be clever and wait to do the jacket til after I make the skirt and blouse first! That way at least I'll have a wearable outfit even if I don't finish the jacket in time.

Mockups are as follows. Not at their best in old sheet and cheap muslin, and I didn't put cuffs or collar on the blouse (because why bother), but it's a general idea!
Both started out as modern "Big 3" patterns; the blouse as a giant ugly McCall's, and the skirt as one of those 6-in-1 Simplicity patterns. Both have gone through quite a bit of tweaking, and the front pleats in the skirt are from a little diagram in the front of Patterns of Fashion 2.

Hopefully next week I'll be posting a mostly finished outfit! (Ha. Ha. Ha.)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Fort Fred 2014

Or, I found my camera cable!!

Fort Frederick Market Fair is an annual event, held in Big Pool, Maryland, and is one of the main shopping events of the year! Not that I bought much (or ever do...I just can't plan that far ahead for projects. "Yes, I think I might need that binding in December" is not how I work, unfortunately), just a new pair of white silk clocked stockings and two hatpins. It's mainly an opportunity to dress 18thc, which I love, and see my friends, which is also pretty fun!

The weather was quite nice, if also very extremely decidedly windy. Gusty, even! All our lovely wide flat hats were perfect wind-catchers...personally I found my hat to be quite secure on my head since it was secured with pins through my hair, but the gusts of wind tugging on my hair got old after a while.
Wind, you guys! It's windy!

Not pictures, sorry

An interim post - I seem to have lost my camera cable, which makes it difficult to show you the Fort Fred pictures! Oopsie.

In the meantime, I'd like to direct your attention to the plight of Your Wardrobe Unlock'd (and its sister site, Foundations Revealed) - it's a wonderful online resource for articles about historical clothing. There are how-to's on everything from death's head buttons to making your own back-seamed 20th century stockings!

I haven't read a quarter of the articles yet, since I just subscribed yesterday, but in my opinion it's going to be well worth it! And I'm sharing with you all because they're in the midst of a subscriber push - they need to bump their numbers up to 700 subscribers in the next two weeks to even keep the site running.

If you've thought about subscribing but never got round to it (like me!), or if you've never heard of the site, or if you've just let your subscription is a good time to sign up! There are some articles you can read for free to get a sense of the information you'll get, and you get a discount for signing up for both Foundations Revealed and Your Wardrobe Unlock'd.

Here is Cathy Hay's original post about the future of YWU and FR, and here's the FAQ for the site (explaining a bit about it if you're unfamiliar). They're now up to 601 members, but there's still a ways to go.

This is a very small, very specialized community we're a part of, as historical costumers (or whatever you like to identify with! Even just history lovers), and these sites won't attract a bigger audience if we don't I'm sharing! :)

(Back to your regularly scheduled costuming once I find that wretched camera cable...)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Long time, no post

So, I have been sewing, just not updating! After Mary Heany was done and delivered, I started back up with the 18thc sewing I'd need for Fort Frederick Market Fair in Big Pool, MD.

I finished my striped linen gown, made a new set of pockets, made a too-derpy-to-wear cap, decided I couldn't bear the wrinkles on my bias-cut bodice fronts and took them off, cut and re-sewed bodice fronts on the straight (it's done! again!), re-trimmed my straw hat, and knitted one purple garter.

I'm still working on sewing a cap and knitting the other garter. Yes,I'm going to Fort Fred tomorrow. But I do already have caps and garters that will work if these don't get finished!

Hat, pockets, wrinkly/non-wrinkly gown:
Like I said, I'll be at Fort Fred tomorrow; if anybody that reads this happens to be going as well, do say hi if you see me! :)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Mary Heany, part 2

This afternoon, I took Mary over to the Whitall house at Red Bank Battlefield and set her up! She's going to live in the kitchen, and have a little setup explaining who she is.

And since I've already talked about the outfit's construction in Part 1, I'll just throw some photos at you and let them do most of the talking!

Mary Heany, part 1

I'll do two posts; this one will be a catch-all with a couple in-progress shots and not-on-the figure shots (aka the less exciting post).

As she was last night, lurking in my sewing room...

Sunday, March 16, 2014

This week in sewing

18thc, all the time! All the sewing time, anyhow. Most of the week was spent waiting for my Mary Heany/indentured servant outfit fabric to get here, so I worked on my striped linen dress.

Evil bias stripes.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Indentured servant outfit

(Me posting about it is all free and clear, so here I go!)

One of my good friends has connections, you guys. She'd been told about a project for an historic house, but as it wasn't really her thing, she passed it on to the rest of us. And since it seemed to be totally my thing, I jumped on it!

It's for the Whitall House at Red Bank Battlefield in South Jersey. The owners of the house in the 18thc were the Whitalls (you'd never have guessed that, right?), well-to-do Quakers. Ann Cooper Whitall famously refused to leave her house during the battle, and supposedly she was spinning when a British cannonball blew right into her room; she took her work down to the basement and kept spinning. Well, it's a good story, anyway!

Anyway, in the records, there's a 1760s advert for a runaway indentured servant, Mary Heany. As is usual, there's a description of what she was wearing when she ran away. They wanted somebody to make a reproduction of an outfit from this description, and, hi! that's now me.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sewing for other people unusual for me. I'm a wildly selfish seamstress, and only like to sew on my own terms. If my terms happen to mesh with yours (historically accurate within reason, lots of absurdly meticulous hand-finishing, I can make what I want) though, I'm all for it!

That's what I've been doing this past week - or, rather, planning for it. One's a bonnet commission for a friend, which I will post about in due course. The other is for an historic site near me, which I will sew "online" if I get their ok.

Today I did sew for me - finished up a 1770s petticoat of striped linen. I started this outfit last year for the Fort Fred market fair, but didn't get very far as it turned out I wasn't able to go.
But now it's done! The petticoat anyway. Gown's still got a ways to go.
The gown will be of the same linen, a simple anglaise, probably with the skirts looped up a la polonaise. The bodice pieces were already cut (and they're very wrinkly!!), but I'll have to recut the fronts, because there is Fun With Bias, and the stripes don't match up. Try again! I have enough fabric for this oops, so no problem there. As long as I don't mess up the sleeves...

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Francaise Dinner 2014

I think this dinner keeps getting more fabulous every year - I don't know how we'll top ourselves next year! Everyone had such wonderful hair. A big thank-you to our organizers!

The dinner was held at the General Warren Inn, in Malvern, PA, as it was last year. They've got a great building for 18thc events, and some rooms upstairs if you want to stay over. Many of us did, though all 26 of us unfortunately wouldn't fit! And this year we bought out the place...last year there was one lonely room taken by two poor souls who must have been terribly confused by all the half-dressed people with big hair running around.

(photo by Isabella) Look at the feathers!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A post

I've really sewn a whole lot of nothing this month, haven't I? Sorry I'm so boring lately! And it's not really for any good reason, either.

The Francaise Dinner is this coming Saturday, and the only thing I need to finish for it are a new pair of pocket hoops. I was going to finish the brocade sack I started last year (no), and was going to try and get my Ottoman Turkish lounging outfit done as well (also no, though I've been picking away on the smock for the last week or so).

There's not much going on in March to light a fire under my bum, either - the Dinner is 1st of March, and then there's nothing til...Fort Fred I think? Which is the end of April. Mmm...not very promising!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Another not-sewing post

One of my friends is selling off a few of her costumey bits and pieces, to try and raise money so she can make the best event of the year (in my not-so-humble opinion). She's only got a few pieces up on her journal thus far, but will be putting up some fabric and et ceteras in the next couple days.
Pretty Jacobean linen jacket, hand finished. Don't you want it? Go buy it!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Shiny Things and a link to a giveaway

A friend has recently opened an Etsy shop...she's made lovely accessories for her own 18th/19thc outfits for a while, and is now branching out to sell them to all of us! She's got necklaces, earrings, and fans at the moment, and she's holding a giveaway for a lovely bead necklace at the moment!
 I did consider not sharing the giveaway with everybody so I'd have better odds of winning, but... ;)

Just leave a comment on her blog entry to enter the giveaway, and check out her shop while you're at it!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Regency Winter Outing

For my birthday, I wanted to make Regency winter-wear and have my friends play dress-up with me! I thought a day of running around the historic district of Philadelphia would fit the bill nicely, so that's what we did yesterday.

Black spencer: a couple in-progress shots

TWO posts planned for you today! Be impressed. I just thought it would be easier to separate the details about the spencer and all the pictures from our Regency play-day into two posts.

First, the spencer.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sewing Sunday - 18-teens striped wool dress complete

I just had some finishing bits of the striped wool dress to do today, but of course it took me most of the afternoon, so I didn't get as far along on the black spencer as I'd have liked. But first, striped dress pictures!

Not on me. That would be too exciting. Or terrifying, since I was off work today and I din't bother wrangling my hair...
Enjoy Mabel's inappropriately low bustline instead.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Update: Still Regency sewing

Well, I completely forgot to update at all last Sunday! Ooops. I mean, I still don't have much finished to post about, but a bit is better than nothing, right?

First, I finished a new reticule,which I promise does not actually have a wildly off-centred tassel. It's just your basic sack - a circle of silk, lined in cotton, with a drawstring channel at the edge for the ribbon.

No, it doesn't remotely match my (planned) outfit.
Then there was a ridiculous chemisette that took three days to make, for some reason.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Regency sewing

So I have been doing sew-y things this week - but none of them in a picture-taking state, really.

I've started a new Regency dress - to wear on a little outing to Philadelphia next month. All my day dresses are very thin silks or muslins, and I wanted something a bit more substantial. I'd a drapey wool suiting in the stash that wasn't earmarked for anything, so I decided on that. It's not a super-exciting color (a yellowy kind of ecru with thin white stripes), but I'm going to pair it with a black spencer so I think it'll be alright.

The skirt panels of the dress are sewn together, and tonight I finally finished fitting the bodice mockup and cut the wool and the lining.

I'm also in the process of making a new reticule because the one I have is a bit on the small side. The new one's cut out and hemmed, and I've sewn a bit of the drawstring channel.

Hopefully next update I'll have something a bit more exciting to post!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Regency Twelfth Night party

This past Saturday night, my friends and I had our Regency Christmas party that was postponed because of bad weather. Of course, anyone living in the Mid-Atlantic region will note that the weather was bad immediately beforehand for this snow date, too! Happily the highways dried out fairly quickly, and no one who was planning to come to the new date had to cancel because of weather.

I stayed over Friday night so I could be up bright and early to start with the cooking and decorating - which there was a lot of! We had enough food to feed an army. And drinks...don't lets even mention the drinks.

I learned anew that my poor little camera makes everything orange in candlelight photos (and then my batteries died and I couldn't find the new ones), so none of these photos were taken by me. I very much appreciate those of my friends with decent enough cameras to get good shots!

Enough of this, on to the party!
FOOD. (Photo credit: quincy134 of In the Long Run)