Sunday, January 31, 2016

Pelisse in-progress

Did I mention I'm making a pelisse? I can't remember.

Well hey, guess what? I'm making a pelisse!

I decided I wanted one when I saw the first trailer for the new War & Peace (before the one-shouldered David's Bridal monstrosity appeared on the scene and all my excitement fizzled out). As such, I'm calling it a War & Peace pelisse (it rhymes! hurr), despite it being a little later in date than most of the story.

(Since the current series seems to have imported at least one of its characters' wardrobes from 1923, I won't quibble with a pelisse from 1815ish rather than 1805-13.)

And despite the particular shade of green I'm using being maybe a little too vivid for that early in the century. But that would be some serious picking of nits! And it's rather delicious fabric.

Anyway! The materials:
Green/bronze shot silk taffeta, to be trimmed in Russian (possibly?) squirrel, aka a vintage coat I found for absurdly cheap on ebay. I took that as a sign I definitely should make this pelisse, and snapped it up.
It's hand sewn, mostly using spaced backstitch, with silk thread. The bodice is interlined with tropical weight wool, and both bodice and skirt (and sleeves, when I get to them) are lined with brown silk shantung.
It's a bodice!
It's half a skirt laid out with no lining put in the back yet!
Since there isn't actually a whole lot out there about original Regency dress construction, I generally use either 18th century, Victorian (or "normal", with the two right sides put together when sewing a seam), or some weird combination of the two. This one's turning out to be in the "weird combination" category, haha. For the basic construction, I've sewn three of the four layers together, ironed the seam open, ironed the seam allowances all toward the side with lining, so I could fold the raw edges of the remaining piece of lining under, and tack it down. Which is in fact very 18th century, but I haven't left the edges free to turn in toward each other, as I would usually do for an 18thc something. Mainly because most of the edges are going to get fur trim, so I'll just do a very rough turn-over hem.

And since I realize that made sense to probably nobody, I did take pictures!
Plain old seam, joining two green skirt panels and the one side of lining.
Seam pressed open, then toward the side without lining.
And the lining for the other side sewn into place. Easy peasy!
Yes, it does require going back and sewing all your seams twice, but the second pass doesn't have to be very small or neat, and it's an excellent way to make sure all your seams are enclosed, if you're fussy about that. I am, in fact, not fussy about that at all (and historically speaking, most seamstresses weren't, either), but the shantung is quite ravelly, and no one likes silk strings everywhere when you're trying to wear things.

And what it looks like so far overall:

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Shop post: Striped soft-crown Regency bonnet

I am in fact sewing other things, but none of them are exciting enough to post about. So you get another bonnet-in-the-shop post! Well, I think they're rather cute...

This one's another little soft-crown with a straw brim; I've been intent on using up my bag of small braid bits, which I now mostly have done, so I'll shut up about this type for a little while. Maybe. This one's got a crown of a rather nice striped taffeta - I have a particular weakness for striped taffeta. ;)
on etsy

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Shop post

I appear to be on something of a soft-crown Regency bonnet kick, as that's pretty much all I've been working on this week! Well that's alright; they're less labor-intensive than the taller 'teens buckram-framed bonnets that are so dear to my heart.

(I do have the pieces of another 18-teens bonnet cut out at this very moment - for me, because when you sell accessories, you occasionally just have to have one or two or seven for yourself!)
1800s red silk soft-crown hat
1800s silk and straw soft-crown bonnet

I'm particularly fond of the straw-brim one, and thought of keeping it, actually! Talked myself down, but I have plenty of straw braid, and a wee bit more of that silk... ;)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

1860s paletot and hood

Completely unplanned little photoshoot today...but we had the first proper snowfall of the season, and one of my friends made the clever suggestion that I actually get some halfway decent pictures of my 1860s hood that I threw together for Gettysburg. Not to mention my paletot!

(The paletot's still lacking some intended trim, but it's more done than not, and I didn't get any nice pictures of that either at Gettysburg, since it was mostly too warm for it during the day.)

I'm sure you'll forgive the side-part (very occasionally seen in the 1860s, but not enough that I like to wear it for events) and the eye makeup (I did wipe off the lipstick though!) - as I said, it was very spur-of-the-moment, and I was afraid the snow would stop if I took too long getting ready!

Obviously, it did not.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Shop Post: Brown Hats!

Alright, the Regency hat's been up for a little while, but I didn't post it here, so I shall include it now.

Just finished the 1780s hat today - it's a slightly smaller version of the 1780s hats I've put up before. Slightly more practical...very slightly! ;)
And a Rather Silly 18-teens hat, too! I was on a brown silk kick, I guess. I thought the upward-pointing feathers made it even better...if you're going to make a silly hat, don't go halfway!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Mid-Atlantic Costumers' Holiday Tea

(All of these pictures are courtesy of In the Long Run...I didn't bother with pics of an old dress, but then she got a nice shot of it that I decided I want to share!)

Over the weekend I drove down to Ellicott City in Maryland, for our annual holiday tea. We had it at Tea on the Tiber, which was a charming little tea house with pleasant staff and delicious food - I think almost nobody got around to eating the cake on the top tier because we were stuffed from the first two tiers!
Don't we look nice?
So christmassy! I do like this dress. It didn't fit super well in the shop, but...