Friday, December 29, 2017

Vintage Post: What's Black & White & Red All Over?

Plaid, that's what! Worn twice, even.
(No, this isn't the failed-tea dress; that is currently still in the naughty pile. This plaid was much better behaved!)

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Quick-Post: Vintage Not-Tea

I've been wanting to have a vintage tea in the city for a couple of years now, and holiday season sounded perfect for it! Well, it ended up being somewhat less than perfect; couldn't get a reservation anyplace I wanted, several people bailed due to snow, and the dress I was making turned out horribly at the try-on point.

(I'm still poking away at that dress, and intend to either make a "yes, I don't hate this dress" or "do not under any circumstances buy this pattern" post soon. It's a red and green plaid so I should finish it while it's still seasonably wearable!)

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Gettysburg 2017

I had very grand plans for this weekend, that as the school semester progressed, kept getting scaled down...and down...til eventually all I managed to make new was one measly bonnet. So this mightn't be the most exciting post for those of you that have been reading here for a while! But I'll do a costume-weekend recap anyway.

Entertainingly-slash-annoyingly, I didn't actually get to wear the bonnet at all, other than the ten minutes I had it on outside while taking pictures of it on Friday afternoon, as we only dressed for the tintype on Friday, and then Saturday was a monsoon so I wasn't about to wear a buckram and silk bonnet outside!
Played with filters to make it look more autumnal (and me less blindingly white. That's difficult)

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Peasants Are Revolting

Or, Never Say Never In Costuming;

Or, The Fugly Bedgown. appears that I am a fan of blue and orange, which didn't occur to me til I realized which post was immediately below this one. Heh.
So...I hate bedgowns. (Just, as in, I don't generally want one on me, not that I hate them indiscriminately on all and sundry.) Yes, they are appropriate in certain contexts, yes, they are practical, yes, they are fugly. And yet...I have made a bedgown. Don't ask about the (somewhat suspect) motivation; suffice it to say the Usual Suspects and I got a bee in our bonnets to be the Bedgown Brigade at some point this fall. Washington's Crossing 18thc market fair seemed an appropriate deployment, so towards the end of summer plans were made and sewing was done...

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Vintage Post: 1950s blouse

I think it's hardly fair to call this a sewing project; there were two short seams to be sewn on the machine that totaled maybe a yard! But I haven't seen any reviews online of this pattern yet, so this is me being helpful.
I used the new release Simplicity 8452 pattern - what I have dubbed the "envelope blouse." Why? Well, the back seams reminded me of an envelope!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Vintage Mini-Post: 1940 pin-dot dress

This is the dress I made to wear to the WW2 weekend back in early June, that I didn't end up wearing because it was too cool! Well, the weather hasn't had a problem with being too cool for anything lately, so I've worn this dress a few times, and finally thought to get pics to document it today! I spent the afternoon at the Philadelphia art museum, which is a perfectly period location for a 1940 dress, so I thought I'd be clever and get photos of it today.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Early 1880s beige print dress

At long last, completely finished. I've been wearing the skirt and overskirt without the bodice for, what, almost a year? In my defense, it's been worn at all hot-weather events, and despite it being all cotton, it's really not a very light-weight cotton. This bodice will be too warm to wear if it's much over 80F, which is why I made the Ugly Shirtwaist in the first place! So even if the bodice had been done, I wouldn't have had a chance to wear it yet.
I look fairly miserable (very Victorian of me!) but I'm actually happy with the outfit.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Victorian Picnic (Or, The Ugly Shirtwaist Rides Again)

Still not a new outfit, but documentation of all outings is required, no? And I trimmed a new and very stupid-looking hat. This was a picnic on the lawn of the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion in Philadelphia; I couldn't tell you what the house looked like inside as it wasn't open for tours, but it has a very nice outside!
Obviously demonstrated well by Yours Truly hiding in the shrubbery. Look, I can work for the White House! (Sorry, political joke.)


Playing costume catch-up with a couple of events! This one was the Mid-Atlantic WWII weekend in Reading in early June. World War II is a little later than we usually do (and personally I really don't like early 40s fashion), but it wasn't much sewing for anybody, and a nice well-attended event that wasn't too far away.

I made most of a sundress from a Vintage Vogue 1940 pattern - the key word being "most." I tried it on the night before and it was too big. D'oh! Totally fixable, but not the night before an event I had to get up very early for. So I wore a very old striped cotton dress from a 1947 Vintage Vogue pattern (good thing I have a penchant for vintage in Real Life!) and called it Close Enough.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Vintage Mini-Post: 1957

I'm going to try to be a little better at posting my "vintage" sewing here as well as the costumes; at least they're posts, however brief and less-interesting than proper costumes they might be! (I tend to "dress vintage" in everyday life so this type of sewing doesn't seem as interesting to me as, say, an 1860s ballgown might be. Still, it is sewing, and generally takes much less time than costume! So, might as well post about it, right?)

And I put "vintage" in quotes because I wear very little real vintage; that is, clothing actually made in the 40s/50s/etc. I know the community tends to use the term interchangeably, but it bugs my inner pedant ("my dresses aren't actually vintage, I made that one last week!"). Calling them anything else is cumbersome, though, so on to the vintage, with or without quotes!

This one is from a Vintage Vogue pattern, V8789, view A. The fabric is a lightweight linen/cotton blend, printed with flowers and stripes. The ground color tends toward both blue and green, depending on the lighting! The pattern includes a piece for a gathered belt-sash-thing that I forgot I wanted to make (until the day I went to wear it, oops), but I happen to have several sashes on hand, being a costumer and all, so dark brown taffeta worked on this occasion!
I was very pleased with this pattern; it makes up a pretty, full-skirted '50s dress with very little trouble. I was displeased to see that the bodice darts didn't come together in exact diagonals like they did on the envelope drawing...but it being an envelope drawing, I'll cut it some slack.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Dressmaking demo at the IKT

Or; A Dress-Not-In-A-Day!

Two weekends ago, the usual suspects and I put on a dressmaking demo at the Indian King Tavern, where I'm a docent. We advertised it, very falsely, as a Dress In A Day...well, we did try! But we're none of us professionals, we're not so good at talking to the public while continuing to sew, and we were only there for about 5.5 hours. So it ended up being a 2/3-of-a-Dress-in-a-Day!
All hand-sewn, with the best 18thc technique we could muster!
Robin of SewLoud was our dummy victim model, as she very helpfully volunteered her dress-length of lavender silk for the event. She's got a dress writeup on her blog that I've linked to if you want to read a bit more and see more finished photos!

Friday, April 28, 2017

an advertisement

And now, a word from our sponsors...

Kidding. But if anyone reading happens to be located in South Jersey, my friends and I will be at the Indian King Tavern in Haddonfield, doing a dressmaking demo from 10-3 tomorrow (Saturday). And it's going to be really, really hot, so we hope someone shows up so our suffering is not in vain!
Despite the flyer with my face all over it, it's not going to be just me...promise. xP

Friday, April 14, 2017

Chintz Dress Part 2: The Dress

Part 1 recapped my reason for making a silly 18thc hat (construction details in the linked post) and a dress to go with it; now let's talk about the dress itself. First and's an Ikea duvet cover.
And a very nice duvet cover it is, too! (I was amused to learn that Katherine C-G owns it as well - in use as an actual duvet cover! I take this to mean we both have excellent taste.)

Chintz Dress Part 1: The Party

Writing about both the details of the chintz dress and the party in one post is getting a little unwieldy, so I'm splitting it up! First things first: the whole reason I made the hat, and the dress to go with the 18th century Big Hat Tea!
Hosted by the lovely Jenny la Fleur and her extremely accommodating family (!), the requirements were, well, 18th century, and a big hat. And did this crowd deliver! I thought everyone looked spectacular.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Interim post: It's A Silly Hat

I'm attending a private 18thc event in two weeks; the theme is Big Hats. I needed a new dress (no, I didn't), so while I feverishly work on that, I'll give you a teaser with the hat I made.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Late 1890s separates

I made this outfit for a Victorian ice skating event last weekend (for my birthday, you know! The only way I can force my friends to spend time outdoors for any span of time in the delightful winter cold - by pleading "But it's my birthday!!" and looking pathetic).

Originally I had very grand plans to make a nicely-trimmed Ageless Patterns 1898 suit from a really snuggly plum wool-cashmere I have...but by the time I got enough of the new underwear done, I knew I wouldn't have enough time to do the suit properly, so separates and a cape were plan B. (Actually the cape was plan C...I really prefer outerwear with sleeves when it's a Thing in period, but I ended up with 3 days to make a jacket, and that isn't really doable for me. Capes are much quicker!)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Regency Winter Tea

For which I decided to get my fur-trimmed green pelisse wearable! The afternoon before, naturally. Well, there wasn't much required to get it into wearable shape, in my defense!
Just needed a cuff and the collar sewn on, plus minimal fastenings (two hooks and eyes, because that was all I had on hand!). I'd planned to wear my black wool spencer, but it snowed the day before, and the wind chill was in the single digits (F) on tea day, so I thought that was excellent motivation for this pelisse! Not that we spent much time outside, but still. Principle of the thing and all. I could have spent loads of time outside if I'd wanted! Silk is very insulating.