lauantai 20. huhtikuuta 2013

If I don't have trimming for the pelisse or the spencer...

... that means that I can make a gown, right? I've been itching to begin making a day dress out of this blue fabric I found a couple of weeks ago. I intend to embroider it with white and use one leaves and flowers pattern I've had lying around for ages. The pattern goes around the hem and up the centre front of it; I might sprinkle the rest of the dress, the bodice and the sleeves with some random leaves depending on how I feel.
I browsed the net today but couldn't find that many blue gowns. I wonder why that is; there were tons of white embroidered gowns, of course, but for some reason not that many blue ones.

The fabric, a sketch and the embroidery pattern

I have a chance to hit fabric and haberdashery shops in another (and bigger) town next week, so I'm hoping that I'll find suitable trimming for both the unfinished coats, but until then... :)

perjantai 19. huhtikuuta 2013

New short stays

On Monday this week I decided that time was ripe for a new pair of short stays. I used the same pattern I drafted for the first pair I made and decided to make them a bit sturdier than the previous pair. I found a piece of mint green taffeta in my stash just enough for this project and made that the top layer of the stays. I cut the middle layer of hard-wearing cotton (they call it "raw fabric" in the shop) and made the lining out of some mint green cotton I had lying around.
I also decided to do some cording on these stays to prevent them from stretching and to give them additional support. For boning I used semi-stiff plastic bone in two widths, two lengths of the narrower on both sides of centre back and two lenghts of the wider one on centre front and the sides. I also used jute cord for the cording.
I finished the stays today and I'm very pleased with the result. I might even go so far as to say that they're the first stays of any period that turned out just the way I wanted :) Here's a load of pictures I took:

I added a drawstring inside the top edge of the stays to improve the fit

The bones I used

Some construction photos, top layer and the middle layer pinned together

Putting in the gores

Everything is handstitched, as usual

Cording lines skecthed on a paper mock up

Centre front boning and cording on the reverse side

Centre back and lacing holes; the bones refused to lie flat

In fact, I actually liked sewing on the cording and was thinking that it might be interesting to make a pair of stays that are entirely corded.

perjantai 12. huhtikuuta 2013

Random craftiness

This week I made portrait miniatures to accessorise my costumes. I had been meaning to make them for ages and when the glass cabochons and the little frames I had ordered finally arrived I jumped right in. I took some pointers from the miniature making instructions American Duchess posted some time ago and I must say I like the result. Maybe the glue wasn't the most perfect one to use, but I kind of like the "aged" look it gives to the pictures.

Dashing white sergeant. He's actually a captain, one W.S. Dawe of the Indian Infantry. I've had a crush on him ever since I saw the original portrait miniature in the V&A last year :)

I couldn't resist this :)

Major Samuel Ringgold

I've also been working on the pelisse, the beading is coming along nicely. I think I might have to look for some ready made trimming for all those leaves that go on the front of the coat because I don't have enough fabric to make enough rouleaux piping. I decided to use my trusty tissue paper trick for the beading as well, to make the pattern as even as possible. I'm sewing the beads on individually and I like the result, it's much more stable and less fiddly to sew than if I had sewn on lenghts of threaded beads.

The cuff, still need to add another pattern row just below the piping

Centre back

torstai 4. huhtikuuta 2013


A little while ago, I received a long awaited parcel from America. Before Christmas I had ordered shoes from the fabulous American Duchess when she annouced the new 23Skidoo model. I knew I had to have them and placed the order as soon as it was possible. For good measure, I decided to buy not one  but two pairs, once I was paying for the customs and all that. So, long story short, after Christmas, both the lovely Skidoos and the gorgeous Astorias finally arrived.

Astorias, they're supposed to be "imperfect"(hence the lower price) but I can't see any imperfections. They're lovely!

The Skidoos, still pristine and white...

All my pretty shoes :)

This week I finally got around painting the Skidoos, as was my intention when I ordered the white ones. I also painted the other white t-straps I have.

Red and white!

I love the red and white combination, but I'm still not so sure about the other pair. Maybe I take the paint off of those, after all

I have kind of mixed feelings about the paint (Artidee leather paint) I used. The black paint worked fine and the result is very even, but the red paint (of the same brand, bought at the same time as the black...) was very difficult get even and in my opinion, the result could be better. However, I can't wait to wear the Skidoos in their new look!

Costuming ADD

Hmm, I seem to have trouble concentrating on only one project. Nothing new there, I think it keeps things interesting :) So, the pelisse is still waiting for the trimmings and the beads, I just need the proper mindset to get on with  it. Meanwhile, I begun yet another spencer, after this lovely little thing. The orginal is a riding habit jacket from about 1820s, and it's in the Nordiska Museet in Stockholm, Sweden.
The trimmings are gorgeous! (Photos from the book Empirens Döttrar)

The whole riding habit

Now, I only want the jacket, because I love the trimmings and I don't really want to make a Regency riding habit. I found a nice inky blue, sort of chenille-y, velvet fabric, used the trusty bodice/spencer pattern and this is where I've got, so far:

I chose to embroider the flowery swirls, even though the original uses cord trimming to line them out. I still need to put on the rest of the trimmings, the sleeves and the lining.

This (and the pelisse) led me to another in-between project. I mentioned that bonnet in the previous post, and had put together the hat base. I went to look for fabric to cover the hat and actually found fabric that was the perfect colour. Only it's silk. And pretty much the priciest fabric (per metre) I've ever bought.... Isn't it always the way? Luckily, I only needed about half a metre, so I didn't end up completely broke after all :)

I made the hat base out of stiff needlepoint (?) fabric and the pattern is my own. Everything is hand-sewn, as always. I'm very happy with the results and the silk was a dream to sew!

Lastly, the other day I found perfect Regencyesque shoes in the local supermarket, under 20€ a pair, so I immediately bought 2 pairs :) I mean to trim and maybe paint the nude shoes to go with the sari gown and other finer clothes. The black ones can remain the way they are, plain and black. I have one other pair that I found last year and I was thinking of painting them red to match the bonnet.

Can you say score? :)