torstai 24. joulukuuta 2015

Vernet project finished!

I think it was around mid-September last year that I got involved in the Vernet project, a fashion recreation challenge conducted by costume bloggers and other fashion history enthusiasts around the world. The idea was to recreate the fashion plates drawn by a French artist Horace Emile-Jean Vernet in 1814. There are 30-odd plates in the collection titled Incroyables et merveilleuses de 1814.

When I joined the project there were only 2 ladies plates left which in retrospect was probably a good thing, because I'm not sure if I could have chosen just one from all the plates. My choice was the plate number 23 which portrayed a "chapeau de paille, orné de coquelicots, robe garnie de bouillonnés", meaning a straw hat trimmed with poppies, and a dress decorated with poufs.

Plate number 23, source

I started with the hat because I thought that it would take the most time to make and I've already written a separate post of it. I've since added the poppies and a simple ribbon trim to it and I like the result. The hat is fairly top heavy, so when I wear it outside it needs serious pinning to keep it on.

The dress was a fairly straightforward affair, I used my trusty bodice pattern cutting it with a very high neckline, and adapted a 1820s hem pattern from Jean Hunnisett's book. The Hunnisett book also had an 1815 hem pattern, but to me the 1820 pattern looked more like the fashion plate dress's hem so I chose to use it. For the decorations I used readymade whitework trim which I attached to flounces of the dress fabric to achieve the needed width for the frills and ruffles. I sewed narrow channels to where I wanted to gather the pieces and then threaded them with cotton yarn. I'm pleased with the tidiness and tightness of the gathers and they work well with the collar ruffle and cuffs which need to be adjusted every time the dress is worn.

The collar ruffle is a separate piece, simply a lenght of lace attached to a rectangular piece of dress fabric. It has two layers, the bottom one has lace on both the long edges and the top one on only the lower edge. The top layer is attached to the bottom one and it is gathered and positioned so that it creates the pouf layer when the collar is tied close. The hem flounces are done in a similar manner. The smaller lace frill and pouf are attached to the very hem of the dress and the wider flounce is attached higher on the hem.

The dress closes at the back with 5 hooks and thread loops and has a separate sash of blue and white gingham ribbon. I might change the ribbon later, I really couldn't find anything remotely similar to Vernet's original drawing so I went with the least offensive option. I also didn't attempt to make the shoes because I don't have any use for such weird colour boots outside the fashion plate project.

I bet you want to see the dress already?

Attempting an imitation of the fashion plate pose. I don't have the parasol and couldn't make my face to produce that smug smile that the lady in the Vernet drawing has...

It's so... frilly.

Silly, silly cap :)

Seemed like a perfect chance to pose with my faux-Chinese teacup.

The dress is very high-necked. I actually like it better with the collar on, this just looks a bit odd...

Closeup of the hem.

keskiviikko 18. marraskuuta 2015

A new chemisette

Two posts in one week, what's come over me?

I made this chemisette earlier this autumn but haven't got around writing about it. It's very similar to the other chemisette I have but I chose to make a double gathered collar rather than a pleated one and I also played a little with the pleating on the front pieces. The fabric is silk-viscose blend and very nice to sew. Everything is handsewn and the pattern came from Janet Arnold's book, I think.

maanantai 16. marraskuuta 2015


... hence no posts for a long time! I'm working on stuff, I swear. I've been busy with work, dance training and other dance related stuff. My ceili team is going to the Mainland Europe qualifiers this weekend and I'm also doing solos there so it's been a very dance-filled autumn. I also had the team dresses (8 of them all together) over at my place for a quick makeover because the original seamstress had no time to finish them... Also, I'm working full time with my PhD. dissertation and did I mention the dancing already? :)

But. The Vernet dress. I'm fairly confident I can finish it in time for the December deadline because everything is cut and nearly sewn and I just need to assemble everything. The hem looks like this at the moment, though minus the pins, because I did sew the first bubble-frill on after taking the photo.

Because I apparently can't write a coherent post concentrating on just one topic, here's another random post on shoes. Take a look at these beauties that I got recently:

I fell in love with them earlier this year and have been hunting for a good deal for them as their regular price was a bit too steep for my taste. As luck would have it, I found one and got the shoes. They're super comfortable, ridiculously pretty and pink. What more could you ask?

sunnuntai 11. lokakuuta 2015

Update on the Vernet project and other random Regency stuff

I've been insanely busy since the last post in early September with work and travelling and playing tunes and dancing and more dancing and... so there's not much to post. However, I have made a little progress on the Vernet project dress and I'm fairly confident  that I get the whole thing done by the deadline which is set in early December.

I have all the bigger pieces sewn up and the next thing would be to sew them together and add the frills. I still need to order cotton organdy for backing the bits in the dress decoration that need a bit more body to keep the intended shape. Other than that, the dress in my Vernet fashion plate is pretty unfussy and I've luckily made the hat already, so everything is chugging along nicely. A couple of photos below of the bodice I put on today to ascertain the fit and pin the bust darts:

I didn't iron the seams and the whole thing is just pinned on, hence the wonkiness.

This might be the plainest bodice ever. It has a certain strait jackety air.

I recently managed to find some Regencyesque accessories from normal, high street shops so I thought to share.

There's this paisley shawl, not exactly a period pattern, but close enough and I like the colours and the price was ok. Of course there are several places online where to find these too.

The shawl measures ca. 70cm x 220cm

The reverse side
I found these shoes when I was in Bath for the Jane Austen Festival in September. I don't really follow fashion trends that much but apparently this style has been a summer hit or something because there were several variations of this style on the reduced price shelf. These shoes have a zipper at the back, but I'm going to cover that up with a bit of tape since the front lacing is functional and I can put the shoes on by opening the laces.

sunnuntai 6. syyskuuta 2015

La Fée Verte dress

Phew. Finally finished what must have been the fiddliest dress I've made so far. I began this Regency evening dress in the spring (I think, can't remember anymore, it's been on the back burner for such a long time) and now it's finally done.

This dress is another sari dress, and I really like the embroidery on it. The mint green colour is a bit unusual but there are several mint green extant pieces from the 18th century already, so I suppose we can assume that it was an available colour also during the early part of the 19th century. The colour doesn't photograph right, it's really quite a bit greener than what it looks like here.

I wanted to do something different with the bodice and the sleeves for a change, so I chose to make a false crossover bodice and sleeves with a gathered oversleeve. One word for all that: fiddly. The fabric, though it drapes nicely has a lovely fall and and is light and fluid to wear was very annoying to sew. I seem to remember I've done something similar before... 

But now I have a new pretty dress for Bath. Hooray!

Pictures? I thought so too :)

I need to add one more pair of hooks and eyes to the back. The white thing on the right side of the neckline is the strap of the petticoat, I couldn't bend my arms enough to tuck it in.

Please excuse the plain hairdo, didn't have time to do anything elaborate.

Seeing the back like this it looks like I could've adjusted the pleating of the hem. Ah well.

sunnuntai 9. elokuuta 2015

Flower print jacket and a take on 18th century styling

I made a new 18th century jacket this week, mainly because I wanted to have something new to wear at Isokyrö 18th century fair. I finished the piece just in time (read: stayed up until 3 a.m. on Friday night to put last stitches on it...) and it was a joy to wear. There were plenty of good reenactor photographers at the fair yesterday so I expect to get some nice pics of the whole get-up in action soonish, but meanwhile here are some I took today.

The jacket is a modified version of my earlier black swallowtail jacket. I made the petticoat this week too. I might embroider the hem later.

I changed the shape of the hem for this one, making it round rather than pointy

The fabric is the same Ikea bed sheet I used for my flowery anglaise. I still have heaps of it left...

The jacket is pinned close and it has a separate stomacher with ribbon decoration.

Since I dressed up for photos of the jacket I wanted to try some different styles with it. Here's what I came up with:

My Parisian chic

Party version of the anglaise

The anglaise doesn't have proper ribbons to pull the hem up, here it's just pinned and looks a bit strange.

Don't look at the hair too closely. I just threw some pins and hair rats at it and didn't style it properly.