Monday, June 3, 2013

Tamanegi-Kobo Sew Along 2013

So Me Made May has ended, and it was more fun than I thought it would be, but also challenging (as intended). I don't actually have many me made garments that fit currently and the ones I do have are all fairly new. As the month went along I (if not everyone else) also got to see how much baby grew as shirts that started out quite long seemed to shrink. I did have several dresses that I could have worn in addition, multi-way knit wrap dresses that I made before and during my last pregnancy, however I found that I didn't feel to good in them pregnant so I reserved them for non-pregnant wear. I also discovered a need for more me made bottoms, or any really.

I also really loved seeing well dressed people! On a day to day basis I generally see far too many leggings as pants (and tights as pants even, tights! Sheer, double-butt seamed, panty showing, transparent tights!) in my town, it is decidedly not pretty! The Flickr group was like a nice vactaion from that.

But now that the challenge has ended I wanted something else to keep me motivated to sew. Luckily I found the Tamanegi-Kobo sew along on Flickr, so I will be making the Iris dress (with some alterations of course!) I really like the style of the dress, even the back zip which I usually try to leave off of my dresses! I still need to find fabric and notions for it, but that's at least half the fun right?

Once I get my notions together I will be posting pictures here and on Flickr as well for anyone that might be interested.

Au revoir!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Me Made May, 2013

So I've fallen behind in the Historical Sew fortnightly; it has become less enjoyable to sew beautiful historic garments that I cannot currently fit (or that are in maternity styles of the past which I do not care for!). I will still participate, just not for each theme. Therefore I have decided to some more modern sewing, aiming at garments that I will actually wear, and not just stuff in my closet (not just maternity clothes). As such I have decided to join in Zoe's Me Made May challenge.


Usually when I sew non historical garments I make my up own designs, often I feel that this leaves me looking like an extra from a sci-fi film. I think this is due to the combination of my love of avante garde cuts and my loathing of trimmings. I once made a brown handkerchief hem wrap dress to wear with a beige kimono style sweater I had; people said they liked my "Star Wars" outfit, not good.

To remedy this I have been sewing from my huge stash of commercial patterns. Today as it it is supposed to be warm (81 degrees Fahrenheit or 27 degrees Celsius) I will be wearing a gray linen/cotton dress that I made from a vintage pattern, Butterick 5281.

I altered it for width to ensure future belly coverage and so I could leave out the zipper. I also plan to dip dye the hem a mulberry color, once I get some dye.
My accessories are all rtw, brown and white striped canvas flats, a loose weave purple ikat scarf and a brown leather belt.
And here it is! On the floor and slightly blurry, sorry I couldn't get a decent shot on myself with my phone's camera!

A bientôt!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Striped Spencer, Linen Mitts and overdue photos...

Historical Sew Fortnightly challenges #6 and #7

Sadly again I am late! But two sick kids, the flu and pregnancy make blogging less than doable and less than desirable too! The garments however were done in time.

For challenge #6 I made a Regency style Spencer, the pattern is loosely based on Janet Arnold's riding habit and a mix of other historical patterns that I have on hand. I based the back's center curve on this fashion plate from 1810.

I used a thrift store cotton upholstery fabric as the main body of the Spencer and a floral cotton for the lining. Both were on hand. The buttons are from the 1960's, they are leather wrapped coat buttons with metal anchors and are completely inaccurate for this project! However they were there and I could not find anything suitable at the local JoAnne's (not that I ever can). One good thing about being sick, I had time to hand bind the buttonholes!

I really like the lines of the Spencer, (especially the curve at center back), but since my torso is changing shape quite quickly it doesn't fit so well as when I made a few weeks ago. Here is the best of the pictures my husband took for me, I am wearing the Spencer over my bodiced petticoat from the Peasants and Pioneers challenge and standing in the front yard.

The rest of the images are on Sally Stitch, she doesn't move so much as I do, or make unattractive squinting at the sun face as (apparently) I am fond of doing. Here is a side front view, the red is really a neutral red, not too warm or cool. It has a wide stripe of darker red running through it in a herringbone pattern. In fact the stripe is so wide it barely comes across as a stripe, you can see it best in the full length back view and in the shot of the sleeve details.

Here is a full length back view over the bodiced petticoat, please ignore the messyness in these images, my sewing area is perpetually chaotic!

Here is a detail of the sleeves, I placed two tucks at the inner elbow for ease of movement and to take in the excess fabric at the side seams that tends to occur with s shaped sleeve heads.

The interior is completely lined, I had just enough of the floral fabric to line the fronts and sleeves, the back is self lined.

I pleated the front linings to fit the darted fronts. You can also see that the insides of my buttonholes are significantly less pretty than the outsides.

The Challenge: #6 Stripes

Fabric: A thrifted red cotton upholstery fabric in a wide herringbone stripe pattern for the body, a brown and red printed cotton for the lining.

Pattern: My own design based on Janet Arnold and others.

Year: 1810

Notions: 5 large vintage leather buttons, one small, embroidery floss.

How historically accurate is it? Fairly, I did a lot of hand work on it, the shape, materials and pattern pieces are all accurate.

Hours to complete: Around six to ten, I never time myself!

First worn: Not yet, unless you count for pictures!

Total cost: Around $1.50 for the floss, everything else I had in my stash.

For Challenge #7, Accessorize, I made a pair of linen mitts. I based them on this extant example from the Met:

I love their length and the delicate hand stitching. They reminded me of The Portrait of Mademoiselle Riviere by Ingres from 1805 which I also used as inspiration. Neither of these mitts have the turn back point and since I don't like the looks of that anyways I left them off of my mitts.

I also used this image of mitts from a later period when drafting my pattern, however the placement of the thumbs ended up being slightly off for my tiny hands!

The linen I used is a darker brown with a lighter brown or beige weft, it was a light to mid weight with a lot of give on the bias. I hand sewed the mitts with overcast edges and backstitched hems. I flat felled the long side seams. I have not added the hand trim yet, I'm not sure if I will or not. I had them basted on but it looked lumpy too me once they were on, however without it the hands are a bit loose. I suppose I will try again!

Here is a detail shot of the stitching, I couldn't manage to take a picture of my arms inside of the mitts!

The Challenge: #7 Accessorize

Fabric: mid to light weight brown Linen.

Pattern: Hand drafted based on the shape of my arms, thumb gussets placed according to mitt pattern found online.

Year: 1805

Notions: Brown cotton thread.

How historically accurate is it? Accurate! All hand sewn of period materials.

Hours to complete: Two.

First worn: Not yet!

Total cost: Free, all stash goods.

Up next is the By the Sea challenge, will it be done in time? I hope so!

Au revoir

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Peasant garb of the 1790's

Challenge #5 of the Historical sew Fortnightly hosted by the Dreamstress.

Now that I have completed a challenge for the Historical Sew Fortnightly (and on time too!) I am more determined than ever to complete the rest.

For the fifth challenge, peasants and pioneers, I have made a simple ensemble based on this quote (which I found on Wm. Booth Draper's fabulous site)

"Run away . . .  in New York . . .  an Irish servant girl . . .  had on a broad blue and white striped homespun petticoat, and a smaller striped blue and white jacket"

I love how they use period quotes to illustrate possible uses for their fabrics! My fabrics are close to what is described, a heavy blue and white thick striped ticking type fabric and a thinly striped blue and black fabric.

I have images that I am using to base the jacket and petticoat on, for the jacket; Agostino Brunias "Free Women of Color with their Children and Servants in a Landscape" painted between 1764 and 1796. Coincidentally it is also one of the images that the Dreamstress herself had posted!

This is a very interesting painting both in terms of its Art Historical significance (I could write quite the paper on this!) and its depictions of the difference in classed society's garb in the late 1700's.
I am basing my jacket on the third woman from the left's top, a high waisted blue and white striped jacket.

For the petticoat a photograph called "Newhaven Fishwives" taken by David Octavius Hill in 1845. While this is much later than the date I am aiming for the homespun look of their striped petticoat/aprons is just perfect.

For the petticoat I used a cotton/linen blend fabric, I believe it was vintage as it was exceedingly stiff at first but after several washings it softened up a bit! I only had two yards but just managed to eek out a bodiced petticoat, (using my old altered pattern from Jenny Chancey) there is a cut 1" up in the selvedge (whomever owned the fabric previously had cut it at each yard) which I will still need to patch as I used the selvedge as my hem. I also had to line the back with different fabric because there just was not enough to cut all the pieces I needed. All of the visible exterior seams are hand sewn, and it closes with hooks and eyes.

The jacket I draped based on pattern pieces from the Tidens tøj collection, I like how simple and unfussy the patterns they have available are to work from, and often the text is very parseable even though I don't speak Danish. I used the back lining pieces from Eleonora Sophie Rantzau's gown for the back portion and the front from the white gown in the Colonial Williamsburg Collection. The back skirt I cut as a rectangular panel the width of my fabric and gathered to fit.

I still have to iron them and get some pictures taken (hopefully tonight), but here are the statistics!

Here are some pictures at last! The inner closure of the jacket fastened over the bodiced petticoat.

The front upper ties closed and tucked securely inside:

The under bust tie fastened:

The full length back shot of the outfit on Sally Stitch:

A full length shot of the three quarters front on me:

Finally a full length side view, also on me:

The Challenge: #5 Peasants and Pioneers

Fabric: 2 yards of vintage linen/cotton ticking in a wide blue and white stripe.
2 yards of airy cotton lawn with thin blue and black stripes.

Pattern: A heavily altered Regency Gown Pattern
from Sense and Sensibility for the petticoat's bodice, the rest I draped with help from The Danish National Museum and The Collonial Williamsburg Collection.

Year: 1790's

Notions: 2 sets of hooks and eyes, 3 yards of bias tape, embroidery floss.

How historically accurate is it? Fairly, aside from the use of a sewing machine for the internal seams. The patterns are mostly historical ones aside from the petticoat's bodice and I hand sewed any visible seams.

Hours to complete: I'm guessing around 10...

First worn: Not yet!

Total cost: $2 a yard for 2 yards, so $4, the rest was stash goods!

A bientôt!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

An Embroidered Reticule

Challenge #4 of the Historical Sew Fortnightly, hosted by  The Dreamstress.

I intended to participate in the entire sew along, needless to say this has not happened so far. (Of course I also intended to post the projects I made last year, but well...oops!) Challenge one I finished n time, but never got photographed and blogged, ditto for challenge three. Challenge two was another matter, none of my unfinished projects were in my current size, or that of anyone else
I know, I considered cutting down a pair of stays I began last March, but they were far too finished to make that attempt in any way worthwhile. Oh well! Here, in any case, is my piece for the fourth challenge; an embroidered reticule. Below that are its statistics.

The Challenge: Embellish, due February 25th.

Fabric: Recycled khaki green twill pants that my daughter tore at the knee, scraps of blue and ivory striped fabric from my stash.

Pattern: Made from a piece of computer paper, folded into what I felt was an attractive size and shape.

Year: Not sure, I was going for early 1800's, but I suppose it could be from many eras...

Notions: Embroidery floss, pearls, cotton crochet lace, satin ribbon.

How historically accurate is it? Fairly, I believe; I sewed the inner seams on my Singer and hand sewed the external ones, and I hand embroidered the embellishments. The shape is based on extant examples from the 1800's through the 1910's which are in the Met and elsewhere.

Hours to complete: Around five, including the embroidery.

First worn: Not yet!

Total cost: All materials are from my stash or are recycled, so free!

I will start at the top of the bag and work my way down, both in description and in imagery. Here you can see the pointed flaps at each side, I chose this design instead of flat tops because of how it mimics the shape of the bottom of the bag and also the top cuff on Regency era mitts. You can also see my ill-advised, 'lets put the bag together first and then do the embroidery' puckering on the lining. There were many moments of ill-advisedness in the making of this reticule, in addition to putting the bag together first I am a poor embroiderer. I also had no needle small enough to pass through my pearls, and as such I had to un-thread the needle, thread the pearl, re-thread the needle, make the stitch, etc...
I know, it was a bad plan, but in spite of it all I think it came out well!

Here is the top view with the bag mostly closed, if you look closely you can see that it's filled with samples of Burt's Bees baby products. What can I say, they were on hand for Ms.A and they filled the bag out nicely! Due to the triangular shape of the sides the bottom of the bag is flat when laid down, this makes it nice to look into in order to find things, no rooting through to locate things which have fallen to the very bottom.

The embroidery motif is visible when sitting and when carried, I designed it to look old fashioned and sentimental, hence the initials of my children as the focal points of the motif. I used ivory floss along the side seams in a chain stitch pattern, inside of this is a double oval frame embroidered in two shades of green, with one of my children's initials stitched inside of it. I added three pink pearls at the tops and bottoms and two pinks and a purple on each side for interest and because I felt it completed the design of the frames. The frames themselves are chain stitched and the initials are done in split stitch, I used an old style of handwriting for the font and think it came out nicely!

Here are some pictures of the bag flat, sitting and then filled and hanging with the embroidery visible.

On this is side an S; for my eldest daughter, and it is in pink which is her favorite color.

Here an A for my current youngest daughter, in a shade of warm purple, she is too young yet to request a color by name, but she did choose this shade from the three offered.

The last side is an E, for the baby on the way, in a blue tone, this baby is too young to communicate at all and as such got stuck with the color blue.

As a side note, if you read the bag counter-clockwise it spells the word sea.

And here are some close ups of my somewhat messy embroidery.

To finish up, here is the bottom of the bag, overturned and then hanging and filled.

And yes the bag is in the bathtub, my upstairs shower is the only room to get decent lighting in the afternoon!

A bientôt!