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

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