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I pulled out some suitable fabric for the stays from the stash. A white twill and my favourite for corsets/stays/structural undergarments: pillow ticking. I also found some fabric for the mock-up, but not sure that I'll have enough. And I cut out the paper pattern. Hoping to get some sort of mock-up done tomorrow.
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I'm participating in the short stays sew-along online and decided that I was going to get a paper pattern figured out last week. It's not a lot, but I've been really busy. I was inspired by the underbust stays in the Kyoto Collection and these other cupped ones from the Met.

To start, I took out my 1780 stays and traced them around the top, stopping above the waist, around the level of the Kyoto ones by my guess. I might still shorten them more, but haven't decided yet. I added some width to the back because I want these to be front closing and my 1780 stays are back closing. I also made an estimate about where to scoop out the front to make these underbust. I'll refine that in the mock-up stage. Theoretically, with the underbust thing, the shift should act like the cups in all the cupped stays from this era, but I'm not sure how that will work out yet. That's the interesting part!

I also made the part for the straps wider and more defined, since that seems to be how these types of stays go. Scooped out the top of the back a little too. I haven't decided on the seamline(s) yet either. As you can see, there was a lot of drawing and re-drawing when I was designing my pattern. We'll see how it goes. This is a busy week, but I'm hoping to get a mock-up done either this week or next week. I am hopeful that making the actual thing also won't take too long; there aren't many eyelets or bones in this style.

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I'm too lazy to put pictures into this post, but click on the links to see all the entries tagged. I actually made a pretty decent amount of things this year and I also actually like all of them, more or less, so this year was definitely a win on the sewing front.
  1. First up, it took me all the way until April to finally finish something, but I did: charcoal pants to wear to a conference that I was going to in Texas. The fit is not good, but it's not terrible either. Fitting bifurcated garments still eludes me because, to quote myself, "Crotches are weird, man."
  2. In early May, I had finally finished my pink linen 1780 stays, which I had started in April. They're boned with reed and really comfortable to wear. I was happy with the fit and how they ended up looking, especially with the narrow binding. They're still not lined, and they probably never will be, whatever. ;p
  3. Another UFO that I finished up was a quilted petticoat. This was a great multi-use undergarment, because I wore it under my 1840s dress and under my 1780s stuff. It's awesome. Adds a nice amount of loft in the skirts and keeps them off the legs. It was just some pre-fab quilting stuff from Joann that I bound at the hem and the pleated top.
  4. I made a white striped 1845 dress in about 2 weeks start to finish. I was so impressed with myself. Of course, I neglected pretty much everything else in that time, but whatever, I made a dress and now have a good bodice base for that era. It turned out pretty well, but it totally needs a different corset with a higher bust point, and then I'll have to adjust the darts in the lining, but that shouldn't be a problem whenever that time comes. It needs accessories too. And for me to not drop blackberry juice on it when I'm wearing it.
  5. I finished up another UFO: a fichu. A very useful accessory for the wardrobe, but not very exciting. Although I did tambour embroidery on it when I first started it many years ago.
  6. I painted two silk fans in 18th century style but with dog portraits as gifts. It was a fun project and a nice change from the sewing.
  7. I made a super cute and twee corset cover 1870.
  8. My 1870 sheer dress might be my favourite out fit of the year, consisting of a bodice, overskirt, and peplum. It's ruffly and trimmed with lace and currently in need of repairs. I used my 1840s bodice as a starting point to make a new 1870 bodice block, which was used for this and my corset cover.
  9. I made a feather/down stuffed bumpad out of an IKEA pillow. Feathers EVERYWHERE!
  10. To go over it, I made a white linen-rayon 18th century petticoat.
  11. And to go over all that for my trip to Virginia and DC, I made a pale yellow linen-rayon 1780 gown. I wore it to Colonial Williamsburg, where I had a wonderful stay! I got a good pattern base for this, although I want to make some important changes to it at the back so that the sleeves are set in deeper and the back is narrower, but it fits and the look is acceptable.
  12. I also made a white voile (my 3rd white cotton dress of the year!) 1780s roundgown with en fourreau back to wear to The Lady Detalle's birthday tea. For some reason I didn't take any detail pics after I I finished it, but got some great pics at the tea taken by [personal profile] quincy134 . I really like the back pleats on this. I had made some very slight alterations to the fit of the pattern I used for the yellow gown and some worked (like getting a better fit in the back) and some didn't (like having the neckline dip too low and showing the very top of my stays).
  13. I made a silk organza 1780s cap to top everything off. I didn't entirely finish it for my trip and had to temporarily sew part of the caul the band, but it is done now.
  14. After all that summer sewing I needed a break. But I knit up a pair of legwarmers for [personal profile] elizabeth_mn and had fun dyeing them from off-white to pink. Made out of worsted-weight wool, they were a quick and soothing project during a stressful time.
  15. I also cut out and started sewing a silk 1920s slip, but that will be my UFO going into 2019.
My goals for 2018 were: 
  • keep on trying new things with sewing, new techniques, new materials, etc.
  • get a couple of solid bodice patterns figured out, ones that fit really nicely and that I can just use whenever I want to make something from that era
  • get some 18th century things made, especially finishing up these stays and other undergarments and making some gowns and millinery to go over them
  • make some modern clothes, preferably of a professional-looking nature for when I have to look like a grown up
I think I was pretty successful with most of these. I tried out new eras that involved different techniques and styles as well as new materials like reed. I also made bodice blocks for 1840s, 1870, and 1780s that aren't perfect, but that fit well and only need small adjustments to be right. I definitely made some 18th century undergarments, gowns, and millinery (cap and fichu!). The one I fell down on the most was the modern clothes. Just made a pair of mediocre pants. I'm hoping that getting to this blazer soon will help out.

Plans for 2019:
  • keep on upping my sewing game by trying new techniques (like tailoring!), improving fit, and making accessories for outfits
  • make some modern clothes
  • get some good pictures to document all my hard work
  • let go of plans and lists and make what I'm feeling at the time to help with productivity (but no creating UFOs! gotta finish things!)
  • use the stash (it's starting to get out of hand)

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This weekend I went to a workshop for learning how to do hairwork. The workshop was led by Sandra Klowak. She taught us how to do the kind of hairwork that is used to make decorative pieces, like wreaths (not the kinds that were used for jewelry, which involve different techniques). It was super cool. You create guimpes of hair and wire that you then shape into flowers. The hair we used was synthetic.

I think mine turned out pretty good for a first try!

The hair makes little loops that are formed over a rod and are secured by the wire. I'm considering trying something like this but with cord for making trims.

It's tricky to get the ends to look nice. You can see at the back of my flower that lots of the hair ends are sticking out in tufts. I made 5 small guimpes and then twisted the wires together to make the flower.

It was a really neat learning experience. It's such an unusual skill and so very Victorian.


Sep. 25th, 2018 02:21 pm
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I finally got to the store this weekend and picked up all the threads I need! I thought I would find a silk thread to match the ivory of the lace that I'm using to trim my slip, but no dice. I ended up getting a rayon machine embroidery thread, which is a perfect match. I figure that since it's only being used to attach lace, not anything that involves structural integrity, it won't matter if it's not as robust as some other threads. I also finally measured myself and drew out a cutting diagram for the slip the other day and hope to have it cut out this evening.

So thread was all I was planning on getting, but when I got to the store there were some beautiful medium-weight drape-y rayon twills in gorgeous autumnal colours and I ended up getting 2.5m in the deep rust colour. Scrumptious! And they were 50% off, so $10.50/m, which isn't great but also isn't terrible. I'm tempted to go back and possibly get more in the rust and/or some in the deep teal and maybe the mustard... They also had hunter green, burgundy, and grey. Thus, you get a picture of this stuff, a soft aqua silk crepe de chine with ivory lace from Treadle Yard Goods and rust rayon twill from Fabricland. The silk is actually a bit more blue-green than this picture shows. I had to adjust things so that the rust didn't look super red, but it made the silk look faded. Cameras are weird.

Not exactly sure what I'm going to do with the rayon twill. But I rarely see this colour for anything and it's one of my very favourite-ist colours to wear so I had to get it!

I'm pretty chipper today. It's finally sunny! After days and days of chilly, rainy weather once the temperatures went down, it is SUCH a nice change. :)

Tea Party

Sep. 5th, 2018 03:17 pm
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It was the Lady Detalle's birthday, so we had an 18th century chemise gown tea at Green Spring Gardens. It was a lovely venue in a historic building. I didn't want to have to deal with making a chemise gown, so I did a white voile round gown, which I figured was appropriately pastoral. So many gorgeous ladies in their many variations of the gown! It was really interesting to see the different takes of what is essentially the same thing.

I loved all the sashes! This is just walking to the building from the parking lot.

My gown ended up being just a touch too scooped out in the neckline, so I kept having to pull it up in the centre front. Wearing a fichu or having a tucker would totally fix this and I do plan on making a suit of ruffles in the future to avoid this problem. I wore my Dames a la Mode necklace and earrings plus a beautiful sash and buckle borrowed from the Lady Detalle. The sash was really the perfect shade of pink. Reminded me of the portraits of children from the end of the 18th century like this and this.

The back of my dress is cut en fourreau. Here's a picture by In the Long Run Designs, who was nice enough to do some mini photo shoots of people when we were wandering about the grounds after the tea. :)

There were some great flowers and they really attracted the butterflies. I saw this little guy and managed to get a couple of shots before he flew away.

And here you can see us milling about on the lawn with the historic building in the background:

After this, we headed back to the Lady Detalle's house and hung out, ate more food, drank champagne, and watched a couple of movies. It was great! The next day we had a photoshoot with the Lady Detalle's jewelry and then went out for a bit of shopping and then I headed home.

The costuming loot I brought home with me )
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I recently spent several days in the DC area and engaged in costume shenanigans. I stayed with the lovely Lady Detalle and we headed off to Colonial Williamsburg for a whirlwind 24 hours. We stayed overnight in the adorable Moody Kitchen. I never actually finished my cap, even though I was working on it on the plane and in the car. I still had about a third of the caul to whipstitch to the band. She had the genius idea of just running stitching it for now and it worked fabulously!

We got dressed once we arrived and really only had time to check out the millinery shop and a couple of the stores before they closed. I scoped out what I wanted to buy the following day. The Lady Detalle bought some butter toffee peanuts for me to try. I thought that I didn't like peanuts, except for Chinese ones (which are smaller and drier than regular ones), but it turns out I just don't like regular old not-very-good ones. These Virginia peanuts are AWESOME! I ended up getting a big can to take home. :D

Wandering around was nice, but really hot. Got some pics in front of the Governor's Palace. We probably also show up in a bunch of random people's pictures too. That was an expected thing when walking around in costume.

Dinner was at Christiana Campbell's Tavern, which specializes in seafood. I had the crab cakes. YUM! Also, the sweet potato muffins and spoon bread were really tasty. The spoon bread is something they're known for. It's not really like bread, more like a cross between grits and Yorkshire pudding. The atmosphere in the tavern was really nice and so was our server. I loved the giant napkins (1 yard by 1 yard). Super convenient for covering up costumes.

The next day we weren't in costume. That made it easier to get around and be touristy. Breakfast was at a nearby spot called Aromas in regular Williamsburg, where I had strawberry crepes. The exhibit in the Dewitt Wallace Museum was all about printed textiles, so there were lots of neat prints, embroideries, and such. I also wanted almost all of the furniture and dishes on display in the museum.

After the museum, we wandered about some more. I bought a bunch of cool stuff (see a future post for details). Before heading out of Williamsburg we stopped at the Blue Talon for lunch. It was divine! We had their award-winning mac and cheese, a yummy dish called Brandade (to try something new), and a salad (to be healthy!). What a lovely end to my time in Williamsburg!

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I figured I needed to do a test drive on hair, just so I had some sort of handle on the whole thing. I decided against a wig, because it's going to be WAY too hot on my trip to have a bunch of plastic on my head. For reference, my hair is a few inches past my shoulders and I have long bangs that reach to my mouth.

Last night I dampened my hair and put all of the front half into sponge curlers, using the small to medium curlers. I curled them all in the direction away from my face. Left them in overnight. I cut two big hair donuts (those plastic net thingies that are rolled up and look like donuts) open, so that they were long rolled up tubes of plastic net, to use as rats. After tying back my back, uncurled hair, I took out the curlers and ran my fingers through the curls. Then I bobby-pinned on the two long rats to my head, reaching from just behind one ear to just behind the other, with the join in the middle. I sort of loosely gathered and smoothed the curls over the rats and bobby-pinned behind the rats, leaving the ends all curly. I made sure to keep it loose over the ears since portraits show the ears covered. I used a small hair donut cut in half to create rolls/buckles by just rolling a piece of hair around it. It's black and my hair is black, so it doesn't show and it helps my slippery hair stay in the right shape. This was done behind the ear, one on each side. I also used some of my pomade from LBCC Historical applied to the ends of the hair to keep them in check. The back straight hair I loosely braided and pinned up. My hair is too short for a good chignon/back hair style. But if I had curled that hair, I could leave it hanging down or put tie it in a low pony tail. Also, when I wear a cap, nobody would be able to see the top of the chignon pinned up, so doesn't matter! Pictures!

Front (my camera decided to focus on the camera instead of my head, but you get the idea), side, and back (which looks pretty terrible).

I also tried draping my unfinished cap on, just to see how it'd look. (The cap right now is just a finished band and ruffles. Still needs the caul.) I like it!

In the process, I referenced Kendra's 18th Century Hair & Wig Styling and this Instagram thingie I saw on Pinterest by a costumer named Mia, whom I don't know but who has some great costumes.

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As promised, a couple of quick bathroom pics of the dress-in-progress from my fitting. You can see that there's some wrinkling at the back under the arm and at the waist, but I'm thinking that the waist wrinkling should go away once a skirt is attached and if I have my petticoats and rump a bit higher up.

Left to do: sew tops of sleeves and shoulder straps, hem sleeves, pleat and attach skirt, hem skirt, finish bodice at waist.

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I have all the machine assembly done on the bodice, which is good because I am thiiiiiiis close to being out of white cotton thread. I need to go to the store tomorrow and pick some up as well as some straight pins that don't have plastic heads. I drafted this bodice to meet edge-to-edge and then use hooks and eyes for the closure, but I'm thinking that because the fabric is a bit stretchier (and I can do slightly smaller seam allowances at the front edge), I might end up pinning it closed. For those of you who have done 18th century, do you have any preference or advice?

I sewed the seams sort of like the jacket seams in Costume Close-Up, but with all the layers being sewn at once (lining layers right sides together and outer fabric right sides together) leaving about an inch open at either end. Then finishing those inch openings with just lining sewn together and just outer fabric sewn together. This allows me to have all the seam allowances enclosed, but also leaves the edges able to turn into each other. Most other methods seem to be based on hand-sewing techniques. There was no way I was hand-sewing this thing, so I jiggered it this way. I also did that cool thing where you sew the sleeve together, lining and outer fabric, all with one seam and then turn it and you magically end up with a lined sleeve with all the seam allowances encased. Did the same weird thing with leaving the hem edge open for an inch, etc. Some pictures of the front, the inside back, and the outside back:

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For reference, this pattern is from Cut of Women's Clothes by Norah Waugh, diagram XXII from 1775-1780. I managed to enlarge the pattern this afternoon and then did the mock-up stage this evening. It took 2 bodice mock-ups and 2 sleeve mock-ups to get to a good enough stage (where everything fits well and just tiny tweaks are needed that don't warrant another mock-up). Somehow my bodice fronts were way to small at the bust and the back didn't curve in enough at the waist and the waist wasn't short enough. But I managed to get that almost all sorted out with mock-up 2. I can also lift my arms in this! Not as high as one might like, but high enough to touch my head. Pictures:

Things that still need fixing in these pictures: making the elbow dart start a little lower down, alter the angle of the side-back piece where it meets the strap, get rid of the wrinkles in the bodice at the back under the arm by scooping the armscye out a little more there, lower the neckline a bit, and alter the back seamlines a little for aesthetic reasons. Also, it would be good if I had a shift that didn't peak out at the neckline.

Thoughts/notes on fitting:
  • On sleeves: I shorted the height of the sleeve head by 1 inch because it seemed excessively tall compared to sleeves from the same era in Janet Arnold. I think this helped get a nicer fit over the shoulder. The pleats are pretty small, like 1/4" in depth, which is a look that I like, and they start almost right at the back strap seam. Wrinkles under the arm at the back are needed for movement. The armscye should hit pretty far out at the front and get narrow at the back.
  • On the bodice: The front seam really needs to be curved to accommodate the skirts. Same with the back, dramatic curve out from the waist to sit smoothly over the rump. The bottom of the sides needs to hit at the waist to avoid wrinkling (I kept needing to move this up to accommodate my short underarm-to-waist measure), then it curves down at front and back.


Aug. 2nd, 2018 04:10 pm
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Yesterday I patterned up a rump/bumpad and today I cut it out, stuffed it, and sewed it all up! This is what I got that IKEA pillow for. OMG there were feathers all over the place in my backyard. And I still have lots of feathers left in my pillow that I can use for something else. Oh, and also I bled on the rump while transferring feathers to the partially-pinned closed rump. It was an adventure. But it works! Looks good under the quilted petticoat with a mid-19th century petticoat over it all (don't have a 1780s petticoat... yet!).

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I got my sheer bustle dress totally done enough for my trip to Minnesota. It was completely wearable. The only thing that (I thought) needed doing was to add some metal rings inside the overskirt for bustling with the tape ties. This was a very froofy dress, which was totally the point. It is two parts, a bodice and overskirt with peplum, made out of cotton voile. It has a ton of ruffles, gathered 1.5, that I made in a not very historically accurate, but I thought clever, way, illustrated below.

First the lace and voile edges were serged together, right sides together.

Then the lace and voile were opened out and ironed, with the serging facing the voile. (This is the wrong side of the ruffle.)

Lastly, the voile was top-stitched right on the edge to hold the serging down. It gives a nice clean finish and is WAY less labour than actual hemming and attaching lace.

[personal profile] elizabeth_mn planned a bustle picnic at the Conservatory. It was a really beautiful setting.

We also had some cute kids with us. Clearly they enjoyed the parasols.

It was nice to re-meet Laura. I didn't realize that I had met her before at CoCo last year! But she was smart and knew exactly who I was. It's great to find another costumer who is not super far away. Here are Laura, Elizabeth, and I (right to left). (I wanted to name everyone left to right, but the grammatical construction of that sentence just wouldn't work properly. ;p)

There ended up being some snafus with this dress. It's really difficult to see, but part of the front of the overskirt got caught in the seam when I applied the ruffle. It's mostly hidden behind the ruffle, and I didn't even notice until I was ironing the thing in the hotel. That's something I need to fix. Also, I need to re-sew one of the ties. The boyfriend sat beside me and when I got up, turned out he was sitting on part of my overskirt, and the tie ripped out of the waistband and ripped one of the safety pins out. Luckily, that safety pin was in the seam allowance that was felled, so the few ripped threads aren't damaging the structure or any of the visible fabric. And the tie was just sewn in with a couple of stitches that ripped the tie, not the stitches, so I just need a new tie. Anyways, that happened before we took this picture:

The boyfriend got a dapper bow tie and a thrift store vest to blend in some. He doesn't costume, but doesn't mind dressing up. This worked.

I LOVE the back of my dress! It's SO ruffly with the peplum. This picture was taken near the end of our time at the Conservatory, and it looks like my bodice has pulled out a little, causing the wrinkling in the back. I'm pretty sure that's not usually there. Ugh, annoying, but you get the idea. Lots of fluffles! And the corset cover worked a treat, too.

Anyways, I was super pleased with how my dress turned out. It was light, summery, floofy, and looked how I wanted it to. It's always such a great feeling when something matches your vision. I need to get some really good pictures of this once it's all fixed up.
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Now that I know they have arrived at their destination, I can post about these here. I made these a couple of weeks ago for some dear friends, Angela and Bethany, who have been my roommates both times I've been to CoCo and who lost their beloved puppies this past year. I wanted to repay them for past kindnesses and make something that would be a memento for their pets.

So these started as some plain silk Chinese fans that I got on eBay. They're kind of too big for historical stuff (13" sticks), but I figured that better too big than too small for fans and keeping cool. I have (of course) a whole Pinterest board of 18th century fans that helped me with the design. The pictures of the dogs were printed out from their Facebook photo albums. Then I drew everything on in pencil and traced the dog outlines using the window (which gave my arms a good workout!) also in pencil. I used Jacquard Textile Color and Lumiere by Jacquard (in Bright Gold) fabric paints. I started by filling in all the design stuff in colour.

Then I added all the gold accents, which really made everything pop.

I saved the dog portraits for last. They were the part I was most worried about because I really wanted them to look like the actual dogs. Luckily, my dad has a great eye for animals and was super helpful in nailing the little details, like the angle of a nose or where a highlight should be.

The finished fans:

These were a lot of fun to make and I am happy to report that they were well-received. Painting on the folded surface caused some difficulties. And sometimes my lines weren't always as fine or as consistent as I would have liked. I did have a very tiny brush, which worked well. And the whole thing was good practice for when I finally get around to making that painted dress this winter.

Speaking of dresses, I need to get back to work on my sheer bustle dress! I need to gather and to apply all the ruffles that I made yesterday.

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I got my act together and took some pictures of the stuff I've been making. So here is my fichu. I did the embroidery and the hem on the straight sides YEARS ago and only got around to hemming the curved side a couple weeks ago. It's hemmed with a narrow hem.

And my corset cover. I don't think I've ever made something so dainty and twee before. But it looks right and it will work, so that's good. It's made from my 1840s dress pattern with the neckline lowered, the bottom of the waist cut straight across, and two darts instead of one.

Also, I went to a button and trunk sale that the Costume Museum was holding with my two local costuming buddies and picked up these awesome things. Mother of pearl slide buckle and buttons and some linen washing buttons. The linen buttons are cool. You see them on late-1800s and early 1900s underwear, like corset covers. I think these need a wash, but they're meant for that, so they should be alright. The buckle will go with my 1930s Wearing History Tea at Two dress, when I get around to making it in the fall/winter, and the buttons will be perfect for a c.1916 Wearing History Elsie shirtwaist, which I'm also planning to make in the fall/winter. Maybe I should call it Wearing History Winter? The linen buttons would have actually been perfect for my corset cover instead of the plastic ones, but oh well, not gonna do anything about it now. Need to work on other stuff.

I got my voile washed and ironed. Hoping to cut out the bodice and maybe even get it partially assembled this evening. It's getting to be crunch time!

Doors Open

Jun. 10th, 2018 08:08 pm
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The ladies and I went to several places for the annual Doors Open event, when historic sites are open to the public for free. We decided to do pre-hoop mid-century Victorian dresses and I busted my butt to make the white striped 1845 dress in time. We wanted clothes that would be close in time period to the sites we were visiting, but nothing that would be cumbersome and get in the way for other visitors. I don't actually have a lot of pictures. I was more interested in looking at things and avoiding bugs. (I learned that bugs are attracted to white. I had little flies all over my skirt throughout the day. EW. When I got home I threw everything in the dryer just to be safe that all my stuff was bug free. And now I never want to wear white costumes outside again.)

Our first stop was the first Protestant church and cemetery in the area, built in the 1850s. It was extra interesting for me because I had done some work in the local archives years ago on the people connected to this church and the house we visited after, so I knew some personal stuff about the people having read their letters.

The next stop was a house built by the brother-in-law of the missionary who founded the church. It was also the first post office in the area.

Weird fact: the guy who built the house was named William. He had a sister named Jemima. He married a lady named Jemima. His sister Jemima married a guy named William. When the William who built the house and his sister Jemima died, his widow Jemima married his sister's widower William. SO bizarre and hilarious. I had a CRAZY time with that while researching in the archives, trying to figure out who was who.

The following pictures are all Dawn's, who always kindly shares her pictures with the group in a very timely fashion. Some post office stuff:

Behind the house where there was a lilac tree:

And then we headed to a nearby other house, a site we'd been to before. I'm checking out their plants. They had some great bleeding hearts and a gorgeous lilac in front,

It was a fun day, in spite of the bugs. It was neat seeing 2 sites I had never been to before and fun making the connections between the archival materials and these other material objects relating to the same people.

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So last week I went out in costume with my local ladies (of the group Victorian at Heart) twice. We headed to the nearby fort to celebrate the Queen's birthday (that's Queen Victoria, and yeah, in Canada we get a long weekend for her birthday). The fort was built in the 1830s and reenactors working at the fort represent the year 1852 (because it's an uncontroversial year in Canadian history, how Canadian is that?! lol). We went last year and it made me want a suitable dress. Obviously the 1845 one would have been perfect, but it wasn't nearly done yet, so I wore my old favourite 1867 print. The fort has been getting restored with better fire safety things and new paint.

See more about the fort and my day there behind the cut! )

There was a nice breeze which made for some interesting pictures of skirts and curls blown about by the wind. You can see the river behind me. I assume the fort was built by the river on purpose for convenience of having water and water transport.

I had a wonderful time. I love going to the fort for several reasons: it's one of the oldest historic sites around here, there's so much to see and explore, and the reenactors who work there are lovely people who are friendly and welcoming. :)

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I sort of documented the rest of the making of my 1845 white striped dress and, in the process, my 18th c. style quilted petticoat. My quilted petticoat is doing double duty as an 1840s quilted petticoat. Here it's worn with a horsehair ruffled bustle underneath and my tucked petticoat on top. This was when I was measuring for skirt length and wanting to see what sort of shape I'd get with these skirt supports. I was pretty pleased with the silhouette.
Cut for a lot of pictures and me rambling on about what I did )

I didn't bother finishing any of the inside seams, although I will probably go back and whip the seam allowances at the armhole and stitch them to the bodice so that they don't sit in the semi-sheer sleeve. At this point the dress now has all its eyes and half of the front hooks done. It's not completely done, but done enough that I'm not going to worry about it too much anymore. :)

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I still need to do recaps of my two latest costumed adventures and show my finished 1845 striped white dress, but I'm just not feeling like it today. I should have time this week to get to some of that. Technically the 1845 dress isn't completely done; it has all the eyes sewn on, but only half of the CF hooks. I'm so over it now though and thinking about the next thing.

The next project is going to be my ruffly, floofy sheer early bustle dress. I've wanted one for a while now. But the first part needs to be a corset cover. I am thinking something like this one from the Met:

Pretty plain and simple. I have some lawn I can use for it, but most of the examples I looked at seemed like they used something a little thicker. Any knowledge on what would be suitable? My other point of contention is on where the shoulder should hit. Looking at pictures, paintings, and photographs, it looks like a lot of the time the lining or corset cover was cut like a ballgown bodice with the strap on the point of the shoulder or just off the shoulder and that it was more rare for it to actually be on the shoulder. However, that seems like it'd be annoying to wear, so I'm not sure that I want to go that route. Any opinions?

Links to show the more off-the-shoulder cut and people in sheers with the lining/corset cover off the shoulder:

mala_14: (Default)
I decided to whip up an 1840s dress for a local event with my Victorian costuming friends and figured I'd document the progress since it's a new-to-me era.

I started out with the 1852-1856 pattern in Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion 1, combining the half-high lining with the overlays to create a bodice pattern that went all the way up to the neck. I also used the sleeve lining to figure out a starting point for the sleevehead of my sleeve. These were the measurements I got from measuring the little 1/8th scale diagram, so they may not be totally accurate, as well as my little 1/8th diagram before scaling up. (Dashed lines are where I figured I'd have to shorten the pattern.) I scaled up the pattern using radial enlargement, which can get a little bit wonky at times, but overall is the quickest way I know how to do this without using some sort of technology that is not my hands. (You can see where the little scale diagram is taped at the bottom for the process.)

In which I go into the process in detail, with many notes )

Up next is cutting out the fabric.


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