mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
I put on my chemise, corset, hoop, gored 1890s petticoat, and tucked petticoat, and then my print dress to mark the hem. My mom helped me by pinning up the hem. So that's done. Now it needs a facing, which means I need to find something to make a facing out of. Anyways, the point of listing all the undergarments was that I had totally forgotten about my tucked petticoat, but it makes a really nice over-hoop layer. It's all rectangles, so it adds bit more fullness all around, which I think looks right. I may have spent a few hours looking at photos c.1865-1875 to figure out skirt silhouettes and how to adjust my hoop to make it work for early bustle so that I don't have to make a bustle just yet.

Upon further reflection, I've decided that I didn't distribute the skirt properly when attaching it to the waistband, so it looks a bit skimpy over the back when worn with the hoop. But not enough that I'm going to redo it. I'm just noting it so that I remember for future reference.

Ok, I'm also super sniffly/running nose/sneezy. So I wasn't actually very productive on sewing today. But slowly things are getting done.
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
You may remember this outfit as the one I made to present at a conference last month. Well, I made a hat to go with it (which I ended up changing the design for AGAIN) and wore it for the Doors Open event this weekend, which is an event where many places are open for tours to the public. Our living history group was at Dalnavert House Museum, the place that I made this outfit to be contemporaneous with. And I got pictures of me in my 1895 outfit in the 1895 house!

On the veranda, where we were set up with some displays:
P1020604

And in the house itself:
P1020615

Close-up of the hat, plus now my hair is long enough to make a respectable bun:
P1020620

I really love this ensemble. It's comfortable and allows me to be fairly mobile. I also feel like it looks more like clothes and less like costume than a lot of my other outfits. My only real qualms are that the waist tie on the shirtwaist is too high in the back so it shows above the skirt and that the skirt's placket doesn't stay closed. I'm going to remove the waist tie and (eventually) add the proper hooks to the placket (right now there are none). No problem!

I'm also in love with my new hat! It's my second hat ever. I deconstructed one of those craft straw hats and sewed this together by hand. It has a fairly shallow crown and a sort of medium-ish brim. The front tilts down a bit and the back tilts up to accomodate my bun. I shaped it by spraying the hat with water and propped it up the way I wanted and left it to dry overnight. (I also used a book wrapped in a plastic bag to get the top of the crown flat.) The "ribbon" is actually the same silk fabric as the bow tie. It's double-sided silk, one side gold taffeta, the other side orange-y satin. I turned the edges over and sewed them so that it looks like a striped ribbon, then made fun loops and bows. The tallest loop is a bit droopy at times, but overall they are pretty perky loops.

My shirtwaist and petticoats are all starched, but I found that after ironing they were less stiff and starchy. Anyone know if that is normal? I was hoping for a bit more starchiness, especially to keep my sleeves and collar supported. Maybe I just need to use starch more heavily.

It was a fun day. We had some Votes For Women signs that were popular (it's the 100th anniversary of Manitoba women getting the vote) and people like seeing us around. Lots of people wanted pictures taken with us. Good stuff!
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
Now that I am not frantically scrambling to move, finish essays, and prepare for a conferece, I can take time to do things at home. This mostly involves cooking and cleaning, to help out the family and to prepare for my stuff to arrive. It's not fun, but it's good to feel accomplished and productive. Plus, I get to sleep in.

I'm also planning my next sewing projects. I have a couple of living history events at the end of May: Visit With the People of the Red River and Doors Open. The first is an educational day at one of the local museums, where kids from a school come and we do demonstrations. This needs c.1815 clothing because it's Selkirk Settlers/Manitoba history stuff. I was going to make a white petticoat to wear under my 1790s chemise dress that I was going to fake as being later by wearing it with my Regency stays. But I got the brilliant(?) idea that it wouldn't be much more work to make a petticoat and a shortgown/jacket out of some cotton print that I have and then I'd just straight-up have a period appropriate outfit for all my 1815 needs (which are many because that's the primary period we do). I am planning an ensemble based on a few period examples:
From the National Trust, can be seen in Nancy Bradfield's Costume in Detail.
From the Charleston Museum.

And there's a similar shortgown/jacket in [livejournal.com profile] chocolatepot's Regency Women's Dress. I'm making a less frilly one because I don't have the patience for ruffles. Just a fitted back and loose front that will tie, with a collar. I have a whole Pinterest board for this project here. The petticoat will be really simple, just a shaped front, rectangular back, and straps. I think I can get this project done in a reasonable amount of time since I have a sort of basic Regency bodice pattern to start from.

The second event is at Dalnavert House Museum, where I was this past weekend for some of the conference. The house was built in 1895 so my new shirtwaist/skirt ensemble will have its first wearing! The ensemble really needs a hat (well, and a jacket, but I am being slightly ambitious, not crazy. I just hope it's fairly warm. I was chilly last year). I am thinking a plain sailor hat with a band of the same silk as the bow tie, kind of like this lady:


I also need to work on two baby quilts. I have the cotton fabric, but need the batting. I want to get the costuming done in the next couple of weeks and then maybe one quilt and then back to costuming (corset?) and then quilt again.

For non-sewing things, today I baked a cake. I'm calling it a diet cake. Now that I'm back home I am eating healthier (and less) and trying to get some exercise (so far, mostly vacuuming) and do stretching. I got a cake craving, though, so I made a "diet" version of a Victoria sponge cake. It's "diet" because it's about 2/3 of a regular cake recipe, which is 2 cakes put together to form the layers, and it doesn't have any whipped cream. Also, because it's at home, I only get to eat a quarter of the cake. ;p
P1020557
It sunk a little bit in the middle, for some reason. Possibly problems when I reduced the recipe or maybe not quite baked enough, though it was definitely cooked. It's super easy to make and I love the taste. It's basically a pound cake recipe, usually done by weight, but I've converted it into volume measurements.
Recipe behind the cut )
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
I put the collar on the shirtwaist and decided to try it on and take pics. Although the collar is about an inch too loose around my neck, it's looking alright. It's not a very exciting ensemble, kind of butter churn-y, but OMG I love how ridiculous the sleeves will look once I get the cuffs on them. (I'm sad that their true ridiculousness does not show in these pics.) It really needs starch, but I will have to forgo the starching this week. I have to have it done tomorrow and will be giving my conference presentation Saturday morning. But next week, I am going to have a starching day and EVERYTHING will be able to stand up on its own! Bwaahahaha!
P1020540
Back and button band detail )

Bonus petticoat pictures. While my cotton lawn petticoat is lovely and delicate and soft, this stiffer poplin really gives a great shape because it has so much more body, especially with the flounce. Lazy picture of it over my ensemble skirt on the dress form.
P1020546
And this is how the flounce was applied. The gathered edge is sewn into a tuck in the petticoat. So there is more petticoat under the flounce and the flounce sits on top. This keeps the raw edge all covered and neat. Plus, tuck for bonus stiffening around the circumference.
P1020545
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)

No pictures right now, since my camera is at home. It's just a simple petticoat. I spent about 4 months making it because I wanted it done in September and I only got it wearable this past month. And it could still use a flounce.

The Challenge: Procrastination

Material: peach cotton poplin (that used to be orange)

Pattern: made it up using pictures of 1890s petticoat patterns

Year: 1895

Notions: cotton thread, cotton twill tape

How historically accurate is it? not bad, most cotton petticoats from this era seem to be white or patterned or sateen, while solid coloured ones seem to be silk, but other than that and needing a flounce, all good

Hours to complete: no idea, way more than needed

First worn: not yet, needs the rest of the outfit

Total cost: maybe about $10-$20? I don't really remember how much the fabric cost

Technically, I have two entries for this one because I also started my corset cover and I continue to put off working on it. I made two buttonholes yesterday. And it won't get completely finished until I can get back home, cut a new bias strip, and finish off an armhole.

Moving on

Jan. 4th, 2016 09:59 pm
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
Got my apartment stuff sorted out (keys on the way to me and bill paid) and thinking about other things, like what is on the sewing docket for the coming year. I've mentioned my projects before but I'm kind of sad that all of my upcoming projects are already decided. I like it being a bit open-ended. But since the reason for these projects being determined is the fact that I have specific things to wear these to, it's not really a bad thing. So here are the projects and their different elements, just to keep it organized:

1. 1895 ensemble: petticoat, corset cover, skirt, blouse, bow tie, straw boater, (jacket?)
2. 2 baby quilts
3. 1867 outfit: corset, crinoline, petticoat, (chemise?), print dress, hat, shawl
4. 1883 plaid kilted outfit: kilted underskirt, overskirt, velveteen bodice (I hope 1m is enough for this, if now, I have a cotton-silk suiting I could dye green that would work), (collar?), (cuffs?)
5. 1883 outerwear: coat, faux fur short cape, faux fur muff, faux fur hat, nubia
6. Modern: grey shorts

It's a lot of items for me to make in a year, but last year I made 3 ensembles/dresses for Costume College, so I think I can get it done. And when these are finished, I have some others that I want to get done after (maybe for the Francaise Dinner or Costume College in 2017).

1. Painted 1780s gown: bum pad, petticoat, petticoat, gown, wig, cap/hat
2. Lilac silk and cream net 1871 evening gown: petticoat, skirt, overskirt, bodice
3. 1816 ensemble: print dress or shortgown/skirt combo, cap/hat, apron, ruff/chemisette
4. 1790 riding habit: shirt, cravat, petticoat, waistcoat, jacket, hat
OR 4. 1908 ensemble: net guimpe, green jumper dress, (hat?)
OR 4. 1920s one-hour dress: lavender polka dot day dress, hat
OR 4. Yellow linen-rayon 1930s/40s something
OR 4. 1916 outfit: petticoat, corset cover, striped skirt, blouse, hat
OR 4. 1869 burnt orange dress: dress, overdress,
5. Modern: pants, (blouse?), (wool-cashmere blazer?) (birds voile dress?)

Other potential sewing )
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
Overall, a very productive year for historical sewing because of Costume College, at least for the first half of the year. Sadly, no modern makes and not much done lately.
1880s Undergarments: Chemise, Corset, Bust Pad, Ruffled Bustle Pad, and Petticoat

Felt very accomplished in making all of these. Not pictured is the little ruffled panel that I made to button on my Edwardian petticoat that I wore underneath. This corset is pretty and kinda fancy (gives a very curvy shape) and fits almost just right, but I still need to finish the flossing on it and want to make a new corset this year that is more comfortable and fits exactly right.

See the rest here! )

Altogether about 12 individual items. Not too shabby and definitely a productive year for me. My 2015 goals were to:

  1. Make clothes to wear over historical undergarments

  2. Focus on fit

  3. Make accessories

  4. Use the stash

  5. Figure out hair

I definitely made clothes, 3 outfits/dresses! I am pretty happy with the fit on all of the things I made, although there are a couple of small tweaks that I can and will make in the future. Did better on accessories for some things, although still weak in the hat department. All 3 outifts used stash fabrics (print cotton, green silk, purple synthetic, black chiffon). Hair was OK, but nothing to brag about. Mostly curling and some braids. Having bangs was definitely key with all the bustle stuff I was doing.

My goals for 2016 are looking pretty similar. I want more clothes, especially since I have so many undergarments now, although some more are on the list. Fit will always be a priority with me and something that can always be worked on. I want more comfort (range of movement in arms, waist placement) and I know how to do that, so I can put it into work this year. More accessories, for sure, especially hats but also a couple of other things that are on the docket. I got a bunch of straw hats for Christmas that I can cut up and take apart to make new hats! I bought a lot of fabric this year, so next year needs to be about using them! (A problem you can all sympathise with, I know.) Hair, well mine's getting longer, so some styles should be easier. Also, I have Kendra's 18th Hairstyling book, so that may come into play some time.

Whew! So that was sewing in 2015!

Surprise!

Dec. 16th, 2015 03:48 pm
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
I did some sewing. I now have a wearable 1890s petticoat. It could use a flounce, but that's lower on the priority list right now. I wanted to get so much done over the holidays. I'm not sure it'll be possible because I'm so busy with stuff going on and being lazy. But I can definitely get a good chunk of it done still. Next is corset cover.

On the plus side, this cotton poplin is really nice for a petticoat. It's a bit heavier than lawn, but it has way more body. I'm getting a nice skirt shape from it, even without the flounce. :)
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
The Dreamstress has the HSM 2016 challenges posted. I may be participating in this one. I have so many things that need sewing this year. Surely, I can make them fit the challenges.

January - Procastination: the petticoat, corset cover, and skirt for my 1895 ensemble
February - Tucks & Pleating: 1895 shirtwaist will have tucks to fit the front shoulder
March - Protection: maybe a hat? or I'll have my 1864 knitted shawl finished, or the jacket for the 1895 ensemble
April - Gender-Bender: if I have time to make the jacket for my 1895 ensemble, or the hat which will likely be a straw boater, or the bow tie I'm planning on having for this outfit
May - Holes: a lacy cloud/nubia? (unlikely that I'd get all 3 yards knitted by this time though), 1860s corset?
June - Travel: 1790s straw hat?
July - Monochrome: 1860s corset or crinoline or petticoat, all will be white
August - Pattern: 1867 cotton print dress
September - Historicism: 1867 bonnet (lots of these bonnets have names like Marie Antoinette and Pompadour)
October - Heroes: 1883 Laura Ingalls-style bustle dress with plaid kilted skirt and velveteen bodice (plaid bustle always makes me think of the later Little House books)
November - Red: Does maroon count as red? Cuz then it'll be my bustle coat. If not, then no idea
December - Special Occasion: faux fur cape, hat, and muff

Obviously, I'll have to figure out some of these when the time comes. I seem to have 3 major ensembles on the schedule for this year: 1895, 1867, and 1883. Other things that need sewing: 2 baby quilts. Maybe some modern clothes. Other things I'd like to work on, but probably won't get to: 18th century and late-Regency stuff.
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
School is in full swing now. I gave my first lecture today as a teaching assistant. I have to give 3 throughout the year. I wasn't nearly as freaked out or nervous as I thought I would be. I'm used to having shaky hands when I have to present papers and such in front of people. I don't know if the sickness that I'm still recovering from has taken up all my energy so that I didn't have any left over for nervousness or if I'm just so apathetic about being here that it spread to my school stuff and I didn't have any emotions to feel while lecturing, The lecture itself went well. I said my stuff and had a Powerpoint presentation with quotations and things. There were several students who answered my questions and had things to say, which was awesome. Overall, good stuff.

Because I've been sick and doing school stuff, I have had much time or motivation to do sewing or knitting. I didn't manage to sew on Sunday like I wanted to, but then felt guilty and did a tiny bit on Monday on my 1895 petticoat. I felled the front seams, cut out a bias facing, and attached that to the front pieces. Maybe today I'll sew the back piece to the front pieces. I can also get the flounce pieces cut out without much effort. Low-effort sewing is the most I can manage right now. Unfortunately, I really wanted to get this whole 1895 ensemble done fairly quickly, like by December. Ack!

I did it!

Sep. 19th, 2015 09:27 pm
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
I sewed! It was only the darts and attaching the front piece to the side pieces, but still, first time I've been on the machine since I got here. And the last thing I sewed was curtains. Not really thrilling in my opinion. Next will be cutting out some bias for a waist facing. I also need to cut out the flounce. (Maybe flounces? Haven't decided yet, but a little ruched bit on the bottom of the flounce could be fun, especially if I do a ruched bit at the head of the flounce, which I was planning on doing.)

This sewing machine mostly worked fine too. It's an old Kenmore that my mom got me as a present probably like 20 years ago. It's always had this problem though where the thread gets caught up in the bobbin and makes a mess of threads. Then I have to open up the bobbin case and pull out all the little threads that have magically appeared wound up in there and re-thread it. I have no idea how to fix this. It happened a couple of times today. Any suggestions?
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
Got through my first week of classes. Seems alright. My Brontes class is very promising (the prof brought cookies!) and the detective short stories class I'm TA-ing for was really interesting too. The other classes were more blah: professionalization skills, research forum (which is really just attending talks and discussing them), and Aboriginal Voice (had lots of texts which I've already studied back home which is good because I won't have to buy all the books, but the prof is less fun than the one I had, who was super awesome).

Walked downtown today and did some fun shopping. Got a spray bottle for ironing (not really fun, but needed). Went to 2 bakeries and bought a chocolate raspberry square in one and ginger cookies in another. Stopped by Minotaur and bought some cream-coloured wool for the eventual border stripes in my 1864 shawl. I hope one skein is enough. It's Cascades 220, so 200m/210yards. Also picked up some yellow dye because it is cheaper than at home. I want to use it to over-dye my pale yellow silk that I bought on sale from Golden Silks, which has a grey-ish tinge that isn't really flattering. And some plain buttons for the corset cover I should be making if I ever finish my 1895 petticoat.

Plans for this weekend include: homework, cleaning, and knitting (or possibly even sewing, but I doubt it, although the machine is unpacked and sitting on the table, not feeling very motivated). I hope all my friends have a nice weekend!
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
I had my first day of classes today, which really just meant going to one class and having a meeting with the person that I am a teaching assistant for. I got to actually meet all the other first-year PhD students and they were really nice and friendly. The class itself is a professionalization and skills class, so small assignments are do every week, but mostly for practical things that are concerned with what we will be doing anyways like writing grant applications and such. TA-ing looks like it'll be a fair bit of work (lots of reading to keep up with), but I guess that's what they're paying me for.

No sewing progress. I should really start putting that petticoat together. Instead, I've been doing some knitting. Still working on the 1864 Winter Shawl from Godey's that lots of people have made. It's nice and simple so I don't have to worry about screwing up and there's no complex pattern to remember, just knit stitches and the very occasional increase. My kind of knitting! I'm maybe about a third of the way through. I don't have any wool to make the border stripes yet but...

There's a cool store here called Minotaur that carries some wool and one may be the kind that I'm looking for. Minotaur sells novelty stuff, like funny socks and Star Trek themed cups, as well as interesting books, board games, jewelry, and furniture. They also have the aforementioned yarns in addition to some novelty print cottons, buttons, and fabric dye. AND they also host game nights and knitting workshops. I've never been in such an eclectic store before, but it's pretty awesome.

I'm Back

Sep. 11th, 2015 05:59 pm
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
Just got my internet (and TV and phone) installed today. So you can expect to see more of me again. I'm all caught up on my friends list, but haven't been commenting. Sorry! More comments in future. It feels good to be connected again and able to turn on the TV just for some noise and know that when I talk to my parents on the phone it won't rack up ridiculous long distance charges. Also, Skype!

Still settling in here. Classes start on Monday. I'm not sure how I feel about this place. Being surrounded by incredibly loud and rambunctious partying undergrads isn't really my idea of a good time, but it can't last forever. We'll see how I feel about things once school gets going. I will give it a good shot.

I have sewing news, actually. Even though it has mostly been too hot to move here, especially without air conditioning, it cooled down a bit and I cut out most of my 1895 petticoat (minus flounce and facing). I had a bad moment when I realized I made a bone-headed math error and cut out the gores with a hem about half of what they needed to be. So I put it away for another day. I was pretty upset even though I had enough to re-cut because I was wasting a metre of fabric. But I came up with a less wasteful solution: still using the front gored panel, but with a new side panel. This gives me the hem circumference that I need without re-cutting everything. I'll use the already cut out wrong bits for bias facings. Should be alright.

Un-dye job

Aug. 20th, 2015 03:44 pm
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
I think I successfully colour-removed some fabric I bought. It's a cotton poplin that I want to use for my 1890s petticoat, which will hopefully also double as a petticoat for other eras, like over my eventually-to-be-made 1867 hoop. (It'll be too short in the back for over a hoop, but it won't really matter with another petticoat over it that is the right length.) I should have taken before and after pics, but didn't. It started out deep orange, like this, which is sort of OK for 1890s because they wore coloured petticoats then. But that wouldn't do if I ever decided to make something thin or light-coloured to wear over it or for it to be as multi-purpose as I want, so it needed to be lighter. It also wouldn't look very nice with my lavender corset. After some minutes in the steaming hot water and RIT color remover, it became a nice peach colour. It's in the washing machine right now, but I'm hoping that after drying it is a light peach.

I didn't use the stove-top because I didn't have a pot that I wanted to play with chemicals in. Instead I boiled up several pots of water and put them in my big dye bucket. It was all very steamy, which is what I wanted because heat seems to be a good thing with dyeing and such. What I didn't enjoy was the smell and steam, which I tried to avoid. The packaging recommended a well-ventilated area and not breathing in any of the powder. I had the exhaust fan on and the window open. I also used a paint stick to stir, but accidentally broke it when I was nearly done. :p I think I had the fabric in the water for about 10 min.

This was definitely a job I wanted to get done before moving. No way I could do this in my apartment kitchen. And I wouldn't want to do it in the apartment's laundry facilities.

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