mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
Of course I needed pockets to put things in. So I made some using the print fabric as the fronts and some scrap plain white cotton for the backs. They aren't as capacious as they could be, but they still fit in the standard range of sizes of pockets from the period that I looked at. They're about 14" long and 10" wide at the bottom (6" wide at the top). See my Pinterest board of pockets here. We've all seen the beautifully embroidered pockets of the 18th century, but in my research I found that print pockets were around in the late 18th century and became more popular in the early 19th century. Patchwork pockets were also a thing in the early 19th.

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The Challenge:
Holes: Pockets are all about holes. Mostly we don't want holes in our pockets because we don't want to lose things, but a hole is an integral part of the pocket, otherwise we wouldn't be able to put anything in the pocket!

Material: quilting cotton print, cotton drapery lining, the pocket opening/hole is bound in the print

Pattern: made up based on pictures of period pockets

Year: c.1810-1825

Notions: cotton thread, cotton twill tape

How historically accurate is it? Close, but not quite. Mostly machine sewn (although hand finished) and the outside edge is enclosed in a French seam (because I didn't want to have to deal with hand-sewing the binding)

Hours to complete: 3.5-ish, for the first time I actually have an idea because I made these in one day, although I did the pattern the day before

First worn: yesterday for a living history event

Total cost: the fabric was all scraps/leftovers from other projects and the twill tape was something I already had on hand, so sort of $0

In other sewing news, I made some starch using cornstarch and I starched 2 petticoats (1880s and 1890s) and my shirtwaist. It was something of a production trying to wrangle the 1890s petticoat because it was rather big, was made out of a heavier fabric (poplin), plus it had the flounce. The other two items were much easier to deal with, being smaller or of thinner fabric. They are currently hung up to dry and the spots that are already dry are quite papery. I used a recipe that I got from the Sewing Academy Forum, but instead of making it heavy starch, I diluted it to a sort of medium-heavy starch.

I'm also working on my hat, which I need for Saturday. I changed my mind on doing a sailor/boater style and instead want something like this:


I like how it has a definite period aesthetic, not a modern one. It's also flatter, so that means less hand sewing. Plus I can make some sort of wacky loopy bow out of the same silk that I used for my bow tie. I've already taken apart one of those straw craft hats and am reassembling the straw braid.

Also, I was wearing my shirtwaist and bow tie last night to try them on and my brother said I looked like a barbershop quartet. lol
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
I got pictures of my 1895 ensemble before I presented on it at a conference. This ensemble has parts for multiple HSM challenges, including: Tucks and Pleating, Protection, and Gender Bender. The skirt is Tucks and Pleating, with it's double pleats at the CB. The corset cover is for Protection. And the bow tie and shirtwaist are for Gender Bender. I'm too lazy to put in the whole spiel for all three of these. But here are pictures!
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The dressform's torso is too long and the neck too big plus no arms, so everything isn't fitting perfectly. But it's remarkably close to me in size, which is cool, considering it was a random find in the university's archives. I was up past 1:30am the day before the conference sewing the darned bow tie. It gave me fits and and is actually really crappy. You can't see, but the entire middle section is topstitched instead of properly finished. I made it too narrow and couldn't turn the ends through it and the silk was fraying. It was a mess. But I thought the outfit really needed it.

For my presentation, I gave a short talk about modern historical costumers and how the goal of historical costuming isn't always 100% accurate reproduction, but that we can learn a lot about the era as well as our present mindsets from historical costuming. I talked about how reproducing the past isn't possible, but that there are a lot of interesting things going on between the past as it actually existed and how we think about it from our modern viewpoint. I used these articles as examples to frame my talk, showing the current interest worldwide in historic costume:
Sarah Chrisman "I love the Victorian era. So I decided to live in it."
Rebecca Onion "Vox's Victorians"
Leimomi Oakes AKA The Dreamstress "A Practice in Practicality: Doing Housework, 1910s style"
Ruth Goodman "Getting Clean, the Tudor Way"
Then I undressed the dressform so that people could see all the layers. One of the ladies wanted to try on the corset, so I let her. It was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed this conference and am looking forward to next year's. But I am SO exhausted. I've spent the past 3 weeks finishing final papers, moving, sewing a bunch of this ensemble, writing my conference paper, and attending the conference. Whew!
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
Is it perfect? No. Is it done? YES!!! I just finished off the corset cover today. It is my entry for HSM #3: Protection. Yeah, I skipped over #2, which will end up being my 1895 skirt, which I'm hoping to get done this month. Once again, no pictures. But it's the same as the other pictures with both armholes finished and a hem. Here's the rundown:

The Challenge: Protection, corset covers protected one from the cold, protected one's modesty/protected one from showing too much skin, and protected the clothes from the corset.

Material: Cotton muslin

Pattern: modified bodice pattern that I drafted from Frances Grimble's Fashions of the Gilded Age Vol. 1, changed things so that the CF was on the straight and everything else adjusted accordingly

Year: 1890s

Notions: cotton thread, silk thread, plastic buttons

How historically accurate is it? Pretty good, probably about 95%. It's -5% for the plastic buttons and the extreme plainess of it. Most underwear from the 1890s is getting pretty froufrou leading up to the Edwardian era. Pattern is totally plausible, other materials are fine.

Hours to complete: No clue, little bits spread out over two months

First worn: Not yet, probably not until April

Total cost: Not much. The buttons were about $1.50, the fabric was leftover from muslin I used for lots of things last year like linings
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.

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.

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Sabrina

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