Posts made in February, 2013

Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge #4

Posted by on Feb 26, 2013 in Historical Costuming | Comments Off on Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge #4

Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge #4

I quite missed #1 and 2, since I didn’t hear about this until earlier this month.  Then during #3 I started making the 1911 corset but got waylaid by Purim, and as per previous post knew I had better finish off an old costume rather than start on anything new.  But nothing I had to finish for Purim really fit into either of the recent challenges..  Plus it’s been really busy at work, which is pretty normal this time of year and I’ve had a lot of spill-over of work through my lunch hour and into the evenings, which really eats into my time to do much of anything.  So working an extra project hasn’t really happened.


I did try a few things.  I started doing a bit of crochetingfor the neckline ofmy 1580s peasant chemise, but when I pulled out the chemise I decided it wasn’t really right for this outfit.  For some reason only my self of 4 years ago actually understands, the chemise I originally made had fairly narrow, fitted sleeves, and the original painting inspiration has pretty full sleeves.  So I thought perhaps I’d better wait to trim only the new chemise, and I didn’t have the materials yet.  So I moved on to planning some embroidery work on the twill tape guards I want to put on the overdress once I remake the bodice, but I couldn’t find any cotton twill tape at the local fabric store and I want to onion-skin dye the twill tape, so that didn’t work out.  Then I thought I might embellish the apron, which I had never finished four years ago, but when I pleated it and tried it on it wasn’t wide enough (thanks again, me of 4 years ago).


I would say I’m not normally this scattered, but that would be alie.

Needless to say, I also didn’t finish my 1580s dress in time for Purim and wound up just making a skirt for my halloween fantasy pirate costume, which originally had pantsI didn’t like.  The skirt was made in less than an hour and on the cheap, and doesn’t really have the fullness I was hoping for.  I also want to fix the bodice.  I used cheap plastic boning, which buckles badly, as you can see.  Perhaps if there was more of it, but it’s only to support the lacing.  Don’t use cheap boning.


Please excuse the stupid speech bubble protecting someone else’s privacy.

Anyway, getting to the challenge again.  Since the local renaissance fair is  coming upin April, my little one clearly needs a peasant dress to match mine, so I’m going to throw one together, and I thought I might experiment with some braided trim.  Braiding 8 strands together is not so easy, and this is how far I got in 2 hours (granted the first hour was largely spent starting and restarting different braid options until I got one to work).

mailIt’s kind of pretty, I think.



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1910s evening gown

Posted by on Feb 15, 2013 in Design, Historical Costuming | Comments Off on 1910s evening gown

1910s evening gown

I bought this lovely, soft red silky fabric for my wedding to use as the sash and for a little jacket for the ceremony when I wanted to keep my shoulders covered.


The problem is, I bought rather too much of it.  I think it might be drapery fabric.  I bought it at this very disorganized discount fabric store after I discovered that the fabric at commercial craft stores was not that great but before I discovered online fabric stores.  Now, it’s been sitting in my fabric box for almost 5 years and I was about to get rid of it because I had no idea what to do with it.  I could maybe see it as a ball gown, but when am I going to wear a ball gown?  Since it is clearly synthetic and very drape-y, I couldn’t really see it being used for historical costuming.  But when I realized purim was coming up, I thought about it some more and decided it could maybe be used in a victorian ball gown, with some suspension of disbelief.  It might resemble an unnaturally soft dupioni.  It’s a lovely color.

I started to do some research on natural-bustle era ball gowns ( since I have a Truly Victorian pattern lying around from a Mrs. Lovett costume I made a few years ago), but at some point I managed to get distracted by a titanic-era ball gown, and one thing led to another, and now here’s the plan:



I was going to just make up my own design, but it was remarkably similar to this one, and I just love the bow-like draping in the front.  I will probably use Sense and Sensibility’s Kimono dress pattern with some adaptations (I’m not quite ready to draft my own patterns).  For now I’m working on the undergarments, a chemise from Laughing Moon, and a corset.  Bridges on the body has a great corset tutorial that I’m using.




I probably won’t be done by Purim and if I try I will just drive myself nuts, so I’m not even going to try.  I figure I can probably wear my Italian renaissance Campi-inspired dress.



It needs a few things to spruce it up and get it closer to the picture, mostly the partlet.  It also needs to be refitted in the bodice as it was apparently lost on me that I should always draft period bodices a few inches smaller than my natural measurement as to allow space for the lacing.  Also it would be much better if I never wear my hair that tight to my head ever again.


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