Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Blog Petticoat

The blog petticoat is finished!! :)  I've called it the blog petticoat because the fabric it's made of is the same as our blog background. :)  First off is a little scoop on the petti, and then some pictures from a quick photoshoot :). (And just so you don't get confused, this is the petticoat and stomacher I made for Caroline to wear with her RevWar gown.)

I sewed the petticoat using a mixture of machine and hand-sewing.  My original plan was to hand sew the entire thing, but I've run out of time.  The back is pieced linen, and the front is the patterned fabric.  It is pleated and then sewed to a piece of cotton twill tape which  makes the waistband/ties.  

The stomacher is pink linen, re-purposed from a large shirt.  I did two layers of the pink linen, and then one layer of tan linen since the pink was so lightweight. It's hand-sewn.
the back of the stomacher
I tried a poof hair-do today...and I think it turned out pretty nice! 

Hand-sewn neckerchief with white embroidery (I didn't do the embroidery) 

close up of the stomacher


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Red Rayon Revamp

I'm really sorry I've got nothing super exciting to share this time...yes, I am sewing furiously (and Bascha is sewing even more), but none of our things are quite ready for a blog post yet!  Here is one "completed" project that I have a few pictures of.

A month or so ago, I picked up a red rayon dress at VV to wear for WWII reenacting.  I really liked it.  But it had a high waist...not like empire, but several inches above my natural waist.  I wanted to make it work though, so after talking to Bascha, I decided to cut off part of the bottom of the skirt and make a waistband.  

Here is the before.  You can't really see the high waist line that well because it tied in the back and that pulled the fabric in a little more to my natural waist, but the actual "waist seam" on the dress is higher.

if you are wondering why I'm wearing a mob cap...I had just gotten home from a day at Latta
and hadn't totally gotten undressed yet :P
Originally I planned on facing the waistband (thus the yellow strip in the picture below), but I never ended up doing that.  I didn't think it was necessary.
the waistband
hemming it
I just did a narrow rolled hem on the skirt after I cut my waistband strip.  The waistband was 3.5 inches I think.

gathering the bodice to fit the waistband

I sewed the bodice and skirt to the waistband and then realized, uh-oh, I'm never going to get this on.  Thankfully I found a zipper in the stash and put it in.  I think the zipper would need to be longer, because even now, I am at risk of busting the waist seams when getting it over my bust. :P grrr..13 inch waist/bust differences.  If you look at the finished picture, the waistband is actually not that tight...I can pinch out excess.  My mom says it doesn't need to be tight, and anyways, if I were to make actually fit smooth to my waist I'd never get it on.  :P
finished waistband

I think it's a really cute dress!  And I'm happy with that little modification.  Now I've got a decently accurate '40's dress and it was just 2 dollars! :) 


Sunday, August 25, 2013


My mom found this painting by William Powell Firth and I absolute love it!!! <3 For all those sewers in the world:

The Little Seamstress-1865
       By William Powell Firth 1819-1909


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Hip Hip Hooray for Suspender Skirts!

Just a note: some viewers have been having trouble with our blog when they use Internet Explorer, but with Chrome no one has had issues yet.  Sorry about that, so far we haven't been able to fix the problem.

I love suspender skirts.  I absolutely think they are the cutest things.  And to have four of them all in a row? Lovely :D  This past Saturday we had a WW2 living history event.  I had an outfit planned, Bascha had an outfit planned, and well Caroline had an outfit, but she had just bought new shoes and really wanted to wear them.  The shoes didn't match the outfit of course, which meant-guess-I was supposed to make another outfit :D  And so one suspender skirt for her turned into one for me which turned into one for Bascha.  And then for Caroline's BFF, Ann Marie.  But before I get carried away... :)

The majority of suspender skirts I saw were flat fronted, like 3 panels.  I did however see a few images of skirts that were pleated.  This one, with the small flat part in the center front, was my first inspiration:
                                                       Vintage Du Barry 2241 Blouse Suspender Skirt and Bolero Bust 34
And this was my real inspiration.  You can read her whole post here. I just thought this suspender skirt was adorable.  So we copied it.  Bascha came over after lunch on Tuesday and we finished up one for Caroline by that evening!  I probably would have messed it up terribly had Bascha not come over and walked me through the whole thing.  It's SO nice to have a sewing buddy! :)  And Bascha makes everything much more fun :D
                                                       DSC00611 (1)
To begin  we cut a large rectangle, and sewed it up.  This was the skirt.  Then we hemmed it. It was really pretty basic :).  

the one and only seam-up the back.

we made a 3 inch hem

suspenders wrong side out
suspenders!!! :)  The suspenders are 1.5 inches wide

making the waistband
the waistband is approx. 2 inches wide
pleating the waist
Because the zipper I had was too long, I needed to shorten it.  To do this, I used my thread and make a thread zipper stopper.  
front-waistband view

button placement
suspender attachment
And now on to the fun part-finished pictures!!! :D  and I'm throwing in a few more from yesterday as well....just 'cause :D.  And I want you to meet some of my friends. :)
from L to R, me, Brittany, Bascha, Caroline, Ann Marie
we all match!!! :) :) :)  and Brittany, I'll make you one next time so you don't feel left out! 

the back of my suspender skirt

the "shoe shot" :)
most of us

two brothers and a sister: from L to R, Joel (11), Ann Marie (12), and Paul (14)
lovely Bascha
Caroline's best friend, Ann Marie
My little brother, Stephen
a really good friend of mine, Brittany
One of my favorite ladies, Laurel, who gave me that wonderfully ugly fur coat
Ms. Maureen, who keeps us all in order :)
fun-loving Hannah
Hope you enjoyed the suspender skirts as much as I did!