Thursday, November 28, 2013

I Love Half Boots (my first attempt at shoe making! :D)

I know it seems like I've only got small things going on, but they are still a sewing/reenacting necessity.  My last project (just finished today!) was a pair of Regency half boots. They were made of silk, leather, and even linen during the 1800's, but mine are made from faux suede.  I got it for free from a friend of Bascha's, and it seemed pretty durable.  I'll be wearing them in the Latta house and cabins.  

This was one time I didn't make a tutorial of how I made something.....and then last night I had a friend tell me she couldn't wait to see how I made these so she could make them herself.  Bummer.  If you want to know the details just send me an email and I'll do my best to explain :).
I've put green laces for now, though I'm going to put brown ones just as soon as I get out to the store :)

these were my favorite boots, thus my wanting that color brown laces.  They were also the only ones I found that did not lace completely shut, and mine don't lace shut either.
I thought the bows would be a little corny, but they turned out ok :) They are silk.
Ankle Boot, 1815 | Museum of London
the inspiration for my silk bows
inside of the boot
toe and tongue of the boot before the bows were attached
for the eyelets I just punched out holes and sealed it off with nail-polish.  I finished off some other fraying parts with nail polish as well....:)
There's my bootsies, and now I'm off to eat a Thanksgiving dinner :) Happy Thanksgiving!!

Friday, November 22, 2013

My 18th Birthday

Hello Everyone,
  What a day I had at Latta last week with some of my favorite people! Latta gang thanks for all the years with you and thanks for allowing me to have a little birthday celebration and for being so gracious in helping my family set up the tent at Latta. <3 I hope you don't mind that this blog post is not about clothing, but about friends and birthdays.  Last Thursday Nov. 14th was my birthday (yeah! :D).  This post is the story of that day.

On our way to a surprise birthday present!
I was so excited to have Theresa, Caroline and Ann-Marie join me at Latta!

I wonder what it could be?

My family gave me a canvas TENT!!

Which side do you think is the front?
or front?

Admiring the delicate, lovely sewing cupcakes my sweet, sweet friend Theresa
made for us all. <3
You are one of the sweetest people I know.
Love you.

I really like the needle and thread design and the one with the flower and the ones 
with the buttons and the one with the quilted look and ...... most all of them. ;)
Theresa, thank you!
We're just missing Ruth and Private Pen :D

My mom made wonderful tasty apple cider to drink on this chilly day.

My mom gave each of us all the materials for a Regency bonnet to make together. :)
I hope the girls liked it as much as I did?

Working on our bonnets like four proper ladies.  
Thanks Abe for all your love and help on this day.
lol Abe is not one of the proper ladies.
Just saying! 

Ann-Marie can talk and sew at the same time.  giggle
Thank you so much for the cute little plaid purse and earrings.
Love you Ann-Marie.

Caroline,  I love this picture of you.
Thanks for coming and celebrating my birth date with me.

I had a great day thanks to you all.

Saying our goodbyes 

One more gift from my family!!
Thanks Dad and Mom!
Kisses and huge Hugs! lol

 Latta gang thanks for all the years with you and thanks for allowing me to have a little birthday celebration and for being so gracious in helping my family set up the tent. <3

Oh Theresa, thank you so much for all your hard work and effort you put into the beautiful silk garters you gave me.  I will treasure them always. <3


Thursday, November 21, 2013

1780's Style Garters

I've always wanted to make garters.  I never wanted to just use a piece of ribbon or string for fear of red welts and lack of circulation.  And elastic in the 1860's, though period, never had too much of an appeal to me.  Merji made a lovely pair of silk garters which I was looking at the other day, and when reading one of the comments (in Finnish....I couldn't understand it) there was a link, so I pasted it in my search bar and boom!  Hey, look what I found! Aren't they so pretty?
embroidered silk with silver thread and silk ribbons
1780's ladies garters
These garters combined the tie method with something pretty and a little less painful looking.  They are silk, with embroidery, silk ribbons, and pleated silk trim.  They were made in the 1780's, but I figure 10 years difference to 1770's won't be too bad, and neither would wearing them for regency.  Bascha and I both have the period correct knitted stockings that come way up your legs, and Bascha's stockings give her a headache by being rebellious and not staying there.  Mine are getting pretty annoying as well, I am going to make me some knitted ones here in a sec.  Caroline's are a mess, and she uses rubber bands (owwie) as garters.  But back to the point, we needed garters.

Bascha just turned 18 this month, and so I decided to make these for her birthday :).  Happy Birthday Bascha!!!

If you remember the silk trimmings on my Straw Bonnet, I had just enough left over from that project to make up a pair of garters. I don't know how these artifact garters were made.  But here is how I made mine.  And I tried to make them as similar as I could.

I wasn't sure about exact measurements, but I guessed that the decoration part probably went halfway around the leg...that part being the front.  So I held the paper around my leg, a little above my knee. Yup, that worked.

I was also guessing how wide the garter should be.  I went with around 1.5".  Using these measurements, I drew out a shape like the original pair onto a scrap of fabric.  I added seam allowances, and cut out 4 of these (two per garter).
my paper pattern/guide and the silk
I printed out the picture of the artifact garters and traced the design over onto a piece of paper. This was to get the hang of drawing it.
I drew over my pencil markings with sharpie so I could literally "trace" the design to my silk.  I wanted to be able to see it through the fabric.
Then I ever so carefully transferred this onto my silk.

I took the embroidery floss and separated it so I was only using two strands.  When I looked at the original embroidery it looked "thin".  So that's what I tried to do.
squeals!! look at all that embroidery! I just love how embroidery looks, but man I hate doing it :P (also, if you are wondering why it's on a plate, I love eating garters of dinner...(I couldn't get the focus/light right))
I tried to analyze how the garters were sewn together.  I couldn't really tell, but this was how I did it.  I put the fabric right sides together and stitched around the edge leaving a small gap on one end. Then I in-sided them out.  About the little hole on the was where the ribbon ties were attaching anyway, so I just tucked the seam allowance in and sewed it down when attaching the ties.

For the ties-I did not have silk ribbon.  I wanted silk ribbon, but I was scared that if I ordered it it wouldn't come in the same color as my silk.  So I...used *whisper* polyester ribbons (which was also a lot easier), that matched.  I pinked the edges how they did though, and then sealed it off with clear nail polish.

I sewed them down to the garters, re-enforcing where they attached with lots of back stitches.  I did gather them slightly before attaching.
Tie attachment
Moving on to the trim.  I cut out several little strips of silk on the bias so they wouldn't fray.  Then I box pleated them to make the trim like pictured in the original.  But-I just really didn't like the way it looked on the garters.  It seemed to take away from the embroidery, add bulk, and just not flow prettily.  So I opted out on that step :(.  I guess now I can't really say I replicated the original garters can I? But at least I tried.
I'm done!
mama modeling for me :D Bascha's legs aren't available at the moment :P
the ribbons are very long right now, I wasn't sure how long to make them

I had meant to use navy instead of that vibrant blue for the ribbon embroidery...but it didn't work out.  I can't remember why though

One of them says "UNIS A JAMAIS" which is supposed to mean "United forever" The other one says "JE MEURS OU JE M'ATTACHE" which the site says means "I die where I cling" or "I must love or I die".  If I had thought about it, I would have put something lovely and poetic, about love and friendship....but I didn't think about it until it was too late.  Sorry Bascha!!!!

 Wee!  Aren't they so cute?  What do you think of these?  Do you wear garters?  Have you ever made some?


One Year

Wow.  It's been a whole year!  Last November was when I first sewed historical...and attended my first event. When I first met Bascha, I did not know what a pleat was.  I did not know what the grain of fabric was, or the process of making button holes.  I knew NOTHING.  Like seriously, NOTHING!  And not only did I not know anything about sewing, I didn't know anything about historical clothing either.  Like zilch.  I wouldn't have known what era a stay was in, or a bustle.  Actually, I didn't know what either of those two things were :P

If I were to try and list all the wonderful people that have helped me this past year, I would forget someone, so I won't try.  But I do want to thank Bascha and Ms. Rhonda.

Bascha is a jewel!!!! I could never, ever, repay her for the knowledge she has given me...or the practical help, or the friendship. She is so good at what she does, no matter what it is!  Bascha is one of those people that once you've met them you can't live without them.  Thank you so much Bascha!  Ms. Rhonda, Bascha's mom (and sometimes my mom in first person :D) has been such a blessing as well! I love you both! :D

If I had to say what I appreciate the most, it would probably be the fact that they never ever told me I couldn't do something.  I'll never forget the look on Bascha's face when I told her I was going to make a 18th century stay, since the only thing I had made before that was a petticoat.  But instead of saying "why don't you try to make a pocket" or "maybe that's too hard for you" she jumped right on in alongside me, and was there for me every step of the way :). No matter what I tried-draping, fba, a corset, a tailcoat-they always told me I could do it. :D And I have!  But I could have never done it without them. :)
My Sewing Buddy and friend :D 
Ms. Rhonda, doing one of the things she does best, cooking :)
I guess this post will sort of be like a "Year in Review" but without the pictures.  I'm going to put several lists, categorized by era rather than the order they were made.  This is everything I've made since the middle of November 2012, unless I forgot something. 

5 petticoats
4 aprons
1.5 short gowns
1 linen gown
1 bed gown
1 stay
2 caps
4 neckerchiefs
2 stomachers
1 cloak
1 pair of mitts
2 pockets
2 shifts
3 ball gowns
1 work dress
2 bodiced petticoats
1 shift
1 short stay
1 men's tailcoat
6 waist coats
5 cravats
2 aprons
1 beaded shawl
Civil War
2 chemises
2 corsets
1 boy's shirt
5 dresses
4 or 5 petticoats (can't remember exactly how many)
2 pairs of drawers
2 quilted sun bonnets
3 skirts
1 blouse
3 aprons
1 fringed shawl
1 trimmed straw bonnet
1 set baby underthings
2 little boy tunics
1 trimmed straw bonnet
1 dress
4 skirts

I have learned SO much, and had SO much fun this past year!  I'm hoping next year will be even better! :D (and I'll have a finished project post tonight, with lots of pictures, so hang in there!)  

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Hand sewn, Pink Taffeta Plaid and Chocolate Brown Wool Polonaise

Life has just been so busy for me these past days, I haven't had time to post it till now. :P  Here (finally) is my Revolutionary War Polonaise dress that I made for the Rev War weekend at Latta in September!   I have always wanted a polonaise, so when I finally made one I was overjoyed when I finished sewing it. <3

 The chocolate brown wool I first bought around two years ago for Regency trousers for Abe. After I found the 2 1/2 yards of pink plaid taffeta at Hancocks I decided I would like to use the wool for my polonaise. :D  I used J.P. Ryans polonaise pattern and this was the first time I truly custom fitted a pattern. I absolutely love to fit patterns now!!!  I had so much fun with it and it was so easy!

Oh by the way, I hand sewed the entire dress and petticoat!!

Here is my mock-up:

Of course I had to shorten it, my waist is quite short. :P

I also had to take up some material on the side and the center back

And the shoulder straps

This is the material I used for my front, back and shoulder strap lining. For the sleeve lining I used muslin. The dress is from none other than VV!  I love the embroidery on the neck!

Pleating the polonaise skirt

The bottom point was a little odd but I think it still came out pretty good.

 The skirt attached, side.  I have a dart in the sleeve at the elbow.

Back before boning inserted

Attaching the lining. I did it the historical way, sewing the lining directly on top.

Now I had to sew the center back together to start the casing for the boning in the back.

I inserted the boning ( 1/4'' reed) and pined the material together then sewed close to the reed.

Sewing the boning in the center front.

I tried to make my own ruching from my pink taffeta and tried to hem both sides of my material. I will just say it didn't work to well. :P I ended up using pink ribbon from Hancocks. A nice old lady at Latta suggested  to cut it out on the bias. :D Next time I will definitely try to cut it on the bias!

I pleated my ribbon ruching as such: 1/4'' knife pleat to the right,

1/4'' knife pleat to the left to complete an inverted box pleat,

1/4'' knife pleat to the left,

1/4'' knife pleat to the right to complete a box pleat.

Then sewed the ruching down in the middle

I attached the ruching to the sleeves and center front. :) I really like ruching.

Me sewing my dress! I did not leave that chair very much. :P
And don't worry I am half way through!

The lovely hooks!

Now when I sew my hooks and eyes I sew it down in multiple places. So I thought I would show you all how I sew my hooks and eyes down, I have my needle pointing to each place:

Sewing them down in these key places helps to cement the hooks and eyes down.

There was a little bit of space showing in my center front so I sewed this rectangle together for a little flap on the back side.

Like so.

Preparing for the hem, I laid the dress down and then stretched the skirt out and took off as much as I needed. 

My brass buttons on the back to hold the skirt up.

Sewing the ribbon down in the same place as the buttons on the back side.

Oh lol I made this bum roll quite awhile ago, and I wore it under my polonaise.

My baby, Maple for some reason really likes it...... :P

This is a thin linen shirt I used for my petticoat waistband. Of course from VV. :)


They were each 3/4 of inch wide by half my waist size.

This Measuring Gauge is my best friend in sewing. I use it quite a bit, especially when I am ironing hems down. If you are new to sewing I would suggest you get one of these!!

I really love this petticoat. The linen waistband is the perfect touch for it.

FINISHED!! 12:44:39 a.m.  I was going to wear it the next day. 
I always seem to finish garments the night before or the day of. : /  

Theresa and me <3

These were the only two photos we took that weekend. lol

My brother and I have a weekly class in this beautiful old neighborhood so we decided to take the rest of my photos in that neighborhood. It was so pretty with the leaves changing colors and falling ever so softly to the ground.  :)

Fall and Spring are my favorite seasons! 

The owner of this house was so nice! She came out as we were getting some photos and said we could use her porch and chairs for photos!!  She said she has had a lot of people come to this neighborhood to get wedding photos, she also thought Abe and I were getting married.............. Anyways I am very grateful to her for allowing us to use her house and yard. :D
Here you can see my polonaise (skirt lift in the back).

I love the pillars.

My loving brother Abe wearing his birthday present, a kilt. :)

The brooch I bought at an antique store located down the road from there.

I now have my favorite dress on the blog!!!   I had a great time taking these photos with my brother and my mom, love you guys.  

Well till next time my good friends! Enjoy the rest of Fall!!