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I finished my new late 18th century shift. It's really boring, but it is linen and hand-sewn so I'm pleased with it. This time I'm sure I hand-sewed it from sheer laziness; getting out the sewing machine seemed like way too much trouble, especially knowing that I would have to put it away again immediately.

I used the same measurements as the last cotton one I made, though I did have to piece the sleeves a bit because I mistakenly thought the measurements were with seam allowances. No big deal.

Linen Late 18th Century Shift

I only have 130 rows left on my stockings - the next dozen or so reduce every other row, then there are about eighty plain rows before the toe shaping starts, and the reductions are rapid for those last forty rows.
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The 3+ hour drive to Six Flags and the 4+ hour drive home were very good for the stocking I'm knitting. I finished knitting the heel flap, picked up the stitches for the foot, and knit the first half dozen rows of the foot. Now the $64,000 question is whether I can finish the remaining 150 rows in time to wear the new stockings in Williamsburg this summer!
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Look!  Someone actually posted about examining the 17th century garters at the MFA! She confirms that they appear to be knit in the round and at about the gauge I was expecting.  I might have ordered silk thread yesterday...
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I finished a new 18th century linen jacket last night.

18th Century Linen Jacket

It's more or less modeled on this one but with shorter sleeves.

c. 1790 printed cotton jacket

It went much faster than I expected.  I cut it out Friday night and finished sewing last night.  I hand-sewed the whole thing, but I haven't quite decided whether it was because I was being accurate or lazy.  It's a very hazy line right now.
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At the beginning of May we had a small Victorian tea at the Smiths' house. There were only five ladies in attendance (though a couple of uncostumed husbands were hanging around). I chose not to take the children along this time, though there would have been plenty for them to do on the Smith farm.

It seemed wildly appropriate that the two hostesses wore tea gowns and the two visitors wore walking dresses. The fifth was not in costume. I finally got a chance to wear my 1886 navy and silver dress for something better than trick-or-treating.


More pictures under the cut... )

Last Ball

May. 25th, 2017 07:57 pm
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I started the last ball of yarn for my stockings, which is much more exciting than it sounds. I still have a long way to go, but it's a major milestone in the project.
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Petticoats aren't very interesting, but they don't take very long either. Here's another one.

Linen 18th Century Petticoat

Then I want to do a jacket, but I'm still figuring out exactly what I want. It would have been sensible to make the jacket first because I have another petticoat that would go with the yellow linen but don't have another jacket that would go with this petticoat, but since I still haven't quite figured out what I want, that isn't the way I did it.

(This isn't strictly 1780's, but I already had the tag and didn't want to make a new one.)
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I finished the ruffle on my skirt last night. Fortunately, it decided not to be recalcitrant, and I was able to pin and stitch it. I want to tack the buckram into place better in a couple of spots, but then the dress will be finished. I really should try it on tonight...

Here's the ruffle.
1897 Dress - Hem Ruffle

This is one of those weird times when it was actually cheaper to use a silk taffeta than synthetic. I wanted one of those lightweight acetate taffetas for the hem ruffle, but JoAnn's no longer sells such a thing. I had the heavier weight striped silk in my stash and no plan for it. It only cost $5/yd, and the heavy polyester JoAnn's had was $10/yd and no coupon. Just weird.
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I seriously underestimated the amount of time this little ruffle under the hem would take. I only managed to gather about a quarter of it and stitch a sixteenth of it last night. At this rate, it's going to take me all week!


May. 11th, 2017 06:28 pm
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Hemming with a 12" (30 cm) strip of buckram sandwiched between the skirt and the facing does not make for a fun or quick and easy hem! I'm glad it's done now.
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I've got the last strip of trim pinned on the skirt for my Harper's Bazar dress!

1897 skirt trim

Then I'll just have a few days of work to deal with the hem. Another day or two will let me finish the belt, and I think I should be done by next weekend.
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I finished my Aran cardigan! I really thought I'd have to put it down for the summer and would be picking it back up in the fall, but I guess I didn't account for how quickly Aran weight yarn and size 7 (4.5 mm) needles would make it go. Fortunately, we've had a few mornings that have been cool enough to wear it, which has made me ridiculously happy.

Aran Sweater - Front 2

Aran Sweater - Front

Aran Sweater Unbuttoned

Aran Sweater - Back

I had an Aran cardigan that I got in Ireland many years ago, and I wore it all the time (okay, not in the summer!) for about ten years. About five years ago I gave up on trying to keep the cuffs from raveling from wear along the edges. It always was a little too big so I'm very excited to have a new one that fits much better. Since this one fits better, I hope the cuffs won't wear so badly - the old one actually had cuffs that would sneak down onto my hands to be the length of a Regency sleeve so I'm sure that accelerated their demise.

There are still about 3.5 balls of yarn left from the kit so I need to find a cable knit tam pattern to go with the sweater. Then I may need to find out what else one can do with Aran weight yarn. Definitely nothing historical since there's nothing like enough to knit a blanket, which I wouldn't want to do anyway.
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I have pictures of the mid-1830's bonnet I made recently.  You can also see the chemisette, more or less.


It's based on Butterick 3805, View D with the brim modified to bring it lower and a bit smaller. I completely ignored the instructions; I'm not sure I ever even read them. It's a buckram and wire frame covered with flannel and silk. The outer fabric is a shantung, but the brim lining and trim are taffetas. The ribbon inside the brim is just pinned in because I wanted to see how it did with 1830's hair before I actually stitched it down. I'll need to do that before I forget about it.

I don't think I quite got the feel of the curls pinned across the forehead right, but I can't see how else to do it. I expect it's a function of having a high forehead exacerbated by having negligible hair-styling skills.  I also found that if the knot of hair on the back of my head is not high enough, the bonnet tends to slip backward.  After an hour of pulling my bonnet back into place every few minutes, I redid the knot and didn't have any more problems. 


Apr. 24th, 2017 09:22 am
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The latest pinball project has been finished. I gave it to the friend I made it for on Saturday so now I can post the pictures of the finished project.

Here are the flat, blocked knitted pieces.
Ship Pinball Piece18th Century Pinball Flat

Take all the supplies
Pinball Supplies

and sew them up into a pinball!
Ship PinballPinball back

Pinballs are so much fun to make.

Sleeve Day

Apr. 17th, 2017 10:21 am
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Yesterday turned out to be sleeve day. After we got home from my parents' house in the afternoon, I mentally declared it a holiday from working around the house too. I knit and sewed and finished reading South London, a history of Southwark and environs written in 1898. It amused me.

So I blocked this sleeve.
Aran Sweater Sleeve

And I knit some more on the other sleeve (almost a third of the sleeve is finished).

I spent a bunch of time sewing too, and finished overcasting the sleeves seams on my 1897 dress. I also catch-stitched down the armscye allowances because the sleeve ruffles do goofy things if the seam allowances get into the sleeves, which is what they want to do.
Armscye Catch-stitching

I'm not a big one for finishing seam allowances on things that don't get a lot of wear and laundering (a.k.a. period clothes/costumes other than underwear). The lining on this bodice had a tendency to fray so everything's getting overcast.

I finished up the night sewing on the sleeve trim.
1897 Ivory Wool Dress - Sleeve Trim

Now I just need to do the collar and shorten the bodice front because I've got too much blousing in it. Then it's time for the skirt trim and hem and belt. At least I figured out a way to wear the dress without having to line the skirt. The wool is heavy enough that I don't want any more layers than I need in it since the places I'm hoping to wear it are in Texas, Arizona, and (southern) California, none of which is known for its cool climate.
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I've been going through some things and have a couple of items that I would like to be able to sell rather than give away. I'm not really sure how to go about that. I'll post them here, but if anyone has suggestions for things that don't sell, I'd love to hear them.

1. 18th century mitts
These are hand-knit from a wool/silk blend lace-weight yarn at a gauge of about 11 stitches to the inch and 14 rows to the inch. They've been worn a few times and hand-washed. They're just a little too big for me so I replaced them. They're a good size for [personal profile] nuranar. With as much time as goes into knitting, I would like to be able to get $40 for them.

Ingles Ferry Gear

This is the new pair, but they look just the same except that the new ones are a little smaller since they're knit at a smaller gauge.

18th Century Mitts

2. 18th century petticoat
This is a machine-sewn cream-colored cotton/polyester blend petticoat. The shape is good, but I'm not going to wear a synthetic petticoat when I've got a silk one and am planning to make a linen one shortly. It was made for a 26" waist but is quite adjustable with the two-tie waist. $10 sounds reasonable to me.


3. 1770's rust robe a la anglaise, stomacher, and petticoat
This is a combination of machine- and hand-sewing. All visible sewing is hand-sewing, and the outer layer of the bodice is all sewn with the visible stitching typical of 18th century dresses. It's meant to be worn over stays and pocket hoops. It's a nylon/polyester shot orange/black taffeta that gives a rusty brown color. It laces center front through hand-worked eyelets, and the compere stomacher pins in place under the robings. I really like the dress, but I've got enough 18th century options in my wardrobe that I know I'm not going to wear it again. It was made for a bust of 33" and a waist of 26", but it has some flexibility due to the stomacher. It has been worn a few times but has no damage. I have no idea what a fair price is for it. If you have any suggestions as to what is reasonable, I'd appreciate it.

1770s Robe a la Anglaise
1770s Robe a la Anglaise
1770s Robe a la Anglaise

I can take more pictures, if needed.


Apr. 12th, 2017 12:19 pm
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I finished my ship pinball, but I'm not ready to post pictures yet so it will have to wait. I'm happier with the quality of the knitting on the second side, but once it was all made up, the tension problems I had on the first side disappeared. Now I still have materials for two more pinballs and the pattern worked out for one of them (the one I aborted a few weeks ago,) but I'm not quite ready to start the next one.

Now that the 1830's sewing is finished, I've finally gotten back to my 1897 Harper's Bazar dress. Picking it back up after about four months has mostly gone smoothly, but there have been a few hiccups. The worst is that I forgot why I hadn't bound the lower edge of the bodice - I was supposed to wait until I had boned it. Now I've got to undo that so I can bone it. Still, it's been pretty smooth.

On the topic of 1830's sewing, I know I still haven't posted bonnet pictures, but I want to do my hair properly for them so I'm going to wait a bit.

First Wig

Apr. 6th, 2017 04:58 pm
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I styled my first wig. I was going for something like this portrait from 1791 that is held by the Met.

Here's what I came up with
1790 Wig - Front

1790 Wig - Side

I need to move the ribbon a bit. The plan is to pin my own front hair into curls/rolls like the wig and put the second row of ribbon more or less along the join.
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Somehow I don't think I ever posted a picture of my finished 1830's underwear so here it is.

1830s Petticoats

Most of it is reused from previous period projects. The shift/chemise is a Regency one I made a number of years ago. The stays are the 1820's stays I made back in about 2012.

1810s Corded Stays - Front

They're completely hand-sewn and based on [ profile] koshka_the_cat's pattern on her website. They were only corded, but since they had a tendency to bunch up a bit around the waist, I added steel bones at the center back and along the side seams to extend them into the 1830's. The wrinkling was fine for the raised waists of the 1820's, but it was just lumpiness at the waist for the more natural waist level of the 1830's.

Then I've got a corded petticoat and two more petticoats - one plain and one tucked. I don't have a picture of the corded petticoat, but it's of the variety that has 17" of solid cording at the hem. The plain petticoat looks like a plain petticoat so I didn't bother with a picture.

I also took the opportunity to use my amusing little knit bustle pad made from an 1840's pattern.

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I finished the first side of my new pinball.

Ship Pinball Piece

It only took a week, but that's only because I ended up doing 38 rows on Friday. That was a lot of knitting for something so fine, and after knitting a dozen rows of the second side last night, my wrists need a night off.

Working on pinballs again has made me think about personalization of them. I've only given one as a gift that has initials on it, and I just put the recipient's initials on it. I've seen some with one set of initials with or without a date, but I've also seen some with two sets of initials as in "XXX to XXX". Now I'm curious to know whether people receiving a something like this as a gift would rather have it personalized with just their own initials or would rather have the giver's initials as well. What do you think?

If it helps, there are examples of both on my pinball Pinterest board.


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