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We went to Williamsburg for vacation this year, but we didn't take a long enough trip to make the driving worthwhile. Last year we were gone almost three weeks with Williamsburg and Louisville, but this year it was only a week and a half. It just wasn't long enough, and it didn't help that the drive up ended up taking four extra hours due to various traffic jams. We did come back through Louisville, but we were only there long enough to go to church and lunch. We were a month too early for the Jane Austen Festival.

We spent three days at the Colonial Williamsburg historic district, but it turns out that they have rearranged their schedules so that all the shops are open on the weekends. We didn't go on any weekend days so we were hunting for open shops quite a bit. It was still nice, but it was just less satisfying than previous trips.

On the other hand, there were certainly lots of good points. The weavers had a table loom set up for children to try out, and my girls loved it and kept asking to go back. We got to lunch and hang out with [ profile] reine_de_coudre one afternoon, which was very nice, and we went to the Williamsburg Heritage Dancers' regular Tuesday night session for the first time. And I wore my new linen items.



I finished my stockings in time to wear them, and you can get a glimpse of them in the picture above. Unfortunately, I forgot to get a good picture of them while I had them on so I'll have to do that sooner or later.

The other outfit I wore was my c. 1780 wool gown.



The third day was 21st century wear.

I've heard so much about linen being the coolest to wear that I wanted to test it out. One day I had a wool gown with cotton-lined bodice and sleeves, a cotton shift, and wool stockings. The next day I had a linen jacket, linen petticoat, linen shift, and wool stockings. Both days I had the same cotton and wool stays, and the weather was about the same. My conclusion was that the linen wasn't actually cooler to wear, but that it did keep me from feeling that the sweat was running down me.
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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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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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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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We spent good chunks of four days at Colonial Williamsburg while we were on vacation. One of those days I was in costume, but I got absolutely no pictures. In lieu of current Williamsburg pictures, you get two-year-old pictures from the last time I went to Williamsburg.

First, a picture of the dress I wore this time. You'll just have to imagine it with the proper background, but this is the only picture I have of myself in the dress. I did not wear the hat and mitts this go round.

Ingles Ferry Gear

Now for old Williamsburg pictures.

1750's Cotton Print Sacque

And more pictures )
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Somehow an 18th century wardrobe doesn’t seem complete until you have a plain linen jacket and petticoat to wear. When a good price on a lovely color of coral linen came my way, I had a plan. I ended up making a wool petticoat rather than a linen one, but I’m still satisfied. Now I have separates.

18th Century Jacket and Petticoat18th Century Jacket and Petticoat - Back

And here's what I did... )
Thoughts after wearing:
This jacket definitely requires good posture. It feels fine and looks very good as long as I keep my shoulders back. If I hunch them, I know it right away. It’s not really a drawback because I’m sure it’s supposed to be that way. The sleeves are very fitted, as they should be, though I think I’ll take just a touch off the bottom of the armscye in future garments made from this bodice base. Not much since I do want it high, but it’s a little too high and inclined to wrinkle just now.

I enjoyed wearing this for Hallowe’en and look forward to wearing it again for Holidays at Smithfield in December.
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I wore my new coral linen 18th century jacket and blue wool petticoat to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters last night. We didn't get very many so I mostly worked on my 1784 cross-stitched garters while waiting.

I'll write up the petticoat and jacket later, but for now here are pictures from last night.

18th Century Jacket and Petticoat18th Century Jacket and Petticoat - Back

It's Done!

Oct. 31st, 2013 05:15 am
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I finished my jacket in time for Hallowe'en! I should be able to get pictures tonight.
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After Thursday's backward progress, I got a couple of solid, uninterrupted hours to sew yesterday afternoon. That was enough to finish the body seams, including the lining, and turn in the front edges but not sew them down. Since I was wearing stays for the Smithfield Spirits of the Past hayride (fun but very chilly - 38 degrees is not a temperature I appreciate,) I tried on the jacket to make sure the front edges were good before starting to sew them down, especially after I had put the jacket on the dummy Wednesday night, and it looked screwy. It was perfect so I'll start sewing that as soon as my water boils for my tea.

I might actually have this finished by Hallowe'en after all. Hoping but not counting on it.
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I actually made backward progress on my 1780's jacket last night. I was nearly done with the second side back seam Wednesday night. Last night I finished that seam, trimmed the seam allowances, and prepared to fold under the seam allowance on the lining to whip stitch it over the raw edges. That's when I realized that I had lapped the seam the wrong direction so the allowances pointed the wrong way. I then ripped out the seam and re-pinned it. So I'm not even where I started. It's not a big deal, but it's always irksome to do something stupid like that.
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I actually tested the jacket muslin that I cut and basted Wednesday night, cut out the linen, and started sewing it together. It's going to be hand-sewn, but so far it's going reasonably quickly.

I'm very excited to be getting back to historical sewing. I still have a couple of weekends of work left on my husband's cross-stitched lady, but then my time is my own. Or I start making Christmas ornaments for the children. For now, I'm pretending that I'm free to sew whatever I want, and that will be my 1780's jacket.
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I finally tried on the muslin I made from the draped 18th century bodice pattern from Dress U last night. Other than releasing it about 1/4" at the very bottom, the fit was great. Tonight I should be able to start cutting out my linen and finally start this jacket.
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My husband's cross-stitched lady is nearing completion. I've finished all of the 58,000+ cross stitches and half-cross stitches and have outlined her head and parasol. It should only take a few more days to finish the outlining, and I'll be onto my 1780's jacket. Our fitting afternoon today has been rescheduled to a fitting evening on Tuesday, but I'm hoping we have patterns ready to go by the end of the evening Tuesday night.

In the meantime, I'm going to spend all my free time trying to finish off that picture. So close!
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The Hallowe'en costumes are finished! I put in the last stitch and immediately turned around to work on the 18th century bodice pattern Carrie Midura draped on me at Dress U. It hasn't been touched since we returned from Dress U four months ago. I've got a muslin cut out and plans to do any refinement of fit with a friend on Sunday.

I made the decision to leave my 1868 dress on hold a little longer while I finish up my husband's cross-stitched lady and make a 1780's jacket. I want the jacket for Holidays at Smithfield and the 1868 dress couldn't possibly be done by Hallowe'en so reprioritization time again. I really don't usually keep rearranging my sewing plans like this, but sometimes things happen.

Now what to do tonight? I can either work on cross-stitching or start doing more quilting on my 1780's bum pad that I made this summer that just doesn't have the oomph I wanted out of it. I'm hoping that more quilting and possibly resetting the waist will help.
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Browsing Ravelry is dangerous. I wind up finding lots of stuff that I want to this. Why don't we have wooly camisoles any more? I think they would be marvelous for the winter. There's also this one, which isn't quite as cute but still looks nice and has the bonus of being written for measurements very close to my own. Then there's one that's not on Ravelry that I found at Vintage Stitch-o-rama. For now they're just things to think about because my 18th century stockings are going to take ages to knit.

So for this week in review...
I finished my blue wool 1780's petticoat. I'm going to save the coral linen jacket to go with it until this fall, or at any rate, that's the current plan. I want to do the 1868 dress first because I want it for Hallowe'en, and I don't need the 1780's things until early December.

Then I started the 18th century stockings, which are about 1% done. It will be awhile on them. I also worked on my husband's lady and got in some good cross-stitching time this week.

This Week

Jun. 22nd, 2013 06:37 am
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I finally finished my 1857 gaiters this week. After sixteen months they're finally done. I didn't work on them solidly all of that time; in fact, the knitting on the second one only took about three weeks. One of those weeks was shutdown, though, so I did a lot more knitting than I ordinarily can. Still, I'm glad to see this project end; it's been on-again-off-again for quite a while.

I also worked on my 1780's blue wool petticoat this week. I just have to set the last quarter of the waist, and it will be finished. I'll do that sometime in the next week, but I will primarily be cross-stitching on my husband's lady for the next couple of weeks so updates may not be very exciting.
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This week was our annual maintenance shutdown, and I got to play the part of door guard. Most people brought books to read - and I did too, though I just couldn't get into it - but mostly I brought needlework. I really wasn't called upon to escort anyone so I got a lot of time with various types of needles. It was a productive week.

I finished my 1947 green linen-look dress, my 1847 knit bustle, my 18th century teal petticoat, and the knitting on my 1857 gaiters. I also started and finished a 1780's bum pad like that posted on Before the Automobile. I started a 1780's blue wool petticoat to go over the bum pad but didn't get any further than the side seams and pocket slit hems and started a pair of cross-stitched garters that I'm copying from a pair in the Boston MFA. I even made a little progress on the "A Summer Stroll" cross-stitch piece that I've now been working on for just about a year.

Did I mention it was a very productive week?


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