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I finally finished my white wool dress based on an illustration from Harper's Bazar in October, 1897.

1897 Harper's Bazar Dress

1897 Harper's Bazar Dress

1897 Harper's Bazar Dress

1897 Harper's Bazar Dress

1897 Harper's Bazar Dress
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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.

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.


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.
atherleisure: (reader)
I just wanted to post a status update on my current project list.

18th century cap:
Nope. No progress whatsoever. No progress expected any time soon.

18th century stockings:
Moderate progress. I've done forty-odd rows of the foot. I'm really only working on it while reading right now so it's not expected to go very quickly.

1897 Harper's Bazar dress:
Still on hold. This is waiting until the 1830's dress and bonnet are done.

18th century pinball:
Basically on hold until it's warm enough that I don't want to work on a heavy wool sweater. The cardigan has knitting priority right now.

Aran cardigan:
The back is finished, and I'm about a third of the way through the first front. I just joined in the back of the pocket, which was interesting.

Brown poplin mid-1830's dress:
I cut out a bodice mock-up but haven't gotten around to fitting it yet, but the skirt panels are torn, seamed, faced, and hemmed. As soon as I hem the placket, it will be ready for the waist treatment.

1858 sortie cap:
I started another little knitting project, a sortie cap. It was nice blind knitting, and I did the knitting while reading this week. Wednesday night I raveled out all the stitches, and last night I blocked it. Now I need to do all the making up - it's got more finishing than a lot of knitted items.

Regency shoes:
Last week I dyed some Regency shoes I bought over the summer, and now I want to do a little decorating with ribbons. I want them for a Houston Area Regency Society tea next weekend so they should be done some time this week.

There are rather more projects on hold than I really like to see, but I guess it's not so bad. I'm not quite sure what I'll work on tonight...
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This ended up seeming to be a year of little pieces more than full garments, though I did make costumes from the skin out for the 1690's and 1910's. I did a lot of knitting this year. One of my goals for the year was to do better with my hair for events, and I think I succeeded. There were some hairdos that I was very proud of. I got to go to a lot of events in different periods and had some opportunities to wear things that I had never really gotten to wear. One of the best parts was getting to meet a couple of LJ friends in real life in July.

I finally made the Le Baiser dress I had been planning for years.
Le Baiser

The rest is behind the cut: )
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Life has been busy lately so there hasn't been much sewing lately. Since half of my son's class at school seems to have had their birthdays in the last month and I sometimes run out of reading material on the bus in the afternoons, there has been reasonable knitting progress. The gold part of the pineapple is now 75% complete. In one of my few free evenings lately, I joined on the new spool of cord, which always feels like an accomplishment, particularly when beads need to be transferred from the old spool to the new one.

Pineapple Progress-10/20/16

I'm not sure I'll do the full eight repeats of the pattern. I'm going to evaluate after every half repeat whether I think it's time to switch to the green.

I also decided to redo the pom-poms on the rigolette, and I'm glad I did. It looks tidier now, which would probably be appreciated in the period. No pictures yet, I'm afraid, but I intend to get some soon, and I want to get them on myself rather than a Styrofoam head. Maybe I'll get some free time tonight.

Now that I haven't worked on my 1897 dress in more than a week, I think the odds of finishing it for Dickens on the Strand are dwindling. I began to suspect last week that it wouldn't be finished in time; now I highly doubt that it will be finished in time. I just don't see having time to sew something on the order of forty yards of trim on it, and I found when I last tried it on that the skirt needs to be lined so I have to disassemble the skirt, at least partially. Oh, well, it's not like I don't have other things to wear and won't find something to wear this to eventually.
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Just posting a progress report on the projects I have in hand.

1912 knitted vest: Still on hold pending the purchase of new yarn. It has to go on sale, or I have to have a need for other yarn before I order it. This likely will not happen for a few months considering the pineapple and stockings will keep me occupied for quite awhile.

19th century knitted pineapple bag: I'm halfway through the fifth repeat of eight in the gold part of the bag, but I have been making progress.

Sheer cap: Haven't touched it unless putting other things on top of it counts.

1892 knitted Zouave jacket: I've finished about 3/4 of the knitting. I only work on it while I'm reading at home, and I've been trying to get my reading done on the bus so it's a little slow.

18th century stockings: Almost a tenth of the way through the first stocking! I'm halfway through the decreases for the knee.

1690's/1700's mantua: I still need to put it on and take pictures and set the length on the belt so I can hem the other end of the ribbon. I don't see it happening in the next few days, but perhaps I'll feel like it this weekend.

1897 Harper's Bazar dress: This is coming along well. I've cut it all out except for the trim and hem facing/ruffle. The skirt is all sewn together and is hanging awaiting a hem and trim. The hem isn't as simple as it sounds since this is 1897, but at least the skirt looks like a skirt and is long enough for me to wear my boots with (as opposed to the rose wool skirt I made earlier this year). The next time I get a chance to sew I'll be running up some bodice and sleeve seams.

Things have gotten busy lately so I don't know whether I'll have all that much time to sew in the next few weeks, but that's why I made the children's Hallowe'en costumes in August so it's not like it's a surprise. My sewing machine has started acting up too. When I run it in reverse, it doesn't want to come out of reverse immediately - the feed dogs keep working backward for a bit before they come right again. I don't know whether it's a connection problem in the switch or the cams are getting stuck or what so I guess I'll have to take it to the shop, but I don't want to do it until I've gotten the bulk of the 1897 dress together. Maybe it's punishing me for doing so much hand-sewing this summer!
atherleisure: (reader)
I am now halfway through the gold part of my knit pineapple.

Knitted Pineapple Bag Progress 9/27/16

I am enjoying it, but it's moving quite slowly.

I am also halfway (or better) through cutting out my white wool 1897 dress that I've been planning for years. The lining is all cut, and the wool skirt is cut. I still need to cut the wool bodice and sleeves, but there are a couple of things I need to mock up before I cut those, namely the bloused bodice front and the sleeve ruffles. I also need to cut the satin yoke and all the bias strips for trim. I'm very excited about this dress.
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When I bought my ticket to the DFWCG's Costumers' Lost Weekend, I was expecting something like a smaller version of Dress U since that's what it looked like it has been in the past. They changed the format up this year, and it was basically sewing time. I think there was a theme of "Undressed," but I'm not sure how much the theme was followed, and that includes by me.

So I tried to think about what good projects would be and came up with these goals for the weekend.
1. Get a pattern fitted for c. 1700 stays.
2. Get a pattern fitted for the bodice of my 1897 Harper's Bazar dress.
3. Possibly cut out my 1897 dress.
4. Work on my pineapple.

The results of the weekend were
1. I have a fitted pattern for c. 1700 stays.
2. I have a fitted pattern for the 1897 dress' bodice and sleeve linings.
3. I knit a couple of rows of the pineapple.
4. I made all of a little Regency shortgown except for setting half a sleeve.

Needless to say, I finished up the last bit of the shortgown last night so it's off the list. Now I'll need to get worked up enough to put on stays and things to take pictures of the shortgown and petticoat. I also need to take pictures of the 1916 dress so I'm a bit in arrears on pictures.

Now I'll probably spend the next week working on a little project for an aunt and knitting on my pineapple. I think I'm going to focus on it until the leaves are finished. Then I can start on the stays in earnest.


Dec. 4th, 2015 02:44 pm
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I ordered cream-colored wool, and it came yesterday, but it's not cream. It may be butter, or it may be buff, but it's much darker than I anticipated. I've been looking for white/off-white wool for about three years now, and the only things I've seen have been heavier (like flannel or broadcloth) and/or at least $25/yd, which is too much for something I'm not going to get a lot of chances to wear. (Actually, I don't want to pay that for fabric for pants that I'm going to wear to work/church at least once a month.)

Now I guess I have some options, and I'll need to decide. Is this as good as it's going to get, and if I want the dress, I'll just have to make it with this, probably with brown trim instead of the green or navy I had been planning on? Do I return it and assume the dress isn't to be right now? Do I try dye remover to see if that helps (obviously on a swatch first, but cutting a swatch will probably make it unreturnable)? Do I hold on to it for some unknown future project (nothing is coming to mind right now except that there was a dress from the late 1860's in the collection at Smithfield that was about this color, though it was probably a cotton or cotton/silk blend, and I wouldn't have enough fabric for the overskirt that went with it)?


And when I was trying to assemble Christmas ornaments last night, my gathering threads broke so I didn't end up finishing that. I'll have to tackle the rest of that tonight. At least the sleeve patterning and cutting for my spencer went well.


Nov. 20th, 2014 08:33 am
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So the 1890's have come up in one context or another a few times over the weekend and into this week. There's a dress from the 10/30/1897 issue of Harper's Bazar that I have wanted ever since I saw it while flipping through Victorian Fashions and Costumes from Harper's Bazar in the VT library one day. (The picture in the book is better than the one on the HEARTH website.) Now I'm starting to think about taking steps toward accomplishing it.

I don't have any events planned any time soon that need anything so I'm feeling a little at sea as to costuming plans. Of course, it also means I'm free to work on whatever I want to work on. The two modern things (1940's and 50's are modern, righ?) that are high on my list are summery and therefore uninspiring right now so I'm seriously considering the 1890's.

So to put some thought into the 1897 Harper’s Bazar dress.

I want combinations for it. I have mid-19th century drawers, and I have the polyester eyelet early 20th century combinations. I want late-19th century combinations. There’s a pattern in Vintage Lingerie that would make that book pretty much worth its purchase price. Or I could go with the ones from Fashions of the Gilded Age, but they’d probably be a lot more work to size up. I have the cotton lawn already so it’s no investment except maybe buttons.

Then there’s a corset. I like one in Jill Salen’s Corsets so I think I’m going to see what I can do with it. Then at least one petticoat, and probably two. This time around I’m going to look into what actual petticoats of the period look like rather than making it up like I did last time I was working in the 1890’s. Other than the whole pattern-drafting-directions-are-backward problem that I had, I liked that petticoat pretty well. Still, I don’t think it’s right for the later 1890’s, and I didn’t really do any research first.

The dress is very much like the c. 1898 dress that Janet Arnold patterned in Patterns of Fashion 2. Structurally, the tops of the sleeves and the bodice front are about the only differences. I can at least pattern the dress so I'll know how much wool I'll need and be able to get an estimate on trim too, even if something comes up to take my attention away from a project with no real purpose.


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