A room without a view…

I sew in a room without windows.  I used to have windows, but that was when I sewed upstairs in my small little room called the Purple Room…I painted it a deep violet.  Well, as my business began to grow and my sewing became well…more intense, I needed a larger area.  There was no other room large enough so I headed down to my partially finished basement.

I would never show you a before picture…it is too depressing, but with a rug, a fresh coat of white paint…some random used furniture and determination, I created a little sewing haven.  With plenty of space, I was able to arrange an organized area of efficiency, with room to grow.  Now don’t get me wrong…it isn’t perfect.  During the Spring, I have to squash small little spiders, and am always nervous of flooding.  And of course in the winter it hovers at around 58 degrees…so armed with slippers and a space heater, I make it work.  Sure it doesn’t look like any of those fancy, well designed studios that one sees in a magazine.  But it is mine, it is well-organized, spacious, and… secret.  Believe it or not…only my husband and my mom have seen this area.  Yes, I do take photos of my gowns, and of my projects, but no one physically visits this cocoon.  It isn’t a decision I have made to exclude people…its just that my hobby (to some) is odd, and only people who I think are open enough get to experience this area of my life.

With that said, I thought I would share with you my “window” wall.  Or the part of my studio that is to me, the light I crave.  I call it my inspiration wall and it consists of articles, photographs, designs, and samples of gowns that I find…well..inspirational.  I choose pictures that I feel encouraged by, energized by, or calmed by.  And as you will see they range from flowers, to kitchens.  I faced my sewing table towards this wall and feed from its energy as I go about my creative process.

I recommend and hope that each of you is able to nest out a little area…no matter how dim it may seem and just enjoy the solitude that comes with creativity.  So while the night may descend, or the winter winds blow…it will always be “sunny” in my little room.

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Braided Hairstyle with Hair Combs

My hair is finally long enough to have a braid wrap around my head!!!  Forgive me if this seems rather dramatic…but it took long enough to grow and I finally made it!

To celebrate here is a simple hairstyle that features a loose bun with a thin braid that wrap around the head over a center part.  I also added a set of flowered hair combs I made for fun the other day.

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To purchase hair combs, you can visit my store by clicking this link:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/176739831/civil-war-era-blue-flower-hair-combs?ref=shop_home_active_19



The Challenge: One Ball Gown, One Piece of Lace, One Hour…

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I found this beautiful piece of creamy pink lace and just loved it!  It was a great deal…but only came in a two yard piece.  Not exactly the easiest measurement to work with.  In addition, only two sides were scalloped…the other two sides were raw edges from being cut.  I knew that I wanted to try to create some sort of shawl, but need to have all the edges finished…but how to do that when it was an odd shape…well that was the challenge.

But one hour later I went from this

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And here is how I did it:

1.  Take the lace and match up the scalloped ends to create an odd looking triangle.

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2. Secure the end point with pins and stick it into the carpet (or put a weight on it) so that when you are adjusting the rest of the shawl, the point stays together and aligned.  Pin along the scalloped edge.

3. Trim off the unfinished edge, making sure to cut the unfinished edge about a half inch shorter than the scalloped edge .  You don’t want the edges to meet.

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4.  Pick a matching thread, and a narrow stitch on your machine and stitch the edges making sure to keep the edges tight to avoid a misshapen triangle.

5. Trim off excess lace from the stitched line and …..Voila!

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Currently for sale on my Etsy Shop: Aimee’s Victorian Armoire

https://www.etsy.com/listing/176234686/civil-war-soft-pink-lace-shawl?ref=shop_home_active_12


A painting to be jealous of…

There are days when I wish myself out of this year and to some other time.  It never tends to be the same time period…usually a day dream to 1810 walking a meadow in England, or an idyllic scene of myself sewing near an open window on a warm summer day around 1880.  Oh how intense my feeling of longing can be to ditch my jeans and slip into something more girly…and more complicated.  Of course, I often will drag myself back to reality realizing that I would never survive without hairspray, or mascara…but today was one of those days when I saw a picture and felt my thoughts smack right into the middle of the scene. What was this inspiring painting?…take a look for yourself

800px-Winterhalter_Franz_Xavier_The_Empress_Eugenie_Surrounded_by_her_Ladies_in_WaitingI’m the lady wearing the green dress….just so you know!

Well, on a more realistic and accomplishing note, my 1854 gown is currently up for sale on my Etsy shop.  Here are a some pictures!

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To visit my store click this link:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/175656736/1850s-yellow-calico-day-dress?ref=shop_home_feat_1


1850’s Gown: Almost complete

I spent yesterday afternoon (during the snow storm…or as the Weather Channel called it “The Polar Vortex”) sitting on my couch, watching re-runs, and attaching the skirt to the bodice of my 1850’s gown.  I knife-pleated the fabric and then hand-stitched each pleat to the bodice.  It didn’t take as long as it sounds.  I clearly have to adjust the length and hem the bottom…but that is for another day.

I also completed the under sleeves for the gown.  I decided to use elastic versus ribbons to hold up the sleeves…elastic just holds better.  I also did a little hand embroidery on the cuff of the sleeves, based off of a pattern from one of my fashion books.  Hope you like it!

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yellow9Also, I know I haven’t done many hair tutorials lately…it’s not from lack of trying…it’s just that the pictures and therefore the end results just aren’t that good.  I am hoping to put another one up over the next week.  Fingers crossed!


1850’s Day Dress Bodice

So despite a stomach flu, I finished the bodice of the 1850’s Day Dress!  It was quite a challenge since I had to redo the sleeves twice to make sure that they fell just right.  Oh how I love seam rippers!!

I added piping to the armholes, the neckline, and the bottom of the bodice.  I didn’t add the undersleeves in the picture, but I will be making them to fit under the pagoda sleeves.  My plan is to begin working on the skirt this weekend…not sure if I am going to add flounces or not.  I guess it depends on my patience level!

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yellow4I am also looking to either purchase or make an 1865 elliptical hoopskirt…any ideas or suggestions for a pattern or seller?

Enjoy your Friday everyone!!