Month: August 2014

1840’s Pleated Dress Cont…

So I have been slowly but surely working on the corally-pink pleated gown.  After I basted the pleats onto the shoulder, I hand stitched them at certain points to make sure they stayed in place, as well as stitched the ends of the pleats so they would lay flat. This part was very time consuming and I stuck myself four times with the result of my fingers becoming clumsy from all of the bandaids…the life of a sewer! Than I made three oval pieces to put over the edges of the front pleats and to go over the shoulder seams.  The front piece I edged in piping. I did a simple running stitch along the outer edges of the three pieces. The next step is to attach the sleeves.  Stay-tuned!!

An 1840’s Pleated Gown

Okay…so I had every intention of beginning to recreate the 1850’s Day Gown I made earlier in the year.  See post HERE.  So I took my little self down to the fabric store I use and bought beautiful terra cotta color fabric.  I just fell in love with it and quickly scooped up 9 yards again, with every intention of starting it.  However, the fabric just didn’t seem to want to be an 1850’s gown.  People think I’m crazy, but usually when I shop for fabric, I never go in with what I want to make, I just find fabric I like and it tells me what it wants to be.   And for the most part, it turns out!  I find when I stray from that method, I end up making a hot mess. Anyway…so this fabric just did not want to be an 1850’s or even 1860’s gown…it wanted to be an 1840’s gown.  I apologize to a faithful reader who has been patiently waiting for me to recreate the 1850’s gown…I promise …

Pleats: An Easy Way to Make Something Special

I am all about subtle details that add beauty and elegance to a gown.  In my sewing, and in my modern dressing, I love to let the fabric and soft alterations of the fabric be the focus of what I am making/wearing.  This is why I love pleats.  Pleats, in my opinion, can range from soft gathers that are pressed, to perfectly measured and spaced out folds.  Pleats, whether sewn in or draped on top, are the simplest and quickest way to make what would be a simple gown into something elegant and feminine.  All you need is fabric!  Let’s take a look at some examples: Here the pleats are around the hem of this 1850’s gown and softly gathered into the yoke of the wide neckline on the bodice.  

How to Make a Hair Rat: The Modern Way!

I was asked a few weeks ago how to create this hairstyle with shoulder length hair: Post on how to create this look HERE   Now women in the 19th century would use hair rats, which are little rolls of their hair that either fell out or was brushed out.  Of course going that route is still an option, but I did a little research and found a great way to create a hair rat for your 19th century hairstyles the 21st century way!  All you need is a sock bun and a pair of scissors!

A shawl by any name…

Whether you call it a mantilla, a coverlet, a shawl, a drape, or wrap, women have been finding delicate things to sling across their shoulders for the duel purpose or warmth (sometimes) and beauty.  I personally love wraps and capes and wear them all throughout the winter for the same duel purpose as our foremothers centuries ago.  I recently acquired 5 yards of beautiful black lace with the intention of creating a shawl of some sort.   While researching I came across these examples from an 1855 Goodey’s Lady’s Book, August edition I believe, and just fell in love.  Now clearly these drawings are very detailed and have materials that I may have trouble getting a hold of, yet they are provide a great base.  After I complete the current gown I’m working on (which hopefully will be today), I plan on starting to draft up a pattern for one of these shawls, or wraps, or what ever you like to call it! 🙂

“Gore-ing” does not equal Boring!

I spent yesterday afternoon working on creating the skirt panels for my 1865 Green Gown.  When I was planning the gown, I wanted to create something different and really use the fabric effectively in the design, so I decided to do a gored skirt.  Not hard, just not something I don’t do often.  The main problem I have with gored skirts is getting the ratio of fullness and tightness just right.  I want to make sure the skirt goes easily around the undergarments without looking tight or pulled, yet I don’t want so much fabric that is loses that smooth finish.  I started off with six panels, but wasn’t happy so I went to eight and I am quite pleased with how it is turning out.  I just pinned it on so I could get a sense of the lay of the skirt.  Hopefully I can spend the next few days attaching it to the bodice, and working out the hem.  I want a slight train on the skirt, so getting it to flow evenly on …

By the Beautiful Sea!

Starting tomorrow, my husband and I are heading off to the rocky shore of Maine for a lovely week long vacation.  We have gone every year since our honeymoon and just fell in love with the old fashioned charm that coastal Maine has to offer.   I can’t wait to smell the salty sea air!  Along the way I have planned some stops at a few fabric stores to see if I can find anything exciting.  Cross your fingers!  When I come back, I will begin working on lots of new projects and adding to my store inventory, with plenty of new posts along the way. Oh and has anyone been on a whale watch?  My husband wants to go and well….I’m not quite sure what to expect! A few past posts to keep you tied over: A Variety of Hairstyles The One Hour Lace Challenge The Appeal of the Wrapper Growing Love of 1850’s Gowns See you in a week!   Painting: Albert Fitch Bellows: Seaside Reflections