Altering and Drafting Historical Patterns Instructional Video

The next installment in my historical sewing video series is here!…and long over due!

Today it is all about pattern drafting.  Join me as I show you how to take a simple grid pattern or pre-made paper pattern and alter it to fit your desired shape and look.

 

Close up of pattern grid used:

Images of my 1870’s Plaid and Brown Day gown which the bodice pattern was used….and altered! 😉

 

Sources used:

Janet Arnold’s Pattern of Fashion 2

 

Until next time my friends!

 

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A Little Chat on the Historical Designing Process

“Aimee, how did you make that?”

“Did you just follow instructions?”

“Wish I could figure out how to design a gown like that!”

Well, I’ve been listening and have decided to share the process I go through when I design a historical gown.  From original inspiration to my next steps, you will learn about what books and patterns I go to first for help along the way!

Let’s get going!

Have another topic you would like me to chat about?  Dying to know some of my construction or designing secrets?

Leave a comment below! 🙂

PS: The book I was referring to is Fashion: The Collection from the Kyoto Fashion Institute. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 


Spring Projects of 2019

 

Hello Friends!!

My goodness but it has been a long time since I’ve last posted.  Please know that this is no indication that I am planning on closing or shutting down my blog….not at all!  It is simply a reflection of going with the flow of life and my creative juices.  But here on this slightly rainy and grey Saturday, I felt like writing and sharing a little of what I am into and planning this spring!

So lets start with some sewing…my favorite thing to talk about! 🙂  I have discovered a secret love of bustle gowns and completed my first just a few months ago!  I most definitely feel a little late to the 1880’s party, but oh boy am I here to stay!!  I relied heavily on Prior Attire’s Victorian Dressmaking book (link HERE) and have to say I am very pleased with my first attempt.

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Vintage Inspired Sewing Projects for Beginners

 

 

Sometimes its fun to get back to basics.  With the long, hot days of summer upon us, having a simple and fulfilling project to complete in the cool air conditioning is all a person needs to feel refreshed.  Here are a few of my favorite (easy) vintage inspired sewing projects!

 Click title to be taken to website for project instructions.

 Retro Drawstring Bag by A Spoonful of Sugar Designs

Make these little bags up in various sizes to fulfill all your needs.  I love having a few little bags like these for quick trips to the library or farmer’s markets.   And of course my one year old loves toting bags like these around to hold all sorts of random toys!

Sewing Machine Pillow by Quilting Digest

This little project is a quick way to get a quilting fix without having to commit to a larger size.  Go stash diving to use up all those odds and ends you know you have lying around!

Camper Pincushion by Crafts Beautiful

This little camper is the epitome of summer vacation!  Let this little cutie grace your sewing table and help you keep track of all those rogue pins.

Creating a Vintage Blouse from a Modern Sewing Pattern  

If you want a little more of a challenge, why not take a pattern you already have and mix it up to create something more vintage.  In this video tutorial, I’ll show you how to create two different blouses using one modern sewing pattern!

 

So don’t let the dog days of summer get you down!  Grab some ice tea and head to the sewing room!

I am now accepting custom orders on select items for August and September.  To see current offerings please click HERE.  To see my online portfolio click HERE.

 


How Retro do You Go?

 

I will never, ever, and I mean NEVER EVER get sick of looking at and admiring vintage kitchens!  Even though I have personally just redecorated my kitchen into more of a farm style, I know that it won’t be too long before the vintage look makes its way back.  Anyone who loves or appreciates anything vintage will understand exactly what I mean.  But when trying to write this post, I found myself struggling to put into words just what it is about the vintage kitchen look that I so much love.  Upon thinking, I have found that it contains both physical and mental attributes.  The idea of family, homey-ness, and just good old fashioned cooking makes up the mental appeal. But to describe the physical, I had to find some examples…..

First off,  take a look at this kitchen below:

 

Ahhhhhhh!   It looks so appealing, clean, sunny, and fresh!  From the striped cushions, the plate rack above the sink, to the geranium in the windowsill, everything oozes welcome and home.  But what is stopping me from creating a kitchen just like this?  Well besides the fact that I would have to do some major reconstruction, the idea of a tiled wall just seems a little out of date.

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Peekaboo!! I’m back!

 

Hi everyone!!  

My goodness but it has been quite a while since I have posted anything here on my blog!  It has been for good reason, and I’ll explain that a little later on, but boy, is it wonderful to be back!!!  Not to mention that the warmer weather is finally, and I mean FINALLY, starting to show up!  I don’t know if any of you have been suffering for want of warmth like us in the northeast, but it has been a most painfully long, cold spring so far.  I have found that the older I get the more the drab, rainy, and cloudy spring days get to me…but I guess I’ll worry about that depressing future another day!

So where have I been?  I looked the other day and saw that I haven’t posted since December!  Yikes!?!?  I by no means intended to take such a long break from blogging…it just sort of happened.  I, like many of us, got caught up in the busyness of the holidays and the start of the new year.  A wonderful influx of custom orders with limited sewing time compounded the issue.  And then there was the fact that I had a little baby girl who struggled sleeping at night.  Between night feedings, midnight crying sessions, and one whopper of a cold for the whole family,  I spent my days just trying to function.  There were times when I tried to sit down in front of the computer and write, but the words just got stuck.  I realized that I had to be relaxed and rested to write otherwise I was just staring at the computer screen watching the precious minutes of a nap tick away with nothing to show for it.  So I just let the block stay as it wanted and focused on enjoying mommy-hood and sewing for my daughter as well as my business.  Two things that really kept me sane and provided a much needed creative outlet.

Well, as of a week ago we have successfully weened off of night feeds (a little late for many babies, but right and proper for my now ten month old little nugget) and a full night sleep has been added back into my day.  I’m still enjoying the novelty of not having to get up every three hours…its wonderful! 🙂  And as a result I have found the rest greatly increased my desire to write and create blog posts again.

So I’m back with a goal of trying to post four times a month.  A goal mind you.  🙂  I have found that with many creative aspects of my life, to just relax and embrace the dry times as much as I do the days when creativity oozes out of my fingertips!

So thank you for your patience and your continued support and readership!

Have a wonderful day my friends!

~Aimee 

Creating a 1750’s Gown…For Me!

 

There comes a time when all business sewing needs to take a pause, and personal sewing needs to take over.

You see, I don’t often sew for myself.

I think the last time I created a gown just for me was at least a year ago.  Most of the time, whenever I sew it is either for a client or to sell on my shop.  But with a little more free time on my hands (thanks to longer naps by my little one), I wanted to try something new and different. …something for me! 🙂

After thinking about what I wished to create, I decided on an outfit to wear at next year’s French and Indian War Reenactment…in July.  The tricky part about making a gown to wear in the summer while it is still winter is the fear that I am going to sweat like crazy!  More about that later!

So, as always, whenever I begin a brand new decade or project apart from the norm, I begin with an inspiration board.  This is where I gather images of actual gowns, paintings, or pieces of a gown I want to try and incorporate.  The problem with this particular gown is I wanted to include WAAAAY to many aspects and techniques, so I had to really cut down.

Here is the inspiration board of this particular project:

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Creating an 1850’s Bloomer Gown

 

A few weeks ago, The New York State Museum reached out to me to acquire a Bloomer Gown I had created to display in their upcoming exhibit Votes for Women: Celebrating New York’s Suffrage Centennial which runs from November 4, 2017- May 13, 2018 in Albany, New York.

I was thrilled and honored to be apart of such a wonderful exhibit and celebration that I thought I would share a some details of not only the gown I made, but also the women who made the outfit popular.

To start with the Bloomer gown, as we know it, was not first worn by Amelia Bloomer but actually by Elizabeth Smith Miller of Geneva, New York.  Elizabeth Miller, who advocated for dress reform using the Turkish style of pants, quickly caught the attention and support of Bloomer.  With her newspaper, The Lily, which focused on women’s issues, Amelia popularized the look to the point where her name became associated with the gown.

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