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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So You Want to Try Historical Sewing?

Last week, we talked all about my process of creating and designing historical gowns.  But that led many to ask:

“How do I get into historical sewing?”

“What if I’m new to sewing?  Can I still start?”

And the answer is ABSOLUTELY YES!  Join me as I chat about what exactly historical sewing is, some easy beginning patterns and pattern brands to try out, along with tools you will need!  ***Hint – you probably already have everything you need! 😉

 

Helpful Links to Get You Started:

Videos on various types of patterns available:

Intro to Patterns from Books

Intro to PDF Patterns

Intro to Paper Patterns 

 

After a little research, looks like the Dating Fabric book is back in stock!  Click HERE.

 

Favorite Blogs to Follow for Advice and Inspiration:

American Duchess

The Dreamstress

Before the Automobile

Wearing History

Historical Sewing

 

There are of course many, many other wonderful blogs and costumers out there, but these are my number one go-tos!

Join me next time for a chat all about vintage sewing! 🙂

 

 


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. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 


Aprons to Wear in the Garden!

As you may have noticed, my blog has undergone a few cosmetic changes.  Nothing to worry about….just trying to streamline and revamp the overall look with the aim of expanding topics and tutorials!  I am slowly starting to get back into the blogging swing of things and have planned a few fun posts and videos to come out over the summer – as long as nap times stay consistent (you know #MOMLIFE!)  More details and such will make their way over the next few weeks, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy today’s post.

It is half way through June and I finally feel that summer is officially here!  My gardens are overall doing well…although I have certainly fretted and fussed over my kitchen garden sprouts.  While I may not be able to spend hour upon hour in the garden, I can definitely squeeze in a solid twenty minutes after my daughter goes to bed.  And nothing feels more therapeutic then slipping into garden shoes and my garden apron.  Although based on my neighbors reactions and gentle ribbing, it feels as though I am the only person in the world who wears an apron to garden.  I suppose I may be the minority, but it sure beats having to change into “work” clothes which can mean a loss of precious gardening minutes.  So I proudly don my apron, step into my small yet efficiently designed garden, and weed away!

Are you looking for a garden apron?  I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites!

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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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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 

Musings on Motherhood

It’s hard to believe that it was only six weeks ago when I became a mother for the first time.  During those six weeks I have learned a lot about myself, my family, and my future.  Parts have been harder than I could have imagined, and yet the experience as a whole has been the most rewarding experience of my life.  

 

My last post, almost two months ago, highlighted how I had been in early labor for days, which eventually turned into weeks.  Going through day after day of contractions and know I was on the cusp of something happening was a feeling and experience I will never forget.  What felt like an eternity quickly vanished around two o’clock in the morning when, finally, my contractions began to take off.  My husband and I arrived sleep deprived and nervous to the hospital around 6am, and twelve hours later, our beautiful baby girl, Clara Elizabeth, was born.   She was healthy, beautiful, and a solid seven pounds.

 

From that point on, life was and never will be the same.  You begin to realize your own limitations, and you also realize just how well (or not well) a person is able to function with little to no sleep.  You know you are a new parent when the thought of five hours of straight sleep is enough to make you cry in excitement…side note – I’m still waiting for those five straight hours!   You also realize the blessing it is to have a partner who is supportive and a team player when in comes to late night dirty diapers and never ending crying bouts from gas.  Conversation at dinner begins to revolve around feeding patterns, anti-gas drops, and why I can’t stop crying for the tenth time that day.  You learn that just being able to do one load of laundry a day is a big accomplishment and having enough time to take a shower is a major luxury.  

 

And then there comes the point when you wonder why you aren’t as happy as you should be.  Commercials on television depict happy moms lovingly taking care of their babies with their immaculate makeup and hair.  Magazines show enthusiastic families laughing and smiling through those early weeks of a newborn’s life, and you wonder why those feelings don’t extend to you.  I pondered over these thoughts and after four weeks of loving my baby yet feeling a very negative cloud of despair hover over my heart and spirit, I finally accepted the fact that I had postpartum depression.  A death knell, or so I thought, to my happily ever after.  I found myself waking up from precious naps in tears.  I came to dread the evening hours as I was never sure if I was going to have a good night or another sleepless night with only minutes of sleep.  I lost the desire to leave the house with the thought of “what’s the point?”  My life seemed to be a never ending circle of feeding, changing diapers, sleepless days and nights, and the constant fight to keep loving my baby over the mountain of “mommy guilt” I was drowning in.  Seems rather bleak huh? It was.  

 

It was on the eve of her first month “birthday”, when I did some research on “baby blues” from which I figured all these feelings stemmed.  But reading that these “blues” lessened after two weeks took the wind out of me.  Why was I still feeling lousy weeks later?  Enter the thought and acceptance of postpartum depression.  I read a list of symptoms and found myself relating to many of them.  But instead of feeling even more depressed about this revelation, I saw a crack of light in my dark tunnel.  These feelings weren’t really me.  The despair wasn’t real.  And I wasn’t “crazy.”

 

Well six weeks have past and a few days ago, I felt a fog lift off of me.  So much so that I didn’t realize how bad I felt until I started feeling better.  Life seemed hopeful.  I was able to relax and be more patience with myself, and the amazing bond with my little girl began to cement.  I still have my sad times, and so I have opened up to my family and doctor about my feelings.  Knowing that those dark emotions are not real has been freeing and I’m slowly starting to turn into the mother I always wanted to be.  I know it will take time to get back to feeling 100%, but I am allowing myself the freedom to not be perfect and embrace all aspects of my feelings.  

 

Being a mom is the most wonderful gift I have ever been given.  But being a perfect mom is now off the table.  Instead, being the best mom I can be, with all my faults and strengths, has become my new goal.  Postpartum depression is real and scary and should be taken seriously.  What it is not, however, is any indication on your success as a parent.  There should be no shame in acknowledging it whether you suffer from it yourself or see it in a friend.  Looks like my little peanut has already taught me my first important parenting lesson: unconditional love goes both ways – as I love her no matter what, she too loves me no matter what…even if I haven’t showered in a bit! 🙂

 

In the sewing world, I am going to slowly start getting back into the swing of things over the next few weeks.  While I am not giving myself a specific date to be “better” by, I am letting myself follow my creative mood.  I am not quite sure where this mood will take me, but I know it will be a fun ride!

 

So, my friends, it feels great to be back sharing with all of you!  

Here’s to accepting ourselves in whatever state we are in!

Cover Photo By Jesse Wilcox Smith


1940’s Blouse Pattern and Tutorial

This blouse is such a quick and easy way to take an extra yard of fabric and turn it into something special!  Add some pizzaz with different fabrics, contrasting colors, and trims!!  The possibilities are endless!

What you will need:

  •   1 yard of fabric*
  • 12″ of 1/2″ wide elastic
  • Thread

* To create a larger size, simply create a larger square – 40″ x 40″, 42″ x 42″, etc

This pattern can be created by simply measuring and cutting the actual fabric, however the pictures below are shown on a large piece of craft paper.  

The Process

  1. Fold a 36″ by 36″ piece of fabric (or paper) into a triangle.
  2. Mark the neck between the two end points.
  3. Measure 13-15″ from center of neck towards one point.  Mark this point.  The length will be the sleeve, so make it as long or as short as you would like.  Then cut off the triangle.  Repeat with the other side.
  4. Allow 8-10″ for armhole then stitch (right sides together) 4-5″ down from this point.  This line is shown as the dotted line on the paper pattern below.
  5. Take the cut off triangle pieces and attach them to the bottom of the triangle so the fold edge forms a side seam. Stitch to the bottom of the blouse, right sides together.
  6. Measure 4 1/2″ on each side of center neck point and gently cut out a scoop neckline.
  7. Make a 4″ slit in the center back of the neckline.
  8. Sew a 6″ piece of elastic, while it is stretched out, on each side of the waist line to create a shirred peplum.
  9. Hem all raw edges and add shoulder pads, if desired.
  10. OPTIONAL – Add a snap or hook to the center back neckline to close.

And that’s it!! Enjoy your new vintage inspired blouse!!!