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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Vintage Magazine Cover Wall Collage

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Last Saturday, I spent about three hours rearranging and organizing my sewing studio.  I was trying to create a better backdrop for future videos I wish to create.  However, as I was moving things around and trying to find the best spot, I was disappointed that I didn’t have a wall that I was proud enough of to show to all of you.  Enter my new challenge…create a wall that IS worthy to show all of you!

So I decided to create a vintage magazine themed wall collage that I hope will add a little charm and appeal to my videos.  I decided to go with 1910’s Good Housekeeping and McCall’s covers as they had the most color and some of my favorite styles of art.

Here are a few of the ones I chose!

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Then I went and found some rather inexpensive white frames in various sizes to  add some interest.  I printed the images out on photo paper and then placed them in the frames.  I traced the frames out on plain paper and then marked the location of the nail on these paper shapes.  Using painters tape, I was then able to adjust, rearrange, and evaluate to my hearts content.  Once I was happy with the overall look, I then just nailed through the mark on the paper shape, removed the paper from the wall, and hung up my frames!

And here is the finished look!

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Perfect!!!

 

Have a wonderful Monday!!

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Five Recently Discovered Sewing Hacks

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I tend to be a bit behind the times.  I think that is one reason why I enjoy the past so much.  🙂  

So when it comes to sewing, I am truly a trial and error kind of sewer.  I encounter a problem, and then I sit and think about how to fix it.  I am a very “keep my eyes on my own paper” type of person.  However, I will often miss out on tricks of the trade that other experienced sewers have discovered which could help make my sewing easier and more efficient.  So, I spent a little time searching out some of these little tips and thought I would share my favorite five.  Many of you may already be very familiar with these ideas, but in case you are like me, you may have never found them on your own without a little bit of help! 🙂

Tip #1 – Use two or three pencils rubber banded together to add in your seam allowance when tracing or designing your own pattern.

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Photo credit: Sew McCool

Tip #2 – Wrap a large rubber band around your sewing machine arm to keep seams very straight.

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Photo Credit: Yesterday’s Thimble

Tip#3 – To avoid frayed ends, wash fabric in a pillow case with the end tied in knot.

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Photo Credit: The Mother Huddle

Tip #4 – This tip hits home as I have ruined many a gown with ripping through a buttonhole.  Place a pin on one end of the buttonhole to avoid tearing through the fabric.

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Photo Credit: Simple Simon and Company

Tip #5 – Keep pins in a bar of soap to help them slide through fabric easier.  I imagine this would be wonderful when pleating large amounts of fabric into a waistband.

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Photo Credit: Make it Love it

I hope these little tips will help make your sewing more effective and enjoyable…I know they have mine!

Happy Wednesday!

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Did you know that I have begun creating more 19th century clothing to sell?  

Curious?  

Feel free hop over here for a little peek!!



HSM: Foundations – Dimity Bustle

I have begun working on the January challenge of Foundations  for the Historical Sew Monthly.  It took me almost a week to actually decide on what I wanted to do, as I was going back and forth between a corset, or a caged crinoline, or a farthingale…..the list goes on.  I knew that one of the challenges I wanted to create this year was going to be a late 1870’s natural form, princess gown, so with that in mind, I decided to create a dimity bustle.  I did some research and found a workable example with which I could create my pattern.  I really wanted to create the entire look myself, so I was hesitant to see other people’s versions and patterns.  I have found it a very fun project so far and, if time allows, will hope to complete a petticoat as well before the February challenge begins.

Here is what I have so accomplished so far:

The inspiration photograph

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Here is a very rough diagram and sketch of the pattern I created….I know it’s a little hard to see.   The inside of the bustle can be seen in the upper left hand corner of the page on the right side.

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I created my 3 panel pieces and began stitching my boning channels with twill tape.  Each piece, the outer as well as the two inner pieces (I will explain those pieces in my next post), were doubled in thickness to add some weight to the white muslin.

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I did decide to go ahead and just directly attach the ruffles to the bottom of the bustle, even though the picture shows them as removable.

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I am hoping that I can complete the project this weekend without too many distractions…all though even now I am rushing to complete this post before friends come over for dinner! 🙂

Enjoy your weekend and have a Happy MLK Day!

 – Aimee


Sheer and Pleated…

This is such a stunning gown!  Probably created in the late 1850’s, I love the V-shaped pleating and the full airiness of the skirt.  Include a shawl and it is perfect!  I wish it was easier to find fabric that was patterned like this skirt though.  Hmmmm……

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The Roaring 20’s….1820’s that is!

I have been trying lately to expand my focus and appreciation for all 19th century gowns.  While I used to not thoroughly enjoy the large mutton sleeve of the 1820’s, I was surprised at how the simplicity of the gowns began to appeal to me.  While it may not be my favorite decade, the uniqueness of the large sleeve paired with the shorter skirt can’t be denied.  I found a few of my favorite styles…and since the Regency Era was just ending, I love seeing the transition occur with these gowns!

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The 1840’s Dress Cont…

So here is a little update on the corally-peach 1840’s pleated gown!

I added piping along the bottom edge of the bodice:

 

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And then began working on the skirt.  Due to the point in the front, it is important to adjust the skirt panels to accommodate the dip without messing up the hem:

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I only had enough time to put in one row of gathering stitches.  Hopefully I can complete the other row this week!

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Have a great day everyone!!