Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Riding Habit :)

At long last, the riding habit is revealed! I hope it's not anti-climactic!. It was a LOT of work, even though it looks rather plain. Tailoring is... an entirely different beast from dressmaking! Different techniques, different stitches. Mike and I had a complete mis-communication over something because what he told me to do means two different things to tailors and mantua-makers! I will probably do a separate construction post, although I don't have too many construction pics. They are on my camera, which needs to be recharged (before Costume College, eep!).

I take no credit for the beauty of the fit of my habit. It's all thanks to master tailor Mark Hutter, who used me as an experiment for a new style of riding habit. I didn't mind being a guinea pig at all. :) Mike walked me through construction, which was a good husband-wife exercise in communication. I learned so much during the process, and have an even greater respect for the work he and Mark do. I'll stick to millinery and mantua-making, thanks!

The habit is made from green twilled worsted wool from Burnley and Trowbridge. The silk button hole twist and buttons are from them as well, along with the heavy linen interfacing. The cream silk lining is from Renaissance Fabrics. The hat is only temporary (it's going to become my 17th c hat). After doing all of these button holes, and the thousands I have done at work now, I really enjoy them! I never thought I'd say that!

I'm wearing Nicole's riding shirt, too. I didn't have time to make one before our event, and Nicole recently sold her habit, so I have until she makes a new one to get my own shirt made!

My dear, good Emma took pictures for me on her excellent camera. What good friends I'm blessed with!


Many more imagesbehind the cut

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Pretty Milliner

We did our trades demonstration yesterday in Northern Virginia, and we got to test out our new 1820s outfits. Mike, Nicole, and I all made new clothes (of course!). I'm officially in love with the 1820s. It's so quirky and underrepresented! So I'm very excited to wear it again at Costume College. :)

A quick side note about Costume College... A number of reasons have led me to only be attending on Saturday, the day I teach my class. This means more time with my family, who I haven't seen since January. So I hope I'll get to see everyone Saturday! I will be staying for the Gala, wearing my sooper seekret crazy Gala outfit. Oh yes, it's pretty silly. But it should be awesome... :)

Anyway, I had so much fun researching this new era! The gown is hand sewn and has piping down the center front, around the neckline, and around the armseyes. The side back seams are top stitched, as well as the top of the waistband. The bottom of the waistband is sewn right sides together with the skirt, and then all of the raw edges are covered with sort of a facing. None of the other raw edges are finished, although I did whip down the sleeve head gathers to the bodice lining to keep them smooth. The back fastens with hooks and eyes. I stitched three bands of trim onto the sleeves, and a wide band around the skirt. These were simple and quick applications, but visually make a big impact. I have a lot of fabric left over and may go back and do something a little fancier. But I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.

The collar is a super fine piece of linen edged with a nice cotton lace. It has a bias band along the neck edge and is pinned into the dress. 

I set up a millinery shop and created a hat, turban, and bustle pad. I was able to use a TON of items from my wardrobe, and a few from Nicole, to set up a pretty full and varied shop. I had:
  • a woman's hat
  • a turban
  • a bustle
  • a man's round hat
  • a band box
  • a hat box
  • a shawl
  • a lace veil
  • a parasol
  • a reticule
  • handmade gloves
  • a length of whitework edging
  • an ostrich plume
  • a fur tippet
  • three kerchiefs
  • a coral necklace
  • a chemisette
It was a small event, but we had a very good time. And how could you not when you're spending the day with friends, interpreting history? :)

My camera died... But Nicole had her really nice camera and took pictures for us.The Virginia humidity obliterated my lovely curls... *sigh* I should be looking fresher at Costume College!


The wind kept knocking my hats around! 
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Cap was tied too loosely...

Joseph did period cooking and made some AMAZING chicken. It had bacon in it. Literally. Yum!

We learned about the 1822 courthouse.

Sarah tells us about the super cool (ha!) geothermal system used to regulate the temperature of the building.

Nicole let me be her guinea pig for her new 19th century last. I didn't mind at all. ;-) Here's my new shoes! You can bet I'll be wearing them at Costume College. If you are interested in handmade 18th and 19th century women's shoes, Nicole writes at Diary of a Mantua-Maker

Saturday, July 5, 2014

More 18th c Cap Details

I found my camera!! These pictures were on there, of this cap that I posted about a while. The camera also has riding habit construction pics on it, which I'll post once I get my photo shoot pics. I promise they exist!

Exterior of the cap:

Interior of the cap:

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Baby Bonnet: Or, An 1820s Cap

Done! I scored this amazing vintage whitework for the ruffle. It's a finer quality than the body of the cap, but you can't immediately tell.


One more item done on the list. Next up is a bonnet and a turban. The turban should be super quick, and I don't anticipate the bonnet taking too terribly long, either. I'm going to do a gathered crown. It's perhaps not as common as a normal crown, but there are dozens of images of it in fashion plates for 1823-25.

From Journal des Dames et des Modes, available at http://digital.bunka.ac.jp/kichosho_e/

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Such a Tease...

Yesterday was another 18th c cricket game, and it was just cool enough to wear my new riding habit again. Still waiting on the "official" photo shoot pictures (it's been a very busy couple of months!) but here's a couple less-than-great Instagram shots to peak your interest...

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thank you, readers!!

Since Blogger won't let me reply to each individual comment, I'd like to say thank you to everyone who left me such kind comments on my last post. It really means a lot to me to hear your experiences, your advice, and your well wishes.

Things are progressing pretty well with the 1820s project. Next will be an item for my Costume College class, and finishing my 17th c bodies and hopefully a smock. Definitely not what I had originally planned to have done by the end of the summer, but a little sewing is better than no sewing.


Here's some lace I got recently for a future project down the road. Too pretty to let pass by!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Fear and Other Stupid Things

A few months ago, my wrist started hurting. I got sent to a doctor on worker's comp, but it was really inconclusive... I have a brace, and I try to always wear it when I'm sewing. But it still hurts, and I'm slightly terrified. I'm only 23, and I'd like to be sewing when I'm an old woman. Frankly, I can't imagine doing anything else. Historical clothing is my passion. I've done a lot of things in life, but this is the one thing that stuck and really consumed me. Of course, realistically, I can give you a list of other hobbies I can do... But my blood runs cold when I think about not being able to sew. (I should add that I literally sew for a living right now. So I'd have to quit my job--which I love-- and find something else...)

I'm not really sure what this means exactly for me. Probably less sewing... less blogging... So yeah, that's where I am right now... :-/