Friday, December 30, 2016

2017 Plans

My hand is really hurting right now, so I almost feel foolish for writing this out... But daydreaming about sewing plans still makes me happy, so *shrug*.

Right now I'm dying to start the historical Star Wars cosplay I came up with last night. I finally struck on an idea that I really like and would be easy to make (no hard-to-find fabrics or intricate accessories and I don't mind using undergarments I already have). I've got a couple months' lull now that it's winter and I think it would be pretty quick to make. 

So... here's Edwardian (c.1904) Leia! I just bought the fabric, too, a silk/cotton blend ottomon (ribbed). Still need to figure out what to do for the belt, but that can definitely wait until the dress is finished.


Next will be either a cotton print sack gown or a 1560s ensemble. It all depends on if I can go back home for Faire in May. Unfortunately these gowns are pretty labor intensive and would have due-dates within a month of each other, so I don't know if I can pull off both. But we'll see!


Finally, I have three gowns that need to be made for a very special event in September, one of which I'm embroidering! I've already got the skirt panels ready to start working on, so hopefully it will be finished in time... 

Then it will be time to get ready for Gettysburg in November, and I think I'll finally make a new full mourning dress. The fabric has been waiting very patiently in my stash!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

2016 Year in Review

I feel like I was constantly sewing something this year but have very little to show for it. In truth, I think I spent many nights after work just being lazy, as I'm finding it harder to come home after sewing all day to...sewing all night. And as I mentioned in a previous post, my wrist/hand is still causing me problems even after the surgery. I'm planning to see my doctor in the new year but I'm not hopeful.

In addition to sewing at work and sewing at home for myself, I took commissions for two other museums, which I didn't get pictures of before sending them off. But my work is now on display at Mount Vernon and the New York Historical Society.

Another issue is that there are quite a few garments that I made this year but haven't gotten pictures of, or they're wearable but not "finished" and thus not photographed. But hopefully I can start taking care of that in the new year, at least for my 1860s ball gown and 1616 gown.


It's probably worth noting too that I organized and ran a conference at work and got a raise and promotion!

Even thought I didn't sew a lot, I went to many wonderful events (like Costume College!) and had a great time with friends regardless of if I was wearing an "old" dress. Next year promises to have some great events as well. I haven't quite figured out what my 2017 sewing goals are, but there will be a blog post when I do!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Early Seventeenth Century Wool Gown



I've been wanting to make a new early 17th century gown for some time now, mostly because I have learned so much since I made my green wool outfit. The idea behind the gown was for it to be representative of a common woman's Sunday/holiday best. This year's Publick Day event was the perfect excuse, although I waffled over whether or not to make something new until about two weeks before the event. So this gown was handsewn in two weeks, amid work and everything else. Michael blocked new hats for both of us. He is becoming quite the talented hatter!

These pictures are from the gown's third wearing, on Thanksgiving for my work's annual event. Someday I'll starch my darn cuffs enough that they won't start going wonky after a few minutes! I'm wearing the gown over my newest petticoat with upperbodies.

Ignore the white threads all over me; I was sewing a shirt!

   

  

Monday, November 21, 2016

Gettysburg Remembrance Day 2016



Emma and I had a fantastic time at Remembrance Day this year. I got to visit and catch up with so many old reenacting friends and meet some lovely new ones. It made me realize how much I miss reenacting... It feels like we never get out to events since we moved to Virginia. We were much more active in Michigan! There are still things to do around here, but it's not the same, at least for me. I miss the camaraderie of being in a unit. 

The weather for the most part was FANTASTIC, so much so that I didn't really bother to finish my paletot. It was wearable but definitely not picture-ready. But almost immediately after the parade ended, the winter squall blew in and it hailed. Yes, hailed. I've never seen weather turn so quickly in my life!

We attended one of the balls and a tea and I had my picture made. I can't begin to tell you just how pleased I am with this tin type. I haven't been able to capture with my phone just how crisp the real image is. And I'm really pleased with my outfit. I try to get tin types made whenever I can because for me it's about the process of creating an image so authentic it could be mistaken for the real thing. I think we got fairly close this time. ;-)

I did finish my black ball gown, but didn't get any good pictures of it. Plus I wasn't happy with how the bertha turned out and have already ordered new lace for it! So it will get pictures and a blog post once that arrives. Here's a peak at the skirt, for now.


Can't wait for next year! 

 

 

We took two trips to Needle and Thread... I got some basics like brown and black polished cotton for linings and facings and white cotton sateen for new Regency stays. My big splurge was worsted wool flannel in the most amazing green color for a secret project (sorry!) which was priced almost twice what I like to pay for worsteds but I couldn't pass up that color. It's the same color as the 1840s dress I started, which I need to finish for Agecroft in two weeks! Then I got a pretty striped cotton for probably something Regency and a sheer striped black silk for an 1860s sheer dress.

  

Monday, November 7, 2016

Felicity's Suprise: At Last!


My grown-up version of Felicity's Christmas gown is done at last! You can read all about the design process over at my Livejournal. There are a few more pictures over there too, and at Flickr.








Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Early 1780s Dutch Print Italian Gown


This ended up being my favorite gown to wear at Costume College. Comfortable and easy to wear!

The gown is entirely hand sewn using period construction methods and was draped on the body. I wore it with fine muslin wrist ruffles, kerchief, and petticoat, as well as the beautiful silk gauze apron that Emma made for my birthday.

 

      

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A Gown for Gettysburg

I meant to do a write up about Costume College, but it never happened... Doing it now seems too late! I had a good time this year but I still felt like I missed hanging out with people as much as I would have liked. For some reason I was exhausted the whole time and went to bed super early each night... which I really regret now but at the time I just couldn't handle it. Sad...

But I've been very busy since then with lots of sewing. I need to finish a commission for a museum by the end of September and then I can go full steam into my wardrobe for Gettysburg Remembrance Day in November. I plan to wear my black and white checked silk gown during the day but with a new black wool paletot trimmed in black fur. And I talked myself into a new ball gown for the Friday night ball!

Yes, it's a black ball gown. :) I'm making it out of silk/cotton satin and it will be trimmed with antique black lace and lots of ridiculous bows. It makes my little black heart happy! Here's my Pinterest board on black evening gowns:https://www.pinterest.com/reinedecoudre/black-evening-gown/

I also need to finish adding tucks to my petticoat, and I desperately need new drawers and a chemise as well. And also a new corset! So lots to do before November 18!