As you can see I’m not terribly worried about doing challenges early (although cannot start them before they are announced) or late. I simply want them all done so as to keep my creative juices flowing and learn some new skills. I’m also horribly late on blogging about some of them because I have been very busy.
|So close to being done. I eventually spaced out the hearts on the sash more.|
This dress was created to be part of the Dickens Fair Alice in Wonderland cast. As you can see it is a Queen of Hearts dress. I worked hard to combine a sense of puled from the attic trunks and freshly put together.
The bodice is actually an Elizabethan bodice from a costume I bought from friend. The ruffle and the sleeves are from the skirt fabric of the same dress. The black cotton velvet skirt and oversleeves are part fabric purchased from a friends de-stash. The gold fringe was originally left over from the bustle dress (Oh good lord, I haven’t shown you all photos of THAT either…) but I was lucky to be able to source more since I would be needing it.
Long story shortened:
|Lots of pins were used…|
I started by dying 1/2 inch twill tape black and cutting out and hemming the knife pleated ruffle for the hem of the skirt. I originally calculated that I would use 3 panels of the black velvet and ended up having to add another panel. This meant that the red ruffle was 522 inches long and I made it 8 inches deep. I feretted the hem 18th Century style so the black twill would peak out at the bottom. Then I pleated the ruffle onto one inch twill tape so it would be removable if necessary.
I used the same treatment for the Black velvet skirt, except that I used white one inch twill to ferret the hem there it was supposed to give a nice pop at the transition – but it wasn’t as dramatic as I had hoped. The skirt is cartridged pleated into a grosgrain waistband (which I may replace).
I added a peplum to the bodice to make it more Victorian looking and add two sets of sleeves and poof! The sash was a trial because I wanted to match/compliment the fringe that I had already added to the dress so I ended up using a brushed twill and the wrong side of gold lamé to make the sash. I added more fringe to the ends of the sash and stiched it together in such a way that I have one wee little pocket to hold my gate pass and a couple of bills since I don’t carry a bag (what queen does?) and voilà! A fancy Fancy Dress Queen of Hearts!
The Challenge: Literature & Masquerade
Fabric: cotton Velvet (black and red), red silk taffeta, and white silk, brushed twill and some lamé
Pattern: none… o.O, I drafted everything free hand or used a toile I had on hand…
Year: 1850-1860 Fancy Dress
Notions: LOTS of thread, hooks & eyes, twill tape, dye,grosgrain ribbon, three tone Italian tassel fringe… and a lot of patience
How historically accurate is it? I think its pretty good. The fabrics are correct (except maybe the lamé – which could probably substitute for cloth of gold – but since I’m using the wrong side it makes no never-mind except that it wiggles when you sew… 😦)
Hours to complete:I don’t think I want to add it up. I’ve been working at it since early October (evenings and weekends and put the finishing touches on by the second weekend of Fair. I’d say a good starting estimate is 2-3 40 hour weeks (lots and lots of hand sewing). I’ve a couple of things left to tweak, but it is wearable and beautiful.
First worn: Dickens Fair November 2013
Total cost: somewhere between $400 and $500 for materials, labor? 80 to 120 hours – so a final cost is $1,200 to $2,900 depending on the hourly rate at which I pay myself (mentally that is and NOT including accessories)…. o.O
*** I PROMISE to add photos of me IN the dress and a post about the Bustle Gown is forthcoming… Just look for me on Facebook if you don’t want to be patient.
Well, there hasn’t bee a lot of it… my arthritis is kicking in horribly… nevertheless, I was able to finish the ruffs for Punch and Judy.
Judy only requires a mob cap with a red ribbon, a ruff, a pinafore apron, and a baby. So I just need to make up a baby and find a ribbon.
Punch will be more difficult, but I’m working on it slowly. I’ve gathered the materials and just need to figure out sizing…. Does anyone’s little boy want to play Punch?
QoH – I’ve cut out the skirt of the bodice and patterned the oversleeves. I need to mock up the under-sleeves to make sure they fit the armscye.
|The ruff – really a ruffle mostly handstitched and ties on so it is adjustable.|
…because I’m working on some gifts. The HSF #23 isn’t until November 18th but it put me in mind that I wanted to make most of my gifts for this Holiday season. Most of what I’m working on won’t qualify due to timing, but I have time now while I wait on fabric to arrive…
Upcoming, expect to see winter hats and pelisses for the GBACG Tall Ships Adventure in October and a new Queen of Hearts dress for the HSF Masquerade Challenge and for Dickens (If the costume gods and my Director approve it). Also, I recently realized that I don’t have a period ball gown; so I will be making a regency ball gown out of some green satin-ish fabric. Also, if the fabric gods are kind I may have enough of the black velvet left over from the QoH dress to make a regency mourning dress…(insert squees here)
I ordered the Regency boots (called the Hartfield) from the American Duchess. This will be my third pair of shoes from her and I can’t say enough good things about them. I am a 6.5 but buy a half to a full size up so I can use my inserts and wear socks (my silk stockings work fine at only a half size up, so I’m trying a full size up to see if the thicker knitted cotton stockings will do).
I’ve been finishing up some projects and have decided that the pink and brown plaid dress (Victorian) will need to become a ball gown as I have both a work dress and a wrapper now…
So that’s about it! I’m going to try out Trystan’s Accessories Challenge. It’s only once a month (HA!) so it should be manageable… 🙂
Well, I’m 4 handmade gifts down and several more to go. So off I go “To the Sewing Room!”
So, in early April I volunteered to be a pattern tester. The main requirement were that I need to follow the directions and be able to express any problems and identify typos, etc. Also I need to do it sooner rather than later. The pattern that I’m testing is the Laughing Moon Pleated Wrapper (#120). On Saturday (4/27) I received my pattern in the mail. After much squeeeeing and jumping up and down, I started reading to find out how much fabric I need etc. leading to the following post:
April 27: So with complete lack of forethought, I volunteered to be a pattern tester. For some reason my stash does NOT have 8.5 yards of cotton calico. I have taffeta, velvet and muslin. No calico.
I went to the local fabric store (Joann’s) to search for fabric, unfortunately every fabric I liked was not enough. It did not help that most bolts in that section are 8 yards… nonetheless, I found a pretty fabric (only 6.5 yards) that I think I can use. I will need a coordinating fabric for the yoke and maybe some of the hem and the belt. Those are however design choices that will necessitate deviating from the instructions a bit.
I started cutting out the pattern pieces and noted any differences in labeling etc from the printed instructions. after a search for scissors that are allowed to cut paper, I set forth! LM provided a lovely cutting layout diagram, but as I didn’t have the proper yardage, I had to make some changes. The first was that if I cut out the sleeves first, then the skirts, I could use a coordinating fabric for the yoke, belt and piping. Also, I’m thinking of a hem treatment that wasn’t in the original design so that will go on last.
April 28th: Its the silly things that save fabric. For example the finished length of the dress is 64 inches. My CB to Floor measurement is *only* 57.5. I have a habit of making my Dickens dresses floor length without petticoats and letting my hoops/petticoats raise it to walking length. So *some* of my worry about fabric is dealt with from the start. I need to lop 6.5 inches off EACH skirt panel. I can save 2/3 of a yard this way! woohoo!
I should amend that thought as the dress progressed, belted the un-hemmed length is 2-3 inches off the floor. (Live and learn I always say.) Unbelted tho – it just hits the floor. So maybe I should have only taken out 3 inches.
April 29: not feeling well so I stayed home. I decided in my random moments of feeling better to cut out the main pane of the dress. Because I didn’t buy enough fabric, I’m needing to be careful I know that I will have to piece at least some of it. I cut out the front panels first so I could get them in one piece. The back panels only need 9 more inches. woo-hoo! That’s easily made up in the left overs from the side from cutting out such long pieces!
The dress is going together quickly and I think that I’ll be done by Sunday making this a 7 day dress, most of which was done in the evenings after work.
Some places where I deviated from the pattern and instructions.
1. I hand pleated the skirt into the yoke instead of following the markings as I used a size 26 skirt and a size 22 yoke. I *did* try to keep as close to the diagram as I could.
2. I used coordinating fabric for the piping, belt and sleeve lining. I like that it breaks up the print some and (to me) looks more authentic as I can’t imaging making a work dress out of new material. A morning dress for upper class ladies sure! That is not what I’m going for.
3. I’m adding a hem treatment. I am using the coordinating fabric to add a band around the hem. This was common during the period for a number of reasons. It hid old raggedy hems. It allows a longer hem. In the correct colors it hides dirt. And (most importantly) breaks up the print again.
Other thoughts on the pattern
1. The pattern calls for stitching down the pleats at the waist. I have not yet done that, but I can see how it would keep the pleats nice in the bodice area.
2. I believe with piecing that it would be possible to get this dress out of the 6.5 yards of fabric I had.
3. Everyone needs to know their belted CB to Floor measurement.
PS. I stalled a bit on the dress as my hands gave out on the buttonholes… also, I haven’t completed the belt (I find I like the look of the dress with my leather belt) I will continue to work to finish it so I can wear it at CosCo.
|essentially done (except for buttons and button holes and a belt)|
PPS. – If I can get the button holes done by the end of August – this can be a HSF submission!!!
PPPS – I promise to post more photos when done.
A couple of years ago I started purchasing fabric for a Georgian/Colonial American dress. Then while at Walmart (I know, but they have very inexpensive mirrors in the fall) I saw this quilt in the store. I picked up a King size and put it away to be sewn another day. I thought it would be perfect for the flora and fauna challenge. I love the colors and it seemed an easy project.
After doing some internet research, I found that most quilted petticoats are between 90″ and 100″ if worn without supports and can get up to 120″ if worn over hoops. Since most of my opportunities to wear costumes are in the Bay Area (a 45 minute drive at a minimum), I decided to make a 100″ petticoat so that I could wear it under several eras worth of skirts and STILL fit in a car.
I made it in the 18th century skirt method where you build from the hem up and have two halves that tie around your waist. This allowed me to keep the scallops as the skirt hem. Taking my handy waist to floor measurement chart, I measured the quilt 45 inches up from the scallops to mark my cutting line. Then was the more trying/time consuming part – although not NEARLY as time consuming as quilting it myself. I took out the batting where I would be putting the seam (one – Center Back) and the waist tape (two inches all the way around) I took out stitches and batting in sections and ended up varying the depth so that around the waist I didn’t pull out partial designs.
I apologize, but I don’t have a corset for this era yet.
|With bustle/bum pad|
|Without bustle/bum pad|
The Challenge: Flora & Fauna
Fabric: Quilted bedspread
Year: 18th century
Notions:thread, patience and 1″ twill tape
How historically accurate is it? Its a modern quilt with a machined quilting design, but its 95% natural fibers and hand stitched.
Hours to complete:4 hours or so. Most of which was pulling out batting around the seams.
First worn: For photo
Total cost: $20-$40
Also known as The UnEnding List of Things to Do, But Make Me Happy So They Are Worth It.
So I took some time to sit down and write out all my projects. I have two lists. One if for myself and another is for Dickens. My list includes projects for me, gifts and projects for Victoria and Meghan (They mostly need prodding to work on their projects but still its use of my machine.) The projects for Charlie are lower priority, mostly because the are things for him to wear with Victoria…
This list does not include other sewing related tasks such as
Historical Sew Fortnightly (but I think some will apply!)
Attending Costume College
Helping Meghan Move
Moving Victoria’s Room
Re-Instating my Sewing Room
Some items have deadlines (Dickens related things)- others do not (ie Kana has been a to-do for a couple of years now)
- Corded Petticoats (3? – one for each of the girls)
- Queen of Hearts (Two parts – repair and make another)
- Alice Cape – blue with white stripes (note to self – purchase 1′ white grosgrain – ~20-30 yards)
- Alice muff – white rabbit fur of course
- Sash for green stripe regency dress
- overdress (regency)
- Pink Plaid
- Green Kirtle
- Chemise -Regency long sleeve
- 30’s Dress (I will commission this one, but I have fabric..)
- 50’s Dress
- Florentine (not yet finished, but technically wearable)
- Quilted Petticoat
- Round Gown
- Pantalettes (Alice, QoH, and a spare one or two)
- Pirate shirt (Victoria*)
- Blue Kirtle (Victoria)
- Breeches (Charlie)
- Coat (Charlie) – Actually he should have a couple Victorian, Revolutionary, and Regency
- Kana (Victoria)
- Belle Steampunk (Victoria*)
- Tricorns (cuz pirates amirite?)
- Blue Dress (Meghan*)
- Pantalettes (Meghan*)
- dino corset (Meghan – tudor style*)
- rapunzel corset (Meghan – 18th century style*)
- steampunk corset (Meghan – underbust*)
One of the things Victoria needed to complete her Alice costume properly was a hooped petticoat. Last year we were able to get by with a square dance petticoat with a muslin petticoat over it. It worked for shape but Victoria had a tendency to get hot. One of the things I wanted to do was make her a hooped petticoat. Now unfortunately for costume folks, girls hooped petticoats are seldom sold and if they are they are quite expensive. Muslin isn’t expensive at all and the hoop wire was about $30 with shipping and I used 1/2 inch bias for the channels. If you think this is a little much for a little girls dress, I’d like to remind you that girls dresses had the same circumference as the adult dresses. The Alice costume is 120 inches. There are four bones measureing 55, 75, 86 and 90. We really just played with the sizes a bit until we got the silhouette we wanted. The skirt is just under 18 inches long and has a drawstring waist.