Sunday, December 28, 2008

18th C. Fashion blog review - Ann Lauren

I discovered this fabulous blog post by Ann Lauren about 18th Century Fashion. It is quite extensive and covers a good deal.

So if you're looking for just what they wore (including undergarments, men's and women's clothing, outerwear, hats, jewelry and accessories) this is a good post to read.

Stick with Cloak & Corset and we'll show you how to sew these period items.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Men's Wear, huh?

I see many of you will be making men's wear next year (as voted on in the current poll).

What particular garments are you planning on sewing?
  • Breeches, pants, etc.?

  • Waistcoat, vest?

  • Frock coat, tail coat, morning coat, banyan, jacket, cape, etc.?

Please post a comment with your plans!

Ikea Sheets for 1780s

Here's a quick picture of that king sheet set I mentioned in my last post. I love the delicate flowers and with a nice linen underlining it will make a sweet caraco (or gown - haven't decided which) and petticoat (skirt in 18th C. terms).

Friday, December 19, 2008

(18th C.) Cotton Girl!

So today I ran into Beverly's for some ring tape for my mini-Roman shade. (Thanks to Twila and her tutorial for reminding me of that time saver instead of sewing 20 rings to the drape by hand.)

Well, I had to walk past the wonderful quilting cotton fabrics. I'm such a Cotton Girl! Always have been too. Well, it makes me want to sew a day dress again. Now, I have no idea what time period or design but just that I want to make a cotton dress.

After the first of the year the major fabric stores will start putting out tons of spring fabrics. It's the best time! I get so inspired by spring fabrics and colors.

Perhaps I just need to dig out that lovely white floral fabric (actually a sheet set from Ikea (I know - I'll look like I purchased my cloth from the same dry goods merchant as so many others.) and get started on a 1780s gown and petticoat like this 1780s robe 'a l'anglaise from the Kyoto Costume Institute.

Or maybe a robe and petticoat like this:

I have so much fabric in the king size sheets I purchased so I can get a full costume or two out of them. Then again, one out of this fabric, although cute, is enough. Besides, one gets bored sewing on the same fabric for too long!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

eBook progress

The 2nd edition of the Modern Sewing Techniques eBook is nearly ready for publication in just a couple of weeks.

Lately I've written 4 new chapters, 3 new accessory patterns with sewing instructions, 2 new and updated Free bonus chapters and added TONS of new photos. Whew...

(Did I forget the partridge and pear tree? No! We will have a lovely Free gift to all our members next week!)

Happy Sewing!

Monday, December 15, 2008

New Live Journal blog

Hi all!
For those of you following The Historical Sewing Blog - Thanks!

Just a quick note to say that I've opened a Live Journal account for those who read and write over there. If you do, please friend CloakAndCorset!

I will only occasionally post on LJ while The Historical Sewing Blog - where you are right now - will continue to remain the primary place for all our sewing projects and news.

We welcome your visits and comments on the happenings at Cloak & Corset.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

What's On The Cutting Table - old projects/repairs

*I have a small window right next to my front door, so yesterday I decided to finally pull out my fabric and cut out a small (10") wide soft shade. With a quick trip to Home Depot for the wood mounting and hardware, it'll be up by the end of the week.

*I have so many repairs to do! Several of my pieces got sightly ripped at the Moorpark event in early November. Arghhh. A necessary evil.

1. Drawers - lower facing point to reinforce

2. Petticoat - I'm lazy and have never sewn on a proper hook/bar so I've been using a safety pin. Well, this time I stepped on the hem and it ripped a nice square chunk out of the waistband. So another repair/reinforcement. Maybe I'll get a hook on this time.

3. Black widow's dress - the top of the seam at the skirt opening came out a bit - this with a 9" opening! So have to reinforce.

4. Hook and bar on my black linen petticoat

5. Belt loop that came off on a modern Gap skirt.

6. Modern capri denim pants that some how got a vertical tear near the zipper placket. Wonder if I accidentally snagged it with my seam ripper....

And then it's on to finishing my 1860s blue silk bonnet and 90" hoop for the widow's weeds. (I'm using a modified version of View A from the Laughing Moon Hoops and Bustles pattern.)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ohhh - a pink dress

Like I need another pink bustle dress! Well, honestly, my recent 1876 gown was mostly white with a little pink. I don't have a PINK dress at all.

As I was searching for photos to insert into the updated Glossary (a bonus with the eBook) I found this lovely fashion plate from Godey's Lady's Book February 1876.

And wouldn't you know it - I already have 7 yards of 60" wide silk taffeta the exact same color!

However I'd probably have to order a couple more yards as 7 would be a stretch to get that entire train poofed.

But I can't think about that now.
I'll think about that tomorrow after the 2nd edition of the eBook is released and I've made new 18th C stays and about four 18th C outfits I already have fabric and designs for.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Insane Project - 1956 Day Dress

Last weekend the LA Conservancy held their 3rd Annual Holiday Movie Screening. This year they showed White Christmas - one of my favorite movies. (really!) I grew up watching this film and even now I put it on a good 4 or 5 times a year - July included.

Well, because of my friend Becky, I decided I HAD to drive down to see this movie on the big screen. That meant a new period appropriate dress.

The film came out in 1954 and was set contemporary. So I found this lovely Vintage Vogue pattern #Vogue 1044. I had sewn a Vintage Vogue pattern before (a 1940 pattern) so knew of the challenge. The first pattern ran small so I proceeded with caution.

After cutting out the pattern, I refocused my thoughts on modern clothes sewing and altered the pattern I do when I make my own contemporary clothes. I dropped the apex and sliced the bodice open for a larger bust cup, reduced the back bodice width, and shortened the skirt (considerably).

The skirt reminded me of 19th C. skirts in that it had 4 full panels. The 60" wide crepe was open flat to cut so I had to dig out my cutting board for the floor as my cutting table is only 28" wide. Here are two panels being cut out on my sewing room floor.

I sew in assembly-line fashion. Here are the bodice darts and tucks, front placket and belt sewn and ready for ironing.

The raglan sleeve yoke neckline was finished with a yoke facing. Here it is pinned. I made sure to follow proper sewing seam directions to not distort the wide neckline.

I even made a belt for this dress. Once I found my loop turner I was in business.

And to top it off, I purchased a vintage hat, tore off the nasty cloth daisys and recovered it with a nice gray wool and wool flower.

And the finished dress:

At the theater:

And me in my new 1950s hat:

I love the hat so I will probably wear it to work once in a while.