Saturday, February 28, 2009
Well, check out the instructions over at Fancy Girl. (Click on Fancy Work then Fly Fringe.)
Here is a photo of her hand-made trim:
Wow! Thanks Vivien.
Now for the patience, hours and yards of silk floss to make my very own.
How cool is that??
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
The art direction was amazing, the acting superb, the costumes gritty and real, and I was left with wanting more.
Life was breathed into the people we study as our Founding Fathers. The trials and joys experienced in 18th Century life was on full display.
Beautifully done. No wonder it's won so many awards and nominations.
Now to find my way to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia to study more of this fascinating time of American history.
Has anyone been there? Any recommendations on where to stay or what to do?
Today I stumbled upon this delightful blog of an artist that creates 2-D fashions of the past to be used with paperdolls. She pens terrific sketches and gives marvelous ideas to those of us who create 19th Century fashion in 3-D format.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I then moved on to the shirt and made that in another day and a half.
And then I started on the pants. Once I got them to the place where they were done enough to be tried on, I went ahead and had Jeremiah try them on just to make sure they fit.
But alas! Now they were too big. I guess I was over-zealous in estimating how much to add to the pattern pieces. Because of how the pockets were situated so closely to the seams, I debated starting over from scratch, which means I would have to go out and buy new fabric, wash it, cut it, finish the edges on some of the pieces as there is no lining to hide them, and so on. I really just couldn't fathom doing all those steps again.
So, after a slight breakdown and a nice hot shower, I composed myself, ate some of our favorite pizza (as this was supposed to be a fun pizza and a movie night for us but of course I had to just try on the pants "really quickly" before we got started), and figured out how to make the existing pants work.
The pants aren't perfect according to the pattern and the instructions because of this little fumble, but they work and I think they still look good. Unless you were looking at them really closely and new what they were supposed to look like, I don't think you could really tell that they were not made exactly right.
(Just needs two hooks and bars and the bottom cuffs hemed!)
Next, the frock coat...but that will have to wait for another day (and maybe until after I complete some clothes for myself :)!
Saturday, February 14, 2009
However, today is nice and sunny here and the clouds are gone. But that was the thing - the rain was due all day Friday (set-up time) and another storm expected to arrive on Sunday (tear-down time). Yesterday was indeed quite wet and cool.
So to prevent pneumonia and other sicknesses for everyone, I've remained here at home sleeping in, doing random house cleaning, pulling weeds around the roses and sago palm, sewing and writing for Cloak & Corset.
With all the debate this week to cancel or not, I decided to plough ahead and finish my small hoop. I used the Laughing Moon Hoops & Bustles pattern, view A but left off the top two rows.
In the photos I have my bustle pad tied under the hoop to kick it out a bit in back.
Overall not a bad look. I needed/wanted a smaller hoop for my widow's dress to reflect her lower station. However, I'll need to add that new petticoat to my Cutting Table list. The hoop itself was a day project. (How come I put it off for so long when it's really quite simple?!)
I cut the size 26 at the hem for a finished (according to the pattern chart) 88" and tapered to a size 18 at the waist. Well, the lower hoop row came out only 84" finished. So indeed, it is a small hoop - smaller than I wanted as I would have liked to err on the larger side of 90" instead of smaller. Oh well. Petticoat City here I come by way of Starch Creek....
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
1) I need to finish my paletot (it's still chilly here in So. Cal in February). The construction itself is so not hard - pretty easy anyway - but the hand couched trim is taking time. I've completed the trim on both sleeves and will be putting the rest of the jacket together today. But the couched trim on the hem is a minimum of 12 hours (estimated from the time it took for the sleeves).
Here's one completed sleeve with trim. The trim pattern is a Greek key taken from Godey's January 1860. I used the oh-so-modern technique of enlarging the pattern on my computer printer/copier and transferring to tracing paper.
2) And I would really like to complete the 90" smaller hoop I've talked about to wear under my widow's dress. It would be better for the character and more period appropriate than my larger 115" one that I usually wear.
So, the reality plan: sew up the paletot as it is right now. Finish with hand buttonholes, covered buttons and fringe trim applied to the bodice. Then sew up the 90" hoop. Then come back to the paletot (possibly after the Knott's event) to finish applying the trim to the hem.
For my gray wool paletot (early 1860s style jacket) I drafted up the pattern from my black sheer widow's dress bodice. I knew pattern shapes for long, half-fitted (period term) paletot but ended up with some crazy sharp turns at the waistline and strong bias skirt edges.
After I sewed up the muslin and dressed my dressform with hoop and skirt and paletot muslin, I promptly took a break. Oh no - it really didn't fit. Or rather, the bodice back part did, the front seemed way too big (no shaping at all) and the lower part was too tight over the hoop. sigh...
On my break I studied a massive amount of CDV's and orginal articles (over 1000!) brought to me by my friend Bridget.
(One a funny side note - I found one, just one, CDV of a woman (clearly female) with a side-part hairstyle. Now, that was a man's favored hair parting, but if I wanted to stand out in my Civil War group I have proof that at least one woman who did it.)
Anyway, I changed my trim options several times (remember I have 4" rayon fringe and rattail cord to play with). I found NO original paletots photographed or in CDVs that had fringe along the hemline. Sleeves, yes. Bodice, yes. Hem, no.
After an hour of studying I decided to go tackle the fitting.
Tools: scissors, pins and extra muslin pieces, oh and colored pens and a pencil.
Here are the final fitted shots:
Look at the front - you can see space between the waist and the sleeve - excellent!
Fitted back and hem lengthened: