"Resign yourself, Catherine! Shops must be visited! Money must be spent! Do you think you could bear it?" - Northanger Abbey

Saturday, December 31, 2011

More embroidery

I've kinda got a bit obsessed with embroidery lately. I'm embelishing anything that doesn't move. lol! Think I need to seriously concentrate on improving my satinstitch as at the moment its a bit 'go with the flow' rather than planning before I start. 
Regency reticule

I've almost finished my reticule...although I may add some more decoration near the 'point' of the bag.
Lazy daisy and running stitch

I've gone a bit lazy daisy crazy...flowers everywhere.
Bunch of roses
 And am having fun with french knots.

Too small

Too big
The 'chicken scratch' on gingham I am finding it trickier than I thought it would be. Can't seem to get the scale right. Plus I'm not sure if I should do all tyhe double cross stitches first them fill in or just do both stitches as I go along.

Anyways I got pleanty of scrap material to practice on...what next...hmmm...I think thosse cushions need decorating. Mawhahahahahah!

Friday, December 30, 2011

clogs - a side note

Regular readers of my learning to clog blog know I love my clogs from Trefor Owen they are so comfortable to dance/step in. I find it so hard to find shoes that are comfortable. So a couple of months ago I ordered a pair of clogs for everyday wear. I chose the brogue 40's laceup style. But without  the patent. They arrived a little while a go but just got round to taking some photo's.

You can see the slightly higher heel.

Aren't they lovely?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

3 hour apron

I decided to make the apron yesterday...took me all afternoon even using the sewing machine to try to speed the process up. Half the problem was the crinkle cotton made it all really tricky to cut accurately.
I did my best folding it in half then half again to get it equal rather than wonkey on the corners. Then I cut out the hole for the neckline.

I then thought I'd like to add a peter pan collar. So used some scraps of blue and left over interfacing.
It didn't go quite according to plan. I couldn't figure out how to make the collar sit right.
Then sewed up the sides. Ta da!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Crinkle Cotton and Aprons

Now what to do with 3 metres of pale blue crinkle cotton?
Originally I was planning to use it for toiles, but once it arrived I saw that wasn't viable. Next I thought a circle skirt would be nice. But that seems is a bad idea.
Then I saw some aprons over at Hectic Eclectic and thought ooh, maybe I can try an apron. Its only gonna get covered in flour so if its a bit scruffy it won't matter.
There's a slip on apron pattern on antique pattern library from the 1920's which I think I might try.

"How hard can it be?"
If it works out I'll be using it for some baking...instead of covering myself in flour as usual.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Embroidery - some thoughts

I'm finding my preference for sewing by hand, making small items and strong sense of design plus the visual way in which I learn is suiting embroidery much more that clothesmaking. I'm enjoying making designs up from scratch and learning new types of stitching. I have found Stitch school blog an easy way to learn the stitches. I've even tried to mix embroidery and applique.
And just tried out as many stitches as possible. The crazy quilt has been great for practice.

Stitches wot I have sewn
The stitching on the reticule has been my neatest so far.

Which brings me on to....
To use an embroidery hoop or not to use an embroidery hoop...that is the question.
So far I've done fine without one, but wonder if there are advantages to using one I have yet to discover. Is it worth getting one and if so what size?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Bonnets and Bags -upcycled

I've been busying myself with some little projects while waiting to get some fabric to start my dress.
First off I did some upcycling. Turned a pocket, shirt tail and scraps from a sheet into a bonnet.

Its not quite finished as I need to quilt it. Have only wadded the brim edge so far.

Second item from scraps of a sheet and left over embroidery thread was...a reticule (Regency purse/bag).

Kept it simple
Still got to finish off. Sew two pieces together and add the ribbon handle.

Edit: Decided to do 2 more panels after my finger slipped and I accidentally ordered 72 skiens of embroidery thread. lol! Should keep me occupied for a while. Afterwards...got in mind a beret with some embroidery on the crown.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Transition Fashions - a slight ramble

My favorite fashions in history have always been the transition between eras and styles. When the fashionable silhouette is being defined and the differences aren't so extreme.

For example I'm preferring the 1790's-1800's period of fashion over the 1700's-1780's and 1810-1820 just simply because the earlier stuff seems cumbersome (although I do like the polonaise skirts - If I could incorporate that kinda skirt into a modern style  I would.) and the later stuff just doesn't suit me as the waistlines are too high.
I generally prefer clothes that sit on the natural waist...or close as possible to it.

I'm noticing a transition in modern clothes even now. Couple of years ago all the smock tops were 'empire line'.
Over the past years the waistline is moving down. I'm even seeing the very first appearances of drop waist on tops and dresses. And am so pleased the midi skirt is being sold again. I am not a mini skirt person.


I've been watching the manor reborn.
And their approach to the refurbishment kinda reflects my approach to historical costume.

If an item was used in a practical way in the past its better to make it practical today (even if its not strictly accurate to the Nth degree) so it can be used rather than stuck behind glass/in the back of the wardrobe because its impossible to wear. Especially if a lot of work goes into it.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Patterns of Fashion - Half Robe wraparound - the toile

So I've made a start. I'm thinking I can't have been too far away from the original models size. As when I did paper pattern I added 2 inches...and once I made up the toile..silly me had forgot the paper pattern didn't include seam allowances which I *did* add to the fabric toile. I found I had to take about 1 1/2 inches off.

I wanted to try and avoid obvious darts. So I too in the 'curve' at the seams.
Close up

I wasn't sure if the 'lining' should just 'meet' or overlap. And by how much. At the moment it is overlapping quite a lot.

Ignore the darts I took them out once I added the darts at the seams.
You can see the overlap if you look carefully at above picture.

I then started on the 'wrapover' part. That went quite smoothly once I figured out which side seam it should be in line with.
Back - found it looked better attached to that seam rather than the other one.

Not the clearest picture. But shows front with wrapover over over lining.
Next step getting my head round how to attach the wrap around skirt.

Edit: A photo of the original
Makes a bit more sense now.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Patterns of Fashion 1

Been enjoying looking through and reading Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion 1&2.
(Great set of books recommended).

Now I got brave and scaled up the pattern.
The wrap-over half robe on page 44 of patterns of fashion.
(Haven't got round to the skirt bit yet.)
Now I found the front sat ok..but the back didn't. The centre back didn't reach to the 'centre back'. My instinct was to extend the last panel. I'm wondering if I should have extended it at different place.