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

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Shirts and collars...now with wings! Part 2

I started off with my 'go to' shirt pattern. It had a 'collarless' option which helped. I did however cut large side seams so I could adjust the fit a little and move the darts.

I tried pinching out all the excess material. Left it like that for a day or two just to see if I liked the fit of it. But soon got rid of the 'tucks' in back and front. It was making it more bodice like and less shirt like. As you can see in the image above I also started trying out collar shapes.
I cut my sleeve a little longer than the original then borrowed the cuff and some of the sleeve marking from another shirt pattern. The easy stitch n save version of this one. Lets not go into detail but I really struggled with the sleeves. Ended up with the contiuous lap being wrong...well its not quite like my RW shirts. lol! And sewing one sleeve inside out....which I had to unpick and re-sew.
Now to start on the detachable able collar.

 Initially I cut the shape above. but when I tried it on myself the collar was too high. I couldn't really move.
So I slimmed it down the top of the collar, tapering it towards centre back. I think I could have made it even narrower but I got fed up of just playing with it. I topstiched the collar and added the buttonholes. Three in total. One at the back two at the front.
I haven't got the right studs so I instead used the button on back of the collar and buttonhole on the detachable collar. And for the above images its just pinned at the front till I can get the studs.
With a makeshift cravat

Improvised 'stud' Split Pin

Monday, October 28, 2013

Shirts and collars...now with wings!

Sorry that just sprung to mind when I was searching for a winged collar to finish off my Doctor Who costume. ;)
I looked everywhere for a ladies winged shirt. Nowhere could I find one. I was contemplating buying a men's one and adjusting it. When it dawned on me I could just get my 'go to' shirt pattern and modify the collar. The thing is I needed the flat plan of collar shape to at least reference.
Doing my research I came up with a few images.
This one shoes a detachable collar detached and yay I can see the back. And this one the collarless shirt.
Looks like if I add a button hole to back of the collarless shirt and corresponding button on the stand up collar then find some way of attaching the front. Maybe I can cheat and used a split pin?

I also managed to take a look at some collars at the Beamish Museum and ask a few questions on holiday. Should have taken come close ups really. Also stumbled across a blog post from someone making one (at last).
Looking at the top image and comparing it to a few book images. I think his style of collar is maybe Newmarket?
Historical people I'm sure you'll know.....
Next question is sleeves I have a shirt pattern in my stash with long sleeves and cuffs. eeep! Cuffs. One of my nemisis. Those will not be detachable though.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Doctor Who Costume - 1 month to go Status Update

So just wanted to update everyone as to my progress. With around a month to go I have the bulk of the outfit done.
Last time I checked in I was going for full Edwardian ensemble. But I've had to make a few compromises due to time and fabric limitations.

Doctor Who Ensemble (WIP)

 The Jacket is close to completion. It needs hemming and buttonholes added.

Doctor Who Ensemble (WIP)
The Waistcoat is done. But the skirt has become trousers due to lack of fabric. I think it might be more practical too.
I have finishing touches to do on those. Then I can start on making the wing collared shirt. Which will involve a little redrafting.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Chemisettes - the good, the bad and the ugly

Well I wouldn't say bad more the pretty and the ugly. lol! Been looking up chemisettes for inspiration. Its a fine line between modesty and looking like your being attacked by a monster.
I'm basing the basic idea of mine on the one in patterns of fashion. I'm a bit too lazy to scale up. I just used the shapes for reference and draped it on my dress form.
The pattern calls for a mushroom pleated ruff. Which on looking it up seems a bit tricky. I'm worried I'm going to look like a bird that's swallowed a dinnerplate (to quote blackadder). Which is not good with my proportions.
You can see in the image above there is a more...subtle ruffle round the neckline. I'm wonder if I can re-create the same look?

I've put in some decorative tucks at the centre back.

 I pinned on some lace just to see. What do you think fabric pleated ruffle or lace?

Well I went for the ruffle it just sat better. I pleated it by eye.
Sewed it all by hand...not for historical accuracy but because I like to hand sew. Its only taken me 2 days (well 1 eveing, 1 day).
Here worn with my first regency dress I ever made (the non accurate one) but it does the job.

Monday, October 21, 2013

"it will be a very useful gown, happy to go anywhere"

"I have determined to trim my lilac sarsenet with black satin ribbon just as my China crape is, 6d. width at the bottom, 3d. or 4d., at top. Ribbon trimmings are all the fashion at Bath, and I dare say the fashions of the two places are alike enough in that point to content me. With this addition it will be a very useful gown, happy to go anywhere."

Just as Jane did I've come to the conclusion that for Bath my purple dress needs to be trimmed with black.
 With a black spencer and black bonnet with my purple flower trim and white lining.
I'll wear my black pumps but then have either a white or purple reticule. I already have the right colour umbrella and fan to match. I'm going to have a go at doing some fancy ribbon trim too.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

HSF Challenge #21 Green - Green Ribbon Decoration

The Challenge: #21 Green

Fabric: Green Ribbon

Pattern: N/A I read a few tutorials and made it up as I went along.

Year: Regency 1800-1820

Notions: Cameo (actually its what people use for card crafts but seemed to fit perfectly

How historically accurate is it? Well it looks authentic to me. The cameo doesn't look obviously plastic.

Hours to complete: Oh, it was very quick did it in one evening.

First worn: N/A

Total cost: It was all out of my stash so only a couple of quid.

The cameo is glued onto the centre of the cockade. I then attached it to my bonnet.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

What makes a spectacular spencer?

I was wondering this the other day. As I want to make one from scratch to go with my dress. Well lets see what spencers caught my attention at 2012's JA festival in Bath.

 Well Aurora's lovely pelisse was stand out to me. Simple elegant with a hint of military style about it. All those buttons!

 The use of colour, silks and piping stood out in the above spencers. I also notice fancy backs of spencers also stand out.
I love American Duchess' spencer here. The colours just pop.
Now I can't do intricate cutting, or use expensive fabrics. But what I can do is embroidery.
 I could go simple but then do a fancy peplum.
 Or I could cut the back more simply and do more intricate embroidery.
Black embroidery floss against a purple or a blue. The collar will have a black velvet collar.
And if I had time I could embroider the cuffs as well?

Late edition: Well after drafting FROM SCRATCH my spencer I've found myself going back to my old faithful 'go to' collar style. Simple stand up. Still gonna velvet it though.

I'm using the same basic pattern for both dress and spencer back. The front needs to be tweaked for the dress. And I still need to do fabric mock up of the spencer. I'm still deciding wether to make the spencer more riding habit-ish with godet at the centre back and a lower front.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Blubells, spring and woodland inspired outfit

I want to have a bluebell 'theme' inspired outfit. But first I need to decide what colour a 'bluebell' really is...Blue? Purple? Violet? Indigo? Lilac?
they seem very light colour lilac in above image
Trying to find the right shade is going to be tricky. I was thinking I might buy some white cotton or linen blend then dye it the shade I want? I'm leaning towards trying to aim for a violet colour.
Maybe try 'intense violet' then tone it down with a blue? But I've never mixed dyes or over dyed before....any tips?
I love the dress from the poster from bright star. I can't figure out if its colour is achieved by layering or just by dyeing oddly? Has someone taken purple fabric and tried to dye it blue? Or have they got white fabric and dyed it first purple then blue? Linen or cotton?
Next thing to think about is the bonnet. What colour shall I do it? White with purple accessories? Or purple? Or green perhaps? Or maybe white base, green ribbon and purple feather or flowers on it?

I probably change the waistband..it was just an idea. But what colour goes with it?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Bonnets - design choices

From Workwoman's guide
So I want to make a bonnet that's not made from straw. The smell of straw just gets too much after a while. So I was thinking of making a buckram and fabric one. Maybe make it more 'fancy' than my other one using silks etc. this time.
The instructions say "This may be made of cloth, merino, chintz or nankeen with cotton runners." It also instructs to cord it? Maybe if I corded it and interfaced I might get the strength I needed without the buckram?
This bonnet seems to be the same kinda pattern and cording has been used....although I've be tempted to wire the brim.
straw bonnet - too plain?
Which means I have to find a neutral colour to use so it will go with several outfits. I was debating whether to do two, one regency and one victorian OR one that would suit both timeframes.
From google search
I liked the bonnets the dashwood sisters wear in the most recent adaptation. And its what I have in mind or what I'd like to aim for...that 'halo' around the face look.

I really rather liked the pattern from the workwomans guide shown at top of the page. I've done a  'paper' version. This will be first time working with 'buckram' which I suspect is the wrong kind but its stiff so hoping it will work.
paper mock up
I've made a few adjustments to the pattern since the photo above which included reducing the brim slightly. also purchased some wider buckram online. I've also been gathering some potential trim.
 The feathers make it look a bit Cranfordian.
The flowers match perfectly my fabric I have for my dress. Decided to make a bib front dress. ;)