Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Civil War Sheer Summer Wrapper

While this summer has not been as sweat drenchingly hot as usual Illinois summers, it has been hot enough. While I have mostly managed to keep the air conditioner off this year, there have been a few days that I have succumbed to shutting the windows and turning it on for a day or two. I did so, in fact, tonight. Tomorrows heat index is to top one hundred. Thankfully the rest of the week is supposed to be nice and cool!

I have been sewing a lot and just finished this 1860's wrapper. I had so much fun making it. I love the unique detailing on these garments and the way they function. Its just cool.

This one is made in a very sheer cotton plaid in shades of purple and grey. The colors remind me of second mourning. Of course, they are good colors for everyday wear also.

I made it with a drawstring at the waist of the cotton lining. Many wrappers were made with fitted linings, but it is nice to have the extra adjustability with a drawstring lining. This enables you to wear the wrapper with or without a corset and for maternity when expandable clothes are a necessity!

The skirts are gauged and whipstitched to a partial waistband.

And the sleeves are puff sleeves mounted on a short lining with full gathered loose lower sleeves. I think the sleeves are my favorite part!

I made a turned hem on this one instead of using a hem facing.

Its sized to fit a 46"-48" bust and up to a 40" waist. I have listed it for sale on eBay for anyone needing a very lightweight and comfortable dress during these last months of summer:



Monday, July 21, 2014

2 Years Old!

Baby Anne is 2!

My little mama. Her brothers keeper.

She grows in beauty day by day.

Though she can be very horrid at times! But I'll take the bad with the good. She is so perfect and lovely. I can't believe she is two!

Happy birthday sweetheart!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Victorian Wheel Cap Tutorial

As promised, here is the tutorial for the wheel caps I posted a few months ago. This style is easily adaptable to any size. The dimensions given here make a cap with a 23" band, which fits an average adult (22") head. For a child's size, take 1" off the band.

For fabrics I use wool for the outer layer and cotton or linen for the lining. You could also use silk for the lining. You do not need much fabric - I use scraps - but 1/2 yard of fabric should be plenty, with scraps leftover.

To begin, wash and dry (if necessary),and press your fabrics. You will cut the following pieces:

From fashion fabric:

- 2 circles 13" in diameter
- 2 brim pieces, cut from 2 rectangles 3" x 8" with rounded corners
- 1 band, 24" x 3"

Cut an identical set from your lining fabric, minus the brim.

Take one circle of fashion fabric and one of lining. These will become your lower crown. You will cut a circle from the center of each to create two donut-shaped pieces. To do this, I fold each circle in half and mark in 1.75" from the edge all around the curved edge: (if you are making a smaller sized band than the 23" finished band in this tutorial, you will want to measure in 2" or so in from the curved edge. Basically; make a smaller hole!)

Cut along the line you just marked.

Do the same for the other circle. Your pieces should now look like this:

You will now sew the brim. Put the two brim pieces right sides together, and using a 1/2" seam allowance sew around the curved edge. Trim seam.

Turn brim right sides out.

Press well, and set aside.

Fold the band and band lining in half, right sides together, and stitch the short ends using a 1/2" seam.

Press seams open.

Find the center of each band by turning bands right side out and positioning the seam at one short end. Press well, marking the center front of each band by an ironed crease.

Markers the center of the brim with a pin and match brim center to band center front.

Right sides together, pin brim to band.

Right sides together, pin lining band to band, sandwiching the brim between the lining and fashion fabric band.

Sew around the edge with a 1/2" seam.

Fold out the lining.

Press the seam between the lining band and fashion fabric band open.

Fold up the lining to the inside and press.

The finished band!

Place the lower crowns on top of the remaining circles, right sides together, and sew along the outer edge with a 1/2" seam.

Turn the fashion fabric crown right sides out, but leave the lining wrong side out.

Insert the lining into the crown.

Pin crown to band, leaving band lining free and easing curves.

Sew crown to band with a 1/2" seam allowance.

Press seam towards lower crown. Press up 1/2" on raw edge of band lining.

Fold up lining to cover seam allowance. Pin and slip stitch into place.

Press all seams well. To finish the cap, if desired, top stitch along seamlines for added stability.

The finished cap!


Monday, June 30, 2014

Illiton Baronial Championship Tournaments

This past weekend the championship tournaments were held. Peter was participating in the rapier tournament, so on Sunday I packed a basket and my baby and we went to watch Peter demonstrate his skills on a sunny, clover laden field in the drowsy sunshine of a summer afternoon.

Benjamin wore the white linen smock and coif of his brother Malachi's babyhood. I attempted swaddling, which he liked, but he preferred his hands free so he could suck on them. It was so very hot, though, that by the end of the day he went forth clad only in his diaper and he was happier still. He happily napped in the arms of the lovely Minister of Youth and was all around a good little fellow.

My friend Russ came to the tournament for his first SCA activity. I wasn't sure how he'd like it - it seems you have to either love or hate it - but I was glad to see he enjoyed himself and seemed to fit right in.

The rapier combatants took the field first. Peter did well. He didn't take the title of champion but he sported with a becoming grace and agility.

Benjamin pooped and ate and smiled.

The heavy fighters were next.

Court was held after that and the new champions were named.

A potluck cook out followed. The evening took on a dreamful quality. The low hum of voices, sounds of gear clinking, occasional laughter. Everything bathed in golden light while soft bits of dogwood fluff drifted lazily down like gentle snow.

I think new garb is in order for all of us. Peter lost the fencing jacket I made for him when his house burned. His mom is sewing him a new one but it isn't finished so yesterday Peter had to tape it shut with duct tape.

For Russ I made a T tunic from green cotton and trimmed in blue wool. It was hastily constructed completely by machine two days before, and is not very nice or authentic. I made it to Peters size since I had his measurements on hand- luckily both guys are similar enough it fit.

After seeing the styles of clothing worn by other SCA members, Russ admitted a preference for early 17th century clothing. So I'll start researching. Peter is - happy with whatever. ;) I want to make him some nice fencing gear.
I plan to make a Tudor kirtle and sleeves and partlet for a working class impression. I have all my materials (the kirtle will be a lovely pinkish-purply-grey wool with tie on sleeves) so now to drape a bodice for it and start sewing!

Whatever we make and wear though, we won't be as cute as the baby!