Wednesday, August 13, 2014

1800 Child's Dress for Anne

The inspiration for this little dress came from an image I saved long ago of a simple child's frock c. 1800. There was an accompanying pattern in PDF format. I think it was a Tidens Toj pattern, though as I cannot find it on their website any longer perhaps I am mistaken.

I made it up today for Anne, in a piece of tan printed cotton slightly less than one yard in quantity. It went together quickly and easily.

The dress features a flat front bodice with a flat front skirt, a drawstring gathered back bodice and skirt and plain short sleeves. The skirts are cut slightly A-line in shape, throwing a bit more fullness into the hem.

Anne was delighted to have a new dress and fell asleep tonight wearing it. I wondered how she would get along with an ankle length skirt but she seemed to do just fine.

Can't wait to see her in it this weekend at the rendezvous! I think the regency era suits her well.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Gilbert the Second

In a tragic accident involving a motor vehicle last fall, our beloved Gilbert passed away. It was apparent by January just how how good of a mouser he was as mice seemed to dwell everywhere with blithe unconcern for our attempts to dissuade them. Eventually, poison was the only thing to end their merry little lives, but it smelled bad.

I did not plan on getting another cat for a while. But, over the summer, the desire for another purry feline grew irresistible and I began looking. A few days ago while looking for a small aquarium for Judah's pet toad I saw an ad for a male kitty and I called and within an hour he was in our arms and so our family became a little bit bigger!

After thinking of different names for the kitty, the boys decided on the sensible name of Gilbert the Second. It works.

He's more fond of pillows and playing than hunting for mice, but hopefully that will change with time. He's a sweetheart and we love him.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Sewing the Stripey Sheer Fabric

A few years ago I purchased some sheer striped cotton from a reenacting friend. It was so beautiful! Deep, vibrant hues of brilliant blues and greens. I loved that fabric. It became my favorite fabric and...sat on my fabric shelf for years. I have always been a believer in saving the best for last, but very often this is to my detriment, resulting in the best never being realized as I keep "saving it for later". Well, this past week I finally sewed up the fabric. First, I made another 1860's wrapper.

I think I'm getting the construction of this style of wrapper down pretty well. There were other styles of wrappers in the 1860's, but this one is my favorite. It sort of reminds me of the sacque-back dresses of the 18th century, only with the sacque in this case being the front.

The fullness for this one was taken up in pleats. I love pleating. It is faster than cartridge pleating and gives a neat, tailored appearance. I was especially happy to pleat this wrapper as prior to its construction my pins had mostly gone the way of bobby pins, pens and the infamous dryer socks - they had apparently disappeared into thin air. I found a brand new pack of pleating pins at the thrift store for 60 cents. Score! Pleating ensued.

For the sleeves I made loose open sleeves. I don't know if they would be considered pagoda sleeves exactly - they are basically rectangular with rounded corners at the hem - but its a nice sleeve style for hot weather and have a graceful appearance. I edged them with self fabric ruching for a bit of visual interest.

I had a little fabric left over and found there was just enough for a little toddler dress.

Though its a unisexual color and style I think it would be a very nice boy dress. My two oldest boys were dumbfounded and refused to believe they had worn dresses at reenactments when they were babies! Malachi still seemingly has fond memories of his petticoat days and thinks dresses on little children are perfectly normal, but, at 5, he is "too grown up to wear them now."

Nothing left of this fabric now but a few slender scraps.

I feel accomplished.


Monday, August 4, 2014

3 Months

Little Fellow.

"All our babies were sweet, Gilbert, but she is the sweetest of them all."

- Anne of Ingleside

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!