Saturday, January 26, 2013

Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge #2: The UFO.

Alrighty, here is my official post about the UFO: a dotted apron. It was inspired by some 18th century art prints like this:

The Challenge: I had gotten to the point where I had one edge of ruffle on and the waist gathered, but it has been sitting for half a year and I keep turning my nose up at it. So I think that definitely qualifies it for a UFO!

Fabric: Prooobably not natural. I think it's some sort of poly net with white dots kind of painted on it.

Pattern: None, just kind of eyeballed it from the pictures and prints.

Year: I think lacy, frilly aprons were fairly prevalent through the 18th century amidst upper classes, but the dot print and the ruffle might lean it more towards the last quarter?

Notions: Off-white linen thread, ivory silk ribbon.

How historically accurate is it? It's definitely no reproduction, that's for sure. I guess I was wanting to make something that just resembled extant transparent aprons in life and print, sort of suggesting rather than duplicating to a T.

Hours to complete: Steadily working, maybe 10? The rolled hems gave me fits!

First worn: Yesterday for a try-on!

Total cost: I think around $15 for the old curtain and the ribbon.

The apron laid out...

The apron on me. It's HUGE. I think it's too big still, so feedback would be appreciated. It's kind of fun though and makes me feel very girly! Pardon the iPad, with nobody in the house to take pictures, I have to make do with a large mirror.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A pastel sort of day

I'm in the middle of watching Nannerl, la Soeur de Mozart (Mozart's Sister) and maybe my American sensibilities are getting in the way but I'm not really enjoying it. The acting feels really stilted to me, and the costumes are so-so other than nice color schemes. Because the library waiting list is so long for it, I sort of feel obligated to watch it all the way through having waited a month, but to take my mind off it, I dragged a lot of my stuff up from the basement to do an inventory and kind of fell in love with all my accessories again. My living room looks like a confectioner's shop right now! Pinks and blues and creams, yum. Also, here's a quick look at my UFO for the Sew Fortnightly challenge; I'll do a real post on it tomorrow when I put it on over a gown but I'm not sure I'll like it any more then. Bottom line...I really dislike this apron. Hate might be a strong word but this just doesn't please me much right now and I can't figure out why. It looks like a cross between my grandma's old drapes and a naughty maid outfit from a cheesy lingerie shop. But then I had a really bad day at work and that might be coloring everything for me at the moment...maybe a good night's sleep will help.

I will gladly take suggestions on how to improve the apron. Narrow the ruffles? Take them off entirely? Is the apron too wide? Argh.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Challenge #1, Some pocketses, Precious...

The Challenge: #1: Bi/Tri/Quadri/Quin/Sex/Septi/Octo/Nona/Centennial – due 14 Jan.  Sew something from __13, whether it be 1913, 1613, or 13BC
Fabric: Linen, cotton.
Pattern: Eyeballed it! I liked this shape best out of all the extant pockets I looked at and sketched it out on paper first.
Year: 1713, or so I'm going to claim.
Notions: Cotton tape, thread
How historically accurate is it? They definitely had pockets at this time but I was unable to pin down any quilted ones before 1740, so that feature is guesswork on my part, although they do exist within the 18th century (also the quilting design is not handsewn, I just had matelasse remnant). Everything else though is, I think, correct and handsewn.
Hours to complete: Probably only three but I stretched it out over days. 
First worn: Not yet! Just finished it Sunday!
Total cost: $0, everything came from my stash!

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Since The Dreamstress wants to make my life a sewing nightmare, there should be more regular posts coming from me, SHOULD. I can make no promises during this fortnightly challenge of fashionable fortitude! I was very much hoping to get through challenge #0, but I think I'm going to hold off on posting what I did until challenge #1's deadline because there's a little tweaking needs done. But is that happening in my living room right now? No.

This is all that remains in scraps from cutting out a mancoat, I hope to goodness I didn't mightily mess up or I'll have to do some true 18thc patching. As it is menswear and I just DON'T UNDERSTAND why men are so hard to fit, I'm kinda half-cheating by modifying a Simplicity pirate frock coat pattern. Don't judge me. He's just gonna have it stained and torn up the first time he wears it anyway, like always.

Coal is lying in the background pretending to be dead so the moment I turn my back he can leap up and gnaw holes in all the wrong places in the fabric. Look at him, all innocuously bunny-like back there...looks are deceiving.

While procrastinating on the pockets, I've also been etsy shopping, and have some pretty lace coming to me:

I really don't have any business buying lace for 18th century stuff because it would have been rare out here in the Illinois frontier, although it WAS French territory, and they were definitely shipping silk ribbons and stuff out here for the demanding ladies so who knows. Also, I'm honestly not a great judge, I tried to compare everything I looked at to extant pieces of 18thc lace, and would like to use the top lace for lappets on a cap, and the bottom lace for sleeve ruffles if I ever get around to making a silk we shall see. Maybe they'll just sit in a drawer and I can pet them occasionally.