Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Summery Game of Thrones King's Landing Dress

Game of Thrones Linen Dress 4

I have a history of not wearing faire period costumes to faire--see the cotehardie, 1950s, and Regency fairy, so, not surprisingly, I wanted to wear my Game of Thrones dress. However, I thought of last year's faire and its 90 degree weather, and didn't really want to wear my silk dress. Expecting similar weather, I decided to make a dress in lightweight linen and line it with cotton voile. Predictably, the weather was gorgeous--in the 60s and overcast--and my silk dress would've been fine! Oh well, I'm quite happy to have a new dress!

I wanted a dress that was summery and light, and I think I achieved that. Working on it though, I could only imagine Cersei smirking at its sweetness, and that it was probably a dress best suited to Lollys Stokeworth.

Game of Thrones Linen Dress 1

The construction is mostly the same as my first Game of Thrones dress, with the only differences being the neckline is piped, the sleeves are unlined, I didn't cover the armscye seam allowances with the lining, and the center back seam is done with this 18th century stitch. Like my first dress, I made this one entirely by hand.

I'm wearing the same hairpieces I wore with my first dress.

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The dress is made of linen from Farmhouse Fabrics, lined with cotton voile from Dharma Trading, and cotton lawn side panels stenciled with Shiva Paintstiks, also from Dharma Trading. The stencil I used is from Amazon. It ties shut with 1/2 inch loosely woven cotton ribbon (I folded it in half to make 1/4 inch tubes) from Angela Ligouri.

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I'm wearing it over a sleeveless linen dress from the same pattern that ties in the opposite direction, the Elizabethan lace stockings from Sock Dreams, my Valar Morghulis/Valar Dohaeris garters, and Robert Land Regency boots.

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The dress is embroidered with 1 mm Italian wire mesh ribbon from Mimi's Gems, jump rings from Fire Mountain Gems and Mill Hill beads from my local embroidery shop. I sewed the jump rings into place with very fine silk filament thread.

I decided to wear a fox pendant from WC Goods on Etsy after a friend pointed out that the dress was Sweet Briar colors, and as a women's college graduate (Agnes Scott), I decided to take it a step further as a gesture towards Saving Sweet Briar.

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Though the fox is the sigil of House Florent, I still went with my own House Caron of Nightsong bag, of course!

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I decided to make the underdress from the same pattern as a dress without a waist seam is more comfortable in the heat. It's unlined linen from Burnley and Trowbridge and ties with their silk ribbon.

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The underdress is mostly the same pattern as the dress. The back is cut as one piece instead of with a center back seam, and the bodice and skirt portions of the side panels are cut as one. The neckline is about an inch lower, and both it and the armscyes are bound with self bias.

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The side panel and sleeve trim are both edged with Italian wire mesh. The sleeves have the 1mm, and the skirt panels the 3mm. To trim the sleeves, I stenciled a straight strip of the cotton lawn, folded it down the center, and bound the sleeve edge with it.

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To stencil the fabric, I first traced the pattern shape. I then measured where the center bottom, and stenciled from there. I rubbed the paint stick onto it, then rubbed it into the fabric like finger paint. Messy, but successful!

For the embroidery, first I sewed the long vine, then the stems. I used a bodkin to bury the ends of the wire mesh in back. The jump rings are just sewn down in a few places and the bead is sewn with a backstitch.


And with my friends, Loren of the Costumer's Closet and Llyra of Creative Chaos. You can't take us anywhere, apparently!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Game of Thrones Garters--Again!

GoT Garters

In a few short weeks, I'll be going to the Renaissance Pleasure Faire and wearing a new, linen Game of Thrones dress (same pattern as my last dress only more suited to the temperature). Of course, I needed new garters! My dress is a little on the sweet side--peachy pink with green stenciled contrasting panels--so the obvious phrases were Valar Morghulis (all men must die) and the response Valar Dohaeris (all men must serve). I made them the same way as my Not Today garters. My stockings (which don't need garters to stay up, but what's the fun in that?) are the Elizbethan lace from Sock Dreams.

GoT Garters

The garters are made of the same linen as my dress (from Farmhouse Fabrics), bleached to a light pink. They're embroidered with Au Ver au Soie Soie d'Alger, and the ribbons are from Silky Way on eBay.

As a side note, I've been horribly bad about updating lately! I do have several projects that need attention. I hope that this short post gives me a little motivation :)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

1790s Decorated Shoes--A Very Tiny Tutorial!

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For the Jane Austen Evening this year, I wanted special shoes. I have my wonderful Robert Land square toed dancing slippers which I often use for Regency, but I wanted something a little more 1790s in date, decorated with ribbons and spangles. So, I started a search for pointed toe faux leather flats that would fit my tiny feet, and came across these on Amazon for $13. Definitely worth a try! I was so pleased when they arrived--they fit perfectly and for a pointed toe shoe, had a rather centered point so weren't as obviously right and left as other shoes I've owned. I then ordered flat silver sequins on Etsy and green silk ribbon from Farmhouse Fabrics.

1790s shoes 1

And, onto the shoes! Here are all my supplies. E6000 glue, wax paper, tweezers, ribbon (I have no idea why I bought so much), shoes, pencil, ruler, and sequins.

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To begin, I drew a grid of dots on my shoes. I had initially planned on just a little design on the front, but then wanted spangled polka dots. The dots are about half an inch apart.

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I then glued a sequin to each dot. To do this, I made a little puddle of the glue, picked up the sequin with the tweezers, and placed it on the shoe. With thanks to Julia for suggesting the E6000 and Jenny-Rose for the tweezers suggestion!

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Then, I box pleated the 1/2 inch ribbon so it would fit around the front of the shoe. I sewed those pleats into place, and then pinched each in the middle and sewed it to make it a little more dimensional.

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I sewed that down, which was surprisingly easy to do through the pleather, then sewed the ties down a little further back. And that was it! A very satisfying little project :)

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And the finished shoes! They were incredibly comfortable as well, thankfully!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Knitted Muff from 1847


I'm going through a little bit of a knitting phase right now (active projects--an 1857 Princess Royal's Scarf, a cobweb weight nubia (giant scarf thing) on size three needles, an 1860s Mariposa Hood), and as I often do while in knitting phases, I read period knitting patterns. How Dumbledore of me. Anyway, I came across The Child's Muff of Two Colors in The lady's assistant, for executing useful and fancy designs in knitting, netting, and crochet work. by Jane Gaugain and was intrigued. The pattern was interesting--the look of netting over a ground, the technique was interesting--knitting two colors after another instead of back and forth, and just why is it a child's muff? It's the same size as the muff in imitation of black Siberian lamb's-skin on the page before. That one is just ribbed and we all know ribbing looks just like lamb's skin, right?

The pattern is surprisingly simple. It's a four row repeat. I've included a picture of the pattern at the bottom of the post, but I rewrote it so it was a little easier to follow. I used Cascade Aran weight yarn for the 9 ply fleecy in the pattern, and size 8 needles. The pattern calls for a modern size 7, but I have a 6 and an 8. Size 6 was too small, but the size 8 worked nicely. I also increased the number of stitches cast on from 35 to 47. It needs a repeat of three plus two for the selvages. This PDF--Everyone His Own Knitting Needles by Colleen Formby--at is a great source for figuring out period to modern equivalents.

A link to my Ravelry page for the muff, though this post is more detailed.

Instructions below the cut! I've included a very detailed and a straightforward version.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Mourning for Prince Albert--An 1860s Black Silk Dress

Posing by the lake

Possibly my favorite dress I've made is my day and evening black silk 1860s dress. While it's basically a fashionable black dress, I was inspired by the idea of sympathetic mourning--in this case, for Prince Albert. Black ball gowns were fashionable for a time as a result of his death. My dress, however, doesn't follow the standard conventions of mid century mourning--it's silk taffeta, not a dull silk, and quite sparkly with glass jet beads.

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The day version of the dress is heavily inspired by this dress in the Danish national costume museum. Instead of a separate waistcoat though, I made a sleeveless bodice that was attached to the skirt. I've worn the jacket two ways--hooked shut, and fastened just at the neckline.

The dress is made of silk taffeta and trimmed with the softest velvet ribbon I could find and glass beads. the undersleeves are cotton organdy trimmed with black silk ribbon and basted into the armscyes of the jacket. The jacket sleeves are lined in white China silk and trimmed with white box pleated pinked silk.

Skirts!  Petticoats! black dress 1

Underneath the dress I'm wearing a chemise, corset, Needle and Thread cage crinoline, petticoat, stockings, garters and Robert Land side lacing boots.

Pumpkins :)

And with a pumpkin. Because every black dress worn close to Halloween should be accessorized with a pumpkin.

Under a Tree

As for more typical accessories, my bonnet is the Miller's Millinery spoon bonnet. Sadly, it has since been crushed, I think beyond repair. It was damaged travelling and I managed to revive it, but as it's currently inside out, I rather despair about its chances.

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Though I've written about the ball gown before, I thought I may as well share again! I've been lucky enough to wear this several times--at a Social Daunce Irregulars ball, Costume Con, a dance at a reenactment, and a ball in Virginia City, Montana.

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And the dress in motion. It should have black lacing, but it somehow got separated from the dress and no place in Virginia City sold ribbon. Fortunately I had a spare chemise with me that had ribbon in the neckline lace!

A little more below, including the dress worn without the jacket, the jacket hooked shut, and ballgown undersleeve construction.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Grey Wool 1860s Dress

Grey 1860s

My grey wool dress is one of three dresses I wore to a local reenactment in 2008. Despite my loathing of sewing points, I decided to make three on this bodice--two sharp points in the front, and a shallow one in back. The collar and cuffs are made of very fine handkerchief linen. The cuffs are just strips of fabric folded and basted in. The collar pattern was based on the neckline of the dress and made of a double layer of linen.

The dress is made of tropical weight wool from B. Black and Sons and lined with polished cotton. The ribbon trim is from Dharma Trading and I dyed it bright blue with their dyes.

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I wanted to bring the dress a little further into the 1860s than my other dresses. The skirt is cut very slightly gored. The difference is small, but typical of skirts just barely moving out of the straight panel phase. I'm wearing it over my Laughing Moon elliptical hoop as well.

My bonnet is the low brim bonnet from Miller's Millinery.

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The ribbon trim simulates a jacket, a style that was popular in the 1860s. It's just box pleated and sewn down the center. The lightweight ribbon springs up and gives it quite a bit of texture.

Grey 1860s

As usual, I used my 1860s base pattern for the dress. To make the points on the front, I cut my front bodice pieces extra long, and then drew in the shape of the point I wanted. I added seam allowance and cut. It was a little frightening, but anything to avoid a muslin! The darts are boned so that the points stay flat. The buttons are false, and the dress closes with hooks and thread eyes. Though metal eyes were more typical, thread eyes were found as well and are my preferred closure.

A Brown and Pink Cotton Print 1860s Dress

Brown print dress

Despite its simplicity, this is one of my favorite dresses. Many of my more elaborate dresses feel like costumes, while more everyday dresses like these feel so much more natural and make it easy to imagine how women in the past felt in their clothes.

The dress is made of a cotton print from Reproduction Fabrics and lined in polished cotton. My sortie cap is made from an 1858 Godey's pattern.

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My pattern is my 1860s block that started as the 1870 bodice pattern in Period Costume for Stage and Screen. I drafted the coat sleeves based on an existing sleeve pattern. The cuffs are just strips of lighweight cotton folded in half and basted in. The collar is an embroidered collar I use with most of my 1860s dresses. I'm wearing it over a chemise, corset, Needle and Thread cage crinoline, and a petticoat.

With my sontag and sortie cap Brown print dress

My first wearing of this was rather chilly--a nighttime event in the 30s, so I knit a sontag to wear with it.

Brown print dress Election, 1860s style :)

I really wish I had taken construction photos while I was making this. Cotton dresses were typically gathered, not darted. While I successfully gathered the bodice on my first sheer dress, it wasn't easy. Because my figure is really only suited for the 1920s--straight up and down--and gathers seem to want some tension, I had to do all sorts of contortions to make the gathers work. The heavier cotton just didn't want to behave. What I ended up doing was based on an original bodice that I own. I darted the lining and then fit the print over it with tucks. It's slightly visible in these pictures where you can see the fabric loosens a bit at the top of the sewing instead of smoothing out like with a dart.

And I think I'm being very ladylike before people show up, no? :)