Sunday, February 7, 2021

A 1920s "Two Day" Sweater...

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I made this sweater almost by accident. I bought the c. 1921 Bear Brand Blue Book on Etsy and found a few patterns in it I wanted to make. They called for Shetland Floss, so naturally I wanted to find out more about it.  I do have a sample of it from Peace Dale Yarns, which I wrote about here, but was interested to see if I could find any from Bear Brand, details about the weight, or how much yardage was on a skein.  Instead, I came across The Diane Sweater in an ad for Fleisher's Yarn in the April 1921 Ladies' Home Journal that claimed it only took a day and a half to make.  While I knew that it would take longer--it took about a month--it gave me an actual reason to make something and consistently work on it--something I haven't been able to do since all events were cancelled--as they should've been--this year. 

I took these pictures by myself with a tripod, and so look forward to when we can get together again. 

My version of the pattern can be found here. I've rewritten it and fixed a few of the errors in the original pattern. 

Making the 1920s "Two Day" Sweater

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An ad for a sweater using Fleisher Yarns, The Diane Sweater was published in The Ladies’ Home Journal in April 1921. The sweater calls for Shetland Floss, which is about a modern fingering weight. Based on similar patterns, the gauge is five stitches an inch--this isn’t what you expect from fingering weight, but I achieved it with size 8 needles when I was figuring out another pattern. I made my sweater with sport weight yarn on size 6 needles, which also gives 5 stitches an inch. The fit of the sweater counts on the stretchiness of the finished sweater--no size is given.

The sweater is knit in one T shaped piece, starting at the back with added cuffs, collar, and belt. It’s folded at the shoulder, the side seams are sewn, and the belt is sewn to the bottom front edge and tied in back. My notes and changes to the pattern are in brackets. [ ]

This post is just about construction--more pictures and details can be found on this post. I've included a copy of the pattern without pictures at the end of this post, and a PDF is available here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Tintype Photography Revisited

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One of the limits you think of with tintype photography is going to the studio. Except, that doesn't have to be--the Victorian Photo Studio can take a tintype of a digital photo. All the things I love about tintypes are evident--the color shifts, the changes in emphasis, the different expressions--and are so obvious because they're copies of photos, not just the closest you can get with a camera while taking a tintype, which a group of friends and I did during our trip in 2017.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

What I Would've Worn to Costume College 2020

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So, 2020 has turned out, uh, not exactly as planned? Still, I did have plans for Costume College, and I did a photoshoot the weekend that Costume College was supposed to be with what I had done. For the gala this year, inspired by last year's gala dress, typos, and the fire fountain at Costume College, I was going to make an 1830s version of Melisandre. I still hope to--bringing in fantasy elements, beyond what 1830s fancy dress would've done--is something I'm looking forward to.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Melisandre's Glowing Necklace--For Those Who Know Nothing, A Tutorial

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I think half the reason I wanted to make a Melisandre cosplay was to make her necklace. Once my friend Loren of the Costumer's Closet--who's done a lot of interesting work with props--suggested that the necklace light up, I knew I had to make it work. I found a few other necklaces online that lit up, but none of the ideas quite worked for my necklace, so I had to come up with my own way of doing it. This is an entirely new area for me! I know nothing about electronics--especially making them so small!

And about the post title--clearly, my subconscious was at work. I didn't really mean to make the reference, but since I do know nothing about this, it was a logical title, which obviously needed to be kept. More details about my trials and false starts at the bottom of this post.

Monday, August 5, 2019

A Late 1790s Bird Print Dress with a Diamond Back

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My late 1790s dress is based on examples of cotton print dresses, and a remodeled 18th century dress from An Agreeable Tyrant at the DAR Museum. It's made of a cotton print from Colonial Williamsburg, lined with linen from Burnley and Trowbridge, and worn over stays, shift, and strapped petticoat.

I made the dress for the Jane Austen Festival in Kentucky, and it was as comfortable as a dress can be there. The pictures here were taken by my friend (in much better weather!), whose photography Instagram, @journeyofaphotog, can be seen here.

Construction for the dress can be seen here

A Late 1790s Dress with a Diamond Back--A Tutorial

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My late 1790s print dress worn at the Jane Austen Festival. It's made of bird print cotton from Colonial Williamsburg, lined with linen from Burnley and Trowbridge, and worn over short stays made with springs (here--other pictures I was wearing my cupped short stays), a linen shift, and petticoat on straps. The dress closes with drawstrings in the front over a pinned linen lining. More pictures of the dress, including how it closes, can be seen here.


In 2017, I was lucky to be able to see An Agreeable Tyrant at the DAR Museum. I already owned the catalog, which has scaled patterns for many of the dresses. I had been thinking of making a print dress when we saw a remodeled silk taffeta dress with just the sort of back I had been meaning to make for years, but never did. Seeing one in person made things click, and I knew that my new dress would finally have that back.