Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Checking in--A Few Updates!

First Flower Bandeau 11
20s Garter 1 Untitled

I have a lot planned for this blog, and the biggest plan is to update regularly! With that I thought I'd go ahead a post a preview of sorts. Pictured, I have the first velvet flower and thread wrapped bead for the silver and black robe de style I'm making for the Costume College gala, an original 1920s bandeau that I've patterned started writing an article on, an original 1920s garter that I'm planning on reproducing and writing about, and the 1790s stays that I'm working on, mostly because I actually like making stays, and wanted a pretty new pair.

One goal that I have is for every project is to post some sort of tutorial. Most will be small and a matter of looking at what I'm doing and what will hopefully be helpful.

In addition, I've started a Facebook page (also linked in the sidebar) for this blog. I'm just planning to use it for announcements about this blog and my antiques blog, and what I'm working on updates, to sort of celebrate those I'm getting somewhere moments.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hemming Without Help, A Tutorial!

Some people are lucky--they have people to mark their hems. Others of us are not, we have to muddle through on our own. While hemming my blue cotehardie, I realized that this is something I've done often enough (I've never had help with a hem!) that I could do a tutorial on it. There are other methods, of course. You can use a dress form, and there are chalk hem markers, but I find this method works well for me, and is quite reliable!

In this tutorial, I'll demonstrate marking the hem on my pink cotehardie, and demonstrat hemming both a lined skirt, the blue cotehardie, and unlined skirt, the pink cotehardie.

Hemming 1 Hemming 2

When making skirts that will be leveled at the hem, I always make them a little bit too long. You can see that here. The gores in particular are quite long on this one. When I cut them, I didn't take the longer diagonal edge into consideration, knowing that it would be fixed when the dress was hemmed.

If you're sewing by hand, leave the last inch or so unsewn so you don't have to worry about picking out and refinishing seams later.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

An Unusual Embroidery Transfer Method--Or, A Little Creativity!

I recently had way too much fun with a little project I'm working on and decided I might as well share my make do technique for it. One of my upcoming projects is a King's Landing style dress from Game of Thrones. I'm not doing a reproduction, but rather designing my own. This led me to the perfect house for me--House Caron--and its sigil, a nightingale and words, No Song So Sweet. I've ordered a locket with a bird and decided I needed an embroidered bag as well. I'm sure I'm not the only one who occasionally needs a new project right now? In the middle of working on my pink cotehardie, and making sure I wouldn't reach my self-imposed deadline, I decided I had to embroider that day. I had thread (meant for a pinball), yellow silk (leftover from my Eugenie dress), and my self-imposed deadline is weeks (or possibly months, depending on how I want to wear it) before I need the dress. I even had an adorable bird to copy from Fashion in Detail from a 17th century embroidered smock.

One problem? No printer ink. And not enough artistic talent to draw the bird freehand.

I wasn't about to let that stop me though. So, here's what I did.


I took a picture of the bird and opened it in Photoshop Elements. I then darkened the outline of the bird using the paint can tool so that it was dark enough to trace directly from the computer. Then I zoomed it to a size I liked, placed paper over the screen, and traced in pencil. Alas, I have no picture of actually tracing the screen :)

Untitled Untitled

Next, I taped the tracing to a window and put another paper over it so I could trace it in ink. I could've traced the pencil copy in ink, but I decided this was easier in case I messed up I'd still have the original.

Untitled Untitled

Then I wrote the motto and taped it back to the window, and taped the silk over it. I then traced the bird, repositioned it over the writing, and traced the writing.


And the finished tracing! It's done in mechanical pencil.

House Caron Embroidery

And the finished embroidery! It's just stem stitch in Au Ver au Soie Soie d'Alger. Now, to decide what I want the bag to look like!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Frilled Veil, Part Two

Since I've all but finished the frilled veil to wear with my cotehardie, I thought it was time to complete the tutorial started here.


Here's the completed veil with a sneak peek of the cotehardie. I'm still planning a deep pink overdress with short sleeves and buttons up the front. I do feel sad to cover this dress though! But onto the veil :)

Frilled Veil 1 Frilled Veil 4

Here's the veil, laid out flat. It's sewn with a running stitch to a large half oval. Both right and wrong sides are shown.

Frilled Veil 2 Frilled Veil 3

And here's a closer view of the same thing. You can see that I only sewed the frill to the veil at the edge of the binding.

Frilled Veil 5 Frilled Veil 6

Now, putting the veil on. You need to start with an appropriate hairstyle. Looped braids were very popular, and I decided to imitate those by wrapping my fake braids into sideways buns. I just wrapped the fake braids around my own very tiny braided buns. I had planned on making a St. Birgitta cap since I didn't think a band would stay put on my apparently fussy head (nothing likes to stay on it), but when trying it on, I found a solution--pin the band to the buns. The band is just a bias strip of linen that I really need to hem before I wear. It's pinned in back, and to the buns. I used green pins so they would stand out. In the picture with the cotehardie, I put my hair in three buns--the two shown and one at the base of my neck. In the pictures here, two. I think that I prefer three to better anchor the band in back.

Frilled Veil 7 Frilled Veil 8

Now, pin the veil to the band. Start with the center, and pin perpendicular to the band. You can see the back of the pin sticking out in back a bit. I'd bury it better if I were actually wearing it. Then, use two more pins to pin the veil at your temples. I find it works best about where I pinned the band to my braids. My pins are from The Norse Gypsy Forge on Etsy.

And that's it! It's really quite a comfortable and secure way to wear a veil.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

An 1880s Cotton Print Bustle Dress

This dress is a copy of an original that I own, and is made out of reproduction fabric from Spoonflower. For more information, I have posts on the bodice, the overskirt, and the skirt.

Cotton Bustle 1Cotton Bustle 2

I'm wearing it over my Laughing Moon spoon busk corset that I made probably 9 years ago, sleeveless chemise, Laughing Moon bustle, and Truly Victorian petticoat. I'm wearing my 1860s Robert Land walking shoes because they're so comfortable, and perfect for an outdoor nature type outing :)

I'd also like to note that my center front overlap is slightly off. Not as bad as in my On Perfectionism post, but I didn't leave quite enough straight at the bottom of the curved front. I'm quite fine with it though :)

Cotton Bustle 3 Cotton Bustle 5

I'm wearing the Miller's Millinery Bebe bonnet, which is the same one I wore with my blue bustle dress and bustle coat.

Cotton Bustle 4 Cotton Bustle 6

It was a very windy day, at times! Fortunately, the wind came and went. It does prove that you can move in Victorian clothing though--the key is to have a tight armscye. And climbing off the rocks in the previous picture, I apparently tore one of the tapes holding the overskirt up. You can see how it trails a little. Oops :)

An 1880s Bustle Dress Construction Tutorial--The Bodice!

This article originally appeared on Your Wardrobe Unlock'd.

The original dress that this is based on can be seen on my antiques blog, here.

finshed_dress09 finshed_dress07

I'm breaking this tutorial up into three parts, the skirt, overskirt, and bodice. The scaled pattern for each part will be at the bottom of the post. There's also another post with the dress actually being worn.

An 1880s Bustle Dress Construction Tutorial--The Overskirt!

This article originally appeared on Your Wardrobe Unlock'd.

The original dress that this is based on can be seen on my antiques blog, here.

finshed_dress04 finshed_dress05 finshed_dress06

I'm breaking this tutorial up into three parts, the skirt, overskirt, and bodice. The scaled pattern for each part will be at the bottom of the post. There's also another post with the dress actually being worn.