Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Ubiquitous Williamsburg Jacket, Worn Two Ways

The jacket at Williamsburg.

This was a rather unexpected project, made with fabric bought for something else that it wouldn't work for. I realized I had no normallish 18c clothes--just the chemise dress and a court dress at the time, I think it was. Well, excepting earlier things that didn't seem quite right anymore!

In the above picture I'm wearing them with my hand knit cotton stockings. I used pearl cotton (not exactly period, but, well, compromise was in order because at least when I made them, there didn't seem to be an exact match. The pearl cotton was at least the right size and fiber!) and size 0000 needles on them. They were so fun to make. Of course, the Under the Redcoat after this I helped with ice cream making where they got so drenched with saltwater that I could barely get them off (my dress hem turned as stiff as cardboard too) and I've been afraid to put them back on since...

The shoes are my Burnley and Trowbridge mules. I love those shoes, and generally carry them in my gigantic 18c pockets in case I need to switch to more comfortable shoes :)

But back to the dress!

The jacket at Williamsburg. Construction

The pattern is the jacket form Costume Close-Up that everyone has made. And why not? It's a super cute jacket! The construction follows the first one I made from this pattern (seen here, please, please, please ignore the petticoat, stomacher and ribbon! I wish I had more fabric so I could make a matching stomacher, as I still do like the jacket). For the second jacket, I didn't even test to see if the pattern still fit. Fortunately, except for taking about 2 inches out of the shoulders (really?), it fit!

The picture on the right shows the only updated construction information. Many 18c techniques have the fabric and lining sewn together at the seams and then turned in at the edges--but how does that work if the seams are sewn together? Easy--for the last inch or so, sew them separately. I guessed this when I made my first jacket, but didn't include it online as I had no proof. Since then I was lucky enough to win a 1790s jacket (for about $30!!!) on eBay. And since it was missing a sleeve, I was able to see that this technique was correct. Hooray!

I have very few pictures of this at Williamsburg this year. Why? It was too hot to take pictures. 113F with about 95% humidity. Fun, that...

The Jacket at Williamsburg

And this picture makes laugh--it's so typical of an event. The computer is out to share pictures, a frappuccino, as I am addicted during the summer, cell phone (my tiny cute one of a few years ago) to text and coordinate with all everyone there, a camera next to me, and a picture being taken of me with my other camera. Also, my amusement of newly pink stocking feet :)

The jacket at Costume Con. The jacket at Costume Con.

I also wore the jacket to Costume Con in 2009 with a matching petticoat. The petticoat was too narrow, about 90 inches, I think? I think I only had about 3 yards of 45 inch fabric, so I disguised that with an apron. Also, my hair really, really doesn't like to tease in humid weather. Well, it doesn't like to tease at all, but humidity makes it worse. It rained heavily and constantly for the entire convention!

The jacket at Costume Con.

I wore it over a bumroll, which I didn't at Williamsburg. I wish I had another back picture to compare!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A 1905 Waist and Skirt--Techniques from Art of Dressmaking

If you can get a copy of Butterick's 1920s Art of Dressmaking, do it. It's full of wonderful information.

My 1905 waist was made largely with techniques from this book.

First, the yoke. This could be used for any sort of shaped lace you wanted.

The lace yoke

First, cut a piece of cardstock to the shape of your pattern piece. You need to use good lace that has a pull thread in it for the next step. Baste the lace to your pattern piece and pull the gathering threads so it lies flat. Use a contrasting color for the basting thread.

The lace yoke

Repeat with a second piece of lace.

The lace yoke

Here's where the magic happens (and it really is!). Whipstitch the two pieces of lace together. If you enlarge this picture, you can see this on the right.

Keep going until your pattern piece is filled.

Then cut the basting stitches away, and you have lace fabric! It's so amazing :)


Here's the finished yoke with gathered lace attached.


And the collar!

Almost there!

The yoke attached to the waist. I hemmed the neck edge and then whipped the yoke to it.



And here is the yoke in the process of being attached.

The lace insertion is done in the typical way. Sew the lace on, cut down the center back of the fabric underneath, and hem.

The petticoat under flounce is also done in an interesting way.

The flounce under the flounce

Set the ruffle on the right side of the skirt.

The flounce under the flounce

Fold the bottom edge over it.

The flounce under the flounce

Sew, and flip down.

The flounce under the flounce

Fold the raw edge under the seam, much like a flat felled seam.

The flounce under the flounce

And sew!

A 1905 Waist and Skirt

The finished dress

In 2008, my friend Sarah had a dress up opportunity at work and she asked me to take part. It was so hard to convince me! Anyway, the theme was 1905 so I decided it was time to finally make a lingerie blouse.

The finished dress The finished dress

The blouse is cotton batiste with miles of lace insertion (all from Farmhouse Fabrics), and was so much fun to make. It closes up the back with machine (they're period!) buttonholes on the fabric and loops made of buttonhole stitch on the lace collar.

The hat is the Lynn McMasters round pattern, and it did look better in real life than in the front on pictures that are on Flickr but not here. And it would look better if I could get bigger hair too, admittedly :)

The finished dressThe finished dress

The bodice pattern started as my 1860s base pattern--I know, absolutely no help!

The skirt is from the Folkwear pattern and is tropical weight wool from B. Black and Sons and lined with polished cotton.

I'm wearing it over a sleeveless chemise based on the Folkwear princess slip pattern, the Folkwear princess slip, and a Folkwear petticoat and drawers. They're pretty good patterns! My corset is the 1905 corset from Period Costume for Stage and Screen. I was quite pleased that although I made that absolutely ages ago and never wore it, it was well made and only needed a slight alteration--the hips were too big and made the stomach stick out--to fit.

The Waist The Waist

I'll save construction for a different post--the collar in particular is deserving of attention!

The belt

The belt is silk taffeta interlined with two layers of cotton organdy and backed with cotton twill.

I cut the organdy and twill without seam allowances and just hemmed the silk over them. It closes with hooks and bars.

The petticoat The Princess Slip

And the slip and petticoat!

My LJ tag for this project.

The Spotty Evening Dress

So, if you have a huge, complicated skirt, 18 inches of leftover blue fabric and about a yard of spotty fabric leftover, what do you do? Make an evening version, of course!

Spotty Evening

And wear tons of jewelry--including a tiara, choker (the dress is based on one of Princess Alexandra's!), necklace, bracelets, more bracelets, a rhinestone belt buckle, and earrings. What can I say, sparkly is fun :)

Costume College 2011 Costume College 2011

I've said more than enough about construction of the day dress, so I'll just say a little here. The cutouts on the bodice are piped and made the same way as my 1869 day dress.

Costume College 2011 Costume College 2011

The sleeve is a spotty puff over a fitted lining with bands of blue holding it in.

Costume College 2011 Costume College 2011

The belt has a blue lined with spotty silk peplum and a little spotty rosette. It's just a half oval that I pleated to the waistband.


And the amount of fabric I had to make this. What doesn't show is that the bodice pieces are against a cut bias edge.

Costume College 2011

Monday, September 24, 2012

My First Lanvin--A Robe de Style: The Dress!

I think I've said quite enough about this dress, so here, at last, are pictures of me wearing it!

Robe de Style Robe de Style

At Costume College 2009. I was afraid of feeling underdressed at the gala; however, once I put the dress on, no worries!

Robe de Style Robe de Style

There's a lot of skirt in this--that's fine though, who doesn't love a lot of skirt?

The Robe de Style at Costume College The Robe de Style at Costume College

And as costumers, what's underneath is so important!

The shoes are ballroom dance shoes made by Very Fine. They're so sparkly! I believe I bought them from, but it's been so long I can't be sure...

Robe de Style

And one last picture :)

LJ tag about the dress...

My First Lanvin--A Robe de Style--Details

So now, some details and a little explanation of my robe de style!

Details and Progress Pictures

For reference, the completed dress!

My favorite eras lately seem to have been bouncing back between 1920s and Regency, two so called easy eras. And while on the surface, I suppose they are, it's the detail in both that appeals to me. It's the small things--things often lacking on the bigger, showier dresses. And completely why I like these two eras so much.

Details and Progress Pictures Details and Progress Pictures

On the left, we have the left underarm and on the right, the right underarm. The left underarm closes with snaps, as the original appeared to. (I admit it, another reason I love the 20s? Snaps!) The right underarm has a tuck to mimic this placket. I sewed mine a tiny bit close to the edge, but on the original, it was sewn a little further out and mimicked the placket very nicely.

Details and Progress Pictures Details and Progress Pictures

And here's the placket open. I had to take educated guesses as to what was going on inside the dress. Fortunately, the dress on the cover of Lanvin showed pocket hoops sewn to the dress, and I found a dress on eBay showing the hoops. I made a slight extension of the skirt placket which snapped into place and has the hoop sewn to it. Also, if you look carefully, you can see I sewed the placket on wrong side out. Oops. Did you see my other post where I said I'm not a perfectionist?

Details and Progress Pictures

And here are the hoops. They're silk taffeta and boned with artificial whalebone. Or is it German boning? It's the solid white one that only the Canadian Farthingales site seems to sell. I love that stuff! They're simply scaled down from the Corsets and Crinolines side hoops.

Details and Progress Pictures

The shoulder was a little stressful to do. I cut slits with angled slits at the end, sewed the trim right side to right side, and flipped it back. The slits actually affected the fit, as the straps sat differently on my shoulders after that.

Details and Progress Pictures Details and Progress Pictures

I love the hem--or rather lack of hem. Trim is sandwiched between bias and the hem, then the bias binds the raw edge and the trim is pressed down. Amazingly, it stays. It's deceptively heavy, and that makes quite a difference! I made note of this hem style in the notes I took while studying the dress.

Details and Progress Pictures Details and Progress Pictures
Details and Progress Pictures

Details and Progress Pictures

The streamers are made like this--I sandwiched the trim between two plain strips of silk on one side, then sewed the trim to just one side of the silk on the bottom and the other side, then I flipped that side over and hand whipped it down, so I wouldn't have to turn thick, spiky tubes of fabric. Much easier than turning tubes!

The rosette was made of layers of triangle trim and vintage metallic lace from The Ribbon Store. Much simpler than it looked!

Accessories Accessories DSC_0701 DSC_0953

For accessories, I made a matching necklace and earrings (no other color would remotely go with this!) based on one I saw on eBay, and I wore it over the above undies.