elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
I share a lot of stuff from work with you guys, and mostly it's just for the fun of it and because it's interesting. Today I am going to be really upfront about the fact that I am trying to sell you stuff. So feel free to skip.

We are having a big sale at Treadle, and every fabric in the store is discounted! Here is what's new and noteworthy for us costumer types:

Silk taffetas, including lots of shot ones. I won't pretend we can compete with the bargain warehouses price-wise, but this really is the good stuff, not thin and cheap like you get on ebay. You will definitely get what you pay for.

More! )
We are low-tech, but if you see something you like here or anywhere on our blog, you can call us at (651)698-9690 to place a mail order. Support a small, independent business!

many things

Aug. 2nd, 2016 02:22 pm
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Decided I'm going to cheat a little with the non-visible buttons on the grey linen suit; so now I only need to make 46 fabric ones. I'll use grey MOP for the breeches waistband and fall opening.

Been busy creating our new Treadle class schedule. I'm also making lots of new adorable handouts for beginning sewing and others.

Loving everyone's Costume College pictures!! More please!

Already dying to know what next year's coco theme will be so I can start planning. And I'm already thinking about what I want to teach.

Irish Fair is coming up and I am back with the dance group for this one. Should be fun, if tiring - it'll be two performances of a very full set after a whole day at Treadle.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
I bought 7-ish yards of grey linen/rayon last week for my HB's new 1770s/80s suit. It's been tricky squeezing in all the pieces for breeches, coat, and vest (just the fronts) but I managed to do it! I always have fun seeing how much of a cheapskate I can be with yardage. It's like playing Tetris.

I spent a couple hours yesterday and today sewing the breeches. They are definitely the most complicated pants humanity has ever devised, but it's going much smoother this time; it's the 5th pair of breeches I've made him and the third from this pattern, so it's not seeming so scary anymore. And it's actually fun!

Once they are done, the vest and coat are pretty much cake. The only real slowdown I anticipate is the buttons. I am making fabric-covered ones again (to save money, and because they look neat) and I will have to make, lets see...

12 on the coat front
8 for coat cuffs
6 for coat pockets
2 for coat back pleats
10 for vest front
5 on each breeches leg
2 for breeches fall
2 for breeches pockets
3 for breeches waistband

55 buttons. Am I forgetting any?

Looks like button-making will have to replace knitting as my TV project.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
I had her try it on yesterday and it was so goshdarned cute I just couldn't even. It's less cute on the floor, but you get the general idea.

flowergirl (1)

It's off-white cotton eyelet with a sweet, simple pattern of circles and a nice scalloped border. I underlined the bodice with light cotton lawn and lined it with the same. Just a single lining of the lawn was too sheer. The skirt will also have a lawn lining, just one layer, gathered very full.

flowergirl (2)

I used a dirndl pattern for the bodice, Burda 9509. I cut a 4 chest and a 6 length. I eliminated the darts and instead took in the side seams very slightly. I didn't want to dart the eyelet and her shape is still so girlish anyway so darts really aren't necessary.

flowergirl (3)

For the skirt I just cut plain straight panels. She wanted the dress VERY long, so I used the full width of the fabric to make a skirt about 24". On her that's about ankle length. She was kinda sad about it not going all the way to the floor but I pointed out that she does have cute shoes with flowers on them and this way everyone can see them.

Left to do:
Add skirt lining
Put in zipper (invisible)
Hand finish inside lining at waist seam and zipper

I think there is going to be a sash and some kind of fake flower crown also. And I am still looking for a tiny white wicker basket for her to carry some fresh flowers in.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
We had our I-guess-it's-annual-now 18th century picnic today! Great turnout, lots of friends, but boy was it HOT. And I don't mean my wimpy up-North definition of hot. It was 95 and muggy as hell.

Still, we managed to have a lovely time anyway. I wore my curtainalong dress and I finished my HB's new cotton coat. We tried our new wooden folding table and chairs set and I like them.

I am totally wiped out now, but so happy and grateful for the opportunity to do such great dress up events! Pictures when I get around to it, but some are already floating around facebook if you are really curious.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Y'know, like usual.

We have our 18th century picnic coming up this weekend and my HB needs something to wear. He has his blue suit, which I love, but I promised he wouldn't have to wear wool this year if it was hot out. He has some almost-done linen breeches that I am going to finish up, now he just needs a coat.

I have spent the last couple months trying in vain to find a perfect, or decent, non-wool fabric for this. After coming up empty handed repeatedly I went once again into the stash. I found a 4 or 5 yard length of a brown and blue/grey shot cotton with a 'homespun' texture. It's a little bit lightweight; more like a heavy shirting than a coat weight. And when I bought it, I was planning to make myself a nice plain round gown and I hated letting go of that idea. But it's a nice color, and I thought I could make it work, so I went for it and cut out the JP Ryan frock coat.

Last night at work I picked up some smooth cotton lining. It's black and really stands out against the brown/grey so I have been experimenting with brief bleach dips to dull it a bit.

So far I am just working on the small detail pieces: the pocket flaps, collar, and cuffs. I am giving them the same machine sewn seam + hand topstitch as the blue suit. But mostly this is going to be a machine project, especially if I am going to finish it by the weekend!

It's very nice to be sewing something other than the wedding dress. But the year is almost half over and I have so many more projects I want to get to! I really don't have too much more boring stuff I have to sew, mostly just fun stuff I WANT to sew!
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Today The Girl and I went to Grand Old Day, our local street festival on Grand Avenue, and on a whim we decided to dress up.


I am more in love with this green calico all the time. It did bother me slightly that my dress was 12 years later than hers, but I am sure I am the only one who noticed! It's just nice to have something casual and easy that still reads as Victorian.

We enjoyed the parade and got lots of candy thrown to us. We saw a bunch of fun local mascots and art cars. And of course we ate a few treats! But we didn't stay much after the parade because lines for everything are so long and it gets so hot and tiresome. But we really enjoyed our morning! Dressing up makes everything more fun!
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
The wedding dress is coming along. Today I worked on the veil and the dress lining. Next up is hems. Then just the sash left.

The veil is the only finished thing though, so here's a peek!

veil (1)

Ignore the pin.

veil (2)

I sewed some hair clips to the underside to attach it.

veil (3)

The length is to the inside elbow, with wide rounded corners. It's the full width of the tulle (108" I think?) by about 23" length.

To make this I first made the lace assembly. I took three of my lace pieces and arranged them on a piece of buckram, then stitched them down (reattaching any loose beads as I went). Then I cut, shaped, and gathered the tulle and machined it to a piece of Peltex interfacing. I laid my lace piece over the tulle and hand stitched it down, then cut away any excess interfacing. Finally I added the clips.

If I were doing this again, I might skip the buckram step. I'm glad I did it because it gave me more time to play with the lace design before making it permanent, but the finished product doesn't really need it. And I might cover the underside with white felt before adding the clips, just to hide the stitches and make it prettier.


May. 9th, 2016 10:32 am
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
And here is one of me from the weekend.


This is the only picture I got of my Frida outfit. My friend Patti took it and I found it on facebook. As you can see, I was trying to emulate Frida's iconic Vogue cover by posing sitting down on the floor. Not sure if I quite got it.

The skirt is a mix of thrift store finds and work fabric. The mustard-y cotton and the handwoven multi-color bits are from work, and the black embroidered piece I cut off a thrifted skirt. The white ruffly bit is half of another skirt. Altogether I wish it had come out fuller, but the colors and basic shape are pretty much there. The blouse is another thrift find, silk/cotton with short puff sleeves, a woven dot print, and a vaguely 1930s feel. The shawl is just my same crappy old shawl. Hair/flowers/makeup pretty much the same as my test run.

I ended up really loving this costume. I was worried people wouldn't get it but lots of folks did and I got a lot of compliments. I am thinking this might be a good choice for a future "lazy Sunday at Costume College" outfit.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
This is F's other new costume, a cotton 1860s/70s dress for Little House dressup.

She is doing her "Sunday face."

little house (4)

little house (6)

Again, these are from the hotel at the con so they are not great pictures. But you can see the dress, more or less.

I used the Truly Victorian princess dress for girls pattern (TV600) and used it pretty much as it came out of the envelope. My girl is a little slim for her height so even though she is 6 1/2 years old I cut a size 4 in the chest and waist (and that even came out roomy!) but lengthened all the bodice pieces to the size 6. I cut the skirt extra long in order to sew tucks. The tucks are 5/8" deep and about 3/8" apart (from fold to next stitch line). I like these as a cheap and easy skirt detail but also for practicality - I can pick a couple of them out next year to lengthen the skirt if needed.

The fabric is the one she picked out last year on our fabric and candy store trip down at Reproduction Fabrics. The apron is a Moda print from work. It was totally last minute. The dress is very plain and I knew it needed something. Plus what's more Laura Ingalls than an apron? I planned to make a bib section for it but ran out of time. It needs it, because as you can see, the half apron slides down. I still have the fabric set aside for it, though, so the bib section will be easy to add later.

It buttons up the back with antique shell buttons I got from a coworker, and she is wearing it over two fluffy petticoats.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Here is my little green nature fairy!

green fairy 002

These photos are all in the con hotel, so they are not ideal. I am hoping to get dressed up sometime this summer and do some photos in the nature park.

more! )

She loved wearing this costume and got tons of compliments! She even got a hall costume award ribbon for it less than 5 minutes after we registered.

I was pretty happy with it, too. Two issues: the glitter from the blouse shed A LOT. I had to quarantine it in our luggage so it wouldn't spread. Also, the dupioni strips in the skirt frayed like crazy and got stuck on everything. I know dupioni is shreddy but I didn't expect this level of thread-tangled mess. It's too bad, too, because it looked so pretty in there. But that's a lesson for later.

I might do a post about this on my serious blog, I'm not sure.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
This is 90% done.


The glitter blouse still needs some finishing work, the under-shorts need a waistband, and I need to make the wand. It will be a ribbon wand like the birthday ones from a couple years ago.

These wings are from Amazon.


I really want to get this all done and put away today, but I am pretty sure there are no dowels, paint, or green ribbon in the house to make a wand with. So I will finish the blouse and shorts and we will do the wand on the weekend.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
For Costume Con I told The Girl she could choose one new thing for me to make, it could be any idea she wanted, and I would try my best to make it happen. The one thing she wanted most was a green fairy costume.

We started out with crayons and sketched ideas, then went looking around the internet for images to fill in the details. Her vision is for something very organic, no recognizable order or patterns, (almost) all in green, with no flowers. Like things found in nature, plus some glitter.

We decided to buy wings but make everything else. Here is what I have made so far.

Shoe covers made of felt. The black elastic goes under the shoe. These actually look super cute on her feet! The long leather lacings will criss-cross up her bare leg and tie under the knee.

fairy 001

Leaf crown. We bought a $5 foliage stem at the craft store and I spent about 10 minutes cutting it up and floral-taping it into a shape. She was very particular about it looking messy and natural.

fairy 002

And finally this ribbon skirt. It's unlined, just ribbons, twine, and ripped fabric strips. There will be some neutral color shorts underneath for modesty.

fairy 003

I can't even describe to you how much I love this. I love this skirt like, crazy person amounts. I would wear this in a heartbeat. I used a bunch of stash fabrics and a few I bought, and about 6 spools of ribbon bought for the purpose. I loved mixing the jute twine and burlap ribbon with the glitter and silk. It's just so dang pretty!

Left to make: neutral color tank and shorts for unders, glittery fabric peasant top, and a ribbon wand. I think I can get a goodish bit of that done today!
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
I finished the baby hat for my niece and mailed it to her. I was so sure I took a picture of the finished hat but now I can't find it! Argh! Please believe it turned out super cute.

With some leftover yarn I agreed to make a hat for F's Lottie doll. it is by far the smallest and cutest thing I have ever knitted.

tiny hat (2)

tiny hat (1)

It was fun to make a small hat for a newborn baby and then follow it up with a miniature hat for a tiny doll!

I've been making a few other things here and there but nothing else got photographed. Trying to work on men's clothes the past month has been an utter fail. I am going to have to set my HB's projects aside for Costume Con prep. I feel massively guilty about this, but at least it feels better to be working on Girl stuff. I'm not being selfish if it's still for someone else, right? Just not the same someone else.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
The Girl has been on spring break so I haven't been doing much sewing. We have had a busy schedule of goofing off to attend to.

I've done some mockups and pattern work for the HB's new Victorian stuff. Yawn.

On Monday I got distracted and made another Colette Moneta from some deep orange jersey I had in recent stash. I love one-day dresses!

I helped The Girl make her very first all-by-herself-on-the-machine project, a simple elastic waist skirt. She did great and she's so proud!

We had our monthly sewing bee last night at the LeDuc house and I worked on a new knitted lace edging.

I am thinking of making enough for a V neckline and wide cuffs for an early 1870s dress. I know I might be bending the rules a little by using knitted lace on an outer garment, but making lace is just too much work to waste it on underwear. And I like knitting lace, so I want to make it and use it where it can be seen.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
As of right now I am setting aside all my own sewing for myself and completely focusing on making menswear for my HB. If you are stalking me on Pinterest (like I am stalking most of you) you have probably noticed my current mens clothing obsession. Here's what I am currently contemplating.

18th century summer - Linen coat, a light vest, breeches
Victorian summer - Linen single breasted frock coat, a light vest, light pants, a patterned shirt
Victorian separates - plaid pants, plaid pants, and plaid pants
Something for the renaissance festival - ???

Today I ordered the Laughing Moon men's pants pattern. I've been making him pants from that old simplicity pattern and I want something new and different. I have a bunch of patterns already for everything else on the list as well as a stack of possible fabrics.

I'm hoping with all the Victorian pieces he can have an effective mix and match wardrobe and pull something out for the Little House Party or any other event.

First up is summer Victorian. We don't have any events or anything but it's what I feel like working on so I should probably take advantage of that.
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
I have finally caved to peer pressure and registered for Costume Con Madison. It seems that everybody in the city and her sister is going, including a bunch of my Treadle students and my Victorian friends.

I have nothing new planned for this, but I have lots of old dresses and I am not stressing. I do have one new thing I am pondering, but it's staying my secret until I can figure it out a little better.

I don't know if I will enter any competitions. I am not a very competitive person, but it would be quite fun if I won. I have no idea what people enter so I don't know if I have a shot. Probably my best thing is my handsewn orange silk anglaise. I like the idea of my seaside dress being a copy of an extant garment but I'm not super proud of the interior construction.

Anyone else planning to go to this? Super fun times in Wisconsin? Cheese curds?
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Uneven plaids are from the devil.

That is all.

a blouse

Mar. 12th, 2016 12:47 pm
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
I really took my time on this blouse for work and felt it therefore deserved a proper blog post.

Related: it seems I have reached a level of acceptance regarding how goofy my face looks in photos.

LHS ball

Feb. 29th, 2016 12:53 pm
elizabeth_mn: (seaside)
Last weekend my sister and her fiance flew into town to spend her birthday with us and attend the Living History Society's winter ball. The period was civil war era. I loaned her a dress which meant I had to scramble to come up with something for myself. I sewed frantically until the last minute as usual, but we made it to the ball!

lhs ball 2016 010

I had just enough fabric left from my purple plaid dress to make an evening bodice. I had a half yard of acid green silk/cotton satin to work in somehow. I originally bought it to go with the day bodice, for covered buttons and trim. That didn't pan out, but I still loved the bright green with the purple.

I bought some more of the same satin in white and some gorgeous wide lace from work. With these I made a bertha with ruching and piped edges with green bows in front, back, and shoulders. I absolutely love the look of this, but it did seem to gape away from my body slightly. It didn't feel slippy but you can see it in photos. Alas. I suppose I just sew a tucker to it. I suppose this is the danger of making a separate bertha rather than just sewing trim directly to the bodice, but I like how a separate bertha conceals the closure and looks seamless.

I also made a sash with long tails in back. The sash ended up slightly tight, which made it wrinkle more than I wanted, but I can move the hooks and eyes for next time.

lhs ball 2016 021

I really didn't get any good dress shots. We were in such a hurry getting ready, and then I didn't take my camera to the ball with me.

The ball was a lot of fun. The dinner was delish and the dancing was wonderful. I think my sister had a blast! It was so nice to have her at a costume event. And my future brother-in-law is a great dancer!
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