elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
I somehow decided I had an hour on my hands today to play dress-up. Here's my (totally hand-sewn!) Curtain-Along dress, finished!

curtain dress done 038

I wish I had a sweeping, picturesque backyard for nice photos, but this is what you get when you live in a city. Still, the light was quite nice today! The hat was a total last-minute addition; I grabbed it from the closet in the dark, which is why I neglected to find a hatpin and I'm holding it with my hands.

Detail views and more for fun! )


Jul. 9th, 2013 04:23 pm
elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
I spent about an hour and a half on the stomacher today.  I thought I had lots of curtain scraps left, but I really don't at all!  So I ended up cutting the stomacher on the cross-grain so I could get the motifs placed where I wanted.  It irked me a little to do this - if it wasn't going to be covered with a lacing ribbon, I probably would not have.

I interlined it with a piece of cotton twill from which I removed the seam allowances, and lined with the same plain linen as the jacket.  I folded all the seam allowances under and placed the pieces WS together, then edged with point a rabbatre sous la main.

So, now I have a few accessories to sew, but I'm making them strictly away-from-the-house projects (for work and the playground, etc.).  Which means my (over) 2 month odyssey of handsewing is over.

Before this, I had never entirely hand-sewed anything.  I was terrified to start this project, but I wanted to do it to see if I could.  And I was really surprised! Doing all that handsewing was really enjoyable! It was slow, and it was fiddly at times, but mostly I had a lot of fun, and now I am not sure what I was so worried about. I am such a convert - and I can't wait to do more handsewn projects!

Now that I've done it, handsewing a whole dress just doesn't seem like as big a deal anymore.  I don't know if that's because I had built it up in my mind as being scary when it isn't, or because I undervalue myself with this perverse notion that if I can actually do something, it's probably not worth much.

Backyard pictures will be up as soon as I can arrange a photo shoot!
elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
Just the stomacher is left to do on the curtain jacket.  I finished the sleeve ends yesterday. The elbow dart took a couple tries, and I'm still not totally thrilled with it, because it gives a VERY sharp curve over the elbow, almost a 90-degree angle. But I am leaving it, since I have too much else to do and also because I stuck pretty close to the diagram, so hopefully the way I now have it is accurate. The jacket in the book does look like it has a pretty sharply angled sleeve.

So now I need to find something sufficiently stiff to interline the stomacher with, and putting it together will probably be cake! I tried the jacket on (properly, over my stays) and pinned a scrap under the lacing to approximate the stomacher shape, so now I have a working pattern.

The only thing I wonder now is, should I get dressed up and take pictures of myself as soon as it's done? Or just wait and expect to get photos at coco?

Oh, also related, is it worthwhile to bring my tripod to coco?
elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
Got the sleeves in, yay! Now I need to try it all on, hem the sleeve ends and make the elbow dart, then measure and make the stomacher.

I've got an afterthought apron almost done (also handsewn) and hopefully I can get some sort of cap together, or maybe I will just buy one.
elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
This still needs a hem.  I'm wearing it over my padded petticoat and one plain linen petticoat, and on my feet I've got the Fugawee Annas that [livejournal.com profile] undycat gave me.

curtian petticoat (6)

curtian petticoat (8)

For the fall opening/pocket slits, I placed a scrap RS together with the skirt, then stitched a narrow rectangle, slashed down the center, and turned the scrap/facing to the WS.  I used a pick stitch to edgestitch the opening and for strength I worked a buttonhole stitch around the bottom. I don't know if this is period but it sure made sense to me.

detail view )

Now, about that hem.  I've handsewn this entire ensemble so far, and I've really enjoyed it!  But for all that I am a recently converted handsewing fanatic, I haven't handsewn a skirt hem in at least, oh, um, 10 years?  I've hemmed small projects, like my cuff ruffles.  But a whole skirt? It is daunting.

The other thing I have been up to is stringing beads.  I always think this will take 10 minutes but it always ends up being over an hour before I have something I'm willing to wear out of the house.  I worked on a few projects and they are all pink.  I did not plan this.

I often have issues with necklaces because my collarbones are knobby, which makes necklaces lay funny, and I also have a sensitive throat; I can't stand anything heavy or tight over my throat or I start feeling like I can't breathe.  So sometimes the necklace lengths are awkward but they are what works for me.

Photos! )
elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
I'm using 3 panels for the curtain petticoat.  Maybe a bit too full for casual wear?  But at 52" across, I thought just 2 panels would be too modest.

I've handsewn all the skirt seams.  I matched the print carefully and used a running stitch with a single backstitch thrown in every 8-10 stitches.  I tried to keep the stitches a scant 1/8".


My matched seam! Can you spot it?


The only problem with using an odd number of skirt panels is that I now have to slash and bind for pocket slits instead of just leaving a seam open at the top.  That's my next step!
elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
I finished the edges of the jacket and did the eyelets.  I spent one afternoon concentrating on eyelets and managed to get all 20 done in one sitting.

jacket eyelets 001

The linen thread I had was the wrong color (bleached white) so I went to 3 Kittens to see if they had anything comparable in beige.  I ended up with a slightly too thick, slightly slubby linen needlepoint thread, but it sewed like a dream and matches nicely.

detail views )

I'm only really half done; there's still the stomacher to make, sleeves, and of course the matching petticoat.  But the only real question left is my lacing.  Here are a few options that I have in the stash.  Thoughts please?

jacket eyelets 004

[Poll #1916441][Poll #1916441]
elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
Not much progress here but I feel like posting anyway.

Got the curtain jacket together and starting doing the edges.  Found [livejournal.com profile] koshka_the_cat's video very useful for understanding the point a rabbatre sous la main - the most cumbersome-ly named stitch ever, especially since it is deceptively simple.  Thanks, Katherine!

I didn't plan to set the sleeve on the body (or form) since it is smooth and without pleats, so I've already completed the armscye and I'll just set it as I would a modern sleeve.  The sleeves are cut but I'm trying to figure out how to sew the dart neatly.  I think I will press the seam allowance under on both outer fabric and lining and then whipstitch from the right side, with wrong sides together.

I also made the mock-up for HB's coat and it looks awesome.  I could tweak the fit at the side back slightly, but it's so close to being right I don't even want to mess with it.  I just shortened the sleeve a little.  I can't believe a pattern could actually work so well right out of the envelope like that.  J. P. Ryan, where have you been all my life?

Both projects, however, have kind of lost their specific motivator, since an 18th century picnic is off the table for now.  My local group coordinator suggested we make it Victorian so people would actually show up, and try (again) to plan (even further) in advance for an 18th century event so folks can sew something to wear.  I guess we are just not so big on the 18th c here in MN.  But I can still wear this one for CoCo.

So a Victorian dress for the little girl needs to be in the plans soon if we still want to actually do a picnic!
elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
I've got most of the curtain jacket together.

curtain jacket (3)

I fussy-cut the jacket pieces so I wouldn't have awkward mirroring of the print.  I didn't try to match; I just wanted the motifs spaced so they would read as a random balance.  This was kind of a waste of fabric, but I still have plenty for sleeves and a petticoat so I don't much mind.

curtain jacket (5)

My seams look a little wonky, but I like them.  I'm using the construction method described in Costume Close-Up: at each seam, two outer pieces and one lining piece are stitched from the right side with a backstitch, so that one piece laps over the other at the seam.  Then the remaining lining piece is slip stitched in on the inside.

I started out with closely spaced backstitches, but it bothered me that they didn't read as hand sewing!  The seam just looked like a badly sewn machine seam.  So I switched to spaced backstitches, and I like them better.
elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
I'm going back to my jacket from Costume Close-Up. I got my stays on and tried my mock-up yesterday, and I think it was close enough, so I made just a few tweaks before cutting my real fabric, the curtains!  So now I have actually started making my curtain-along dress, yay!

I fussy-cut the bodice pieces just because I knew I would end up with an awkwardly repeated motif somewhere if I didn't.  I have tons of plain linen in the stash for lining.  I plan to attempt to handsew it all the same way the original was sewn.  Wish me luck.

I still need to figure out some trim.  I can re-use the plain lawn cuff ruffles from my caraco, but I wonder if I should stick some pleated ribbon or pinking or something on this thing.

The only real mystery is the stomacher.  The books says the dress originally laced closed over a stomacher which is now missing, and I think I can make one up well enough, but how do I attach the stomacher to the gown? Do I pin it in somehow or does the tension of the lacing just hold it in place?
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