To make a Bergere (Take 2)

Thinking about my costume for the up-coming 18th century event in late August, I know I needed to solve the problem with what to make of my hair/head.

As a (really) short haired modern person, I always struggle with my historic personas hair. usually I just put a cap/hat on it, but sometimes that is not an option (or at least a lesser option). (Here is how I solved it for the 1825s party this spring).

I have a 18th century “hedgehog”(ish) wig that I’ve tried to restyle before to better but not perfect result.  But to wear a synthetic wig, inside in the mids of summer was not something I looked forward to. And besides, I know there would be a really talented wig-maker at the party, and I had no desire to sow her my meager skills.

My other option was to wear a cap, Which I think work just fine with les fancy stuff.
I did consider making a fancier frillier cap for the occasion but without the correct hairdo, a sheer organdy cap would look even worse then my old cotton one.

So, how would I complete this outfit in the best way?

A would wear a Bergere, of course!

But my old one is not really up to my standard any more Here you can see both the wig and the Bergere in is first adaption

So I decided to make myself another one.

Starting the night before the event(s), I found a cheap (real)straw hat in my stash that I bought on sale from a big clothing store, a few months earlier for just such an occasion as this.

I started by removing the (glued on) black ribbon  And un-picked the stitching a few rows up on the crown so I could lift it of and snip the straw braid at good level.Then I continued to un-pick the stitches on the crown. This went really fast since it all was made with chain-stitches which (if you got hold of the right thread) you can just pull right out. 

I removed almost all of the hight in the crown and then used some hot water to reshape the rest of the crown and brim to match eachother before stitching them together again. I stitched it on my sewing machine, just like I did on my sisters 1860s straw hat, and in a minute it was done. sitting on my wig-stand to dry.

Once dry, I tried out some different ways to shape and wear it, using a piece of dotted chiffon to tie around the head.

once I shaped the brim to my liking (a bit up at the back and down at the front), I attached the ribbons to the underside of the hat, as seen in paintings and extant pieces..

Once the basics was done, I tried the hat on to see how I would best wear it.

With my wig


Or with my cap

Then, as a final detail I decided to and a narrow band of lace to the edge of the hat to make it softer and to look more finished. 

The finished hat:


Just the facts:

What: a modern straw hat reshaped into a 18th century Bergére

Material: 1 cheap straw hat, thread, 80 cm thin lace and

Time and cost: about 2-3 hours if you don’t include the time it took to dry. And the cost was less then 100 Sek (8 Usd).

Final thoughts: I really like it, but I´m not sure how to shape it to look its best. I wil defienetly be wearing it for more events in the future.

And a few behind the scenes shots:

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“Jane” A Regency Daydress – Construction Part 2

The second part of “Romantic Recollections” Regency challenge was to add embroidery to the piece I just made.
But since I’m a total beginner at embroidery I decided to not risk my new gown but instead make a reticule to decorate.

My inspiration

For the design I turned to my book about 18th century Embroidery. 

I used a design element from a original pair of stays but changed the style from metalwork to silk embroidery.   My design sketch based on the drawing from the book.

It took me two nights but once the embroidery was complete I pressed them to circles of stiff fusible interlining.  Then I stitched the bag from a long strip of satin, gathered it to the circles. The lining was made a lot smaller and in regular cotton sheeting. I made a channel at the top and added ribbons for straps.  Although the bag turned out nice, the proportions are all wrong, and it’s way to big. So after I took some pictures of it, I took it in quite a bit to make it better.

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To finish the look (from Janet Arnolds book) I also needed something I’ve been planing to make, but never taken the time for before – a Chemisette.

So now was the time 🙂

Using the pattern diagram and pictures from Arnolds Book I quickly cut and stitched the chemisette.  This pic is from Bradfields “Costume close-up”

The thing that had me thinking the most was the “Mushroom-pleated” collar, something I knew I would not be able to do with my cotton lawn and limited time. So i opted for a simple gathering to the neckband instead.

I cut the three layers of Ruches in different lengths, and pinked the hems.

The Finished Chemisette:   And the collar “Puffed”:   Worn with the dress: 

1865s Kaki Walking suit (HSM 7/2017) Part 2 – accessorize

A dress does not make an outfit, and besides the skirt and jacket, my sister also needed some additional items
(part 1).
inspiration

I’ve made her basic undergarments earlier this spring:
 Huge elliptical hoop crinoline
mid 19th century corset

But one thing I hadn’t had the time for was a proper petticoat
(one that actually was wide enough to fit over the huge hoops).
So that’s where I begun.
Using 2,5 white cotton sheets from IKEA I cut and pleated a whole afternoon and evening, before I could call it a day and consider myself done.  

When the under-layers was done (I know, I know – She could easily have used her another petticoat, but this will have to do for now) it was time for the rest of the outfit.

On the same event 2 years ago, I made my sister a more basic version of this years outfit, so some of the pieces she needed was already waiting in the closet.  We re-used the shirt and swiss-waist she’d worn last time.
Added a longer silk-ribbon to the neck and that was that 🙂

Well, actually she still needed something on her head…

I’d warned her beforehand, that I might not have the time to come up with something new, but when I came upon this perfectly cheap straw-hat (IKEA, once again) a few days before the event, I knew I needed to give it a try.
I Started by picking almost the whole hat apart.

I only left a few cm on the crown, before I (with the fashion plate as a guide)started to pin the braid back in a different shape. It took me several hours and multitude of re-pinning and starting all over again before I finally had a shape that was good.

after a first try at hand-stitching, I decided that if it couldn’t be done by machine it was not meant to happen this time (since this was the night before the event).
Turns out, it worked like a charm.   It was a bit fiddly to turn the brim around inside my machine but with the right angle (and the use of free space ove r the table edge) the hat was stitched in no time.  
Once the base was done I started adding decoration, using the same braid as on the jacket & skirt. Note the braid stitched both to the upper and under sides of the brim.

The final touch was to add some flowers and I opted for a nice pop of color with a few of these plastic flowers.

The finished hat: 

Bonus pictures of my little helper, getting the hat to sitt exactly “right” on my mannequin head. 

And the whole outfit completed

1825s silly, silly evening hair

One of the things I got the most compliments on wearing the new 1825s outfit was the crazy as hair I sported.

There’s a party on my head…

Since I don’t have a lot of hair on my own – modern everyday style beats once in a while historical hair-possibility’s, I needed to do something drastic to disguise the modern me for the upcoming historical ball.

My first thought was to use my “go to” solution – A turban.
It’s easy, cute, comfortable and perfectly accurate for the time period.

But then I would need some fake curls for the bangs…
..and those 1820-30s hair are pretty fun and crazy…
..Maybe… I could…what if I…Hm, this flower wreath looks cute…and this braid is almost a perfect match for my hair…

And then I was caught.

I searched my bookshelf, my bins of hair-accessorize and the box of neatly rolled spool of fake hair I’d cut from a wig a few years back and never used.
Collecting the material.

After reading through “The laced Angels” blogpost about her 1830s hairdo I felt confident enough to give it a try.

I started by cutting apart one plastic “doughnut” (the kind ballet dancers/gymnasts use, which suddenly got really popular a few years back) 

Then I separated a few of the curled pieces of fake hairand twisted them around the doughnut/crescent, adding glue where needed.To make it sit more secure on my short  hair I added two wig clasps to the ends of the piece.

Then I cut the black elastic from a hairband-braid, and glued it together to form a circle.Not a nice joint, but it will be covered by other things later so I’m not overly concerned about it.

I Braided a few of the other pieces of fake hair,and put together a the rest into two clusters of curls for the bangs.All the pieces lain out roughly the way the’r suppose to sit on the head.

Here’s my first try at putting it on:
Starting with a back combing of my own bangs, and a brown hairnet, to keep all the short hairs from acting up.

Then I pinned/clipped the crescent on top of my head.

I added the two curly bits to the front/side of my face

and put the two braids on to cover the edge of the cresent.

Finally I added a wreath of purple plastic flowers

As you can see, I definitely needed to do something about the back of my head. Something I fixed by re-arranging the hanging braid and adding a white flower over loops of  pearls stitched to the back of my the thick braid.

A few days before the event I dyed my hair a bit darker red to match the hairpieces.
Blending together much better now.

Here’s a few pic from the photoshoot:

Regency Headwear – Riding bonnet/helmet/?

While working on my recently finished Regency spencer, I also decided I (of course) needed the headdress the lady in my inspirational picture is wearing.

Looking pretty awesome, right?

Starting with a modern wool hat I got on sale from one of the leading fashion stores, I begun my hat making adventure.


Before

I stated by removing the inner stay band and completely soaking the hat in hot water.

Then I used force and even more hot water to shape it in a somewhat oblong shape. In short supply of proper hat making equipment you got to use what you got…

When dry the hat had a rough but much better shape then before. The brown ribbon is pinned on, to hold the brim in while the hat dried.

The shape after the first round.

Once dry, it was time to cut the shape of the bonnet. Roughly drawn markings on where to cut the brim down.

Looks pretty decent, but the brim was still to wavy to work.

So I got to work steaming the brim and shaping it using my hands and a plastic bowl

Much better.

Then I re-stitched the inside stay-ribbon

using orange thread – ops…

Lastly I added some bias cut scraps of the spencers red wool to make the bonnet look even more like the inspiration.

I also remembered (even though it really was in the nick of time) to add some millinery wire to the brim to help it keep its shape. I finished the hole thing of by adding a woolen chokade and a cotton neck tie.

The finished bonnet:

Complete outfit

The facts:

What: a 1805s riding bonnet

Pattern: None,just a re-shaped and cut hat.

Fabric & notions: 1 black wool hat, thread, scraps of red wool and black cotton, 20 cm millinery wire, 1 hook & eye and one gold button.

Time & cost: Not including the time it took to dry, I’d say about 3-4 hours. The only thing I bought anew was ten hat and it cost 35 Sek (3 Usd), the rest is scraps.

Final thoughts: I’m really happy of how it came out, and I think I looks smashing. But I must admit it looks a bit like a combination of a riding helmet and a truckers hat 🙂

Make-do Pieced shawl (HSM 2/2017)

One other thing I made that would fit perfectly into the challenge of “Make-do and mend” for last months HSM, is this simple cotton shawl/neckerchief.

It started out as a small piece of rectangular fabric (50 x 140 cm) that I got for 10 sek (1 Usd) at a estate sale last summer.

It reminded me of lots of Swedish folk costumes and fabrics worn by my peasant ancestors back in the day.

I knew I wanted to make something that could be paired with outfits from 18th century all the way through to the 1920s. But what?

It was the small amount of fabric (les then 50cm) that made the choice for me – a shawl/neckerchief/fichu, would be perfect.

The only problem was the piece was to short to make a proper shawl.
But as they say – “Piecing is period”…
Time for some mathematics.

I cut the fabric in 4 different sized pieces and then attached them again to get that biggest size shawl with the least amount of seams possible.

The sewing itself was noting special, just spaced backstitches and folded over edges and hems. detail of pieced corner

finished but not yet pressed.

The only thing that I wasn’t completely happy with was the fact the plaid was a un-even, which caused the side-turned piece not possible to pattern match. But I don’t think that will be noticeable once worn.

The finished shawl:

Paired with my 18th century “Outlander” jacket:


Just the facts:

Challenge: nr 2/2017 – Re-make,

What: a 18th-20th century neckerchief/shawl/fichu

How it fits the challenge: The fabric is second hand from a estate sale, and I pieced the fabric to make a bigger shawl then the original fabric.

Pattern: None – just made some quick calculations.

Fabric/Notions: 70 cm blue/white plaid cotton fabric and thread.

Time/Cost: About 15 Sek (1.5 Usd), and 3 hours.

How historical accurate: Spot on I think :-). The material and weaved in plaids are good, and so are the stitching with waxed linnen thread and the fact that I pieced together a bigger piece from a smaller one.

First worn: Beginning of Mars for photos

Final thoughts: I think it is good, and i will probably get some use out of it being so simple and non time specific.

Regency Apron – Photoshoot

For the photos of my new apron I wanted to try to copy the inspiration print s much as possible, and since I haven’t made the rest of the outfit, I picked some pieces from my existing costume wardrobe that would some what give the right look.

I’m wearing my white regency evening gown, regency stays, cap, fichu, mittens and a few different hats and bonnets (like my green silk 1860s, brown velvet 1840s) for props.

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Behind the scenesimg_2436

Regency Apron (HSM 1/2017)

Since my plan is to go for easy pieces this year (yeah, Erhm, sorry that ship’s already sailed) I decided to submit a lovely piece of clothing I started sometime this fall and only finished a little while ago.

Namely this pretty Apron:8b05963d5ee97df4f28e42f9f5f09e09I loved this print since I first saw it and been wanting to re-create it for quite some time.

The first thing I did was to dig up a piece of soft cotton satin in a lovely dark green color, which I scored for basically nothing at a flee-market a while back.
The fabric was only 1 m long but that was exactly enough.img_2191Some creative cutting (without piecing, Yay!)

img_2198I started by hemming the sides, and  bust “flap”, using my sewing machine, since sewing time is scarce at the moment.

Then I stitched and turned the tubes that was to become the shoulder straps.img_2200

The hardest part was to figure out the bust flap and the closing, since I wanted to be able to wear it in several different ways (Flap up/down, Straps straight/crossed at back)img_2228I ended up only attaching the flap at the “waist” so that it could either be folded down (hidden) or pinned to the straps if worn up.

Then I marked the buttonhole placement, and stitched them (using my machine). img_2232

I finished by adding the buttons, and a 10 cm wide piece of linen to the hem to give it some weight. img_2313

The finished apron:
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Bust flap down and crossed straps in back: img_2302

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Just the facts:

Challenge: 1/2017 “Firts & Last”

What: a Regency apron

How It fits the challenge: It would be one of the last pieces you put on before leaving the house/doing your chores. It’ also the my first venture into the late Regency/early Biedermeier but not my last since I now wish to make the whole outfit from the inspiration print.

Pattern: None, I drafted my own – It’s basically a trapeze with shoulder straps.

Fabric: 1 m green cotton satin and 15 cm white linen for hem binding.

Notions: Thread and buttons

Historical accurate: Besides from the machine stitching and maybe to “weak” fabric I would say it is pretty good. The shape is good and the construction is plausible. about 6/10

Time: About 4 hours – figuring out the construction took the longest time.

Cost: 30 Sek (3 Usd) – got to love those flee Market bargains.

First worn: Mid January for pictures

Final thoughts: I think it looks pretty good, and helps “dress down” my more fancy frocks in a pretty way.

A Royal Cape – Fake it ’til you make it

To turn my Elizabeth I dress into something a bit more royal, I decided to make an ermine cape.

I originally wanted to make a coronation robe like the one my inspiration painting (below), but since I only got scraps left from the dress fabric, I opted for a simpler (and more theatrical/fake) style.

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I used my old cape pattern, and a soft white fake fur I bought a few years back to made a short cape.img_1313

Then I cut small pieces of a black fur trim I had in my stash and placed them on the cape to get the ermine look.img_1345Testing the spaces of the black “tails”.

Once I decided their placement I stitched them on by hand.img_1394

An hour later the cape was finished.img_1391

The finished cape:
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The facts:

What: A fake Ermine cape

Pattern: I drafted my own.

Fabric & Notions: 0,5 m white fake fur, 30 cm black fur trim, thread, hook and eye.

Time & Cost: 2 hours (1 hours to attach the black fur pieces), about 100 Sek (10 Usd)

Final Thoughts: Not one of my finest works, but it will do for its theatrical purpose.

Elizabeth I – Construction part 3 – French Hood

The next thing that I needed to make to complete the Elizabethan look was some kick as headwear.
And what is more associated with this time period then the french hood.

Bildresultat för elizabeth french hoodElizabeth I in “power suit” and crazy perm – and some kind of french(isch) hood.

I used the pattern from “The Tudor Tailor”, and “A Damsel in this Dress” great tutorial for the construction.

Starting by cutting the fabric from the (by now VERY limited) scraps of the golden brocade I used for the dress, cotton sheet for lining and buckram.
img_0996 I used the version with the pointed font edge, to make it a it later in style then the regular ones you often see.

Then I stitched the millinery wire to the buckram and the brocade to the now even stiffer pieces. 14215737_10210265177447468_1049756619_oAttaching the outer fabric by stitching over the piece again and again.

Then I added the lining.img_1004

And steamed the pieces into shape. img_1025Side piece/headband seen form the side.

Despite careful measuring and testing of the pattern it ended up a bit to small, causing me to eliminate the seam allowance and stitching the the back seam edge to edge. img_1026Which I then covered with another scrap piece of fabric.

Then it was time to make the billiment, using plastic and golden pearls. img_1085

img_1087Attaching the string of pearls to the edge of the cresent.

Another piece of billiment was pleated using satin ribbon and attached o the front edge of the hood.img_1303

Then I added the cresent to the baseimg_1305

and stitched the lining/bag to the back.img_1309 Here you can also see covering of the piecing at the back.

img_1306The hood from the inside

img_1300From the side.

The last thing to do was to make and attach the veil.
I used some nice black velvet cut almost in the shape of a sleeve, and attached to the back of the hood. img_1273In case you wonder, <= This is how I made almost the whole hood (carrying my baby on my body)

The Finished Hood:
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(Worn with Elizabethan dress, partlet, jewelry and neck ruff)
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Facts:

What: A 1550s French Hood

Pattern: French Hood from “The Tudor Tailor”.

Fabric & Notions: Scraps of golden brocade, cotton lining, and buckram, 1 m satin ivory ribbon, thread, 0,5 m black velvet, 2 m millinery wire, ivory and golden pearls.

Time & Cost: About 5 hours (its almost completely made by hand) and about 100 Sek (10 Usd)

Final Thoughts: I LOOOVE it! 🙂
I think this is one of my best millinery work so far. It look so nice and authentic and I had so much fun making it.