“Jane” A Regency Daydress – Photoshoot

And so it was time to get some photos of the new dress.
I’m wearing (besides from the dress) my regency stays, a chemise, stockings, ballerina slippers, my old straw bonnet, the new chemisette and embroidered bag.

photo by: Elin Evaldsdotter

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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: 

“Janet” A Regency Daydress – Construction

In may I heard that “Romantic Recollection” Started a Regency challenge where you were to make something from the Regency period and then embellish it with some kind of embroidery during the course of may-June.

And as I’m always up for challenges and reasons to try new things I decided to join.

After some thoughts I decided to push myself to make a dess i’ve been thinking about for quite some time but never goten round to make.

The 1800s Apron/dropfront daydress from the Snowhill Manor Collection and Janet Arnolds “Pattern of Fashion” (thats also where this dress got its name).  love the detailed drawings of it’s construction and the enlarged detail of the fabric pattern made me think of something I my stash. Remember this fabric?I’ts what I used for my 1825s Biedemier ball gown

You might aslo recall my disappointment when discovering the back of the bedsheet was white instead of purple.Something that turned out just perfect for this dress 😀

After carefully cutting the les then 2 m of fabric, I started by stitching the pin-tucks on the front flap. 

Then I assembled the bodice and stitched it to the skirt. With the front down.

Then I stitched together the sleeves and added them to the dress.  lastly I made and attached strips of fabric for tying and a small pad for the back to hold out the skirt

The finished dress:   

Just the facts:

Challenge: Romantic Recollections “Regency summer challenge”

What: a 1798 – 1800s Regency dress

Pattern: I used a mixture of “Simplicity …” and my own draft based on Arnolds pattern diagram för the Snowhill Manor daydress.

Fabric & notions: 1/5 a beedsheet, 0.5 m white cotton and thread.

How historical accurate: Pretty good. The print’s not period but the fabric and the look of it is good, and even though it made mostly by machine all the finishing are made by hand. So maybe 8/10.

Time & cost: About 10 hours and 100 Sek (10 Usd)

Final thoughts: I really like this dress  and it makes me quite happy. The only thing I would change is to fix the front slits which now stands away a little from the body.

1825s Purple evening gown – photoshoot

The day after I finished my dress I’d scheduled a photoshoot with my sister (and her 1860s ball gown).
Perfect timing 🙂

We took a while getting ready, working hard to get our hair to behave in a acceptable way. And I got to try my newly finished hair-pieces (more about that in an upcoming post).
For these photos I’m wearing my purple 1825s evening gown, Regency long stays, chemise, petticoat, white stockings, ballet flats, long white gloves, fan, pearl necklaces/wrist band and a flower wreath in my hair.

Photo: Elin Evaldsdotter

Regency Riding habit – Photoshoot

Once finished I asked my sisters to help me with some photos of my new regency outfit.

The day was nice with a clear spring sun, but a bit windy and chilly, so we where all pretty cold by the time we where done.

I’m wearing my new Spencer, riding bonnet, my white regency ball gown, long stays, petticoat, low boots and some accessories like gloves, a fichu and a shawl.

Inspiration

Photo: Elin Evaldsdotter

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 🙂

A long awaited Spencer Jacket (HSM 3/2017)

I finally did it, the one thing I’ve been talking (and thinking about) for about 4 years.

I made a Regency Spencer!

Yay!

I’ve been wanting one since I first got into this hobby.
Doing the occasional regency dance recital in our often les then agreeable Swedish climate (I’m thinking of you – dance recital oct 2013), I felt I really needed someting more then a shawl and mittens to keep the cold of my back between shows.

So in planing this years HSM I (as usual) added the wish to maybe this year would be the year when I finally made that jacket. Not getting any big hopes up, what with a baby, starting work again, and another big costume all wanting my attention.

inspiration

But somehow I managed to get inspired, and to whip it out in between baby’s naps and other projects costume fittings.

I started by trying to decide which of my two Spencer patterns to use. Full of indecision I actually patterned and made mock-ups of them both.
Laughing Moon 129 “Wrap front Spencer”
 
I like the fit, and I LOVE the back peplum, and it was fairly easy to get together.

Period Impression 461 “1809 Spencer jacket”
I like the fit of the bodice, even though it felt a bit long and the peplum in the back was so wide it kind of got lost. Something that would be easily fixed, and I do love the way the waistband goes cross the sides and fasten on to the back piece.
I’ve also heard a lot (and not the good stuff) about the sleeves on this pattern, so I decided to try 2 different styles. The left sleeve is the original, which was bulky at the top, narrow at the wrist and twisted along the arm. For the left sleeve on my mock-up I used the previous patterned “Laughing moon” sleeve, which surprisingly fitted both my arm and the sleeve-cap much better.

After some debating back and forth my boyfriend decided for me, and I went with the “Laughing moon” style, with the fold down collar and the nice sleeves.

Then I busted my stash and found a lovely burgundy colored wool I bought for a Regency gentlemen tailcoat a few years back. I figured I could always get more fabric if I ever felt the need to make that (like that’s ever going to happen…).

Not sure if it was the reference image that inspired me or not (probably), but I also decided to make the collar and cuffs out of some black wool I got a whole bolt of in my stash.

So as usual, I cut the fabric, pinned and stitched the main pieces together. bodice stitched together.

I made the sleeves

end stitched, cut, turned and attached the collar.I haven’t padstiched anything since fashion school, and it felt great doing it again.

I inserted the lining, and clipped and turned the bodice.

Then I tried it on.  Sorry for the pore quality mirror selfies

That’s when I realized something was of with the collar.
 Jupp, thats my boobs, and a VERY un-evenly attached collar

After some carefully re-measuring I discovered I’d stitched it on more then 1,5 cm uneven.
Crap!
After some hesitation, where I tried to figure out how to fix the problem in the easiest way possible, I un-picked the stitches a few cm around the “to long” edge, and turned in the amount of fabric/collar needed to make it even. Then I hand stitched it closed again. That’s what you call cheating, but there was no way I would un-pick the whole collar, with the seam-allowence already cut and jacked.

I also needed to re-stitch the points of the darts a tiny bit lower, to get it to sit nicely over my stays.

Then I finished it up, by attaching the sleeves and adding hook & eye for closure.

It was around this point, when trying to iron the collar to lie nicely, I realized I’d totally forgot to make the the inner facing on the front edge.

Doh… 😦

That would explain the white lining peaking out way to much.
Serves me right, for not wanting to waste time or tracing paper on linings and facings, but simply using the main pattern pieces for everything.

Well not much to do then to use force (which meant several rows of stitches and a whole loot of steam) to try to get it to lie nice.

The finished Spencer:

All the facts:

Challenge: Nr 3/2017 “The great Outdoors”

What: a 1800-1830s Regency spencer.

How it fit the challenge: It’s a wool jacket meent to be worn outdoors. The color (and my accessories) also makes it perfect as a riding outfit.

Pattern: Laughing Moon 129 “Ladies wraping front Spencer”

Fabric and notions: 1,5 m burgundy colored wool, scraps of black wool, 1,5m white cotton for lining, thread, 2 pair of hooks and eyes.

How historical accurate: So so. The Pattern and material are all good, but it is made entirely by machine using modern construction techniques. Strictly speaking it would be a 5/10, but since people of the period wouldn’t notice the machine stitched seams unless they were rely close I say 8/10.

Time: About 6-7 hours. It took me a week to make du to needed to wait for baby to sleep, but I’m confident I could whip one up in less then a day if I could work without interruptions.

Cost: Everything came from stash, but bought anew it would have cost about 150-200sek (20Usd).

First worn: Late mars for photos.

Final thoughts: I love it! I felt so nice in it, and would love to wear it as a piece in my modern wardrobe (Hm, maybe it will work well with jeans and a t-shirt…). It was also very fun and fast to make, and I’m already thinking about making a few more.

Bonus pic of me (multitasking) trying to get some blogging done in between mock-up fittings.

Shirts for a Gentleman

Last fall, right before I hit the wall sewing wise I’d taken on one of my rare commissions (I don’t usually sew for others unless its totally on my terms).
But when my wonderful dancing master Sievert asked me if I could help him update his historical shirts I couldn’t say no.

He needed both a new medieval and a new regency shirt to use on our dance recitals.

So I got some nice cotton (I know linnen would be more accurate but I was to make them on machine anyway. And they needed to be easy to wash and care for), made some quick pattern calculations and cut the rectangles needed for both the shirts.

Then I stopped, put my head in the sand and closed my eyes to everything sewing/historical (because pregnancy can do that to you)

More then 10 months later (after the birth of my son, and then some), I was once more ready to tackle the shamefully late commission.

So after one intense week of sewing in between feedings, I managed to sew and deliver both shirts.img_0882

The process went pretty fast and straight forward except one little hiccup –
While putting the last hand on and pressing the Medievals shirt I noticed the seam allowance on the outside on one of the sleeves.

Meaning i’ve put it in inside out.

Crap!

So it was on to un-picking the french felled seam (with hand finishing:-( )
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I then turned the sleeve outside- in and re-attached it, pressed and once more used tiny hand stitches to fell the seam.

There done!

Or, wait a second…

NOOOOoooo!!!

I done the exact same mistake AGAIN!

Some of you might remember that I’ve done this before (on my Borgia chemise les then a month before).

How is it even possible that I didn’t learn?
By now I tossed the damned thing into the corner and went to sleep, debating with myself if I could leave it like that.
Of course I couldn’t – It was  a commission piece after all.

So bring back the seam ripper.

The only trouble was that these folded french seams needs really small seam allowance to look good, and the only way to achieve that is by trimming it after you stitched the first seam. This practice, and the fact I’ve done it wrong not one, but twice, meant that I cut of about 1,5 cm on the left shoulder compared to the right. Making the whole garment a bit of.

Once the sleeve was re-set, a third time, I quickly finished and packed the shirt away, out of sight.

The finished medieval shirt:img_0420

img_0388The final result after all the re-stitching.

img_0428Sleeve with ties

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Then it was time to get cracking on the Regency shirt.

This time I didn’t do the same mistake (Hurray!), and the shirt was finished in a few days.

The finished Regency shirt: img_0873

img_0878Metal buttons on a standing collar.

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The two shirts now at their new home.img_0884Lets hope he gets a lot of wear out of them.

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.