1865s Kaki Walking suit (HSM 7/2017)

HSM 7/2017 – Fashion Plate

I knew from the start this challenge would be an easy one (or hard, depending on how you see it), cause I often use pictures and extant garment as my inspiration. The only trouble was to pick which one to make.

But since my sister needed a new 1860s outfit for an upcoming event and I already had this pic saved on my ” wish to make someday” list, The choice turned out easier then expected.
Fashion plate from 1862

Close-up on the outfit I planed to make.

I also looked at some extant garments for additional inspiration and style choices. Then I got to work.

Using two beige cotton sheets from IKEA.
I started by cutting the skirt and used the same method and calculations as my latest 1860s dress, stitching the skirt together. This time it went a lot faster, since I already had the measurements and the technique down.

Once it was stitched and hemmed (after quick fitting) I added a singel row of braid around the bottom. Even though my insoiration din’t have one, I really liked the way t looked, and how it connected with the decoration to be made on the jacket.   

Then it was time for the jacket.

After some quick research and studying of pattern-diagrams and extant jackets on the internet I drafted my own pattern from my usual modern templates.

Then I stitched it together, inserted the double sleeves, added lining and begun working on the trimming.

 I used the same furniture braid as on the skirt combined with a brown pom-pom trim also from my stash.
Even though they weren’t a perfect match color-wise the effect was really nice.

A quick pic of the just “finished” outfit on the floor. Now all that was needed was some pressing and the right accessories. 

The finished dress: 

Just the facts:

Challenge: Nr 7 2017 – Fashion plate
“Make an outfit inspired by a fashion plate […]”

What: A 1860s Walking ensamble – Skirt and Zouvare Jacket)

Pattern: None – I drafted my own based on pictures and pattern drafts from the time.

Fabric & Notions: 2 beige cotton sheets (150 x 200cm/each), thread, hook and eye for skirt closure, 6 m of tapestry braid and 2 m of pom-pom trim.

How historical accurate: So so – The look and the pattern are good, but the fabric is way to thin and should have been either a thin wool or a heavier cotton. Also it’s stretching it a bit time wise by saying they used sewing-machines at this time, so thats another “wrong”. Maybe 7/10

Time: About 10 hours. more  then half of which went into hemming and trimming by hand.

Cost: About 150-200 Sek (all trim was in my stash from a notions clear-out a few years ago)

First worn: On June 10 for “The day of the Big Crinolines”.

Final thoughts: I think it turned out pretty good. My sister looked like she had fun wearing it and the whole outfit came together really well.

 

Grecian Chiton (Aka The “Liberty Dress”) (HSM 4/2017)

For the HSM nr 4/2017 – Circles, Squares and rectangles I (for once) knew straight away what I wanted to make.

A Grecian Chiton.

I’ve been wanting to expand my horizon (time-wise) and make some older things, so this challenge was the perfect opportunity for that.

I also wanted to make things as easy as I could, and needed to use material that I already own to cut down on both cost and effort while I tried to keep up with the challenges and taking care of my little one at the same time.

The fabric I choose was a beautiful jewel toned polyester charmouse(?) which I bought a few years back, in the hopes to make an Edwardian evening gown. That didn’t happened, and since I didn’t find anything else that would be more suitable for this project, that’s what I settled on.
The color is much more aqua in real life

I didn’t take any in progress photos, since the whole dress basically came together in one afternoon.
I just cut two lengths of fabric (150cm wide) and stitched them together at the sides, felled the seams hemmed the top and bottom, and added some beads at intervals along the upper edge to make for decoration.

And that was that.
Un-belted but finished

The finished dress:






Once one the dressform for photos I realize the fabric had the exact shade as the Statue of Liberty  So with a few extra details and some excess fabric I now give you – The Liberty Dress

Challenge: HSM nr 4/2017 – Circles, Squares and Rectangles

What: A Grecian Chiton

How it fit the challenge: The garment’s just two rectangles stitched together.

Pattern: None, used two widths of fabric.

Fabric & Notions: 2,5 m of aqua colored polyester charmouse, thread and perl-buttons for decoration. I also used a brown cotton string to tie around the waist.

How historical accurate: Not much.
The shape and hand stitching is right, but the fabric’s ALL wrong and should have been really thin linnen instead of plastic. 4/10.

Time & cost: It took about 3 hours (all hand-stitching) and since the fabric came from my stash it was basically free ( I think I payed 100 Sek/m (10Usd) for it at one time)

First worn: Late June for photos

Final thoughts: It’s such a basic dress and so simple. Yet I wish I’d had some better fabric for this project. But sometimes you just got to use what you have.

HSM 2017 – The rest of the year (Aug-Dec)

I always find it hard to plan a full year of sewing ni adwance, since so much can happen that will change your creative drift and interest.
So this year I only made plans for the first half of the “Historical sew Monthly“.

But as summer’s now upon us I think it is time to take a new look at the uppcoming challenges, and to try to figure out what I wan’t to create for the ending of this year.

August:
Ridiculous
Make something that was considered outrageous in its own time, or is just utterly ridiculous to modern eyes.

There are SOoo many things yuu could do here, like 1880s bustles, 1890s mutton-sleeves, 17th century trunkhose ore 1830s hairs (already done that:-).
But for this challenge I will try to finish my Robe a la Franchaise that I begunn in 2014.21b6904ef6a12a9a9d65e486ef558bfdIt’s not silly looking per se, but the panniers that it will go over are a bit cazy

September:
Seen Onscreen
Be inspired by period fashions as shown onscreen (film or TV), and recreate your favorite historical costume as a historically accurate period piece.

I’ve been wanting to make myself some more 17th century garb and now might be a good oppurtunity to get to it.
elizabeth-capell-countess-of-carnarvon-ca-1665-sir-peter-lely I’m thinking maybe a new 1860s bodice (since I already have a pattern)
Or maybe someting a bit more daring like a mantua (I’ve hears a lot of Swedes arte doing these now a days…)

October:
Out of Your Comfort Zone
Create a garment from a time period you haven’t done before, or that uses a new skill or technique that you’ve never tried before.

This one is hard, but I’ve been wanting to give menswear a fair try, so why not now. k4202drwI already have a Regency west cut and waiting, and if I can find the time I would love to also make a pair of breechers and a shirt.

November:
HSF Inspiration
Be inspired by something that has been made for the HSF over the years to make your own fabulous item.

 There are so many gorgeous and inpireing entrys to the HSF/HSM, that it would be almost inpossible to choose only one.
That I think I will approach this from the other angle – to decide the garment first, by going through my stash and then find the right inspiration from the comunity.

December:
Go Wild
You can interpret this challenge as an excuse to make something that incorporates animal print, or wild animals in some way, or to simply make something wild and over the top.

I also been craving an 15th century Burgundian gown for myself, and since those often are decorated with fur, it would be the perfect choise. spinning-women1

As you sure can guess, I’m planing a lot more costumes this year, 3 of which are already well on their way, that don’t fit into the scheduel that is the HSM.

1865s Teal Evening gown (HSM 5/2017) – Photoshoot

The week before the ball my sister came over to do the final fitting and to take some photos.

She is wearing her new green corset, orange cage crinoline, petticoat and 2 pieced gown. Accessorized with black gloves, black lace-fan, a black velvet bag, silver tiara and necklace. She is also wearing a chemise, stockings, bloomers and dancing shoes.

Photos: Elin Evaldsdotter

Bonus:
Video of the gown in motion (shaky mobile video – sorry)

1865s Teal Evening gown (HSM 5/2017)

When all the underwear (almost all, I still had the chemise and a second petticoat left to finish), it was time to get started on the dress itself.

Since the dress was for my sister, it was she who ultimately took all the decisions on the final style, and I came with lots of suggestions, inspirations and different looks.inspiration sketch

We finally decided on one main inspiration Evening dress ca. 1865, From the Cincinnati Art Museum

Since the budget was particularly scarce on this project, we decided to cheat and use a set of IKEA curtains I already had in my stash for the dress fabric.It’s a thin polyester in a lovely dark blue/teal color that would be really pretty in a style like this.

1 pair of 2,5m x 1.45m curtains would require some really thoughtful cutting and pattern layout, but with some math and quick calculations I was fairly shore I could get the dress cut from the fabric (as long as I didn’t do any errors…)

I also recently ordered 5 m of silver sparkles and a few m of black lace which both would be perfect for this project. (So, not stash, but almost:-))

I started by drafting the bodice pattern using modern templates and my sisters measurements.
Then I did a quick mock-up that we tried on over her recently finished corset.

Lots of adjustments needed

Just to be sure I got everything right (and since I didn’t had fabric for any errors) I did another mock-up of the bodice.

After the last alterations was made, it was time to cut the fabric.
Only scraps left.

Then I got to work making the skirt.

Starting by marking and stitching the silvery sparkles (which I’ve already cut apart) on the skirt panels.

Then I sewed the skirt panels together, interlined it with a black cotton fabric that also would serve as lining and pleated the top to my sisters waist measurement.
not completely happy about the look of the pleats, I put it on my dress-form (over the new crinoline) to get a beter look. Something seamed wrong.
So I grabbed my books and read up on the period way to pleat the skirts to he waistband, and there I found the answer – by the 1860s they left the knifepleats of the earlier period for a few double box-pleats evenly spaced around the skirt. So that what I did.
 Much better

Then I attached the skirt to the waistband and after a final fitting cut and hemmed the length. I also moved  some and added some extra sparkles and stitched on a narrow black lace ribbon to the bottom edge.

Then it was time to get started on the bodice.

I started by interlining all the pieces in a strong black cotton twill, after which I stitched the darts and the pieces together. I added some bias tape and bones to the seams to make the bodice old its shape.The interior of the bodice

Then it was time to try the gown on my sister.

Don’t you just love how she matches the wall… 
Thank good for multiple mock-ups. The bodice (and skirt) fit almost perfectly (the wrinkles you see at the back will disappear once I got the center back bones in).

After some minor adjustments, I set the sleeves and the lining and got started on the eyelet for the back lacing.Here I ran into trouble. after almost 3 months of planing and making undergarments for this dress, I still hadn’t found any suitable lacing cord in a color that would work for the dress. I’d been to every sore in town, searched the internet, contemplated using black or even discard of lacing for closure all together, when I realized I might in fact have something in my own stash that would work.
Hurray! The odd colored cotton cord I’d got on super sale a few years back turned out to be the exact shade of Teal I needed – what are the odds? Perfect match! – Is this a sign my stash are to big?

Once the eyelets where finished I stitched down the lining, hemed the sleeves made a belt and added some black lace to the neckline.  

Then I got my sister to come and try it on for a (almost) final fitting, where we marked the skirt length, stitched the belt on the bodice and added hooks and eyes to the waistbands of both pieces to keep the bodice from riding up.
We also decided on how to accessorize, and to ad a piece of the same black lace around the sleeves and hem.

And since I want to submit this dress for the Historical Sew Monthly nr 5/2017 – Literature, I did some thinking on what book I would choose to make it fit. Then came the obvious answer – Victoria and her Court by Virginia Schomp (find preview from Google Books here).
Because who if not Queen Victoria would house a gown like this.

The Finished dress:

Just the facts:

Challenge: Nr 5/2017 – Literature

What: A 1865s evening dress

How it fit the challenge: It’s a plausible outfit for one of Victorias many ladies in waiting, or even the Queen itself, as described in Virginia Schomps book Victoria and Her Court.

Pattern: I drafted my own after studying the 1865s dresses from Waughs Cut of women’s clothes and Arnolds Pattern of Fashion.

Fabric: 5 m of teal colored polyester curtains (2 pieces 250 x 145 cm each), 4 m of black sheets for lining and 0,5 m of black cotton twill for interlining.

Notions: Thread, Buttonhole-thread, 7 short bones, 1m black bias tape to use as bone casings, 1 m heavy interfacing for the belt, 1 belt buckle, cotton cord for lacing, lots of silver spangles and 7 m of black lace for decoration.

How historical accurate: The shape/look is right, but the construction, pattern and material are all modern. So maybe 4/10

Time: In total about 20 hours (on the dress).

Cost: Almost everything came from stash and/or was really, really cheap. I think I payed about 300 Sek (30 Usd) total for everything. But on a dress like this there really is no limit at what it could cost.

First worn: For photos on May 1 by my sister, and later for a ball on May 6 2017.

Final Thoughts: Both me and my sister are totally in love with this dress. I love how it’s so stylized yet over the top at the same time. The small bodice comparied to the lovely exaggerated shape of the skirt, and the subtle sparkle of glitter when it moves makes me very happy. I also had a lot of fun making it. Only problem is, now I want my own…

 

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

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.

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.