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)

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.

Re-make a pair of bodice (HSM 2/2017)

I tend to think these “make-do/repair/re-make – challenges” are pretty boring. And I never know what to make and feel kind of uninspired by the whole thing.

But then something always happens.

I guess it’s due to my ever growing costume wardrobe, and my inpatients (often pressed by deadlines) to get stuff finished, that I always end up with several entry’s for the “re-make” HSM challenges.

The first one, this time, is the fixing up of my 16th century “Pair of bodice” (corset) that I made as one of my first historic pieces back in 2013.
2013-03-01 14.33.57Mighty proud back then

Since I’ve long been dreaming of expanding my 16th century wardrobe (and just recently got both patterns and a lovely black wool for a robe) I decided it was time to go through the existing pieces to make sure they where up to speed.

2013-02-09 15.45.57 2013, and just starting to ventur into the world of historic costuming

 
February 2017, and still a novice (tough a bit more knowable)
The corset fit me almost the same as back in 2013, but that was not enough anymore.
It needed to be fixed.

Here is how it looked before I dug my seam-ripper into it.

The first thing I did was to take my measurements, and they tuned out (as I expected) to be the exact same with and without the corset on. I know that the 16th century silhouette don’t call for any sliming of the torso, but a column to get the right look of the garment. But despite that I wanted to minimize my “column” as much as possible – Oh the vanity…

One of the biggest problem in this was the thick (2-3mm) plastic zip-ties I used to completely bone the bodice.
They build on to the outside of the corset to give me the bigger/same size as un-laced.

So they had to go.

Or at least most of them.
After I unripped the bias tape covering the upper edge, I removed every other bone at the front, all bones at the sides and only left a few ones a the back. I also cut the remaining bones down a god cm to make them fit better into the channels.
Cutting down the plastic boning.

Once the bones was gone I faced another problem – now the whole thing was a bit to big…

So I grabbed my seam-ripper, and got to work removing the piecing I added for exactly the same (opposite?) reason when I made the bodice.

Once almost all the upper binding was removed, I also took the opportunity to shorten the shoulder straps.

By now the corset looked like some kind of roadkill, with everything hanging lose and the big pile of boning sticking out. 

 Quality control by my tiny “helper”

Then all that was left was to stitch everything back again.

The finished Pair of bodice:


All the facts:

Challenge: nr 2/2017 – Re-make

What: The re-make of my 16th century “Pair of bodice”

How It fit the challenge: I re-made the pair of bodice to better fit my current skill and body, making it a lot more likely I will actually wear them. I also got a lot leftover boning from the fix-up, that I can use for other projects down the line.

Pattern: None

Fabric/Notions: Thread

How historical accurate: Not at all except the shape. The whole thing is made with machine, in synthetic brocade using both plastic boning and metal eyelets (so sorry you guys…). But it is a clear example of how my knowledge and skill have grown and since they will never be seen, it don’t bother me as much as it probably should. about 3/10.

Time/Cost: About 3 hours and it didn’t cost me a thing (of one thing I gained a few cents with the opportunity to re-use the left over bones).

First worn: Beginning of Mars for photos

Finished thoughts: I’m happy that I now might finally wear them 🙂

***

And here’s a complimentary “striptease” 🙂

photos by: Elin Evaldsdotter

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:
img_2293

img_2292

img_2295

img_2296

img_2297

img_2299

img_2298

img_2300

Bust flap down and crossed straps in back: img_2302

img_2308

img_2303

img_2310

img_2304

img_2307

img_2309

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.

2017 – Planing Ahead

As we go deeper into January 2017, its time to plan this years sewing.

Yay!

This year I did things a little differently then usual (where I just pic ALL the things), because having a small baby really eats away of your sewing time 😉
So, this year I picked All the things I want to sew..

…and then I removed half of them.
All costumes with lots of pieces/decorations/complicated (and time consuming) elements had to go. Sorry, Not sorry.

Then I took a hard and “realistic” (yeah right) look at what was manageable with approx 1-3 hours sewing a week (more, if I could use nap time at its fullest but that’s hardly likely).

Then I took a look at my stash (because after half a year of maternity leave you really need to cut back on the excesses, like fabrics) and added that account into the ekvation.

And lastly I run everything through the eyes of the “Historical sew monthly” and possible events to come, and tried my best to match everything up.

So, after lots of forth and back, here is what i plan to make during 2017:
(Presented through the HSM17 lineup)

 The Historical Sew Monthly 2017:
(January-July)

January:
Firsts & LastsCreate either the first item in a new ensemble, or one last piece to put the final fillip on an outfit.

8b05963d5ee97df4f28e42f9f5f09e09I begun the work on the apron on this fashion plate back in December and it will be both my first entry into 1810-20s (late Regency), and possibly the last piece of this ensemble I can finish this year (even though I would love to make the dress and bonnet as well).
And for the purpose of this challenge the apron will be the first item on this ensemble and the last ting to put on before leaving the home.

February:
Re-Make, Re-Use, Re-Fashion
Sew something that pays homage to the historical idea of re-using, re-making and re-fashioning.

For this one I have two dresses that I would love to re-make to a better fit and perhaps even a better design.

IMG_2031 This 1780s Robe needs to be fitted better over my “new” stays, and perhaps let out a tad in the sleeves.

IMG_0522This 1910s evening gown needs a nicer back closure, and I think it would look better with the draping a bit more stitched down and controlled.

March:
The Great Outdoors
Get out into the weather and dirt with an item for outdoor pursuits.

I’m not quite sure on what to make for this one yet, but I would love to make either a Regency Spencerempire2

Or this 1910s wrap cape.4208693c640de62d4b97f0ac6ec639fdBeautiful, Isn’t it?

Another thing I’m contemplating is to make a 18th century hair decoration to match the brown Robe Anglaise above. fbac9dca5d32b7a9e85ab39e839c26ea 650e2205c62d97b75a2e1ba7ad3e4a16
Something like these two mixed up

April:
Circles, Squares & Rectangles
Make a garment made entirely of squares, rectangles and circles.

1237560510215538790warszawianka_chiton_clothing-svg-hiOn this one I plan to keep it simple with a Greek Chiton or Peplos made from one/two big rectangles of fabric.

I might also get time to make the frilly 1820s bonnet from January’s fashion plate.

May:
Literature
– Make something inspired by literature.

Also not sure on this one.
I would love to make a new Edwardian evening gown (if some of my fabrics speaks to me)mode1910-2

Or a green Regency day dress (or maybe a Pelisse) out of a pretty cotton fabric I’ve been sitting on for a few years now.5880ee0d1aa5d43db828e03caa587e55

Or I might just take this opportunity to finish my Robe a la Franchaise (begun in 2014)
21b6904ef6a12a9a9d65e486ef558bfd

The literature reference won’t be hard to find on either of them.

June:
Metallics
make something in silver, gold, bronze, and copper, whether it be an actual metal, cloth of gold or silver, or lamé.

I was planing on making one of these 1-hour dresses from the 1920s in a lovely turquoise jewel toned fake silk, but now that I read the challenge description again I realize that won’t do.ladda-nedPerhaps I can add some sparkle or a nice piece of jewelry to go with the dress, to make it fit the challenge criteria better.

July:
Fashion Plate
Make an outfit inspired by a fashion plate, whether it is a direct replica, or a more toned down version that fits the resources and lifestyle of the character you are portraying.

Another Regency piece I’ve been coveting for a while is a greek inspired over robe like his one.eveningfulldresslabelleassembleeapril1811

For the rest of the year (Aug-Dec) I want to wait a bit to decide what to do, since life and priorities change depending on sewing time/up-coming events or new interests.

So the last 5 challenges will be decided later this spring/summer.

AugustRidiculous 

SeptemberSeen Onscreen

OctoberOut of Your Comfort Zone

NovemberHSF Inspiration

DecemberGo Wild

Here is however some of the things I’m thinking about

A new 17th century evening bodiceelizabeth-capell-countess-of-carnarvon-ca-1665-sir-peter-lely

A 15th century Burgundian gownspinning-women1

A sheer Regency gown to dress up/down depending on occasion. 28187ad2219cb5718f1b8e6e7609ab73

A man’s Regency waistcoatk4202drw

Of course I also plan to make lots of new baby clothes and perhaps one or two modern dresses/shirts for myself.

Lets see what I can get done 🙂