Monday, August 31, 2009

Pocket progress...

Lots of posts here today but I've have lots of things to tell.
Here are my progress on the pocket so far:

Not the worlds most clear picture and the linen is very wrinkled from being carried around in my purse but anyway...
The stem on the wine and the outline of the dragon fly is made with stem stitch, and the leaves are made with satin stitch. I'm not very happy with how the leaves look, so I think I will try to make them with buillon knots instead. I work on this when I travel because I always get bored I don't have anything to do and have to sit still for hours.


I'm swimming in silk...

I got my silks that I ordered from B.R exports last week. The goods were absolutely fabulous and I'm so impressed by the service and the shipping speed.Five days! From India to Sweden!
Anyway, enough with boring talk and on with the pictures...

These are for the petticoat, trimmings for the pet en l'air and for covering and trim a mini tricorn that I'm planning to make. I ordered 3 yards of each. I can't wait to put my needles in these, they make a lovley rustling sound and they are so smoooth and shiny and lovely to touch on.
I also discovered that the pale blue goes very well with a red velvet that I have in my stash and that I've planned to make an 1790's pierrot of so I can wear the lovley petticoat with more than one outfit!

This isn't so exciting as the other twoo. It's just one yard of a white, thin plain silk that will be transformed into a hat lining and wide ribbon on my tricorn. On top of the silk is two samples of dupion that I was a bit curios about. I hade some ideas of making an 1780's cutaway gown with one of them but they were to slubby for my taste. It's a pity, I really liked the color combos.


One done, one (or two) to go...

I finished the under petticoat last Thursday, it's completely hand sewn and are made of a fine linen.
Here it is , worn over my pocket hoops:

I beg you pardon for the bad hair day and the strange facial expression :P
It's a bit funny, when I first made the hoops I thought I've might made them too small. Now I think they look freaking huge :P

I also put the buckles on my shoes just to get a feel for them and I'm quite happy with the look:

I still need to get some suede to make fake lapels and to cover the double straps and buttons but the overall look it's OK. (I have to tell you a secret, the buckles are made of 100% plastic which I discovered when I got them home but I think they look so good so I decided to stick with them anyway.)


Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Amadeus award!

I've never got one before so this is so fun!
Thank you so much Madame Berg.
I will ponder which five i will give it too (it's so hard!)
And I promise that it will be a more sewing related post soon, as all my materials for the outfit has arrived :)


Thursday, August 20, 2009

A quick update

Today will just be a quick list of what's going on right now.
My under petticoat is almost done, both waistbands are sewn on. I'm waiting for the sturdy cotton tape I've ordered to arrive, so I can sew on ties. I decided to go with cotton tape purely out of the economic factor. I get 3 m for 16 SEK, if I should go with the more historic correct linen tape I would have to pay 13 SEK/m. I felt that I prefer to spend my money on visible things ;)

The same place that had the tape also had other sewing supplies and some buckles. And I found very cheap but good looking ones for my shoes. They are made for a strap that 4 cm wide which should fit my covered shoe straps well. (9 SEK for one buckle, it's a steal ;) ):

I have transfered the embroidery design to my pocket today so tomorrow I can start to work on it. I will do some traveling this weekend so I hope I can work on the pocket on the bus and in the car.

Last night I tried on my stays (I was afraid that they would be to small) But they fit me pretty good even if I probably should loose some weight. I need to adjust the angle of the strap a bit and I will add some more boning to the side of the bust. I'm also contemplating to cut the armhole a bit deeper because it chafed me a bit yesterday. But maybe the chemise will prevent that? I think I will leave it for now and try it out. I can always lover the armhole later.The new boning material is on it's way to me, I'm going with synthetic whalebone for the body and crinoline steel for the bones at center back.

I've also started to construct the lining bodice for my pet en l'air. Originally I planned to use the pattern in Patterns of Fashion, but that one has a back that you can't adjust the sizing on. That means that I have to always tie my stays the same. That's noot so good. So now I decided to use the this method instead:
When I compared the pieces for the lining and stomacher with the pieces for my stays I made another discovery. My waist is almost 4 cm higher that the pattern waist. That means that I have to change the pattern quite a bit. Very well, I can't do so much about this until my stays are finished so I will just read marquise's instruction and get my self familiar with her process.


Monday, August 17, 2009

My pocket

Last night inspiration struck me hard and I took a pause from sewing my petticoat (which is almost finished, I'm currently sewing the waistband on the back).
This is what was left on my drawing pad when my muse was finished with me ( I've cleaned it up in photoshop):

The design for my pocket! I found the main inspiration for the wines in a fabric from the FASHION book and the dragonflies are well...I like dragonflies. First i tried to add little bows and roses and stuff to it but then I decided that I liked it better like this. I think its beautiful in it's simplicity.

I will embroider the motif with red work technique but with medium blue button hole silk on light blue linen instead of the standard red thread on white. The linen is a left over from my petticoat, it's a bit thin so I will interline it with a heavier linen before I bind the edges and the opening with blue silk ribbon.

Tomorrow night I'm going to order the boning for my stays so until they arrive I will work on my petticoat and the pocket. I love this project!


I've been shopping...

Today I found a goldmine for button lovers. The boutique is called "Knapplådan" ( wich means "the box of buttons") and is situated in a residential area in Uppsala. If you ever come to Uppsala, go there. There are buttons in every shape, material and color you can imagine!
Besides the butons they also have a great selection of pure button hole silk and ordinary sewing silk. They also have some buckles and a nice selction of ribbons. And the lady who runs the place is super nice! I will definately return to that place again.
Here are the link for their website (no online store though only info and the story behind the shop):

I had to limit myself to only buy things for this project, otherwise I would have left that place ruined...this is what I bougth (this time):

The spools is button hole silk in two diffrent shades of blue. The palest is for making the loops for buttons in my stomacher and the darker one is for the embroidery on my pocket. I plan to try to cover the wood button with fabric, if it works I will go back and buy more. The buckle will be one of several decorations on my tricorn that I'm planning, but more on that in a separate post.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Shoe update...

I've decided not to redress my shoes. I put my damask beside the shoes today outdoors in the sunlight and the light blue and the dark burgundy/maroon looked great together!
So my new plan is to make removable lapels and sew a removable cover for the straps that also covers the buttons. Then I can add a fancy buckle to the cover and voila, 18th century looking shoes :D

I made a quick try in some scrap fabric this afternoon and it looked pretty good. So tomorrow I will go into town and see if I can find some nice buckles and a good fabric for this little project. I have a upholstery velvet that almost match but I will give the fabrics stores in Uppsala a fair chanche before I cut the velvet.

I feel so clever now :P

I think I saw buckles similar to these in a craft store and I think they would look fabulous on my shoes.

I've also started on my under petticoat today. I'm sewing it by hand with white lined thread. I willl use "reinforced runnning stitch" i.e a running stitch wich a occasional back stitch. I read about this technique in "Kvinnligt mode under två sekel" and according to that book this was a coomon method for seams that don't take any strain.


"Oh, honey, does my hips look big in these?"

Here are finally a picture of my pocket hoops. I've used three sources for these,, Corsets and crinolines and a hand out I got when I was in tailor school. I just compared all three patterns and made something that was in between all of them ;)

The hoops are made of a sturdy cotton fabric with a herringbone weave. I've used it for corset lining before and had some remnants left. The boning channels are made of some unbleached cotton bias tape I had laying around. I used sewer tape for boning, I just put some electrical tape round the tips of it. I went with this because it was cheap and easy to get. (And stronger than plastic boning or cable ties)

I machine sewed all the seams and the channels but cast the seam allowances over and down by hand. I also hemmed the pocket opening and sew that the channels for the string by hand with a running stitch. I used cotton embroidery floss for the pocket slit hems and white linen thread for casting over the seam allowances and for top channels.

The whole thing is tied on with corset lacing made of polyester (it's sturdy and I had it at home and it won't be visible from the outside so I decided to go with it). And spend my money on things that will show instead :)

Next step is to repair my stays and make the bottom petticoat. When that's done I can start on my pet en l'air and calculate exactly how much material I need to buy for the striped petticoat and for the ruschings for the jacket.My plan is that it's easier for me to decide what lenght I want my jacket to have when I see how my skirts will fall over the pocket hoops. I think I will go for a short one, that hit like 10 cm below the edge of the hoop or something.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I found a pair of shoes...

So I found these darlings on a Swedish auction site called Tradera. They are made of a dark burgundy suede, have quite a heel and the perfect construction for remodelling into a pair of 18-th century look a likes.
My only concern is that I feel a bit evil to remodel something that's already so pretty...
And that they are a lot more high heeled than I'm used to (I'm usally a dr. marteens and sneakers kind of girl). I have worn heels like this before, but they had a platform deisgn wich made them much easier to walk in. But I have plenty of time to learn ;)Lägg till bild
Here are some more pictures of them from different angles:

I have'nt decided yet if I should redress them in black velvet or blue velvet. The black veriosn would make the a perfect "go with anything" shoes, but the blue would look stunning togheter with my outfit.

All those decisions!

Monday, August 10, 2009

A sketch and some research

A lot have been done since my last post. The pocket hoops are done, I just need to find a suitable string to tie them with. I will post a picture of them when string is found.I've got some nice shoes for cheap that I can redress.I have also made a sketch and lots of research and decided on what pattern to use.

But we start with my sketch:

When I made it, my plan was to make a gown/pet en l'air from the 1750's so I have a stomacher from that era on the sketch. I also made one side gown lenght and the other one short just too get both models in one picture.

But now I've discovered that I only have enough fabric for a pet en l'air from the 1770's so I will make a
comperé (button up) front instead as this was more common during that era. I will use the pattern on page 35 in Patterns of fashion by Janet Arnold. This pattern is for a sack dress but I will shorten it to get pet en l'air lenght. The good thing with this change of model is that I hopefully can get all sleeve cuffs, all ruchings and the stomacher front out of the same damask as the jacket. Wich is more period than my other soloution wich was to use a plain silk taffeta for ruchings and blue velvet for cuffs and stomacher.

On this sketch I have made the petticoat of silk taffeta with a self ruching. That's because the stiped fabric I aaawed about in prior posts was out of stock when I got to the store :(
This is what you get when you are to slow with making decisions :(

But I've still not completely decided if I should go with plain taffeta, I've found these fabrics at an online shop:

Both are 100% silk taffeta that is 54" wide. I'm thinking of a striped petticoat with one ruffle of the stripe on top a wider ruffle of the plain taffeta. I think it will look absolutely fabulous but I'm not 100% sure if it's historically correct. I've seen striped petticoats on both survived garments from this times and on fashion plates but they are always worn with a striped dress. I've not seen any proof of a not striped top and a striped bottom. Right now my inside historian and my inside designer has a big war going on... :P

Anyway, I think I will finish the pet en l'air first and then see what kind of petticoat I would like to wear with it. That gives my historian and my designer time to agree and it will buy me some time to do more research on the subject.