Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Thursday, January 27, 2022
Sunday, January 9, 2022
I started sewing this back in spring of 2017 and posted my initial thoughts and progress HERE. I actually did finish it that summer, but with one thing and another, I never got a chance to wear it and it just sat in a sad little pile in my closet.
Eventually the weather, my schedule, and the stars aligned - I finally got a chance to put it all on and take some photos!
I used the JP Ryan pattern for this dress. The back is cut "en fourreau," that is, in one piece from neck to hem, shaped to the waist with stitched-down pleats.
The back skirt can be poufed up with cord loops that hook onto self-fabric covered buttons. This manner of wearing the skirt is sometimes referred to in the modern era as "polonaise," but it's more accurate to say "retroussé." The polonaise was a completely different style of dress in this era. See Kendra Van Cleave's article on this topic for more.
The trim is scallop-pinked self-fabric, box-pleated along the stripes and stitched in the center. The trim goes around the neckline, sleeve ends, and bodice front. I angled the trim at the bodice side front for a faux-cutaway (or "zone") effect.
I used a scallop-shaped rotary cutting blade to cut the trim. Here's my comparison again of various pinking shapes.
The cuff ruffles are a simple white lawn that I hand-hemmed.
Shoes are Fugawee Annas. On my face I've got some modern mineral foundation powder, plus the liquid rouge and rose balm from Little Bits on Etsy. Big glass pearl earrings in my ears.
My hair is a hot mess in these photos. I had hoped to try a new style or make some extra pieces but I just ended up with the same old hairdo - what I used for my orange dress and pretty much any other time I've done 18th c dressup - and it wasn't behaving really well either. So it's a bit untidy, but in the dim afternoon light it's just a big dark blob anyway! As long as the general shape and volume was right I'm good!
Here's the basics of the hairdo:
I made this foundation of hair rats, wired and stitched together.
Made some false buckles.
Combed my hair forward, placed the rat foundation on top, and pinned it in place.
Combed my hair over the rat and pinned in place.
Braided the back section of my hair, looped it up, and pinned in place.
Pinned my false buckles in. Done!
I am pretty happy with the fit of the dress, however, I recently had some unexpected weight loss due to illness, so the bust area of this dress doesn't fit as well as it did before, and the neckline gaps just a bit. A small drawstring around the neckline and a bit of padding under the bust would probably fix this.
I took these pictures with the help of my kiddo at Irvine Park in downtown St. Paul.
Tuesday, January 4, 2022
This coat has been YEARS in the making. It's not that it was difficult, it's just that there's SO MUCH of it. Plus, it's kinda hard to stay motivated on seasonal sewing out-of-season. This wasn't exactly the first project I wanted to reach for in the hot days of summer!
Anyway it's done now and I am so glad!
I had a terrible time getting that collar to lay flat! The topstitching helped, plus rolling it into shape before stitching. Also I just love these buttons! Dug them out of the stash.
Sunday, August 29, 2021
- Pre-wash your fabrics! A mask that fits now might shrink and feel tight after washing.
- Use T-shirt or knit fabric ties. I cut 1" strips and pulled them to make them curl. I prefer head ties but this works for ear loops too. I left extra length to untie and adjust as needed.
- Line your mask with something smooth; anything linty can really irritate the nose. I used cotton sateen for my last few.
- Make your side channel small; the tie should fit snugly. That way you can adjust the straps and the mask will stay where you put it.
- Trim the heck out of your seam allowances. Grade, layer, and nest (press in opposite directions). Anything to reduce bulk.
Thursday, July 22, 2021
I made this quilt for a work display and I am so happy with how it turned out!