1860s Huge Orange Cage Crinoline

The next piece (after the corset) I needed to make for my sisters 1860s evening attire was the crinoline.

And since I’ve been wanted to make one for quite some time, and already had the pattern, I just needed to decide on fabric and get started.Using “Truly Victorian” 1865 Elliptical Cage Crinoline pattern

Since I wanted to use as much of my stash as possible for this whole project (both corset and dress material are basically all from stash) I went diving in my fabric bins and came out with an unexpected (very) Orange cotton sheet that wold work.
 All pieces cut and ready

The pattern was really easy to follow, and I was so happy that I didn’t need to do any calculations what so ever on this one (as opposed to my 1850s self drafted crinoline). I did however need to use all my brain-cells and keep the concentration high when trying to get all the noted measurements and markings right.

The fabric I had was almost enough, and once all the pieces and ribbons was cut, all I had left was shreds, and I still needed some fabric to enclose the free hanging bones. this was all that remained

I contemplated getting another 5 dollar sheet, but decided on the easier (but way more expensive) alternative and bought the 15 m or so bias tape needed to cover the bones/hoops.

For boning I used metal pipe cleaners sold on rolls of 7,5 m at the local hardware-store.

I spent a full evening measuring, cutting, encasing and taping the bones to make them into neat bias covered hoops.

bias tape stitched and ready for the hoops

taping the edges together

After stitching the bottom “bag”, attaching all the vertical ribbons, making the belt and stitching the back “crescent”, it was time to get the hoops attached.  the 4 stages of making the fabric tubes

belt and cresent attached
and the bottom bag attached

The working was slow (but not difficult), and I loved watching the whole piece come together by pinning on one row of hoops after the other, matching all the pre-made markings.
late night work

slowly getting there

Once all the hoops was pinned to their mark, it was time to make the final adjustments to get everything to hang/sit smoothly and evenly.

much better
I’m not sure if it was my markings/measurements (probably) or some error in the pattern but It did needed quite a lot adjustments.

Lastly I spent two whole nights hand stitching the hoops to the ribbons.

To be sure I made everything correctly, and not made any foolish mistakes or own inventions, I used the sewing instructions quite a lot, referring back to them before, during and after each step. This made the work go slower, as it always does when working on something new and unfamiliar, but I do think it turned great.

The crinoline was awesomely big and that meant I couldn’t fit in my small sewing room, but needed to work in our loving room. Which also meant I couldn’t close the door but was forced to pack everything away as soon as the baby awoke (about 3 times a day).

It took me bout a week of 1-3 st 40-90 minutes intense work-sessions to get the crinoline done.

The finished Crinoline:

The Facts:

What: A 1860s Hoop Crinoline

Pattern: Truly Victorian (TV103) 1865s Elliptical Cage Crinoline

Fabric & Notions: 1 orange cotton sheet (about 2,5 m fabric), about 15 m of brown bias tape, tread, 1 belt buckle, 1 m of interfacing for the belt, about 21 m of hoop wire, duck-tape, 4 m of cotton sting. I also needed heavy pliers, strong fingers and lots of patients.

Time & Cost: The total time was maybe 10-15 hours and I guesstimate the material to about 400 Sek (40Usd).

Final Thoughs: I love it! It so ridiculously big and orange. And it looks gorgeous under my sisters evening skirts.
The pattern was easy to work with (even for one not used to the inch measurements), but I don’t think I’ll willingly do another one for a loooong time…

Green 1860s corset

Who knew it could be so much fun sewing guesses?

When I started working on the 1860s corset from “Past Patterns”, for my sister back in January I dreaded what was to come.

All the Guesses…
4 on each side = 8 on the outer fabric
+ 8 on the lining =16

Phu…

Then of course there was the question of the Mock-up = another 8
And me, my crazy as decided that a second mock-up was needed = another 8 guesses

I must say I lost count by now, but I’m not finished yet…

For once I started on my sisters corset, I of course wanted one of my own… (but that’s for a later post)

I think the final counting (including a few that needed re-setting) lands at about 60 or so.

But lets take this from the beginning.

This winter I got an invitation to my dance groups yearly historical ball, that was to be held in May.
I immediately asked my sister if she would like to join – which of course she would.
Then we started debating what to wear.
The timespan set for this ball was 1750s-1850s, so a pretty big gap and quite an ocean of possibilities.
I decided to postpone the difficult decision for myself a few months – after all I have a wardrobe full of dresses that would do (more on my thoughts on this dilemma in a later post).
But my sister only had one or two things from previous events, which non would work for this occasion. Quickly drawn sketches of possible ways to go.

And since The time I had to spend on her dress was limited by both my family and my work, we needed to find something relatively simple to make.
So after some debating back and forth, we (despite better judgment) decided to make her a complete set of 1850-1860s evening attire.
Of course…:-0

Starting with the corset.

And here we are.

I drafted the pattern from “Past Patterns” mid 19th century stay pattern, with some alterations for my sisters and made a mock-up.

Silly me, thinking that the few bones in this corset would hold upp the cheap cotton I use for most of my toiles. No It wont do. So I made a second mock-up in a much sturdier upholstery fabric (a friend bought at IKEA and gifted to me).
Sorry no photos of the second fitting, but it looked much better.

So I cut the fabric, a beautiful light green satin I got a few years back for exactly this purpose (well, it was intended for my corset, but what do you do – sometimes sisters need pretty fabrics to ;-)).

I interlined it with a sturdy cotton in a similar color from stash, and started on the gussets.

I stitched the boning channels, set the grommets and added the busk. 

Then I did another fitting, which I usually never bother to do, but since we where to meat for a cup of coffee I figured, why not.

That was a good call, since some adjustments still needed to be made.
I took it in a few cm at the top, let out a few at the bottom, shortened the whole thing a bit and added two extra bones on each side.
Only the bone in the middle is from the pattern.

Then I wrapped it up by adding the bias binding (made from the same fabric as the corset), lace and working some flossing on the bones.

Now it fit much better! 🙂

The finished corset:

The facts:

What: a 1850-1880s corset

Pattern: “Past Pattern” nr. 708 – Mid 19th century stays

Fabric & Notions: 0,5 m green cotton sateen, o,5 m cotton interlining, 0.5 m green cotton for lining. Thread, 1 busk, boning (plastic and metal), grommets, buttonhole thread for flossing, 1 m ivory lace, 4 m of cotton cord for lacing.

Time: With the many fittings, and short work sessions late at night it took about 10 hours.

Cost: Everything came from stash (fancy that!), but bought new about 300 Sek (25 Usd).

Final thoughts: I think it came out really well, and my sister loves it. Lets just see how well it holds up on the ball room floor…

1850s Summer Dresses – Inspiration

This spring I’ve been exploring the 1850-1860s summer fashion for both me and my sister (read about her outfit here, here and here).

But I wanted a differnt look, or rater a more traditional simple yet stylish look. So I once more turned to the internet (bles you Pinterest) for some inspiration for 1840 – 1860s summer dresses.

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4dde92c307aba94f090ee0a106a6f62dmore of a 1835s style

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1850s blue printed cotton fan front

So much prettyness…

But if you follow me on facebook you already knew with one I choose to me my main inspiration.

swiss Waist

As a final touch on my sisters 1860s outfit (Skirt, Blouse, Hat) I decided to make a Swiss waist. f0870122635b3a5962969592ceaf8851I love the look of so many of these pictures.

As it appers, Lots of other bloggers started to show interest in the small, but faboulus looking accessorie.
“Katie Lowely” made one as her HSM15 – Practiality entry.
And “Vintage Visions” examens one of her ancient ones using lots o new photos.

I’ve also had this pattern showing up in my Pinetest feed not long ago.d2a2d1a6a182f3d28fc757e8365d1e2dAnd following the link I discovered that Catheine of ” The fashionable Past” had drafted it from an extant piece in her colection (and also made a great tutorial for stitching it up, which I of course found only after I finished making my own…Doh)

Perfect!

As I wanted this project to be yet another fast one I dow into my scrap bin staright away and came up agin with two pieces of black fabric one cotton lawn and one piece of polyester taffeta.

So I copied the patten and altered it to my sisters measurments, then I cut 1 of each piec in taffeta and two in cotton.
I bsted the one of the cotton pieces to the taffeta as interlining nad pinned the pieces togeter or assemebly.

I stitched the cotton lining and the taffteta together at the front and back.IMG_6771IMG_6776

I made boning chanells from the selvedge at the side seam.IMG_6777

IMG_6778On pieces this uniform and simular, it is extra important to mark your front/back/up/down/right/wrong side.

The it was time to stitch the outer fabric to the lining. I tried the “sticth and turn” method, with bad result.IMG_6770So I ended up ripping the seam out, turning the edges in from the outside and securing them with a wisible seam. (Totaly on purpose…)

Then I inserted the bones at the side seams.IMG_6784

I measured and marked the placeent for the lacing holes.IMG_6786

And spent one evening in front o the Tv sewing them.IMG_6787

Once the lacin holes was fininshed I inserted the last bones and stitched the edge closed by hand. IMG_6788IMG_6789

Then I finished of by adding hooks and eyes to the front edge.

The fininshed Swiss Waist (and whole outfit):IMG_6800

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The whole outfit including:
hat, Blouse, Skirt, Swiss wist and accessories like, fan, shawl, necktie and lace glowes.IMG_6792

The facts:

What: A 1860s Swiss Waist – Belt accessorie

Pattern: “Koshka the cats” pattern for “Swiss waist ca 1860s”

Fabric and notions: Scraps of black cotton and ployester taffeta, thread, scarps of boning, buttonhole thread and hooks and eyes.

Time & cost: About 4 hours and 50 sek (8Usd)

Final thought: It serves it’s purpose, but I think It nwould ahve benefitted from another fabric choise and some more boning.

1860s(ish) 2 hours blue skirt

To have something to go with the hat, and shirt/blouse, my sister also needed some other pieces to make her outfit (why do I do this to myself).

And to save my sanity, I decided on yet another quick and simple project.
A straight skirt sewn on machine.

I had some trouble finding a fabric I liked (and thought my sister would like)20150331_170650Lovely cotton prints, but none that would serve my purposes.

Then I stumbled over this great (and quite loud) print, which I immediately loved.IMG_6758

I started by cutting three widths of fabric the length the skirt needed. IMG_6757

Then I matched the prints at the seams and stitched the widths together.IMG_6756If you look closely you can see the edge.

Then I pleated the upper edge to the right waist measure and added a small strip of fabric for waistband.

I finished by folding and stitching the hem, and adding hooks and eyes for clouser.

The only thing that took some time was the hemming – if I’d sewn it by machine I could have called it my
“1 hour skirt”.

The finished skirt:IMG_6806

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The facts:

What: A 1860s skirt

Pattern: None – just used rectangular pieces

Fabric & Notions: 3,5 m blue patterned light cotton, thread and hooks and eyes.

Time: 2 hours

Cost: about 300 Sek

Final thoughts: The skirt turned out just like I envisioned, and my sister likes it too, The only thing in need of change are to shorten the front a bit to keep my sister from stepping on it.

Practical (and quick) 1860s blouse

My original plan for the HSF15 challenge 5 – Practicality, a regency day-dress, needed to be postponed so to get time to finish this springs biggest undertaking – a hole new 1850-1860s wardrobe.

So after finishing my not a Garibaldi blouse a few weeks ago, I decided I needed yet another blouse in almost the same style, for my sister to wear at the upcoming “Crinoline day”.

89cd5d40c071b5494b98ca322cef5991My main inspiration was this sever looking young lady.

Since time was sparse, I decided to use the simplest way possible in all things for this blouse.

Staring with the pattern, I used the basic pattern blocks for a regular shirt (just like the picture below), and omitted the collar and cuff.

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For fabric I used leftovers from my “Chemise a la Lambelle” & ” Ariel/Camille” dresses, A really nice and strong structured cotton voile(?)2013-05-29 17.38.05

Unfortunately I forgot to take any photos of the construction process, but it was so simple and went so smooth that I just kept sewing and finished over one afternoon.

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Basically I just stitched the bodice together using french seams, added the small collar, sewed the buttonhole-stand and added buttons and (machined) buttonholes.IMG_6829Sewed and set the sleeves, covering the seams with bias-tape to get a clean finish. Then I hemmed the shirt, added the bias-tape for the drawstring waist.IMG_6819

And finished of by folding, stitching and adding the ribbons for the wrist ties. IMG_6835

The finished Shirt:IMG_6825As its biggest size

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And a quick “practicality” photoshoot:IMG_4982Cocking food in my extremely old fashioned kitchen…

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Just the facts:

Challenge: nr 5/2015 “Practicality”

What: a 1850-1860s shirtwaist

How it fit into the challenge: The shirt is perfect for the everyday wear of a lower(or higher) class women doing households chores or taking a stroll in the park. That fabric is durable and easily washable and the style of the shirt with its drawstrings at waist and wrists makes it fit several different sizes of women.

Pattern: None, I just used the basic shapes of any shirt pattern.

Fabric: 1 m of structured cotton voile.

Notions: Thread, buttons, scraps of cotton ribbon at wrists, cotton string and  bias tape for waist shaping.

How historical accurate: So so, the garment (and fabric) did exist, but I didn’t used any accurate pattern, and I did sew it all on my sewing machine – even the buttonholes. I would say about 5/10

Time: about 4 hours

Cost: at most 100Sek (16Usd) – Everything was from stash and leftovers from other projects.

First worn: at June 6th for photos, but will get a proper outing June 13 when my sister wears it for our “Crinoline day”

Final thoughts: I loved how fast and easy it went together, and I think it looks great both paired with”Peasant” garb and “finer lady’s” garb (as is the way my sister will wear it).

1860s blue/white hat

Wise from my previous try at millinery, I ordered a pattern without even trying to draft my own for my sister 1860s hat.  IMG_6343Lynn McMasters “1860s summer hat”

I drafted and cut the pattern for a medium sized hat and got to work on the buckram.IMG_6372

IMG_6373Stitching the millinery wire to the buckram.

Then I taped and sewed the top and side piece together by hand.IMG_6427

I covered the edges with bias tape.IMG_6434

Then it was time to cut the fabric.
Knowing my sisters fondness for blue, and having just recently finished my 18th century Redingote in a lovely blue wool, I decided to use the scraps for her hat.
IMG_6352Cutting the wool.

I also cut the pieces in cotton thin bathing for interlining, and white linen for lining.IMG_6354left to right: Buckram, bathing, blue wool, pattern piece and linen lining.

I carefully covered the buckram base with first bathing and then wool.IMG_6570

Then it was time for the lining. The piece underneath the brim was pleated, pinned and stitched on.IMG_6564

And the crown part was covered in two steps – first the top, and then the sides.
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Then I stitched the brim and the crown part together.IMG_6630

And flipped it over to sew the lining together.IMG_6629

The finished (un-trimmed) hat:
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But no hat is complete without some decoration…

I cut stripes of white chiffon to put on the hat. IMG_6653Looking pretty good.

I also wanted to ad a lace veil… IMG_6652..But decided not to since it looked so stupid, and I doubt my sister would want to wear it like that.

I pinned and sewed the chiffon to the hat in a shape of a bow with long tails.
To get some more interest to the look, I also added a bit of lace to the bow.IMG_6700

And that was that.
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The finished hat
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The facts:

What: a 1860s hat

Pattern: Lynn McMasters 1860s summer hat

Fabric & Notions: scraps of blue wool, white linnen and cotton bathing, 30cm buckram, 2m millenery wire, thread, 30cm polyester chiffong and 10cm polyester lace for decoration.

Time: About 20 hours.

Cost: ca 200 Sek (32 Usd) – all fabric from stash.

Final thoughts: I think it look really good and I hope my sister likes it – because I do.