Last Sunday I took the chance to both see my sister, and to do a little photoshoot of my new striped Lady Mary/”Downton Abby” Dress (read about it here (Part 1) and here (Part 2)) The weather was warm but a bit cloudy, so unfortunately we didn’t get any sunny pictures. I wore my dress with my long line 1910s corset, Autumn garden hat, American Duchess Gibson shoes, stockings, a thin petticoat, and a few bits and pieces like crocheted gloves, antique velvet bag and long pearl necklace.
I’ve been working on my entry for the HSM15 nr 4 – War & peace for the past week (Part 1), and here are the rest of my viral dress diary:
Lady Mary in one of her signature dresses from the Tv-series “Downton Abby”.
Once the bodice was finished and lined I attached it to the skirt, set the sleeves I once more tried it on to determent the exact placement of the hook and bars for the skirt closure.
I also pinned on the collar to get a better visual of the completed look.
The fit looks good even though it’s more figure hugging and shaped then the one on Lady Mary.
(I’m pretty sure the actress have a completely different body then mine…)
Then I needed to pause the sewing for a few days over the May 1st celebration, so I put it on the dress form to keep me inspired (and to show of to our long distance friends coming over – don’t tell me you never done that…).
Once back at sewing, I pinned some narrow lace ribbons to the buttonhole stand and top front piece.Then I spent a few hours (at my in-laws) hand stitching the narrow lace, the collar, the lining, the black velvet ribbon and the hooks and bars to the bodice.
Just the Facts:
Challenge: HSM15 nr 4 – War and Peace
What: A 1914s striped summer dress
How it fit the challenge: WWI started in summer 2014.
My dress is also a re-creation of the dress Lady Mary Crawley wears in the TV-series “Downton Abby”, in the episodes (and at the garden party) it’s announced that England will join the war.
Pattern: None, I drafted my own with influences from a small sketch in Janet Arnolds “Pattern of Fashion 2”
Fabric: 2,5 m of striped cotton, and 0,5 m white cotton for lining – both leftovers from previous projects.
Notions: Thread, buttonhole tread, 6 buttons, 2 pairs of hooks and eyes, 6 snaps, 0,5 m of narrow lace, 1 m black velvet ribbon, one extra long lace/crocheted collar.
How historical accurate: Not sure. I used modern techniques with lots of hand finishing. The fabric wold have existed in the period, but I think the slim silhouette are a bit to modern. Perhaps 5/10.
Time: About 15-20 hours. Lots of fiddling with both the fit and matching the stripes made this project a bit more time consuming then I expected.
Cost: About 250 Sek (40Usd) all fabric from stash – Bought on sale a few years ago.
First Worn: May 3 for photos.
Final Thoughts: I really like this dress. It came out exactly like I envisioned and I felt really pretty (and posh) in it.
I’m really happy with the decision to make the dress slim and figure hugging (contrary to the original which have a more straight shape) even though it diverts a bit from the fashion of the day.
But there are as always a few thing I would like to fix before wearing it again: The back bodice are still to long (what’s that about?) and the button holes need to be stitched shut about 2 mm each (those buttons needs to remain closed next time around).
Accessorized and ready for a photoshoot.
When going over the many ways on which I could go for the HSM15 nr 4 – War & Peace, I remembered a project I’ve been dying to make for quite some time.
The striped dress The character Lady Mary wears in “Downton Abby”. The time period (1914s) was perfect for this challenge, and when I remember the striped cotton in my stash the decision was made.Thin, structured, white and green cotton fabric – leftovers from my 18th century “Artsy Robe a la Anglaise/Turque“.
looking through my costuming book for a way to tackle the pattern drafting I found a sketch of a 1910s, high waisted slim skirt that would be perfect for this dress.Sketch from Janet Arnolds “Pattern of Fashion nr 2”.
I used the basic principle from Arnolds book and drafted the pattern to fit my measurements.
Then I made a mock-up and tried it on over my long line corset.
And it was huge.
I’m still amazed of how much ease it must be in my modern pattern temples since I almost always end up with mock-ups about 10 cm to big.
I took it in everywhere about that much.
But still in need for some extra alterations, like smoothing out the darts and taking out a few cm from the length at the bodice back.Here you can see the way I took out the width at the seams and darts.
Once all the separate pieces was ready, I basted the front bodice to the sides, the bodice to the skirt and one sleeve to the sleeve-cap. And then I tried it on.
Pretty good fit. The back is still to long (just to take some more out), and the bodice front was a bit to big.
I decided to take the width out at the bust seam.
Pins to show where to make the new seam line.
Once I had the bodice ready, I attached the lining to the neckline,cut he seam allowance, flipped it over and carefully pressed the edge.
To be continued…
(Because otherwise this would be an extremely long post)
About a month ago I decided I needed to make myself a 18th century cloak/cape
Sewing Empire made herself one of these too, and writes a good sumary about her work on her blog.
For fabric I used an old roll of red wool I got for free a few yers ago. The fabric are realy coarse and I never thougt I would ever be able to use it for anything, particularly not for a garment.
Just The Facts:
Challenge: nr 3/2015 – Stashbusting
What: a 18th century wool cape
Pattern: Baumgarters “Costume Close-ups” Cloak pattern
Fabric: 3 m of red wool (upholstery fabric) and 40 cm (scraps) of red linen for lining.
Notions: Thread and one hook and eye.
How historica accurate: So, so. The colour and look of it are right, but I doubt they would have used this type of coarse wool for anything other then isolation. I did handstitch the hole cloak but i used syntetic tread – since thats what I had in my stash. All in all I give it a 6/10.
Time: About 5-8 hours – it went pretty quick and only took me about a day to finish.
Cost: Basicly nothing – The fabric was gifted to me and the rest was all leftovers or old stash.
But if I would have bought everything new I guess 300-400 Sek (40Usd)
How it fits the Challenge: It is made completely from stash fabric and scraps. And since I never thought I’d be able to make something from the wool I’m extra happy that it turned out so lovely.
First Worn: On Feruary 28th, for photos.
Final Thougts: I Love it! I felt so pretty and coosy in it, and only wish I would have reason to wear it all the time.
And since I do have fabric left, I’m are already thinking on making one for my sister.
Here comes the finishing steps of making my yellow Caraco jacket (read Part 1).
After the assembling of the bodice, and insertion of the lining to the jacket, it was time for the clouser.
Since it is was a stash-busting challenge, I knew I needed to find some solution in my own bins. And after some searching I did. 20 small buttons.Trying out the layout on the pattern, 10 on the bodice front and 5 each on the sleeves.
Thankfully the problem was adverted once I realized I hadn’t pressed the buttonholes properly.
And once I did they looked so much better.
Just the facts:
Challenge: nr 3/2015 Stash-busting
What: A 1780-1790s working class jacket
Pattern: A combination of the “Kofta KM 25.429 (jacket) pattern from “Skräddaren, sömmerskna och modet” (“the Tailor, the Seamstress and the Fashion”) and Nehelenia patterns nr E21 1790s Redingote.
Fabric: 1,5m of yellow/lilac striped cotton, 2 m of purple cotton for lining and interlining.
Notions: Thread (purple and yellow), yellow buttonhole thread, 4 cable ties for boning and 10 buttons.
How historical accurate: As much as I could, and to the best of my abilities. The fabric and colors are plausible, the patterns and construction are accurate and came from good sources. I hand stitched the whole garment using period techniques. The only thing I can think of that not right are the use of plastic boning and polyester thread for the buttonholes. I give it 8/10.
Cost: 10 Sek (1,6 Usd) since almost everything came from stash and was leftovers from previous projects. The only thing I bought was the yellow buttonhole thread.
But if you would buy it all anew I’d say about 250 Sek (36 Usd).
Time: It went pretty fast considering it is all hand sewn. About 10-15 hours I think.
First Worn: on February 28 for photos. I started the jacket with the intention of wearing it to a 18th century Tavern Event in beginning of February. But as it happened I newer went. Hopefully I will get another chance later this spring.
Motivation/ How It fit into the Challenge: Even though it did not use up a lot of fabric, I think the jacket serves the challenge both in using leftover stash fabrics and notions, and in helping me re-discover all the little pieces of left over fabrics I already own.
I also think the garment itself is suitable as the women who wore such jackets would not be splurging on new fabrics.
Final Thoughts: I really loved making this jacket. It was such a joy how fast and easy it came together, and I think it looks adorable. I want to make lots more of these jackets.
I found this fashion plate on Pinerest in early January an knew immediately I wanted to make something similar for an 18th century Tavern event I planed to attending in early February (unfortunately life happened and I ended up not going, but at least now I have a costume if the opportunity arises again).
I made the skirt and shortened my apron to match.
Then it was on to the jacket.
In the book “Skräddaren sömmerskan och modet” by Rasmussen, I found the description and pattern for this jacket called a “Kofta” which translates to “a kind of soft jacket”. With it’s short front, tails/peplum at the back and long sleeves, it was perfect!
Then I cut and made a mock-up.
The fit was surprisingly good, and all I needed to do was to lower the neckline a bit (I made the decision to make a wide neckline instead of the high one from the fashion plate), and trim the peplum a bit.
Then it was on to the fabric.
Keeping in with my New years resolution, I decided to go through the stash before heading to the store.
That turned out to be a really good thing, since I found exactly what I needed – A soft yellow cotton with purple stripes in a odd (left over) length, that would be on exactly enough for his project. And a purple cotton lawn I previously used for mock-ups, which would be great for lining and interlining. Then I realized that this project would fit perfectly into the HSM/15 nr 3 – Stashbusting, and did a little happy dance (to my hubby’s surprise).
I love the look of the bodice like this – perhaps I need to make a waistcoat from this pattern.
To be continued…
We had so much snow this year, with snowfall just about every night for weeks.
But go figures, just when I finished my Redingote, and set a day for the photoshoot, the weather changed and in just a few day everything was gone.
Well, not much to do.
Me and my sister did go ahead and did the photoshoot anyway.
I wore the Redingoat paired with my black riding hat and slightly modified white skirt. I also wore a white fichu and belt, my 18th century corset, quilted petticoat, 2 bumpads, hedgehog wig and black leather gloves.
I was perfectly warm and cosy the whole shoot, and I was surprised how much I liked the whole outfit.
In my last post (part 1) I begun to tell you about my latest entry for the HSM – a blue Redingote.
Here are the rest of it.
Once the lining was inserted I got to work o the lower front edge. It is always a bit tricky to get the button edge right and when the garment are double breasted and have a rounded edge it is even more difficult.But after lots of pining and folding (and some cutting of excess) I managed to get the edge to look like I wanted.
About the buttons (where I left of last time) I decided to cheat, and use hook and eyes.I could not decide on 10 or 8 buttons, so I wanted to postpone the decision to sometimes in the future. Without buttonholes the dress look a bit strange but I can still change my mind and make them at a later point.
I put the jacket on my dress form to get a better view and to pin the skirt on. 10 buttons and half a skirt.
It would even look great without the skirt as a jacket. Maybe next time (or if I decides I need the skirt fabric for something else…)
The final thing to do was to hem the skirt, and to give it a final pressing.
Just the facts:
Challenge: Nr 2/2015 – Blue
What: A 18th century Redingote
Pattern: Nehelenia Patterns nr E21 – 1790s Redingote.
Fabric: 4 m of light blue wool, 1 m of white cotton for lining and 0,5 m of thick linen for interlining.
Notions: Thread, Buttonhole thread, buttons (10 big + 4 smaller), 8 hooks and eyes,
How historical Accurate: So so. The fabrics and pattern are pretty good, but I used modern construction techniques and made lots of the work sing my sewing machine and polyester thread.
Time: A lot. I would guess about 15-20 hours since it’s lots of hand stitching in tere.
Cost: ca 400 Sek (ca 65 Usd)
First worn: On February 21 for photos.
But I would love to wear it on an winter event in the future.
An anecdote: This is probably the one garment I’ve been re-starting (mentally if not psychically) the most times, and I’m so happy I finally managed to finish it (and not even hate it).
Final thoughts: I love the pattern, and definitely will be using it as a base for more 18th century gowns. But If I could do it again I would have made the overlapping in front wider to get a more distinct double breasted look.
I’ve been totally in love with Jens (from “Festive Attyre“) Redingote since I first saw it about a year ago. I knew at once I need something similar.
The problem was when…
A year ago I put the picture on my “to do in 2014“-list, and there it waited…
I found this fabric on sale last winter, and thought it perfect for this project.
But I had so many other things to make for the HSF14, and when I could have had time I was already longing for spring and thinner clothing.
So I pushed it forward to the HSF14 nr 15 – Outerwear.
I bought this pattern in July determent to get the ball rolling in good time for he challenge. But as work got really busy after summer that didn’t happened.
By then I had a new goal – to make it for the HSF14 nr 22 – Menswear.
Well, I did start working on it in October.
But then life once again caught up with me, and I had to take a break from sewing.
I postponed the 22 challenge completely, deciding to try to finish it on my Christmas leave.
And between working on my two Christmas dresses, I actually got the fabric cut and the interlining basted.My creative chaos. This is how I sitting in my chair watching series while pinning, stitching and sorting the pieces in different piles.
Sometimes around December 26th, I realized I would never finish within 2014 – and I had so much new stuff I wanted to make for 2015.
I made a 18th century hat as a late entry for the menswear challenge, and felt rater like a failure.
But then the Dreamstress revealed the challenges for The HSM15, and there it was – challenge 2/2015 – Blue!
That was exactly what I needed to finally finish the long awaited Redingote.
(even though I got distracted by the much quicker Mars entry).
Anyhow, here is what I’ve been doing on the evenings for the past month.
Once the lining and sleeves was attached, I put it on to try the fit. I can’t say enough how pleased I an with the sizing on this pattern.
The only thing I needed to change was the length of the sleeve.
To be continued…
For the HSM challenge 1/2015 – Foundation, I knew I wanted to make 18th century panniers to go under my in progress robe a la Franchise (more on that on a later note).
And since I already had all the material (fabric, metal boning and bias tape) in my stash I started by looking for patterns.This pattern from “Corsets and Crinolines” looked good but seemed to be much bigger then I needed.
And I’ve heard from others who made it that it is in fact huge!
I was thinking something more along the lines of this picture.That seems easy enough. So I figured I didn’t need a pattern after all.
Once all seams was stitched together and felled, I started working on the boning bias tape for the channels I marked where I wanted the bones to be, and stitched the bias tape on top of the chalk lines.
Finished in one night, yay!
Once tied together the top hoop made the worst shape ever.
How to solve this?
I posted a quick question on my facebook page and in the HSM facebook group, and over night got lots of great suggestions.
Then I started experimenting.
Once he bones was removed I noticed a excess of fabric at the top front and back. I played with pinning it into a giant dart thous removing the upper bones ability to push out. There was lots of width to take out.
The problem was I thought of the whole panniers like a big circle/crinoline tied into shape. But what I failed to grasp was that to keep the top hoop close to the body at front/back and wide at the sides I needed to shape the top of the fabric. – just like in Waughs pattern….
Once decisive on the actions on how to save and finish the panniers I also decided that the pale green color was a bot bland. So I turned it inside out and stitched the darts from the opposite side to give it a ore interesting look (including removing all the ties and re-attached them on the new inside).
Just the facts:
Challenge: nr 1/2015 – Foundation
What: A pair of 18th century panniers.
Pattern: None, I just measured and cut.
Fabric: 1,5 m of green linen from stash.
Notions: Thread, 7 m of metal boning, 7 m of brown bias-tape and 5 m of white cotton ribbon.
How historical accurate: Not much. The fabric is wrong, the boning is metal and I sewed most of it on my sewing machine. It looks pretty good though.
Time: About 8 hours – 2 of which I worked on correcting the upper hoop.
Cost: I would guess about 100 Sek (16 Usd) but everything came from stash so I’m not sure.
First worn: Only around the house for photos. But I intend to wear it with my up-coming Robe a la Franchise at the first chance I get.
Final thoughts: This was meant as a quick project, and as usual those are the ones which causes most trouble. But thanks to some minor experimenting and tips from the HSM hive mind I managed to complete them without to much bad words.