Tag Archives: finished projects

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Finished Project- Air Raid Suit or Coveralls.

Ta da!

Perfectly in time for the Historical Sew Monthly, my new pattern is DONE!  So excited!

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What the item is: 1940s Air Raid Suit

The Challenge: War and Peace

Fabric: A cotton twill that is flannel on the back side.

Stashed for how long?: Bought for this project

Pattern: the new Wearing History Phyllis Air Raid Suit or Coverall!  Yay!

Year: About 1942

Notions: A gazillion buttons

How historically accurate is it? VERY!

Hours to complete: A LOT.  I was pattern testing, taking blog construction photos, and sewing. It’s a time consuming pattern in the first place with the hidden drop seat, buttons up the front, tabs and buttons, and flat felled seams.  So maybe 15ish?  Taking into account photo and testing time, it may have been longer.

First worn: Sunday! Yay!
Total cost: I think the fabric was around $28, and the printed pattern is $18 on my website, or $12 for the e-pattern.  The buttons were in my stash.  So probably around $40.

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Finished Projects: Regency Shift and Short Stays

Ok, so I really only just finished the shift.  The short stays were finished last year and I never took proper blog photos.

- The Shift -

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And one “in progress” pic.  I am actually pretty proud of this, because this picture is taken inside out!  I did a pretty good job of those seams, if I do say so myself :)

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Pattern:  Country Wives- Two Chemises- 1805-1807

Fabric:  100% Linen.  Lightweight.

I was recommended this pattern by a friend, and after I got it finished I loved it.  I’m actually halfway through the other view in the pattern, too.  I had been putting off making a proper Regency shift for well over ten years, so it’s about time I made it!

The pattern is basically about 6 pages of written instruction, telling you how to cut and assemble a shift.  There are minimal illustrations. I was really frustrated by it at first, but after I figured it out I loved it.

This pattern is for historically accurate sewing, so the instructions call for piecing the width of the shift, as fabric widths were narrower in the past.  A little math and reasoning allowed me to cut it full width so I could cut out the step of adding a panel.

I found it extremely frustrating that each of the two large panels (for front and back) were to be cut 40″ long, and the pattern gave allowance for two yards of fabric.  36″ + 36″ = 72″ long, which is 8″ shorter than the 80″ that would be required (assuming that the person who sold me the fabric cut it on grain. Which they didn’t.  So when I pulled a thread to make sure I was exactly on grain, it was even shorter than 72″ long.)  So I hemmed and hawed, and posted on my Facebook page, and finally realized I needed to cut it CROSS GRAIN.  Duh.  But if would have saved a lot of headache if it was just noted down in the pattern.

Other wishing that there were instructions included for cutting it full width and not piecing, and other than the whole cutting cross grain conundrum, the pattern went together very easily.  I did a lot of handwork- I flat felled my seams by hand,  hand sewed my neckline casing, and hand sewed my hems, but the side seams are done by machine by French seams, and the stitches that don’t show are done by machine.

I did shorten the sleeves on the chemise I’m currently working on (the other view of this pattern) because I think they’re just a bit too long and too full to go under all the things I’d like to make in the future.  That view has drawstrings at the bottom of the sleeves and gathers.  Well, you’ll see if for yourself whenever I get it finished!

For those interested, I bought the pattern from Wm. Booth, Draper.

I do sell the Laughing Moon stays and shift pattern in my Wearing History Store, if you’re looking to make your own shift.

- The Stays-

I don’t know how many of you remember, but last year I was really trying to wrap my head around short stays. If you’re interested, I did two blog posts with my research.  One here and One here.  This is actually my fourth pair of Regency stays.  I made two sets of long stays (each of which was a disaster in one way or another), and one set of short stays.  But my short stays accidentally got shrunk in the washer (oops), so I had to make a new set of short stays.  Plus, I wasn’t entirely convinced that they were what I wanted.

These were actually finished last year but I didn’t get any proper pictures. So- ta da! Pictures!

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Pattern: Self drafted.  I honestly don’t remember much about it, and I was a bad girl and didn’t really keep much track of what I was doing or what went into it.  But I did find one progress picture.

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Fabric- I believe I used a cotton canvas sandwiched between two layers of linen.

And for the sharp eyes among you. YES, I messed up my eyelets.  I wanted to do spiral lacing and then spaced out on how to do it.  It was a very stressful and busy in my life dealing with family stuff during the time I was making these last year, so I’ve given myself a free pass ;)

Have you been doing any sewing lately?

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Finished Project (and Pattern Sample): “Elsie” 1910’s Blouse

I finally have a finished project to share!

Here’s a finished project that just happens to also be a pattern sample of the “Elsie” 1910’s blouse pattern.

It went together really quickly, as soon as I had time to do it.  I had previously checked the pattern when I released it, but I didn’t have time to sew up a proper, shiny, sample.  The only difference is that I opted for a drawstring and casing on the inside rather than a set waistband, so I can wear it for both period wear (with a corset) or modern wear (with jeans).

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And with the skirt of the 1910’s Suit pattern, so you can get the period effect.

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I actually cut this out for the previous Historical Sew Monthly project (blue), but I got crazy busy so didn’t get to get it finished.  This month’s challenge, however, is “Stashbusting”, and since this has been waiting to be made since I came out with the pattern last year, and used all fabric and notions I already had, this definitely qualifies!

Here’s the info for the Historical Sew Monthly-

What the item is: WWI Era Blouse

The Challenge: Stashbusting

Fabric: White and blue stripe cotton or cotton blend shirting.

Stashed for?:  The fabric was bought for the other Edwardian/1910s blouse samples (the version of which is still a WIP), and the Cordelia skirt patterns.

Pattern: Elsie 1910s Blouse Pattern (Wearing History)

Year: 1916-ish

Notions: vintage mother of pearl buttons, rayon seam binding on the inside for a casing, and cotton twill tape for ties.

How historically accurate is it? Pattern is 100% accurate, but I assembled with modern methods.

Hours to complete: 5-ish.

First worn: Not yet!

Total cost: Pattern is $20.50, or e-pattern for $9.99.  For fabric, trims, etc, I’d say under $10.

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2014- A Sewing Year in Review

2014 was an extremely busy year for me.  Starting the new clothing line took nearly all my energy from the start, but I did manage to squeeze in some personal sewing!  A lot less than years past, but here’s the things I made this year.  I also included needlecraft in this list, since I worked on that more than in years past.

Click the images to be taken to the blog post page.

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A Lucile Inspired 1910’s Gala Dress.

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Poiret Inspired Dress

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A 1919 Slipover Knitted Vest

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An S-Curve Corset + “Improvers”

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1929 Pajamas

knitforvictory2A  1940’s Knit Sweater & Sailor Trousers

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A 1940’s Shirt Made From A Thrifted Men’s Shirt.

And some projects without blog posts:

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A Crocheted 1913  “Manitoba Toque”

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Rebuilt Edwardian bodice and made a matching skirt (Photo by Theophilus Wilhelm von Dorian III)

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Finished the skirt and jacket for the 1916 Suit Pattern.

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I hand sewed my first costume since I was a kid without a sewing machine and made this 1790’s Regency dress.

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I finished a filet crochet vest, which ended up way too small.

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I made a 1950’s circle skirt and bolero for a trip to Missouri.

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I made a 1950’s dress I ended up hating and never wearing (but I still love the fabric).

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I learned Filet Crochet and made my husband a coaster.

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I made hats for the 1940’s Hats Pattern.

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I made a 1940’s blouse and a late 1930’s jumper (and I still haven’t’ worn it!).

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I made a blue 1940’s shirt and a plaid skirt for the L.A. Air Raid.1962835_627269587349195_1961484515_n

I completed 1790’s transitional short stays, but never got a proper picture.

10345758_660110570731763_2508132231884679567_nI made a stripy early 1940’s dress and wore it in San Fransisco.

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1940’s Rayon Trousers (super baggy, so I rarely wear them!)

I guess I accomplished more than I thought!  Most of these were done in the first half of 2014, and the second half was almost ALL WHC.

I sewed countless mock ups and samples for Wearing History Clothing.  I don’t even know how many.

And now…. the UFO (unfinished object) list…

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A 1920’s Raffia Crocheted Hat

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Matching Western Shirt and Playsuit for me and my husband.

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I learned Irish Crochet, but I never made anything with them!

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I started the Colette Patterns bag for Christmas presents but it never got done.

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I finished knitting a 1910’s pattern but never sewed it together.

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I started a 1940’s sweater and then it got too cool to continue knitting rayon.

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I re-learned loom beading, but never finished my necklace.

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I nearly finished the Folkwear Big Sky Riding Pants, but they still need buttons and a hem.

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I started tailoring a 1919 Suit Jacket, but I expected this to continue into 2015 because tailoring takes forever!

Most of my UFO’s were started in the second half of the year, when I wanted a creative project but didn’t have the time to follow through with completion!  I still really like them, so I’m sure I’ll finish most of them :)

One of my resolutions for this year is to get back to blogging more regularly.  It sort of fell by the wayside in the second half of the year (sorry, readers!)

Onward to 2015!  I already have plans for a 19-teens skirt for myself!

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Finished Project: Irene Castle & Lucile Inspired Gala Dress

Hello!  Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.  Today, I’m finally sharing my 2014 Costume College Gala Dress!

Several of us signed on to do a group project of Robe De Styles for this year’s Costume College.  While most people think of 1920’s gowns with the panniers for Robe De Style (see my Pinterest board here), I wanted to do a bit of a predecessor of the style by doing 19-teens style of a similar silhouette.

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Lucile’s “Happiness” dress, in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

One of my favorite extant gowns of the 19-teens is the “Happiness” dress by Lucile from her 1916 Autumn collection.  Lucile was also known as Lady Duff Gordon, who was a survivor of the Titanic disaster.  If you’d like to see more of her work, check out my pinterest board.  Since I’ve been utilizing Pinterest a lot for my projects, you can also see the other looks that I was brainstorming and inspired by for my gala dress, here.

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Lucile, 1919.  In the collection of the Met museum.

I loved the fullness of skirt of the “Happiness” dress, but I also loved the draped skirt on some of Lucile’s other work.

IreneCastle1I’ve also long been a fan of Irene Castle’s style.  Vernon & Irene Castle were a world famous husband and wife dancing team of the 19-teens.  Above she wears a Lucile creation.  You can see my Pinterest board of Irene Castle’s style here.

I was procrastinating for a long time on my Gala dress because I simply didn’t know what I wanted to do.  Inspiration overload!  I was also elbow deep in designing and prepping my new clothing line, and time was tight.  Finally, I dug in and went for it.

I started with a base of this pattern from the Vintage Pattern Lending Library for the bodice.  All else was pretty much draped or cobbled together from my knowledge of period construction by studying extant garments.  I was bad and didn’t even try it on, which meant that the torso was much too short for me (and I’m short waisted.  Disclaimer, there, if you want to buy that pattern).

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I had seen tucks in several of the research photos I found, so I used a twin needle and started creating tucks to go around the waist.

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A little too tuck-crazy, I played with the fabric on the form until I found I really liked the loop of this “seashell” kind of design, created by draping and twisting the fabric.

For fabric, I had a gold tissue lame silk chiffon in my stash which I had planned on using for an Edwardian gown.  I also had a sea green crinkle silk chiffon, and I bought the sea green silk taffeta in Los Angeles a few weeks before Costume College. With these, some belting, some beading, and some silk roses (made during class on Saturday!), I made this dress.

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I am not a dancer, and not graceful, so luckily I had some help with posing from some friends and bystanders so I could attempt at the poses I loved in Irene Castle’s photos.

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Here’s a black and white one, just for kicks, because it makes me feel like a time traveller :)

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And me looking like an advert for drinking tea at dinner that night :)

Yay!  I love this dress!  I am a little unhappy I was in such a rush that I didn’t get to do the fittings I really needed, so the armholes are a little wonky and the torso is a little too short, but otherwise, I really love the dress and I’ll be looking for an excuse to wear it again.

And, because I was asked at Costume College- I’m sorry, there won’t be a pattern for this.  It was just a personal project, and it’s a bit too complicated to do into pattern form.

If you’re wondering, I get into the dress by opening at the side of the skirt.  The bodice is overlapped it at center front, and it snaps (or, it should snap, but it was really pinned) into place. It’s that crazy Edwardian/1910s puzzle piece of a way to get into garments.  If you’ve seen real ones, you’ll totally get what I’m saying.  They were really creative at fastenings back then.  Today, we have invisible zippers to do this- but they snapped and hooked at all sorts of strange places to make it look like your dress just magically was on your body without any obvious fasteners.  That’s one thing I wish that movies that are set in the 1910’s would do instead of putting a big ol’ zipper up the back.  But I digress… I hope you like the dress :)

 

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Finished Project: 1002 Nights Poiret Dress

I have just finished up my Poiret inspired dress!

Paul Poiret is one of my fashion design icons.  Making a dress that paid homage to him was really fun!

I felt so “high fashion” in it, because of it’s absurdity, so had fun with editing my photos to capture the way it felt.

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If you missed the prior post with more details about the making of this dress, you can find it here.

This “excuse” for making this dress (not that I needed one) was the Historical Sew Fortnightly’s “Fairytale” challenge.  Here’s the info for the challenge:

The Challenge: #6- “Fairytale”  Inspired by Paul Poiret’s “One Thousand and Second Night” party.

Fabric:  The tunic is all poly with little rubber dots on it.  Pretty horrid, but has a great look when made up for the “Poiret” look.  The dress is a black satin rayon, which they actually did have in this time period.

Pattern: Underdress: My Cordelia skirt pattern and the 1910s Blouse pattern with an altered neckline and no sleeves.  Overdress:  Very loosely based on a bodice pattern from the period, but mostly entirely self composed as I went along.

Year: 1913-ish

Notions: Indian import trim, hooks and eyes, snaps, hoop wire, bias facing.

How historically accurate is it?  If it wasn’t for the fibre content, it would be pretty close.  I’m knocking myself for that, though, and giving myself a 40% accuracy marking.

Hours to complete:  I have no idea.  Maybe 12-ish?  It went pretty fast, but I puttered in 15 minute increments on it over the span of three weeks (didn’t make the “fortnight” due date).

First worn: Today for pictures!

Total cost: Hmm…. considering the only thing I really bought for this was the dupatta, I think it was around $35.  Everything else was from the stash.

More outfit details:  My shoes were thrifted, my hat is authentic Edwardian, and the brooches, etc are vintage, with the exception of the necklace and earrings, and the choker I used as an accent on the belt.  All of those are new from Ebay, bought over the last seven years or so.

 

Finished Project: 1919 Knitted Slipover “Bodice”

I have been working on this on and off for about a month or so, and just finished it up!  I’ve come down with a rotten cold, so the opportunity of finding couch worthy projects helped me finish this up.

I may be stretching a bit, but since I just finished this, and the next Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge is “Bodice”, I’m going to use this as a submission.  A little internet searching, and I found this “knitted bodice without sleeves” from 1870 on the Vintage Stitch-O-Rama Free Pattern Emporium.  The one I made is nearly 50 years later, but a similar idea.  Maybe stretching the “bodice” idea a bit (har had, it’s knitted, so it already stretches), but I’m going with it.

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Here is the pattern I made mine from.  It’s available in my Etsy shop.  I fell in love with it in the original periodical I have in my archives.

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I admit, I didn’t do this pattern exactly as it is.  Being a somewhat notice knitter, I was clueless as to how to pick up stitches and knit the border around the collar and down the front.  And it wanted me to make buttonholes.  So I cheated, and crocheted the edge instead.  There’s enough stretch in the sweater for me to not have to have functional buttonholes.

I also changed the way the cord was made.  I didn’t like how the one looked that the instructions called for, so I looked up “crocheted cord” on Youtube and ended up doing one that’s often used in crocheted lace, or macrame.  I like it!  It took a while to get used to doing, but after a while I got in the groove and the two yards I needed to make went pretty quickly.

I also realized, as I was working this up, that I colorized the photo wrong, and there were meant to be three colors.  Oops?  I actually prefer the two.  In the original instructions, the collar and front three cord and button fasteners are supposed to be a different color than the slipover and edging and cord.

The pattern is old, and so isn’t terribly instructive like modern patterns.  I had to fudge a little here and there, since I had never made crocheted buttons or crocheted top tassels before, but I just played with single crochet and it worked out just fine.  For the base of the buttons I just used some plastic buttons in my stash that I didn’t particularly like, but that were flat.  I know I had plastic rings around here somewhere, but these worked in a pinch.

I’m pretty proud of myself for finishing this!  I’m actually REALLY pleased with how it came out.  I’ve had so many knitting disasters in my eight-ish years I’ve knitted on and off, that it’s nice to have something look pretty close to the original image.

I’ve shown this over a 1910s blouse I made a few years ago and an original vintage skirt from the 1910s to very early 1920s.

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The Challenge: #5 Bodice

Fabric: (Yarn) Shine Worsted Yarn by KnitPicks.  I loooooove this yarn!  So soft!

Pattern: 1919 Knitted Slipover (PDF in my Etsy Store)

Year: 1919

Notions: Buttons to cover.  I used sewing thread to sew on the buttons and little cord things across the front.  Crochet hook and knitting needles.

How historically accurate is it?  Nearly 100%.  The buttons I used to cover are modern plastic, and they may not have had cotton/rayon yarn then, but again, they may have, as rayon was often called “artificial silk” in this time period.

Hours to complete:  A million.  I’m not the fastest knitter.

First worn:  Not yet, but I’m totally planning on wearing this with modern clothing as well as historical, so I’m sure it will get some use.

Total cost:  Maybe $30?  I think I used about 7 balls of yarn at $2.99 each plus shipping.