Monday, February 17, 2014

HSF '14: Challenge #3- Pink ( or at least Pink-ish)

I've been doing so well with the HSF this year. I've been finishing on time, able to hand sew, etc. It's been great at keeping me motivated. Then I hit the Pink challenge. The challenge where BAM- it all comes crashing down. First, I don't really have any pink fabric in the stash that is ready to grow up into something I need at the moment, and I can't even really think of anything I'd need/use in the color pink right now.

Do I just skip this challenge and break my ultra awesome two challenge streak (and potentially lose my motivation while we're at?) NO WAY.

Instead, while it's not necessarily pink in the strictest terms I've decided it will keep me in the spirit of the HSF (which is to keep sewing!) and it's close enough that I'm not going to sweat it. Plus, for some reason I'm on a petticoat kick at the moment. 

Second- I'm a day late with this challenge. But not by choice. Earlier this week I hit myself in the eye with a key on a retractable fob at work (being a librarian can be dangerous work!). My eye was sore, so I took a day off of sewing. Then, on Friday,  it started to look all swollen. Of course, I knew it would go away if I just slept on it. When I woke up Saturday morning and could barely see the loving husband said it was time to seek medical attention. 

The experience at the Dr.  Can be summed up by him looking into my dye injected eye with the brightest light on Earth saying, "Oh wow, that is bad." 

Anyhow- 18 hours of temporary blindness and six doses of special sauce eye drops later and my eye (while still somewhat swollen) actually functions enough for me to finish the waistband on my pink-esque petticoat. 

Here are the stats:

The Challenge:  Pink
Fabric:    2 yds russety pink-esque light weight linen from my stash. It's been aging about a year.
Pattern:   None. Just my standard 18th century petticoat petticoat instruction.
Year:    General 18th century.
Notions:       3/4" linen tape, linen thread
How historically accurate is it?  As accurate as possible (at this time). The petticoat is entirely hand sew to the most current 18th century petticoat standards. I used linen tapes to attach at the waist as the waistband, and there is a very narrow turned hem. 

Hours to complete:   4ish. I was really awful about not clocking the hours on this petticoat as I have honestly just been carrying it around with me to work on for ten minutes in a waiting room here, five minutes in the car there, etc.
First worn:   TBD. It may potentially make a day trip appearance in April. Still, it's nice to have it finished. 
Total cost:  $0.00. Everything was already in my stash. Fabric was purchased last year sometime at the Textile Warehouse in Chicago (maybe $18 total?). The linen tape I purchase by the roll to have around when needed, but probably $8 ish in tape.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Coming Soon: Fitting and Proper

I know this is post numero two for today, but I can't help it! This month is just shaping up to be one of my best book months ever! If you happened to notice my post about Wearable Prints earlier this week, you know how excited I was for that.

Today, I have even more awesome clothing related book news: Sharon Ann Burnston's Fitting and Proper is getting reprinted!

If you've missed out on the opportunity to own this book because of the outrageously high resale value of the OOP copies, don't miss out on getting it the second time around.

B&T posted on facebook today that they will have the book the minute it's off the press. I wish I could pre-order some for me (and my friends.) =P

Well, back to I mean sewing.

"Procrastination is like a credit card...

... it's a lot of fun until you get the bill." -Christopher Parker

I don't know about you, but I find this to be oh so true for me. I can be a terrible procrastinator when it comes to some areas of my life. Like cleaning the house (which I kind of hate)- going to the gym (which really I need) or even historical sewing (which I actually really love). Whereas other things I simply do not procrastinate on EVER. Like paying my bills (bleh) or filing taxes (double bleh).

What is up with that?

Well, I'm trying to not be such a procrastinator anymore. I made a schedule for cleaning my house. I've built in historical sewing time to my life on a weekly basis (with monthly sewing dates with friends to keep me honest). I'm also hoping if I continue to post my successes (and inevitably, failures) on this blog that it will keep me honest, too.

Now if I could just get to the gym...

How do you all deal with the ugly procrastination monster?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Event Review: Military History Fest 2014

Well, Military History Fest has come and gone. I was able to finish the yellow strip'd gown to the "it's wearable, but not yet finished" phase and decided to leave off finishing the rusty red orange petticoat for another day. 

Here she is: the yellow strip'd gown. I'd still like to add
cuffs and rework the bodice front. I had a lot of overlap at
the waist and barely enough at the bust. eek!

View of the back. My apron was tied around the outside of the gown
in this photo, but had been beneath for most of the day.

I had some fun fabric shopping (I was able to pick up some nice silk taffeta from Vogue fabrics- maybe for another short sacque?) and picked up a cap and some books while we were at it. I have to admit that I was fairly nervous about the roundtable discussion, but it ended up being pretty cool, I think. Hopefully I didn't talk too much as I tend to do when I'm nervous. =/  I thought the topics chosen by our Lead Moderator were wonderful, and while I was a little disappointed when we weren't able to get through all of them in the time we had I thought that the in depth of the discussion on the topics we were able to touch on was well worth the time.

Overall, my favorite part of the weekend was meeting so many amazing folks for the first time and getting to spend quality time with some of our dearly missed friends. 

The most important thing is that I left the weekend feeling full of ideas and inspired for what to do next. I'm also even more excited for my B&T workshops coming up this spring.

So let's do this world!  


Monday, February 3, 2014

When Patience Pays Off (or I've been waiting two years for this book!)

Woohoo! I'm so very tired this evening after a wonderful weekend at MHF (event in review to come soon) but I couldn't help posting about my excitement as I've been anticipating this text for some two years now!

Wearable Prints: History, Materials, and Mechanics finally came!

I've already spent some of my evening perusing and will post a review as soon as I've finished reading the 500 odd page tome.


Saturday, February 1, 2014

HSF '14: Challenge #2- Innovation (or a Marseilles cloth petticoat)

If you reference my HSF '14: Challenge #1 post, you'll see that my fist attempt at a Marseilles cloth petticoat (usually called "matelasse" today) turned out less than perfect. First too long, then too short, then finally made to work by adding a printed band around the bottom.

So, for Challenge #2- Innovation, I've decided to make a more length appropriate (and all hand sewn!) petticoat. Before we get to the petti itself, let's talk about the idea behind this challenge, and why I chose to use it as an opportunity for a new Marseilles cloth petticoat.

Who doesn't want a lovely quilted petticoat, right? You get that awesome fullness of the skirts without having to wear a ba-zillion (technical term) petticoats, and it keeps you toasty warm when it's -48° Fahrenheit due to the polar vortex that has kindly visited Illinois this winter! .... but back to reality- who has the time to hand quilt a petticoat?! (Unless you are Carolyn from Rockin' the Rococo- jealous btw!)

Back to our innovation research: In the early 18th century, Marseilles was very well known for it's quilting manufacture and for good reason: Marseilles quilting is beautiful!  Marseilles quilters worked pieces in yard goods for clothing or in pieces for use in bedding. Some day I will get around to making my very own Marseilles quilting inspired hand quilted 18th century petticoat.

That day is not today.

Thankfully for me (and all of those other 18th century quilted petticoat saps) England's all about keeping it in the country; In 1760 the Society for the Encouragements of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce in England began offering money for those who could figure out how to replicate via a loom the look of "Marseille quilting." By 1763 the first patent is registered, and it is noted in 1783 that the use of Marseilles cloth was " extensive...that few persons of any rank, condition, or fix......exist who do not use it in some part of their clothing."

Knowing that in the 1760's and early 70's Virginia is seeing huge amounts of cloth imported from London, and there are quite a few references between '63-76 in the Gazette regarding "Marseilles quilts" being imported, I figured that I could reasonably have a Marseilles cloth petticoat in Alexandria, VA at this time.

Now, onto the petticoat itself.

Front and side view of my Petticoat. It's very full (a little more so than I expected.)
I didn't iron it prior to the pictures, so what looks like a big seam across the
middle is actually a fold line. =P

The Challenge:  Innovation
Fabric:    2 yds Diamond quilted Matelasse (100% cotton)
Pattern:   None. Just my standard 18th century petticoat petticoat instruction.
Year:    1776-ish. Could work for a pretty good range.
Notions:       3/4" linen tape, linen thread
How historically accurate is it?  As accurate as possible (at this time). I'd like to dig a little deeper into the manufacture of Marseilles cloth sometime in the future. However, based on the research I was able to tap into via the internet and my current library collection, she's as close as I can get to what I think is right.

The petticoat is entirely hand sew in the typical manner of an 18th century petticoat. I used linen tapes to attach at the waist as the waistband, and there is a very narrow turned hem. Many quilted petticoats are hemmed by applying tape and turning to the inside, but I didn't have any I thought suitable on hand. I'll probably keep an eye out for further research and proper tape and this will be an easy fix, if need be.

Doing a spaced back stitch- that fabric is kind of thick!

Whipping the tape down to the backside. Made sure to
catch all of the pleats as I went.

Hours to complete:   6hr 20 min. Not bad considering I probably could have been more productive if I'd shut the TV off. I finished it Tuesday.
First worn:   Will be worn for the first time today, at Military History Fest. I'll update with pictures later!
Total cost:  $0.00. Everything was already in my stash. I think I got the Matelasse a long time ago on sale for $6.00 a yard or something to that extent. The linen tape I purchase by the roll to have around when needed, but probably $8 ish in tape.

If you're interested in more information on Marseilles petticoats, check out these two articles which helped me quite a bit with my research.

This article by Loren Dearborn via YWU. Unfortunately, if you do not have a membership, you will not be able to view the whole article. =/

This lovely blog post by the Ladies' Repository Museum.

If you're wondering what I consider my standard 18th. century petticoat, check out this tutorial  by the Ladies over at a Fashionable Frolick. They do some amazing work. =)