Shirts for a Gentleman

Last fall, right before I hit the wall sewing wise I’d taken on one of my rare commissions (I don’t usually sew for others unless its totally on my terms).
But when my wonderful dancing master Sievert asked me if I could help him update his historical shirts I couldn’t say no.

He needed both a new medieval and a new regency shirt to use on our dance recitals.

So I got some nice cotton (I know linnen would be more accurate but I was to make them on machine anyway. And they needed to be easy to wash and care for), made some quick pattern calculations and cut the rectangles needed for both the shirts.

Then I stopped, put my head in the sand and closed my eyes to everything sewing/historical (because pregnancy can do that to you)

More then 10 months later (after the birth of my son, and then some), I was once more ready to tackle the shamefully late commission.

So after one intense week of sewing in between feedings, I managed to sew and deliver both shirts.img_0882

The process went pretty fast and straight forward except one little hiccup –
While putting the last hand on and pressing the Medievals shirt I noticed the seam allowance on the outside on one of the sleeves.

Meaning i’ve put it in inside out.

Crap!

So it was on to un-picking the french felled seam (with hand finishing:-( )
img_0391
I then turned the sleeve outside- in and re-attached it, pressed and once more used tiny hand stitches to fell the seam.

There done!

Or, wait a second…

NOOOOoooo!!!

I done the exact same mistake AGAIN!

Some of you might remember that I’ve done this before (on my Borgia chemise les then a month before).

How is it even possible that I didn’t learn?
By now I tossed the damned thing into the corner and went to sleep, debating with myself if I could leave it like that.
Of course I couldn’t – It was  a commission piece after all.

So bring back the seam ripper.

The only trouble was that these folded french seams needs really small seam allowance to look good, and the only way to achieve that is by trimming it after you stitched the first seam. This practice, and the fact I’ve done it wrong not one, but twice, meant that I cut of about 1,5 cm on the left shoulder compared to the right. Making the whole garment a bit of.

Once the sleeve was re-set, a third time, I quickly finished and packed the shirt away, out of sight.

The finished medieval shirt:img_0420

img_0388The final result after all the re-stitching.

img_0428Sleeve with ties

img_0416

img_0417

Then it was time to get cracking on the Regency shirt.

This time I didn’t do the same mistake (Hurray!), and the shirt was finished in a few days.

The finished Regency shirt: img_0873

img_0878Metal buttons on a standing collar.

img_0861

img_0863

img_0864

img_0866

img_0870

img_0868

The two shirts now at their new home.img_0884Lets hope he gets a lot of wear out of them.

2016 in Review

2016 is one of those years we will always remember for it’s tragic events, raising lack of humanity/ compassion for the most vulnerable in our society (and world).

But for me, 2016 will always be one of the mot important years in my life – it’s the year my son was born.

Thus a big change in my priority’s (and time/energy) leaving my sewing somewhat on the backwater.
And taking into account that I had a 6 months hiatus from sewing last winter(Oct 2015 – April 2016) there is a miracle I managed anything at all. But I did actually finish a few items both before and after my delivery in June.

And here they are:

1790s printed Roundgown:
IMG_6209

Viscose 1790s Roundgown (both with and without baby-bump)IMG_9669

Regency Petticoat IMG_9661

Babyclothes:
Modern:
Jackets, bodys, pants, hats and rompers several of each.IMG_9732 IMG_9915

Historical:
A hat and shirt for a newborn IMG_0282

Halloween:
Henry VIII Costumeimg_1718

Menswear:
(not yet posted about)

Medieval shirt:img_0416

Regency Shirt:img_0861

1950s turquoise viscose dress:IMG_0842

1450s Italian Gown:img_0524

1400s Chemise IMG_0334

1450s Italian Court Gown img_0442

1550s Elizabethan gown:img_1581

Brocade gown img_1480

  Quilted petticoatimg_1033

I’ve also finished a few minor projects like, hemming skirts/pants, sewing curtains/pillows, adjusting dresses etc.

And as always I have a few things on their way which I didn’t manged to finish before the new year (but which hopefully will be completed in he following months).

Al in all I think I did pretty well with my 3 mayor project, which all has been on my wishlist for quite some time.

Qvilted Purple Petticoat

Once my Elizabeth I dress was finished, it was time to get some good photos of the outfit.

The night before the photoshoot I pulled out all the things needed (stockings, shoes, hairpins, and so on) when I noticed my green quilted petticoat was no where to be found.
After some searching I suddenly realized – It (amongst lots of other stuff) was currently on loan to Ekenäs castle as part of an exhibition.

Crap!

And I didn’t own anything to get even close to the bounciness it provided to my skirts.
And the Elizabethan gown REALLY needed some serious bounce…

Dubble crap!

So what’s a girl to do?

Make another one of course!

Thankfully they are not that hard to make, and since I actually had planned to make a second one a while back, so the needed material was already waiting in my “to make” pile.

A pre-quilted bedspread bought cheep at a big dollar store.
bild

The facts:

What: A Quilted petticoat aprox 1500-1900
used in the past for warmt and skirt support (to get the fashionable shape)

Pattern: None – It’s basically a rectangle pleated to a waistband.

Fabric & Notions: One pre-quilted Bedspread, thread, 0.3m cotton scraps, hooks and eyes.

Time & Costs: About 3 hours and 100 sek (12 Usd)

Final thoughts: This is such a nice and fast piece to make, and even though it’s not as sturdy as my green petticoat I really like the shape it gives. Plus it will aslo work as a skirt worn with a 18th century jacket or Anglaise.

Exhibition of costumes at Ekenäs Castle

Back in April a friend of mine (who just happens to be the tenant at a 17th century castle close by) asked if I would like to put some of my costumes on display.

Would I?
Of course 🙂

We discussed back and forth for a while which ones to choose.
Then the planes got put on hold both due to our massive workload and due to the upcoming birth of my child.

In end of June we resumed the planing, and decided a date for her to come and collect the outfits.

So the day before, I went down in the basement and located all the bits and pieces for the 4 chosen costumes.
Then I got to work mending and ironing everything to get them all to look their best.

IMG_9953It’s hard work ironing 4 m of train.

IMG_9956Collected outfits – sorted, ironed and ready to ship.

IMG_9955I also lend her my dress-forms.

The castle Ekenäs is a museum with several different styles of interior decoration (from 17th century until early 20th century), and we wanted the costumes to represent a wide variety of times/people. Or at least as much of a variety you can get with only 4-5 shown pieces.

Here are the ones we choose:

1880s evening gownIMG_5660

Displayed in the dining hall next to the old piano and beautiful set dining room table.IMG_9990

IMG_9989

1780s Flower Robe AnglaiseIMG_3585

Displayed in the living-roomIMG_0009

IMG_0013

1790s Gentlemans wool outfitIMG_1115-ok

Also displayed in the living-roomIMG_0010

1913s Walking-dressIMG_0614

Displayed in one of the bedroomsIMG_0015

IMG_0018

And 1880s underwearIMG_5851

Displayed in one of the master bedroomsIMG_0024

I went to visit the Castle the other day, and got to look at my costumes the way the other visitors did. It was quite fun to watch old ladies and children alike photograph and point at my dresses.
And I must say, they really added something to the room and their exhibitions.

18th century/Regency Dance recital

In the end of April my dance team attended a the local event called “dance week”, where teams and dancers from all genres in dance.

The theme was 18th century/regency and we all dressed in our favorite costumes. I wore my new regency Round Gown (which I only just finished that same morning…)

We had a short recital and then invited the on-lockers to participate for a few dances.

The whole event was pretty low key, with only a few on-lockers, but it felt good to once more dress up and move my ever growing body.

(Sorry for the poor photos)IMG_5966

IMG_5999

IMG_6027Together with some of the interested public.

IMG_6118The whole team gathered.

Regency Round Gown – Construction

Long time no seen.
I´ve been living in my bubble for the past couple of months, but I have been creating some small tings while taking a break from blogging.

In the beginning of April, I got into my head that maybe I should join the dance team for one last performance before my time was due.
The recital was a 18th century/Regency themed one, set to April 24 (two weeks from then) – and I had nothing to wear.

You would think I’d be able to use one of my regency dresses (with lots of space for my growing belly), but unfortunately some other parts of me had grown as well (yes I´m talking to you, boobs), and there was no way I could close any of my old dresses.

So, a new one it is…

I’ve long been planing to make a regency/transitional round gown, and this was my chance.
Not only would it be perfect for accommodating my growing belly, but later it would also work as an “easy to access” nursing gown. Perfect!rd10

round-gowns-heideloff-gallery-of-fashion-1794-1802

I used the pattern from “Cut of Womens clothes” as a guide for the draping and seam placement, and the “Laughing Moon” wrap front spencer pattern for the front bodice foundation.
.c212c75aadb4f2d6baf818bfeadb64f500-Pattern-20-2

As usual I drafted the pattern and made a mock-up.
IMG_9594 IMG_9596
Due to my growing belly, I could not use my regency stays, but trusted a modern sports bra to do the work – after all for this project comfort was a priority.

Once happy with the fit, I when’t through my stash and soon found exactly hat I was after – a beautiful flower viscose in different shades of blue. And the almost 2 m of it would be exactly enough to make the dress.
IMG_9604

I cut the lining in a lavender blue satin (also from stash) and began the assembly.IMG_9601

All the seams in the back melts together from the print, but I do like the structure it gives to the bodice non the les.
IMG_9606 IMG_9605

Once the back pieces was ready, it was time to get working on the front.IMG_9615Draping the front pattern

Using two gathering treads, I collected and arranged the fabric at the shoulder and under bust seamIMG_9622

IMG_9623 IMG_9624
Before and after gathering the width.

Once the basic shape was done I tweaked it a bit by raising the under bust seam and removing a few cm from the neckline.IMG_9630

I stitched the lining using darts for bust shaping, IMG_9609

and basted the lining to the outer fabric.
IMG_9635

Then I added the sleeves and skirt.IMG_9640 The first look at how it might look once done (skirt just basted at this point).

I tried the dress on, and it fitted like a (very soft and unbelievable comfortable) glove.
IMG_9657 IMG_9653

IMG_9655Tiny belly showing…
All that remained was to add ties and buttonhole for clouser and to hem the dress.

But before I could take the dress out for a spin (literally) I needed to make myself a skirt to match, to prevent any mishaps in the “underwear showing through the front opening” category.

Said and done.
I cut two widths of the same lavender fabric and stitched them together.
I pleated the top to a waistband, added shoulder straps, clouser and finished it by hemming.

The finished skirt/petticoat:IMG_9661

IMG_9663

IMG_9664

IMG_9665

The finished dress:IMG_9669

IMG_9671

IMG_9673

IMG_9676

IMG_9677

IMG_9691

IMG_9679

IMG_9681

IMG_9692

IMG_9682Back shoulder

IMG_9683Ties in the back

IMG_9693

Sneak a peak from the photoshoot;IMG_6187

2015 – A year in rerview

I’m a bit behind in posting, but here are a summary of the items I made last year.

January:

I started the year with grand planes (pun intended) and made pannier for the first HSM challenge of the year – FoundationIMG_5811

And one snowy evening I cobbled together a fake fur hat to match my neck-stoleIMG_5188

February:

For Februarys challenge – blue,  I continued with the winter theme and finished my Redingote which I´ve started in the fall.IMG_5615

I also had the time to (start) and finish a 18th century maids outfit for the 3rd challenge – Stashbusting.IMG_4587

Mars:

And while I was in the mood to clear out some stash I also made a “Little red riding hood” 18th century cape IMG_4563

and a brown wool skirt for my sister.IMG_6203

April:

April came with spring, and I made a summery outfit for “Lady Mary” and the – War and Peace challengeIMG_4861

I also made a 1860s blouse and  1850s silk bonnet for a summer event.IMG_6304IMG_6729

May:

In May I made a cotton blouse for the – Practicality challenge and then a skirt, hat and belt to go with it.IMG_6963

June:

In June I scrambled to finish my 1850s plaid summer dress in time for an event. IMG_7059

Then I had some fun designing and making a crazy 18th(ish) century masquarde costume.IMG_5079

July:

Almost all of July was spent on making this 17th century bodice (and skirt and accessories) for Isis wardrobes “Sew 17th century challenge”IMG_8019

August:

August is medieval month in our part of town so I made an 15th century Burgundian dress for my sisterIMG_8363

And used an old thrift store find to complete the -Heirlome challenge with a 1850s farmers dress.IMG_8518

September:

September, with its magical colors and a drawing to the forest, made me want to make an “Outlander” inspired outfitIMG_8724
And to make a stylish (yet autumn inspired) 1900s day dress for the Brown Challenge. IMG_8890

October:

For the Sewing secrets Challenge, I made a new skirt to my 17th century bodice (not yet blogged about) IMG_9531_resized

It was around this time my head finally caught up with my body and realized I was pregnant, and needed to slow the heck down.
And that´s exactly what I did – I closed the door to my sewing room, and have just now started to once again peak through the key hole.

And so my sewing year of 2015 ends in October.

I´t will be some time before I´m back to more regular posting and sewing (but I finally starting to dream of pretty dresses again) so hopefully I can show you some new stuff in not so long.

 

*For more pictures and construction of the pieces take a look at the “Portfolio” page.

Past Brown Creations

This months theme for HSM/15 is “Brown”.

The Dreamstress whites:
it’s not the most exciting colour by modern standards, but brown has been one of the most common, and popular, colours throughout history. Make something brown.

I actually like brown.
It’s a great color that (in my opinion) accentuates almost any other color. Its softer then black and cooler then white when making color combinations. Brown also comes in a lot of different shades from dark chocolate to golden and soft nougat. It’s also been a (more or les=) popular color throughout history.

Here are some of my brown pieces I’ve added t my historical wardrobe theses past years:

IMG_1375One of my favorite dresses is this 1780s robe a la Anglaise in a lovely flowery cotton matched with a golden petticoat and brown stockings.

IMG_02181850s lend itself great to the brown color pallet.
This walking dress in printed cotton makes an impact on everyone around.

IMG_0406The dress also comes with an evening bodice.

IMG_2004A photo from 1929 inspired this simple cotton dress, the brown boots and white collar ads perfectly to the authenticity.

IMG_5660Who knew a 1880s evening gown in brown could be so glamours. The light teal skirt, white gloves and the dark brown fringe perfectly sets of the nougat in the gown.

IMG_0657The same 1880s trained bodice, paired with leather pants and heavy duty boots, also works for a softer Steampunk style.

IMG_8728Simple rural 18th century woolen bodice in light nougat/dark beige perfectly matches the plaid in the skirt and the softness in the nature all around.

IMG_1115-ok18th century menswear in a wide spectrum of brown hues, with the coat as the obvious focal point, matched with golden/brown waistcoat and beige/brown suede breeches.

IMG_6202A simple white shirt made fabulous with the help of a nice brown 1990s woolen skirt and cola colored belt.

IMG_4587This dark chocolate 18th century skirt reads as black, but makes a softer contrast to the white apron and stockings then black. The bodice is actually yellow with purple stripes, but can very well be read as brown.

IMG_3444Dark wine paired with chocolate brown makes for a serene medieval picture.

DSC_0776Golden poly knit makes for a nice Egyptian masquerade costume.

I’ve also made several accessories to my costumes:
IMG_5188Brown fake fur hat, matched with bought fake fur muff and fox stole, worn with my 1900s walking outfit.

IMG_8039A 1660s (or any period really) fake fur stole/shawl.

IMG_1106Chocolate velvet sleeveless spencer, made to go with my yellow regency gown.

IMG_4160Velvet cape trimmed with fake fur and 1840s velvet bonnet, make for some pretty Dickensien winter picture..

pump-ståSometimes the simplest of items make a huge different, This 1550s outfit wouldn’t be complete without the brown apron.

What do you think of the color brown?