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:-( )
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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

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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.

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

Regency Apron – Photoshoot

For the photos of my new apron I wanted to try to copy the inspiration print s much as possible, and since I haven’t made the rest of the outfit, I picked some pieces from my existing costume wardrobe that would some what give the right look.

I’m wearing my white regency evening gown, regency stays, cap, fichu, mittens and a few different hats and bonnets (like my green silk 1860s, brown velvet 1840s) for props.

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Behind the scenesimg_2436

Regency Apron (HSM 1/2017)

Since my plan is to go for easy pieces this year (yeah, Erhm, sorry that ship’s already sailed) I decided to submit a lovely piece of clothing I started sometime this fall and only finished a little while ago.

Namely this pretty Apron:8b05963d5ee97df4f28e42f9f5f09e09I loved this print since I first saw it and been wanting to re-create it for quite some time.

The first thing I did was to dig up a piece of soft cotton satin in a lovely dark green color, which I scored for basically nothing at a flee-market a while back.
The fabric was only 1 m long but that was exactly enough.img_2191Some creative cutting (without piecing, Yay!)

img_2198I started by hemming the sides, and  bust “flap”, using my sewing machine, since sewing time is scarce at the moment.

Then I stitched and turned the tubes that was to become the shoulder straps.img_2200

The hardest part was to figure out the bust flap and the closing, since I wanted to be able to wear it in several different ways (Flap up/down, Straps straight/crossed at back)img_2228I ended up only attaching the flap at the “waist” so that it could either be folded down (hidden) or pinned to the straps if worn up.

Then I marked the buttonhole placement, and stitched them (using my machine). img_2232

I finished by adding the buttons, and a 10 cm wide piece of linen to the hem to give it some weight. img_2313

The finished apron:
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Bust flap down and crossed straps in back: img_2302

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Just the facts:

Challenge: 1/2017 “Firts & Last”

What: a Regency apron

How It fits the challenge: It would be one of the last pieces you put on before leaving the house/doing your chores. It’ also the my first venture into the late Regency/early Biedermeier but not my last since I now wish to make the whole outfit from the inspiration print.

Pattern: None, I drafted my own – It’s basically a trapeze with shoulder straps.

Fabric: 1 m green cotton satin and 15 cm white linen for hem binding.

Notions: Thread and buttons

Historical accurate: Besides from the machine stitching and maybe to “weak” fabric I would say it is pretty good. The shape is good and the construction is plausible. about 6/10

Time: About 4 hours – figuring out the construction took the longest time.

Cost: 30 Sek (3 Usd) – got to love those flee Market bargains.

First worn: Mid January for pictures

Final thoughts: I think it looks pretty good, and helps “dress down” my more fancy frocks in a pretty way.

Regency hairdo

I’d be the first to admit that I know nothing about hair – My own are really short and don’t need much attentions, and when I had long hair a couple of years ago, I just wore it in a ponytail or bun.

But with great costumes comes great hair styles… or something like that.

So today I will show you the hairstyle I did on my sister for the Regency ball.IMG_3406

The day before the ball she pinned her hair up in curlers while still wet, and then slept on it.
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The first thing to do was to remove all the hair pins. IMG_3746

And shake the hair out, using the fingers to get it really big and fluffy.IMG_3747

Then I gathered most of the hair in a ponytail, leaving some hanging in the front. Using the ponytail as a base I attached a hair doughnut to add some volume and structure to the do.
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I then twisted and pinned the rest of the hair up in messy curls IMG_3751

Lastly I added the golden headband and secured it with some boby-pins.
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The finished hairdo at the ball.

I could also have left some of the front hair curls hanging to get another effect.

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IMG_3415The finished hair do at the photoshoot.

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Peace of cake.

Regency Ball 2014

At long last the day of the Regency ball had arrived.
10425524_1004195869596971_6268147082631848256_nThe dance cards in shape of fans.
Photo credit: Helena Brodd.

The evening stared with mingle, chatting and everyone trying to flirt there way to a full dance card. IMG_3756

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Then we moved upstairs to the great hall to sit down for dinner.IMG_3772

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IMG_3762The awesome ladies I had o the table, Ms Berg and Helena Brodd.

IMG_3771Me and my sister at dinner.

Then it was time for the dancing.
And since I danced almost every dance I don’t have any pics of the acctuall dancing, but had to settle for some in between shoots.

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IMG_3789Oh, I swoon over all the handsome gentlemen…

IMG_3832Blurry dancing…

I between and in the dance breaks I did get some photos of lots of lovely dressed people.
10410439_1004058419610716_53117235616509123_nTwo dresses from the same fabric.
Photo credit: Helena Brodd.

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IMG_3827The king and Queen…
(Helena is wearing a replica of the Swedish court dress)

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IMG_3811Kodac moment

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IMG_3809Regency photo bomb…

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IMG_3795The sewing group.

IMG_3804Sewing group wedgie…

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IMG_3844Silly shoot.

Regency Sewing Course

This fall I’ve been knee deep in Regency – in a good way.

As preparations for the up-coming regency ball I was asked to teach a night class in historic sewing.

So in beginning of September we had the first class. I was really nervous, not at all sure about this period  and not knowing was the students were expecting.

IMG_3351Patterns.

Everything went smooth, and the students were very grateful and everyone helped in answering the more tricky questions, which made me really happy about all the combined knowledge in the group.

IMG_3656It seems even I got some time working on my dress between helping the others.

IMG_3652My sister working on her ridicule.

IMG_3342The last meeting was held just a week before the ball, and the theme were accessories.

bild 1Concentrating hard.

IMG_3347Carl’s pinning the lining for his waistcoat.

IMG_3349Anna is a happy camper stitching away on her mock up for a spencer.

IMG_3662Pernilla stitching on her gown.

IMG_3350Maud usuly does 18th century but have changed century for this ball.

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The day of the ball some of us was not quite finished…IMG_3724Sneaking out those needles during the water break in the dancing rehearsals

 And here comes some pics from the ball to show of everybody’s beautiful work.

IMG_3755Denise and Pernillas lovely green creations.

IMG_3810Paula and Carl shared and used the same sari for their outfits, and they both looked smashing.

IMG_3815Maud made her whole dress by hand, and did manadge to finish before the last minute.

IMG_3819Solveig made the dress for her daughter Othelia.

IMG_3821Clara in her light green dress and wonderful ridicule.
Hm, do I detect a color trend…

10799595_1007608945932899_1896436223_nAnna in her fabulous cream colored gown
(photo credit to Anna)

IMG_3801And Pose….

 I’m so proud of what everyone of you have accomplished, and you all looked fantastic at the ball.
I’ve learnt so much during our meetings and hope to continue this classes, now when we all are ready for some new challenges.

White Regency Evening Gown

For the upcoming ball, hosted by my dancing company, I knew I wanted a new gown.
After several hours on Pinterest, looking through dossins of beautiful fashion plates, I finally decided on a style.

1799-1800-dressesI used the left dress in this fashion plate as my inspiration.

Since time was sparce, I decided to use Simplicity 4055 instead of draping my own pattern.simplicity4055This may now be the pattern I made most garments from (my yellow regency gown, brown spencer/west, my sisters greecian goodes dress, and now this white evening gown).

I also had the perfect fabric in my stash. IMG_7086A white striped cotton voile, that started life as a pair of IKEA curtains.

I started by mocking-up the lining to get a foundation to build the rest of the dress.IMG_3675The neckline needed to be lowered a bit. It is after all a ball, and if there is ever a time to show some cleavage a ball must most definitely be it. IMG_3683

Then I cut the fashion fabric, making sure to get enough fabric into the front piece to get some nice gathering. IMG_3684I stitched the bodice together and basted it into the interlining before I gathered the front.

Then it was time for the next try on.
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The bodice fitted pretty good, and the wrinkles at the back comes from my boyfriends pinning me into it (sch, don’t tell him), and not from the back being to small as you would think.

After finishing up the bodice, I attached the skirt making sure to put most of the gathers at the center back.IMG_3702

The sleeves are regular pouf sleeves with a row of gathering stitches in the middle to create a double pouf.IMG_3703

And once again I needed to get help being pinned into the dress (see why I will never say anything about less then perfect pinning…)

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Since I didn’t had time to get hold of a long enough red ribbon to tie around the neck, crossed in back and under bust as in the fashion plate, I experimented wit a shorter red ribbon tied under bust.

I finished by attaching the sleeves, hemming the skirt and attaching the hook and eyes at center back.
I also decided to stitch on a ribbon under bust made from the same fabric – something I did at the location of the ball, just before getting dressed.

The finished dress:IMG_3871

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A pic from the ball of me wearing the dress, stylishly accessorized in burgundy and beads:IMG_3797

Just the Facts:

Challenge: nr 21 – Re-do. I choose to re-do challenge nr 9 – Black and White.

What: A white regency (year 1805) evening gown.

Pattern: I started with Simplicity 4055, but made quite a few changes to it.

Fabric: 3 m of white striped cotton voile from IKEA curtains. 0,5 m of white cotton for lining and interning.

Notions: Thread and 4 pair of hook and eyes.

How historical accurate: So so. The dress looks pretty good and the pattern are pretty authentic, but the construction are all modern with seing machine and bag lining. I would say about 6/10.

Time: I rushed the entire dress (starting only two nights before the ball) working the evenings after work, so I would say about 8 hours.

Cost: About 150 Sek (22 Usd)

First Worn: nov 8, to a Regency ball.

Final Thoughts: I really like it. The fit is good, and the dress looks both delicate and cool at the same time.
My only regret was not to have the time to make/buy the burgundy fabric/shawl that was to be draped across the shoulders and tied below the bust, as in the fashion plate.

 

Greek goodes Regency Dress

For the HSF challenge nr 20 – Parallel universe,  I decided to enter my sisters regency evening dress.
I’ve been planing her dress for quite some time, ever since I talked her into attending the autumn regency bal, but only started working on it just this other week.
 We looked at some inspiration together and decided to make something similar on this lovely paining.
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The pattern I used was the regular Simplicity regency pattern (which I used for my yellow regency gown).
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I needed to make it quite a lot smaller to fit my petite sister.
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IMG_7083The fabric is a curtain I bought on sale last spring, which my sister called dibs on the moment she found it in my stash.
The sewing was pretty easy. I made the bodice and and stitched on the skirt.IMG_3284
Then I inserted the lining and hand tacked it down.
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Then I put it on my dress form to make some sleeve-design decisions.
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Red or white?
When looking at the dress like this, at the dress form I really hated it.
The fabric looked cheap and washed out, and the sleeves just looked ridiculous. But I decided to keep working, since I hoped the right trimmings and underwear would save the dress and give it some more shape and color.
So on to some more decisions…
White, ok – but long or short?
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Short, ok, but should I decorate it? (and so on)
IMG_3280I cut some of the lenght of and started working on a trimming design for he sleeves.
IMG_3282Using some golden trim I dew a scalloped design which I transferred to the sleeves and stitched on.
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Then I stitched on the sleeves, and cut the length of the skirt.
IMG_3288I hemmed both layers of fabric, stitched on hooks and eyes and finished of by attaching the whide golden leaf-shaped trim under bust.
The finished dress (and I forgot to take pictures of it on my dress form before giving it to my sister):
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And at the photoshoot:
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Just the Facts:
Challenge: 20 Paralell Universe
What: A Regency dress (approx year 1805). During the early 19th century ancient Greek aesthetics where all in vogue, and ladies wore sheer slim dresses to copie the gowns they saw in ancient pictures and statues.
Pattern: Simplicity 4055, with some alterations.
Fabric: 1 burgundy polyester curtain from Indiska (120 x 220 cm), 2 m of white polyester satin and 40 cm of white cotton.
Notions: Thread, 80 cm of wide gold trim, 2 m of narrow gold trim, 6 pair of hook and eyes, 30 cm of plastic boning.
How historical accurate: Not much. The pattern are pretty good, but the fabrics, trims and construction techniques are way to modern.
Time: About 10 hours
Cost: I would say about 350 Sek.
First Worn: This weekend for photos, but will be worn next weekend at a Regency Bal.
Final thoughts: I really like this dress (and think my sister feels the same), and the only thing I would change is to lengthen the front bodice a bit more to keep the under bust seam from riding up.

Cultural Festival and Regency Dance

Yesterday it was once again time for the annual cultural festival in our town, and I had agreed to join the historic dance team for their recital. Last time I’d performed on the festival was about 8 years ago, together with my friend of the young national dance team (and when I say young, I basically mean any dancer under the age of 40).

This time though, I would not wear my national costume, but my new regency gown compleat with velvet west and bonnet.

I started getting ready by curling my wet hair the evening before, and let it set over night.IMG_1682This is how I looked when I woke up (way to early on a Saturday), and started to get ready.

I did some light make-up and fuzzes around with the hair, to get something similar to curls in my short bangs.IMG_1688

All dressed up and wearing my new bonnet, I thought it looked pretty decent.IMG_1695Then it was time t take the bus downtown to the meet up point for the festival.

Sadly the weather was not at all co-operating.IMG_1706
And the dance area was cowered in water and extremely slippery.

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Two wet gents testing the floor.

The teams about to perform all gathered and made them self ready, while huddling beneath rain coats, umbrellas and shawls.IMG_1777
Clara and Maud, in matching self made bonnets and happy despite the weather.

Then the dance program started.
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Beginning with the classical dance team, in their lovely national costumes.

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The two ladies in this pic are wearing identical jackets and two variations of the “Skedevi” costume. (left: the summer costume in white and pink cotton, and right: the sunday costume in red wool). I would love to make that jacket for myself – I do have the pattern…

Then it was time for the kids
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You need to be pretty devoted as a parent to agree to do this things.

The next team was the “polske – team”, with their beautiful and addictive dances in 3/4 beats. IMG_1725My friend Annica (whose wedding I attended in late may).

Then it was our turn.
IMG_1735We did a short variation of our usual routine, and were happy once we put our jackets back on.

The team I liked the most were the swing dancers.IMG_1743They looked to be having so much fun, and really rocked the style (some more then others).
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Then we got a short show from a bride to be on her bachelorett party. IMG_1756And yes, of course she could swing to.

Then it was time for another old school dance team, “the Morris team”.IMG_1758I guess it could have been pretty cool, if they had all been on beat and perfectly choreographed. But as it were, the noise those bells and sticks made was not exactly my cup of tea…

We also got to see a team from Denmark.IMG_1765Look at those embroidery. So nice to see some new to me national costumes.

And a team from Norwegian.IMG_1770Our neighbors to the east, are known for their lovely red and black national costumes covered with heavy jewelry.

As you can see from this photos there was not many on-lookers except the dancers waiting for their turn. this seams to be the routine on these cultural days. And as a friend said: I have no idea why we do this year after year, since it’s just society for mutual admiration.

And I guess that’s why it’s been 8 yeas since I last did this recital.

But I did get a photo of me and two old time friends.
IMG_1727Katarina (in the middle), was my dance teacher when I was a kid. And Annika (who also was in the kids dance group), are now a board-member in the dance organisation, and dances so often and long that her shoes are falling apart…

Once home again I marveled over my extremely stupid looking “mössfrilla” (hat hairdo).IMG_1790

I also discovered I managed to tear my dress.IMG_1791Well, thats just another one for the mending pile.

Now to get ready for next weekends event.