January 17, 2013

Past and Future Things

Can anyone guess what this work in progress might be?

Making things has always helped to keep me sane in rough times, so I've picked up my projects once more.  I've lots to catch up on, and lots planned for the future.  Here's a glimpse of some of the things I've been up to, and some of the things I'll be tackling soon.  I'll cover each of these in more depth later, so these are just a preview.

Like many others, I've joined The Dreamstress' The Historical Sew Fortnightly.  The holidays kept me from doing the bonus challenge, but I started early on my project for the Bi/Tri/Quadri/Quin/Sex/Septi/Octo/Nona/Centennial one.  I chose an accessory from the year 1813.  Can you guess what it is from the above in progress shot?  (And yes, I know crochet wasn't around at the time, but I didn't feel like knitting tiny stitches, so shhh!)  Last week's tragedy kept me from completing it, so I've missed the deadline, but I'll be finishing it anyways.
While we're on the subject, here's a rundown of what I'm planning to do for each of the challenges that have been announced so far (note that I will probably waffle and change at least one of the following as the deadlines near)-

Challenge #2- UFO

Everything done but the binding.

You've seen glimpses of the custom drafted corset I was sewing back in November.  Well, I finished everything but the binding.  Since I needed a corset under my Dickens clothes, I wore it as is.  Now it's time to finish it!  Binding will be a quick and easy project to complete, and I'll finally be done with this corset.  Hopefully I'll get around to writing a post on how it went together too.

Challenge #3- Under it All

Antique chonies.

When I made my repro drawers copied directly from my pair of antique split crotch undies, I learned a lot.  I want to make a second, much better pair now that I know how to do it better (I will conquer those tiny 1/8 flat felled seams and pintucks!).  I also want to finish cleaning up the pattern and adding tips about the hard bits to the instructions so that I can post them here and you can make your own!

Challenge #4- Embellish

I've been thinking of adding flossing to the corset mentioned in Challenge #2.  If not flossing, then perhaps a pretty lace overlay in strategic areas (perhaps covering the damn ink stain on the side)?

Challenge #5- Peasants and Pioneers

I'm thinking an apron, but I haven't decided what era.  Any suggestions?  Since I don't often attend events where I'd actually wear an apron, I'd like this one to be something I'd wear around the house, whether I'm in period clothes or not.

Challenge #6- Stripes

Pretty silk, but eh on the welt pockets

This one was an easy choice.  Poor Boyfriend has been waiting for me to finish his striped silk waistcoat for over a year.  Time to finish it up!

Challenge #7- Accessorize

I've got lots of choices, so it will probably come down to what tickles my fancy the most at the time I start worrying about getting this one done.  I could finally decorate one of my pairs of American Duchess shoes.  I could make some 18th century mitts.  There's a cap that I'd like to make, or I could get started on a handkerchief (can't have too many of those!).  

Challenges aside, I've got lots of other things I need/want to get done this year.  Believe it or not, the following is the short list!  I'll probably see how many of these I can shoehorn into fitting one of the challenges so that I'm not too busy.

From the Museum of London.  Beautiful!

Regency wardrobe-  A dear friend is getting married in October, and her wedding will be Regency themed!  I need a dress, which means I need underthings as well.  While I'm at it, I might as well create a whole wardrobe to have available for other events, right?   I'd like to do a few everyday dresses, plus one fancier one, but I don't have any details set in stone yet.   I do know I desperately want to make the above pelisse from the Museum of London so very badly.  I'll also be making a coat for Boyfriend (more on that soon!), plus a vest and shirt.  I don't much care to tackle the breaches, however, so we're considering getting those commissioned.  

Version 1.0- I love my skirt, but the bodice has issues.

From an album on Fancy Dress on the www.psrs-csa.org site

Lattice Gown Update-
While I love love love how the skirt of my Lattice Gown turned out, I never loved the thrown-together-at-the-last-minute, doesn't-fit-properly bodice.  The lattice midsection in the photo above is one of the contender ideas for a new bodice.  What do you think?  Too busy?  Should I leave the lattice work in the skirt, and design a fairly plain bodice?

I thought this dupatta was crying to be made into a Titanic Gown,
but it was me who ended up crying in frustration.

Titanic Dress Redo-  
I showed you my first Titanic Gown, but the second was a disaster and never got completed.  I've got some ideas on how to change it up and make it work. 

From the Met.  It looks so coooooozy.

At home gown-
I just want to wear this around the house as a robe.  Plenty of reason to make it, yes?

Found on Pinterest, but can't find where it was from.
Any leads so I can credit it?

I've got some beautiful teal wool and a mustard colored cashmere/wool blend.  Both fabrics want to be made into capes or jackets.  I'd really like to use one of them to make the cape above!

Quilted petticoat- 
I've got access to a long arm quilting machine with a frame large enough to hold a king size quilt.  There really isn't any excuse as to why I don't have a quilted petticoat yet.  

Bustle dress-
Lauren's AH-MAZE-ING bustle dress has me twitching for one.  I'm still collecting ideas and inspiration, but it'll be big, bustly and beautiful!

The 'hawk was temporary, but oh was it funny

Well not making them from scratch, but acquiring and styling them for sure.  After a year+ of hair, I got fed up and buzzed it all off again.  Funny story- I did the sides first and left the top center so that I could play around with having a mohawk for a few minutes.  While Boyfriend snapped pictures, the power went out!  With the electric clippers useless I had no way to finish the job, so I ended up keeping the 'hawk for a day.  A goofy, goofy day.  In any case, now that I have no hair again, it's time to wrangle a wig or two.

But enough about future plans.  What have I actually been doing the last two months?  I'll be writing posts to catch you up on each of these, but here's a glimpse-

Miles and miles of cording...

Posing in the Dark Garden window.  Photo courtesy
of Gordon Mackenzie.  Please take a look
at his beautiful photos on smugmug!

Corded petticoat-
Partway through Dickens I had the uncontrollable urge to make a corded petticoat.  I ended up making a short one, and it was super cute!  Making of post to come, plus I'll want another in a longer length in the future.

You really don't want to know how much time I spent
obsessing over the placement of those damn little pieces!

My First Quilt-
I know it's not historical costuming, but the quilting bug bit me and I wanna show off my first attempt.  I'm still only partway done with this, but I'll show the finished product off soon.

Fan front

Cartridge pleated skirt

Dickens Dress-
I finished this in time to wear it for the Dickens season (barely), but I actually ended up hating this.  I intend to remake it, but I'll show you both versions once the redo is done.  Until then, this little glimpse is all you get.

I made several cravats for Boyfriend as a Christmas gift.  There are two cotton and two silk ones that are perfectly nice and serviceable, and then there is a poly-something or other one in a plaid obnoxious enough that I couldn't resist.  If you've got a source for a truly hideous plaid or paisley in a lightweight natural fabric, do let me know.  I'm pretty sure he needs at least one or two more cravats that make people's eyes hurt.

Vibrating shuttle bobbin case

Vibrating shuttle placement in machine

Machine Fixin'-
This isn't so much "making" as it is "repairing shit so that I can sew things on a really cool treadle and get a workout in the process".  Remember my strange vintage New Home treadle machine with the vibrating shuttle instead of the round bobbin system most of us are familiar with?  I was never able to use it because it was missing the shuttle for the bobbin.  I finally found one, so now I'm in the process of cleaning and repairing the machine.  With luck, I'll be working on some fabulous calf muscles soon!

Well that turned out longer that expected.  I'll quit yammering and get back to sewing now.


  1. <3.<3 REGENCY PINEAPPLE RETICULE!!!!<3<3<3<3

  2. OK, I can't resist an online search challenge; not that I'm especially good at it, I just have to try.

    A google search on your cape image does indeed bring up nothing but a bunch of pinterest hits, some of which have a tiny bit more info than others. The most detailed ones say this:

    Reville & Rossiter Ltd. cashmere and velvet cloak with silk taffeta lining, c. 1912

    Searching on that phrase just churns up a whole bunch more pinterest / tumblr / random blog posts.

    However, a high percentage of the high-ranking pinterest hits were linking back to a consignment site called vintage-martini.com, although it is no longer shown there. So, best guess, some lucky person actually bought this from them not too long ago.


    1. Such fabulous search skills! Thanks :) I tried using the WayBack Machine page to find an old cached version of their site, but they only have one cached page of the Edwardian stuff from a few months ago and the cape isn't on it. I guess we'll have to settle for being jealous of the person who bought it!


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