Sunday 27 July 2014

I've been busy...

I have been extremely neglectful in posting so seems like all I've accomplished is the first HSF challenge.

This winter, I've been helping two friends prepare for their weddings - the first, was a historically-inspired Regency wedding, the second, an outdoor wedding.

For the first, the bride wore a white muslin dress, with a silver silk overdress that had white silk feathers applied on top, then each feather was outlined and traced with silver seed beads.

The second bride created her own wedding dress, but used tambour embroidery on the outer panels (so I learned how to tambour and how to smock this winter!).

In addition, to the wedding dress creations, I have been working on gifts for each of the brides.

The first (Regency Wedding) received a set of pockets.  Embroidered with Caron Impressions wool-silk blend (from Nordic Needle), and inspired by existing pockets from the 18th century.

The ribbon tape forming the waistband was also done by hand using a box loom, with linen-cotton thread.

Detail shot of one of the birds:

Saturday 25 January 2014

Thinking Ahead...

So, thinking ahead to my costuming goals for this year & the HSF challenges...
  • #2: Innovation - due Sat 1 Feb.  I'm really struggling with this's not that there weren't innovative things happening in the time periods I'm interested in, but more that I am stuck for ideas. And I'm running out of time...
  • #3: Pink - due Sat 15 Feb.  This one is much easier to thing about!  I have some lovely blush pink cotton lawn that is anxious to become a Chemise a la Reine.  I've done some research - while white seems pretty popular for a Chemise dress, they are seen in both artwork and fashion plates to come in other colours.  So, I think this is a full speed ahead! 
  • #4: Under it All – due Sat 1 March.  Also an easy pick...I need to finish my own set of Regency stays. I have a mock up set half completed, and have set them aside for nearly a year.  I can do this!
  • #5: Bodice - due Sat 15 March.   I have a couple of options:  regency spencer jacket, or a short gown.  Both would help with future events this summer...
  • #6: Fairytale – due Tue 1 April.  I don't really want to work on a princess-style outfit.  My point of inspiration right now is Black Forest region and my research is looking into Bavarian fashion and style from 1820s to 1850s.  

Tuesday 14 January 2014

HSF 2014 - Challenge #1 - Make Do and Mend

For my first challenge, I decided to "Make Do" and convert a linen curtain into two aprons.  A few months ago, I happened to spot a creamy curtain in the home section of the local thrift store.  In looking a little closer, I found the label (it was from IKEA) and fabric content was stated as 100% linen!

I took it home, washed it, and it's a lovely heavier-weighted linen.  Perfect for work aprons!

Because there was enough fabric for two, I opted to make both as bib front aprons: one for Regency (high waistline) and one for 1730s New France (longer bib for tying at the waist).  In both cases, I made the bib in more of a trapezoid shape (not a straight square) for a little more variety.

The Challenge:  #1 Make Do and Mend

Fabric:   100% linen, previously a curtain!

Pattern:   Of my own creation

Year:       Specifically intended for 1730 and 1812, but I think it could move cross-eras.

Notions:  Only thread.  The ties for the apron are self-made with the same linen.

How historically accurate is it?  100% handsewn (OK, except for the side seams...those were pre-fab, so why would I redo them?)  Pattern and fabric content are both appropriate.  Let's say 90%

Hours to complete:  About 3.5 hours each.  7.0 hours in total

First worn:  Maybe at the winter festival in February?  Maybe tomorrow if I feel like baking...

Total cost:  The curtain was marked at $7.99; thread is essentially free for the amount used.  With taxes, this project was less than $10 to complete.

Thursday 9 January 2014

January Crafting ADD

So January tends to be a good place to start new goals for a new year.  The big goal for me is to enhance my Regency wardrobe and to build a better silhouette for New France.  The other goal is to make it through the year without adding substantially to the stash - I tend to be an opportunistic shopper, who recognizes that I may never find wool again at that price...and then buys it for safekeeping.

To give you an idea about the full range of my crafting ADD, here's my plan for Friday.  I have to take a vacation day tomorrow, because I'm getting a new furnace installed.  So, I've moved the following projects upstairs to work on so I don't get bored:
  • Some pink yarn for a baby afghan
  • my newly started embroidered baby quilt kit.
  • my box loom with threads so I can make a shoelace sized string for a super secret project.  Trying to figure out if I should bring more thread upstairs in case I want to make a waistband too.
  • the embroidery for the above mentioned super secret project
  • new embroidery (wool on linen!) for another super secret project
  • the wool backing for a third super secret project to cut out into squares
  • A linen curtain rescued from the thrift store to make into aprons (HSF 2014 challenge #1 - make do / make new!)
  • two cotton fischus (also from a curtain) that have needed a rolled hem for ages
  • lucet - in case there's time to make cording.
Seriously.  This is how I function most of the time.

I also want to make an easy wool skirt before February for the winter festival, as well as another wool short gown.  I think I've talked a friend into dressing up for an evening, and need to make sure we both can stay toasty warm.

But one thing at a time, right?  We'll see where the day takes me...

Sunday 5 January 2014

A place to document projects, talk about history and crafts, update on my goals.

To start, I live in the Great White North, and reenact with various local groups, interpreting New France, Regency and Fur Trade eras.  With a primary focus on Regency, I had to work quickly to build a wardrobe (enough for 4+ days events!) and now am trying to fill in the gaps of needs vs wants.

My passion for the Fur Trade is only limited by my desire to make Victorian wear - late 1840s / early 1850s. One goal for 2014 is to conquer the foundations needed for this era - I'm going to be learning a lot about corsets this year.

My newest interest is New France (1730s) and early exploration.  We'll see where this ends up in the long run...