Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Lillian May's Dress

The only picture I have of my great grandmother, Lillian May, is from around 1875 when she was 16 years old. 

It's not a great picture but I've always wanted to re-create the dress she's wearing. I never did much progress on it though because you can't see much detail and I have no idea what the back would look like. Then, I saw this dress on All the Pretty Dresses... She notes that possibly it could be inaccurate and actually made later but it's very very similar to Lillian May's dress above! Which may give me a starting point. 

The band across the bottom edge of the jacket and the skirt are similar as well as the large cuffs on the sleeves. Even the skirt and jacket braid design are similar. Perhaps even the colors were similar. 

Anyways, I knew if I didn't post this I would forget about it and then one day when I get around to making this I would never remember where I saw this dress! In the meantime, I have been working on my 1830 dress, slowly... but I have been!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Plans for the 1830 Lovina Barber Dress

I'm about to start work on an 1830's dress to submit for a DAR contest due in January 2015. It sounds super far away, but I want to focus on details for this. So here is my general plan.

1. Under things: 
Chemise, made of linen. I'd like to go with one similar to this below. Another example of this is seen at Frolicking Frocks and it comes from the Workwomen's guide which you can read online on Google books! The book is from 1840 but I am aiming for a later 1830's dress so I'm okay with that. 

Corset, or are they still called stays at this time? I still need to do more research on the style I want, but I do think I want it to be corded instead of bone if that will work for a later 1830's style. I also want to go all out on embroidery for it!

Petticoats: a corded one or a quilted one, plus 2 or three plain ones similar to the layers of skirts seen here. I would really love to do a quilted satin one, but that would be so much work and time and wouldn't be shown. 


2. The Dress

Initially my first thought was to go with a day time dress made of something like cotton. I'm really leaning towards this because I love the late 1830's sleeves but... an evening dress just usually is more stunning. 

This dress above is my all time favorite day time late 1830's dress, but I wonder if it's somewhat plain compared to what you could do with a ballgown. I've spent so much time looking at all sorts of 1830's dresses but I really just love this one so much. 

If I do end up on this, I do want to do some kind of printed cotton. While I don't want to replicate this exactly I still want accuracy, so I am thinking of finding an 1840 print I like and trying to make it on Spoonflower.

Williamsburg also has these three absolutely beautiful fabrics, here, here, and here; but they're for the 18th century. They look sort of similar to 1830 cotton print designs perhaps, maybe?? 

3. Everything else

Shoes, hair, jewelry. I've pinned some things to my pinterest board for this project but I can't even begin to think much about what I'll do till I get further into this project. 


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Simplicity 1717

Maxi skirts are one of my favorite things to wear in summer and the knit one I made last summer was worn again and again. I intended to make a denim one to wear in the winter, but that didn't get started until this past week! 
As much as I love knit maxi skirts, I also really love having a more structured maxi skirt. This pattern fit that exactly and I'm excited to use it again for just wardrobe basic skirts. I haven't used one of the Amazing Fit patterns yet, but mostly it just has more detailed instructions about fitting and comes with more sizing like slim through curvy. 

I wanted to do the little tie design on the waist, but I forgot about it until after I had the waistband on. I'd love to make this again and try a shorter length too and the pockets, so I figured I would try the waistband design on a different skirt. 

I'm not really sure if people wear denim skirts much anymore or not? Does that happen?? But it's so comfy and great for running errands in and whatnot and I love it! 

In other news, I did a little bit of updating to the blog changing the top banner and adding some social media links at the top right. I even created an instagram specifically for sewing pictures at LMsewing! Isn't instagram the best, I love it!

I'm also in the planning stages of my next big historical project so I'm planning on writing up a post soon about it! 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

More 14th Century!

I have some actual photos of the 14th century dress braided hair and veil and everything! 

Nothing new to say about it, details are on this post here

Saturday, May 3, 2014

A 14th Century Dress Attempt

I found out Monday I would get to see a medieval village this weekend on a trip which was the perfect excuse to sew something medieval like I've been wanting too for a while now!

Being the last week of school, I only had the last night before I left to work on it.

This woven blend fabric frayed so incredibly badly that I finally just had to use a serger on all the seams. The inside looks nice, but I cringe to see how not historical it looks! 

I really wanted one of these sideless surcotes to put over the dress too. They seemed to be fairly common in that time. 

Overall, I'm happy with it and it looks from the overall appearance to look medieval... but then again, I really don't know! If you can't tell I'm feeling a little bit lost in this era. I actually really like the 14th century, but I know I would have felt better with a lot more time spent researching, pattern making, and getting better fabrics. Fabric can really make such a difference!

The Details:

Fabric: Blue/Purple woven fabric blend, and white brocade type fabric (which I used the inside of because I felt the silver looked more Medieval than stark white)

Pattern: McCall 5499  

Year: Late 14th Century, Medieval 

How historically accurate is it? 
The pattern is pretty inaccurate from how it's put together. I think perhaps the finished product looks more accurate, at least I hope so! I did adjust the pattern to be as form fitting as I could, since I know that is at least is a characteristic of the late 14th century. From my research, I didn't fully understand this, but it sounded like the sleeves at that time had more room at the elbow and above but were very tight below the elbow so I tried to do that with this. Of course, to be accurate the sleeves would need to closed with buttons which mine don't. It does lace up the back, though I'm pretty sure the way the pattern has you do it is not accurate. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Out and About Dresses

I've recently been sewing up SewCaroline's Out and About Dress and I have to say, I really love this dress! It's super simple and super comfy! It also has a lot of room for creativity! I normally don't like phone mirror photos, but I've already moved on with sewing projects and don't feel like going back to take photos of these three dresses, next time!! 

This might be my favorite knit ever just because it was so soft and comfy! I added a little elastic to the side of the sleeves to get a little bit of ruching, though you can't see it in this photo. Honestly it's kind of hard to see in person too, I made the elastic a bit too long.  

Of course I had to try the maxi length out. It went from the first sleeves, to the second, and then I liked it best with no sleeves at all. 

which finally led to this...

and I loved the maxi length/no sleeve so much I made it again in blue..

The End. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Wiksten Tank again!

I posted about this pattern both here and here before. My friend loved the simple basic tanks that I had made from it and wanted to make some of her own! 

Before thinking, we picked up lots of rayon and knit fabrics to make them up in and only afterwards did I think about the fact that those aren't the best fabrics to start a beginner out on! Even if it's a simple tank! 

So I ended up spending the weekend sewing up 11 of these for her and now I'm excited to make some more of my own for the warmer weather! 

It's just not the same without the sunlight coming in!