Tuesday, February 25, 2014

American Duchess Shoe Giveaway!

American Duchess is having a shoe giveaway for their new shoe the Nankeen! I've never sewn anything regency but it's on my to do list and I would definitely be up to sewing something regency with a pair of these! Don't they look so comfy?

Enter the giveaway here!

Sunday, February 23, 2014


I am so excited because the 2014 costume competition at Your Wardrobe Unlock'd just started and I'm just happy that I actually had the guts to enter my dress! I had planned on entering the 1908 transitional corset (the only reason I made it in the first place was for this contest) but I was embarrassed that it wasn't just perfect so I didn't, and now I wish I had! So I'm especially excited that I entered my Lavender 1780 dress! I think anyone can see them here but you just have to be a member to vote! 

There are some really amazing entries! Everyone made such beautiful dresses that they have me itching to make regency dresses and late 19th century dresses! There is even a bridal dress! They are seriously all so fantastic! 

I have always wanted to make one of these french knot sheep...

I've got tons of midterm papers coming up so I haven't gotten much sewing done lately but small projects here and there, but I have big plans for spring break! Big

Tuesday, February 11, 2014



I came across this picture about a year ago when researching 18th century clothing and I just loved it. I'm pretty sure everyone probably thinks otherwise, but I think the little girl is just the cutest thing (I mean she has a cat, a doll dressed in 18th century clothing, and chubby cheeks- it doesn't get much cuter!)

I found some more books I hadn't read yet at my library particularly one about children's fashion and came across this again and had to share. Fun fact I didn't know until now: the pink ribbons attached to her back are actually leading strings and show how young she is. Leading strings are strips of self fabric sewn to the shoulders of the dress to help the toddler who is learning to walk. The book showed another example of a young boy who had a ribbon that tied around his waist as a leading string.

The only baby I've known recently learned to walk around one year, and I know children wore clothing styled like adults, but I still can't believe the little girl in the painting is so young! If I only had a one year old... my next project would be making this dress to copy the picture! 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

McCall 885: 1940 Quilted Comforter

I am so excited to say I finally finished my hand-quilted 1940 satin comforter! I started this comforter in early August and have been working on it in between projects since then. 
The 1940 pattern, which sometimes makes me wish I had gone with a dusty rose color like on the pattern. The pattern picture also looks puffier than mine, oh well. 

I definitely didn't want to ruin the original design so from the start I traced the pattern. I've never hand quilted something before and I actually even meant to machine quilt this too but found out quickly with so much fabric that is slippery it would be too hard. I originally safety pinned all the paper tracings onto the quilt and was going to quilt through them but that was horribly annoying so I ended up marking through the entire design with a removable pen. I still had safety pins all over to hold it together but used the pen tracing to quilt my design on. 
It matches my 1940 quilted back-rest pillow!

I do like it, but there's a lot of things I wish I could improve on. I started the quilt by making teeny tiny stitches which is partly why it was going so slow, I'd just get so bored. In December when I had to finish it quickly I started making larger stitches, partly to get done but also because I noticed on hand-quilted quilts I had looked at none of the stitches were as tiny as mine. They were all bigger. I took that as an okay to make my stitches bigger. With the larger stitches though I have to say I don't feel like the design is as distinct. If I were to ever quilt another large quilt by hand I would definitely want some kind of quilt stand (something like this maybe), even getting the largest embroidery hoop I could was annoying having to move it often and I think contributed to the fabric moving around. 

Because of the slippery fabric I do have some bumps in it but I guess at the same time, with this kind of fabric, it's a little harder to notice the bumpiness. Next time I quilt something I think I would try that sticky spray stuff to keep the layers together (I have no idea what it's called, but it's used for quilting!) 
I made piping for the edge to enclose it but at the end of the day I don't think it really mattered or stands out much. I did machine sew some of the closing edges. You can also see a bit of the wonkiness and not straight lines, oops! Also the larger stitches are noticeable compared to the center of the design. I may go back someday and machine stitch over the whole thing just to re-enforce it but I'm not sure it wouldn't mess it up somehow! 
I have it shown on a queen bed, but I actually made it for a full. So it fits on top but doesn't reach down the sides at all! I think I also made it even smaller than the pattern intends because it was hard to get fabric the correct size. I had to actually add some pieces onto the sides to get this to be the correct size. 

Part of me never wants to make another again but part of me wants to try again just to make a better one. I am interested to see how it would look in a cotton or a fabric not so slippery. I think the design would maybe stand out more without the shine. I would also try to use a thicker batting to get more puff in it like the pattern photo and like the 1940 satin comforter my friend owns. Maybe I'll try making a doll size one, that would be pretty quick and easy! 

Friday, February 7, 2014

What's Next

Since I finished my 1780 dress, school has started back up and I've just had so much to do there hasn't been much time for sewing! Here is my list of goals though for the next couple months!

18th Century Red Linen round gown (I think...). I know I want to use the red linen I have and I want a simple kind of everyday plain dress so that's why I'm thinking a round gown.

For the 2014 Historical Sew Fortnightly Due February 15 is pink... and I have no idea what to do for it but I know I can do something even if it's small! What I'm excited for and planning for already though is the fairy tale challenge due April 1. I want something more simple so I'm thinking perhaps the red linen round gown could be for little red riding hood or a regency cinderella along the lines of the photo below. I need to do more research but I think a polka dot regency dress would be so cute!

 I'm hoping to take a class on both hand quilting and machine quilting in the next couple months! Two skills I would like to be a lot better at!  Im also planning on sewing some more modern and vintage clothes, something I haven't done it what seems like forever!

I ended up running out of time to work on my hand quilted 1940 quilt and never entered it into the contest I was planning on entering it, so my progress slowed on it and it wasn't done by January 15 when I planned. I am finally finishing it though and slowly making my way hand sewing the edges closed with piping in between and pictures will be coming soon of that! 


Okay this isn't a goal and I don't know how I can justify sewing anything medieval but I've just seen lots of medieval sewing lately online and I really really want to make something from the 12th century... 

I've even started a 12th century pinterest board