jennylafleur: (l'duc)
I seem to be at a stand still on all my projects. I hate that. Oh, except of course the pirate which I just don't want to work on. Nothing against the project, everything that needs doing on it is super boring. I need to get over it I know.

I made a trek to G Streets today so I have the silk thread for my quilted petticoat (huzzah for a decent match on my custom dyed silk!) and the twill tape for the cream petticoat. So I'm all ready to start on the petticoat as soon as I can get the design finalized and the panels sewn up. I really should do that as I don't have a needlework project now. I could be making progress on something while I watch movies at night if I had anything to work on! :>

I also stopped by the needlework shop downtown and discovered they carry silk embroidery thread, several kinds actually. So I'm set on suppliers for that project. I need to decide on the actual shade of color and then I'll be ready to start on that... once I have the fabric... and after I've finalized the embroidery design of course. *sigh* I either have nothing to work on or 4 projects going. Go figure.

Yes I am being cryptic about the former costume and no you haven't missed something. This embroidered silk thread something is a "secret project" for wear next spring. It's secret for now anyway. I'm just not ready to announce it quite yet. *rubs hands together* Ya'll like it though. :> Picture much embroidery so I need to start it fairly soon.
jennylafleur: (Default)

Yesterday was fun. It turned out to be a remarkably gorgeous day (4th of July is usually one of the hottest and most unbearable weekends of the year), mid to high 80s and a lovely cool breeze all day. We were in the shade of trees and our tent, which also helped.

We were part of the Spotsylvania County 4th of July celebrations, so we had games for kids to play, dancing and general re-enactment. A lazy, interactive sort of event, a common format for this group apparently. Being barely proficient at dance at the moment I spent most of the day sitting under the tent working on embroidery and looking pretty. I loved it.

It’s probably not obvious to those that only know me online but in general I’m a very shy and quiet person. Especially in large or new crowds. Talking to strangers is just not something that comes easily for me, neither is first person interpreting. :> So I’m easing in slowly to the whole thing, watching and listening to how other members of the group do it and taking baby steps in following their examples.

I got all my little sewing projects finished up in time, although for the length of time I wore my hat I could have forgone the effort to re trim it. I actually liked the old shot ribbon better than the blue with the new petticoat. The bright red and blue didn’t really work for me. I’m really an earth-tone type gal I guess. :> I was complimented on my hat several time though and have promised to forward a link to Katherine’s how-to page to a few of my new friends. *grin*

I’m not entirely happy with the petticoat. Despite making it the exact measurement and pleat sizes as the brown, the front panel is too large making the front too full in front. I’m going to redo the whole thing, pleats, pocket slits and all, but I’ll wait until I can make a run to G Streets for white twill tape. I used what I had on hand, an ugly, failed dye attempt twill tape left over from the Rohan gown. If I’m going to redo it I might as well use some nice tape.

Unfortunately I don’t have any pics of me yesterday on my camera. I forgot to ask someone to take one for me. Sorry about that. Here are some pics of the outfit on Narcissa for your viewing pleasure though…

I guess it’s back to the pirate frock now! :>
jennylafleur: (georgian)
Started work on the new petticoat today. Normally I wouldn’t even consider trying to make something on such short notice (the event is Sunday) but a petticoat is so easy and I really want something new. I’m worn this dress twice all ready after all! *hee hee*

I’ve got the basic panels cut out. I still need to cut some of width off – I don’t need the full 60”. I have a generous yard of fabric left over and I’m thinking that rather than using it to make a ruffle I’ll set it aside and make a matching jacket later this summer. This lovely fine creamy linen would make a lovely ensemble – so easy to dress up and change with accessories. I can already picture it with all black accessories or with touches of pink instead. Yeah… that’s what I’ll do.

Now I have to decide what style of jacket to make. I’m dying to try out the Northern Society’s1790s jacket pattern but on the other hand I’ve been admiring the earlier style laced –over-stomacher jackets like the one in Costume Close-Up lately too… How will I ever decide?!!

I starting pinning trims to my hat yesterday but I’m not content with it yet so I haven’t tacked anything down. I love the ribbons I bought but I can’t figure out a way to put them on the hat in a pretty fashion. Typical. :P
jennylafleur: (Default)

I finished up the polonaise fixings today though. I was originally going to attach two ribbons to the inside, as illustrated in Arnold pg 36, but that didn't work. I think my skirt is too full for only two pulled ribbons. A look through Costume in Detail was helpful though. I hadn’t realized how many polonaise skirts there are in that book, and of course each one shows how it's done. I love that book, I really do.

In the end I found that three pulls, each with a ribbon attached at the waist, threaded through 3-4 thread loops and tied, created the look I wanted. For the loops I made thread loops out of silk thread in a buttonhole stitch. Luckily the stripe is so busy that no one should notice the tiny tell-tale stitches on the outside of the skirt, unless they are looking very hard of course. In which case they need to be smacked. :>

To test this all out I used safety pins to mount the ribbon and use as temporary loops. That little thought served me well as I was able to experiment quite a bit with the position and number of loops before I bothered to sew anything. I adore safety pins, have I ever mentioned that?

I finished up the neckerchief as well. It's nothing terribly special but it will work. It is hemmed by hand, with a running stitch, but not very well. Ask me if I care. :P

So all that's left to do tomorrow is the sleeve flounce, shopping for our picnic (hopefully the local gourmet shop will have some interesting cheese, oh for a descent cheese shop!) and packing everything up. I think that is do-able. *crosses fingers*
jennylafleur: (l'duc)
Thank you all so much for you kind compliments on my hat yesterday. *blushes* I'm so glad you all like it too! :>

I managed to mark another thing off my list yesterday as well - I fixed my petticoat last night. I had originally made the top of the ruffle about 1" high but I found that a combination of the heavy linen and nasty Virginia humidity caused it to droop and look distinctly blah. So I closed the gap a bit, making the top more like 5/8" tall. I also covered the machine stitching with 3/8" black grosgrain ribbon. Sewing on the ribbon by hand was a heck of a lot easier than sewing the whole ruffle on by hand. :> I wish I could have found a matching brown ribbon instead of black but no such luck. If I ever do find some I can always replace it. Tacking on ribbon is nice mindless work that I don't mind doing again...

Well I'm off to shower, make a quick trip to the post office ([ profile] elizabethsdress - you can be expecting an e-mail on that later. :>) and then home again for more sewing. I have several projects to work on but I think I will start with the polonaise tapes. That should be interesting.

the full to-do list I forgot to post yesterday )
jennylafleur: (18th costume)

The tea today was fun. Well the tea itself wasn’t great, most of it cold, with 2% milk instead of cream and blah food, but the experience was fun. Bridget did my hair again for me before she and the parents left for a get together with the grandparents. Above is a pic of my hair straight out of the curlers, before she had done anything to it. Can anyone say Shirley Temple? :> Unfortunately there was no one home by the time I finished dressing so I snapped one shot of myself before I left the house… for posterity. *hee hee*

It was raining when I left the house, but had turned into a drizzling mist by the time I arrived at Belmont. It continued to rain off and on throughout tea (which was outside under a tent) but just before we finished the sun came out so I managed to get a few pics in the garden afterwards (thanks to and with Tina).

You can see the rain and humidity resulted in some really loose curls, despite mousse and hair spray. I had to re pin some sagging curls at the table but I have to say, my hair did look nice throughout. I actually kinda liked it a little looser, it went with the more relaxed looked I originally wanted.

I sat next to and chatted with Tina during most of the tea, she is very sweet. The other RCHS ladies were friendly super friendly as always and complimented me on my gown, hair and hat. Actually I got many, many complements on my ensemble throughout the day and even a few people who asked to take my picture. I hope I didn’t look too pleased with myself… *wink*

I am proud to say that I helped our table win prizes in the hat contest for the best non-red-hat group. (Most of tables were groups of red hat ladies – it was a little scary!) We all had our choice of a selection of handmade bracelets and necklaces. I choose one of the simpler bracelets. :> I toured the house, studio and some of the gardens and then headed home, tired but happy. I really enjoyed wearing my dress. It’s a very fun outfit to promenade and move in, especially with those tiny pleats adding fullness to the skirt. The linen felt lovely too, I’m definitely rethinking my opinion on the fiber. The hat restricted my view more than I anticipated (not that great for touring an historic home and art gallery) but I felt so elegant that I didn’t care. Walking down the wooden stairs in the c1790s house, with my skirts trailing behind me felt great. Yes I’m a silly! :>

Once B arrived home I had her take some more pics of me and I’m really happy with the results. There are some really cute ones there, despite the long day and humidity on curls. Oh yes and a pic of me back in the 21st century! :> Tonight and tomorrow I’m taking a break but Tuesday I begin phase two of the May sewing madness: I have a jacket, shift, cap and apron to make for Saturday. Not only am I a silly but I’m crazy, oh yes indeed! :>
jennylafleur: (18th costume)
shoe cockades:

I have a series of pics for a tutorial of how I made these, but I’ll post that after my deadline. *grin*

linen petticoat:

Finally finished – yay! The first pic is sans ruffle. After much prodding from the sister I went ahead and added the gathered ruffle after all. It does look nice but what a pain! I’d like to add a band of matching grosgrain ribbon, to cover my stitches but I don’t see that happening today, especially since I don’t have any narrow brown grosgrain ribbon on hand. The petticoat is nicely washed, softened and hanging up to air dry. Once it’s dried a bit I’ll iron it for tomorrow.

hat & hair:

The finished hat! :> I’m very pleased, thinking it turned out quite pretty. It would not have happened without Bridget’s help though. I am seriously millinery challenged but luckily she is not. I pulled together the elements (everything but the silk changeable ribbon swiped from the stash) but could not figure out how to arrange them on the hat in a pleasing way. All the credit for that must go to my long suffering sis. She pinned in place and I sewed it all on. Thanks Bridget!! :>

The hair test also calls for kudos to my talented sis. She patiently curled my hair in soft curlers before bed last night and then worked her magic on the set curls this morning. I’m really happy with the results. It’s not really “me” but it looks period, which is more important. It turned out to be quite easy to do as well. The trick is small curls, fluffed by pulling each curl apart several times to create volume. A few combs, hair pins and a hair extension and viola – big hair! The extension doesn’t need to be curled after all (which is nice) although I do need to tack down that bottom knot…

On to those wretched bodice hooks…
jennylafleur: (l'duc)
Today was nice and productive so I’m in good shape with my deadline. Yay!

I started out today cleaning my room, which was getting out of control with spools of ribbon, pins, thread bits on the floor and other sewing accessories scattered everywhere. *sigh* I feel so much better with a tidy workspace. Today I finished up the hat, the shoe cockades, the cotton petticoat, the bodice bow and have the linen ruffle gathered, pinned on the skirt and ready to be sewn.

I also managed to run out and find a pair of stockings to wear. I have several pairs of lovely reproduction stockings from Williamsburg but unfortunately they are too thick for my shoes. The shoes are temps, snagged from Mom whose foot is slightly smaller than mine. (I’m still saving up for a proper pair of repro shoes. :<) So I needed some thin colored tights instead. I found the perfect thing in the clearance bin of a department store; above the knee red stockings for (get this) $.99. The perfect thing, in the perfect color, for an amazing price. *sigh* I’m so blessed, it just isn’t even funny. :>

I do have pics of the cockades, hat and such but I’m super sleepy so they will have to wait until tomorrow. As much as I hate these last minute fiddly bits, it is fun to see this outfit really come together… it’s looking very cool if I do say so myself!
jennylafleur: (18th costume)

An extra day to work is a total blessing since I have been moving in slow motion all week. Not good with looming deadlines. Here are some pics of the first version of the linen petticoat. I must note that Narcissa is a bit smaller in the waist than I am at the moment. Yep. And pics of the original slits sewn up. Not bad, aye? They ended up inside back pleats, so you can’t even tell they are there now!

The linen petticoat is sort of finished. The ruffle is not working for me so I’m trying to decide if I even want to bother. I don’t have enough fabric to make proper box pleats all the way around so I’m stuck with really spaced pleats. I could use knife pleats or simply gather the ruffle but I’m thinking I may just skip the whole thing. Despite the time I took to hand sew the hems last night I’m feeling very unmotivated about the whole thing right now. It certainly doesn’t need the ruffle.

So besides the ruffle, it’s done. Of course, when I tried it on this morning to mark the hem I found it was actually too big this time around. *rolls eyes* Too big I can work with though – that is why safety pins were invented, you know! :>

My main project now is the hat. I pulled out all our hats and found one suitable for one of those cute “cocky” little hats, that look so charming on big 1780s hair. I’m basing my hat off one in Jefferson in Paris, the peach trimmed one on the right side of the screen capture. In a former life my straw hat was Bridget’s 18th century hat so it was all ready pinned up in the back and everything.

After looking at pics and screen captures for a while, I tried the hat on (with my hair looped and fluffed in an approximation of the correct style) to get an idea of any re-shaping I wanted to do. I thought drooping the brim a bit in front would be nice so I damped that section with a spray bottle and propped it up in the correct position with cans.

I must admit I’ve never actually re-shaped a hat. I read this was the way to do it on h-cost though. I was a little skeptical that it was really that easy (millinery work has always intimidated me) but it was! A few hours later and my brim is nicely shaped and on it’s way to being a jaunty little hat. As you can tell from the pic, this hat definitely needs the big hair to look right! :>

After I’m done typing and drinking my cup of tea I’ll start on the trimming. I’m taking ostrich feathers from our hat stash, denuding most of our old dress up hats in the process. I’m nothing if not resourceful. *hee hee* I’m not sure I want to use the black ostrich feathers (perhaps too much contrast, despite the dark brown petticoat). I may use some peacock feathers I’ve been hoarding instead. The white ostrich feathers will definitely be used though. I still have to raid the stash for ribbons and/or fabric for the rest of the trimmings but I’m looking forward to it. Picking out the trimming is the fun part of hat making. :>

My tea is gone so I’m off…
jennylafleur: (nefret)
I am a such a loser! Remember that tea at Belmont I’m going to on Saturday? That Saturday event I’ve been planning for over a month? Well it’s not on Saturday… it’s on Sunday. The 15th is a Sunday!!!!!!

Note to Jenny – check the calendar next time. *rolls eyes* I need so much professional help, it’s not even funny. Good news is I have an extra day to sew, bad news is I can’t stop laughing hysterically. :>

And in a cute kitty moment… I left the linen petticoat for a few minutes break yesterday and found this scene before me when I returned. Honestly, how cute is my baby stringbean?!!! *grin* Boots was there too, you can just see her under the ironing board. :>
jennylafleur: (l'duc)
Thanks for all your well wishes. :> I had a really lovely time in Richmond. Bridget is completely moved out and finished for the semester. Yay, I get my best friend back for the summer! :> We celebrated with Cold Stone ice cream, a California Pizza Kitchen lunch and a lazy afternoon wondering around the mall. It was a really lovely day out too, which made it all perfect.

Once we got home, I started out by redoing the front waistband seeing if I could make that work. No such luck. There just isn’t enough fabric.

So on to plan “b”, which is to basically start from scratch and recut the slits. I got as far as taking out all my previous stitching and sewing up the old slits. I should have gotten further but I ended up making an emergency grocery store run for Mom and then got sucked into a movie B brought home from the library (bad B!). At least I have a blank slate for tomorrow.

I’m definitely dropping the shift, or I should say worrying about it next week. I’m still hoping to get both petticoats (including ruffles), a neckerchief and hat finished by Friday night though. Lets see… 3 days – plenty of time right? *rolls eyes* I should have a hair test with B sometime before Saturday morning too…
jennylafleur: (18th costume)
Looks like it is a good thing I’ll be spending most of tomorrow in Richmond… I need a break from the sewing thing. I just tried on my linen petticoat, so Mom could mark the hem, and I’m not happy.

1. The super flat front doesn’t look good. Maybe if I was flat in front… but as it is, I need a bit more fullness there.
2. I’ve made the front section too small. Because of the way I’ve cut, sewn and attached the ties, there is no place to get extra fullness from without pulling the pocket slits to the front. Problem is they are already barely on the sides as it is.
3. This petticoat is going to be worn with a jacket on the 21st. I totally forgot about that fact when I was measuring, calculating and snipping. Drat. Obviously the too small issue is really a problem, since those slits are going to show.

*grinds teeth* So I can either just live with the slits where they are and take out some of the pleats in front to give me even gathers (and ultimately more fabric) in the very front or I can take both waistbands out and start again by cutting new slits. I’m thinking I’ll be able to simply whip the old slits together and hide them in the back fullness. I am very tempted to do the whole waistband redo, more work but a result I’ll be happier with. Of course Mom might kill me since she already pinned the hem. The linen was not being friendly either, so she was being really lovely to help me. *sigh*

Good news is the brown is very pretty with the dress. The color combination shouldn’t work but it does… I really like it. Well, I’ll have a few hours to escape, ponder and reflect on the issue tomorrow. I was starting to resent the hours taken away from my sewing time but now I’m glad. I love how these things work out…
jennylafleur: (l'duc)

I have a petticoat – yay! Well, actually it’s not that exciting but anything crossed off my list excites me these days. :> I also finished up the bum roll, taking out a bit more stuffing and stitching the ends again. Here are a few pics of the cotton petticoat and bum roll in all their glory, along with a few pics of the newly finished stays on Narcissa.

For the petticoat I used two panels cotton fabric (45”x46”) and 2yds 1" cotton twill tape. The front is one panel and back another. The pocket slits are 7.5” long and unfinished, being on the salvage of the panels. The skirts are pleated in fairly large pleats, then gathered to the exact width required. The hem is 4.5” deep and allows for the bum roll in the back. I stitched my initials into the front inside of the waistband so I can easily tell which way to put it on. *wink* The petticoat actually turned out a little long somehow, so I think I’ll take a tuck in it when I attach the bottom ruffle. I’m waiting to do the ruffle, as it’s one of those “optional” projects this week. :>

All in all an easy project, and one I can now simply copy for the rest. (Yeah, all the specific measurements are here in case I loose the paper the are also scribbled on... feel free to icnore. :>) The one difference I will make for the linen petticoat is make a flatter front. It means the pocket slits won’t be on the salvage but oh well.

The 90” (or more precisely 88”) skirt circumference seems adequate, so I will cut down the 54” width of the linen and use the extra pieces make a nice wide ruffle at the bottom of that petticoat as well. I love those 18th century box-pleated ruffles! Okay… enough of a break, on to the linen petticoat!
jennylafleur: (l'duc)
I worked just a bit on the plain cotton petticoat tonight. Not exciting at all.

I'm using 2 panels (front & back) of 45" fabric, so I straighten the grain, sewed the panels together and pleated the top. Hopefully I've pleated it to the right size. I've misplaced my "in-stays" figures so I used a measurement based on my gown. I'm using ties at the sides so a little small would be good. *crosses fingers*

I've also misplaced my supply of cotton twill tape (for the waistband and ties). I was thinking I had some left over from the bum roll but I can't seem to locate it, so maybe not. I was planning a trip into G Streets tomorrow anyway so I'll just get some while I'm there.
jennylafleur: (18th costume)
Well I’ve gone through my class notes and flipped through a few books so I’m off to start sewing those skirts…

I decided on the brown linen for the petticoat and ordered that last night. You guys had some good points about my choices and I thank you heartily for your impute. I really liked them both but in the end it came down to the fact that I really wanted the brown more. I’m just a brown-type girl I guess. :>

I can’t wait until it arrives!
jennylafleur: (l'duc)

Since I’ve been very good about using fabric and supplies out of the stash for my 18th century outfit, I decided to treat myself with nice fabric for my petticoat. I needed to buy fabric anyway (having nothing in said stash) and I’m justifying the expense of linen with the thought that a petticoat is a basic staple I can use with multiple outfits. Right? Of course right! :>

So I got my new samples from yesterday and I’m having a very hard time deciding. It's between either the brown or the red. The red is practically a perfect match with the stripe, I’m just not sure I want to go I want to go matchy-matchy. The brown is lovely and the most practical color ever for me. It won't show dirt and will go with any color I'd ever want to wear. The red will just go with most things. :> *sigh* They each create such a totally different but equally pretty look.

The second, red toile de Jouy, fabric is probably what I will use for the lower sorts jacket. Unless I decide to be very bad and just get another shade of linen for it. *wink* This petticoat must work for both outfits regardless.

I know it's hard to judge online but what do you guys think? I have a few days to think about it, but I really should order soon. Ah, decisions, decisions!!
jennylafleur: (georgian)
I haven't gotten too much done in the sewing department since my last entry. I decided that I was not in a hand sewing mood today so instead of working on the pocket, I pulled out that petticoat I cut last month. I've discovered I definitely don't like cotton homespun. I used to like it alot but I'm not into the texture anymore. Also, it likes to move, warp and stretch while you are working with it. On top of that it's hard to sew. It's worse than taffeta for messing up on my machine. Blah. No wonder it's cheap.

I got the skirt panels sewn together, all ready for pleating. I'm trying to decide if I want to try the finish the hem, then mark the finished length from the top thing. It would keep me from having to con Mom into marking another hem, but then Narcissa is shaped differently than I am so I’m not sure how well it will really work. Also, I would have to square away the rump issues first and I'm not sure I can do that without the proper petticoat. So I guess the question is, which comes first the rump or the petticoat? *tee hee* I sewed together and hemmed both edges of the petticoat ruffle too. It's a 10" ruffle for the bottom that I now need to box pleat. I love box pleating - it's so 18th century. :>

I think I'm ready for some hand sewing now so I'll sigh off, pop in a DVD and work on that pocket a bit before going to bed. You know, I wish I had some linen thread to use on it but I didn't think to order any. I'm not willing to wait, so cotton it is!
jennylafleur: (rohan)
I began serious research on my next project today. I’m so bad! I was trying to keep focused on the LOTR gowns until they were completely finished but I can’t stand it anymore…

My next project will be a late 18th century gown, probably 1780s. An 18th century outfit has been on "my list" for 3 years now but keeps getting pushed aside. This is the year to finally do it. It’s big project as I have to start from scratch; shift, stays, petticoats – everything. I want to take my time too. I don’t, as yet, have a clear idea of what I want for the gown. There are too many variations to choose from and I love them all. I think I need two frocks, maybe seven. :> I’m not really worrying about it at the moment as the underwear must come first anyway.

I’m going to start with a crewelwork pocket. A set of two would be fun but I’m going to start out with one. I have not actually done crewelwork but my Mom has and I have managed to collect some very good books on the subject. It’s basically embroidery but in a different medium, wool. Mom says wool is easier to work with than cotton. Maybe that is why it is more expensive. :>

Today I started looking for designs. I know I want a large flower, perhaps a carnation or rose. The design must have roses and bees somewhere. I would also like a Phoenix bird but I’m having a hard time finding a good pic of what I want. I want something very stylized, perhaps a Chinese one. I love the notion of the Phoenix, a bird that rises from it’s ashes. What I really wanted to find today were pics of period pockets, to build up some references for how designs are typically laid out on pockets, what stitches were used for stems ect.. I only found one actual pocket, on an auction site. It was very discouraging. That gives me three sources (online pic, Costume Close-up and Rocking Horse Farm #185). Any suggestions to find others?

One very cool site I stumbled across in my googleing was Reine de Centfeuilles’s Koyto jacket repro . I seem to recall having been to the site a few years ago but I had not seen that. Can anyone say WOW! *wiping drool off keyboard* Man, now I want one! :P

July 2014

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