Thursday, September 1, 2016

Jane Eyre Dress

So here is my secret announcement..... I'm going to Costume College 2017! I'm super excited and have everything planned out in a little journal that is pasted with fabric and trim options, original inspirations, and pattern choices. I'll keep everyone updated as I go, but for now I'm working on my Jane Eyre costume. "I'll be married in this lilac gingham: you may make a dressing-gown for yourself out of the pearl-grey silk, and an infinite series of waistcoats out of the black satin." That is the only line in the book referencing her lilac gingham dress. Since there isn't anything else to go on I am starting with Truly Victorian's 1845 German Day Dress pattern. I might change it to look more like this dress from the Amsterdam Museum but I haven't decided yet. My fabric is 100% cotton Wide Width 1/16 in.Gingham Check Purple from 

Obviously underclothing is in order as I've never sewn anything from this period before. I am taking my shift, drawers petticoats, bum pad and pocket from the Workwoman's Guide. My stays are coming from Corsets: Historical Patterns and Techniques by Jill Salen. I am using the Rural Corded Corset Pattern ( I was going to use the Corded Taffeta Corset Pattern but that one has bust and hip gores and as this is my first pair of stays ever! I am going to go with the simpler design.) Also can I just protest Salen's use of Corset for her stays dating from the 18th Century to the mid 19th Century? Anyway, moving on..... I bought a Brushed Twill in Tan for the outside of the stays, it is a little darker that I would have liked but I was thinking of these stays from the MET. (Not that I'm going to do the embroidery because those are skills I don't have, though a little something might be nice but I'm not planning on it.)

Back of  Woman's Corset (Stays) 
England, 1830-1840 LACMA

And the inner layer will be of left over Rockland 45" Cotton Duck Natural that I used to interline my Ravenclaw Renaissance bodice. I know linen in more period to line stays but it is also more expensive and using part of the Stash is a good thing. The one this I know I want to add is fan lacing. Fan lacing makes lacing ones stays or corset easier if you are alone. (If only I had some servants to dress me, but this would actually drive me insane so it's best that I don't have someone to do that.) The rest of the undergarments are going to be made out of  Muslin. Happily my insanity coincides with the Historical Sew Monthly's October Challenge: Heros. Since Jane Eyre is one of my literary heros I can hopefully use this outfit for the Challenge, Halloween and Costume College. Oh and before I forget to mention it, my shoes will be American' Duchess' Gettysburg Victorian Side-Lace Boots.
"Gettysburg" Victorian Side-Lace Boots (1830-1860s)I have the Gettysburgs and two other pairs of shoes for Costume College on layaway (Thank You Bastille Day Sale) so I might not have them for Halloween but that's not going to worry me at all. In addition I will need stockings, a day cap and a bonnet. I can pattern the day cap and bonnet from the Workwoman's Guide but I also have another bonnet diagram that I might use instead. I may also need cuffs and a collar or chemisette for the dress depending on which style I go with

Monday, August 29, 2016

Ravenclaw Renaissance Pt. 2

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The purse is attached to a belt under the doublet
Sewing takes so much more time when the sewing machine doesn't like you and you insist on hand finishing. Smock is machine sewn on the long seams and then hand finished, same with the bodice and skirt. The partlet is almost completely hand sewn except for the piecing and the collar because of the ruffle.I know everyone raves about Margo's patterns but really I'm feeling a little let down. The instructions are not all that clear in some areas and even reference the Lady's Wardrobe pattern at one point but oh well, you live and you learn. Like I said in my first post the bodice and skirt are linen the shift and partlet are a cotton/linen blend, I made sleeves for the outfit but it was just too hot to wear them. I would have pinned them on because I didn't have time to add points but I've seen pictures with women's sleeve just pinned on so I would have been ok.
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Me with one of the lovely workers at the Faire
2016-08-28 15.06.49.jpgI didn't put pocket slits in the skirt when I should have so I'll remember that for the next outfit I make. But I did make an awesome purse for myself with the Tudor Rose on it. The inspiration came at midnight before the event..... I didn't go to bed until 2:30 am the morning of; I had a great time but I crashed when we got home. I also purchased a Dragon from Imaginarium Galleries, I've waited over 6 years for this. He does not have a name yet, but I am sure that will change soon.
So what did I learn while wearing the outfit? I need to fix the shift, the opening is too big so I am going to put a strip of linen in to fix the problem of it being to open at the bosom. If I make another shift it will be a high necked one so I don't have to wrangle the partlet into submission over the course of the day as well. Also it will be out of finer material as well. The skirt was so much fun to wear and twirl in plus it was super comfy. I will however need an under petticoat (I know the horror that I didn't make one) because the skirt got caught around my ankles on occasion. This may be because of the stockings I was wearing.... Please excuse the funny face, my grandmother took the picture right as I was saying SOCKS with some enthusiasm. I know they aren't period but they were the only ones I had that would work. I am planning on getting more appropriate stockings in the near future. The picture also shows my wonderful shoes from American Duchess! So what about the boyfriend you might ask? Well he ended up not being able to come with me so his outfit is uncompleted and it waiting for us to decide on if we are going to the Faire in Santa Fe or not so I can get his outfit put together.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Ravenclaw Renaissance

Long time no post. So lots have happened since the last post, a break up, I graduated from undergrad, moved to Santa Fe, started grad school, started another relationship, finished my first year of grad school and now I'm looking to sew again. The Renn Faire is going on back at home soon and I'm going home for vacation. So I started planning a Ravenclaw inspired Renaissance outfit. I bought Marrgo Anderson's Working Woman's Pattern
Image result for working women margo anderson
I'm done with the main seams of the smock so that just needs hand finished. The partlet needs the collar put on and then the rest needs to be started. I'm making the skirt and flat cap in midnight blue linen and the bodice & sleeves in silver linen. The new boyfriend is coming home with me and so I bough Margo's Men's pattern as well.
MA004 - The Elizabethan Gentleman's Wardrobe Sewing Pattern by Margo Anderson
His doublet and sleeves are going to be gold twill and his Venitian's will be midnight blue but twill instead of linen. His shirt is in process and he's still deciding on if he wants a flat cap or tall hat. My other purchase for this outfit was a pair of American Duchess Virginia Renaissance Shoes. They were on sale and the last pair was my size so I had to grab them up. 
Photos will follow as I get pieces done.