Sunday, March 24, 2013

A young pirate

My 4 year old nephew recently took an interest in pirates, and while I was playing with him the other day, I whipped up a pirate patch from some black corduroy and a strip of elastic. He thought that that was great, and wanted me to make him a complete pirate costume on the spot. Unfortunately, I can't sew a pirate costume within the attention span of a 4 year old, but I told him that I would see what I could do over the week. Today I messed around with some ideas for a pirate hat, and this is what I came up with. I had left over wire and buckram from the Civil War bonnet I made, and I always seem to have an abundance of black corduroy - I not sure why! So all I had to purchase was a bit of trim and a feather. The hat turned out pretty well. If I ever make another, I'll adapt the pattern a bit, but all in all, I'm pleased with the results. I hope it fits him!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Civil War Tea Gown

And here's the finished project! This was a fun sewing project. The dress went together very quickly, partly because I just used this pattern on the purple dress, so I knew what I was doing. I made a few modifications - instead of tabs on the skirt, I made a looped overskirt; I added a modesty chemisette to the neckline; I did away with the skirt pattern altogether, and simply made a skirt of large panels of material, and pleated it into the waistband; and, something I always to do dresses like this, I fully lined the bodice, to hide all the raw edges. I know it's not quite so historically accurate, but I hate leaving raw edges showing. The material I used - a light cotton lawn - was perfect for this pattern, although, because it was so sheer, I ended up doing an underlining of the blue material for most of it. The bonnet was a challenge. For one thing, I couldn't get ahold of any buckram - the correct stiffening material, so I used some really stiff interfacing instead. It worked, but it made it a little more difficult. I had to hand-sew almost everything on the bonnet, so it ended up taking me nearly as long to make the bonnet as it took me to make the dress! The reticule was a last-minute addition, I just threw it together from some scraps, but I think it turned out really cute! All in all, this outfit is one of my favorites that I've made so far!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sneak Peak

Here's a sneak peak at my next Civil War ball gown, currently in progress. I liked Simplicity 2881 enough to try it again. This time, I'm making a couple modifications, mostly because I didn't have quite enough fabric to make it as per the pattern. Also, what fun would it be to make another dress exactly the same as the last one? A couple years ago, a fabric store near where I live bought out the contents of a fabric store that went out of business in the sixties, and put bunches of vintage fabric up for sale at discount prices. I've been there a couple times, and found some awesome deals, but now, the current fabric store is going out of business and liquidating their stock. I went up there last week, and spent more money than I should have, but I got some awesome deals. One piece of fabric that I bought was a pale blue floral cotton lawn. I fell in love with it, and could just picture it as a summery Civil War ball gown. So, to redeem myself for spending too much money the other day, I'm making it up to sell on Ebay. I love the way it's coming together. I'm excited to see how it looks!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Renaissance/Gypsy Dress

Here's another dress that I started a long time ago, and finally just finished. The skirt, blouse and vest were all fairly simple pieces, but I love the way the overskirt is pulled up with ribbon in the front. The triple lacing on the bodice is also a fun touch! I love white muslin poet shirts, and this one was no exception! I tried something new on this blouse - something I've been wanting to try for quite a while. I did hand-beading on the cuffs and neckline. I made up my own design, and pretty much just free-handed it, but I was very pleased with the results! I want to incorporate more hand-beading into future projects.  This dress is currently up for sale on ebay at:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Lovely Civil War Evening Gown

I started this dress over a year ago. I was really excited about it - I knew it was going to turn out just lovely, but then life happened, as it tends to do, and the dress got put aside, for another time. Finally, a few days ago, that other time rolled around. I remember about the dress, managed to find it, among my unfinished projects, and realized that it was a lot closer to completion that I had remembered. It didn't take long to finish it up, and I had a lot of fun. It was one of those projects that turned out just like I had hoped it would - maybe even better. It is made of an iridescent lilac taffeta, trimmed with blue binding and white rosettes. I love the tabs on the skirt and the adorable puffy sleeves! It's too bad I don't have anywhere to wear this dress. I decided to put it up for sale on Ebay. You can find the listing at I made this dress from Simplicity pattern 2881. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Sailor Dress

My latest project - a sailor dress! I love the way it turned out. I used Simplicity pattern 1882. The material is a linen with embroidered anchors, and I used a red cotton trim, and red piping. This pattern is so easy to put together, and I love the vintage look!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012