I've been participating in living history events in the Bay Area this past year and finally got around to make myself a wool crepe dress for 1940s civilian. The dress is actually two seperate pieces and I have enough wool left over to make the matching bolero! I need to shorten the skirt a little more but overall I am really pleased how it came out. I never sewed with wool crepe before and it was lovely to sew. I also made shoulder pads using the directions with the pattern and they were the perfect size to give a nice shape to the shoulders without looking like a line backer! The hat I am wearing is vintage and the pocket square is my grandmother's who was training to be a nurse during World War II.
Sunday, September 15, 2013
My newest project brings me back to the era that started me in historical sewing over eight years ago! I interpret living history at a historic site in the Bay Area that was used from the Civil War to the end of World War II and have been able to make several civilian outfits from the 1910s and 1940s. Now I am branching out to do interpretation at another location at the site that began as a Civil War-era fort, so it's the perfect opportunity to make a new 1860s dress!
Like I said before, since I haven't made an 1860s dress in many years, and my shape is changing into an athletic build from my other hobby, my usual darted bodice standby no longer fits my chest or arms. My husband draped a bodice for me using Elizaebeth Stewart Clarks instructions in her Dressmakers Guide. This is what we came up with on the first go-round.
A new set of white collars and cuffs are on my to do list and a silk belt to go with my new Gutta Purcha buckle that I got for a steal since the vendor who sold it thought it was wood. A GP buckle has been on my wish list for years so I am giddy that I finally found one!
Friday, February 15, 2013
I finally decided on a dress design for the 2013 Columbia Diggins event (even though it's a bit outdated for 1852)!
|American Textile History Museum, 1845-1845|
with this fabric:
|Cheddar and Illuminations Dargate reproduction print.|
and modifying the Truly Victorian 1845 German Day Dress pattern. I'll have to drape the bodice gathering detail, but everything else should be pretty straight forward. The pattern also may need some adjustment around the armscye. I actually ripped the armscye of my favorite work shirt now that my chest, shoulders, arms, and delts are a lot bigger and stronger from weight lifting. I do have plenty of sheer white fabric that I can work with to make a nice chemisette to fill in the lowered neckline if I have the time/inclination. I own a beautiful original chemistte with whitework but it's far too delicate for wear, but is a great inspiration piece.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
|Ian, Me, and Tood (June 2012)|
Friday, September 14, 2012
Even though I have been sewing reproduction clothing for a few years, I have never attempted a quilt...until now. Lindy Miller, quilter extraordinaire, historic fabric enthusiast, and owner of Timeless Calico Designs, was kind enough to put together a quilt kit from her wonderful collection of historic reproduction fabrics. She has an online storefront and an etsy store so check her out!
The quilt below will be my first attempt. Lindy recommended it for a beginner quilter like me and I love how colorful and busy the fabrics are!
My version replaces the feather border and center sashing with this pillar fabric, but with a mustard background, which will make the quilt predominately yellow. It will look smashing with my walnut bedroom furniture!
Has anyone else made a quilt and would like to bestow and few words of wisdom?
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Now that summer is here I have been going to our weekly farmer's market and enjoying the bounty of the season: peaches, plums, cherries, squash, strawberries, blackberries, etc., etc.
I made a batch of Brandy Peaches and Cherry Brandy this weekend and will be sharing my culinary adventures with you over the next few weeks / months.
I followed the recipe below from Mrs. Ellis's Housekeeping Made Easy, Or Complete Instructor in All Branches of Cookery and Domestic Economy (1843)
|California Brandy from Korbel. I used two of these!|
|Brandy Peaches (1843)|
|Eight whole peaches. I added a vanilla bean for extra flavor.|
|Reduced cherries and their juice in the bottle and crock behind.|
I won't be able to follow the recipe exactly, since I was supposed to start the cherries weeks ago when the first batch came into season, and then strain them out and add another later season variety of cherries. I'll probably strain out the cherries after three weeks and check the flavor. If it could stand a few more weeks to age with the cherries I'll go for it. And not wanting anything to go to waste, I'll cook the strained cherries in some sugar and reduce them down farther to make a nice ice cream topping.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
|Figures 19, 20, 21|
Straight out of the pages of the Workwoman's Guide, this is the perfect project to use up scrap material. The main outer fabric is from a vest I made Ian, the pink is from a hand-quilted bonnet my sister made, the scissor area fabric is from a v-neck fan front, and the wool for the needles is from one of Ian's Civil War projects. The pink center has three rows of stitching to keep lengths of different thread separated, as illustrated in the plate above. There is a nice large pocket under the wool flap for buttons, wax, and other small odds and ends.