Sunday, March 20, 2011

Simplicity 7215 Corset Pattern

This is my modified version of the 7215 Simplicity corset pattern made of a single layer coutil from Sac City Drygoods. I'm going for an 1840s "coffee can" silhouette with this one so I modified the boning placement, gusset placement, shortened the height of the back, shaped the front edges, and made it two sizes smaller than my previous version.

Front view and wearing a Elizabeth Stewart Clark pattern chemise:

I'm very happy about the spring in the back being even the entire length:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

1840s Theme Wedding - The Details

For me, the accessories really made this dress come together.  I made an orange blossom hair piece from a kit I ordered and attached a mid-19th century embroidered bonnet veil that I bought off ebay.  I had to soak the veil in Biz a number of times to bring it's beauty back.  
View of orange blossoms
It was a labor of love to get it this white!
I had a pair of custom made silk satin slippers made by Robert Land and then decorated the edges with pleated ribbon.

Robert Land Slippers
Oh yeah, and I also made our wedding cake from an 1840s recipe the day before the wedding!  (Not for the faint of heart).
Everyone raved about the cake.  Some people had a third piece!
We rented out a Gothic Revival bed & breakfast for the weekend for the wedding and reception that was built in 1854, which the town of Ferndale was named after.
The Shaw House, 1854.

And to top it all off, my engagement/wedding ring is from the 1840s.  We might be a little obsessed with this decade...
It's prettier in person, trust me.

1840s Theme Wedding - The Dress

Our wedding theme was the 1840s since Ian and I first met at a Gold Rush living history event, so we thought it would be a great idea.  The first dress I drew inspiration was from the Tasha Tudor collection.  I copied the pleated bertha with 9 pleats on the front and back, as well as the shaped piped lozenges to cover the seams.  The second dress I took inspiration from the long sleeves and the skirt pleating that meets in the front.  I loved the idea of a pelerine but it wasn't suitable for a summer garden wedding.
Tasha Tudor dress
1840s Satin Wedding Dress with Swans Down Pelerine

My 1840s Wedding Dress
Close up of pleated bertha
The material is a hard backed 100% silk duchess ivory satin that I bought from a shop in the LA Garment District.  The bodice pattern went through so many changes that I don't even remember what I used as a starting point! For the skirt support I wore my corded petticoat, a tucked petticoat, and a plain petticoat (all with yoked waistbands).  
Mr. Rochester and his Mustard Seed

Up next...accessories!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Past Pattern's Single Breasted Vest

When Ian and I first started dating in June 2005 I wanted to make him something, even if he already made all of own clothes.  I purchased this reproduction fabric and original buttons and made the vest from the Past Patterns Single Breasted Vest with shawl collar.  The back is white polished cotton and the inside is lined in plain white cotton.  I topped stitched the shawl collar and armscyes.  I'm not thrilled about the width of the pocket welts now knowing they should be narrower, but I think it's a good first attempt  This was my first and only foray into men's clothing since Ian's sewing / tailoring skills put my work to shame!
Detail view of top stitching
Now I'm just waiting for Ian to make me something. . .

Thursday, March 3, 2011

1840s Quilted Silk Hood

I stayed up ridiculously late one night waiting for Ian to get home after visiting family in Seattle.  To keep myself occupied until he returned in the wee hours of the morning I decided to make a quilted hood. I based mine off an original 1840s quilted hood from Meg Andrew's website, which is no longer up I'm afraid and I failed to save a picture of it!  The original was purple silk with cream binding and ties, and of course had a sickening amount of hand quilting, so mine is admittedly much simpler.  I loved the little detail around the front of the hood with the pleated silk trim.  I cut strips of fabric on the bias to prevent fraying, joined them together, and pleated until I had the right amount.  The brown silk taffeta I used was leftovers from my dress and mantle and I think I have enough to make a pelerine if I want.  The interior is wool flannel.

I used an 1859 quilted cap pattern and altered the front edges and shortened the bavolet.  

1840s Silk Quilted Bonnet
Interior lined in polished cotton
I have yet to wear it since I haven't been to any cold weather events since I made this in late 2008, but I hope it makes it's debut one day!