Sunday, January 12, 2020

2019 Wrap Up

Hello again dear readers! I was a bit optimistic last January when I thought I would be more productive with both sewing and writing. At some point in late 2018 I gave myself permission to just... Take a break. That break ended up being a LOT longer than I thought, but it was good for me. Primarily, this is a hobby for me, and I wasn’t enjoying the self-inflicted pressure. Giving myself permission to take a break was really the hardest part. I spent a lot more time knitting, which gave my hands and brain the creativity they needed while not putting any pressure on myself to keep going. Since knitting takes so much longer to create a finished object, this was just the change of pace I needed. There is just no rushing a knitting project, your hands can only knit so fast. As the year progressed, I have more stability in my moods and life, and I’m starting to feel more up to taking on projects.

I did make a few things last year. Nothing spectacular. In fact, it was just a handful.

Transitional Short Stays

1790s White Roundgown

Cheers Photography for Regency Encounters

Larkin & Smith English Gown

White Ruffled Apron

This is the only photo I apparently have of it right now.

Black “Vigee Le Brun turban”

Regency “Moping” gown

Cheers Photography for Regency Encounters

Yep, just 6 things! But the best part was - I was really happy to make them. I made the L&S gown 100% by hand, and it was such an enjoyable sew. The roundgown was mostly machine done, to replace my old white gown that was dyed pink in 2018, and it was both fast and a delight. The apron was made the day I wanted to wear it, partly to prove it could be done - the base was made in 2018, and I put the ruffle on before running out the door.

While I was sewing the “moping” gown, I was thinking about how much I was enjoying sewing again - exactly the thing I wanted to hear myself say. I finished the gown and dropped it off to its recipient, and then ran back home to make myself the turban to wear that night. I cheated A LOT on it and it’s largely machine-done with a serged rolled hem on the ties, but it was redonk cute and I loved wearing it.

I also started and worked on a couple projects, just nothing else finished. I cut the silk for my next sacque gown, started a petticoat to go with the English gown from last year (both of which are now done), and got the tapes sewn on and down for a faux fur muff.

Most excitingly, while at the October Pride & Prejudice Ball, I met some new people who all echoed the same sentiment - “I want to dress up more, but I feel so isolated”. There are lots of historical costumers in the province, and I know of nearly a dozen in Edmonton alone! So I started a Facebook group for Albertans to find each other - Historical Costumers of Alberta. It’s intended to be more of a bridge between living history (European history in this part of Canada doesn’t really exist before 1759, and even then not until the mid-19th century; both major history parks don’t cover the periods before 1840) and the pure fantasy of steampunk and cosplay. We even had our inaugural picnic, on a blustery October day, where the dress code was “something from your closet”. I rewore my 1840s dress for the first time since CoCo 2017! (I forgot my cape and muff though, and it was very chilly)

For 2020, I started to make a list of all the things I wanted to sew now that I'm feeling ready to take it all on again, and quickly got overwhelmed with the sheer volume of plans. So instead, I want to focus more on HOW I sew. I spent the first bit of January already finishing up some UFOs, and I was taking more time to just enjoy working on them without a deadline, and so spending more time on the little details, such as basting up a hem before stitching it down. Who would ever take all that time, I thought. Y'all - I'm a convert. That was one the nicest hemming experiences I've ever had. Because the first bit was basted, the second turn-up didn't wibble at all, and there was no fighting with pins and being stabbed in weird places. I'm excited to try out new techniques this year and being more thoughtful about the HOW instead of the WHY.

That’s all for now! I hope to post again soon!

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Making a Small Bust Adjustment on Simplicity 8578 by American Duchess

I have a whole other post about how I came to sew a sacque, but this one is just going to address how I made a small bust adjustment to the Simplicity pattern.

When I was in fashion classes in high school, my teacher told us all that we should go down one size from whatever the pattern envelope says, and this one is no exception. The envelope indicates that I should pick a size 16 (38" bust, 40" finished bust), but as per my teacher, I would need to cut a 14 (38" finished bust). Since the sacque will be fitted over stays, I don't need the 2" of ease that was built into the 16, so I cut out the 14 (38" finished bust measurement).

Mock up #1 was a straight-up sew of a size 14. Fit was generally very good - the waist was fine, the full bust I could pin closed nearly 2" smaller than the pattern, and I had too much fabric at the top of the chest.

Note the wave of fabric at the top of the shoulder.

For Mock up #2, I took a tuck in the shoulder strap. There are not photos of this one, but it pulled in the underarm and raised the back neck too far. It was not good. So I went back to the internet, and found tutorials for a small bust adjustment. The one I used appears to be gone, but this tutorial by Colette Patterns gives a good tutorial. The basics, for both full and small bust adjustments, is to cut up the pattern along the center of the bust point and towards the arm, and either spread or overlap the pattern to add or remove fabric.

So for mock up #3, I tried to do just that. This pattern was a little difficult because it doesn't have a traditional bust dart. I happened to have another Simplicity pattern that was the same size, which I used to mark the bust point. The best part about using a same-brand pattern was that they put most of their markings in the same place, which made it easy to line things up. And it worked! I had good fit over the shoulder and through the bust and waist. I was really pleased with the result!

Very happy with this fit!

Alright, enough talking. Here's how to make this magical adjustment.

Materials needed:
American Duchess Simplicity 8578 Sacque Gown pattern
Optional - Another Simplicity pattern with the same FINISHED measurements as the AD pattern
A piece of tracing paper or other see-through paper strong enough to cut apart
Marking devices (pens, pencils, etc)
French curve (optional)

After you have measured yourself with your underpinnings, select the size using the FINISHED measurements. Aim for 0-1" ease if you are wearing stays. I prefer a very snug fit through the bodice.

1. Trace off a clean copy of the front pattern piece. Transfer all markings. I use artist's tracing paper, purchased at Staples. If you can, mark the bust point using another, similar pattern with the same FINISHED measurements. For me, this was a size 14 sacque, and a size 12 basic bodice. I also marked the dart, but the fit of this pattern accounts for a dart as if it was already applied, so I used it to just center the line (step 4, below) that gets drawn through the bust point. If you don't have a similar size pattern, you can mark it somewhat arbitrarily, approximately 2" below and 3/4" in from the large dot that marks the stomacher attachment.

2. Draw a line from the underarm notch through the large dot marking the side waist. Mark the seam allowance near the single notch on the front curve of the armscye.

3. Cut the side back and front apart. Set the side back aside, we'll reattach it later.

4. Draw a straight line from the small waist dot up through the bust point with a ruler.

5. Draw a perpendicular line from the bust point to the side.

6. Use a ruler to draw a line from the bust point to the armscye. Most tutorials will give this as an arbitrary measurement like 1/3 of the armhole, but I found it's roughly where the armscye starts to straighten out from the crook of the arm.

7.Cut carefully up the front line and to the armscye, stopping just a hair before the seam line. Cut into the seam allowance towards the first cut, leaving a small hinge.

8. Cut from the side to the bust point, leaving a small hinge there too.

9. Move your bust point UP and IN, overlapping the intact part of the pattern by your desired amount. Allow the side cut and armscye cut to move naturally. My overlap was 1/2" to remove 1" total out of the bust. Tape in place to keep it from shifting.

10. Tape the side cut down so that it lays flat.

11. Lay the side back piece back against your pattern, matching the armscye edge and as much body edge as you can. You will have a little gap where the side cut overlaps, just tape in a piece of scrap paper behind it.

12. Because this adjustment shortens the waist, you can either raise the side back and front piece to match the shortened part, or lower the shortened part to match the other parts if you need more length below the bust. Make sure you adjust any length below the bust point.

13. Smooth out any other curves, such as in the armscye. Adjust the waist curve if necessary.

14. Cut another mock-up and see how you did!

You may want to shorten your stomacher pieces as well, I found mine a bit too high. Next time I will take some height off the top too.

Still a touch too tall over the shoulder, but overall fit was great!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

2018 Wrap-Up

2018 was a very interesting year, and not always in a good way. My mental health took a left turn at Albequerque and I had to take a step back from just about everything. But I'm happy to say that with the support of my doctor and Team Me, I'm feeling a lot better. One my goals for 2019 is to write more, so I'm going to make more effort to post here!

Upcoming I have a bunch of project posts and a tutorial on making a small bust adjustment, but for now here is my wrap-up of 2018.

Remade/finished a riding habit shirt

Finished Market Bonnet

Victorian Wallpaper Cotton Sacque

1780s Riding Habit and Cravat

1830s Yellow Gown and Apron

1795 Redingote based on the LACMA pattern

New sleeves, rump and petticoat for the IKEA LJUSOGA Italian Gown

The World's Fluffiest Cap (from the American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Dressmaking)

Printed English Gown (in progress)

I went to Costume College in July. It represented both a high and a low in my year. We had built in an extra day, and the group split up to do various events on that day. Nicole and I went to the California Science Museum to visit Endeavor and King Tutankhamun's tomb goods exhibit, both of which were incredible. On the Monday after we did the fabric district tour again and found some goodies. Our flight home was not delayed, and I had also booked the next day off to just stay home. Costume College was excellent, and I learned a lot of interesting things and met a lot of even more interesting people (including Katie Lovely, Caitlin, Michaela, Anne and Gwendolyn). I did not sleep well all weekend, and a couple of external things threw my brain into a downward spiral that had me seeking my doctor out at the end of August. I can't decide if I want to write more about CoCo because it's so heavily coloured by my brain being a jerk.

For 2019 my goals include sewing more just because, getting back to my "roots" as a historical costumer with bustle-era Victorian things, and improving my life in small ways. It's going to be an adventure!

Monday, September 3, 2018

The Victorian Wallpaper Cotton Sacque

I hope you're ready for a long post about a long project, readers. Grab a beverage and settle in :D

When my mum was destashing in early 2014, I grabbed this striped fabric with the specific intent to make a sacque (aka a robe a la francaise or sack). I washed it soon after, and then it sat. And sat and sat and sat and sat forever. I made pocket hoops a month later, and that's as far as the project ever got.

Within a month of Costume College 2017, I decided the time was now. I had bought a bunch of silk for a sacque in the fabric district, but I was too scared to cut into it without some experience under my figurative belt. So I felt that if I made the cotton one first, I would feel much more confident about starting the silk one! I first made a linen lining, using my modified RH 822 as the pattern. Then I cut a single panel of the cotton and started to drape it on my lining, referencing Katherine's sacque tutorials as a guide. I was pretty happy with how it looked, and then got stalled on how to do the sides over the pocket hoops. The project got put aside, and sat.

In the end I'm really glad it waited so long. The American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Dressmaking came out at the end of November, and I read it back to front numerous times. Especially the section about the sacque gown. The directions indicated a width of at least 80" across the back. It seemed like a lot! I was also thinking about how to arrange the pieces on my silk, and how to deal with stripes? I couldn't cut a gore off and flip it to the other side of the side skirt, with either fabric, they are both striped! How to deal with that? Then, the Simplicity pattern was announced, and I was thrilled.

It took a couple months to arrange getting the pattern, but it did happen eventually. I finally, finally got set to really, really commit to make the gown this time. 80" of fabric in the back and all. Even if the fabric reminded me a bit too much of Victorian wallpaper to "pass". Indecision is my biggest nemesis, and I just needed to Get It Done.

I started by measuring my fabric. I had 8 yards of 42" fabric. The pattern envelope indicated I would need nearly 11 yards of 45" fabric, and that didn't include a petticoat, which I wanted. I carefully saved all of my scraps to see how much I would have left, and also because I may need them. Piecing is period, after all! Another reason to keep track of how much I had! I also wanted to make note of this especially because I felt it was important for people like me who can't get silk easily or inexpensively.

I sat down one late winter's day to make a mock-up. I always cut my Big-4 patterns one size smaller than the envelope says I need, and this one was no exception. I wasn't totally happy with it - too wide across the chest, too loose shoulder-to-bust (a normal occurrence, for me). I took the excess shoulder length out in a tuck from the strap, but I disliked that even more! It was now too tight under my arm and I couldn't put my arms forward much, plus the back neck now sat really high! Ugh! I took a day and a half to read about various adjustments one can make to a pattern - the one I see most is a full-bust adjustment, but what I really needed was a small-bust adjustment. I decided to give it a try, and the short version -- it worked. Back sitting where it was supposed to, full arm motion, including forward, only a tiny bit of excess over the chest. I'll put up a post explaining how I did it, link to follow!

Mock up #1. Notice the waves of fabric over the shoulder...

SO much better!

From there it was full speed ahead! I put on some Netflix and got started. I used my initial single-width panel that had the armscyes cut out (one would be in the centre back but I would fill in whatever wasn't covered by the pleats with a scrap) and laid it out on top of the yardage. I chose to cut the back pieces as one large piece rather than 2 separate ones. The print was directional, so for the main pieces I was careful to make sure the print went in the same direction. I cut, pinned, sewed, fitted, etc, over the course of a few weeks, and I can't believe I ever thought a single 42" wide panel was enough for the back. Look at this beauty:

I used a combo of machine and hand stitching. Major seams were done by machine where the stitches wouldn't show. In a few cases, I did machine stitch visibly, knowing or intending to cover it with trim in the future. Visible stitching was done by hand. I had cut my front skirts and bodice without checking placement of the print, and got it HORRIBLY wrong. I HAD to re-cut it:

Pattern lining up FAIL 😱😱😱 I'm recutting these... #sewing #sacque

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I did re-use the front bodice pieces to cut my stomacher. They only fit at an angle, but I quite like the chevron effect :)

As I got towards the end of my fabric, I had to plan. I did not have enough for a full self-fabric petticoat. I cut a single panel for the petticoat and two 12" strips to have a back hem, and then I was down to 27" of fabric left. I planned 6 3" strips for the front trim, but I waited to rip them, and good thing. My petticoat ended up being too long, and I ripped 4" off the front! I trimmed that down to 3" for one of the trimming strips.

The trimming took a long time, of course. I machine-hemmed both edges with my roll-hemmer foot, a device that is still a mystery to me. It was starting to get better by the end (I made a lot of hems over the summer with this foot), but I had done it this way because I KNEW someday it would get covered by trim. I had looked at a lot of sacque gowns in museums and such while I was planning, and the cotton ones, while trimmed, always had some kind of bling on their edges. But I also knew I couldn't wait to find the perfect trim, or else the strips would never get made, so I forged ahead. It took a LONG TIME (2 seasons of Call the Midwife, in fact) to get the strips gathered up. It took the first part of Moana to get them ironed, and then some more TV (I forget which, now) to get it all attached. I couldn't quite get it gathered up at my intended ratio, but I only have about 15" left over. And it looked GREAT!

Because I was using quilting cotton, I planned the back neck to be covered in trim. The fabric was stitched and the raw edges trimmed with pinking shears. The ruffle covers it.

Then it was on to the little bits! The sleeve fluffles had been hand-hammed, but I machined the gathering lines and attached by hand. I hate how visible the stitching is, but someday I will cover it. By the time I got around to that, my hands were giving out on me; I just couldn't manage fine handwork. It had to do. I machine-gathered lace and stitched it to a bias tape, then hand-stitched it to the neckline. For the linen fluffles, I used the trusty roll-hemmer (by this time, I had made another project with it, and the stitching on these is the best yet!) and then gathered some lace and stitched it on top (again by machine). It was gathered to a bias tape, and first I had put the fluffle in backwards. It looked weird! Once I got it on the correct sleeve, it was perfect. Except I had accidentally cut the biggest size fluffle, and had to attach it very far up the sleeve to keep it at a not-ridiculous-looking length.

I realized after this photo that the fluffle was in the wrong way!

The last bit I needed for Costume College was some bows. The night before we left, I cut three strips of golden yellow poly taffeta from my partner's stash with pinking shears. They would get done in the hotel, and they did. I put one on each elbow, and three down the stomacher, just pinned in place for now. I really enjoyed wearing it. Many people complimented my fabric, and I heard one exclamation of "pretty!!". Regrettably, I did not get any full-length shots of the outfit being worn.

In the fashion district, I found some cute floral trim. I calculated how much I thought I would need (6 x 90" as an overestimation of the strip trim, which worked out to 15 yards, so I bought 20) and shortly after arriving home, started to attach it. It really adds something to the visual interest, but now I want to add more! I think the centre of the strip needs a little somethin'-somethin' too ;) Maybe in pink or purple to pull out the flowers?

And here is all of the fabric I have left. If you want lots of trim, a fully matching petticoat, etc, you will need more fabric than 8 yards (also if you are taller than me!). But if you plan carefully and keep it conservative, you can save a little on yardage.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Road to Costume College 2018

Gosh, where did the first half of the year go? (I know where, winter was unusually long and dark and cold, and it's effect lasted longer than usual...) Now that the days on the calendar are quickly ticking down to the dates I will be in LA attending Costume College, its starting to really sink in that it's happening, and SOON!

I've been pushing to get some pieces made up for the event, even though it's SO VERY SOON now. If you follow me on Instagram, I've been posting progress shots of my current projects. Here is what's on my to-do list, with bonus planned costume list for the weekend!


Jareth the Goblin King

-need to reglue approximately 600 jewels back on.

Friday Day:

IKEA Ljusoga Italian gown

I made a split rump to go under this, and plan to redo the sleeves. If I have time, I may make another new petticoat. I really want the ruffly apron from the American Duchess Guide, but as I don't have fabric, I don't think I'll have time to create it.

Bonus: This is the only outfit that will have a hat. I finished-finished my market bonnet earlier this year and since it packs flat, it's the only hat I'm bringing along!

-Redo sleeves

Friday Night Social:

Riding Habit

This is at least 75% done. I recently got the buttons I needed to put this on. I've misplaced the hooks & eyes I bought in LA last year to close it with so it might get temporary ones. I don't know what I'm going to do with my hair, either D:

-Buttons! Buttons for days!
-Waistcoat buttonholes + buttons
-Attach lining to jacket
-Hooks & eyes (possibly temp)

Saturday Day:

1830s cotton gown

Purely as a companion to Lady Rebecca's 1830s fabulousness, I got this amazing pink and yellow print from my mom's destash in early 2014. I always intended it for an early Victorian gown. I have 6 yards, so I may need to get creative when it comes to the sleeves. I'm using the Workwoman's Guide (1838-1840) as a huge source of patterning, and several gowns from the Met as design choices.

I'm using Laughing Moon's Regency stays pattern to make long stays. I'm using the theatrical version, as this is a pattern I mostly want "done" rather than "historically". Stays didn't change a lot for the first 30-odd years of the 19th century. You see the same shapes in the Workwoman's Guide with similarly styled boning patterns and advice for boning it as little as possible. For the dress I'm going to use Butterick's 1840 dress pattern as the bodice base, but this time I've modified the front with a small bust adjustment rather than taking the extra fabric out near the shoulders. I'll talk about that more in an upcoming post.

I will also need a cap to cover my hair, and an apron. I got into a limited class on Saturday morning which will be hands-on, and I also just really love aprons!

-Stays: boning channels
-Stays: boning
-Stays: Binding
-Gown: everything. Sleeves are patterned and bodice pattern adjustments made, but that's it.
-Gown: Sleeve support (maybe)

Saturday Gala:

LACMA Redingote

I'm really excited about this one. I won't go into too many details since I have a post or two in the works already, but I started on this project last year shortly after CoCo, and it sat for months and months before I came back to it. It's my first time working with real silk, and I made a few choices I maybe wouldn't have made if I had waited just a bit longer (or maybe I would have; they certainly didn't occur to me at all until it was too late). I 'm hand sewing this partly because I have time to do so (I feel), partly because I enjoy the process, partly because I like the look, partly because I just plain wanna.

One of the main features I loved about the extant garment is the shoulder capes, but they will be the last constructed as they are not integral to the garment in the way that sleeves are.

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-Main sewing (lapels, collar, sleeves, cuffs)


Victorian Wallpaper Sacque

I started this last fall too. The fabric also came from my mom's destash, and had always been intended for a sacque. I had initially started out with the same lining pieces as for my Italian and curtain-along gowns, with hand-sewn eyelets, and I was using Katherine's sacque tutorials as a guide. For whatever reason, it also got put aside for months.

The Lady Detalle is hosting a "Dress of WRONG" on Sunday, perfectly accurate gowns with imperfectly accurate fabric. Mine will be less obvious than hers, but this fabric has always felt a little too "Victorian Wallpaper" to be an appropriate sacque. But I also really love it still, and when I got a copy of American Duchess' Simplicity pattern early this year, it was just a thing that needed to be Done.

This also features a small bust adjustment, so stay tuned for that.

-Sleeve fluffles (inner and outer)
-Bows for days!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

HSM '18: January: Mend, Reshape, Refashion: Riding Habit Shirt

Last summer, after I knew that I needed a riding habit shirt for Costume College, I started researching them. I say "research"... it was a very unscientific search, consisting mostly of bloggers who've already made them. There's known examples at The Hereford Museum and Art Gallery, which was the basis for the pattern by JP Ryan. At the time, I didn't want to spend the money on a pattern plus shipping, which is so expensive to Canada, and then exchange rates, which are terrible, and possibly customs fees. I would have been paying at least $40 Cdn, JUST for the pattern. Ouch!

So I hunted down made ones. Here is a not-complete list of bloggers who've made habit shirts:

American Duchess

The Fashionable Past
Diary of a Mantua-Maker
Ruffles not Rifles
Couture Mayah
A Fractured Fairytale
Before the Automobile
Look What I Made
Reconstructing History

From these, I gleaned measurements, and created the best set I could come up with. I had some linen leftover from my shift, but a limited amount. With guidance about mens' shirts from Costume Close-Up and La Couteriere Parisienne, I decided on the best use of what linen was left, and then took a deep breath and cut it out.

In the interest of following these lovely ladies' footsteps, I cut my linen so:

Body: 24" Wide x 30" long, split 16"/14" Front-Back, split CF to neck, and slit 12" in the center (6" on either side of CF)
Sleeves: 15" wide x 23" long
Sleeve gusset: 6" square
Neck Gusset: 3" square
Collar: 16" x 5"
Cuffs: 8.5" x 3"

I purposely did not cut ruffles. If I choose to add them, they often would have been cut from a nicer material than the rest of the shirt, and I was so limited on fabric. These measurements include 1/2" seam allowances. (But for real, if you struggle with creating a pattern, JP Ryan's habit shirt pattern is wonderful!!)

I know I started the reasearch while I was on vacation in early June, but I don't think I actually got started until after I got home again. While on vacation, I took the sleeves off of my shift and narrowed and shortened them. Some of the habit shirt pieces got cut out of the those scraps. Sewing with linen is so lovely, so I opted to do it all by hand. Everything was going well, and in early July I thought I actually had a chance at having it ready and wearable for Costume College!

Until... I put in the neck gussets upside down. I had folded the little gusset squares in half and attached the raw edges to my neck slits, opted not to flat-fell the seams, gathered the neckline and attached it to the collar, AND sewn the collar down. I figured that the seams would be on the inside, and then I could flat-fell them down after CoCo. When I went to try it on, that's when I noticed that the raw seams faced UP for the whole world to see. Argh! I also wasn't happy with the fit -- I'd made a channel for the back waist to gather through, which made it feel weird around the shoulders and center back, and made it ridiculously short (the tie would have gone VERY high around my torso), plus one cuff was a lot bigger than the other. I was discouraged and put it in the Naughty Pile. I took a modern dress shirt to CoCo for my habit class instead.

While at CoCo, I picked up JP Ryan's habit shirt pattern in the marketplace. She'd had a couple on display and one for sale that was purchased by another attendee, and they were all BEAUTIFUL, so I wanted to pick it up if I could. Exchange rates were still terrible, but at least I didn't have to pay for shipping, and guaranteed no customs fees! I read the directions a few times, intending to get more linen and start over, all while thinking that my original attempt could be salvaged for something else.

Sometimes it's lucky that it takes me forever to decide on stuff. Finally, towards the end of 2017, I decided that I really wanted to put some serious thought into getting the riding habit done. I'd picked up some quilted silk in LA to make into a petticoat (done in September), to wear under the habit petticoat, and while I could get the petticoat done as soon as I find the fabric in my stash, I still needed the habit shirt done before I could commit to fitting the waistcoat or jacket.

And then it kinda fits into this month's Historical Sew Monthly 2018. I WAS going to relegate this project to "salvage fabric", but then concluded that I could just... mend it. Take apart the offending fit issues and re-shape it, the right way. And so I did.

The pieces came off very easily - hooray for handsewing! I even could have salvaged most of the thread (I didn't, but I could have). The collar, neck gussets, back hem, and longer cuff were all removed within an hour. I made sure to put the neck gussets on the proper side, and this time flat-felled them down. I reused my gathering thread to gather the neckline back onto the collar, and finished that area up. The back got its small seam allowance turned in and tacked down, and some small pleats taken at the centre back to narrow it a bit. That will get tacked to a tie when I can pick up some narrow twill tape. Finally, I cut almost 2" off the cuff (what was I thinking the first time??) and reattached that. All told, the alterations took 3 hours of hand sewing time to reattach, and I was back to where it had been when it went on the naughty pile.

Next up I had to figure out my button situation. JP Ryan and her assistant, Feather, had had some pre-made Dorset buttons for sale at the class, but I had lacked any cash to buy them. They can be purchased from Wm, Booth, Draper, but for a variety of reasons, this isn't an option right now. I couldn't bring myself to use modern plastic buttons, I just couldn't. So I looked up how to make Dorset buttons and made some, using modern embroidery floss and the rings that I had pulled off of the tie-backs that had come with the curtains for my curtain-along dress. The rings were just slightly larger than the 1/2" ones recommended by JP Ryan, so I went with it. I used this tutorial to create them. I had trouble getting 8 even spokes around the ring, but I ended up liking the odd-number spoked buttons better. Each button took around 20 minutes to make (timed while I was watching Forensic Files -- one button per episode).

Finally, I made buttonholes on the cuffs and collar of the shirt, and attached my buttons. Aside from the tie and some kind of cravat or stock, my habit shirt is complete!

2017 Year in Review

I didn't really sew a lot this past year. I'm not that surprised, I had a rather busy year! Between taking care of my mental health, a new position at work, and other various events, I ended up knitting more than sewing. I've included a couple of major projects here.

Mid-Victorian chemise and drawers

Blue Regency Gown

18th century petticoats

Miramar Dress and Wonder Unders slip

NutMeg Sews' Pineapple Reticule

Victorian Tea Gown

1780s stays


Star Trek TOS Season 3 Skant

18th Century Cap

Finished Curtain-Along Gown

Quilted Petticoat

Taylor Mitts

Petticoat for Pocket Hoops

Salal Sweater

1780s Split Rump

2019 Wrap Up

Hello again dear readers! I was a bit optimistic last January when I thought I would be more productive with both sewing and writing. At som...