Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Historical Sew Fortnightly #23

So I actually had this challenge completed almost two weeks ago, but I was lazy about taking pictures and writing this post. I knew months ago what I wanted to make for this challenge, and was happy to actually be able to accomplish it. Although most probably wouldn't consider it to be modern wear, I really wanted a short sleeved Viking linen gown to wear as a summer dress. I love the comfort of loosely fitted gowns, and I wanted something long and linen and perfect for the day to day. Here is what I made:
The full gown, still wrinkled from the last time I wore it.
Close up of the embroidery. I intend to do similar embroidery on the sleeves.
Close up of the neckline.
The gown being worn. This is also the best representation of the color.
The gown is a long rectangle, the width of half my bust plus some ease, and folded at the shoulder. It is gored from the low waist down to the hem, adding an extra 26 inches per gore. One gore was pieced to conserve fabric. The sleeves are rectangles, and there are underarm gussets. All seams were flat-felled.

The hem facing, sleeve and neckline detail are mustard colored wool, with the visible edges whipped down with cotton thread over wool yarn as filler thread. The embroidery is chain stitch.

I have worn this dress repeatedly, and I love it. I plan to make a leather vest or waist cincher to wear over it to make it more fitted and more modern looking.

The Breakdown:
The Challenge: #23 Modern History

Fabric: Green linen-blend, yellow wool-blend

Pattern: None, made it myself

Year: 9-13th century

Notions: Cotton thread, cotton embroidery floss, wool yarn

How historically accurate is it? The pattern is good. However both the linen and the wool were blended with rayon, and all of the seams were machine stitched. And besides the underarm gussets, all the flat-felled seams were also machine stitched. The embroidery is my own pattern, so unknown accuracy, but the chain stitch was used. This is probably my worst, say 20%.

Hours to complete: 5 for the dress, 15 for the embroidery

First worn: The day it was finished, to go out to dinner with my husband

Total cost: The wool was a remnant, the embroidery floss was inherited, and the yarn was clearance. All told, I think it was $25-30.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Mary of Hapsburg Hemd

So a while ago I came across an image somewhere (I want to say Pinterest, but I don't remember for certain.)
Website with details and other images here
In fact, I'm not entirely certain that this was the view that set me off, all I remember is clicking through and knowing, KNOWING, 'I have to make that!'

But I was in the middle of other projects and thus it remained as a note in the back of my brain. But now? Now I am determined to start it. I had already picked up some thin linen and metallic embroidery thread for the hemd or chemise, so last night I cut the pieces, and today assembly started. The pieces are big. The front and back pieces are 71 inches, and the sleeves are 48 inches. And all of that gets pleated down to the neckline. I thought I was prepared for the amount of work that entailed, but I forgot something. That 6+ yards of fabric needs to be hemmed first, before the smocking can begin. Did I mention I want this outfit to be accurate, and thus handstitched?

What have I got myself into?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Historical Sew Fortnightly #22

After my massive, nearly a year long project was finished (and which I still owe photos), I figured I'd take a break from sewing. Step away from the machine, do other things for a while, and probably let the rest of the challenges slide. I didn't even have an idea for the Gentlemen challenge, so a break would be had. Except, I made that Regency turban. And the burgundy linen was fantastic to work with. And a matching spencer would fit the challenge and be awesome. So within a few days of getting back from BurCon, I was onto my next project.

I didn't have a pattern, but I soon realized that modifying my bustle era bodice would be a lot easier than trying to adapt a modern coat pattern since my bustle bodice already fit and had the curved back seams that were popular from the 1700s through to 1900s. (Possibly earlier, but I haven't really looked at the 1600s.) I extended the front shoulder pieces by two inches, and subtracted them from the back. I cropped it short and added two inches to the hem circumference so it wouldn't be overly tight. I followed Sensibility's instructions for constructing a spencer, but used Tea in a Teacup's idea of interlining it with cotton flannel. (She also gave me the inspiration of adding awesome shoulder thingys.)

The jacket is burgundy linen blend, interlined with cotton flannel and lined with thin muslin.
Close up of shoulder cap, which has brown piping at the shoulder seam and yellow trim along the edge.
Spencer closes with hook and eyes. Front edge is piped in upholstery trim and left over yellow trim from my turban. Buttons are textured metal, and the bottom edge has the burgundy tassel fringe that I tried to use on my turban.
The side back seams are piped in brown, and a tab is piped with the trim from the front edge and sewn down with buttons.
The spencer while worn. The shoulder caps flare out slightly. The sleeves have tabs on them, trimmed in the last of the yellow soutache from the turban and sewn down with buttons. The sleeves are extra long and reach my knuckles, and are finished with brown piping.
The back. I should have added a half inch to the back armscye, as it has a tendency to pull. The back tab pulls in the waist slightly, and the extra fabric is stitched down in pleats to prevent shifting.
With matching turban

I am super proud of this jacket. This is the first time when making my own pattern that I felt like I did everything in the right order. Normally I'll realize I should have done something earlier and have to finagle it to get it to work. The trims went down in the right order, the jacket fits wonderfully, and all the little details really pull it together. I even did a fish eye dart at the elbow of the sleeves, AND clipped the flannel close to the stitching so it isn't bulky. I've taken to wearing this spencer on a regular basis, and have plans for it. I've added buttons to the interior, and plan to pick up more linen, interline it and trim it, and attach it to a band that can be buttoned to the inside for an instant pelisse. I'm also going to make a matching petticoat to combine with the spencer for a period riding habit.

   I apologize for weird formatting, Blogger is being an asshole.
The Challenge: #22 Gentlemen

Fabric: Burgundy linen blend, red and brown cotton flannel remnants, muslin remnant

Pattern: Self made, adapted from my bustle era bodice

Year: 1800-1810. I picked and chose bits from styles I liked for a generally earlier Regency silhouette.

Notions: Cotton thread, metal buttons, polyblend piping, hooks and eyes, four kinds of yellow polyester trim and a burgundy polyester trim.

How historically accurate is it? The style and cut is good. The outer fabric should be pure linen, as should the thread, and I'm not sure how accurate cotton flannel interlining is. All of the trims are polyester, and it was machine stitched. Let's say 40%.

Hours to complete: 20 - 30.

First worn: About a week ago, to the grocery store to get ice cream. Not yet worn as part of a historical costume.

Total cost: The fabric was $11, the interlining was two remnants, total of about $5, the lining was $3. Most of the buttons were bought on clearance, though I did pay full price for one pack, total $5. Trims cost the most, but I think in total the spencer cost me around $40.