Monday, June 22, 2009

Norm's 1850s suit - pants

I have had an exceptionally productive weekend. I got stuck into it and stayed up late sewing my little heart out. I didn't get as many items 100% completed as I had hoped to get, but I did get a lot of work done. First off, my Dad's costume got the bulk of my attention. I just finished his pants this evening. They would have been done on the weekend if I had actually remembered to buy buttons when I bought the fabric. At any rate, I went up to Lincraft at lunch time to get his buttons and finish them off.

I am pleased with how these turned out. They weren't an overly simple pattern to put together, but you get that with mens historical clothing. Thankfully there were actually a few optional points that I could make - like the back pockets. These were only really used in the American west, as since I am dressing my dad up as a gentleman, I gave them a miss. Plus if you put anything in them, it just ruins the line of the pants. I used the Laughing Moon Mens Pants pattern and as a bit of a review, the instructions are fantastic. They go though each part step by step with pictures to help you along. I only had one unpicking moment and that was just confusion on my part rather than the instructions. They give the correct period look. And I cannot tell you how happy I was that they actually fit him correctly. Meaning, no adjustments and no taking them in.

As for the rest of my progress, everything is still coming along. Dad's evening jacket is almost done (bought the buttons for it today too), mum's ballgown got pressed so that I can finish with the hand sewing on it, my medieval is waiting to be hand-sewn together, and mum's belt is also waiting on hand sewing. I will not be running out of the hand sewing this week. Stella can have a bit of a rest while I destroy my fingers with some needles. I am hopefully on my way to more complete costumes. But the best news of the day is that my rec leave has been approved. It's only three days, but that is three days that I can be at home working on getting my costumes done. Some days, I think that I bit of more than I can chew. But I am determined that it will all get done.

Friday, June 19, 2009


I have finished cutting everything out (dad was getting a little worried). And I have been making superb progress. My maid gown is now complete with hooks, eyelets and lacing. (Phew 1 down, only 7 to go). Mum's day gown set is awaiting a belt and bonnet (I am determined to get these don this weekend). My medieval gown is coming along, but I keep having to stop and do hand sewing which slows me up. The chemise is done (no photos though 'cause it is just rather plain, shapeless and boring as all chemises are). The main dress is actually mostly done, and all I have to do is hem the dress and sleeves, attach the sleeves and sew on the decorative braids. The other accomplishment is mum's ball gown - it is almost done. I just need to press the bodice, do the eyelets and lacing, hem the skirt and attach the two together.

Overall, not a bad progress report, but I still have a lot of work to do. I think that I will feel better once I have whole sets complete and not just started bits and pieces on them all. So my aim this weekend is to complete mum's ballgown and day gown (then I will be completely done with her stuff), and try to get most of dad's outfit done. My stuff I am not so overly worried about. I need the medieval gown because I otherwise I will not have anything to wear Abbey, but for my other projects, if worst comes to worst, I can always re-wear something that I already have. I would rather have my new ones done, but then again I do not want to stress myself out completely. On the upside, I dug out our ceramic heater for the sewing room, so that I can sew into the wee hours of the morning and not freeze. It really works for me and my fingers do not get numb any more = more progress. That's about it for now, but I will post complete photos when the pieces get done.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Debbie's 1849 Skirt and Blouse

And the long weekend has finally rolled around. I am looking forward to getting lots of work done on my costuming this weekend. I do have a couple of things planned, but in the meantime I have every intention of knuckling down to work. I had the afternoon of work yesterday, so I was able to come home and make a good start on my upcoming projects. The main thing was getting some cutting out done so that I can actually start sewing up some more of my stuff.

And it really worked. I got so much done yesterday. Apart from the cutting out, I finished my mum's 1840s skirt.

It was mostly done, but I had to add the silk band above the detail. Without it, I was loosing the detail in the skirt. This helps it stand out a lot more. I have to say though, I found the pinning of all the pleats rather tedious. The colour of the silk is a tie through in the whole outfit. The bonnet and reticule as well as the belt will be made out of the silk as well as detail on the garibaldi blouse that I have also finished.

The white cotton is fully lined front and back with white quilters cotton to elliminate the need for a corset cover. But I did carry the colours through the blouse by using the skirt fabric at the neck and on the cuffs. So that this blouse is never going to be used as with another outfit, but will be a complete set. The other thing that I used the silk on is my dad' vest:

It helps make my mum and dad look more like a couple by tying the colour through, plus the purple will go really well with his suit (which will be grey). Oh, and I lined the vest with some of the leftover fabric from mum's skirt. I did change the pattern a little this time, in that it is cut straight across at the bottom. And mum covered the buttons for with the silk for me (I don't do buttons). So credit to mum for helping me out.