Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Long Overdue

Hello folks,
Can't believe it has been almost a year since my last post and my has it gone fast. Life got in the way, including a few trips across the pond, that I lost track and sadly quite forgot about my blog until the Doctor (not Doctor Who) reminded me. Thank you.
As for an update on my sewing projects. The waistcoat turned out to be too small, and, with most things that don't turn out as they should, I put it aside. It only needs a larger back piece which is no problem, but procrastination and pure forgetfulness was the verdict. It will be revisited in the New Year.
I've been in England for these past three and a half months and have found enough time to make a 17th century gown. My DG and I were planning on going to an English Civil War event in the northeast of England and I came to the realization that an outfit was needed. So, the quest for making one began.
One of the women from the unit draped the bodice pattern for me and from there I was left to make it alone. Not used to a whole non-patterned project, I managed fairly well (if I do say so meself). Got some nice light green wool for my birthday and was off!
The gown being made for the event was based from late-Tudor pattern books, so it's a rather early gown for the period, but used. Since I'm portraying a camp follower of the period, the color chosen was not too wise. It's light green, which means that the fabric was dyed twice. A lower class woman and/or wife of a soldier would have only had enough money to purchase fabric which was dyed once, ie. a light blue, light red, light yellow, light taupe, etc... Purple was the most expensive as true in the 18th century as well.
I was nearly half way finished when I realized my color choise, but the gown will be used mainly for banquets. Will make a 17th c jacket for camp events.
As usual, last minute, I was finishing the hem of the skirt, of the sleeves, and the front in the car en route to the event. The front wasn't quite finished when we arrived so I managed to tack it in place with pins.
Turned out to be a nice street event in a walled city. I now have a bit more time to finish the gown properly and will be fully ready for the next event.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Gentleman's outfit - Waistcoat

After the mind was changed for the 5th time, it was finally settled that the rust colored linen was going to be for waistcoating purposes. Earlier, while consulting some paintings and photos, I'd noticed the lighter color was always the waistcoat while the darker the frockcoat and breeches. That answered all questions as to what the fate of Rust was going to be.

A good friend loaned the pattern out to me and by pure coincidence her DG and mine are the same size (thank the Maker!).

It was the Janice Ryan waistcoat pattern and from those who've had prior experience working with her patterns, at times it gets a bit confusing. Understanding the placing, cutting, and marking was pie, but the interfacing and the pocket flaps were less than to be desired. By the by, there was no interfacing piece (don't we all have that problem of losing pieces...), so one had to be constructed which was fairly simple.

It also looks as if the pocket flap is MIA, so not diving into that part yet, will pray tonight and check tomorrow to see if that piece is there.

But overall, it was a productive day. Backs are sewn together, fronts with the constructive (hopefully not destructive) interfacings are sewn together, and the pockets are cut. Should be finished with it either tomorrow or Wednesday and then on to bigger and *better* things.

Fabric Distributor Spotlight - 18th C.

Hello All,
Out of the array of different online fabric sellers, there's one a bunch in my reenacting circle go to to peruse the collections. Duran Texiles AB, distributor out of Sweden, specializes in 18th century reproduction cottons and silks. They have done extensive research on the designs and colors used in 18th century Europe. The website is part in Swedish, part in English but it's easy to get through.
I'd suggest before you start looking at the fabrics themselves, you go to the button that says 'Bilder'. There are dozens upon dozens of photographs of the Swedish Royal Family modeling 18th century frocks made with the fabric they currently sell. It's a fantastic reference's right. Besides looking at original paintings, sites like these will help you when you're next at your local fabric store.
As for ordering from them, it is a bit tricky. They don't show prices and you would need to email them about which fabric you're looking at and at what cost.
Happy Browsing!

-Lady Pohick
Image taken from Duran Textiles AB

Sunday, January 4, 2009

First Project for the Year '09 - Decisions Decisions Decisions

Hello All
My procrastination was getting the better of me for a long time, so without hesitation, I'm starting a 1770s gentleman's waist and frock coat for my DG (Distinct Gent). He'll be joining me in less than 4 weeks, so time is at an essence!
The hardest part of this project would have to be the choosing of the fabric. Linen? Wool? Cotton? Grrr! Most frockcoats take a lightweight wool or heavyweight linen because of how it will fall when warn. One needs some weight.

I've settled on the linen cos the man has enough wool in my opinion (with his soldier impression that is). The color is what was getting to me. I had a lovely rust colored linen all set up to be a waistcoat and had the intent of using wool as the frockcoat. Then the mind changed and wham! Dilemma...

Friday, paid a trip to the fabric store in Nyack, NY - 'Sew, What's New' and found a prospective piece of olive(colors aren't always the same inside as out, but this was alright!) colored linen that would do the trick as a frockcoat. So, a few yards were bought.
Put the two colors together and it didn't look bad at all, but then thought "should the colors be switched?"
No, I am resolved! I'll make it and he will like it and I don't care how bad it is!
Love you Dear.

In the Beginning

Hello All,
Welcome to my little corner of the globe filled with historical sewing and research adventures ranging from the 18th to the mid-20th century, as well as some very cheeky tidbits.
Now that I've gotten your attention, this blog is meant for reference & should hopefully give you some of the knowledge I have gained over the past few years.

Lady Pohick