Saturday, December 25, 2010

Things That Make a Seamstress Happy....

Some gifts I received today!  Thank you, Mamma, Pappa, and Marianne!!

I already have the fabric for the Swing Dress-- the same fabric I used for Marianne's medieval dress.  I can't wait to get started on it!!! :-D  My first '40s dress!  :-D 

I spent some riding-in-the-car time today pouring over Patterns of Fashion. For those of you who have heard about how amazing it is-- you heard correctly.  It is fantastic-- no wonder all the "big-time" historical costumers love it.  It contains notes from and for dressmakers/tailors from the mid-1600s to the mid-1800s, as well as the basic patterns for some 40 or 50 women's clothing styles from 1660 to 1860.  There are some gorgeous gowns and outerwear from the 18th century which I definitely plan to add to my wardrobe over time. ;-) (I'll just have to sell some more doll clothes first. ;-) ) (Speaking of which, I think some of the patterns in J.A. may serve as inspiration for doll clothes as well. ;-) ) 

So, yes, I'm pretty excited. :-)

Friday, December 24, 2010

I Want to Make....

 ...this dress. :-)

Obviously it's not one I need, but I'd love to make it one day. ;-)
I'm totally love in that shade of blue right now... :-D

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Free Patterns!

Homespun Threads patterns are FREE right now!  Swing over there and check it out!  They have some adorable baby booties and handbag patterns!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Elinor's Sage Green Regency Gown

First of all, I know this looks a lot different than what I posted about here. That is because the thick satin I had originally bought was too thick and heavy and just not nice to work with, especially for a ballgown, and the darts were being so unruly and it was fitting well over my stays so I finally decided to buy new fabric and start all over again.

I'm glad I did!

Pattern Description: Simplicity 4055, View A (loosely based)

Pattern Sizing: Size 8

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Not really. Again, I made some alterations so it doesn't look much like the original.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I feel like I'm repeating the last survey... the instructions were just peachy!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? See last post on this subject.

Fabric Used: Something new, finally! I actually don't remember what kind of fabric it was, technically. But it's very light and drapes wonderfully in the Regency style.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I didn't alter it as much as Margaret's but the look ended up quite different. I cut the front bodice piece farther from the edge and at an angle to produce the gathered look. The front bodice and the back bodice I raised by a couple inches. I also shortened the skirt and fastened the back with hooks and eyes instead of buttons.

I was going to do a sheer overlay on the sleeves but the overlay fabric was shredding so much, so I didn't.

Would you sew it again? Definitely!

Would you recommend it to others? See above answer or previous post.

Okay, more pictures....

Hairstyle done by brilliant Marianne (thanks, Marianne! ) Didn't she do a lovely job? It was loosely based off of Lizzy's in the 2005 Pride & Prejudice (minus the pearls.)

The gloves are from Icing by Claire's. $15. The only opera-length gloves in the whole mall.

"Now he danced the first two with Jane, and the next with Charlotte Lucas, which vexed me greatly, but lo, there in the very next, nothing would please him better but to stand up with Jane again! And then of course he danced with Lizzy... and then, what do you think he did next??"

Me pretending to me Miss Wiggin to Beatrix and Norman (from Miss Potter) ;-) Thankfully they didn't give me any intoxicated coffee.

And here's all four of us!
Elinor, Margaret, Marianne, and Colonel Brandon (Alex)

I'll try to do a post soon with links to videos of the ball!

Pictures by/from Mrs. Dashwood, Brandon P., Hannah M., and Margaret Dashwood

Margaret's Ballgown

I completed this gown just in time for the Christmas Regency Ball. 
The ladies on the Sense and Sensibility forum were also so helpful as I needed help getting the darts just right.

Doesn't Margaret look lovely?
Pattern Description: Simplicity 4055, View A

Pattern Sizing: Size 12

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Not too much... I made a lot of alterations.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Sure... I've done this pattern several times, and have made several Regency doll dresses, so it comes easily to me now.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It's Regency, and it's easy to work with.

Fabric Used: costume satin from JoAnn Fabrics

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I darted the bodice instead of gathered it; omitted the overlay; shortened the skirt; raised the neckline, and worked the sash from View B into View A. 

Would you sew it again? Oh yes. Though I don't think I want to do the darts again; they're so hard to get to look right!

Would you recommend it to others? Of course!

More pictures:

Photos by/from Mrs. Dashwood, Elinor Dashwood, and Brandon P.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I figured out the sidebar issue!
Apparently it had something to do with the formatting or something in just one of my posts, so I had to go back and fix that.

Glad to have that fixed! :-D

Oh, and:

Pictures to come soon!!! :-D :-D :-D

Friday, December 3, 2010

Making Progress :-)

Besides the "Lucy" outfit, I also finished (late Saturday night), the matching dresses for B. and her doll.  I didn't get a picture of the girl-sized dress, but here's the doll dress.

The flower circle was scary to make but I love how it turned out!

Anyway, I am nearly done with my Regency dress, except for the hem and the back fastenings, and I finished Margaret's bodiced petticoat (except for hemming it, which she will do).  That means all I have to do is make her Regency gown and we'll be ready (clothing-wise) for the ball!  Well, except, we still need to get gloves... going to run to the mall sometime early next week as we heard they have gloves at Icing.  We got really cute shoes at Walmart that look very Regency.  Maybe I'll get pictures later to show you.  At any rate, you will be seeing pictures from the ball (if all works out as planned) and then you'll see the dresses, shoes, and (hopefully) gloves. :-)


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lucy's Coronation Dress and Cape... finished! :)

I finished the doll-sized version of Lucy's Coronation Dress and Cape! Thanks be to God for His help as I worked on this project-- He gave me the strength and ability to get it done in good time, and He also helped me to not get stressed at all yesterday while I worked on it. Thank You, Lord! <3>
I drafted most of the pattern, but used Josefina's Christmas Dress as a base for the sleeves (I didn't alter the puff part, but I widened the sleeves to make them more bell-like).
The main part of the dress is made from crepe-back satin and the sleeves are a satiny fabric.

The main body of the dress consists of the front, the side front panel (seen in the picture below), and the back, like the original.

I didn't know how to make the pearls throughout the fabric, but I did sew on a pearl trim to the neckline.
The back fastens with velcro, but I added the pearl trim there also to give the look of the back button pearls on Lucy's. I had the hardest time figuring out the Velcro... how to attach it without sewing over the pearls. I broke a needle, but not any of the pearls, and eventually got it figured out. Yay! :-)

Now for the cape. I still wasn't able to get it shaped just like the original, but I did my best. It is basically a rectangle with a scooped area for the neckline. It's lined with white satiny fabric.
It closes with snaps but has a gold button for looks. The original has a lion head embossed on it, but I couldn't find any with a lion I got one that I felt at least had the same "feel" to it. :-)

It has a cord trim around the neckline and front edges...
Look at the hem on the back... isn't it marvelous? I used sari fabric for this, and have enough left over to make another cape AND a sari! But it'll have to wait until after I'm done with all my other Christmas orders.
Thanks to "The Wardrobe Door" for the pictures of the movie costume and construction details! I referred to it often and it was a great help.

Well, I better get to work on my Regency dress. I forgot to post about how terrible it was going and how I bought new fabric for it... that'll come later, I guess. :-)

Have a wonderful day! Keep your eyes on Jesus!

Friday, November 19, 2010

New Project ~ A Custom Order on Etsy :)

I know I've been saying I felt overwhelmed by Christmas orders but when I got the email to do this one, well, I just couldn't say "no"!

A lady contacted me on Etsy and asked me to make a doll-sized version of Lucy's Coronation Gown and Cape!

Today I went to WalMart and JoAnn's and was able to find the fabric for it.

The original costume was probably made out of crepe (panne) velvet but I couldn't find it in that color, so I went with a similar looking fabric-- I don't even remember what it is, now. :-P The sleeves will be made of costume satin.

The cape will be made with a sari fabric from JoAnn's, lined with white lining. It's not quite the same shade, but it was close, and it looked royal to me. :-)
I also bought a rope trim to go around the cape and pearls for the neckline of the dress and for imitation buttons on the back.

I figured out how to thread my serger, which was very "motivating", so now I'm moving along more quickly on my Christmas sewing projects. That's a good feeling.


Last two images taken from The Wardrobe Door.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Meet Fred

My new Brother 1034D 3/4 Lay-In Thread Serger arrived this week!  Isn't he great?
I don't usually name objects, but I had a reason for naming this one.  It all started with an amusing Facebook conversation.

Me (status): "Mommy and I ordered my Brother 1043D 3/4 Lay-In Thread Serger (in short, my serger) today!! :D :D :D YAY!!"

DS: "Confused for about 20 seconds as I thought you were saying you ordered a brother! I didn't think it could be that easy. Anyways, congratulations on your new arrival. :) "

SJ:  "I was filled with the same confusion as D.S. and about to write Frances a congrats note... then kept reading. Whoo. That was close."

AW: " :D I thought you were saying that you ordered your brother a Serger...hmmm. ;) "

I finally said I should have ordered a Babylock instead. 
Anyway, all the joke about a "Brother" gave me the idea to name it.  So I named it Fred.  I have sewed a little with the thread that came with it; I haven't tried threading it yet though.  Hopefully I'll do that on Monday.  Anyway, I'm very happy with it.

Let's see.... what have I gotten done since I posted last?

Well, I didn't get to sew as much as I had meant to this week.  I did buy the sheer fabric for the sleeves on my Regency dress, and have made one of the sleeves so far-- I really like it with the sheer overlay.  I cut out the bodice for Margaret's bodiced petticoat today but didn't get around to sewing it yet.  (I've been so ridiculously busy!  I really can't afford to go places because I have so much to do at home... and yet I do go places and get little done at home. :-P )  I finished another part of one of the Christmas orders:

These are for a little girl at church, and there will be matching ones for her doll too (haven't made them yet).  Her mom wanted me to add ruffles at the hem, something which I was at first very wary about.  Ruffles?  I thought it would look weird.  However, once I finished them, I was very pleased with how they turned out.  The fabric was so cute too.   It's always very encouraging when a sewing project turns out better than you expected. ;-)

What else did I do?  Oh, I worked out the dress to match this one.  Um..... I believe that's all.

Life is so busy!   Busy busy busy.  I'm looking forward to after Christmas, when things should slow down a little.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Two New Etsy Listings...

Hey! Just thought I'd let you know that there are two new listings on our Etsy shop.
Here is one: a picture I took in June and then edited just recently.

And a crocheted hat and scarf set for dolls, preparing for winter! :)

Hope you all have a great evening! ~Margaret

Friday, October 29, 2010

Christmas Projects Progress / Regency Gown Progress

I finished the dress for the first order today and have just a little ways to go on the doll dress. Here it is:
It is based off another dress that the mom of the girl I'm making it for had ordered from an Etsy shop a couple years ago.  Her little girl has grown out of that dress so she asked me to make one similar to it. The project was fun and easy.  Mrs. H bought the T-shirt from the store, then I cut off several inches from the bottom of the shirt, cut out the skirt, and sewed that onto the T-shirt.  I also added pockets of another fabric and made a fabric "flower" design similar to the one on S's original dress.  Cutting out the circles for the "flower" and positioning them just right was a challenge, but a good one.

I will be making another one of these for S's best friend once I get the fabric for it.  The doll dresses are also matching (I made the T-shirt piece for the doll dresses from the fabric I cut off from the bottom of the main T).

Today I also made the mock-up for my Regency gown for the ball.  This is the movie gown I decided to re-make.  It is so beautiful!

I'm altering the main pattern (Simplicity 4055, View A) so that it has a darted front instead of gathered; I am also adding a waistband and raising the neckline and inch or two.  I noticed that the sleeves in Jane's dress in the picture above appear to have a sheer material overlay, and I did not buy any fabric to do that; and the fabric seems to have an imprinted design, and my fabric doesn't have the either, but the basic construction will be the same, and the color similar.  (The camera did not capture the color accurately; it is a deeper green than the pictures show.)

(The smaller cut of fabric on top is the lining; the larger cut is for the main body of the dress.)

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!