Monday, March 29, 2010

Romantic Era Pattern- A Review

If you are looking for a pattern to re-create some of the beautiful costumes of Wives and Daughters, look no further!  Sense and Sensibility's Romantic Era Dress Pattern provides a variety of styles that can easily be used to re-create dresses such as Molly's Red Day Dress, Molly's Bridesmaid Dress, Cynthia's Pink Flowered Dress, and more!

Designer Jennie Chancey writes, "This pattern was inspired by the PBS production of Wives and Daughters, which motivated me to look into extant gowns from this transitional time between the Regency and Victorian eras.  I owe a great debt of thanks to Jane Arnold's detailed sketches in Patterns of Fashion I."

I used this pattern to make my Romantic Era dress, and was very pleased with it!  Mrs. Chancey's instructions are very clear, and I like how she takes time to explain the historical accuracy of a step, gives instructions on how to fit the bodice before cutting into your fashion fabric, and provides helpful Appendices to give extra help or provide additional inspiration in making your Romantic era dress.  She provides a variety of styles within the pattern.  You can give the dress long or short sleeves; you may dart, gather, or pleat the bodice; you can have it close in the front or the back.  Mrs. Chancey also provides five different neckline styles: small bateau neckline, large bateau neckline, a ballgown neckline, and a "V" neckline with or without a collar. With all these options, you can make almost any Wives and Daughters dress you want!

The pattern is rated "intermediate".  It was my third historical gown to make, and it was a breeze!  The only problem I ran into was my own fault-- cutting the large bateau neckline, which was wider on my shoulders than my mom preferred. :-)  Inexperienced seamstresses might have trouble figuring out how to do the placket in the skirt, but once they've re-read the instructions for that a couple times and maybe watched a tutorial or consulted another seamstress, they'll get the hang of it! :-) 

I highly recommend this pattern!  Please scroll down on the sidebar and click the picture that says: "Dress like Molly!  Download Instant E-Patterns", to find out how you can order this e-pattern and make your very own Wives and Daughters-inspired dress!

Friday, March 26, 2010

1890s Inspiration Part 1

I know some people really do not like the styles of the 1890s, but after walking some episodes of "Lark Rise to Candleford" a couple months ago, I have been quite hooked on the decade. I am thinking about posting, now and then, some pictures of 1890s styles that I might like to copy for myself or for doll clothes.

Here is a walking outfit that I read about on the Victoria and Albert Museum website.

Sorry the pictures are blurry.(I don't think I would have the back of the skirt to be quite so full.)
This dress is, to quote the website, "Linen, with collar and cuffs embroidered with silk cord, elastic stays attached to the inside of the skirt to control the fullness, hand and machine sewn."

I could possibly make my Beatrix jacket look a little like the jacket on this outfit, if I do some alterations (like make the sleeves puffed ;-) ) and copy the trim. It is the same color, nearly, as the Beatrix skirt that I made (only that was twill, not linen, but hey! It's the look I'd be going for, not an identical reproduction!)

Do you like, dislike, or not care about 1890s styles?

P.S. How do you like the new header on the blog?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

My Work Area and a New Blouse...

I finally organized my work area!! It was becoming such a mess and I had all sorts of everything bulging out of my sewing basket and out of my cardboard box that is meant only to store my patterns in.... so I rearranged some of our plastic tubs downstairs and emptied a whole one to use for my stuff. So now it's tucked in the corner of my room, with notions and such in the top drawer, fabric for projects-for-the-near-future in the second drawer, and fabric for later-on projects in the bottom drawer. :-) I'm not the most organized person but this works a lot better than what I was doing. :-)
I am almost done with Anna's dress and have a couple more to make, and then I am going to (try to) work on my Simplicity 3686, View B. I got a new blouse that will go really nicely with that style and the fabric that I bought for it. I have actually had my eye on this blouse since early February, but it was about $20 which I know is relatively inexpensive but I still don't want to pay that much as I don't have a regular income. We went to KMart again today and at first I thought they were all gone, but then I found two left in the clearance section, for under $3.00!!! And one of them was my size!!!!!!! :-D :-D :-D I am so praising the Lord; I had actually prayed as we were driving there that the blouses might be on sale, but I had not imagined they would be that much on sale! :-D

So here's that just for fun:

The ties that were supposed to go with it are missing but I can easily make my own. I am also going to add an extra button on the white part of the closure above the mock vest, for modesty's sake. :-)

I hope you are all having a WONDERFUL day! Remember Him who created it and glorify Him for His awesome goodness!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Name Change...

As of next week (unless I forget), the name of this blog will be changed from "Hooks and Needles" to "The Dashwood Sisters". The site address will be the same, but will come up as "The Dashwood Sisters". This way, we may be able to branch out our topics a little, beyond just sewing and crocheting. :-)


Elinor :-)

"For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken." (Psalm 62:1,2)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Brown Striped Regency Dress for 18-inch Dolls

Here is the newest listing on Etsy-- that is, I'm working on getting it up right now but trying to write a nice description on it. ;-)

I actually wanted to make a Regency dress for myself in this fabric, but alas, there was not enough-- barely enough for the doll dress. ;-) But it worked! :-D I think it kind of resembles (not matches, but resembles) Anne Elliot's dress in this scene in Persuasion:
...even to the little puffed sleeves and long undersleeves.
Now to write up that description...

*photos taken by Margaret Dashwood*
*screencap taken from the film Persuasion*

Monday, March 15, 2010

Today's Project: A Pink Floral Doll Dress

This was my project today. This dress is not for sale on Etsy; it is for a client. However I tried it on Rebecca to make sure of the fit because the pattern was not custom made for American Girl dolls. I added a ribbon tie for effect (and the one in her hair is just to pull it back because I accidentally just broke her hair clip...)

Anyway, I thought it turned out really cute in that fabric and wanted to share it with you. :-)

Note: I may possibly make more doll dresses in this style for Etsy in the future.

Sewing Project for This Week...

....or should I say "sewing projects"?

I'm so happy to get back to my sewing machine! :-D

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My Florida Dress

I made this dress a couple weeks ago for our trip to Florida but I wanted to wait to post pictures until I could get one by the beach. Sorry there aren't more pictures...

Pattern Description: B4443, a sleeveless dress or jumper

Pattern Sizing: size 10

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? yes :-D

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, the directions were quite easy to understand.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I just... like it! :-D I love the style.

Fabric Used: I don't even remember what it is called, but it was some of the spring fashion fabric at JoAnn's... with a Florida-y conglomeration of blue, aqua, green...

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: None

Would you sew it again? Definitely! Even though this is the second time I've made it, I would love to make more in different fabrics for different occasions :-)

Would you recommend it to others? Ohhhh yes! :-)

My one mishap with this dress was that when I was pulling the ties through to the outside, I tore some of the fabric. :-S But it's not noticeable unless you look really hard.

P.S. The shrug is from J.C.Penny's. I didn't get a picture without the shrug because it's a sleeveless dress and my arms look really scary right now. (They're burned half-way up and then stop all of a sudden at the hem of my short-sleeve T-shirt... looks really weird. But you can get an idea of the neckline and sleeves by looking at the other dress I made from this pattern, here in this post.

I have screencapped some of the costumes from Emma but haven't gotten around to posting them yet. Sorry! :-o I think I will just to Emma's costumes, not everyone's, like in my Wives and Daughters project.