Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I did them myself.

You heard that right - I did them myself! :D Not only did I *sew* quilt squares this month...I scrounged through our scraps, selected a few that would go together, and cut the squares out, as well as sewing them. :D It was really fun to do because I could actually choose the fabrics according as they would look really nice together. Here are some the way, I made only three squares, but Margaret took more than three nice pictures of them. ;)The original nine-patch square isn't necessarily supposed to have one-and-a-half-inch fabric strips around it...but my squares ended up being 11 inches on each side, when they should've been 12 1/2 inches...So I had to cut two-inch wide strips (thirteen inches long) in order to make the squares the right size. It was fun, though. :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Dress for "Marianne"....

Elinor reembarks on the ship of historical costuming.

Or perhaps, "big" projects.

"Marianne" is going to be playing the piano at a wedding next week and wanted a new dress to wear for it.  Doubtless, she will have even more need of a fancy dress in the upcoming months. Anyway, so I have the responsibility of making this dress for her by next week.

Marianne was so kind as to cut out all the pattern pieces for me (thank you, kind Marianne!) but  I get to sew it.

Of course, the fabric is purple because that is Colonel Brandon's (who???) favorite color.  Well, it's also the colors of the wedding she'll be playing at. 

I did not take time to make a mock-up (my bad, I know), but I did pin the pieces to her and figured out any alterations I'll need to make.  I'll post pictures of my progress, and of course, of the finished product.  

Have a wonderful day and keep cool!  (It's so un-autumnly hot here!!)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Jane's Blue Spencer Jacket

A friend on one of the forums I am on requested pictures of Jane Fairfax's wardrobe in BBC's new adaption of Emma.  That considered, I decided to add Jane's wardrobe to my Emma Costume Study (which has been sadly neglected of late!)
I will try to post an extensive list this weekend, as my sisters and I are going to be watching a long movie during which time I can do a lot of screencapping ;-) , but for now, here is Jane's Spencer jacket, which my friend specifically requested.

It is dark blue, and crossed over in the front.

 I wonder if it fastens with hook-and-eyes underneath, as no buttons or ties are apparent.

Sorry, this is the best I could get of the back. :-S

The Sense and Sensibility Regency Spencer/Pelisse Pattern can probably be altered to make Jane's.  While cutting out the front piece, you might extend in the opening farther so that it crosses over like Jane's, and then fasten it with hook-and-eyes.
Picture from Sense and Sensibility's site.

Unfinished Projects

It occurred to me last night...
that I really should finish some of my current projects before I start any new ones.  (Duh!)

I have quite a few projects already cut out, and some even half-done, but not... fully done. These include:
And I have some alterations to do for people too (blaa... I hate altering things.  I like making things!)

I'm not sure which project to finish first.  I guess I'll go downstairs and look at them and decide then.  It will probably be the top or the chemise.  I'll let you know.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Variations on a Theme ~ Regency

 In my year-and-a-half of sewing, I've been enjoying learning the secrets of altering patterns to achieve different looks.  I haven't done much of this on regular-sized clothing (except for lengthening a bodice or a skirt), but I've done a lot of it on doll clothing (which, taking up so little material, makes more allowances for cutting out new pieces if the alteration goes wrong). 

 The pattern I use for all my Regency style doll dresses is a pattern for Josefina's Christmas Dress (American Girl).  It is the perfect pattern for altering.

The original:

The original pattern calls for a ruffle on the neckline, and no lining.  For each dress I've made with the pattern, I've cut out double the amount of bodice pieces to make a lining, and omitted the neck ruffle completely.  I  usually don't included the ribbon on the waistline either.

The following two were made with those basic alterations.

 The only alteration I made on this dress (besides omitting the neck ruffle and adding a lining) is that I borrowed the sleeves from Kirsten's Pinafore Dress pattern so they were more "puffy".
 This one's almost the same except that I did use the upper sleeve piece from the Josefina pattern and left out the long sleeve piece.

 For this, I borrowed sleeves from a McCalls pattern.

 For this one, I cut the front bodice piece a couple centimeters away from the fold and at a slight angle, and gathered it instead of darting it.  I borrowed the sleeves from a Felicity pattern. :-)

 For this dress, I did the same thing with the bodice (gathering instead of darting), added bias around the neckline and waistline, and also sewed lace to the neckline to resemble Emma's Box Hill dress.  I wish I had gotten better pictures of it before it sold.
Same deal with the bodice here, except somehow I must have lengthened it because it seems longer (almost like a 1790's dress rather than mid-Regency).   I couldn't resist adding the little rose on the neckline; isn't it precious? ;-)  Sleeves came from the Felicity's Christmas Gown pattern.
So those are the alterations I've done on that pattern, and there's more to come.  I am planning a slightly different technique for the gathered bodice option as well as thinking out how to make a crossover gown in doll size.

(Speaking of which, I think I settled on making the Regency crossover gown for myself, though I'm not sure what fabric yet.  I'd still like to make Buttercup's dress, but I really would like an excuse to wear it someplace when I make it. ;-) )

Monday, September 6, 2010

Project Ideas... :-)

 What to do with a JoAnn's Gift Card?
I'd like to make something historical, as it's been quite a while since I've made myself something historical.  The problem is, I can never seem to make up my mind. :-)

 "My fancy tends towards this one..."  And it does.  I really love this pelisse (?) of Marianne's. 

I like this pelisse too (the one Marianne is wearing).
And this one of Emma's.
But I would kind of like to make a dress too.  Here are the options currently looking good to me: 

Emma's Orange Floral Gown:
Marianne's Crossover Gown (I might do a different color for myself):
Molly's Red Dress:

Or I can be practical and make something modern, like this red jacket here (adorable!):
Or I can be ever so impractical (and expensive and creative) and make this breathtaking gown of Buttercup's:
And I mean breathtaking.  It blew me away when I first saw it!  SOOOOOOO gorgeous!

Anyway.  I'd love to hear your opinions on what I should make, or at least which ones you like. :-)  Hopefully I'll come to a conclusion soon.  I am leaning towards the first one I listed (Marianne's...pelisse?  What is that called??)  because I can wear it over my white Regency gown.  But I'm not totally sure yet.  :-)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Meet Our New Etsy Model!

This week Sonali joined us at The Dashwood Sisters Etsy Shop!
Technically, Sonali is one of the "best friends" of last year's "Girl of the Year", Chrissa.  As she is retired/archived, it was a long search for one of her that didn't cost $130 or more, but I finally was able to purchase her from a board member on the American Girl Fans page at about the same price as I could have bought her from the catalog plus shipping. I'm so excited! :-D

In the AG book, Chrissa, Sonali starts out as a bully in school, but throughout the story realizes how wrong she was and begins to stand up against bullying instead.
But that's not my Sonali.

 My Sonali is a sweet ten-year-old girl and is, at first, quiet and shy (in contrast to Rebecca's extremely excited and enthusiastic nature and Kirsten's "oldest-sister" outgoing personality).  And yet, despite being shy, she has a huge heart for others and longs to reach out to people with the Gospel of Christ.  Just as her dark skin, deep brown eyes, and gorgeous black hair reflect her Indian/Tamil heritage, so does her passion for winning souls reflect her Christian heritage.  Her grandmother's life was impacted by the ministry of Amy Carmichael in India; now Sonali wishes to impact others the same way.  One of the ways she'd like to do that is by writing.  We'll have to see what she  comes up with! :-)

Sonali loves her new family and is also excited about her new job with the Dashwood Sisters Etsy Shop.  She has already modeled an adorable, plaid corduroy "back-to-school" jumper

I have been doing a LOT of sewing doll clothes... five new listings in two weeks plus another outfit that I'm debating whether to sell or keep... and haven't taken the time to work any more on the shirt I was making for myself. ;-)  As I said previously, I am interesting in making a new Regency or Romantic era gown or pelisse for myself; I have yet to decide which movie gown or pelisse I want to re-make though. :-)