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!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

What Have I Been Up To?

Well, you know, Christmas is coming!  I can't believe how many sewing projects I have to get done by Christmas.

  • Matching dresses for a girl and her doll
    • Progress: 1/2 done
  • Matching pajamas for the same girl and her doll
    •  Not yet begun, fabric purchased
  • Matching dresses for this girl's best friend and her doll
    • Not yet begun
  • Matching pajamas for another girl and her four dolls
    • Not yet begun
  • A few simple skirts for yet another little girl
    • Not yet begun
  • A bodiced petticoat for Margaret
    • Not yet begun, fabric bought
  • A Regency gown for Margaret
    • Not yet begun, fabric bought
  • A Regency gown for myself
    • Not yet begun, fabric bought
Oh dear.  I'm beginning to feel almost overwhelmed!!  But it's a good overwhelmed.  Sewing is, after all, something I love to do.  I just hope I can get everything done in time.
Well, I had better get back to work on my project....  finish the first set of matching dresses and move right away to the bodiced petticoat.
Merry Pre-Christmas Season, everyone!

P.S. On another note, I sold two doll dresses on Etsy this week (YAY!!!) and am buying a serger!!!!  Woot woot!!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Check This Out!

This outfit is sooooo cute!!  Perfect for American Girl lovers. ;-)
This Etsy seller (Bonny Blue Arts) has some of the most ADORABLE girl costumes!!

Blue Colonial Felicity Dress

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Material!!!!! :)

Hello from Margaret!

This is a post about my material for my Regency dress for the ball in December!!!! I originally wasn't going to get red and gold, but the green that I wanted was too expensive, and when I saw this crimson stuff, I was like "Aww, man, that'd be a cool dress." So I bought it. :D The gold will be the sash, and maybe trim, if I need it. :D I'm SOOO excited!!!! :)

I love the buttons. :)

Just thought I'd share that with you all! :) :)

Simplicity 3750 ~ finally posting about it!

I made this top several months ago for Margaret (I believe I made it in July) and keep on forgetting to post about it. Well, now I'm posting about it. 

Pattern Description: Simplicity 3750, View C

Pattern Sizing: Size 14 (I think)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? not really. Because of the alterations I made, it ended up looking kind of different.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, quite easy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the style-- the higher waist and the gathered top are really cute. It was also an easy pattern to work with. 

Fabric Used: It's been a while so I don't remember what it is called... I think it's one of the Silky Prints fabrics at JoAnn Fabrics.
Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I added three or four inches to the top and an inch to the bottom of the front bodice piece. Later I realized I didn't need to add that extra inch on the bottom... oh well. I also widened the skirt piece a little because it was very snug in the hips.

Would you sew it again? Yes. I actually have a top in this style cut out for myself, but for some reason unknown to myself I haven't gotten to work sewing it yet.

Would you recommend it to others? Yes! It's a lovely pattern and the result is very cute! It's also a pretty easy pattern, and the most you have to worry about is it fitting correctly (make a mock-up first!).

(Of course, as usual, Kitty just had to make it into the photoshoot. :-) )

Monday, October 11, 2010

Regency Gowns Yet to Come!

I am so thrilled!!  We just found out that we, Lord willing, will be attending a Regency-themed Christmas Ball in December!!!  I am SO EXCITED, for one reason, because I've always wanted to attend a Regency ball, and for another reason, I never thought I'd have the opportunity to make and wear a Regency ballgown, and now I do! 

Marianne and Margaret have already told me what kind of dress they would like me to make them.  Marianne is interested in a dress similar to the dress Emma (Gwyneth Paltrow) wears to Box Hill in the Mirimax version of Emma, or View A of the Simplicity version of Jennie Chancey's Regency Dress pattern.
 Margaret is interested in a dress similar to Emma's green evening gown in the 2009 BBC miniseries of Emma.
Now, you think I know which gown I want to make?
Me?  Indecisive me?
No way!
A hundred options lie before me.  Well, maybe not a hundred, but in any case, I have a lot of ideas.

 I love the following two dresses from Persuasion.  We'll call them Anne's Rose-Colored Evening Gown and Anne's Concert Gown (because she wears it to the opera concert).

I'm not sure why, but have always liked this dress of Charlotte's. I'd make the waistline lower though.

 Then there is the afore-admired Marianne Crossover Dress, but would it be practical for dancing in?

I also just noticed this lovely dress from Becoming Jane.  I've always wanted a green gown.
This would be a little later than Regency, but I do love Amy Dorrit's ballgown/wedding gown too.

What do you think?  Which of the above should I make for myself?  Or should I be creative and make something of my own imagination?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Marianne Dashwood Dress~ Historical Costume Inspiration Festival, Post 4

 I can't believe the Historical Costume Inspiration Festival is already almost over!   Have you been keeping up with it on Atlanta's blog?  There have been some amazing entries!  I am so inspired now to sew more historical costumes!

I so wish I had remembered on time to make the many other costumes I'd love to re-create.  Perhaps I will do a post next week about those-- only it might be a very very long post. 

Here is my fourth and last post for the Historical Costuming Inspiration Festival...

I love this dress of Marianne's! I would love to make one like it for myself...
...but instead I made a doll-sized version.
The fabric is not the same color, but the construction details are the same. :-)

I used the Josefina's Christmas Dress Pattern as a base, but made several alterations. I added about an inch to the width of the front bodice piece so that it would have room to gather. The sleeves I borrowed from another pattern so that they would be slightly gathered at the top (but not puffed) and cut them at 3/4 length. I also created a waistband like Marianne's.

Well, that is all for my Costume Inspiration entries.  Hopefully, you will be seeing more in the future. :-)  Now, ladies, we all must try to convince Atlanta to do this festival again next year!!

P.S. I could not enter these because they were not my work, but if you want to be further inspired, check out the "Costumes Inspired by Wives and Daughters" page of my Costume Study series!

Friday, October 8, 2010

My Molly Gibson Dress~ Historical Costuming Inspiration Festival, Post 3

 Here's my third post for the Historical Costuming Inspirational Festival!

This post is about my "Molly" dress.  It found its main inspiration in what I call "Molly's Berry-Picking Dress" (for lack of a better name.)  

 It was originally meant to have elements of both this dress and the one following, Molly's Orange Sprigged Dress, but once I had made up the bodice, the collar was too wide, so I ended up gathering it instead, so the only similarity is that the back fastening.

Anyway, that said, here is my dress; the first picture was taken when I first made it, and the others are from today, with me wearing my new, $5 crinoline underneath.

For this dress, I used Sense and Sensibility's Romantic Era Dress pattern.  I raised the waistline so that I could wear the dress with my short stays since I don't have a full-length, Romantic era corset... I kind of wish I hadn't raised the waistline because I think it makes me look kind of blimpy, but oh well.  The skirt is also a little too short, especially with the crinoline underneath.

The fabric I used was just a cotton print from JoAnn Fabrics.
"I don't think you would have called Molly a lady the other day, Miss Browning, if you had found her where I did: sitting up in a cherry tree, six feet from the ground at least, I assure you!"
-Wives and Daughters, chapter 21

Actually, I was in a crab apple tree.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Emma's Box Hill Dress ~ Historical Costume Inspiration Festival, Post 2

 Aagh!  I've been forgetting to do my posts for the Historical Costume Inspiration Festival!  Here is today's:
Emma's Box Hill Dress.

I love this dress of Emma's!  It's so cute and I love the trim on it!

 Here's an up-close on the bodice trim:

 Sometime back, I made this dress in doll-size.  It sold on Etsy within a day of me posting it!  My only regret is that I didn't get better pictures before it sold.  They're all pretty dark.  Still, here's the basic idea.
I used the pattern for Josefina's Christmas Dress, but added maybe an inch or two across the bodice so that it would gather at the top.
 Lace, brown bias, and yellow thread instead of the additional yellow bias on the actual dress of Emma's.
I think I need to make one like this again and get better pictures. ;-)  I would also like to make one for myself. ;-)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Regency Spencer Jacket ~ Historical Costume Inspiration Festival, Post 1

This week is the week of the Historical Costume Inspiration Festival, hosted by Atlanta!  I had forgotten about it (as I usually do... oops!) until I started seeing lovely posts by other people with outfits inspired by various historical sources (fashion plates, paintings, films, book descriptions, etc.)  I hope you will take time to look at everyone's creations here!

I actually did not make anything specifically for this event (because I forgot :-S ) though I have a million ideas in my head of things to create based on movies, paintings, etc.  But for the event, I decided to post about some projects I have done in the past.  Most of you have already seen these, but I'll post them anyway.  One at a time, however.

Today I will be posting about my black Regency Spencer Jacket.
I got the inspiration from the 1995 miniseries Pride and Prejudice.  I have always loved Elizabeth's Spencer jackets from this film, and had a hard time deciding on which one to make, but I eventually decided on this one:
There is some debate as to whether that's dark green or black, but it looks black to me, so that is how I made mine. :-)
Here is my re-make:

For the jacket, I used black velveteen fabric.  I used Sense and Sensibility's Regency Spencer/Pelisse pattern.  I did make an alteration to the front opening and the collar, however, to make it look more like Lizzie's.  (I borrowed the collar piece from another pattern.)  My sister crocheted the frog closures.  They work pretty well, except that it doesn't hold it as closed as it could. ;-)

 This is supposed to be my arriving-at-Netherfield, encountering-Mr.-Darcy look.  I got more of Kiera look than a Jennifer Ehle look, I think.

 Long walks after the rain.... very "Lizzie"... ;-)

More details on this jacket can be found in this post.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Medieval Dress for Marianne- FINE! plus the explanation I promised...

 Here it is-- the Medieval/Modern "formal" dress for "Marianne"! 
Pattern Description: McCall's Costumes, M4491, View C

Pattern Sizing: Size 10

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? (except for the alterations I made and the look of the trim)

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, they were very easy to understand. (How easy to apply is somewhat debatable.)  The only problem I had with the instructions was that they could have used much larger and bolder writing to let me know what view a certain set of instructions were for... that caused me a great deal of grief.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I look the medieval look to it, but also how it can be altered to look suitable for modern "fancy" wear.  (In Marianne's case, it was to play for a wedding.)  It would make lovely bridesmaid dresses... The two things I disliked about the pattern were 1) what I already said about the confusion about the instructions for the different views, and 2) the underarm gussets!!!  The Sense & Sensibility Chemise gussets were a piece of cake compared to these.  They took me a looooong time and just weren't the most fun thing to sew. Next time, I might alter the sleeve style so that I don't have to do the gussets. 

Fabric Used: Casa Collection Special Occasion Fabric for JoAnn Fabrics... I am not sure what the actual kind of fabric is called, though.  I wasn't the one who picked it out.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I omitted the train on the skirt.  I also inserted a zipper instead of having it lace up the back (to make it both more modern and more convenient).  My error in this was narrowing the back piece too much, so that the dress was almost too snug.  I just sewed in the zipper at a smaller seam allowance to make it work.

Would you sew it again? Definitely!  Margaret wants me to make it for her in View D, and I may be sewing several for another occasion in the semi-near future...

Would you recommend it to others? Again, definitely!  It's a great pattern, pretty easy, mostly straight seams, and very beautiful.  Just make sure you mark all the dots, squares, and circles on the fabric in the right place so you don't mess up on the gussets.  If you don't, it could be frustrating.  And make sure you know which view you are sewing and which directions are for which view... Just sayin'. 

Okay, now we move on to pictures:
 Unfortunately, the last WEEK has been so dull and cloudy and dreary and blaagh....  I'm sorry, but I just do not like fall.  Anyway.  The weather caused for not so gorgeous pictures, but I tried to alter the lighting to make it look a little better.  
 It was windy.
 Aaaahhh, silly Princess Kitty, always having to be in the middle of everything....

 The trim on the sleeves.
 The neckline.  It took me almost an hour to sew that trim on (in the car on the way to the revival meetings, because I was on such a tight deadline...)  My left hand was literally falling asleep holding on to the trim and fabric while I sewed it on (and I'm not kidding you; it was falling asleep).  The result was very satisfactory though.  Marianne picked a lovely trim.

 And now for those who were wondering...
and for those were not wondering...
and especially for Lady Helen Mar who was not sure whether she was reading into things...

Regarding the "Colonel Brandon" mentioned in this post...

...though I did not check with him to see whether he minded be called Colonel Brandon, though he did enjoy watching the movie Sense and Sensibility with Marianne... can just call him...


Here are Alex and "Marianne".
 Here is a better picture of them, from the Tall Ships Festival last month.

 Alex, "Marianne", and "Margaret" played the music for the wedding of some friends of ours on Saturday.  "Marianne" played the piano, and Alex and "Margaret" played the violin-- it was beautiful!!!  Alex and Marianne love to make music together-- that is actually how they met-- her accompanying him for a song at church.
In case you are wondering, no, they are not engaged...yet... but they are prayerfully heading that direction.

So there you have it.