Shabby Blog Background

Saturday, August 17, 2013

1913 Parisian dress

So I finally finished the red and white "throw it together" dress for my Downton Abbey Project. When I say finished I mean it still has unfinished insides, needs skirt lining, needs to be shortened, and  is currently closed by snaps which pop open whenever you bend over.

  Hmmm.... I'll just stick to "It's done!"

So once again, here is the inspiration image from la Bibliothèque des Arts décoratifs from the lovely blog Diary of a Mantua Maker.

The one on the left is my inspiration dress.   
So here are some photos I took of it last night. (let me just warn you that it was nearly 11 o' clock and I haven't slept well in a week so I was pretty sleepy and I look it! So basically ignore my face.)

Working on the new dress!

In case you couldn't see, the top and straps are embellished with little round garnet beads.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Classical 1913 Evening Gown

I'm in the mood to sew again!
I have drafted, cut, and started sewing a new dress as part of my Downton Abbey project. This one is a jade green with a hint of turquoise silk chiffon. The design is very much inspired by this dress worn by Lady Mary in series one.

By the way I love the back of her hair, it reminds me of a Psyche knot.
Then I used this lovely original pattern from 1912 as inspiration for the design and it gave me an idea for how to draw up the pattern.
So first I drafted and sewed up a pattern for the lining (which is black china silk). That seemed to be going well but now I'm not so sure. Anyway, I then drafted a pattern using the synthetic red chiffon left over from my last dress  (which I have yet to properly post about!). Here's what the pattern looked like on my form.
The Front
The Back

The Side

 And here it is in the real fabric.

 Since then I have joined an hemmed the bodice. Next I will put the lining in order and then anchor the chiffon to the lining. In the back I will have the chiffon cross over and snap or hook into place. Underneath buttons on the lining will provide the real closure. So that's my progress so far. 

I plan on styling this with the black jet hair comb I got in Prague and maybe a jet necklace as well.

 I think I will gather up the skirt on one side and sew a wide panel of black lace to the underskirt so that will peep out. I will probably use one of these vintage laces from Etsy.

Monday, August 12, 2013

A pink mood

Today's color scheme was rose tinted! First I was so happy to get my mother's old iPhone which is much newer than my old phone and actually works! I am tying this post on my phone, so if the post has a weird layout that's why. Technology blows my mind! My case makes me happy, it is pink and looks like an English rose garden.
Also I am almost finished with my red and ivory 1910s dress, all it needs is a hem. I took some bad phone pictures, but eventually will have a real photo shoot. I'm very pleased with the dress. 
Yay! On a back to school  note I have assembled a few pieces, all slightly pink. I  was given a lovely elephant pattern homework/sports planner by my mother, also I now have a snazzy binder for the papers I assemble as the head of my school's costumes crew! Lastly I picked up an adorable pair of school flats by Tommy Hilfiger on sale at DSW.

I have been on a slight sewing hiatus but that is over now. So expect many exciting updates that are actually history or sewing relevant! (-:

Friday, August 9, 2013

"I can't wait for autumn" cleaning

I love spring and winter but I always come back to the decision that I'm a fall person. Maybe it's because I love chilly weather, sweaters, tights, and tweed. Or maybe it's because I secretly like going back to school and my birthday is in November. So in my "it's almost fall yayayayayayay!" excitement I cleaned up and organized a bit. Things have been pretty crazy/upsetting/all over the place in my life recently and I always find that a deep cleaning helps me take stock and calms me down.

I put up the Kings and Queens of England poster that I got at Blenheim Palace.

That chair is usually full of clean laundry, books, and unsorted objects. But look! Now it's just the scripts of Downton Abbey season one!

In other news I made something I can actually wear. What? Gasp? I know, it's crazy, it's so practical! I made a little gathered skirt in slate blue/heather colored subtly striped silk jersey that I picked up at Jomar two years ago for something like $6 a yard. It was a scrap left over from my 1913 blouse. Anyway It's just two panels gathered by elastic and finished with french seams. It's just short and fun and barely took me any time to make. I put together two little outfits to show the skirt in warm and cold weather wardrobes.

Spring/Summer; the top is from Zara and the pearl bow necklace is vintage.

Fall/Winter; the striped Oxford is from Jack Wills, the charcoal cashmere sweater is from a consignment store, and the cable knit grey leggings are from Jack Wills.

On it's own!

Monday, August 5, 2013

I've lost my sewing drive!

Two weeks ago I was rowing at a crew camp hosted by Penn's excellent coaches (my coach was an Olympic medalist, seriously), it was great and super inspirational! Then last week I played field hockey all-day at an over night team camp at Alvernia College in Reading PA. That ended yesterday and now I'm a bit too tired to feel energized about any projects.

Penn's boathouse, boathouse row Philadelphia

So basically I need inspiration to get me going again.

I think she's having a light bulb moment.

I started a late 18th century jacket in spring green and ivory silk taffeta with a zone front and ruffles but that got old when I didn't have a good way to pink the ruffles. So then I started the process of getting the materials for my 1913 corset but I haven't succeeded in that endeavour yet. The jacket had similar lines to this jacket from the Kyoto Costume Institute, but I didn't do the skirt part right so that was annoying.

I love this, and my mistakes are easily fixed, but I'm in one of those moods where I don't feel like it.

Hopefully this doesn't last too long, because I like to be busy!