Musings of a Lady

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving to you all and updates on my 1840's day dress!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.  I hope that on this day you will accept my thanks for being a part of my life, even virtually.  I enjoy our community of history enthusiasts and those who express their creativity through the art of sewing, cooking and all.  Best wishes to you and your families for a joyous beginning of the holiday season.

As you know I have been working on a day dress for the Christmas Dicken's Faire here in San Francisco.  As thanksgiving dinner is to be at  my house today, I had to get the dress as far as I could so that I would not feel rushed next week.  With that said, the dress is down to handwork and finishing.  The process has been thus so far:

The dress sans sleeves.

I made self-fabric piping using the super skinny cording I bought ages ago.  I am told and have seen period examples of piping and it is always very fine.

The sleeves pinned in to test run and a sample of lace/cutwork for the neckline.

As soon as the joyful celebration of our Thanksgiving is cleared away, I will renew my efforts with finishing the dress by Sunday.  I want to make a bonnet but I think that won't happen not this time around.  I have a pretty matching fur capelet and cap that I can wear. 

Before I close this post, about a month ago I went to the Bay Area English Regency groups Queen of Naples Ball.  It has been a very long time since I had been to one of BAER's balls, but it was close by and though I haven't a Regency evening dress I wore my Directoire gown.  I went with friends who were just able to send me a pic to share.  It was the bloodiest hot evening of the year and I, in a wig and gown with chemise et al was roasting!  But it was fun and I enjoyed myself a lot!
My friend Sheila and I.  Photo by Walter Nelson
Again, happy Thanksgiving and best wishes to you all.  Updates to come, stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Regency Alert! A new magazine to check out!

I found this at our local fabric store and at Barnes and Noble.  The magazine has a few articles about Jane Austen, the Austen movies and some back ground information around fashion, knitting and just a great timeline of corresponding events during Jane's life time.  The knits are all Austen/Regency inspired pieces sent in by different knitters and knit designers.  Unfortunately, none of them are for the novice knitter.    There is a sweet little reticule with a diamond pattern that I would love to try but I am not a good knitter nor a patient one.  Give me thread and needles and I will embroider and handwork up a storm but knitting, alas is not my forte.  What is exciting ladies and gents, is there must be an interest amongst Regency folks to produce a full, glossy colored magazine on such a specific topic.  There is a call for entries for future magazines, so all you knitters and Austenphiles go for it!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Le Modiste: Final corset fitting

Well, another UFO completed!  Opportunity knocked this past wet, cozy weekend to stay home and sit at my sewing machine and get some stitching done.  The rosebud corset I started this summer finally got its finishing touches and taken over to Lacis, in Berkeley, California for its grommets. Lacis has all the equipment you need to put in grommets for corsetry for a minimal fee and all the help and advise you can want.

The original post for the corset was this one:


The silk is super fine so I can already see that I will have issues with the boning coming through at the bottom edges.  In hindsight I should have put a middle layer so that the bones would go between the mid and layer and the coutil.  As I don't do Victorian events that often I may be okay.   I love this one.  I haven't made a corset in a long time so I have to pat myself on the back a bit.

Next posting:  How the Victorian day dress is coming.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Le Modiste: Mid to late 1840's day dress

Well, the problems with technology have been solved and so I am posting - finally!  So what have I been doing?  Well, I have completed a UFO!  The corded petticoat I started - way back when?  It came out pretty good.  Ladies and Gents!  This petticoat is really heavy! I only corded a foot bandwidth of 100% cotton yarn and 3 rows of horsehair.  Anyway, this is the finished piece.  (I know, white on white makes it hard to see the details but...
Finishing up the cording.

Ta, da!

Close-up of the finished corded panel.  The wider/flatter channels is the horsehair braid with a serpentine stitch.

I am also starting a dress for the Dicken's Christmas Faire in San Francisco this year.  The dress will be a combination of the following patterns:

I will use the fabric that I posted about here:  The image that I will follow somewhat is:


I will probably make something similar to the left dress but use the sleeves from pattern 4400 above.   I am excited about the outcome.  With that said, I am constructing the skirt first.  So, I am going to put it together tonight and get it ready to be cartridge pleated.  Oh goody!  Hand sewing! 

Will keep you updated on this project.