Musings of a Lady

Friday, May 25, 2012

Le Modiste: Finished 18th century pocket

I am really proud of myself that I finally finished a UFO!  This pocket was started I think...last year?  In any case, it is done.  I just need to add the belt so I can tie it to my waist.  I used scrap fabric from a short gown (how period) that  I made a couple of years ago to bind the edges.  Here are the final stages and the finished product:
In the process of binding the edges.  I basted the front to the back first then hand stitched the binding on.

Close up of binding being hand stitched.

Close up of the final embroidery.

Finished pocket without belt. 
The entire pocket was done by hand.  The embroidery and the assembly.  Phew!  You know, I really like sewing by hand and doing embroidery.  Machine of course is faster and precise but there is great deal of satisfaction when sewing by hand.  Well, at least for me.  I know it is not everyone's source of enjoyment.

Next up?  My summer plans will need to be flexible as I may be involved in taking care of my Mom who might have knee replacement surgery at 84 years of age. However, the following are my sewing 'hopefuls' this summer:

UFO's:  The idea is to get these done so I can go to something new.
Finish 1947 day dress (Started it summer of 2011)
Remake a Victorian corset ( the other pretty fell a part).
Finish my Pierrot.  (Started it summer of 2011)
Go through my 1880's bustle dresses (day/evening) and see if they need altering.  If yes - alter or move on to someone else.

Regular sewing:
A couple of Summer dresses a la new look
Recover a wing back chair (not costuming but I need to do it)
Recover the seat of a piano stool
Make cushions for a patio bench - I want to get out doors more - my little garden
Historical Dress Wish List:
Regency corset  - deadline up in the air
Regency Pelisse - deadline up in the air.
1850's Riding habit or a la militaire ensemble.  Deadline - December 2012
1890's Day Suit  - December 30 2012

Whoa! Big list and very little time.   Once I get my sewing space cleared of clutter and summer vacation begins - in one week! - I will start posting on my progress. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Images: 18th century images of Gen coleur

I was having a leisurely morning with my bowl of mocha and found a wonderful blog  Madame Isis' Toilette.  Through her site I kept wondering around and found a couple of images in her Pinterest  Thank you Elisa Edgren for finding these amazing images.  Gen coleur is the term for free people of color during the late 18th century and into the 19th century.  Free people of color from places like Santa Dominigo which I think is now Haiti and also Louisana when it was a French owned land in North America, were labeled Gen Coleur.  In anycase, finding images of free blacks during the 18th century is difficult.  So, when I stumbled on these, I was thrilled and want to share.

Attirbuted to Jean-Etienne Liotard
 Isn't she absolutely beautiful!  The artist did a beautiful job rendering her skin tones and the sweetness of her character.
Attributed to Pehr Hillestrom - This one reminds me of having tea with my fellow 18th century enthusiasts.
Often the only focus for images during this time were of enslaved people - which is of course the reality in European and Early American history.  However, we often forget or ignore the fact that there were free people of color that filled many levels of society - perhaps in segregation but covered a wide ranges of class levels. 

Here is another image I found but I can't remember what website or blog I got this so, I know that is totally bad form, but I hope you will forgive me.

Free women and men of color.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Le Modiste: Summer Frock in the planning

A couple of weekends ago one of my best friends and her husband came up to the Bay Area to attend an Art Deco Society of California event.  The day after the event we got up early - an amazing accomplishment after a night of Art Deco partying - and went off to the Alameda Flea Market.  Not planning to buy anything, I scored at the last minute 7 yards of fabric for...wait for it!  $7.00!  It is a narrow width fabric - cotton/linen blend and printed.  I couldn't believe my luck!  Here is the fabric:
34" width
The fabric doesn't have any manufacturing information on the salvages which I understand only came into recent habit after 1979 or there about.  However, I would probably date this to be 40's to early 50's.  What do you think?  In any case, I immediately thought a nice summer frock would be a great idea for this fabric. I came home and started rummaging through my pattern stash and came up with a few possibilities:

I have made this one before and I like the fit and look.  But perhaps this is a little too tailored?  How about something very feminine?
 I like the one on the right  but if I made the one on the left I would want to make a matching bolero to go over it.
 I like this one especially the back detail.  However, I am not sure I will have enough fabric for the skirt which is a circle skirt - that would be a great deal of piecing that I am not sure I am up for that.  Could I use the bodice and put a slimmer skirt on it?  Or would that kill the over all look?

I like this one but I worry about the gathers across the bust.  Not always a good idea for busty ladies.

Still trying to figure out what to do,  I went to the fabric store and found that Vogue has released two more vintage patterns that might actually work with this fabric. I didn't get them as I wanted to wait till I got to Joanne Fabrics where I can get them discounted.  As soon as I get them I will add them to the next post.  So if any of you want to weigh in on the conundrum of what do with this fabulous fabric, please post a comment! 

Oh, Happy Mothers Day to all you ladies out there!  Not a Mom yet?  No worries, cheers to you any way, we all mother in our own ways either as an aunt, sister, cousin or godmother.  So enjoy a beautiful day and share the art of living with someone you love.