Tags: z:archive:18th:anglaise:redstripe


odds & ends

I finished up the polonaise fixings today though. I was originally going to attach two ribbons to the inside, as illustrated in Arnold pg 36, but that didn't work. I think my skirt is too full for only two pulled ribbons. A look through Costume in Detail was helpful though. I hadn’t realized how many polonaise skirts there are in that book, and of course each one shows how it's done. I love that book, I really do.

In the end I found that three pulls, each with a ribbon attached at the waist, threaded through 3-4 thread loops and tied, created the look I wanted. For the loops I made thread loops out of silk thread in a buttonhole stitch. Luckily the stripe is so busy that no one should notice the tiny tell-tale stitches on the outside of the skirt, unless they are looking very hard of course. In which case they need to be smacked. :>

To test this all out I used safety pins to mount the ribbon and use as temporary loops. That little thought served me well as I was able to experiment quite a bit with the position and number of loops before I bothered to sew anything. I adore safety pins, have I ever mentioned that?

I finished up the neckerchief as well. It's nothing terribly special but it will work. It is hemmed by hand, with a running stitch, but not very well. Ask me if I care. :P

So all that's left to do tomorrow is the sleeve flounce, shopping for our picnic (hopefully the local gourmet shop will have some interesting cheese, oh for a descent cheese shop!) and packing everything up. I think that is do-able. *crosses fingers*

a little update on the Jenny-Rose

*waves hi*

Yep still here. My sewing vacation is going well. I’ve gotten lots of little projects done, caught up with the laundry and dishes I owed Mom, made some good progress on my site re-design (thank you all so much for your impute I really do appreciate it!!) and have been having way too much fun researching future projects. I’m feeling quite refreshed and ready to pick up my needles and plug in the iron again but I can’t quite do that yet. I still have some pressing real-life things to catch up on and my bathroom to paint so I probably won’t get to anything before the weekend. *sniff*

Good news is, Bridget and I have finalized the plans for her pirate costume and I’m very excited about that. I’m also been invited to go with Tina to Colonial Williamsburg to stroll around in costume and, as she said, “ogle the troops” later this month. CW is having their big annual military encampment, so re-enactment groups from all over the country will be there. It should be fun.

I need to back-date my frock a bit for the event though. I’m starting to regret my decision to make a 1780s frock as most events for this group seem to be 1770s. I really designed the striped dress to be versatile for the 1780s- early 1790s. There are certain things I can’t change that are not 1770s (neckline, sleeve length etc) and even though 85% of the people who see my dress won’t know it’s not right, it still bugs me. I need a new dress. *rolls eyes* Yeah.

Anyway, since I have neither the time nor fabric for a new dress right now I’ll be making do with this one. *grinds teeth* I’m going to make that shift (I mean it this time!), a neckerchief, polonaise the skirt and add some flounces to the sleeves. Oh yes and trim another hat in a more 1770s way. Add all the stuff I’ve promised to finish on B’s outfit I should have more than enough to keep me busy this month. :P

Hey I heard that! No snickering in the peanut gallery! :>

debut of the striped robe à l'anglaise

The tea today was fun. Well the tea itself wasn’t great, most of it cold, with 2% milk instead of cream and blah food, but the experience was fun. Bridget did my hair again for me before she and the parents left for a get together with the grandparents. Above is a pic of my hair straight out of the curlers, before she had done anything to it. Can anyone say Shirley Temple? :> Unfortunately there was no one home by the time I finished dressing so I snapped one shot of myself before I left the house… for posterity. *hee hee*

It was raining when I left the house, but had turned into a drizzling mist by the time I arrived at Belmont. It continued to rain off and on throughout tea (which was outside under a tent) but just before we finished the sun came out so I managed to get a few pics in the garden afterwards (thanks to and with Tina).

You can see the rain and humidity resulted in some really loose curls, despite mousse and hair spray. I had to re pin some sagging curls at the table but I have to say, my hair did look nice throughout. I actually kinda liked it a little looser, it went with the more relaxed looked I originally wanted.

I sat next to and chatted with Tina during most of the tea, she is very sweet. The other RCHS ladies were friendly super friendly as always and complimented me on my gown, hair and hat. Actually I got many, many complements on my ensemble throughout the day and even a few people who asked to take my picture. I hope I didn’t look too pleased with myself… *wink*

I am proud to say that I helped our table win prizes in the hat contest for the best non-red-hat group. (Most of tables were groups of red hat ladies – it was a little scary!) We all had our choice of a selection of handmade bracelets and necklaces. I choose one of the simpler bracelets. :> I toured the house, studio and some of the gardens and then headed home, tired but happy. I really enjoyed wearing my dress. It’s a very fun outfit to promenade and move in, especially with those tiny pleats adding fullness to the skirt. The linen felt lovely too, I’m definitely rethinking my opinion on the fiber. The hat restricted my view more than I anticipated (not that great for touring an historic home and art gallery) but I felt so elegant that I didn’t care. Walking down the wooden stairs in the c1790s house, with my skirts trailing behind me felt great. Yes I’m a silly! :>

Once B arrived home I had her take some more pics of me and I’m really happy with the results. There are some really cute ones there, despite the long day and humidity on curls. Oh yes and a pic of me back in the 21st century! :> Tonight and tomorrow I’m taking a break but Tuesday I begin phase two of the May sewing madness: I have a jacket, shift, cap and apron to make for Saturday. Not only am I a silly but I’m crazy, oh yes indeed! :>

phase one complete!

That's it, I'm done! While I actually do have time to make that neckerchief and could get it finished with a decent night's sleep, I'm skipping it. I'm feeling a bit mentally fatigued and trying to puzzle the neckerchief out is too much. I'm also fighting another headache. So I'm declaring my outfit finished and ready to go. I still have my pocket/purse to pack and my dress and petticoat to press but those can wait until tomorrow. I don't have to leave the house until 12:30pm, so I have all morning.

Tonight I'm devoting to this yummy glass of champagne, the excellent dinner Dad is concocting as I type and a card game or two with the family . *sigh* Life can be so very sweet. Thanks for your comments, encouragement and support over the past week guys. It's really helped to get me through the self-induced madness with my sanity and humor intact. *hugs* You guys are great!

bits & pieces

shoe cockades:

I have a series of pics for a tutorial of how I made these, but I’ll post that after my deadline. *grin*

linen petticoat:

Finally finished – yay! The first pic is sans ruffle. After much prodding from the sister I went ahead and added the gathered ruffle after all. It does look nice but what a pain! I’d like to add a band of matching grosgrain ribbon, to cover my stitches but I don’t see that happening today, especially since I don’t have any narrow brown grosgrain ribbon on hand. The petticoat is nicely washed, softened and hanging up to air dry. Once it’s dried a bit I’ll iron it for tomorrow.

hat & hair:

The finished hat! :> I’m very pleased, thinking it turned out quite pretty. It would not have happened without Bridget’s help though. I am seriously millinery challenged but luckily she is not. I pulled together the elements (everything but the silk changeable ribbon swiped from the stash) but could not figure out how to arrange them on the hat in a pleasing way. All the credit for that must go to my long suffering sis. She pinned in place and I sewed it all on. Thanks Bridget!! :>

The hair test also calls for kudos to my talented sis. She patiently curled my hair in soft curlers before bed last night and then worked her magic on the set curls this morning. I’m really happy with the results. It’s not really “me” but it looks period, which is more important. It turned out to be quite easy to do as well. The trick is small curls, fluffed by pulling each curl apart several times to create volume. A few combs, hair pins and a hair extension and viola – big hair! The extension doesn’t need to be curled after all (which is nice) although I do need to tack down that bottom knot…

On to those wretched bodice hooks…

last minute fiddly bits

Today was nice and productive so I’m in good shape with my deadline. Yay!

I started out today cleaning my room, which was getting out of control with spools of ribbon, pins, thread bits on the floor and other sewing accessories scattered everywhere. *sigh* I feel so much better with a tidy workspace. Today I finished up the hat, the shoe cockades, the cotton petticoat, the bodice bow and have the linen ruffle gathered, pinned on the skirt and ready to be sewn.

I also managed to run out and find a pair of stockings to wear. I have several pairs of lovely reproduction stockings from Williamsburg but unfortunately they are too thick for my shoes. The shoes are temps, snagged from Mom whose foot is slightly smaller than mine. (I’m still saving up for a proper pair of repro shoes. :<) So I needed some thin colored tights instead. I found the perfect thing in the clearance bin of a department store; above the knee red stockings for (get this) $.99. The perfect thing, in the perfect color, for an amazing price. *sigh* I’m so blessed, it just isn’t even funny. :>

I do have pics of the cockades, hat and such but I’m super sleepy so they will have to wait until tomorrow. As much as I hate these last minute fiddly bits, it is fun to see this outfit really come together… it’s looking very cool if I do say so myself!

a pox I say!

Yeah, shifts… I don’t know why but this is a garment I really hate. I avoid making them and then don’t really enjoy wearing them. If only they weren’t so necessary. I sewed up the toile this morning and tried it on. *sigh* You know I don’t even want to go into it right now.

Lets just say it could be worse, and I can make do, but I’m not happy. Thing is, because I’m not using a pattern and I don’t really know what I’m doing, I don’t actually know how this thing is supposed to fit/work. My problems may just be things inherit in the garment and not my fault at all. I have no idea.

After a counseling session with Bridget, I’ve decided to simply not worry about it at the moment. The shift is the easiest thing to fake in my ensemble, should I run out of time. So I’m going to work on something that will actually show and procrastinate about the wretched object. I’m very good at procrastinating.

Oh yes, I tried my gown on… and it’s too big. A wearable too big but by no means trim and figure hugging, as it should be. *whimpers* Maybe I should have waited to re-start my diet until after the tea…

Wish me luck on my next project, the cap. I do not need another issue today… I’m just not up for it.

phase one complete!

Despite a nasty sinus & allergy day I managed to push through and finish the handwork on the gown. *yay* Well, practically finished… :> I still have to add some trim and inner ties for future polonaise occasions. A few of the hooks & eyes may need to be redone as well - I may have put some too close to edge making a gap. Not good when one has bright green stays underneath! I’ll try the gown on before I rip out any stitches though to be sure. Sewing hooks and eyes is definitely not on my list of favorite things to do.

Oh yes and a pic of all that is left of the striped fabric. The largest piece is laid out flat there, the rest are much smaller. The interesting bit is that most of what you see was trimmed away after the basic pieces were cut. Now that was close!! *grin*

Items still to make for Belmont & RCHS teas:
  • shift
  • cotton petticoat
  • linen petticoat
  • cap
  • neckerchief
  • hat
  • jacket
  • apron?
  • necklace?
  • second cap?

Most are small, easy projects but with a good deal of handwork involved in each. I guess I better get busy, huh? Tomorrow’s project – the shift!

slow progress

I didn’t end up getting too much done after all. Cleaning, dishes and cooking dinner seem to have taken up most of my day. Oh well.

I finished up the skirt, finished one sleeve and attached some of the hooks and eyes. Still, it’s progress. Now I’m sleepy and can feel another headache coming on so I think I‘ll make it an early night…

blah I say!

To echo elizabethsdress last week, I have one word: sinus.

The spring here in Virginia is gorgeous but it is reeking havoc on my sinuses, causing those lovely week long migraines. *sigh* I was laid up most of yesterday feeling quite ill with a massive headache. I'm feeling better today but now I'm behind in everything I was supposed to have done yesterday. That means my sewing must be laid aside until I catch up. Okay, maybe not quite that long! :>

Even though I’m not working on it I have been doing a bit of thinking about the project. My problem at the moment is that I can't decide how I want to wear this outfit to Belmont. I purposefully made design choices in this frock so that I could utilize several looks, making it versatile. I can't decide if I want to go with:

a) late 1770s, with polonaise skirts, sleeve ruffles, an egg shaped hair style, cap that covers more head and a tilted shepardess straw hat
b) a mid 1780s, with simpler trim, no polonaise, the wide curly hair, smaller cap and wide plumed hat.

*sigh* I'm getting to the point were I actually have to decide where I want to go with this. Trouble is I like them both, both are appropriate for the occasion and I'll have the opportunity to do either later on as well. Other events with this group will probably be more 1770s but I could go all out for the 1780s at the October ball or Twelfth Night.

I hate decisions.

I do have a quick question for koshka_the_cat though. I was thinking covering my straw hat in silk using your excellent directions would be fun. I know you used China silk, but how much of it did you need for the hat? Thanks!