Tags: z:archive:18th:pet.en.l'air


the plan of attack

The cotton voile for my Chemise á la Reine arrived today. Oh my gosh - it is gorgeous stuff! So fine and soft, like butter. And that is before washing too. I think I may need to buy some for underpinnings and a few summer tops... :>

In sewing news I haven't been up to much. I want to finish up old projects before starting on the new so I have trimmed down my stays straps (redoing the binding & eyelets), finished the lace on my pet en l'air sleeves, sewn down the bows. Still have the hooks and eyes to do.

I'm off to Fort Fred on Friday so I want to get some trim and sleeve ruffles on my red print English gown. Then I'm going to work on B's gown. Looks like she will be going to an event with me in May so I need to fix the tweaks. Like hems and sleeves that were sewn on backwards, that sort of thing. :>

May 6th is the countdown for my Chemise á la Reine so I've been busy researching that. It's amazing for so simple a garment there are endless variations. I want a 1780s dress so I'm going for longer puffy sleeves like this:
I think I want a little sweep in back, not a train and one ruffle at the neckline (maybe lace). I haven't seen much evidence for underwear showing through plus it would annoy me so I’m trying to decide if I want a lining or a bodiced petticoat of some kind. Now that my fabric is here though I just want to start working on it!!

After that will be the Victorian corset, anchor of my CC Gala and bustle outfits. I washed the new bustle fabric (gift from a fabric fairy :>) today. I got all the discoloring out which makes me happy (Oxiclean is such a beautiful thing). It still has an old musty smell though so it's out on the line drying in the lovely spring weather we are enjoying this week. I'm going to leave it there over night and see how it is in the morning. Dew can work wonders you know.

The robe volante is on hold for now. I sat down and listed everything I wanted to make for CC and prioritized it low, medium or high importance. The robe volante made it into the low category so I'm not going to even look at it again until the high list is finished. *looks longingly at fabric*

Nessa Dorma & the Pet en l'air

It's over! The week of sewing madness is over! I did not plan it this way, I really didn't but I have to be flexible with my work and unfortunately everyone (including CCFred) decided this was the week to schedule things. Most times an hour away no less. I had no back-up plan so I had to finish everything this week. I have such a love/hate relationship with deadlines! It was all good though and God was SO gracious.

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So without further ado my outfit! I’m quite pleased with it. Little things bug (the waist bunches as I didn’t fit it with the false rump, silly me) but the overall effect was what I was going for. The pleats in back need more fullness to hang correctly. Still not bad considering my fabric restraints and my first attempt at the sacque style. I need a totally different cap but it’s on the list already. I wanted a shorter petticoat but it came out a shorter that I intended. I think it shrunk when I dyed it. It looks cute though, very Galerie des Modes, so I may just leave it as is.

Stealth shots B took as I was getting undressed in the mess that was my room. Well actually still is the mess that is my room, I haven't picked up yet. :P Both B and I had to sew ourselves into our bodices, having run out of time to sew on the hooks and eyes. Also a glimse of my outfit sans bows. It's the bows that really make it I think, certianlly the bit that makes it go with the necklace. :> Found the ribbon at Jo-Anns of all places, on Friday night. I really was shocked - it was perfect!

My stays! I’m very pleased with them, they give a better shape than my last I think and are quite comfortable, now that they are broken in. Lacing all the way down takes more time to lace but it does give better lower back support. It’s something I will definitely do on all my future stays. Love the silk - not the most practical of fabrics but so fun to stroke! :>

So onto the next week's sewing projects! Yes the madness doesn't end quite yet. I am doing a reverse strip-tease/fashion show for a local DAR group on Saturday and am determined to have a proper shift and that robe volante. Both are easy projects (I think) and if they don't get done, no worries but I'm going to try. If you haven't figured it out already, I AM insane!! *LOL*

light at the end of the pet en l'air tunnel

Finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with the pet en l'air. I'm going to tack down the side pleats (pinned) then try it on. I need to make sure the stomacher is in the right place before I sew trimming. I didn’t mark it well, bad Jenny.

So left to do:
add the trim
sew the hooks and eyes (last minute as I can always sew myself in Sat morning)
finish sleeves, add ruffle

B came home tonight to help (the sweetie!) so I was able to give her some fiddly but necessary tasks like trimming the boning for her stays, cutting, fraying and gathering the organdy trim etc. So helpful! She is also going to make the shortbread tomorrow. We were joking tonight that the price of her outfit was 100 pieces of shortbread. She seemed to think it a dear price; I told her she was still getting a bargain! *hee hee*

Enough of a break... back to work!

the outfit from heck

This outfit has turned out in many ways to be the project from heck, or perhaps it just seems so because of the condensed timeline. *sigh*

The toile of the front section, which I did in such a rush before I went to Baltimore, proved to be totally unworkable when I went to cut it out. Added to the 'fun' was the fact that I had a shorter length of fabric to work with than intended because the finial sleeves took up extra fabric.

I tried draping the unworkable toile on me again but it totally wasn’t working. I fussed, fumed and despaired then got on the internet and starting trolling for ideas of how cut the bodice separately from the front skirt (the easiest solution I could think of). I then noticed something I hadn’t noticed before. The tuck/dart demode had been talking about was horizontal along the waist, not vertical along the arm like the Arnold. Eureka!

I could have created a seam there instead but the tuck/dart seemed simpler and would use less fabric. Having had enough of muslins that wouldn't work when it came to the pinch I decided to drape a new front (with waist dart) in the blue fabric. I sewed the pleated back to the lining front & strap to use as my guides. I of course had to drape it on me for an accurate fit which means I actually talked Mom through the draping. She was a real trooper though and the front piece came out wonderfully. I SO owe her a big bag of M&Ms.

So last night I got most of the main things done. What's left? To bind the center back edge, attach the sleeves (already sewn, clipped and pressed), sew on hooks and eyes and decided what the heck I'm doing with the trimming. Oh yes and the waistband and ruffle attached tot he petticoat (already pleated thank God). No pannier, no cap. But right now I'm off to MK work (an appointment in Richmond) so I won't be able to work on this again until tonight.

It has to be done tonight though as tomorrow I have to get going on B's dress. Umm... an English gown, MK appointment (in Richmond), and baking 100 pieces of shortbread all in one day - I must be mad. Darn my stubborn streak.

a day of the pet en l'air

*sigh* I have workable sleeves - finally! Not perfect but good enough. Seems to be the theme of this project that. I'm not totally happy with my results on this thing but then again I didn't expect to, this being my first attempt at a sacque-back type garment. I'm never pleased until the second try (the notable exception being my Rohan), look at my website and you'll notice I make everything at least twice. I was just noticing that the other day... it amused me.

Anyway, I've got everything but the outer front toile piece traced out onto interfacing and ready to be cut and sewn tomorrow morning. I'm not really sure I CAN make a master pattern of that outer layer, I may have to drape and just cut it to fit the lining... it's such a fiddly piece.

I'm also trying to decide if I want the stomacher to be false and if so do I want to sew it so that it doesn't look false (finish the edge as an edge, add boning and hand sew it) or not. At the moment I'm leaning toward not but then again I don't really like stomachers either in look or practice. There is a reason they went out of fashion in favor of close-fronts you know. :> This opinion of course begs the question of why am I making one for which I don't have a good answer except that MA has one and I'd never tried it before. Besides it seems more appropriate for the sacque.

Ack I'm rambling - it must be bedtime!

stay breaking

We have sewing progress! The back of the pet en l'air is pleated and stitched down to the lining. I made up a second toile so I could work on the front tweaking. Looking pretty good so I started on the sleeves. I have one pinned in but have reached my curfew. I've learned not to do anything involving a sewing machine after 11pm, it's never a pretty thing. I do have pics but well the camera is in the other room. :P

Ack, my stays definitely need some breaking in. Good news is they give me the pretty shape I want, bad news is they give me a tummy ache. I seem to recall my old stays doing that at first. Forgot about that part. Truth is I really just need to get rid of my too big tummy for the 18th century cone shape... maybe I should take the time to go the gym tomorrow after all... :>

the mad week pt1

A rather belated happy Resurrection Sunday to you all! I hope you had a wonderful day of fellowship, celebrating and relaxing yesterday!

My pearl knotting class on Saturday was WAY too fun. The teacher was great and while it was probably something I could have picked up on my own I'm so glad I did the class. My teacher had learned to pearl knot while living in Japan. She worked in a shop run by a 60 year old Japanese man who had been taught to knot by his father. So we learned the traditional Japanese method as well as some of the shop shortcuts. She was very through about different materials and findings and why she recommended what she did. I love knowing the why of things. It was all very interesting - totally worth the $25!

I picked up the technique right away which was nice and finished my first necklace at the class. The dark blue beads were ones I bought at Bent's Fort in Colorado when I was 11 (the light blue I bought on Saturday to extend the necklace to the right length). They are nothing horribly special I know but I love the color and they have tons of sentimental value. The string they were on broke years ago and they have been sitting in a drawer waiting to be worn again. I'm thrilled to have them in a wearable condition again!

I've already started on my second knotted necklace, this one rose quartz for reenacting. I bought enough beads to make a double strand but I think I just want one now. So I have enough to make a second one to sell. *wink*

What I really want is a double strand coral necklace for my eighteenth century kit but I'm going to have to mail order those beads from Fire Mountain, as no one has period correct ones in town. Well I haven't checked the downtown shop in a while, I guess I should pop in there first and see what they have. I'm just not confident about sizing and so very unconfident about ordering online. It's hard to pick things out of a catalogue when you don't know what you want. :P

B's costume is going okay. I ran out of time to do a finial bodice toile and the whole sleeve toile so I'm going to have to do that on Friday I guess. The hem too, so it's going to be a very late night. I will be in Richmond for MK on Thursday but I think I can be more efficient in my own sewing room instead of dragging stuff down there, even if it means a couple hours less sleep Friday. Thank goodness I don't have to be at the tea until 11:30am!

I'm going to have to construct her bodice in such a way that I can alter it at the last minute, and do the finial fitting in the fashion fabric. I've never done that
before but Jean Hunnisett talks about it in her books so I know it can be done.

As far as my outfit goes, I have the pleats all pined down on Narcissa. I'm not entirely happy with the pleats but I think I'm just going to sew them down as is and fiddle with them again after the tea. I eyeballed the whole thing so one side is like 5/8" off, making the pleats on that side a little shallower. No one will notice I'm sure and I don't have time to re-pleat one whole side for the sake symmetry. Priorities!