mlsdesigns: (cocktail)
Oh boy! the last couple of weeks have been crazy! It was my 30th birthday last Friday, and I celebrated with a cocktail party at home, which required not only a new cocktail dress, but also much food and a clean and tidy house!
I still have a small mountain of party related washing up to do, because this week has been pretty busy at work making up for the week before when I stayed home and tidied ;)
I know I still have the Bath reenactment photos to share, but first I thought I'd show you what we were up to two weekends ago :) Mummy and I found out about a Napoleonic reenactment taking place half an hour away from home, so decided to gatecrash! some of our dancing friends joined us, and we had a wonderful time, despite the crazy weather, it was so hot and sunny you wouldn't believe it was England! photos under here! )

I'm now all fired up for Regency again, which is excellent because Mummy and I have booked an apartment in Bath for the whole week of the Jane Austen festival this time :) I'm starting out with proper undies for mummy, she may not like it, but she's getting stays ...
mlsdesigns: (in window)
The Jane Austen festival was so much fun this year! Mummy and I stayed in the centre of town this time, instead of staying with our friend who lives in the suburb of Odd Down. We love staying with Ginny, but it was so nice to be 1 minute's walk from the Abbey Church Yard and able to say to new acquaintances 'come for tea this afternoon, and we'll have a nice noisy game of cards afterwards' which we did nearly everyday! Even better, we were only a few minutes walk from the lovely cocktail bar Ginny introduced us to last year :)
Mummy and I both had complete, brand new outfits for the promenade, then the rest of the week was a mixture of old and new, dresses and spencers, hats and caps, it's wonderful to have such nice big wardrobes of clothes to chose from each morning, I took everything we have, and some things came home unworn but it was so nice having them there if we wanted them, and I never wore the same thing twice, except my stays and petticoat ;) Then Aunty Jac joined us for the rest of our stay. I managed to get one of Clare's dresses to (sort of) fit her, and she wore mummy's spencers and wide brimmed hats to cover her modern hair, so, not too bad for a last minute addition!
Now, without further ado, pop on under the cut for lots of photos! )

Since coming home from Bath, I've been rather poorly, first with strained intercostal muscles from all the coughing, then with a dreadful head cold. I'm now over the cold, and most of the cough, but the strained muscles are as bad as ever, and now my back, which has been compensating for my chest muscles, is bad too, so I've been pretty slow this last week or so. I have finally managed to unpack from Bath and put everything away, including all the things from our reenacting escapades, and I've been indulging myself with a spot of modern sewing - some everyday tops and a skirt. I do need to get back to 'proper' sewing though! I need a ball gown for a Victorian Ballmoral ball next month, and then there's a Regency Christmas ball I want to make us new dresses for, and our winter dance demo this year is a Scottish Victorian theme, so I have a kilt I need to alter for Mummy, and I need something warm and tartany to wear too. Also, we've been invited to a 12th Night party by some new friends, so I kind of want a new Elizabethan dress ;) I really need to pull my finger out if I'm going to get all that done, and make a start on my WIlliamsburg wardrobe!!
mlsdesigns: (eat cake)
Yesterday I finished all of mummy's sewing. The spencer needed fastenings and wrist bands, and the dress needed the waist seam dewing, fastenings and hems. Once I'd finished I thought about making her some stays (she only has a structured petticoat at the moment) but remembered, if I make her some stays I'd also need to make shifts and a petticoat! Umm, don't think so somehow! so instead I moved right on to my own sewing!
My military inspired spencer is well on the way because I decided I'd rather machine sew it and have something else new to wear, than hand sew it, and not ;) I have some progress shots even! Photos and a bit of construction of waffle under here.... )

I'm off on a trip to London with school on Thursday, from 7:30am till 9pm ish, so I'm planning to take my silly neck ruffle thingy to sew on the coach. Then I have one last project, my Aunty Jac is now coming with us, mostly because she needs a holiday, but if we can it would be nice for her to dress up with us, so she doesn't feel left out. Unfortunately she's an awkward shape for me to clothe, she's short like Clare, but plumper than mummy... I'm hoping, because lots of Regency stuff is adjustable, I should be able to come up with something for her to wear. Unfortunately she has very short hair, and although a cap is the obvious answer, mummy's are both very sheer, so wouldn't do a very good job of covering it up. I found a part of a frill from an antique (I think) petticoat in my lace box, it's a nice non-see-through cotton, with a teeny frill at the hem that will be perfect for making into a quick and dirty all covering cap :)
Okey dokey, back to the sweat shop!
mlsdesigns: (in window)
This year will be our 4th year of going to the Jane Austen festival in Bath (I know!! doesn't time fly!) and so far, each year I've worn a completly new outfit for the grand parade that starts the week off, so naturally I need another new one this year :)
My hat is all sorted - the crazy yellow and green hat that I made ages ago and haven't worn yet because I have nothing to wear with it, yellow and green being really quite a specific combination ;) These are the fabrics I'm using for the dress and pelise:
Photobucket

The dress is cotton muslin from good old Heritage Trading. It's a very pale yellow with blue and green sprigs. I'm making a high necked gathered bodice with long sleeves and, if I have enough, a fill at the skirt hem.
This photo was taken a few days ago, showing the cords pinned in ready to be sewn into channels to gather up the bodice. It's also gathered into a neck band and will be gathered into a waistband:
Photobucket

The pelise will be made from the pale yellow silk brocade, a remnant I bought at the reenactors market last spring. It's going to have no waist seam, because no one ever seems to make this more unusual style, and I do like to be unusual!! It will be based on rather a lot of trial and error, but luckily there's a pattern in one of the Jean Hunnisett outer garments books taken from an original muslin pelise, and Serena Dyer did a wonderful article on Your Wardrobe Unlock'd with some good info on the un-fitted pelise style.
Since these photos I've completed the bodice and sleeves, and one sleeve is half sewn in. I still have to do the other sleeve, skirt and waistband, then I get to have fun struggling with the pelise ;)
mlsdesigns: (in window)
When we go to Bath for the Bath Minuet Company ball, we like to organise a day trip the next day, in kit, to a local National Trust place or something. This year we decided to go to the American Museum, which is housed in a beautiful Georgian mansion just outside Bath. The main reason for the visit though, being the quilt exhibition! There were dozens and dozens of gorgeous quilts, all in hanging glass cases that moved the like pages of a book :)
I was sensible and decided not to try to make anything new, we both have plenty of clothes in our Regency wardrobes! But I was feeling a bit burnt out 2 weeks before the ball, it seemed like the hand sewing of sack backs would never end, so I decided to treat myself to a bit of millinery therapy :) So, if you want to see pics of my new bonnet and the most fantastically amazing quilt I've ever seen, pop on under the cut. )
Since reviewing the quilt photos I'm itching to do some embroidery or piece some patchwork blocks!
mlsdesigns: (regency hair)
It seems like all I ever do is apologise for never posting! This time it's because we went to Paris for a week just before Christmas, coming home the day before Christmas Eve just in time for me to get really really sick! I've either got a cold or flu, and it's only been in the last day or so that I've actually felt relatively human again!
Any way, in an effort to put off starting on the new year's very VERY long to-do-list I bring you photos I should have posted months ago, this time from the ball Mummy and I went to in Hampshire. In sorting out photos to post I've realised why I'm such a slacker when it comes to posting event photos - it's because I never seem to manage to get decent enough photos to share! I think that will be my New Year's Resolution, to try to take decent photos and actually POST THEM!!

So, pop under the cut to see some Regency goodies... )

I still have photos of my new bustle dress from the Cotillion ball, and our outfits from the Russian Dance Demo, but once I've posted them, I think I'm up to date! There's only one costume I've made this year that I don't have any photos of, Mummy's 18thC kit, I made her a shift and stays and a bedgown, she wore them with some of my petticoats the day after our dance group's Regency ball (no photos, because we both wore the dresses from Hampshire) when we had a house full of guests so had an afternoon card party, and she looked lovely, but I don't have any photos :(
mlsdesigns: (in window)
I've not got as much done on my demo outfit as I'd like, I'm stupidly busy at work at the moment, and I've been so exhausted all week. Then yesterday we were helping Gemma at a village event she organises, and today we went to a re-enacting market and then dancing, so I'm even more tired and have had hardly any time to sew!
Anyway, in lieu of progress pictures, I bring you Bath pictures instead, not me nekid having a wash, but Jane Austen Festival goodies! )
I have made the skirt for my demo outfit, and I did manage to cut out a toile for my bodice last night in between getting home from Gemma's and going to bed, so once I've fit that tomorrow morning, hopefully I should get quite a bit done - I get the day off, hooray!
mlsdesigns: (bustle hair)
so, my head is doing better (still not perfect, but the weather's still iffy) so you get the photos I promised! They're under here, just waiting for you! )

I really want to shift this headache though, because I'm having a Regency Birthday tea on Saturday, and I need to finish my new chemisette! I also was toying with the the idea of making Mummy a new dress, she hasn't had one in aaaages! Then next week and the week of half term I'm planning to use to make an Edwardian white linen waist to wear with my beige check linen skirt. We're planning to do something in Edwardian kit at the end of half term, either a trip on the steam railway or even just a picnic. I've not finalised the style yet, but I want something summery and pretty! I need to watch Room with a View for some ideas! Oh pooh, I need to do something for Mummy too don't I!?!? EEK!!!
mlsdesigns: (chemise dress)
Scotland was lovely, we had wonderful weather and had a nice relaxing time, did some sight seeing and visited a few castles. I didn't get as much sewing done as I thought I would, I think because I'm totally uninterested in Elizabethan sewing at the moment! I knew I should be doing the Elizabethan sewing but just didn't really want to :( But I did manage to put my kirtle bodice together, then couldn't get any further, because even though I remembered my lacing strips I forgot to take a lace! So I threw the horrid thing in a corner and turned to Regency sewing instead!

With waht I managed to do while we were away, and what I've done today, I now have a half made pink silk spencer, a pink coal-scuttle bonnet just waiting for ribbon ties and an almost finished white figured muslin long sleeved cross-over dress :) The dress would have been finished days ago if I had remembered I needed to fit the pattern over my new short stays :(

I had the sleevs set in, the darts sewn, waistband sewn on and the skirt pinned in place, when I tried it on to find it didn't fit :( so I had to take out all the hand sewing in the waistband, darts and side seams to make it bigger! I had to taper the side seams into the armholes, because there was no way I was going to re-set the sleeves as well as everything else! It now just needs half a hem and wrist ties, and the lace trim round the neck, down the front and round the sleeve hems. I'm hopefully going to wear it for a birthday tea part in a few weeks :)

The spencer will be taking a back burner now though. It's made from the train from my huge pink 1860s ballgown, after taking off the ruffles and waistband. I decided I'm not likely to ever wear the train again, and it's such lovely fabric, so I finally get the pink spencer I've been wanting since I was 12 :D

I do have slightly scary plans for the next 2 weeks though, there's a ball coming up and I may have decided to be totally insane ...! The huge pink ballgown is lovely, I'm really proud of it, but I'm bored of it. It has a day bodice and an evening bodice, but the evening bodice doesn't fit anymore after I lost so much weight with the gall stones, and I've worn it several times already, so I was thinking of what I could do with it. It's a shame to just leave it in a drawer. Amazignly, a solution fell into my lap without me even looking!

I took The Buccaneers to Scotland to watch while sewing, I'd never seen it before, and then when I got home and read through the many pages of my Flist I was bombarded on all sides by even more bustley goodness, so I think I may have finally given in to the dark side! A be-ruffled pink bustle is in my future! More plans tomorrow, but for now, bed ;) Let's see if I can manage the undies and re-make in time for the ball, on May 14th!
mlsdesigns: (regency hair)
...and how to make it, if you feel daft enough ;)

So, once I got the kirtles to the take to Scotland stage I decided I deserved a play! Playing at this year so far has meant Regency :) I have a pink silk spencer and a white striped sprigged muslin day dress on the go (also for Scotland sewing!) and, of course, I've been millinering!!

My first was a hat, a very silly hat! I haven't quite decided if I'm going to feel brave enough to wear it in public! Anyway, as I was making it I thought, "I may as well try to do a tutorial as I go along, just in case!" so, if you feel brave enough, pop under this cut to see just what I'm talking about! )

Oh boy, that took forever!! I hope it doesn't take you as long to read!!!
mlsdesigns: (in window)
I've been a busy little bee today, so now I'm resting, drinking tea, eating biscuits and posting photos from the trip after the Bath ball. We had a lovely time, the weather was perfect, not too hot, and it only started to rain once we'd gone into the house, and stopped again before we went outside again! Any way, here are some photos, mostly of my new rasperry wool dress... )
My kirtle is all ready for handsewing in Scotland, and I made a mocup of Mummy's, and we did a fitting, but it's not working too well at the moment, she's not very comfortable at all ... I'm going to change to a back opening, and try a curved centre front seam, and try putting more boning in for the fitting and see if that works any better, but not now! Now I'm going to play! I've pulled out my fabrics, found my inspiration pics and now I'm going to work out a pattern ready to start work on a new Regency bonnet, or maybe it'll end up a hat ... who knows :D
mlsdesigns: (Default)
I haven't forgotten I promised you pics from Dyrham Park, but I've been busy in the sewing room, so thought I ought to keep at it while I have the motivation!
I'm working on my Elizabethan kirtle, deadline for its first wearing is May 7th, a week after the Easter holidays finish, and we're going to Scotland in a week, so I'm planning to have things ready for handsewing while we're away.
So far I have patterned my bodice, using my 18thC stays as a guideline for the shape. The fitting went well, so now I have an interlining of 2 layers of collar canvas machined together with cable ties for boning in the front. Mummy and I spent several hours last night and this morning working out how to cut the skirt using only 2 drops of 58" wide linen. We came up with a (hopefully!) cunning plan for goring the skirt so I have a 140" ish hem, and a flat front with plenty of fullness at the back waist. I'll have to photograph our planning, it's so funny! Luckily, with some careful piecing of the shoulder straps I was able to cut the bodice out in the linen too, having been worrying that I didn't have enough linen for the bodice. So the interlining is now wrapped in the wool with the linen lining pinned in place ready for me to sew them together and then whip stitch the bodice together while we're away. I've done an extra boning chanel each side at the centre front in case the extra layers make the kirtle too small, so I will baste on my lacing strips for a fitting after the bodice is whipped together, before I finish the fronts completely.
I've cut my 4 skirt panels (2 wool, 2 linen) and now just have to complete the scary part, cutting each panel into 2 gores! Eek! Then I will machin the fronts to the backs, and the centre back seams, then sew the linen to the wool up the centre fronts and along the top, so I have a finished edge to pleat to the finished edge of the bodice. I'm binding the hem ( didn't have enough linen for a hem and a bodice, I chose a bodice!) so will do that when we get home and I can let it hang on Meg for a while. Not sure yet what I'll do the binding with, probably some dark brown silk (dupion) that I'm going to make the petticoat from, should look good with the brown sleeves, and I might guard the pink wool bodice with the silk too...
I need to get Mummy's kirtle to the same stage as well, but I naw finally have a plan, so as soon as my skirt is done I'll mock up a pattern for a fitting for her.
I'm hoping that I'll be able to get both kirtles to the 'hand sewing in Scotland' stage in the next few days, because I'm ITCHING to do some Regency sewing!!! I have wonderful plans and I want to get started!!!! Imagine palest yellow musiln printed with tiny green and blue flowers, a VERY silly fluffy chemisette and forest green velvet, golden yellow spotted silk and yellow and green striped ribbons and you'll have an idea of what's been tempting me so cruelly!

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