mlsdesigns: (me and boo)
Our first Elizabethan demo was on Saturday, and it was fantastic! We all looked great, the dances went off without a hitch and the museum was filled with punters! We had so many children joining in, and loving every minute of it :)
I've got some great videos of us dancing that I need to edit and get up on youtube, and I took so many photos!


The rest can be found under the cut )

Now that the demo is over, I can finally get on to sewing my dress for the Bath Minuet Co Ball at the end of March! I need to get a wriggle on with it though, because I also need to make Titanic evening dresses for both of us for the middle of April ( and I need a full compliment of undies for it too! EEK!!!)
mlsdesigns: (sunflower)
But not quite as pink as I'd hoped.


It's poly organza ribbon, so doesn't photograph well at the best of times, I tried photos with and without flash, and the pink is very washed out in both. Also, the hoops are wider in person, I think it's something to do with the angle?

While I'm at it, here are the fabrics and trims for my new sack. I won't be starting it till after my Elizabethan is done, but I just had to get everything out and have a play!
With flash:

Without flash:

I don't have a final trim plan yet, but I do know it will involve strips edged with the lace, laid on in puffs, like the ones on mummy's, but larger and stuffed. I'm not quite sure how I'll use the gold braid yet, and I may scrap it entirely, but we'll see :)

Also, I've realised I've not given any hints about my Elizabethan yet!


The dark brown at the top is my loose gown, the red is silk taffeta for sleeves, (I have stupid plans to do with the brown Russia braid and a chisel, we'll see if they pan out!) and I have a sari (poly I think, but looks like silk) in the exact shade of red that will be a forepart/underskirt. The goldish colour is actually a camel/caramel coloured wool melton that will be a doublet and over-skirt, trimmed with the wide gold braid (I'm not using the narrow gold/brown braid any more). I also need to make a shirt, ruffs, and a farthingale; and then shoes for both of us. Oh, and a hat for Mummy.

By the end of February.

I agree, I am insane.
mlsdesigns: (eat cake)
I had a dodgy start to the week, caused by grumpiness brought on by making new costumes for Mummy and not me, mixed with the monthlies, not a pleasant combination! I'm over it now though, mostly because I've rummaged through the stash and think I have a plan to make myself a new Elizabethan after all!

Anyway, the finished object in question is mummy's refitted sack! )

I must make myself an Elizabethan shirt, (I wore mummy's before) but I'm planning to machine it, which hopefully shouldn't take too long, and then, once mummy's kit is done, I'm going to see if I can't make a new dress for me :)
mlsdesigns: (me and boo)
I've actually been busy sewing, and not only have I made progress, I've even managed to get picture proof - and I'm posting them!!!!
Our first event this year is a Georgian ball our dance group is holding the weekend of Valentine's day. Mummy has said, that, while she loves wearing boys clothes, (and most of the time prefers them because they're so much more comfy) she does miss being a girl at balls, because she doesn't get to dance with the other boys ;) So I decided to re-fit my old sunflower sack for her. She helped me unpick all the trimming the other day, and the day before yesterday we did a fitting:


I unpicked the back pleats and undid the centre back seam in the lining, adding in a 3" piece at the top, above the eyelets, to let out the back shoulders. I've since re-pleated the back (only lightly pressing out my old pleats, I rather like the idea of the re-model being visible!) it's just waiting for me to sew them down.


She's wearing my hoops and under-petticoat, so I need to make new ones for her, but it's nice to know the petticoat or gown skirts won't need altering. The sleeves are much too tight for her though, and I had to make the arm holes larger. So I cut a sleeve mockup the same size as the old sleeves, with lots of extra seam allowance, and fitted them to her, noting the new seam line. I will unpick the old sleeves and piece in the missing width.

I've not quite decided how I want to trim it yet. I know I need to utilise the old trimming (but not the sunflower braid, that's gone back into the stash) but don't want to do the same style, so I'll have to do some playing to see what I can come up with. What I do know though, is she will be wearing black lace with it! I was thinking of putting black lace on the dress, instead of white, but I haven't found any examples of that, so the sleeve ruffles will be white, and she will have black lace in her hair, and a black lace fichu round her shoulders and woven through her stomacher (like the examples in the Kyoto book)

I'm probably going to wear my cross bared sack because I don't think I'll have time to finish my new sack in time, on top of all the other sewing I have to get done, namely, Elizabethan kit for a demo at the end of February.

I'm probably going to just wear what I made last year for Tolethorp, with a new shirt (I was wearing mummy's) although I do plan to actually get around to making some sleeves for my kirtle! Mummy, however, has nothing. Or rather, she had nothing until this evening ;)

We bought black wool melton and pink and silver silk brocade at the re-enactor's market in the autumn, for a black doublet with brocade sleeves, and some kind of breeches. They mellowed in the stash and I've since decided on paned wool trunkhose lined with plain pink silk taffeta from the stash (which just happens to be the most perfect match!) with wool cannions, and I'm planning to trim the doublet with silver braid and pink thread covered buttons. I think she's going to look pretty splendid!

As of this afternoon I had this:


Now all they need is a waist band, cuffs, and a finished front fly. Who knows, I might even get onto mocking up the doublet tomorrow :)
mlsdesigns: (in window)
Phew, two posts in quick succession!! Now for the photos from last night's trip to Tolethorp open air theatre! We were incredibly late leaving, so only managed to eat our picnic before the play started, so no photos or dancing :( I did manage to take a few pics, although most of them during the interval when it was getting very dark!

Finding out that the play was last night instead of tonight really threw me, I've been sewing non stop since we got back from the demo, and am so exhausted now it's not true! I did the millinery first, (and sorted out some jewellery) knowing I could wear just my kirtle if necessary, but what ever happened I'd want all the accessories!

Then I moved onto the loose gown. I'm so glad I had time to finish it, as I love it so! Photos and more details are under the cut ... )

All in all it was a wonderful evening, and I'm super pleased with my outfit, but boy am I glad it's finished and I can stop sewing and have a rest!!!
mlsdesigns: (bustle hair)
After my last post I finished the kirtle, including binding the hem with a wide strip of chocolate brown silk velvet (it looks yummy!) and then, since, if the worst comes to the worst, I can wear just the kirtle with maybe a cloak for warmth, I moved onto the plaid bustle dress for the dance demo that's in a couple of weeks.
I'm using the pink ball gown skirt, and making a polonaise from some pale pink taffeta and the scraps of pink and green plaid from my crossbarred francaise. I started with my 1860s bodice, lengthening it and making up the lower half as I went along!


This is just pinned together to check the fit before sewing, hence the wrinkles! The green sheet is a false waistcoat that will be made from the plaid, there will be plaid elbow length sleeves with pink and plaid ruffles at the cuffs, pink and plaid ruffles at the neck, and there are now plaid bias bands edging the peplum and the back edges of the polonaise swoopy bits (that I am just bunching up in my hand for the photo!). If I have enough fabric, there will also be a big plaid bow of long loops and tails in the back coming from under the peplum between the edges of the swoops.

I've so far used practically all the scraps I had left, for the waistcoat fronts and piecing the bias strips, so I'm unpicking my francaise petticoat to cut out the top half of the back panel for fabric for the bias cut sleeves and loopy back bow! I wish I'd pieced in the top of the back of the petticoat when I made it, but at the time, I reasoned I'd probably have more use for plain taffeta than the plaid - I had no idea I was going to end up making a plaid trimmed bustle dress 6 months later!

I really need to get a wriggle on though, if I'm going to finish the dress (and make a hat and new hairpieces!) in order to have time to make a hat, coif, and loose gown for the Elizabethan as well! Although, I suppose there are 2 days after the demo to finish Elizabethan stuff ;)
mlsdesigns: (bustle hair)
Yesterday, while revelling in piles and piles of books, I was reminded about out upcoming trip to Tolethorp to see an open air Shakespeare play in Elizabethan kit... it's the Saturday after the demo!
So, this morning I dug out my kirtle from the naughty corner, where it has been since Easter, and lugged out Patterns of Fashion and the Tudor Tailor, opened up my Elizabethan bookmarks and got stuck in. Luckily, it's time in the naughty corner did it good, and I now have something that looks like a dress!
If you need proof, just look under the cut... )

I'm trying to juggle Elizabethan sewing (not just the kirtle, a hat and caul, and maybe, if I feel up to it, some kind of loose gown ... I have some exciting (I think!) plans, in that line!), bustle planning, and dressmaking, and it's going well so far!

Last night was spent poring over books and coming up with a bustle plan for the demo (including, naturally, a fabulous hat!) and I've got another Sorbetto top all pinned and ready to go tomorrow! I've also taken some photos of the inside of one of my dresses that I'm so proud of! They're under hear. )

Right, now it's time for bed, loooads to do tomorrow!
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: (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!
mlsdesigns: (sunflower)
Yeah, so I haven't posted my pics yet, I'm a bad girl. But then you knew that! Anyway, it's only been a week! We had a fab time, even though it was very very cold in the house, I was so glad I was able to wear my jumps (the bodice of my dress only just did up!) they kept 'my me' (my insides!) nice and warm :) After the trip everyone came back to our house for tea and cake, and I warmed up very very quickly! First the dress, then the petticoats, then the jumps came off, leaving me in stays and modesty petti for the rest of the evening!

We weren't allowed to take photos inside, and it was too cold for many outside, so I only have a few to share with you. )

The next day we went to a reenactors fair that we found out was happening not very far away. Normally I wouldn't be very interested in them, but a friend had said a very good fabric seller would be there, so we thought it would be worth it, since it was only an hour or so away.

There was another incentive. Reenactors fairs over here have very little later than Tudor and Elizabethan on offer, (Apart from fabrics and trims and things) so not very much to interest me, usually ;) But there has been a costuming development, and I needed ideas! )

I'm very excited for this new project, I can't think about anything else at the moment! I really need to though, because the Bath Ball is coming up soon!! Unfortunately we're not going to the Marie Anntoinette Tea Party tomorrow after all, I found out on Thursday morning, so haven't done any sewing since. All I had left to do for the Tea Party was buttons and button holes on both Mummy's coat and her secret waistcoat (which I put together on Wednesday, and she now knows about and loves!) I made my breast knot and frilly neck thingy, and only had the mits and new muff cover to do, so my outfit for the next 18thC trip is pretty much done, whenever it may be :) I may make the muff cover tomorrow, I'm feeling inspired, but I also want to bake, so maybe not ...


mlsdesigns: (Default)

April 2016

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