Edwardian Undies – What, When and Where.

Window display of unmentionables (underwear). Lewisham High St., England. 1901

Window display of unmentionables (underwear). Lewisham High St., England. 1901

When trying to reproduce a style from a certain era I try to be as accurate as I’m able/willing to. And accuracy starts from the skin and builds outward. It’s the basis for getting things to look right – the under layers must be correct or the outer layers won’t be. Which means that before I start on my 1912 dress I want to understand 1912 underwear.

The Victorian period and early Edwardian years followed a standard pattern. The style of dress changed through the decades but the under layers remained essentially the same:

    • chemise
    • unders/drawers
    • stockings
    • boots/shoes
    • corset
    • corset cover
    • bustle (starting in the early 1870’s and gone by 1890’s)
    • petticoats – lots and lots of petticoats

 

"Help me! Is this right?"

“Help me! Is this right?”

It took me all of about two minutes to realize that doesn’t apply to the Edwardian era. Until I started planning my sewing strategy I hadn’t really paid attention to just how many changes happened in such a relatively short period of time. It’s the reason we’re able to delight in such a variety of fashions when watching Downton Abbey – shapes were moving from antique to modern at a rapid rate. (See end of post for a montage of style from 1901 to 1914 to see the changes, year by year.)

The underwear required to support the silhouette of 1905 was different from that required in 1912, and different again by the WWI years (1914-1918). I thought I had a good start with the Edwardian and Edwardian reproduction underwear I already had. Not so. The things I have work for the early Edwardian years of nipped waists and flowing skirts. None of them will work for the columnar styles of 1912. For this, I don’t want bulk – I want sleek.

Enter the revised underwear list for 1912:

  • combination (also called a combination suit = chemise top + drawers on the bottom)
  • stockings
  • boots/shoes
  • corset
  • a single petticoat
  • a dress (or blouse and skirt)

Fewer layers and a lot less poundage. I can do that. And I already have what I need in my stash.

*********************

Combination Underwear: I have Truly Victorian #TV105, a small mountain of muslin and period mother-of-pearl buttons. I’m going to make it sleeveless to accommodate a variety of dress styles and fabrics.

TV105

TV105

This is what “combination suits” looked like by 1914. TV105 is obviously more Victorian in style, but it will do.

(VintageAdGallery/Etsy)

(VintageAdGallery/Etsy)

*********************

Corset:  A while back, I had a 1912-style corset custom-drafted to my measurements by AriaCouture. It’s named “Rose’s Corset” and was inspired by the corset worn by Kate Winslett in Titanic. I also have some lovely robin’s egg blue coutil that I’ve tagged just for this. I may or may not be able to get it done in time, it’s last on the “to be sewn” list, but I have a long-ish Victorian corset that I can use. But Edwardian corsets have interested me for a long time, so I’d like to get it made someday. (Photos courtesy of AriaCouture)

*********************

Petticoat: Happily, this will not be a monstrous fabric-eater that requires endless hours for gathering layers of flounces and ruffles. Even better, I only need one. I can make it either princess-style or with an “empire” waist, but since my 1912 dress has a raised waistline I’ll probably go in that direction. Either way, I’m eager to finally use a lot of the antique and reproduction lace I’ve been hoarding diligently collecting.

Or I could just jump two years ahead and go with a 1914-style petticoat, which would serve quite as well.

fortunately, I have a handful of dress patterns that will easily convert into a proper petticoat, and that mountain of muslin. I also have Folkwear #226 Princess Slip pattern, but it needs serious altering so I’m trying to avoid it.

fw226

*********************

And that’s it for the underwear department. The muslin is in the wash for the combo and petticoat as I write this. In addition, any one of these will fill the gap for HSM#1 – Foundations. (More than a bit late, but better late than never.)

MONTAGE OF FASHION: 1901 TO 1914

Disclaimer: I am not a fashion historian, just a fashion history student. This is by no means a rigorously researched tutorial. These are the changes I notice happening throughout the Edwardian years.

1901-1904: The S-bend corset, wasp waist and pigeon front. Skirts are smooth at the waist and hips, then flare at the hem.

1905-1907: Droopy pigeon fronts go away and a smoother line is favored. Skirts are fuller, starting to flare at the hip.

1908-1911: A variety of waistlines are worn, but they steadily move upward. As the waistlines move up, skirts become more columnar.

1912: The waistline is up and stays up. Skirts are straight.

1913: The waistline starts drifting a bit again. Skirts gain a more ease in the hips, but lose it at the hem.

1914: Silhouettes are loosening up. Overall form is less structured, skirts are hobbled. WWI begins and the Edwardian period is long gone.

Then styles start to go crazy. Waistlines come and go, rise and fall, and shapes evolve rapidly as the effects of war are felt until its end in 1918, by which time most shape has been completely lost.

MODE ILLUSTREE PATTERN. Sept 8,1918

MODE ILLUSTREE PATTERN. Sept 8,1918

Advertisements

HSM #5 Update – Happily Homespun

Out with the "yucky"...

Out with the “yucky”…

As threatened promised, I did drive the hour to the closest “real” fabric store to buy “real” homespun. Happily, it was on sale. Not so happily, I spent about as much on gas as I did on the fabric. But so it goes – there is no way I was going to use what came in the mail. (By the way, fabric.com did accept my review/comment so others are now forewarned.)

...in with the yummy.

…in with the yummy.

The selection wasn’t as large as I would have liked, but there were choices and that was good enough for me. They didn’t have any solids, so I ended up with a dark blue and off-white woven plaid. Plaid? Yup.

I’ve read some rather disparaging remarks here and there about how reenactors have gone bananas using prints and woven patterns for their aprons, pinners and other styles as well, and how it’s just plain wrong*. Well…there is photographic evidence to support the choice, so I’m going with it.

*A note to makers of the aforementioned disparaging remarks: If I’m wrong and it turns out I’m unwittingly perpetuating a myth, I’ll eat nibble a bit on some hard tack as penance.

 

Reflect, Reconsider and Revise

(Image found on Pinterest)

(Image found on Pinterest)

This past weekend was our town’s annual Victorian Heritage Festival. It was windy, rainy and cold. But that’s not why I missed it. I missed it because, once again, I hadn’t finished my Victorian clothing. And, once again, that irritates me.

In addition, March is almost at an end and I’ve only completed one of the twelve HSM 2015 challenges. I didn’t make it past April last year and I want to see the finish line in December this year.

sherlockI decided it was time for a good course of forensic retrospection to determine the cause and change where I’m getting off course. Identifying the underlying issues wasn’t too tough. It boils down to six areas of consistent error:

  1. I love recreating period dress. I love a wide range of eras and styles. I want to try it all. And I want to do it now. Think Historic Costuming meets ADHD, then add sugar.
  2. I sew more slowly than I used to. On one hand I’m more cautious about doing things correctly. On the other hand, I’m just slower and can’t stand to rush. I used to get into production mode when I was sewing and could go for hours without stopping (15 hours is my personal best). But not any more.
  3. I like challenges and tend to sign on to whatever looks enticing – regardless of whether I have even the faintest idea of what’s involved or not. And I choose the project for each challenge randomly.
  4. Because of #2 and #3 I consistently and chronically underestimate how long it will take to get anything done. I used to whip out a skirt in an hour, easily. But it didn’t involve yards of fabric, flatlining, plackets, hidden pockets, and all sorts of ruffles and other hemline treatments. I tend to forget that.
  5. Events pop up throughout the year and I think “Ooh – I want to do that one, too.” So I stop what I’d started, start something new, can’t get it done in time and find myself with two unfinished projects, instead of one.
  6. The corollary to #5 is that since my historically-correct underwear collection is, shall we say, sparse, heading into a new style means sewing everything from the inside out. An Edwardian tea coming up? I can’t just make a dress. I need corset, princess slip and petticoats, stockings, gloves, shoes. The same goes for Regency, Romantic Era, all the Bustle Eras and on and on.

The problem is glaringly obvious: I don’t really have a plan with/for any of this.

white lotusSo I let that thought percolate a while, after which I changed my perspective and the way I make decisions about my sewing. Instead of “What do I want to make?” I asked myself “What do I want to do in my period dress?” and “What do I need to do to make it happen?” Then things started falling into place.

First, I’m letting go of the 17th Century Challenge. It’s just too much and requires techniques I know nothing about – I can’t even correctly name all the pieces of clothing. That’s a clue. But I’ll follow what the rest of the folks are doing this year and learn from them so maybe I can hop back in next year.

Second, I’d like to complete three sets of period dress this year: Regency, 1855 and 1888. Here’s what involved with each –

Regency: a dress, cap, stockings, reticule and a spencer/cape/redingote. I’ll buy the stockings (silk). I have patterns and fabric for the rest.

1855: a dress, corded petticoat and a few regular petticoats, stockings, cap, bonnet, shoes, stockings and a mantle/pardessus/cloak. Have patterns and fabrics for everything but the bonnet. Will buy shoes and stockings (wool for winter). Should make a period-correct corset, but will cheat this year with the Victorian corset I already have and put a period-correct corset on next year’s list.

1888: a wintertime dress, two more petticoats, bonnet, boots, warm coat, muff. Have patterns. Have fabric for petticoats. Have antique Victorian coat buttons. Have lining for coat. Need fabric for dress, coat and muff. Will buy boots.

That’s a lot, but I have the HSM monthly challenges and I can revise them to do double duty: meet a challenge and finish my goals. Like this –

January

  • Foundations: make something that is the foundation of a period outfit.
  • Project: 1855 petticoat.
  • Title: A Pert and Pretty Petticoat

February

  • Colour Challenge Blue: Make an item that features blue, in any shade from azure to zaffre.
  • Project: A Civil War era houswife (hussif, husif).
  • Title: The Blue Housewife

March

  • Stashbusting: Make something using only fabric, patterns, trims & notions that you already have in stash.
  • Project: An 1888 petticoat.
  • Title: I Can See For Miles and Miles

April

  • War & Peace: the extremes of conflict and long periods of peacetime both influence what people wear.  Make something that shows the effects of war, or of extended peace.
  • Project: 1855 corded petticoat.
  • Title: The Ties That Bind

May

  • Practicality:  Fancy party frocks are all very well, but everyone, even princesses, sometimes needs a practical garment that you can DO things in.  Create the jeans-and-T-Shirt-get-the-house-clean-and-garden-sorted outfit of your chosen period.
  • Project: 1855 wrapper.
  • Title: That’s a Wrap!

June

  • Out of Your Comfort Zone: Create a garment from a time period you haven’t done before, or that uses a new skill or technique that you’ve never tried before.
  • Project: 1855 mantle/pardesus from a period pattern.
  • Title: Oops, I Did It Again.

July

  • Accessorize: The final touch of the right accessory creates the perfect period look.  Bring an outfit together by creating an accessory to go with your historical wardrobe.
  • Project: Knitted 1860’s sontag (“bosom buddy”).
  • Title: Sing a Song for the Sontag

August

  • Heirlooms & Heritage: Re-create a garment one of your ancestors wore or would have worn, or use an heirloom sewing supply to create a new heirloom to pass down to the next generations.
  • Project: Late Bustle Era petticoat with antique lace and trim.
  • Title: Ruffles and Laces and Bows…Oh, My!

September

  • Colour Challenge Brown: it’s not the most exciting colour by modern standards, but brown has been one of the most common, and popular, colours throughout history. Make something brown.
  • ProjectHand-sewn 1855 bonnet.
  • TitleBippity, Boppity, Boo!

October

  • Sewing Secrets: Hide something in your sewing, whether it is an almost invisible mend, a secret pocket, a false fastening or front, or a concealed message (such as a political or moral allegiance).
  • Project: Hidden Traveller’s Pocket.
  • Title: My Pockets are Empty, See?

November

  • Silver Screen: Be inspired by period fashions as shown onscreen (film or TV), and recreate your favourite historical costume as a historically accurate period piece.
  • Project: Regency dress and cloak.
  • Title: Hiding from Mr. Collins

December

  • Re-Do:  It’s the last challenge of the year, so let’s keep things simple by re-doing any of the previous 11 challenges.
  • Color Challenge Brown
  • Project: 1888 dress.
  • Title: Hot Chocolate!

This gives me most of what I need to end up with three complete wardrobes by the end of the year. I feel less mentally scattered and more focused on specific end points. I’ll be ready for this year’s upcoming winter events and won’t get caught short for next year’s Festival.

If all goes according to plan. *wink*

A Need to Re-Think My 2015 Plans. Or Not.

(original source unknown)

(original source unknown)

DELUSION n. A belief that is unsupported by the facts. SYN. illusion, mirage, self-deception, misconception, fantasy, “pipe dream”, figment of the imagination.

Now that I know there are twice as many HSM challenges as I thought there would be, I need to take a step back and look at that project list again. Or find a better pharmacy. Or both.

Although it would be tons of fun and I’d learn a lot, the single most expensive item, by far, is Costume College 2015. Airfare. Dog sitter/ boarding kennel. Hotel room, even if I share with someone else. Food and beverages. Four complete costumes. And I won’t kid myself, I know I’ll come home with additional goodies from those fabulous vendors…they’re right there – at my fingertips.

I started the 18th century outfit and I want to finish it…there’s not much left to do and it’s all easy.

I’m going to finish a Regency/Georgian outfit, as I’ve already said, if it kills me.

I’m also doing the HSM, at least as many challenges as I can.

I also want to finish the Victorian dress. It needs a finished overskirt, which is half done, and it needs a bodice, which is a lot like the first Victorian bodice I made.

And for reasons I can’t explain, other than a mild moderate complete break from reality, I am drawn to the 17th century challenge. Totally new territory for me, which is part of the appeal (and, I can bet on it, the source of many a difficulty). But we are given an entire year to complete one costume and I’m going with a servant’s outfit, so no over-the-top mountains of silk, Cavalier sleeves, neck ruffs, heavy jewelry, exposed cleavage, metallic embroidery and eternal miles of lace.

(original source unknown)

(original source unknown)

I’m pretty sure I’m not ready for this. But I’m pretty sure I’m going to do it anyway.

Leaving out Coco and the Victorian bustle dress, here’s how the math looks:

18th century:

  • need overskirt, bedgown, apron, fichu and cap
  • only need fabric for overskirt or apron, depending on which ends up where
  • total number of items to make = 5

Regency:

  • need gown, cap, fichu and spencer (or cloak)
  • already have the fabric and patterns
  • total number of items to make = 4

HSM 2015:

  • I only know what the first challenge is
  • already have the pattern and fabric for it
  • total number of items to make = 12

17th century:

  • still deciding on which painting to use for the reproduction, but going servant
  • need the lot – cap, fichu/kerchief, chemise, jacket/top, apron and 2-3 petticoats
  • have pattern and fabric for the cap, fichu/kerchief and under-petticoat
  • total number of items to make = 6 (can re-use the fichu and 2 petticoats

That’s 27 pieces of clothing, not counting Victorian (2) and CoCo (a lot). Impossible, at least for me. Fortunately, the 17th and 18th century items are neither fussy nor difficult. (Rationalization? You bet!)

Prioritizing the projects:

  • Let go of CoCo for next year. As much as I want to go, it’s just not practical financially, even if I got a college scholarship.
  • The Regency/Georgian (whatever I end up with) can wait until later in the year, but want to be done in time for Jane Austen’s birthday celebration on December 16th. (The year was 1775.)
  • Do the hand sewing (the caps, fichus and all the hemming) at night, while watching the tube.
  • Get going on HSM #1 (due January 31st).
  • Make 18th century top petticoat, bedgown and apron. Not at all difficult, so get them done NOW.
  • Work on the 17th century things throughout the year (and yes, that does mean I can expect a mad scramble at the end).
  • Keep an eye on HSM – pick my battles.
  • March is Victorian Heritage Festival time. Can I finish the dress in time? We’ll see how it shakes out.
  • Stay open-minded and flexible – change whatever as needed.

As you can see, the only thing I’ve actually removed from the list is CoCo 2015 and all of those costumes. (If I’m going, I’m going with costumes.) That still leaves way too many.

My decision: I’m going to head into this adventure expecting the obvious inability to get everything done. Then whatever I do manage to complete will be its own little celebration. So I’m just going to start and work my way through as much as I can. Piece by piece, costume by costume, era by era.

(destination360.com)

(destination360.com)

2015 – Looking Ahead

antiqueclockandwatch.blogspot.com

Since it’s nearly time to start closing out 2014, sewing-wise at least, it seems right to look ahead to 2015 and see just how much trouble I can get myself into make some plans.

2014 has been a year of learning – a LOT of learning. One of the most often repeated lessons was that my eyes are bigger than my cutting table, so to speak. I want to try just about everything, but the reality is there’s only so much I can accomplish in a single year. (Funny how that one keeps coming up year after year…almost as if it’s a pattern…) This blog’s tag line has “over enthusiastic” in it for a reason. My interests and appreciations are wide-spread and far-flung through time: I can’t pick just one or two.

Which is why I have a lot of unfinished projects and as-of-yet-unused fabric and patterns lying about.

So. What would I like to accomplish in 2015?

2015-Calendar

  • Make all the costumes for CoCo 2015: a Georgian/Regency morning dress, a 1930’s dress (have pattern and fabric), my blue early bustle era dress (partially done), and a Legendary Lady dress (finally decided which way to go),
  • Participate in the Historical Sew Not-Going-To-Be-Fortnightly-Anymore Challenge for 2015: now one project will be due every two months for a total of six for the year – first one is “Foundations” due January 31st (have pattern and fabric),
  • Participate in the Isis’ Wardrobe 17th Century Challenge (one year to reproduce an entire outfit from a painting or colored drawing),
  • Manage to finally make a Georgian/Regency dress that fits (don’t get me started),
  • Finish up the 18th Century costume,
  • Participate in the town’s Victorian Heritage celebrations in a dress that I’ve made (not a purchased outfit), and
  • Participate in each of SITU-Seattle’s four seasonal events, each of which “occurs” in a different era and the first one is mid-February.

I’m sure you can see my problem. The list not ambitious…it’s insane. One year, 15+ projects (potentially) – that’s more than one every month. And that is so not going to happen.

On one hand, I don’t know what all of the projects are. I only know the first of the six HS(not)F challenges. I only know the era of dress for the first of the four SITU-Seattle events. And I’m still not sure I can afford to go to CoCo 2015 – but I’m gonna try (fingers crossed).

On the other hand, fortunately, I already know there is some overlap. The blue bustle dress can double for the Victorian Heritage Festival. The Regency dress can double for the SITU-Seattle February event. The 17th Century Challenge is for just one outfit, I’m allowed an entire year to make it, and I’m choosing something relatively easy (i.e., no fussy gowns). The HS(not)F January challenge will give me the last corset style I need to wear anyone of the list above, since I already have Victorian and Regency done.

But that still leave a huge list. At this time really I want to do the following:

  • CoCo 2015,
  • one danged Georgian/Regency dress,
  • the Historical Sew Not-Going-To-Be-Fortnightly-Anymore Challenge for 2015, and
  • the Isis’ Wardrobe 17th Century Challenge.
  • (Who am I kidding? I still really want to do them all.)

Yes, it’s way too much, so we’ll just have to see how it goes. I’m pretending Theoretically I should have more time to sew in the upcoming year. Theoretically, I had a lot of time this year but life handed out a couple of whoppers that slowed me down and, I can almost guarantee, 2015 will likely offer its fair share of lumps and bumps, as well.

At least there’s one thing I know for sure: by this time next year, I’ll know exactly how much I’ll be able to accomplish in 2015.

A Revelation About Late 18th Century Dress

I’m still looking at the late 18th century for an ensemble. I wanted to go with common dress, not the upper class stuff. But the colors I kept finding for the very low classes were so…blah. Then, last night – a breakthrough!

After finding the cotton twill tape I want on Amazon.com (I’m getting a 55-yd roll at a great price – yay!), I Goggled “images of 18th century dress” and nearly fell over when I saw this:

1770s - 18th century - woman's outfit with mixed print fabrics (jacket, skirt, and apron are each a different floral pattern)

1770s – 18th century – woman’s outfit with mixed print fabrics

Prints! Colors! Nothing blah about it! Where has this been hiding? It’s from “An album containing 90 fine water color paintings of costumes.” Turin : [s.n.] , [ca.1775], in the collection of the Bunka Fashion College in Japan.

I realize they are Italian, not American. But I love them. They speak to me. So I’m going with ’em. My rationale? Italians were living in colonial America and had been for a few decades before the Revolutionary War. Hundreds of Italians fought alongside the colonists, too.

And then there’s this bit of trivia:

“The official seal of the state of Maryland reads Fatti, Maschii, Parola Femine, which is Italian for “Manly Deeds, Womanly Words.” It is the only state motto written in Italian, and Maryland also was the only state that was home to a signer of the Declaration of Independence who was of Italian heritage.” http://www.examiner.com/article/italians-america-william-paca-and-the-american-revolution

So I’m feeling good about deciding to go this way. I know I’ll be much happier with the outfit when it’s done and more comfortable wearing it, too.

Even better, I already have fabric that will work for either the jacket or the petticoat (skirt). It’s 100% cotton with a woven-in design and a nice mid-weight that drapes nicely.

2014-12-10 14.29.23

back of fabric

back of fabric

In the meantime, it’s probably going to take a while for the Amazon order to get here, what with all the mountains of holiday mail, so I’m going to cut out my Regency day cap and see if I can get some more hand sewing done.

Baffled by a Dress

flapper reading a bookWhen looking through photos or fashion plates of antique clothing, it usually only takes a few seconds for me to decide whether I like something or not. There is, however, a dress that has had me sitting on the fence for a long time…a late bustle era dress that confounds my eye.

I don’t know what to make of it.

For me it’s kinda like the proverbial horrible accident with lots of badly wounded casualties and you want to respect their privacy and/or avoid the gruesomeness of it all and you don’t want to look…but you can’t help yourself and then you wish you’d kept your eyes closed and you swear to yourself that you won’t look the next time, but you know you will.

“Two piece day ensemble in beige, pale green, and purple, ca. 1882-1885, This day outfit, from the late bustle era, was worn by Kate Morris Cone, a student in the first graduating class of Smith College in 1879. The fawn wool bodice is cut in a ‘tailor-made’ style, tightly fitted with an obvious CF [center front] button closure, long cuffed sleeves and an elaborate tail, all to suggest a man’s tail coat.”

Two-piece day ensemble in beige, pale green, & purple, North American, ca. 1882-85. Cotton, wool, silk.

Two piece day ensemble in beige, pale green, and purple, ca. 1882-1885 3

First off – it’s not displayed on a correct late era (i.e., humongous) bustle, so it’s impossible to see the actual shape and drape. Another part of it is the color: the green and purple are fine, but I do not like it with the beige – that beige kills the colors…yellow-toned beige versus blue-toned colors.

I’m normally pretty big-bow phobic, but the three on the side are oddly compelling – I don’t think I like them, but I’m drawn to them nonetheless.

The other thing I find odd are the two bits of gathered purple fabric as the end of the “elaborate tail.” The side bows are big and puffy, while these look flat and smashed…as if they’d been sat upon, popped like a balloon and deflated.

But, by far, the worst of it all is I can see “potential” (the word that will kill me one day, I swear). The overall design has some merit. It’s certainly unusual, and I like unusual.

So I look at it and my brain starts revving its creativity cells:

If I ditch the beige and use a nice color instead, keep the diagonal plaid thing going in a color that works with the bodice, get rid of the piping at the bodice front and use a flat inlay instead, and get rid of the dead balloon at the back…well…it could be a pretty dress.

And in the end, this is what happens:

I see a nice winter dress for our Victorian Holidays up here. Done in a light-weight wool. The bodice in a deep blue, red, green or brown. A tartan-like plaid on the bias instead of the floral green. And a second solid (for the bows and bottom ruffle) that picks up a color in the tartan. Maybe change the bows to a flatter style, but maybe not.

See what I mean? Potential = Pandora’s Box.

Fortunately for me, while I do have the pattern necessary to re-create the look I don’t have the skills. Yet. Thank heavens for that.

PS:

  • The 18th century pockets are done and I’ll be picking up more twill tape (I’d used it all) tomorrow so another “action shot” is coming soon.
  • Still messing around with the sleeve cap re-do…having trouble deciding which way to go and am vacillating between two variations. Sewing circle is on Saturday, so they just might end up being subjected to a group vote.

A Brief Diversion Back to the 18th Century.

It seems like forever since I’ve been able to start and finish a project in one clean swoop and it’s getting frustrating. I want to get something done. So, since fiddling around with the Great Regency Armscye Debaucle wasn’t getting me anywhere, I hopped back a decade or so to do more work on my 18th century things…the pockets, to be specific.

2014-09-30 09.39.26As you may recall, I was drawn to this fabric, which I thought would make a fabulous 18th century apron. I was informed advised that it wasn’t right for the times (BTW – the advisers were correct) and I’d set it aside. But I still like it and was hoping to use it for something. Then the pockets rotated into production and that’s where the orange is going. I get to use it and no one will see it – a win-win as far as I’m concerned.

I do like this orange. The major benefit: if a pocket falls it will be easy to spot. In the dark. Without a flash light.

This fabric is a lightweight cotton. When I held the front and back pieces together it seemed a bit flimsy. Those pockets have to carry my keys, cell phone and change purse at the least: not exactly a ton, but too much for the fabric alone. Even doubling the fabric wasn’t sufficient.

I have absolutely no clue as to whether this is period-correct or not, since I made it up on the spot, but I decided to make a lining of heavy twill. It only goes as far at the center pocket slit, so the pockets will hang smoothly from their waist ties, but leaves enough supported area for the things I’ll want to have with me.

To avoid bulky edges and keep the outside line clean, I used the selvage for the top edge of the liner. Then I whip-stitched the top edge of the liner to the inside (wrong side) of the pocket using matching thread and tiny stitches. A few extra tacking stitches went to the bottom of the pocket slit, since that’s where most wear and tear occurs. From the outside you can’t tell it’s there, which was the goal.

Pin shows stitches from attaching the liner as they appear on the right side (outside).

Pin shows stitches from attaching the liner as they appear on the right side (outside).

I applied the lining to the wrong side of the other pocket piece and pinned them together. Yes, it does make the pocket a bit heavier. Fortunately, since the pockets tie around the waist the weight will be resting on my hips. (No comment.)

Next step is sewing around the outside edge (machine), turning the pocket right side out, then sewing around the edge a second time (by hand) to conceal the raw edges on the inside.

As for the sleeve cap, I’m deciding what I want it to look like so I’ll be mulling that over for a day or two.

Magical Snow, Cranky Elbow and Not Sewing.

Two Victorian ladies making what has to be the most elegantly lovely snow(wo)man of all time.

Two Victorian ladies making what has to be the most elegant snow(wo)man of all time.

I’ve been trying to sleep for hours now, but slumber won’t come. My head is full of ideas cavorting about and having quite the bash – they refuse to settle down. So here I am at 4:30 in the morning with the hope that writing will help release some of those party animals. That’s what I get for serving my de-caffeinated self a strong cup of “real” tea in the evening.

After diligently babying my elbow for weeks it was about 99% healed. Until two days ago when, feeling cocky, I lifted a relatively heavy bag of groceries and carried it from the car to the house. Mr. E. has been screaming ever since. Stupid thing to do, but there you have it. It already feels better, but its stubborn achyness is another reason I’m doing this instead of sleeping.

Not much sewing got done this week, as you’ve probably suspected given the lack of posts. A particular annoying bit of life popped up and my energies were spent getting it straightened out. At least getting the paperwork together to straighten it out. My Georgian/Regency bodice lays there and pouts every time I pass by, and I don’t blame it one bit.

On the deliriously happy front, it started to snow a few hours ago. It went from icy rain to a bit of sleet to that weird not-sleet-but-not-snow transitional stuff to bona-fide snow – the first snow of the year.

I love snow. Love it. Love to watch it fall. Love to walk in it. Love to catch the flakes on my tongue. Love the absolute silence it creates. I was eight years old the first time I saw it snow and I still believe it’s powerful earth-magic. I get positively giddy over it and behave like a three-year-old when I’m in it.

Sophie, the Wonder Pup, has never seen snow so it will be interesting to see how she reacts. She already has snow boots and good coat (not that she knows it) so we’ll test out the new gear later today.

Well it’s now after 5am and I’m still wide awake. Looks like I’ll be watching the lovely blanket of white reveal itself as the sun comes up. Ooooohhhhh. Pretty. Yawn.

 

Achoo! (sniff, sniff)

(source unknown)

Let me be frank: what ever this demonic bug is, I hate it. I feel crummy, then I feel like it’s going away then – wham! – it’s back. On any given day I’m congested or not, coughing or not, sneezing or not, headache-y or not, feverish or not, feeling like a drained battery or not – or any/all symptoms appearing in random combinations.

For example: I went to bed early last night with a low-grade fever and feeling exhausted. At 2 a.m. I woke up with a massively congested head. Hot, steamy water didn’t help much so I took a decongestant and went back to sleep. Eventually. Then at 5 a.m. I awoke again, this time with a pounding quasi-migraine headache. Popped two Tylenol Migraine tabs and fell asleep fairly quickly (thank goodness) and slept until 10:30. Woke up with neither headache nor congestion. But now I’m sneezing. *rolls eyes*

To quote Her Majesty: We are not amused.

Project Update: I did manage to get the third skirt panel cut and the back bodice adjusted on the Regency gown. Still fiddling with adjusting the sleeve caps, which is a bit tricky without help (translation – I stabbed my shoulder twice, but it did take my mind off the cold for a few minutes). I think it will end up with a comfortable fit, which would be great.

I will be devoting more time to the gown this weekend so it’s a good thing it’s washable. Don’t know if I’ll get it done, but am shooting for at least finishing up the machine work. If I can stay awake for more than 5 hours a day, that is.

Don’t be surprised if this weekend’s Wow! features antique bathrobes and house slippers.

(Photograph - R. Smith)

(Photograph – R. Smith)