Sunday, June 29, 2014

HSF - Challenge #13 Under $10

Challenge - Under $10

Fabric - 100% cotton reproduction fabric from Windham fabrics. Print is dated for 1845-1865

Pattern - Heavily modified Garibaldi Blouse (TV441) pattern from Truly Victorian

Year - 1850s-1870s, no specific year

Notions - Buttons and poly thread

Hours to complete - About 18

First Worn - Just for photos right now. Still have to make other things to go with it.

Total Cost - Only $0.75. Fabric was in my stash, and thread was leftover from another project. Buttons I found on clearance at the fabric store.

How accurate is it?
To be honest, not really sure. I scoured the internet trying to find photos of frontier style work blouses, but really couldn't come up with anything. As work blouses, these garments were usually worn until they were worn out then discarded, so there are few originals still in existence. Photos did not help either since most frontier/pioneer photos are of families in their Sunday best, not their work clothes. Using other existing reproductions, I heavily modified an existing pattern which is very historically accurate in design.
Lucky 13, I managed to get this challenge done on time! I've been wanting to do a dressed down outfit for a long time (hoop skirts, petticoats, and yards of material can be cumbersome sometimes). I bought this fabric about three years ago with the intention of using it for a bodice or blouse, but never had any firm plans until now. The outfit I finally put together in my brain consisted of a brown skirt to go over a corded petticoat with a simple cotton work blouse with roll-able sleeves.

Pioneer Blouse
Since it was in the stash, I started with the blouse. As mentioned above, there were very few original examples or photos to work from, so I looked at a few reproductions and just sort of started mashing designs together using the Garibaldi blouse pattern as a base. 
1861 Garibaldi Blouse
Garibaldi Blouse TV441
The first change I made was to the chest area. Smashing together different sizes and measurement adjustments, I took the chest in so it wouldn't be as loose fitting and shortened it about 2 inches.

I did the same with the sleeves, taking them in about four sizes so they wouldn't be as puffy, a characteristic of the Garibaldi blouse. The sleeves were also shortened about 4 inches not only to reduce more of the pouf, but due to material shortages.
Original sleeve pattern over the shortened fabric
When I bought my fabric eons ago, I only grabbed 3 yards of it, figuring there would be enough. Right... I used every inch along the length of the fabric with less than 1/4 inch between pieces to maximize space. I even had to piece together the neckband piece.
The other major change I made was to the cuffs. I widened them considerably and added 1" to the length so the ends would overlap. I also widened the placket which would allow me to roll the sleeves up when unbuttoned.
Finished sleeve cuff
After everything was sewn together and stitched down all the loose edges, I added my awesome clearance buttons. When shopping at the store, I had found one style that was okay, but then I found these in the clearance which went nicely. I went ALL of the clearance buttons to find more and lucked out, finding just enough for what I needed for this project.
Total cost came to $0.75. Yippee!
I opted for modern technology when putting in my buttonholes, using my handy dandy buttonhole foot on the sewing machine. I know I need to eventually look into making buttonholes by hand, but decided it wouldn't be on this project at this time.
Buttonholes on cuff
All the buttons are attached by hand though to ensure that they stay attached to the blouse and I finished off all my open edges with a small whipstitch to keep everything in place.
For starting without a mockup, the pattern size mashup turned out very well along with the fit. Although it's still not as fitted as I want through the waist area, I figure I could easily add in some darts if I find the extra material is bothering me too much. Yay for finishing though, since HSF challenges will have to be set aside for right now.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Wonderland Wedding - Card Guard Dress

As I work on finishing off my Ophelia bonnet and another HSF project, I'll give you a preview of my next projects(s). So first the background- 

My best friend from high school, Jenna, is getting married this fall in New Orleans on Halloween. It gets better! The wedding theme is Alice in Wonderland! She had asked me to be a bridesmaid a long time ago and of course my brain immediately kicked into costume design gear. I only had vague plans and didn't really know which direction to go until Jenna suggested card guards for the wedding party. Then I also thought of the Um costume worn by Mia Wasikowska in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.
Um dress via Pinterest
While not exactly like the Um dress, I did like the hourglass silhouete. I started looking at patterns and pulled out my 1892 ballgown bodice pattern (TV492) and purchased the can-can skirt pattern (TV280), both from Truly Victorian.
1892 Ball Gown Bodice
Ballgown Bodice TV492
Can-Can Skirt
Can-can Skirt TV280
The plan at this point to do half the skirt in black and the other half in red and the bodice the same colors but on opposite sides (sorry, no sketches). The layers of ruffles underneath is where I'm going to have all the fun. I went shopping at the fabric store and came back with these:
With the solid fabric on top, I felt that there needed to be some fun underneath. Since this an actual costume rather than a historical costume, I can throw the rule book out the window in terms of trying to be accurate.

Oh I can't wait to get started!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Ophelia Bonnet Homestretch

In case you missed the squeals of delight on Facebook, my silks are finally here! Ordered in the middle of March, I endured shipping delays, wrong items being sent, secondary packages which were also delayed...
My beautiful silk from India! Color is actually dark navy.
Yeah, patience has certainly become a virtue where this project is concerned (it was started in early February). Along with my silk issues, I had supplies run out on multiple occasions, which resulted in more delays and frustrations that nearly made me throw in the towel for the whole project.

Before getting started on the covering and trimmings, I'll give a quick progress report on how the actual bonnet construction went.

This was my first venture into hat making where I constructed the base myself. Once I had all my supplies together, it went together very easily, much to my surprise (aside from running out of a few things - AGAIN - during the construction process).
Millinery wire taped and ready to be sewn to the buckram.

Finished crown, pipe, and brim. These are the pieces that make up the full bonnet.
The crown piece and brim are attached to each other using just a whipstitch around the wire and crinoline tape.
Finished form ready for covering.
Like most hand sewing projects though, very slow going but the outcome is certainly rewarding. Although the the buckram form has been sitting around for a bit now, I still look at it and go, "I made that?" Now looking forward to finishing it.

These are all my trimmings which I have been slowly accumulating during the project.
The plan is to cover it with blue silk and line the brim with cream dupioni (not completely period accurate, but this will be on the inside and not as noticeable). Still have to play with the ribbons, but the wide cream will be used for the ties, and the thinner cream and pale green for pipe trims. The flowers, bing cherries, and leaves will go at the very top of the crown, similar to the ones in my research plates.

Keep your fingers crossed that the next time I post about the bonnet, it will be finished!
And just for fun, a late night selfie from when I had actually finished the bonnet.