Thursday, May 14, 2015

Repurposing an old hat AKA creative magic

On my thrifting adventures sometimes I come across little orphan hats. Like this one:

SO sad!!!

I am pretty sure it was an old child's bonnet. The brim has wire underneath the velvet. The straw was all stained. Just a sad little thing. I decided I would make this into a 1880s era hat that I could wear with one of my bustle dresses. It would sit atop my head tilted towards the front. So I dug into my hat making stash and pulled out a 1 yard cut of yummy red silk I have been hoarding. You can see it in the above picture. I decided to leave on the velvet trim and the wire so I wouldn't have to rewire the brim.

 End result!!
I covered the hat completely with the red silk. Added some lace, hat netting, tulle, feathers and ribbon.

Now I just need a dress to go with the hat!! I have some beautiful red, white and blue cotton that would make a fabulous bustle dress. But for now this little lovely belongs to my mannequin.

TV494 Truly Victorian 1890s Shirtwaist & Butterick skirt 5265

This pattern is fun! I enjoyed making it and I love the peplum option. Works great for us shorter waisted gals. I cut my regular TV size. G for the back and size I for the front. I always wait to cut my sleeve size until I have the bodice together. Then I can measure the armhole. I made my usual TV alterations. I take 2 inches out of the upper bodice length and another inch off the very front length and graded it out to the sides. I did this because I felt it was too poofy in the front. I did also lengthen my gathers on the back and front blouse top.

I find the my corset pushes my bust up higher and though I don't normally have a concave chest the push up factor causes me to have one. So I wind up taking a lot of fabric out of the top 2.5 inches of the front where things button up. This has been consistent across the board on her patterns. I did leave off the high collar. I really don't like them, I feel like I am choking even if it is loose.

The sleeves are pretty epic! I did use the net headers to make them poof out. I should have checked the length before I made them because they are about 1 inch too long. I just made a pleat and sewed a button on it at the hem. It keeps them at my wrists instead of slouching down. The fabric I used was a lightweight linen cotton blend. It is very comfy. I will be making this again for sure. It was easy to sew and easy to fit. Unlined and unboned. On the sleeves I do recommend just gathering them all the way up before inserting them into the arm opening. You will be gathering them super tight . Especially if you use headers.

Butterick 5265 Victorian style skirt.
 I have had this pattern forever so even though not 100%1890s correct I decided to use it anyway. I used a silk taffeta in a fun plaid. The skirt has a set on waistband and pleats at the front, side, and back. I drafted a deep hem facing from the bottom of the skirt pattern. This skirt is fully underlined. I also added a side pocket. My only gripe about this skirt is the closure. It is on the left side of the very front pattern piece. It just seems awkward to me. I made no alterations. I just went by my corseted waist size.

Hat is a Lynn McMasters pattern.

Friday, May 1, 2015

The problem with chronic sewing. I have been wondering why I have been so hyper focused on costuming the last 5 months. The lightbulb moment came when I was shuffling my seasonal clothing around. As I was bringing out all my spring and summer stuff I realized how much I had sewn last year. Crazy! I have more dresses and tops than a human needs. I mean, I like to have choices, but this is too much of a good thing. I think by focusing on my costume wardrobe, especially the undergarments, has calmed the closet filling of my modern wardrobe. Whew! I was going to run out of room.

On the other hand... One of the main modern projects I want to do this year is make a coat. A freaking fabulous coat. I have the pattern and fabric already. Sitting there for the last 6 months. Sigh. I just haven't had the motivation. And there are a few modern patterns that I want to make, soon. I have one of the new Marcy Tilton  patterns all adjusted and ready to go. Again, not motivated.

Also on my list of to do, spending some quality time with Joi's new fitting book. I am tired of FBA and want some more options. I hate playing musical darts. It is tedious. Move it here, move it there! She doesn't do FBA in her book. It is more like pattern scaling. As I have been fitting Victorian bodices I realized that is a bit of what I have been doing. So I am going to give it a try.