Monday, 28 June 2010

This blog is on vacation

Four weeks off work and it feels wonderful. I’m now taking son, cats and lots of fabric to the summerhouse in the archipelago outside Stockholm for two weeks. After that we may go to Paris. Internet attendance will be spotty. I hope you’ll have a great July!

Just because it’s much more fun with pics in a journal and because I just had one sent to me, I thought I make a little post about the importance of proper underwear. You may remember a post about my pierrot and how much better it looked with well-fitted stays and a bum roll. Now I can show you the difference between no pocket hoops and with pocket hoops.

This is my velvet wrapping gown worn over stays, but no pocket hoops.

This is the same gown, still worn over stays, but now with the pocket hoops underneath. I think it looks so much better- the gown come “alive” somehow, don’t you think?

(Photo taken by MetalMarianne, though I have fiddled a little with the contrasts)

Thursday, 24 June 2010

17th century smock

I’ve been mulling of the 1660’s smock in Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion 4. As the original is believed to have belonged to Catherine of Braganza, it’s lavishly decorated with cutwork and other embellishments. I’m not a queen, however, and I don’t aim to make clothes that luxurious, so I want a plain smock for my 17th century gown. However, the cut is exactly what I want. It has an oval neckline, which would fit well under a gown from the period and it doesn’t have the usual triangular gores, so I think it will be fun to sew it as well. I haven’t seen any smock made after this pattern, though I’m sure it exists. Has anyone seen one?


A. The body of the smock. The broken line indicate that its folded. The oval is the neckline, with a split down the front.
B. A strip of cutwork (in the original) about 8 mm wide. You can’t see it, as it’s tiny, but it’s supposed to be folded too, at the top.
C. Sleeve. The broken line indicate that it’s folded. Gathered and sewn to B until the dot. In the original the end of the sleeve is cartidge pleated into a cuff.
D. A rectangular piece of fabric that has the same function as a triangular gore. The top is cartidge pleated and sewn to the bottom of B.
E. Underarm gusset
F. Neckband. It’s slightly shorter than the width of the neckline, so that has to be eased to the neckband.

Note that I haven’t bothered to make the measurements correct, this is just a diagram of the shape of the pattern pieces and where they will connect with each other. I hope it’s understandable. Yell if you want me to explain more.

I have got some linen gauze that is very sheer, whish I think will look quite lovely. I’m not going to have a cuff and instead fold up and pin the smock sleeve to the gown’s sleeve. At first I planned to omit any embellishment, but I’ve found some lace made out of linen thread that my grandmotehr have made. It’s about 1cm wide, so I think I will use that for pattern piece B. It’s not made from a 17th century pattern, but it’s handmade and I always try to incorporate something from my grandmoter in everything I sew. Usually that may mean just the thread (I inherited boxfulls) but I’m always happy to find use of something else from her stash. It’s gong to be completely hand-sewn, purely for practical purposes. I use my machine to attach pattern pieces and then finish everything else by hand, but this fabric is so sheer, that it will be more of a hassle to try to use tha machine and to make it look good, than doing it all by hand. Not weighing much and also washable, makes it a perfect project for me to drag around this summer and sew whereever I want.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Oh stupidity!

The silk has arrived and it's lovely. Gorgeous. The striped taffeta has exactly the colours I hoped it would have. It also have 8 inch wide stripes. 8 inches! And is only my own fault for not noticing- I read 8 centimetres. Why I don't know, as I spent quite some time re-counting inches and years to centimetres and metres so I would order that right lengths. So I knew perfectly well that all measurements was in inches and yards and I have only myself to blame.

I think its salvage as the stripes are so wide- I could "cut and paste", but not for a robe battante. I'm not that crazy. But I think it would be prefectly possible to do a jacket and a petticoat out of it. That wasn't exactly what I was planning to do and the only "little jacket" I have plans for has it's fabric already, and I won't change that. So another little jacket? One can't have too many I suppose, but I've no idea what kind of model to do.

Is it too much of me to once again ask for ideas? I know I just did for the wool cape...

Saturday, 19 June 2010


All the silk I have ordered are on its way to me! Cloudy grey taffeta for Janne’s banyan. It will be lined with pearl grey satin and will, in fact, be reversible, like this one:

Of course there will be a night-cap too, and a matching waistcoat, probably in the taffeta. I have also ordered striped taffeta in grey and white to make a robe battante for me. We will be a very colour-coordinated couple in the 18th century mornings. I really love the way the striped are matched in this picture, so I will try to get that.

And, despite me saying that I shouldn’t just buy fabric until I’m going to need it, I’ve ordered some lovely shot taffeta in blue and green. I’m not going to tell you what I want to do with that, not until that project is actually started…

Talking about projects, I have a little too may, I know that. The problem is that I haven’t given up on any of them, but I feel I do need to finish a little more of them. Moving un-earthed the candy-pink taffeta which I had quite forgotten about, so I think I shall try to finish that first. The petticoat is all but done apart from one row of green and the mock-up for the jacket is pretty much finished, so that really shouldn’t take so much time.

What I would finish first, if I only could, are my stays. I STILL haven’t found the left-over fabric for the shoulder straps. It’s very annoying! I promise, it will be in the very last box I unpack! Probably along my indoor slipper, shich I haven’t found yet either.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

What to do with this?

Years ago I made a red cape that was wearable, but that I never felt quite pleased with.

Now I have been given a brown cape that is much nicer, so I suddenly have one cape too many. And it was just the cape I wasn't pleased with, not the wool and its lovely red colour, I know have quite a loit of wool thta can be wade into something else. The question is, what? A jacket of some sort, but I feel a need of ideas on what shape and century its going to be. Any ideas?
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