Saturday, February 27, 2010

stays + corsets

When it comes to historical undergarments, the first thing that comes to mind is a corset/stays. If you're really wanting to be "historically correct" then your must have the proper undergarments so that your bodice has the proper shape.

A few years from now, when I am more experienced, I would like to sew a pair of stays using this pattern:
Butterick's B4254. This looks like an excellent pattern... but I don't think I'm ready yet :(

As for corsets, I really like the one that Anna at Ageless Apparel bought on Ebay (here at this post.)

Isn't it sad that Little Women week is over? I think if we hadn't been traveling, I would have written an article or two.... but the Olympics will only be here once or twice in my life, and I might not get to go the second time it's on our continent; so there are no regrets :) (I downloaded our pics from the trip, and I'm going to post them eventually, by the way.)

Have a nice day!


p.s. I'm thinking about "hosting" an event..... but I haven't decided what sort. I might do a poll, or something.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


 The inspiration:

 My dress:

(here's a pic before I finished the neckline... I have a shortage of time, so I got it from a previous post.)

There were a lot of things I realize I should have done with this dress.
1) I should have gathered the skirt with a large machine stitch, rather than pleats.
2) I should have made the sleeves wider.
3) I should have done the undersleeves (but I didn't once I realized the sleeves were to narrow )
4) I should have made the plaid go vertical... however, I was afraid I would run out of fabric. I have an extra yard at least.
5) I should have made it fasten with buttons in the front, but I wasn't thinking about that when I cut the fabric. I made buttons to just sew on the front, but then with the necklace I have, which is bigger than Jo's, the buttons would have been competing and wouldn't look very nice.
6) the bodice is an inch too long, I have decided. 

I will go back and fix some of those things.... but later :)

This dress has always been a favorite... ever since I started thinking about Little Women's costumes, anyways :)

My favorite quote from the book about this ball scene is:

"Jo's nineteen hairpins all seemed stuck straight into her head, which was not exactly comfortable, but, dear me, let us be elegant or die!"

According to the book, I believe the dresses Jo and Meg wore to the party were "poplins".... made of poplin fabric?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The "inexpensive fantasy dress"

 NOTE: I wrote this article a week ago, before I had drafted the pattern or basted the mock-up. Updates coming soon.

This dress, so far, is merely a dream in my head.... I have yet to draft the pattern, or even buy the fabric! However, I've drawn sketches, calculated costs, and thought up how the pattern should be, and what the measurements should be. I've also finished my other projects.... almost! Just some hemming to be done.....
Anyways, here's the inspiration:
The blue dress that (I think) actress Cate Blanchett is wearing in the new "Robin Hood" (the movie doesn't look very interesting, I must say.... and very gory, too.) However, this picture got the wheels in my mind turning. 
I saw some fabric at Walmart last time I went (and the time before that too) that looked pretty close to this fabric...... and, it was $1.50 a yard. At any rate, at that price, who cares whether or not it's the right shade of blue!!!
Here's my best sketch so far:

(forgive the red pen outlining it. I just grabbed the closest drawing utensil around, and it happened to be a red calligraphy pen.)
By the way, I'm going to sew a longer, sleeveless version of my Regency dress bodice to wear underneath.... but I'm sure you knew I wouldn't wear anything THAT low!
I'm also going to wear a belt I have over it. I don't think I'll do that interesting draping at the sleeves, though.... I don't know how to do it, and I don't like it very much. 
As for the hem line, I think it will be mid calf or so... I can't picture any heroine who must climb trees and possibly go to battle wearing a full length skirt. Not only that, but if it's a shorter length, it will show off my favorite pair of boots! :) 
I haven't gone into detail about the measurements of the pattern, but don't worry, I am thinking about the technical side of this. I think I'll just make a pattern for the six-panel skirt based on the bodice of New Look 6824, a pattern I already own, then attach the two (but not before adding a few inches to make sure it's not too small.) I'll do a test-run with this fabric. It's a set of sheets and pillow cases my grandma gave me (she knows that I love getting any type of fabric... even if it's an old, 40-year-old set of sheets :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Little Women fashion event!!!

It's starting the day after tomorrow....

Colonial (more or less) foods

I'm very fond of the 18th century (the 1700s). Particularly, our country's fight for independence; for freedom. Not only the war, but what they wore, their mannerisms, how they decorated their houses, and what foods they ate.

So it's no surprise I like the American Girl "Felicity" series, set 1774-1775. The story line is rather ridiculous in several parts, but then it is set from a 10 year old's point of view. I don't actually like the story that much... but the pictures of the clothing, and the section in the back called "A Peek into the Past" is really interesting.

The movie also had amazing costumes. I'm surprised they had enough money to make the costumes.... almost all of them are from the books. The hairstyles aren't correct, but the setting looks pretty realistic. The acting is slightly fake-ish (you can tell the young actresses had very little experience) but the music is lovely, and when they go to Lord and Lady Templeton's Christmas Eve ball, the dancing is beautiful (particularly the Minuet).

I intend to do a costume study as soon as Dad and I figure out how to take pics using the software I have.

ANYways, I've been cooking recipes from Felicity's Cooking Studio.
With frozen raspberries, I made Raspberry Flummery.
I think this isn't an authentic recipe, actually.

There's a great deal of sugar, so I'm cutting back next time. I also thought I hadn't added enough cornstarch, so I added more....and I think it turned out more like a jam once chilled. Which is good, because Mom didn't want to make more jam this weekend (she's had to make a lot lately... it's really good jam!)

And then I made spiced nuts. I should have dipped the nuts in the egg whites, then in the sugar/spice mix individually.... but I didn't want to get egg bacteria all over my hands. So, glops of egg white came along with the nuts that I scooped out of the egg white bowl, and made clumps of sugar/spice mix. I tried to put as much of the glops on the nuts as I could.... so more than half of the nuts are sugar/spice clumps now.
oh, well...... I'll do better next time. :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Previous Project, a Regency Dress, and a Petticoat

I know I haven't been posting about sewing lately... that's because I've been busy actually sewing something! Over the weekend, I made a regency dress, inspired by "Emma" (I had just recently finished the last episode, and was feeling very Jane Austen-ish). So, I ran upstairs (after cleaning up the dishes from breakfast) and looked through my fabric supply.

(sorry this is crooked. I fixed it in Picasa, but I'm not sure it worked....)

Something's wrong with the back drawstring in this pic... I promise I'll install snaps in the back soon.

The dress can also be worn with this red sash made of red taffeta.(The skirt looks huge in this pic! If I remember correctly, that's because the wind was blowing pretty hard.)

I used Simplicity 4055, a pattern I already had on hand; view B bodice, a skirt I made up, and view A sleeves.

I need to re-do the sleeves.... but not right now! Maybe sometime this summer when I don't have a lot to do.

Over all, I am quite happy with how it turned out. It was a relatively quick project, and I only had to seam rip once (WOW!) The dress is very comfortable, too.


My aunt taught me about patterns during a project we made with this pattern a few years ago. My sister is modeling it for me as I can no longer fit into it. (It's rather big on her still.... I sewed it when I was 11 or 12, and she's almost 10)
 That shade of blue becomes her, doesn't it? Brings out her eyes :)

We used bodice A.....
and used a combination of A's sleeves, and the bottom part of B's sleeves. It was Auntie's idea :)

It fastens with hooks and eyes in the back (it was supposed to be buttons and buttonholes, but those are pretty hard to do, and time consuming.)
Thank you, auntie! (and Amelia for modeling it)

I have also been sewing a petticoat. I was going to buy a whole bunch of cotton for petticoats and shifts and stuff..... but then I decided I wanted to make that inexpensive fantasy outfit instead.(I'm posting about it soon....)
I still need some petticoats.... so I pulled out this striped fabric that my grandma bought for me at a garage sale a few years ago.

Originally, I was going to make a nightgown.... but since I need a petticoat, I decided to make one instead (after all, I don't really need another nightgown :)
I did the waistband differently than I normally do.  I gathered the skirt with a long machine stitch, and sewed the skirt and the waistband together. Then I rolled the other edge of the waistband back a half inch, ironed it, and slip stitched it over the waistband and skirt seam.

It doesn't have as much bulk as the way I used to do things.... though certainly not as easy. I'll probably do a tutorial thingy on it, complete with pics, so that you understand what I'm saying.
I hand sewed two buttons on, and two button holes to fasten it.

It was quite a fun process..... I intend to make more like this.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Movies to fall in love with... part two

6. Ever After (1998)
     This is a more realistic Cinderella... with Leonardo DaVinci as the fairy godmother! Drew Barrymore was so cute as Danielle

          7. Cranford (BBC, 2008)
Cranford... a small town completely run by women (all old maids or widows). What will happen to them when the railway comes?
This was a very funny miniseries.... and a great deal of it was true. Cranford is based on three novels by Elizabeth Gaskell (who also wrote Wives and Daughters, and North and South). She based them on what happened in the small town Knutsford, where she visited her aunts several times a year. So, yes; there was actually, in real life, a cow that wore gray flannel pjs!

          8. Fireproof
 This was an awesome movie too. Can't wait for "Courageous", the next movie from Sherwood Pictures. It'll be in theaters in 2011, and I think they're filming it this spring, actually.

               9. Little Women (1994)
  You've heard a lot about this one lately two. I liked this adaptation very much (especially the costumes).... but, as Jo March pointed out on her blog, Scraps from My Workbasket, Jo always sulks when she does something wrong. She also claims that she "rather craves violence". Louisa May Alcott would be furious if she saw that! The adapter (not sure if that's the correct term....) made that up, and he/she shouldn't have! In doing so, they re-scetched Jo's charectar.... something a movie should never do.
All in all, though, it's a very good movie.

          10. Sense and Sensibility (1998)

Well, I already did a post about this one here.
As I said, I love this adaptation... and it's my fave Jane Austen novel, too.


As I stated last time, I know my standards might be slightly different than yours when it comes to entertainment, but I promise you I am not suggesting anything terrible. :) Thanks!

Happy President's Day!!!!!


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To my family, friends, and faithful followers. Love y'all!!!!


I painted my valentines this year, like I did the year before last year. I'm going to glue or tape a heart of construction paper on the to write a message and a to/from.
Mom got some doilies from the Dollar Store for me, and I painted them two different ways. Which color looks better?

With  a blue background:

With a gold/yellow background:
Vote on my sidebar!
Happy Valentine's Day!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Thoughts on part three of Emma... and conclusion.

Sorry I delayed this so long!

The proposal compared to the Gwyneth Paltrow version was awful. My mom and I didn't know it was a proposal until after the proposal! Mr. Knightley's facial expressions were the reason behind this, I think. I translated how he moved his face as grimaces. He didn't look in love, or happy at all, whereas he seemed very much in love in earlier scenes. Very disappointing. Also, the version we watched is different than this video I'm embedding. They cut out the happy couple explaining to each other their actions... therefore, the PBS version we have recorded feels butchered.

Also, one line Emma said seemed (to me) to indicate that she hadn't changed; that her character hadn't developed. After Harriet revealed that she was "in love" with Mr. Knightley, Emma shooed her out the door rudely and said after Harriet had left: "I wish to God I hadn't meet her." I CANNOT BELEIVE  they added that when she had seemed to change! It ruined everything for me.

Until Harriet married Mr. Martin. I LOVED that scene, as I'm very fond of Mr. Martin (that's one reason I dislike Emma in the beginning). Harriet looked so happy, and soooo CUTE!
And then, I thought the scene where Emma bursts in and says "You know I love you, and I always will; but we can never marry! That is all." was very humorous.

And the scene of their honeymoon to the seaside made up for a bad proposal scene. :) The scenery was gorgeous!

Conclusion on the whole "Emma" miniseries: loved it! Over all, it was well done.
Particularly the Emma/Knightley dance:

That is the best Austen adaptation dance I've ever seen! It captured Knightley realizing he loves her, Emma unconciouly realizing she loves him, and everyone--save the Eltons-- is happy for them. Everyone seems to realize it but her! And she claims to have "great insight into the human heart"...... :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Movies to fall in love with... part one

I know my standards might be slightly different than yours when it comes to entertainment, but I promise you I am not suggesting anything terrible, like.... I don't know, "Nine"?

         1. One Night with the King

     Don't let the title scare you away! This is one of my favorites. One Night with the King is the story of Hadassah, known to most of us as Esther.The casting, costumes, sets, and locations are all perfect! Chip at Chipmunk's Corner ( plans to do a costume study on this movie! Yay!

          2.  Emma BBC
     You've heard a lot about this one. :)

           3. Emma (1996)
     This one is very funny! Though it isn't as accurate to the book as the BBC's is, it's good for short attention spans (i.e. me, when I was first starting my obsession with Jane Austen :) Even my sister, the one who likes computer games, sports, and Christian pop music, laughs at almost everything  that is said in this movie.

           4. Pride and Predejude (2005)
    You've probably seen this one already... but I had to include it. The whole thing was done beautifully.... though if you are new to the story and/or Regency England, you'll have to watch it a few times before you understand what they're a talking about. (I should know. I myself was confused dreadfully at first) :)

               5. Miss Potter
     I can honestly say it is postively charming, from start to finish. Set in very early Edwardian England (1902, I think) this is the tale of The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Well, actually, it is the tale of Miss Beatrix Potter, the author of the best-selling children's books, who falls in love with her publisher, Mr. Norman Warn. (That is all I shall say..... for I am sure I will give it all away if I say more.)

    Part two coming soon!

    p.s. my hem is crooked on my Project Valentine's Day dress. So, no pics.... yet. Sorry! (again!)


    Related Posts with Thumbnails