Monday, April 26, 2010

Progress.... and planning....

Well, here's the progress on the Anne dress I never blogged about, really. Just imagine a skirt attached if you want to know what the finished project is supposed to look like.

look at the awesome sleeves!

Aside from that, I've been sewing and planning for my coming blog event (this Saturday! Yay!)

I'm planning other projects too. Here's #3 in Colonial Craziness... the fabric, anyway. As close to real life as I could capture it.

 Then, I saw Nina's post announcing "Make Believe: a Peter Pan blog event". Right at the top of my blog list on my dashboard. And now, I'm also planning some sort of (quick) costume. Don't know what... but check out her post!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Craigdarroch Castle pics, part 1

 In Victoria, BC, we went to two castles, Craigdarroch and Hatley. Hatley Castle was built by the son of the man who built Craigdarroch.

Craigdarroch was not what I expected. When we first drove in, though the street was named "Craigdarroch" I was quite sure we were lost. Why? Because it's smack dab in the middle of a residential area! It's really odd to "behold a castle"--my first, to-- with two normal sized houses right next to it. :)

Though the size seemed closer to a nice Edwardian house than to a castle, something about it seems a tad more regal than houses I've toured with my family. I think it was the stained glass windows and towers.This pic I found doesn't do it the justice.

The "grand entrance" was very small..... but look up, and you'll see this:
 It's difficult to see, but there are many, many stories to this house. And they all have this sort of wood (except darker in real life) on the walls:
don't know what it's called but it's lovely.

 The gold purse on display in the library. A lot of the furnishings and most of the stuff displayed were from other houses (they were sold yearrrsss ago) but this is Mrs. Dunsmuir's actual gold purse.
a book on display.

 lovely glass.

 Guess what this is? HUMAN hair! They used to collect locks of each other's hair and do this. It's kinda gross-looking, I gotta say....

 a bit of history....

This is what I loved most about the house: the Briar Rose stained glass for the tower.  I LOVE Briar Roses. :)

Part two coming soon!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Historically inspired pink-and-white-striped dress

#1 in the Colonial Craziness series! (a few others are coming soon)

The inspiration:
Jenny's "Pink and White striped set" from Historically Dressed.
(her image, by the way)

The finished project:

This dress was based on Simplicity 3723. However, I made changes.
  •  The sleeves are from another pattern in my stash, and shortened. 
  • The skirt is split in the front to reveal a white petticoat (not pictured because the fabric hasn't been washed yet). 
  • In the back, instead of darts, I used the princess-seam back pattern that I drafted. 
  • I made two alternate stomachers, a white one and a pink striped one of the same fabric. The pink striped is pictured.
  • Rather than fastening with a zipper in the back, there are hooks and eyes, and snaps attaching the stomacher and bodice front.
Sorry for the shadows and bad lighting! I just really needed to get the pics taken as soon as possible...otherwise I couldn't post them today. :) You know how that is.


p.s. pics of Craigdarroch and Hatley Castle coming soon.... may take awhile, but they're a' comin'

Thursday, April 15, 2010

lovely dresses....

I know I haven't posted in awhile.... first I was gone in Victoria (so fun! More on that soon) and now I've been sewing coming soon.

Anyways, I thought I'd share a few pics of dresses I like and will sew one day. This isn't the post I was going to write today, but it'll have to do....

First of all, is Victoria's wedding dress from The Young Victoria gorgeous or what? I haven't seen the movie yet.... but it's coming out on DVD tomorrow! Yay!!!!

This one Kate Winslet wears as Marianne in Sense and Sensibility is lovely. It was also worn by Charity Wakefield in the new one.

And Marianne's nightgown. Very ruffle-y and romantic. Low, but that's the advantage of sewing it myself.

Here is the long view of Kitty's dress from the '05 Pride and Prejudice. Too bad she's sulking... otherwise we could see more of it!
And, you may be asking, what about my "18th century" phase? Still going strong! In fact, I have some fabric, but I'm not sure about the design of the dress.

anyways, here's a lovely blue one from "Amazing Grace". Great movie, by the way.

and here's some from "Felicity: an American Girl" that I like. (not the movie necessarily, but the dresses)

My next project will have ruffles at the neck and sleeves like this one.

I like this one two. Very pretty embroidery.

well, that's all for now.


p.s. Grace is having a giveaway!!!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Elaborate hairstyles.....

Well, I've been writing a report about Marie Antoinette (not like I'm saying she's someone I look up to.. but she's someone I think we all can learn something from) and I've been looking at pics of the pouf. The pouf is, according to, "a high headdress with the hair rolled in puffs, worn by women in the late 18th century".

Here's a pic of one. There were much more elaborate styles than this one, but in most of the pics I found there were very low-cut dresses.

Anyways, taking that inspiration with me, I attempted to weave in tons and tons of ribbons and things into my friends hair.

Here are the results. (And please note that it's not historically correct.... just historically inspired :)

Side view. I pulled left over ribbon ends to the side and tied the gold one in a half bow.

I must say, it looked better in real life, but the pics are close.

I think I'm going to buy feathers and some more ribbons and experiment with my sister's hair if she'll let me. I'll be sure to post pics!

By the way, if you haven't checked out Rapunzel's Resource, you really should! She (Elizabeth) has done many hair tutorials I just love... particularly the Authentic 18th Century Style, all of the Miramax's Emma hairstyles, and the Romala Garai hairstyle in the new Emma.

Have a lovely day! God bless!
p.s. this may be my last post for the next few days.... we're going to Victoria, BC; the closest thing to England on this continent! Yay!!!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

18th century bum roll

Ok, you know how I was in an 18th century mood a month ago? Well, it's back!

  I'll be sewing a dress soon, c.1774 ish, based off of this pattern. I wish I could tell you the color, but I don't know if the specific shade will be there in the right fabric. So for now, that's all the description I'll give.

However, I have been sewing a bum roll, inspired by the one here (option w/out flange), here (scroll down),  and here. What's interesting is that it's called both a bum roll and a bustle pad. "Bum roll" almost sounds like a name we made up in the 20th or 21st century. "Bustle pad" sounds incorrect; the only thing close to bustles in that century were called polonaises. So I'll call it a bum roll. It sounds more correct.

Also: it is listed as 16th or 17th century in a few places... yet it looks like they did use bum rolls often later in the 18th century.

So here's my first try. I drafted  my own pattern, and, knowing I'd want to change a few things, I did a mock up out of that old duvet cover Grandma gave me. The mock up was stuffed with scraps of fabric I'll never use.

Somehow the fabric ended up being inside out... but it was a mock up. I didn't waste the time fixing it.

Here it is, after I removed the ties to put on the finished bum roll.

Here's the front veiw. I realized that the sides were too full and thick, so I fixed the pattern. (I'm wearing it over the only petticoat I have at the moment and my 18th century nightgown.... I don't have an accurate petticoat or chemise yet. This is how the bum roll will look under my dress, though.)

The side veiw. Not bad.

Back veiw. Just not.... looks really wide.....


Half an hour later.

I was going to sew it out of some off white fabric. But, I confess: I really liked the colors and patterns on the mock up! So, I sewed it out of the same fabric.

Front veiw.

Side view. I'm almost wondering if it's a bit too full in the back.... but if I decide it is, it can be fixed.

Back veiw. (wow, my sleeves are crooked! They've got an elastic casing in them and are prone to being different lengths :)

Have a nice day!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Candy Cane Dress is finished!!!!!

Here it is. (with my calendar's picture reflecting in the mirror. Guess where it is? Scotland!)

Amelia was going to take pics of me wearing it for me, but I ran out of time to try it on, fix my hair, all of that.... and Amelia was practicing the piano, so I just took pics of it on the hanger. Besides, I wanted to model it on a sunny day... and it's pouring (which isn't bad! I think it's beautiful outside, but rain doesn't suit this dress. Sunshine does :)

The red ribbon is a hair ribbon I found from my stash. I think it came from a chocolate box!

I ended up changing the plans a little.... see, I put on the dress before I bound the sleeves very much, or put the ruffles on them, or put the ruffles on the hem. I kinda grew used to it like that... and when I put the ruffle on the hem a few days later, (1) the strip of fabric was too short to be ruffled very much,  (2) it was a weird length, and (3) I liked the dress better without it!

Over all, this dress worked like a dream... especially the bodice. I used New Look 6824 (I reviewed it here). I love that pattern. All of the patterns I draft, I base off of that one.

However, I should note: I made up the skirt, and used Simplicity 4055 (reviewed here) for the sleeves. I'm wearing this petticoat (scroll down) beneath it.

Here's the bodice back.... I think the zipper turned out rather well, though the pics make it look back. My zippers in the past have been horrible!!!  Any tips are very appreciated.
Well, thanks for letting me share!


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