Thursday, April 2, 2015

Historical Sew Monthly Challenge #3: Stashbusting

In truth, I feel as though I've cheated on this one. My cotton muslin can hardly be considered a 'stashed' item, but I reallllllyyy needed this chemise, and I had all the stuff for it. It is made specifically to go underneath a new dress :)

Here it is!

I was a little disappointed with my drafting skills, because the armholes turned out way too big. So I sewed in the armhole that I did want, and cut out the excess. It doesn't look all that great, but when it's on you can't tell.

The above was my attempt to make something that looked 'yoked', but was too lazy to mess with the shape. Even though I can pull the whole thing over my head, I still button and unbutton it just for the satisfaction of knowing I handsewed those buttonholes.

Below is the back excess, achieved by slashing the chemise down to just below waist level and then sewing the back together again, and then gathering the rest into a band. I think the technique was a little lost by the fact the it had to go over my shoulders, so it needed to be wide, but it was still cool to try.

What the item is: A Mid-Victorian chemise 
The Challenge: Stashbusting.
Fabric: 3 yards of cotton muslin
Stashed for how long?: Around 6 months
Pattern: Instructions from the Sewing Academy, drafted myself
Year: 1850-1870
Notions: Thread, bone buttons
How historically accurate is it?: I'm gonna say 70%; historical techniques, but the shape of the front doesn't match up with originals. Here is what a chemise with a yoke and buttons down the front usually look like:

Hours to complete: Around 8? I handsewed the gathers, and some of the funky underarm bits.
First worn: 4/1/15, for pictures
Total cost: To buy the stuff today, probably $6?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Civil War Ball, 2015

Do you happen to remember the Civil War ball last year? Eh, it was a short post. It needed more photos. So, since I skimped last year, here are tons of photos from this year!
Of course, for each ball I can't go without doing something new to each dress. This year, it was mostly little constructive stuff on my own red dress, but Camille's needed more fancy stuff. Here is what it looked like from last year (notice the hoop rungs):
Still looking very pretty, but she wanted a little more....stuff. Here it is from this year (notice the lovely un-rungs, due to only one petticoat vs. none):
It's driving me crazy; it was too late to fix that weird bubbling-thingy on the one side, and I have no idea how to fix it without cutting out an entire other piece.

Not terribly different, but she really wanted a berthe (the pointy collar). It also needed to be lengthened this year, and it was wayyyyy too tight. So she did a wonderful job doing a blind-stitched hem, and I sewed a strip down the back so it didn't need to be laced up all the way.

Here is a better idea of what the color looks like in person (and that pretty black trim)
The nifty, invisible berthe closure:

I also rotated both sleeves on both dresses this year, so we could actually raise our arms up. It worked on mine, it was a flop on Camille's because I didn't rotate it far enough.

And...drumroll please.....dancing pictures!

Spanish Waltz...

Of course, I couldn't miss the photo of Abraham Lincoln...

And just because I have very few pictures of my awesome red dress...

I was complimented a lot at the ball by the way I twirl...which is an odd compliment, but it was all due to the dress.