Looking to the future

Hello Everyone!!

I am back… again.
I have been very quiet on all my social media accounts since the New Year for a couple of reasons, the main reason is because I am expecting baby #2, and morning sickness has not been kind.

Because of this surprise it does change my plans slightly for my Robe a la Francaise series. I am going to continue working on it but I will have to make a new set of stays first, because my current pair doesn’t fit my changing figure.

In light of this, I want to make a set of maternity stays(or jumps). And to go along with the project I want to do a mini(mini)-series on 18th century maternity wear!  I contacted Colonial Williamsburg and they were kind enough to send me an article on 18th century Motherhood.  It has not been very easy to find information on maternity outfits mostly because women made do with what they had.

To quote the article from above: “Few maternity gowns survive in museum collections. Colonial Williamsburg has only one. Women altered their usual clothing in an era when most could not afford large wardrobes or clothing designed specifically for pregnancy. Women’s styles were surprisingly adaptable to changes in size. Many gowns fastened at the front with hidden lacings that could be let out to accommodate the new figure. If the triangular stomacher no longer fit the front of the enlarged gown, the front could be filled in with a large neck handkerchief worn much like a shawl. Petticoats usually fastened at either side with ties, and thus could continue to be worn during pregnancy by loosening the ties. Women merely tied their petticoats up over their abdomens, hiking up the hems at the front as a result. Print sources suggest that no attempt was made to adjust hemlines to make the skirts hang evenly in front.

There are a few garments that I came across on Pinterest that I would love to recreate, but since I am already into my 2nd trimester will just have to pick 1.

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Jacket in chintz, skirt in wool damask 1750-1780

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https://digitaltmuseum.se/011013849830/drakt-av-gul-atlas-med-silkebroderier-1700-talets-mitt-nordiska-museet/media

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Robe Battante 1730c. silk lampas.

http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/dress-and-petticoat-488666

My next video in the robe a la francaise series is the stockings and garters and will hopefully be up in the next 4-6 weeks.  Until then I hope you all have a lovely day!

Cheers,

M

Progress Update and 2016 Sewing!

Hello Readers I hope you are all well.

Sorry for my absence these past  months, it is strange how quickly time flies when you have a babe under a year. In the past 7 months she has cut 8 teeth, is crawling like crazy, and is currently trying to walk. Needless to say, it has been a whirlwind!

Even though I haven’t been posting projects I have been keeping very busy.  This a picture heavy post and update of everything I have been up to!!!

The first project I was working on was a modern dress. If you are following me on Instagram you may have seen some of the in-progress shots. I got the inspiration for it when I came across this dress on Pinterest.  I used McCalls’s 6503 (it was the closest to the inspiration in my pattern stash)  view D as the starting point and completely went to town. I removed the waistband, lengthened the bodice, added small ruffles to the neckline, added a collar, changed the pleated skirt to an A-line and added a belt and pockets! I think the only thing that I kept the same was the upper portion of the bodice and the sleeves. The pattern was a complete overhaul, but I love how it turned out.

The second project(s) was my family’s halloween costumes.  I made an adorable granny costume for my daughter which took less then an hour (yay), a “Scottish” costume for my husband, and a 1840’s dress for myself.  I knew my costume was going to be a lot of work, but I didn’t realise just how much until it was to late to turn back.  It took 3 weeks of nap time and evening sewing to get it to a point where I could wear it(roughly 80% finished).  I still have a lot of things I need to do to finish it, so I didn’t get photos of me in the dress on Halloween.  Thankfully the other 2 costumes came together very quickly, and I took a very cute photo of my husband and daughter together.

The third project was commissions!!! The past 2 years I have made custom christmas stocking, and although they are relatively simple compared to my usual projects it always takes me a while to actually start them (repetitive cutting is my downfall). I only made 6 this year, but I do love how they turned out.

The forth project was finishing my Robe a La francaise embroidered pockets!!! If you are following my youtube channel, you already know that I posted the pocket construction video at the beginning of December. But for those of you who just read my blog here is the link if you are interested.  I started them back in May and the entire embroidery process took a lot longer then I was originally anticipating, but they are finished and I love how they turned out.

The fifth project was Christmas dresses for myself and my daughter! They were supposed to be a simple project, but the fabric and pattern I decided use made it take a lot longer then I originally hoped it would(pattern matching). I found a checked rayon in the $2/m discount bin at my local Fabricland, and although it was a bit sheer in the white check I figured I could line it. The pattern I used for her dress was New Look 6575.  It came together fairly easily with a few changes to the pattern.  I used look A with D’s single collar that I altered to a peter pan collar.  For my dress I used McCall’s 7433 for the bodice, but I changed the skirt to a ¾ circle skirt and shortened the full sleeve to a ¾ sleeve.  I LOVE the detail neckline of my dress and I think I am going to have to try it out again with the original pleated skirt in the near future!

I had a few other side, side projects that I didn’t take photos of as they were in my mending pile. 

 I still have a few uncompleted projects that I need to finish up from 2016 before I can start my 2017 list but keep an on the blog in the next couple months for some news on my 2017 projects!!!

Reshaping my Judy

A couple years ago I bought this display mannequin with the intention of turning it into a proper judy! After a few years of procrastination I decided 2017 was the year to do it!

wp-image-1577224628jpg.jpgThe shell of the mannequin is a hard plaster with a fabric overlay, so it is very sturdy!

I began with taking my current measurements and mapped out my body on the judy. Since this is a display the body type is not the most realistic the waist was quite a bit narrower and higher then mine.

wp-image-119395208jpg.jpgTo lengthen the judy I attached a foam board to the bottom and duct taped it securely. Then attached some poly batting to fill in the waist and bust, and add some length to the shoulders.

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The next step was adding foam around the hips, waist, sides and back of the judy. I had a few mishaps with this step but I was able to remedy it with adding small pieces of leftover foam and poly batting!

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Next I  attached a partial layer of batting to contain any loose bits of foam and for a general smoothing over.

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I then added the final layer of batting for a smoothing layer before finishing with a cotton knit cover.

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I fitted the cover by draping it over the judy and pinned into place.

Once it was fitting how I wanted it to, I removed the cover and sewed up the side and shoulder seams. I finished the bottom of the cover by folding over the bottom of the edge to create a channel for a drawstring.

The last steps were reattaching the wooden neck cap and basting on twill tape guild lines!wp-image-673578859jpg.jpg

 


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I am thrilled with how it turned out and I can’t wait to start on my next project!!

Peach Fest Dress!

Peach Fest is fast approaching in the Okanagan! In light of that I decided to sew Helana her first of many handmade dresses!

I had been eyeing up some adorable peach fabric at work before I went on maternity leave and after having a girl I knew I had to make it into a dress! (and bonus is was 75% off when I got it!)

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Since there was only 1 meter left I had to find a pattern that didn’t have a lot of gathers/poof.  I decided on new look 6062 and cut out a medium of view C.
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The dress came together in a few hours over the space of a couple days and over all I am really happy with 🙂

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I love shaped buttons!

I did make a few changes, the original pattern had the accent band at the bottom of the dress but when I tried that I really didn’t like how it looked, and it made the dress too long for Helana so I moved it a few inches above the hem.

The pattern is very simple, but if I make it again I would add facings for the neck and arm holes instead of using bias tape for a cleaner finish.

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She is going to look adorable in it!

Until next time!

Update 14/08/16

She is still learning to sit 🙂

Project update with a short story

Hello readers!

I promised you all that I would post more as I work on my projects, so without farther ado, enjoy!

I have a few projects on the go right now, but my major ongoing one is my Robe a la Francaise Sewing Adventure(which I started over a year ago)

When I started my sewing adventure series on youtube my plan was to finish a step/item every 2 weeks. It was shortly after I started uploading that my husband found a new job in another town, so we packed up and away we went! I figured that once we were settled in our new home I would resume my vlog, but little did I know a few short weeks after moving we found out I was pregnant(surprise)!  Close to a week after that morning sickness hit and I didn’t stray far from the couch or toilet for the next 3 ½ months which completely halted any sewing I was planning.  Once Fall hit and I was feeling slightly more normal I decided it had been too long, so I got back to work on the series at a slightly slower pace.

I am currently working on the embroidery for the pockets!  After researching the construction I found that most of the pockets were embellished and then sewn together, this is not the case for all of them but I like how clean the interior of the pockets are this way.

My pattern came from the book “Costume Close-Up: Clothing Construction and Pattern, 1750-1790”, but I also incorporated the mirrored look from the American Duchess’ pockets instead of going with the original design.

It has taken a looong time to get to a point where I am satisfied with how the embroidery looks, but as I work through the project my stitches have become much tidier.  I originally hoped to complete the pockets in June and have the new vlog posted by the 1st weekend of July but life had other plans for me 😛  As of today I have almost finished all the flowers on the first pocket and all that’s really left to embroider is all the vines/stems and leaves

 

If you are interested in other pocket embroidery designs I recommend taking a look at this site http://www.vads.ac.uk/collections/POCKETS as there are some beautiful ones there!

Until next time have a lovely day!

ps if you are wanting to see more of my work follow me on instagram! @enchanted.rose.costumes

 

 

Polka dot Shirtwaist dress!

I love retro dresses, and if you look at my style page on Pinterest you would wonder why I don’t have more of them in my wardrobe! They are cute there are so many great styles that work for so many occasions!

So a few weeks ago I decided that I was going to make a new dress for a friend wedding. The dress had to be something that was comfortable and nursing friendly, so after going through the my patterns and hemming and hawing for a few days I decided to give Gertie’s shirtwaist dress from her first book a try. Once I had the pattern I dove into my fabric stash and away I went!

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Photo credit: Gertie’s blog for Better Sewing

Because I wanted the dress to be versatile enough for a semi formal or casual setting I chose a classic black polka dot cotton fabric(you can never go wrong with a black and white polka dot😉).

After choosing my size and tracing the pattern from the book, I was ready to go!

I made a few alterations to the original pattern for a better fit, starting with adding an inch to the bodice length(my usual alteration because of my height), added some room to the bust, taking in the shoulder length and changing the collar shape. Usually at this point I would make a quick mock up to test the alterations but because I was feeling a little overconfident and my baby girl only lets me have a limited amount of time to sew, I decided to go ahead without it(bad idea, never skip the mock up!)

The pattern called for just over 3½  meters of fabric and I didn’t quiet have enough so I pinned my largest pattern pieces first and worked my way towards the least important pieces before cutting and luckily I was able to get away with piecing together only 2 pieces in the end, and using a different fabric for the pockets.

With the cutting finished, I moved on to binding my visible raw edges with a Hong king finish so I wouldn’t have to worry about the fabric fraying. This process took a while, but I love the clean lines that comes from this finish and it also makes the interior of a garment look fabulous!

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Dress interior.

I started with sewing the pleats and darts in the front bodice and skirt pieces, then with those pieces sewn together got to work on the bound button holes(for those of you who don’t know, bound buttons holes are sewn at the beginning of a project, regular button holes are sewn at the end). I LOVE the look of bound button holes, but they are very labour intensive and you have to be meticulous with your stitches or they can come out crooked or oddly shaped.  If you are on a time crunch I would recommend just sticking with plain button holes.

The next step was sewing the elastic shirring in the back of the dress, with 6 rows complete it was time to attach the yoke to the back bodice. It was at this point that I started having trouble with the pattern.  After attaching the yoke I realised that the back of the dress was waaaaaay to poofy. So I removed the yoke cut off 1″ of the back of the bodice and sewed it back together (it was a bit better but still a bit to much poof).

After removing the inch in the back I realised I shouldn’t have added the length to the pattern, but it was too late to change it now as I had already finished the button holes in the front.

Next I sewed the pockets in place with a French seam, and then sewed the front and back of the dress together.  With the body of the dress complete I moved onto the sleeves, which came together very easily 😄

The trickiest part of the dress at this point turned out to be the collar. The original pattern had a pointed collar in 2 pieces, and I decided to change it to a rounded one that was connected. I decided the easiest way to do this was to drape a collar, this way I could get the right proportion to the dress.

With my collar drape done I interfaced the under collar and attached it to the dress, then sewed the facing and upper collar in to finish it off.

The last steps of the dress was finishing the hem and buttons! If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook  you know that I posted a few buttons choices and asked for your favourite.

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Buttons buttons buttons!

While the purple and teal were popular, the clear winner was

drumroll…

The Fuchsia!

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♥ Thread detail ♥

The original patterned asked for a small turned hem, I wanted mine to have a bit of structure so I added 3″ horsehair crin and finished it with an invisible hem and hand stitching at the facing.

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Overall I really like the pattern and I will definitely use it again in the future! There are a few changes I would have made to it if I had done a mock up first, but I am pretty happy with how the dress turned out 🙂

I’ll post photos of me wearing the dress in a few days, until then have a lovely day!

 

Robe a la Francaise Sewing Adventure

Hello Everyone!  One of my current projects is a robe a la francaise along with all the undergarments and accessories that go with it.

As of right now I have completed:

The Chemise/Shift

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The Stays

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The Pocket Hoops

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A Shaped Petticoat

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Pockets

 

The next items on my list are:

Stocking and garters

Fichu

Hair piece, Cap, or Hat

The Skirt

The Robe with engageantes

I am going to try and post more as I work on the projects instead of posting everything when I upload my youtube videos.