Saturday, 22 September 2012

The Bazinga shirt customization

I saw this shirt on Amazon and had to have it. (Granted, the soft kitty one was also tempting.) But I don’t like wearing regular T-shirts, so I changed it into a girly fitted shirt with puffy sleeves.
Doing so wasn’t facilitated by the fact that the original shirt was completely lop-sided, almost a parallellogram. I took out the sleeves, cut several cm off the sides of the shirt, and shortened it. Then I sewed the sleeves back into the now smaller arm holes, without changing the size of the sleeves. I gathered them both at the shoulder and in the middle of the arm band, to make them puffy.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Blackworked coif – part 2

After finishing the embroidery for my coif (see part 1), I sewed on spangles. Then, I cut the embroidered piece out, added matching lace and lined the coif with another layer of linen. I folded the outside over the inside to create a tunnel for the drawstring at the back of the neck, and hand-sewed the tunnel in place. Then, I finished the top of the coif by whip-stitching from the front towards the back, and gathering the part that sits on the crown when the coif is worn.



Tuesday, 21 August 2012

New fabrics

This year I went to the multi-period Festival of History at Kelmarsh Hall, UK, for the first time. Unfortunately it started raining on Friday evening and didn’t stop until the next morning, which led to the origination of an actual river on the grounds, and the cancellation of the event. But I did manage to do some shopping!

Monday, 20 August 2012

One-person living history

Last month I wore my 1940s outfit to my voluntary work in a nostalgic shop. Usually the shop assistants wear modern clothes, but this way, I think there’s more of a ‘time travel’ effect for those who visit! I got very nice reactions, too.

Trying on the inventory...

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Two pairs of 1930s knickers

Here are two pairs of knickers which I made to wear under my 1940s outfit for my first World War II event. I used thin cotton fabric in quite bright pink. It really wasn’t the colour I was looking for, but this fabric was the only suitable one I could find (I didn’t want to use silk as cotton seemed more suitable for wartime undies). So I was chuffed when I saw exactly this colour on an image from the period!  > > >

The first pair of knickers was made using Vera Venus’s free circular knickers pattern.
I drafted the pattern according to the instructions, though I wondered whether I shouldn’t make the waist a bit larger so it wouldn’t fit too tightly. It’s surprising how much wider the waistline is once cut from the fabric, though! The rest of the pattern was also quite straightforward. I made the closure in the placket using a snap fastener and some hooks and worked loops.

For the second pair, I used a circular drawers pattern from A Complete Course In Dressmaking In Twelve Lessons by Isabel de Nyse Conover (1921). Though also called ‘circular’, this pattern doesn’t require cutting a full circle, so it takes up less fabric. As seems usual for older patterns though, it’s more of a guideline – drafting the legs is described in some detail, but no explanation is given as to how to draft the belt! Luckily, it wasn’t hard to improvise. The fact that facings are used to cover the separate legs suggests that the crotch is meant to be left open. I didn’t want that, so I omitted the facings and simply sewed the trouser legs together. I made a back closure with two hooks and worked loops.

Arm appears courtesy of my boyfriend ;).

Some detail photos of knickers 1:

And some of knickers 2:

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

1920s evening dress

Last Sunday I went to a ‘Roaring Twenties & Swinging Thirties’ party and since I only had a 1920s day dress and coat, but nothing fit for evening wear, I made a dress out of a mystery fabric and silk voile. I bought the mystery fabric for this purpose years ago but since 1920s events are rare, hadn’t had a reason to make the dress – until now. Here’s the result!

Monday, 30 April 2012

Blackworked coif – part 1

I’ve been working on a blackwork embroidered coif, and the embroidery part is now finished! Though I cannot say that embroidering the same two flowers over and over again was enervating (which is why I only did one of each per day most of the time – yes, this project has been in progress for a while!), I’m sure once constructed, with added spangles and matching lace, it will look lovely.

Monday, 9 April 2012

1940s skirt

The first item for my 1940s outfit is finished!

I ordered original Simplicity patterns for my blouse and skirt (and one day, a matching jacket) from Etsy, and they arrived quickly. It felt quite special to have an actual pattern from the 1940s in my hands, though I hardly dared touch it for fear it might tear! I scanned the instructions of the skirt pattern and didn’t use the original, since it was quite frail. Also, I traced the pattern pieces and didn’t pin the originals to my fabric.
The blouse pattern I will be using is from 1945 and the skirt pattern is from 1943. Interestingly, the former is unprinted, and the latter printed, although it is older. However, I didn’t find it difficult to understand what the holes in the unprinted pattern meant, so working with it didn’t pose any problems.

I followed the instructions exactly. The mock-up I made of the size 14 pattern fit me, but I added three inches in width nonetheless, because the pattern was probably intended to be loose-fitting, apart from the waistband, which I obviously made to my size. The only part I found difficult was the ‘fly’ part of the side closure. I just couldn’t work out what the pictures indicated. But it worked out in the end, luckily my sewing-experienced mum understood ;).

The hem was finished using twill tape and slip-stitch, as per the instructions. I did that because I wanted this skirt to be properly 1940s-style, but I would use the simpler hemming stitch next time!

My outfit is to be worn in June; the other things to make are a brassiere, suspender belt, knickers, cardigan, turban, and the blouse mentioned above.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Welcome to my blog!

Until a little while ago I thought I’d never start a blog because there were so many already – who’d need mine? But I used to have a website and have started to miss a place where I can post things, share things and give my opinion ;). Besides that, I have been making historical clothing for a few years now, and though I have posted my knitted items on Ravelry, I’d like a place to show my fabric creations as well!

I am currently working on a complete 1940s outfit, so my next post will be about my progress with that.