Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sleeve Woes

So, something funky is up with my sleeves. Sigh. I've redone them five times but still, they don't hang right, they don't feel right and the elbow dart does not fall in the right place. I don't understand why since I used the exact same pattern and the exact same size for my striped drawstring dress and they worked great. All I can think of is that I somehow majorly messed up when cutting out the sleeves or the crossover bodice piece is somehow affecting the fit. I feel that I need more room in the sleeve head for the sleeves to fit comfortably and I need to move the dart over at least two inches so it hits at my elbow, not the side of my arm!

And, alas, I am out of this fabric besides the odd scrap or two. I think I'll have to sojourn to the Great Empire of Wal-Mart to see if I can scrape up another yard or so of this fabric so I can redo the sleeves. Fingers crossed - Wal-Mart is supposed to be getting rid of their fabrics and I have no idea what they have left as of now. (*weep* *wail* *mourn in sackcloth and ashes*)

As far as the rest of the pattern goes, I am really happy with how the crossover bodice came out. I even like how it looks when I'm wearing it! This version I shortened to half-robe length so I can use it as a blouse or a half-robe, depending on what I'm wearing underneath. Of course, right now I can't wear it because it will not fasten over my belly but as of tomorrow I will have a flatter tummy and this little watermelon will be out instead of in! I had hoped to have this done by now so I could bring it with me to receive visitors in but alas, I don't know if I can wear it with the sleeves this way. I should go ahead and at least finish it, just in case. All that is left to do is to bind off the waist seam and add a fastener.

Finally, thank you all, so much, for your prayers tomorrow! It means so much to me to know that so much prayer will be going up for me and the little one! What a treasure and blessing it is to be part of such a wonderful group of God-fearing, loving people. I am so thankful for each one of you!!

Off to make fudge and almond bark pretzels, for hospital snacking and for two little men to enjoy while their mama is gone for a few days.

A lovely weekend to all!



Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Wool Samples from England

A much anticipated packet arrived in the mail yesterday. It contained a kind, handwritten note and four pieces of wool in various hues of blue. David and I both held our breath as we opened the envelope - anticipation! - and then peered with very great delight at what we found.

Wool! Wonderful wool! Beautiful, lightweight, tightly woven, sheeny-hued wool with labels from Abimelech Hainsworth, England, wool manufacturer.

"Ahh!" said David, holding up a sample to the light. "I think this is it!"

"Ahh!" thought I, "Abimelech. A perfect name for a future son!"

Anyway, lest any of you think we are crazy, we have finally found what appears to be the best source out there for officer grade wool for federal CW uniforms. We heard that Needle and Thread carried Hainsworth broadcloth but the price was a little inhibitive - $125/yard! We thought it would be worth it to at least look into seeing if we could order directly from the manufacturer. We can, and it is cheaper to do so, even with the import fees and shipping. I am so glad and so happy for David. What a find!

Other glad tidings regard my sewing machine which has been out of action for almost two months. I had another, older machine that I had given to my mom and she gave it back to me when she heard what had befallen my new machine. It had some small problems with it but it is as I write this in the shop getting fixed and should be done by tomorrow! In the meantime, David's mom has let me borrow her machine, on which she recently had the tension fixed. Yesterday I was able to finish a shirt for David that had been lying half-pieced on my sewing table since Thanksgiving and today I started a crossover half-robe from the ELC pattern.

This is pretty much a test run for the crossover bodice. I made a crossover regency gown last year and I just didn't like the way it looked on me. I am not sure if this crossover pattern will be more flattering or not. If it looks all right I want to make a few more to use as nursing blouses. I just love the way the shoulders are pleated into the back!
Does anyone have recommendations for good nursing-friendly blouse patterns? I have the Folkwear Gibson Girl blouse pattern that I was thinking of adapting for nursing by moving the opening to center front instead of center back but other than that, I am not sure what to do. Has anyone used the Beatrix Shirtwaist pattern or the Romantic Blouse pattern from Sense and Sensibility? I'm seriously thinking about getting those, since it seems the variations are quite possibly endless!

I'm not sure if I will be able to post again until after the baby comes. I am scheduled for my surgery for 7:15 a.m. this Friday. I'm getting very excited but also nervous! I can't wait to meet my little stranger but at the same time the thought of leaving my other two babies here for a few days causes me to weep. I will miss them so much. I also won't have David with me so much at the hospital since he has to care for the babies most of the time I will be in. So, please pray for peace from the Lord!

May you all have a very blessed week!



Sunday, January 4, 2009

The "Elinor" Dress

I know I have been, half-guiltily, indulging in sewing regency dresses of late. I do have reasons though - for one thing, I don't have many clothes that are nursing friendly anymore and for another thing, the message board at Sense and Sensibility is having a "week in historical dress" coming up soon that I really want to participate in! Regency gowns are some of the most practical period gowns one can wear while doing regular household things in this modern day, I think.

But this will be the last regency gown I'll post about for a while, I promise. I have nothing else to write about right now since every day passes pleasantly like the one before it. Thoughts of the upcoming birth of the baby takes over a very great deal of my mind and it seems I can either focus on my sewing projects - or cooking projects - or cleaning projects - or else I will sit and contemplate the baby for hours on end. Perhaps this is what is referred to as "baby brain"? I am getting very anxious to meet my new one and every day when I wake up I half-expect the Great Event to occur. 12 days to go until my scheduled c-section, unless baby comes before then!

Anyway, this is dress made from the leftover curtain fabric from the boys' new curtains. It is inspired by Elinor's blue dress in Sense and Sensibility. I say inspired by because I only saw the movie twice and I found it very difficult to find any screencaps of Elinor wearing this dress when searching for images of it! The ones I did find were very dark and low resolution so this is the best I could do, with what I remembered about her dress.

The train is longer in the back on this one, like Elinor's, and the skirt back is fuller than the other dresses I recently made since the material is wider and I used a full width panel for the back skirt.

I used the off white lace I mentioned in an earlier post for trimming around the sleeves and neckline, to dress up the gown. It was so very plain when I finished it and I thought it could use a little contrast. I also pinned on a silk bow at the front neck. It is one I made last summer to with an 1860's dress I made but I thought it worked just as well on the regency gown, and it seems very Elinor-ish to me. :)
So, there is my most inexpensive (as of yet!) gown - approximately $4 or so for the fabric and everything else I already had. I was very disappointed I had to sew it up in white thread. I usually only keep cotton thread on hand and have only white and black since I usually can use either or for most projects I do. I couldn't find my black thread ANYWHERE so I had to use the white. It shows, but, oh well. It works. It is a heavier dress than my others so is definitely fall/winter/early spring wear. I think it will be too warm to wear in the summer.

Speaking of summer, it seems winter has vanished tracelessly. For the geese are coming north again, already.