Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Great Pre-Event Sewing Spree

After taking the month of July off from reenacting, with the exception of a small (and rather disjointed) living history last weekend, we are gearing up for our fall season - always a particularly busy one. Fall is a great time to have events. I have fond memories of crisp autumn mornings, walking in leather boots on leaf-carpeted paths, a warm wool shawl pulled tight against my shoulders, enjoying the brisk air, the smell of wood smoke and the low murmur of conversation. Dappled sunshine falling through half-bare tree limbs, catching the gold and crimson and warm browns of changing foliage. Birds aloft on their way to southern climates, leaving me, as always, wondrous and pondering at being left behind, and the sheer lowly state of our existence and our perspective from always dwelling on the earth. Oh yes, August thru October are grand months for reenactments although one never knows quite what to expect, weather-wise. 100 degrees? Or 60?

August is most usually a very hot month. Sometimes not quite so hot as June reenactments but hot nevertheless. Because of that I decided to make us some more warm weather items to help us be cool and comfortable during these last weeks of summer. Our next event is two weeks away and I've been working on some light shirts for David, light cotton short sleeve tunics for the boys and a wrapper for me. The wrapper can be worn with or without a corset - and in very hot weather, it is nice to not *have* to wear a corset. It may not be the most *proper* garment to wear in mixed company but after experiencing a week-long rash on my torso from sweating in my corset a whole weekend back in June, it's nice to have an option to not wear a corset if needed.

Malachi needs nothing, but I feel bad leaving him out of my sewing plans. I'm tentatively planning a short sleeve gown with baste-in long undersleeves made of the same fabric so he can wear the gown when it gets cooler out too. I have a pretty black and white print that looks gray from any distance that will look well on him, I think.

So far I've finished David's shirts for our next event. One is a lightweight (almost sheer) cotton with a blue stripe. The other is the dark blue cotton spotted print I've used for the boys tunics and a dress for Malachi. The pattern is a new favorite; the Laughing Moon Mens Victorian Shirt pattern. With some tweaking to make it more appropriate for the 1860's, it's a great pattern. The fit is good, the sizing true and the result is a very sturdy garment. Every seam is completely finished. The shirts I made David are from the "work shirt" option. These shirts have an attached collar made of the same fabric as the shirt. There are other options in the pattern to create a detchable collar with a collar stand that buttons to the shirt so you can change them out when they are soiled. The pattern also contains an option for a pleated-front shirt which is next on my list of shirts for David. . .he has wanted one for years.

I have the boys plaid cotton out and waiting to be cut into. I hope to get a good chunk of work done on them today, if not finish them completely. Then it is on to my wrapper which will be in an olive green, cream and brown stripe. After seeing the beautiful wrapper Mrs. G at (sorry, blogger is not letting me make links properly right now) just made for her daughter, I am thinking of leaving my wrapper open in front below the waist and making a decorative petticoat to wear under it. We'll see. I think the white petticoat and possibly white undersleeves and, of course, a white collar, would really help soften the somewhat harsh effect of the striped cotton.

And in closing, I'm sorry I have not posted much at all lately - I sometimes get interested in other things and blogging becomes a chore rather than a delight. :P This week I've been working on finishing our bathroom (needs paint, which I'll do this afternoon) and getting Davids shirts done. And making pasta sauce. And canning tomatoes. And rearranging our computer/sewing room. I got rid of a big shelf and gave it to the boys to use for their toys (much handier for them than a basket to keep everything piled in) and decluttered a lot.

And my lovely little sewing companion;

I will try to get pictures of my red and cream 30's dress this weekend. I've had it done for almost two weeks and have worn it several times already - definitely a new favorite!



  1. What a sweet sewing space, Sarah! I love it!

    I think my dad would love a new striped shirt! I will have to keep thinking on that. The picture of your sweet kitten on the ironing board is familiar too :) That is a favorite spot of my cats also!

    Looking forward to seeing the rest of your projects soon!


  2. It sounds like you are a busy woman! I can't wait to see how all of your projects turn out. By the way, that is possibly one of the most beautiful cats I have ever seen! What kind is she/he? Or is she just a lovely mix breed?

  3. Bethany, I'm glad to know my kitty isn't odd for having a particular affection for the top of the ironing board! He loves being up there. He doesn't really like to share with the garments I have to press. :P

    Jenni, I am not sure what kind of breed he is. He along with 4 sisters were abandoned at our church last summer. His sisters were calicos but he was almost pure white at the time so he struck me very much. We decided to adopt him. He was so little I had to feed him with a dropper for a little while. I never saw his parents so I do not know what they looked like. He is now a silvery white but his ears and tail are dark striped and he has some darker gray stripes on his legs and lower body. He still has blue eyes. He is a very sweet and affectionate little thing - he is still pretty small though he is about a year old now. So - I have no clue about his breed! I'd love to know more about him though. He is definitely the prettiest cat I've ever had!

  4. Sarah, it's a delight as always to see your projects and hear about your plans. I want to look into that shirt pattern since you think well of it. :-) We're still knee deep in canning while I try to fit in some sewing here and there.

  5. All of your sewing projects sound really exciting!!!! I've never been in or to a reenactment. Those sound like fun!!!! Oh, the kitty cat on the ironing board....really sweet. My heart always melts whenever I see a cute kitty cat!!! Have a lovely weekend, Sarah. Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

  6. I love your lovely little sewing corner. So nice :-)

    And your kitty is splendid. He reminds me of one my mom had when I was growing up...she was a siamese mix. She had kittens that looked much like your guy as well as some calicos...sweet and unique!

    Lots of love,

  7. What is that secret connection between historical clothing enthusiasts and cats? Really, on each and every historical costume-oriented blog I've discovered and fallen in love with, sooner or later a crafting companion in the form of a cat emerged. It must be some kind of law. (I have cats myself.)

    Good luck with your sewing projects! I like the shirt. I'm sure the others will look great, too.

  8. What a cute cat! Yes, I have a little avian helper, as you know ;-). Good luck with all of your projects!

  9. You are always so busy and productive! I love your sewing corner and that wee cat is adorable! Can't wait to see the result of your sewing spree :-)


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!