Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year Sewing Plans ~ A Rather Boring Post with No Pictures of Sewing Projects ~

I was absolutely overwhelmed with the many congratulations and kinds words following our happy announcement last week. Thank you - I am happily dreaming of tiny clothes and little blankets, and a new warm bundle with downy hair, tiny clinging fingers and bright eyes to cuddle. I am purposely avoiding thought of inconsolable infant screams, explosive diaper excretions and less than two hours of sleep per night. I like to think happy thoughts. Although, of course, I do wish that I did not have to go through seven more months of pregnancy to get to the reality of a new baby in my arms. I don't really like being pregnant. Plus it throws quite a spin on what my costuming plans for this year would have been. However. It is a small sacrifice to pay for the very great joy of a new baby. August cannot come too soon! And I do know it will be here before I know it - probably before I'm really truly ready!
Look! Mary the Mother of Jesus portrayed as a pregnant medieval lady.  The drape of medieval clothes makes even a baby bump look elegant and graceful. I love her pointy toe shoes peeking out from under her hem. :) 

Since the arrival of the New Year I have not been sewing on any large projects. I have a wee linen medieval baby gown I am working on (and I hope to finish very soon) for a sweet new baby boy, born recently to the lovely Edyth Miller. It is the same style as Malachi's yellow wool gown and ought to fit the baby for quite a while. I love how sheerly practical and roomy medieval children's clothing is! I will have pics of it as soon as it is completed and safely sent on its way.

I have also been contemplating my ill-fated medieval shoes. It has been nearly a year since I made the pattern for my shoes and I have yet to actually make a finished set. I bought medium weight leather for the soles last fall but couldn't find any suitable lightweight leather for the uppers. After attempting (without success) to make David a new tobacco pouch lined with thin leather for Christmas, I decided that working with leather is very troublesome since thin leather has a tendency to grow and shrink and slip and slide every which way. I am now pondering the possibility of making a complete shoe out of stout woolen cloth, lined with linen or lightweight wool, and gluing a seperate leather sole to the bottom of the cloth shoe so it is functional for outdoor use. I know such a method is not period correct but I think it would give a better look than wearing modern shoes and would keep my feet warm and happy. Plus, strict authenticity in the SCA is not completely necessary. Our barony is very relaxed and laid back and as long as you make an attempt at period attire, you are good to go. :)

This weekend is our SCA 12th Night Party and at the end of the month is the Festival of Maidens. I am so excited about being able to attend this year! If I am diligent in sewing I would love to make a short sleeved overgown, the sleeves finished with streamers, to wear over my kirtle, like the blue one (second from right) below, only adapted for full length, of course. :)

I really have no need for a new medieval dress but it DOES get old wearing the same thing all the time. I just have no idea what a good color would be for a dress like this! EVERYONE wears dark, jewel tone colors, or red, or black. What would look good with a dusky green-blue underdress? A tan or mustard yellow? A lighter blue or gray? I like the color combination of the blue-green underdress in this picture, worn with what appears to be a pale pink or oatmeal colored overdress.

To yank my mind out of the medieval sea it is currently swimming in, I am about to embark on a rather intense sewing project that ought to keep me busy for the next month or so. A complete 1860's hospital stewards uniform, from shirts to frock coat to sack coat, all to be completed before the end of March for a dear friend of ours who just joined the 108th IL field hospital. I'm fairly sure such sewing will not be of that much interest to the majority of my readers, so I will try to sneak in a few pretty, frilly projects to keep up my feminine morale and to share here. :)

So, my Feminine Sewing Goal for the month of January is a cream-and-brown striped 1770's jacket, made like this one from Colonial Williamsburg:

I figure I better make it now before my belly gets too big to fit normal things over! I would like the petticoat to be green or blue. Then I will be all set for the trade faire in September. And it will be a good incentive for me to loose weight after Baby arrives.



  1. So, first off: Oooooh! I'm so excited for Archer!

    My two cents on gown color is to go with a tan or pale pink. Dark jewel tones have their place, but there are so many more options! Plus, a neutral light color will go with everything all-year long!

  2. I think a dusky blue grey would go with a crisp white or other light colour (maybe a orangy colour). Although you could go with another blue or green tone with it (but with decoration/pattern).
    Depends if your looking for complimentary colours or tones on the colourwheel.

  3. That first pic should have caption
    "Does this dress make me look fat?"

  4. This has nothing to do with this post but I have a question.
    What do you do inregards to stays while breastfeeding? I'd love to try them but am breastfeeding. Thanks!

  5. I am really drawn to the idea of oatmeal or pink for the overdress. I just can't find ANY wool in those colors so I may have to go with linen. has some great colors though.

    Verna, I have breastfed 3 babies so far whilst wearing stays (not full time of course, but for historic events and such!)

    I have found it is easy to nurse in corsets that end at about nipple-level. Just lift the breast from the "cup" of the corset, and it will fall over the top and you can easily feed the baby. It takes a bit more wiggling to put the breast back into position when you are done, but it isn't difficult to do. I am looking forward to nursing the new babe in my 18th century stays since I think those will be nice to nurse in.

    There are also extant examples of "nursing corsets" that have buttoned flaps covering the breasts that you can undo to expose the breast. I haven't made one of those since I would rather just lift and flop and feed than undo many buttons and then have to button back up again afterwards. :P

    Hope this helps!

  6. Sarah, do you still have that 7 yards of orangish/peach fabric? Maybe that would make a cute overgown for your kirtle? Or maybe you'd like to make a new medieval gown with it. I think it would be a perfect color on you. :)

    Ah, baby posts are so fun to read. :) SO can't wait for baby Meister to enter this world. He/she will be such a darling.

  7. Hello Sarah:
    Could I please copy and paste on my website the third picture down in this post? The red cap the woman in the middle is wearing is exactly what I was looking for! And if it is OK, what is the source so I can give them credit.
    Thank you, Lisa

  8. Found the picture and the source. Thank you! Lisa


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!