Saturday, November 22, 2014

A New Style of Winter Bonnet

I made a new style of bonnet this week, copied from a mid 19th century bonnet made in what looks like plaid silk. For mine, I used some plaid wool.

The brim was cut as a rectangle with shaped ends. I piped round the edges and lined it with pale yellow cotton. It is interlined with cotton batting and hand quilted along lines of the plaid. Simple, but effective.

The crown was pleated to fit, and a rectangular curtain hand gathered and whip stitched to the piped neckline edge.

I didn't quilt the crown and the curtain is lined only with cotton. No batting, as I feared that would make it too bulky.

And an inside shot:

I also made another bonnet using the winter hood pattern I made and posted years ago. This version is made in black velveteen and blue silk with trimming of purple velvet ribbon.

It's lined with black sateen and interlined with cotton batting.

I wasn't sure if I'd like the purple with the black and blue, but now that its done I quite like it!

I finished the 1860's dress this past week also. It will soon be on its way to its new home.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Finished Open Robe

I finished the robe but the petticoat took me a bit longer to make. Finally, earlier this week, I was able to complete it!

I am pleased with how it came out, although it is a bit large for me. Since I draped the pattern on the dress form and designed it to be able to fit several sizes, I would certainly tailor it more to my specific shape for next time.

The skirt panels are two 45" panels seamed down the center back, tightly pleated at the back with two pleats at side front skirts. This gives a pleasing flow to the skirts. The skirts move very gracefully, although I think for casual wear a round gown is much better.

The drawstrings do a good job of closing the front. On the form, they tie shut at a 40" bustline.

I am smaller, and uncorseted in these photos, but by drawing up the strings more the robe fit well enough. (Excuse the weird facial expression. Seems my young photographer enjoys taking candid shots, and soon lost interest in a serious endeavor).

I made the petticoat using the same bodice pattern, but with the opening moved to center back and the neckline and armscyes cut down a bit.

The back was pleated, with a few side front pleats.

I used a yellow cotton for the petticoat. For "work" wear a darker petticoat would be much better.

I need to work more on a better regency hairstyle. Due to an unfortunate string of events involving unintentional black chemical hair dye in the spring of 2013, subsequent black hair dye to keep roots from showing, eventual detestation of the dull synthetic black, experimentation with hair bleach to get out the black (yet not all the 3+ years worth of henna) I ended up with dark blonde/light brown hair whose color was actually similar to my natural color. However, it was so damaged and weakened I had to cut about 5" off and after a few egg and mayo protein treatments I dyed it with my beloved henna and an equal amount of indigo. It is already so much better feeling and thicker, but now quite short, alas.

OK, so the open robe is done. Now to start thinking about a Christmas dress for Anne Victoria and to see how I can turn this pattern into a short gown.



Saturday, November 8, 2014

Open Robe Progress

My very first open robe is nearly done! Amidst the extreme chaos that a two year old girl brings to a household (the boys have nothing, NOTHING, on their sister - I'm so glad I have just one girl) I've been able to find odd minutes here and there to work on it. (Did I mention Anne is a holy terror? She has pure and innocent motives in all she does, but MY GOODNESS.)

I decided to use the bodice lining as the front bodice for this robe. The 1790-1800 open robe in Costume in Detail is cut similarly. The bodice is lined in white linen.

The Costume in Detail robe closes with drawstrings at the center front. Once my channels are sewn I'll run tape strings through.

All that's left at this point is handwork. Basically - a crap load of hemming. Then I'll need to make a petticoat.

I had just enough scrap left to piece a long strip for a possible neckline ruching. Not sure yet if I will add it or not. The neckline is quite low, so a ruffle may help raise it up a bit. A neckerchief could work just as well. We will see.