Wednesday, January 3, 2018

First Project of 2018

Happy New Year everyone! Wow, it's January and life is getting back to its normal routine with the Christmas decorations packed away and the kids back in school. We had a long, chaotic and joyful holiday season but it feels good to get back to everyday life after all the Christmas festivities. Now we are in the middle of a cold snap and my thoughts turn to spring and the start of the reenacting season. But we still have a few more months of winter to get through!

The Dreamstress recently blogged about the Historical Sew Monthly for this year and the challenges for each month are posted on the groups Facebook page. While I haven't actively participated in a while I want to make more of an effort to do so this year. It seems the challenges align pretty well with what I need or want to make, anyway, and for this month particularly the challenge is very appropriate. Re-make! I have a lot of things I need to adjust or redo. So I hope to get a lot of those out of the way before months end. These include:

1. Remaking my blue print 1860's dress in the bodice
2. Making an early 19th century shortgown from a mans striped cotton dress shirt
3. Shortening the waistlines on my two sheer 1860s dresses to a more appropriate height. Right now they are just a little too long to look right for the 60's.

I spent New Years Day redoing a bit of my 18th century stays. I found I wanted to lower the neckline a little so it took an hour to pick off the top front binding, cut down the stays and boning, rebind and reattach the lining. I think they will work better now. Maybe soon I will be ambitious enough to start the gown!

In the mean time I want to get a few accessories made. These were things I had hoped to get done during December but didn't find time to do. The first thing I have made is a cap. The pattern is one I made a few years ago but the construction methods are straight from the 1760's-1770's cap pattern in the new American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Dressmaking. The method was a little strange to me but after working from them it makes so much sense! Basically all the pieces of the cap are finished and then put together. It went together really quickly and I like the clean and sturdy inside finish.

My fabric is 100% cotton voile. I had either that or a heavier plain white cotton to use so I went with this. I bought this to make a sheer 1860's waist with but thankfully there is enough yardage I can do both!

The bow at the top is the 4 loop bow from the 1740's section of the AD book. It's just lightly sewn on with big stitches so it can be removed anytime without damaging the fabric of the cap.

After I made this I realized I don't know how to style my hair for the 1770's! I am so used to having a center part from 1860's reenacting (and real life! I don't really change my style at all ;)) that it feels incredibly awkward to try combed back hairstyles. I'll need to figure out what a good look is and experiment.

The only things I would do differently on this cap for next time is to make all the hems smaller and to make the ruffle a lot narrower at the top. I sort of want to go back and fix the ruffle but don't feel up to that quite yet! Since the hem edge of the ruffle is shaped I would only need to pick out the hem and carefully cut it narrower at the CF, tapering out to full width at the top sides and then rehem it. Not a big deal but one I don't want to mess with at the moment. Next up is a pair of mitts and maybe an apron and pocket. Then the gown! Slowly but surely I'll get this outfit done.

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