Friday, April 4, 2014

{An 1860's Child's Dress}


The weather here has been just crazy! One day, we have 60* weather and the next, we have snow! Sheesh! I sewed this little dress for a friend of ours a couple of weeks ago and I thought I should take advantage of the pretty precipitation that this photoshoot would offer. 


The fabric is simple cotton homespun from Joann's fabrics and the trim is from Abraham's Lady. Both have been in the stash for some time and I think it will be much enjoyed by this little boy. (Yes, little boys wore dresses until they were toiled trained in the 1860's.) 


His mother let me borrow his current dress to make a pattern. I then enlarged it in the side seams, around the armscye, and lengthened the sleeves, bodice and skirt. It was very easy and it was so nice to not pay for a pattern! Similar styles of patterns can be bought from the Sewing Academy


Finished with wooden buttons, also from Abraham's Lady. Easy peasy! 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

{An 1860's White Dotted Swiss Garibaldi Shirt}


I used the Past Patterns Garibaldi shirt pattern and 100% cotton dotted Swiss from Georgia Fabrics on Etsy.  After some research, Georgia Fabrics seemed to have the least expensive Swiss dot while still being great quality. What a find! This was my first time to sew with Swiss dot and my first time making a Garibaldi blouse. I do believe more of these shirts will be in my future. They are so light and airy-- perfect for hot Summer reenactments! Why have I been wearing two layer- cotton dresses my whole reenacting career?! I am about to be too old for these shirts so I better take advantage of it. 


The pattern was well written and easy to follow. I made this shirt according to the instructions except for where I felled the seams instead of overcasting by hand. Since a lady ordered this dress, I wanted to get it done fairly quickly and have it hold up after many washings. Flat felling the seams was a better option for me while still being historically accurate. I added the period correct lace by what looked best to my eye as it was not a suggestion in the pattern. Buttonholes were done by hand while listening to this and this


Just a hint--Never try to cut wristbands on the bias. It just won't work even if the dots or other pattern of the fabric looks better on the bias! Trust me. Not worth the headache or the date with the seam ripper. ;)


I made a size 12 for this young lady but since she is quite tall, I lengthened the overall length of the body and the sleeves by several inches. I wanted it to tuck in and not come out easily. The drawstring waist will also help with the 'duck tail' look when wearing.


Overall, a fun, pretty project. I will definitely order from Georgia Fabrics and use the PP shirt pattern again. 

Happy Spring! What have you all been sewing? 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

~Lace and Navy Blue Grad Dress





(All credit goes to Josef Samuel for these photos! Knowing my record, I would never have gotten photos of this dress let alone, beautiful ones like these at Meadowlark Gardens! Thank you to Jennifer and Josef for permission to put these on my blog!) 

When my dear friend asked if I would make her graduation dress, I squealed with delight and couldn't imagine saying no! Sewing formal dresses are my favorite. I don't usually get to work with such pretty, expensive fabrics and the sewing techniques are usually more difficult when compared to everyday clothes. Having a challenge really keeps sewing interested! 

Believe it or not, both fabrics were found at Joann fabrics! Both are polyester but I hope you can't tell ;) I think they look really nice. The lace fabric is from the bridal section and the navy is from the formal section. 

My friend was very inspired by the dresses in Downton Abbey and other dresses from that time period. I think it turned out quite Titanic-ish! I used Sense and Sensibility's Titanic Tea gown pattern for the under skirt and Simplicity 0489 for the strapless navy bodice. The Simplicity pattern doesn't seem to be available anymore and I can see why! The bodice pieces worked well for me but the pattern cover is actually really ugly! Just a warning.....sews up great though!

All of the lace pieces, including the skirt and bodice/sleeves, were all draped. I sewed the navy pieces, pinned them onto my dress form, draped the lace and then cut cut cut! It was a little bit scary at first but I'm used to draping, especially Civil War dresses, so it was no sweat. The sleeves are technically "bat wing" because the lace that make up the sleeves and bodice are all one piece. The sash was simply a tube of the lace fabric and the navy fabric sewn together with the ends nicely finished. 

What a fun project! Looking forward to my next formal dress......

Love and Blessings,
Bethany

Saturday, April 20, 2013

~Kanga skirt!




A very sweet lady brought back kangas for my mom, sister and I on her recent trip to Africa. I've made all three into wrap skirts like this but this one is the first to be photographed! For more information on kangas visit here. Jennie's instructions were super easy to follow. This skirt took less than one hour! I hope you enjoy the pictures and will keep an eye out for when Jennie sells more kangas. It is a wonderful cause and the fabric is beautiful 100% cotton!

So sorry for the much neglected blog. It's easier to get photos now that the landscape outsides looks a bit better!

Love and Blessings,
Bethany

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Another Giveaway!

For all the history buffs that read my blog, you will probably be interested in this giveaway! Friends of mine are helping to host a Take Back the Land conference here in Northern Virginia and are also giving the book away on their blog. 

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Check it out!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Where I've been.....and a Giveaway!

Well, life has been blessedly full! But not really with sewing! I have been posting a lot over at my other blog, One Doula and am now doing a book giveaway for Redeeming Childbirth. Have you heard of it? If so, tell me what you think of it in the comments below! Come enter a #giveaway for an autographed copy of #RedeemingChildbirth! http://gretchenlouise.com/?p=8903
I am very privileged to be a part of the launch team and Angie has very graciously agreed to allow me to give away a free autographed copy of Redeeming Childbirth on my blog. Now, before nearly all of my readers skip right over this post, consider that this book is for you, yes, YOU! Birth experiences that worship and glorify the Lord require preparation and if you are unmarried and without children, conforming your attitude regarding birth to the Lord's ways, starts NOW! The Lord uses everything in our lives for His glory and our good and those who embrace this message later on in life when they are in the trenches of motherhood or are mentoring young women, will bring the Lord glory and further His kingdom. Just think what would happen if you understood the Lord's heart early on in your young life! And just for the record, it's a great resource for anyone supporting mothers in labor and birth, dads included! I think this book should be on the required reading list for every doula and midwifery program also. But before I go on and on....you can just read my review here!

I do hope you will consider entering and purchasing your own copy even if you don't win. Head on over to One Doula for more information on entering the giveaway. What are your thoughts about birth as a single woman (or not!) and where would you like to be?

Love and Blessings,
Bethany

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

~Vintage Blouse







Pattern: Sense and Sensibility Romantic Blouse Pattern

Fabric: 100% cotton shirting from Fashion Fabrics Club. Super quality at great prices!

Notes: I didn't change a thing and followed the instructions exactly, as far as I can tell. I knew my sister would wear the blouse this way, tucked in with a skirt, so I wasn't worried about it being fitted. I would definitely say the sizing runs large if you are going for a more fitted blouse. The style is perfect for her World War 2 hobby and makes up in under 5 hrs. Perfect for my Christmas procrastination hobby also ;)

Happy New Year!
Bethany