Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Winter Night......

It really is just another Winter night with much snow on the ground and the moon descending over it. I am hearing some lovely music in another room along with the Olympics coming on.

I have not been working on my wool dress very much but I need to finish it for the 24th so I will start work on it again tomorrow.

I have been slowly working on this but in blue while listening to this.

I am smelling popcorn so that is my que to make smoothies. Off I go!

As Always,
Bethany Lynn

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Wool dress project

Well, I finally have some pictures to show for my work! I have been working on this for most of the month but I think you can actually tell what it is now so I will share pictures :) I have the skirt all assembled also. All I need to do is attach the sleeves and the skirt to the bodice. I am planning on doing a dog leg closure which I have only done once before so that is why I have not attached the skirt to the bodice yet.

Just to clarify, this is my attempt at reproducing a dress that a middle class woman might have warn in the 1860's. While some might assume that the wool is itchy, it really is just quite the opposite! It is smooth and almost silky :)

Basic darted bodice with modified bishop sleeves.
Hook and eye tape for the front closure and a piped/bound neckline for easy care. I do plan on wearing a collar with this dress.
The sleeves are really just a basic rectangle that is gathered into a cuff and box pleated into the armscye. The idea is to have the box pleats right over the top of the arm and stitch them down about four inches so that all of the fullness is released around the elbow. I love that silhouette :D
Waistband with piping above and below. I like the added stability.

The back with the "side" seams piped along with the shoulder seams. I have put the "side" seam in quotations because they really are not by the side at all! They are angled much more to the back then we are used to and make for very interesting shaped pattern pieces! :) You can also see two arched tucks in the back. This was quite popular doing the period. You can see them all the way back to the Regency also!

And another view of the front :)


Bethany Lynn

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Smithsonian Women's Clothing Collection

Did you all know that the Smithsonian has a lovely collection of women's clothing? I honestly, had no idea and have had quite a bit of fun perusing it online! To think that I could hop on the metro any day and go look at it in person is just mind boggling to me too :)

I am rather partial to this one. (above) I love the detail and I think some it could be incorporated into a lovely modern wedding dress!

This looks oddly familiar :D I do not have a plaid "work dress" but the style of my everyday Civil War era dresses look a lot like this! The detail on the apron is lovely too.

This lovely white dress has exquisite embroidery on it! Makes one wonder if it was one of those textiles produced in India or if a woman spent a lot of time on it in preparation for some sort of special occasion.

Those are just a few of my favorites but do go look at more of their collection!

In our neck of the woods, we are having a blizzard! We have never had this much snow all in one winter before. It really is unbelievable!

Staying warm,
Bethany Lynn

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Rebecca's Paletote

A few readers have asked so here is a little bit on how I helped my sister come up with the pattern for this paletote.

Alrighty, the front is the Period Impressions women's paletote pattern. I think a lot of people nickname it Period Impression's Ugly Sack pattern instead though. I wondered about other people's results of this pattern for a long time and frankly, was very weary of using it! I did find that if one uses some good sense and makes a mock up out of muslin first BEFORE cutting into the good wool, one can make a lovely piece from it. I did have to cut down the pattern pieces quite a bit and I did add darts. It really is not hard but it can be quite fiddly and take time.

I can not remember if the back is from the Period Impressions pattern also or if it is the KayFig paletote pattern. I do not think it really matters that much because the backs are very similar and one must fit the back to yourself anyways and neither pattern will fit any one person perfectly. Just do as above and use cheap fabric to get it how you want and use the altered pieces as your pattern pieces.

The sleeves are my own pattern that i made up :D All you do is measure the arm hole of the paletote and then figure out the length you want the finished sleeve to be. Draw a rectangle with these two measurements and then widen the bottom part of the rectangle as much or as little as you like to get the pagoda affect. I think I might have curved the top part of the rectangle slightly to have it lay in the armscye slightly but this sleeve really is not complicated at all.

The collar (I am sorry it is not very visible in the above photo) is from the KayFig paletote pattern. All I did was take the basic collar and widen it quite a bit. Baste it in to make sure it lays correctly and then sew it. Easy as pie :) Oh, and press it a lot. That will make the seams look nicer.

Please let me know if this is not very clear or if I can answer any more questions.

Bethany Lynn

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Rebecca's Striped Dress with Yoked Bodice

This is the latest dress I sewed for my sister back in October for the fall reenacting season. The fabric is a cotton homespun from Wal-Mart and just goes to show that yardage for Civil War dresses does not have to be upwards of $5 per yard :) `

To make the yoked bodice, all you do is take your darted bodice pattern slash it in half from the armscye horizontally across to the center front. It does vary on where this slash line should be but the only stipulation is that it does need to be above where the darts end and I would also recommend experimenting with fabric that you do not care about. Once you have it slashed, the top piece of the yoke is finished. That is the easiest part :D

Now for the bottom part of the bodice, just slash it vertically in several places and move the pieces apart to make it wider. Again, experiment with fabric that is not your fashion fabric to figure out the look you want. I usually do between a 1.5 and 2 ratio to the original darted bodice. For example, if the original bodice piece (half of the entire front) was 10 inches, I would start out with adding 5 inches and then maybe 10 for a total of 15 to 20 inches and see what works. Just spread your pieces evenly. You should end up with a rectangle with a funny curve on one end because of the original arm hole shape.

Once you have those two pieces, just cut out two of each, one for each side. Do not forget to add a seam allowance to the bottom and/or top of the yoked pieces! I put the top of the yoke on the bias for an interesting effect and inserted piping in between the two pieces. The bottom part of the yoke is gathered to the top part but you could also pleat it.

This dress also has a waistband (covered up by belt) and bishop sleeves on the bias. You also cannot see it very well but the skirt has a contrast panel that is on the bias to mimic the effect in the top yoke and sleeves.




Monday, February 1, 2010

A Traveling Dressing Case

Hello All,

I had been meaning to make one of these for quite some time and decided that it would be a lovely Christmas present for my sister. I was very much inspired by Anna Allen's version here called a Toilet Sachet and I had also seen a few variations that my friends had made. The Workwoman's Guide also has a description and diagram for a similar item and calls it a Traveling Dressing Case or Tidy. TWG is also available on Google Books :)

It really is a very simple project with one piece of linen in the finished shape you would like and then sewing the pockets on and finally binding the entire piece. That really is all there is to it. I had fun with the stripes on this one and sizing the pockets how I wanted. As you can see, she stores all of her belts and buckles in here not to mention her bows, hankies and fans. I knew she would have a use for it :D