Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Finished Chemise

This is one of my recent *finished* projects using Simplicity 9769. I used basic muslin, it looked like the picture and I think it turned out really well :) The sleeve facings and gussets were the hardest thing about this garment but I think they are well worth it. The neckline is very wide as it is meant to be off the shoulder so keep that in mind when using the pattern. I also nearly forgot to make sure that the sleeve cuffs were comfortable! It really is quite forgiving other wise.

The closure is two "pie plate" buttons and two loops executed in the buttonhole stitch and cotton crochet thread. :)

The embroidered recipients initials on the sleeve :)

As Always,
Bethany Lynn

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Regency Aprons

I am not really sure where to start with this one so I will just dive in!

I have not started making any Regency aprons yet as I would like to finish our dresses first but these are the things that I have found along with the resources that others have told me about.

When I first started researching the aprons from this time period, I did not really come up with much. I knew about the instructions that came with the Sense and Sensibility Regency Dress pattern and the instructions from the Across the Ages website but I did not know if these instructions were derived from originals or if they were from the well loved movie adaptions from the time period :)

So, with those as my findings, I went and asked some questions over on the Sense and Sensibility sewing forum. A very informative member there told me about this painting. It is kind of hard to tell in the picture but it looks like the woman on the right is wearing a very basic half apron that comes to about mid calf and wraps around the fashionable "under bust" waist. I would like to assume that it is linen also since linen is a plant fiber that holds up much better than cotton.

The second painting she told me about was this one of a girl embroidering:

I love this one :) It shows so many details and is a lovely painting all around. I hope to base several aprons off of this one.

She also told me about this original. It is very simple but I appreciate the documentation about who made it and when and what it is made of. I have been reading that blue was a common color because of the dying process they used (indigo was readily available) and that the check pattern was also quite common because it was so simple to weave. The combination of the color and pattern and fiber seem to be a good option for a working class impression. This apron also reminded me of the apron pattern published by Fig Leaf Patterns.

I also found it to be very interesting to find that this smock was also made in the same color, pattern and fiber! I have no indication that the two pieces are connected in anyway so it just goes to show that the color, pattern and fiber must have been quite common! I do not know who would have worn this style or when but the website does indicate that it is a women's size.

I will keep you all updated on these projects once I actually start on them :)

As Always,
Bethany Lynn

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Immersed in Regency............

Time escapes me as usual.

have been researching the Regency era quite a bit lately as we have an opportunity to attend an event at Fort McHenry. It is in June so I have started the fun right away :)

When it is all said and done, I am going to be involved with helping clothe five women from 17 to middle aged so I decided that getting started sooner rather than later would be a good idea. I have already started ordering supplies and fabric but I am also purchasing a few things at Joanns this week.

I thought about drafting my own patterns from some of the lovely sources that are out there for a while but I opted for buying commercial patterns instead. I have Patterns of Fashion and while it is a lovely source, I didn't want the stress of drafting 4 or more seperate patterns for 5 women. So, I went with the chemise pattern and Lewis and Clark gown pattern from Past Patterns. They are multi sized and should be easily adapted for several different sizes. I also like the fact that the chemise pattern comes with embroidery patterns for initials. It will be much easier to tell lots of white apart that way :)

This blue linen stripe is to be used with the above gown pattern for my sister and I am planning on using a brown stripe similar to the one pictured for mine. The Gown pattern has extensive documention for the fabric suggested as the pattern was based off of an original. I wanted to keep in this same vein hence the stripes and linen fabrics.
Available here

Available from WM Booth Draper.

This is my plan so far. I will post more on underthings and aprons soon. We are having a sewing-a-thon this weekend to get stays and chemises done so I will update soon.

As Always,

Bethany Lynn

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I am so sorry for not updating this in so long! Life escapes me.

A few nights ago I pulled The Private World of Tasha Tudor off one of my book shelves. It was on a rather high shelf and I had not looked at it in a while. I found some lovely quotes that I thought I would share with you all.

"I enjoy solitude. It's probably selfish, but why bother about it.
Life is much too important, as Oscar Wilde said, to be taken

"Peonies have an intoxicating smell, and they're so soft and creamy
looking. I like the pale pink ones best, but there's a whiteish-yellow
one called Prairie Moon that's magical. Their foliage remains
beautiful all summer. They die nicely, in other words; not like some
roses that die like old dishrags." Peonies are my favorite flower so this vivid way of telling about them struck me very much! She does have a sense of humor too :)

"There's something wonderfully primitive about a canoe, like the sound
of loons calling. It stirs something from long, long ago - another
life you might have lived." Does this not want to make you go canoeing?

"What is that lovely quote from Shakespeare- "At Christmas I have no
more desire a rose/ Than wish a snow in May's newfangled mirth."
That's the idea. For everything there is a season." Beautiful thought, I think.

"I'm perfectly content. I have no other desires than to live right
here with my dogs and my goats and my birds. I think I've done a good
job of life, but I have no message to give anyone. If I do have a
philosophy, it is one best expressed by Henry David Thoreau: "If one
advances confidently in the directions of his dreams, and endeavors to
live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success
unexpected in common hours." That is my credo. It is absolutely true.
It is my whole life summed up"

If you have not heard of or read anything by Tasha Tudor, I highly recommend it. Her life can only be summed up as inspiring. I hope you find the same to be true. :)

As Always,
Bethany Lynn

P.S.: Just a note to you all to please remember that every human being is finite. I do admire so much in Tasha but as a wise woman just reminded me, not every thing in her life was perfect and nor was she. May we all have discretion :)