Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Summer dress beginnings

With the new living history season comes warm weather and ladies in want of dresses to suit. This dress is to be for a lady in our living history group who only has a wool dress right now. The style is one that is open all the way down the front and is then filled in with a neckerchief or a chemisette. I have the PeachTree Mercantile pattern but I have not decided yet if I want to use it and fit it to her or change her darted bodice pattern that I already know hits her well to be this style.
This floral lawn was found at Fashion Fabrics Club when it was on sale. It is not sheer but is very light with a tight weave.

I was inspired by these dresses when I was coming up with style options. No one in our group has done this style yet so I thought it would be a great opportunity once I saw how lovely it turned out for all of these ladies!

More pictures from Vivian Harrington here.

More pictures in the Kay Fig Gallery.
Denise's lovely creation found here.

Wool dress, circa 1860 found here.

Once my friend approved the idea, I started looking for chemisette ideas. I came up with these.

Denise's very pretty chemisette found here.
And some fancy chemisette examples from Godey's magazine.

I will keep you posted on how things come along!

Bethany Lynn

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Repro quilt beginnings .......

With the new living history season starting in April, my sister and I thought it would be a good plan to get a head start on a quilt. Last year we quilted at a lot of events and had a hand quilted quilt by the end of the season. If we did the same this year it would be really great! I am also researching quilt frames and we just might reproduce one but more on that later! ;)

With our other reproduction quilts, we have used the quiltstudy.org website almost every time. There are thousands of quilts on their and it has to be the easiest way to find and source an antique quilt! The IQCS object number is 2005.048.0006 and is circa 1830-1850 with the main fabric being cotton and of course, all hand sewn.. I would just link to the page on the quiltstudy.org website but last time I did that, the link was broken after a short time. Just go to "collections" and then search the collections using the IQSC if you would like more information.
A few days ago when we picked out the quilt to reproduce, we also went through our scraps to find fabrics in the colors that we wanted to use. Here they are sorted and ironed. That took some time because we certainly don't store them that way!

We also picked the main fabric that would go in between each pieced block and made a chart to figure out how many blocks we wanted of each color. The original seems to have a tone on tone white stripe in the pieced blocks with the colors so we went with the homespun peach and cream stripe shown in the picture.

As I was searching the quilt study.org collection, I also found these two quilts. They are also nine patch variations but with the light/dark parts of the blocks in the opposite pattern. I think it might be called an "album quilt" when made this way. Both of these quilts are from the 1830-1865 time frame.

IQSC object number is 1997.007.0697 for the above quilt.
IQSC object number is 1997.007.0704

More to come as we hopefully progress!

As Always,
Bethany Lynn

Friday, February 11, 2011


Right now I am working on pants. Not that interesting but a necessary thing none the less! I am using the Past Patterns Summer Trouser pattern to make two pairs and the Timeless Stitches boys trouser pattern to make 4 pairs for two brothers. Full reviews to come! I am really liking how they are going together so far.

I finished a set of placemats that my neighbor ordered but I totally forgot to take pictures! I worked on those most of this week and trousers for the rest of the time. These projects aren't that exciting but I guess part of having sewing skills is doing the practical as well as the more creative :-)

As Always,
Bethany Lynn

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Quilt top finished!

I never thought I would finish this thing. I think I started it about two years ago and had the crazy idea to make it HUGE. I did not know how big huge was going to be and I can't even tell you if it is a queen or king or what but I can tell you it is big. I know its big cause it took ages to put those blocks together! But I do like how it turned out. I can't imagine quilting the thing any time soon. I am just glad to know it is a finished top and is now put together. The rows were sitting in a basket for the longest time just waiting to be sewn together.

I know I've sewn big quilts before but I think those times seem like the distant past. I forget ;)

Info on putting the blocks together here and laying out the blocks to choose the border here. All the information on where I found the pattern and such is in those posts.

Phew. Having the quilt on the table makes the room look warm since we have 6 inches of snow outside. I think I will just leave it there.

As Always,
Bethany Lynn

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Exercise Ball Cover.....

Ok, lets be honest. You probably thought you would not see something like this on here. ;-)

I made this a couple of days ago in about 20 minutes out of swim suit material. It took about a yard and I already had it on hand. Hooray for using up the stash! I saw the cover idea over here but did not want to pay that price so I decided to make my own.

It's basically a rectangle, open on one end with the drawstring. The other end is sewn shut and has the handle inserted at each corner. The material is 60" wide and went around my 65 cm ball just perfectly.

So why the cover? First of all, that strap is handy! If you have ever taken one of these things somewhere and had it go running away across the parking lot, you know what I mean. Most people know these balls as exercise balls but I know mine as a birth ball. I am working toward my CE/D certification through Charis Childbirth right now and have been learning that these balls offer really great comfort techniques during labor. My ball is made out of rubber that is not very smooth and has ridges on it. This is not comfortable if you are leaning or sitting on it. A cover makes it smoother and is nice for clean up too. Hopefully I will make a few more in case they get dirty and so I can carry it in one, and switch it out for a clean one at the birth place :) More information here on how it is actually used during labor if you are interested. You learn something new everyday right?

As Always,
Bethany Lynn