Friday, June 24, 2011

Battleshirts 1-2-3......

Pattern used: Past Patterns #007

Modifications: Honestly, all I did was simplify like crazy when I was cutting out the pieces and after that, I did not follow the directions. I made three of these for the 150th Mannassas and needed to get them down quickly and efficiently without very much hand sewing. The directions say to do almost all of them by hand. I did everything by machine except for the buttons, buttonholes, and some whip stitching on the collar and cuffs. The trim is put on by hand.

Obviously, I did a plain placket front shirt. I placed the front piece on the fold, moved it away about 2 inches to allow for hemming the placket and ignored the "cut here" line where the pleated bib would normally be inserted.

In the end, I used the front, back, collar, cuff, sleeve and sleeve gusset pieces. If you have the pattern, you will see I left out a sleeve piece..... and I think something else. I really just winged it and looked at pictures to get the look at I wanted. Its just squares and rectangles! Anybody can do that :).

Pockets measure about 7"x7". Just draw it and add seam allowances. Cut the pattern on the fold if you are having trouble getting them even.

The pattern sizing is also extremely reliable! I really appreciate having so many sizes in one envelope. I have used this pattern so many times and will continue to do so. It is so worth what I paid for it!

Fabric used: 100% wool from...... I forget where. It's itchy. I can tell you that.

References: First Bull Run 1861: The Souths First Victory by Alan Hankinson page18

Don Troiani's Soldiers in America page 137

History: Basically, in the early part of the way, uniforms consisting of more complicated jackets could not be made fast enough to outfit all of the soldiers. Battleshirts were used instead. They went together quickly, still do, and made for a cohesive look. I sound like I am talking about room decor but really, it makes a difference.

As Always,
Bethany Lynn

Monday, June 20, 2011

Simple corset finished.....

Pattern: Past Patterns 703

Modifications: I made the back lace all the way down because having part of the back sewn together creates some serious pressure points. Trust me, it hurts and it is super easy to fold that part of the pattern under and continue on your merry way.

I also bound the top and bottom raw edges with 1" twill tape. I can't even remember what the pattern said to do but I am pretty sure it does not say to bind it with twill tape because I have done a lot of things before..... never as easy as binding with twill tape! Just have about 1/4" show on the outside and that will insure it will be neat. You will be able to top stitch close to the edge on the front and having more on the back, you will catch it as you go along. It took me a few corsets to figure out I should not just do 1/2" on the front and 1/2" on the back!

Last thing, I never put in that horse hair braid stiffener thing that goes at the bottom. It is supposed to be a support for the petticoats as it flares out more than the hips alone naturally do. Personally, I have found that hips are quite enough! I would rather not deal with that stuff as I would have to order it from yet another place, pay for more shipping, insert the stuff, and deal with some leather covering that the pattern calls for also. Simple is good and finished is better than perfect!

Fabric used: Coutil outer layer and twill inner layer. It was the first time I used coutil and it was just wonderful. If only it weren't so expensive!

All done! Now I just need to make a nice new one for myself.....

As Always,
Bethany Lynn

Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer whites.....

Another chemise using Simplicity 9769! I usually don't relish making these as whit fabric gets boring and the details can be tedious (why the gores again?!) but once they are finished, I get a lot of satisfaction out of just looking at them. They are so simple, light and just perfect for summer. Everyone wants to wear them as nightgowns but this one is for a living historian, I promise. Its so tempting to keep it for myself as it is just my size!!!

Another project finished. This year is flying by.

As Always,
Bethany Lynn

Monday, June 6, 2011

Two chemisettes.....

Just some summer whites-- easy, practical. I mentioned this chemisette project over here. and just finished them a few weeks ago. One is made of simple cotton muslin and the other is a windowpane cotton voile. That dress is finished too but it is already at its new home! Pictures someday.

Collar attached... buttons down the front.... twill tape on the sides for ties....
And this picture just shows how I came up with the pattern. This is just her custom mid 19th century bodice pattern. All I did was draw a line a couple of inches from the outside shoulder and go straight down to the waist line. I added some for a hem on the bottom and sides, cut the back on the fold and made sure there was enough over lap to allow for buttons on the front. I used the collar pattern that I had already made. Doing this ensures that the dropped shoulder will be mimicked in her chemisette just like it is in her dress...... and I don't have to worry about it fitting right ;-). I know it will fit ok because its her custom pattern. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

As Always,
Bethany Lynn

Friday, June 3, 2011


Sorry, long time no talk! Anyways, this was a birthday present for my sister back in April. We found it was high time that I sat down to figure out this bathing suit thing! I used Olivia's e-book and I am really happy with the way Becca's suit turned out. I made one for myself too but as usual, no pictures yet. The instructions were great and I would definitely use them again!

Olivia's instructions include dozens of variations. I did a cap sleeve with some elastic in the hem for Becca.....

.... and a circle skirt that was so simple!

The 4-way stretch spandex is from Unfortunately, they don't seem to have any good options for swim suits right now. Olivia includes some suggestions for other places to buy swim suit fabric online too. Once I had the pattern drafted, it only took me about 4 hours to make. I did use a stretch stitch that came on my machine. The whole process was so forgiving and stress free. If something didn't match up, I could either cut it off or just stretch it to match! Nothing needs to be hemmed and the seams don't need to be finished because the fabric does not fray!

The only thing I don't like is that 4-way stretch spandex fabric can be rather expensive at $10 or more per yard. I was able to get this swim suit out of 2 yards (recognize the fabric from this project?) and have often seen this kind of fabric on sale for $5 a yard in the winter ;-). Just watch the sales and use coupons!

As Always,
Bethany Lynn