Monday, October 26, 2009

I'm bored with white!

I didn't work on anything with color today, it was white white white! Starting with sewing the main seams of 3 over hoop petticoats, and one privacy petticoat together. I hand gathered them for the waistbands, including one for the yoked-tucked version. With my wrists being sore from all the hand sewing I've been doing I called it a night after only working on sewing projects for 10 hours. Hopefully I will find time to get the waistbands attached and all but the tucked version hemmed.

I got a bug in my bonnet, so I drafted and cut out the first of the two nightgowns. I used an old white kind sized bed sheet, bleached back to prettiness! It worked nicely because it was just the right amount of fabric. It is much heavier than muslin so it will give a bit more modesty.

Tomorrow is going to be a great day! I'm heading up to meet my friend, Katie, and help her finish up everything she needs for the harvest ball. So far I've helped her make her petticoats, we've made a corset from a duct tape pattern we made of her, and I've talked her through making her drawers. She bought a used bridal hoop, the kind that are sold at the mainstream sutlers, and we've re-sized the hoops, and are going to put tucks and a waistband in it to fit her better. Tomorrow we have to get a good start on her chemise and draft her bodice for her party dress. Her fabric is a pink, purple, and white semi-sheer cotton plaid, so I'm refraining from calling it a ballgown. I'd also like to make it with a front closure so that she can put it on herself. We very rarely attend balls, and those that we do are not authentic events, so this dress will offer her more opportunities for her to wear it. I don't feel like I've accomplished much of anything photo worthy, so I will make sure to take photos of things as we go tomorrow.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

updates on the sheer and a sore finger

While working on the white gown, I was just finishing stitching back one side of the center back in preparation for the hook and eye tape my thread broke! Not at the end where I was just about to knot it, but in the middle! I haven't figured that one out yet. I then managed to sew 2/3's of the waistband on before realizing there was a twist in the waistband. I was trying a new way of setting the waistband without pins. I sewed the waistband to the back left and back right, leaving the center unstitched. This way I could use my gauging threads to ensure that it would fit. I finally successfully attached the waistband and am calling it quits on the white for the evening. Tomorrow I will attach some muslin to the top of the skirt interior to bulk it up for gauging, and draft the sleeves. I'd like to make double puff short sleeves with a narrow cuff. I need to get another set of undersleeves out of my voile, and 4 tuckers. With the left over I may try a gathered bertha to go with the dress.

I've made decisions regarding the bertha for my ballgown as well, I've decided to do a a shaped and pleated bertha with green bows. Hmm...I don't think I'm describing it near as well as I'm imagining it! I never piped the bodice when I made the dress last year. I'd like to pipe the bottom edge of the bodice, and the neckline. I also need to bone the bodice, and re-hem the skirt. It is hemmed to a nice height, but I don't like the finished product on the inside. So far I've only reset the waistband onto the skirt. So much to do!

As for the nightgowns, I've finally decided on styles for both of them. Since one is for myself, and the other for a friend I didn't want them to be identical. I'm going to do two versions of a yoke bodice, one with a triangular yoke, and the other with a slight curve. Both will have a self fabric frill attached and the yoke seam and 4 or 5 china buttons. Basic gathered sleeves, and maybe a self fabric frill at the cuffs as well. I need to sort through all my white cotton fabric and find my heavier stuff for the nightgowns, don't want to be showing off more than I bargained for in the mornings!

I've reattached the waistband on the silk ballgown, but it resulted in my finger being torn apart. I'm going to call it quits for hand sewing on my silk until I get sharper needles and a thimble that fits! I may still draft up a couple patterns before bed. I'm thinking that a yoked chemise, drawers, and petticoat set, to wear with my nicer dresses, would be just adorable! Hopefully I will have something more completed to show tomorrow!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

a timeline

My wonderful husband booked me a flight down to see him in Florida! The only hitch in the plan being that I fly back the day I'm supposed to leave for the Harvest Ball. That put my sewing into overdrive, and unfortunately I came up with the great idea of making one more thing before then. My list as of now consists of:
New chemise and drawers for me
3 new petticoats, one tucked
a bertha and tucker for my ballgown, along with resetting my waistband
helping Katie make her chemise and dress
making up a real set of drawers to go with the previous post
a wrapper
two nightgowns, from two different patterns
a white sheer party dress with plaid ribbon
replace the bottom rung on my cage, and 2 bones in my corset

So far I have this accomplished:
a pattern for one of the two nightgowns
the white party dress half way started
a pattern for the men's drawers

And I have 10 days to get it finished! yipes! Good thing I don't have a real job right now! Tomorrow I plan to finish the majority of the white dress(I'm waiting on the trim and hook and eye tape to come in the mail), cut out one of the nightgowns and pattern the other, fix my cage and corset, and hopefully start the 3 petticoats. I'll update, hopefully with photos of what I've accomplished. Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

a blustery day for sewing

I woke up today to the sound of wind whipping around the house, and rain beating at the windows. I love these kind of days! After drinking a cup of coffee I bundled up in my carhart and went out to do the barn chores. 3 of the 4 horses wanted to be caught, despite the nasty weather. They were turned out into the hay field, after a bit the last one conceded. After putting his grazing muzzle on and turning him out, the cats were fed and I rushed inside to get out of the wind and rain.

Today's s ewing projects were drafting up a pair of drawers for a friend, and trying out some nightgown pattern ideas. The drawers took little time, about 15 minutes to draft it, and an hour to cut an d sew a toile to send to him. The nightgowns, alas, are still in the planning stage in my head but it's early. We'll see where I end up tonight.