Monday, April 28, 2014

Challenge 8 Half Way There

Slow progress, but progress none the less. 
The sleeve panels are now sewn together. Now to connect them and figure out how to attach them to the gown. I took her out of the garment bag that it's lived in for 2 years and put it on the dress dummy. I don't even have hoops anymore. One of my future projects on this fortnightly adventure. So the skirt is just hanging on the dress dummy mocking me. This challenge is more difficult than I expected. I think I like the idea of just stuffing things in a box and forgetting about them if I don't like them. But I am determined, I am going to finish it and then maybe I'll just give it away or sell it, or keep to loan to the inevitable faire friend that has nothing to wear. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Challenge #8 UFO UnFinished Object

I have a box of unfinished projects, I hate opening the box and reminding myself of those projects. But here is the next challenge and I have at least one project that I really should just finish up. 
My Florentine Gown from 2009.
I dove into this gown with a gusto. I researched and sewed my heart out. Then I kind of ran out of steam. I found that the skirt ended up slightly crooked, then I really got lost when I needed to move and I had not completed the sleeves. I wore it to a ball with out the sleeves and briefly to a Renaissance Faire, then into the box it went with every intention of being completed. 
Then life happened and I pretty much did not sew for almost 2 years. I attempted to take it our in 2013 but ended up still not completing it. 

So what does it need? Sleeves for the main gown. That's it. 

Here it is while it was in progress. My very first dedicated sewing area too. 
This makes me happy.

One problem that I am having is that my skill level has changed so much since I started it, I just don't know if I like the gown anymore. But right now the sleeves are cut and pinned, just needing to be sewn together so I am going to work on this and get it completed. Then I can move on. 

Once I have the gown itself completed then if I still have time left in the 2 week challenge I will complete the partlet and caul to go with it. At the time I even bought an ermine to stuff and decorate as an accessory. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tops and Toes: An Easter Bonnet

The Challenge: Tops and Toes
Fabric: Buckram, silk taffeta, and cotton velveteen
Pattern: Miller's Millinery Portfolio Pattern BEBE BONNET
Year: 1870's
Notions: Millinery wire, silk flowers
How historically accurate is it? 70% maybe
Hours to complete: Maybe 10, it actually went together rather quickly
First worn: April 19, 2014 Old Sacramento Easter Bonnet Promenade
Total cost: Everything was from my stash except for the flowers which I purchased for $1.00 

For the Tops and Toes Challenge I decided to make a bonnet to go with my bustle gown to wear to the Annual Easter Bonnet Promenade in Old Sacramento. 
Step one research:  I have discovered Pintrest and I love it! I spent several hours researching 1870's bonnets and found the mini one that would sit on the back of the head as a good one for me to be able to actually make. 
Step 2 a pattern: I found a pattern at Miller's Millinery for a Bebe Bonnet.
Step 3 Construction: 

Carefully cutting the pattern pieces and then the buckram. Using sharpies to mark isn't a problem since all of the buckram will be covered.

Sewing the pieces together then adding the wire along the edge.

There were 3 main pieces to put together. I used a heavy quilting thread and a strong needle to get through the layers of buckram.

Next step was adding the fashion fabric. This involved a lot of pinning to keep the fabric smooth and tiny little stitches so that you can't see.

Brim from the back.

I actually enjoyed adding the front piece, once it was sewn along the outside I had to make cute pleats to attach it to the back on the inside. 

Add some flowers. For the time period that I was going for a lot of the decoration was in the inside of the bonnet. I was trying to stick with a budget so I used the flowers I had rather than buying more appropriate ones, but I like how it turned out. 

And to tie it more into the gown I added a bit of dark velvet trim. 

Ta Da!! My first bonnet!