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Woman's Dress and Petticoat, England, 1770-1780, Silk plain weave (taffeta) with discontinuous silk supplemetary weft patterning, M.57.24.8a-b

Rate the Dress: Georgian Pinks

It takes at least 45 minutes to write a Rate the Dress Post (find dress, download images, format if necessary, upload, write post, link everything), and lately, I’ve just struggled to find the time.  It’s the end of the year at Toi Whakaari (graduation is tomorrow!), work is hectic, and the weather is warming up, so when I have down time I just want to be outside.

So this weeks Rate the Dress pick reminds me of spring flowers and strawberry ice cream.  It’s possibly a little un-complicated, because I’m not in an over-thinking mood.  Hopefully it’s enough for you to rate though!

Last week: an 1870s evening dress ensemble – complete with shoes

So, that’s a no on the very gold front and very green back then.  And many of you found the mis-matched shoes annoying rather than witty – or if they were witty, that didn’t carry over into the dress.  Daniel called the dress “ugly-chic austere luxury”.  A few of you did love the dress, but on the whole the scores were some of the most uniform a dress has every gotten – a sea of 6s & 7s, for a dress of two halves that didn’t come together as a cohesive whole.

The Total: 7 out of 10

Worse than the week before, and very reflective of the overall sentiment!

This week: an 1770s-80s pink gown

LACMA identifies this dress as a Robe a la Anglaise (with the centre back of the bodice and the skirt cut as one piece), but looking at the images, I think it’s an Italian gown, with the skirt and bodice cut completely separately.

Or perhaps it has some elements of the construction of both types of dresses?  When fashion is in transition garments don’t always fall into one category or another.  Modern Mantua Maker did a wonderful instagram thread showing how the pink striped dress at the Met has elements of the cut and construction of both Anglaise & Italian gowns.

This is certainly a simpler and more straightforward dress than the striped Met dress.  Skirt, petticoat, self fabric trims.  Sorted.  It probably also has simpler construction.

Does its simplicity work?  Does it make you feel all rosy and happy?

Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10

A reminder about rating – feel free to be critical if you don’t like a thing, but make sure that your comments aren’t actually insulting to those who do like a garment.  Our different tastes are what make Rate the Dress so interesting.  It’s no fun when a comment implies that anyone who doesn’t agree with it, or who would wear a garment, is totally lacking in taste.

(as usual, nothing more complicated than a .5.  I also hugely appreciate it if you only do one rating, and set it on a line at the very end of your comment, so I can find it!  And 0 is not on a scale of 1 to 10.  Thanks in advance!)

Sew & Eat Historical Retreat thedreamstress.com

The 1st Annual* NZ Sew & Eat Historical Retreat

This time last year, when I realised that I couldn’t afford to go to Costume College 2018, I sobbed** about it to some friends, and the amazing Miss Priscilla said “Awww, we’ll throw a New Zealand CoCo for you”.

Which is a pretty amazing offer considering that Priscilla isn’t a historical costumer!

In wonderful synchronicity, Nina of Smash the Stash had had me bring back a bunch of Regency sewing patterns from CoCo 17 so she could make a Regency wardrobe, and she started holding monthly historical sewing get-togethers.

So once a month for all of 2018 Nina, Priscilla***, Eloise of Linen and Lining, and Hvitr of Historical Living (and sometimes Madame O) have been getting together and working on historical sewing projects, and planning a reason to wear what we were working on.  And our reason, while not quite NZ CoCo, was wonderful and lovely (and maybe even better).

We settled on a Labour Day Weekend sewing and dress up retreat, and found an adorable cottage on a beautiful estate just an hours drive from Wellington to hold it at.  It was the five of us, and Zara of Off-Grid Chic, who we have recently converted to the dark-and-involving-lots-of-handsewing-side.

Nina is also interested in historical food†, so the retreat grew to include historical food.

And, despite a last-minute broken foot, and a really talented truck driver†† who managing to crash his truck full of hazardous goods so spectacularly that he closed the main road out of Wellington for almost 24 hours at the start of Labour Day Weekend, meaning that I had to drive the extremely-scary-I’m-never-going-to-do-that-again-unless-it’s-life-or-death Paekakariki Hill Road ††† we had an AMAZING time.

I’ll post a bit more about our menus, but for now here are some of my favourite photos of the event.‡

I’m hoping that the other blogging members of the group will blog about their garments soon, so I won’t post too many individual images of anyone.

Saturday:

Sew & Eat Historical Retreat thedreamstress.com

Sew & Eat Historical Retreat thedreamstress.com

Sew & Eat Historical Retreat thedreamstress.com

Sew & Eat Historical Retreat thedreamstress.com

Sew & Eat Historical Retreat thedreamstress.com

Sew & Eat Historical Retreat thedreamstress.com

   Sunday:

Sew & Eat Historical Retreat thedreamstress.com

Sew & Eat Historical Retreat thedreamstress.com

Sew & Eat Historical Retreat thedreamstress.com

Sew & Eat Historical Retreat thedreamstress.com

Sew & Eat Historical Retreat thedreamstress.com

*Only we had so much fun we want it to be biannual, or triannual.

** Not really sobbed.  More ‘posted sad faces about it on Facebook’.

*** Who managed to sew four pairs of outrageously patterned pants, one dress she didn’t like, and no historical garments whatsoever.

†I’m blaming the fact that my Regency dress is too snug on the amazing Eccles cakes and other historical treats she trials on us every sewing get-together.

†† Don’t worry, he was barely hurt^ , so we can be suitably annoyed at him without feeling bad.

^ Except for his dignity, which I imagine was severely bruised.

††† And I’m from Hawai’i and have road tripped all over NZ, so my standard for ‘extremely scary’ is pretty high.  I’m totally OK with hairpin turns.  Hairpin turns with a sheer 200 meter drop on your side, and no guard rails^?  Not so fun.

^ And way-too-big for the road at any time muscle cars heading to a rally in Wellington on the mountain side.

‡ Taken by me if they don’t include me, and whoever isn’t in the photo if they do!

Sew & Eat Historical Retreat thedreamstress.com

The Otari Hoodie Sew Along Part 7, Bands, thedreamstress.com

The Otari Hoodie Sew-Along #7: Hem & Sleeve Bands

We’re more than halfway along in the Otari Hoodie Sew-Along!  Today’s post covers adding the hem and sleeve bands, and then it’s on to zips.

The Otari Hoodie by Scroop Patterns scrooppatterns.com

The Otari Hoodie by Scroop Patterns scrooppatterns.com

Buy the Otari Hoodie Pattern Here

In the previous Otari Hoodie Sew Along posts I covered:

For this part of the Sew Along I’m going to be using images taken when making the original sample Otari Hoodies for the pattern launch.

The numbering of the instructions in this post corresponds to the numbering of the pattern’s instructions.

The Hem Band

15. Fold your hem band wrong sides together, lengthwise, so it forms a long narrow band, and press.

16. Right sides together, matching notches and front edges, pin/clip and sew your hem band to the bottom edge of the hoodie.

Tip>>>

You’ll need to stretch the hem band slightly to get it to fit: this will help the hoodie to sit nicely and smoothly around the body.  

The Otari Hoodie Sew Along Part 7, Bands, thedreamstress.com

Tip>>>

You can sew with a stretch stitch on a sewing machine, or an overlocker.  If using a stretch stitch on your machine, grade the seams once sewn, and then finish the edges with an overcast stitch (a zig zag will do just fine).

The Otari Hoodie Sew Along Part 7, Bands, thedreamstress.com

17.  Press seam down towards band.

Tip>>>

It’s a really good idea to check that the right and left front of your hoodie are perfectly symmetrical at this point.  You want the hem bands and tops of the pockets line up perfectly across the zip in the next big step.    

The Sleeve Bands

18/19. Fold your sleeve bands wrong sides together, with long edges matching, and press.

The Otari Hoodie Sew Along Part 7, Bands, thedreamstress.com

18/19 Open up, and, right sides together, fold with short edges matching.  Sew across the short edges to form a circle.

The Otari Hoodie Sew Along Part 7, Bands, thedreamstress.com

19. Re-fold the original pressed line, to form circular cuff bands with right sides facing out.

20. Right sides together, matching seams and notches, pin/clip your sleeve bands over your sleeve ends, and sew with a stretch stitch.

The Otari Hoodie Sew Along Part 7, Bands, thedreamstress.com

Tip>>>

You’ll need to stretch the sleeve bands slightly to get them to fit.

The Otari Hoodie Sew Along Part 7, Bands, thedreamstress.com

21.  Press bands down, and press seams down towards band.

And there is your hoodie, bands attached!

The Otari Hoodie Sew Along Part 7, Bands, thedreamstress.com

In the next Sew Along post:

Zips – including that tricky fusing & easing step.

Want to join in?  Buy your Otari Hoodie Pattern Here