All posts filed under: Sewing

Things I sew – historical and modern

An 18th century re-use pocket thedreamstress.com

Very green, blue with bugs and birds 18th century inspired pockets

You know what I have never managed to make for myself as a historical costumer, despite how quick they are? 18th century pockets! I’ve made them as demonstration pieces as a teacher, for clients (no, I no longer sew for clients), and, in non-accurate versions, for my mother, who likes to use them as portable farm pockets. But I’ve never made them just for me! For Costume College this year Amber of Virgil’s Fine Goods, Cait of Willoughby & Rose & I decided to go as 1780s fruit vendors, a la Strawberries Scarlet Strawberries from Wheatley’s Cries of London. Since my basket would be full of fruit, I needed someplace to hold all my personal stuff: lip balms and room keys. Standard Georgian street vendor belongings – you know. Time for pockets. I went through my stash for pocket inspiration. I was hoping I had some appropriate chintz or 18th c-esque printed cotton (this pair from the MFA Boston is still my ultimate pocket love), but alas, the stash did not supply. Someday I’ll make …

A Regency Captain Janeway cosplay, thedreamstress.com

Little Red Spencer-ette

I promised posts on all the new (or re-made) elements of my Regency Janeway outfit, and the sleeveless spencer certainly got the most questions & comments, so it’s first in line. For my Regency Janeway look, I originally intended to make the military inspired sleeveless vest from An Agreeable Tyrant (which Carolyn of Modern Mantua Maker has made a beautiful version of). I traced out the pattern, graded it up, and mocked it up, was all set to go sewing it up in a beautiful bright red silk taffeta… When I decided that the red was too bright for the dark Star Trek red, AND (more importantly) I realised I had a length of slightly moth-damaged red wool (upper left) which would be perfect for a Star Trek meets Regency shawl. The only problem? The wool clashed horribly with the red silk taffeta (lower half). I did have a 30cm long length of silk twill (upper right) that was a good match in my stash, but it wasn’t enough for the Agreeable Tyrant vest, and …

1790s jumps based on a pattern in Jill Salen's 'Corsets' thedreamstress.com

The 1790s jumps of disappointment

A month ago I blogged about making 1790s jumps that finally fit well and were super comfortable. In blogging about them, I realised I made a pair of jumps last year that I never blogged about – because they didn’t fit well, and weren’t super comfortable. These jumps are based on one of the 1790s corset pattern in Jill Salen. I loved the multiple back panels in the original, and the little tails they formed. However, there were other elements of the original I didn’t love so much: tabs cut along the front that didn’t seem to do anything and would have been so much work to bind, so I adapted the pattern based on a few other extant pairs of jumps, and other patterns. Unfortunately, partly because of my alterations, partly because of the original pattern, (and possibly because I did a weird job grading the pattern up) these did not turn out well. They look cute lying flat, but on a person? Not so much. The pattern was weird to start with: when …