All posts filed under: Sewing

Things I sew – historical and modern

1760 Frou Frou Francaise thedreamstress.com

Five years later – Frou Frou Francaise progress (finally!)

It’s had a five year hiatus, but the mostly-Queen-Charlotte-inspired Frou Frou Francaise is back on my sewing schedule. It hit the shoals of inactivity back in 2013 for two reasons.  First, the fabric was really hard to sew, and was aggravating the chillblains and other arm problems I have in winter.  Second I realised that I had two meters less fabric than I had thought, and wouldn’t be able to finish it without significant piecing – and even then without all the trimming I’d hoped to have.  The two combined were just too demoralising, and I packed it away in the naughty bin. I’m really trying to clear out my PHD (project half done) pile, so, inspired by all the people who were planning to make Robe a la Francaise based on the American Duchess 18th century costuming book, I pulled the Francaise back out after Costume College last year, and re-assessed it to see what I could do to finish it. When I set the dress aside 5 years ago, the petticoat was completely finished, …

1795-1800 muslin dress thedreamstress.com

A mental meh and a very-end-of-the-18th-century muslin gown

I was really excited about my trip to Australia, and an opportunity/excuse to make a new ca. 1800 dress. I’ve done very little historical sewing since last Costume College, and I’m definitely missing it.  Regency has been on my sewing wishlist for quite a while.  I had a length of muslin I found at an op-shop that was just asking to be a simple almost-white dress. Should be perfect! Unfortunately I’m pretty meh about the result. I’m not sure if it’s really the dress, or simply in my brain. I’m currently going through a really hard patch as a costumer and historical sewer.  Mentally, I need a certain amount of time to focus on a project in order to really do a good job.  And I also need to keep in practice in order to not only to keep growing as a historical sewer, but to just stay at the levels of sewing that I’ve achieved in the past. And for the last few years I just haven’t managed to make that time.  Between starting …

Theresa with a Fichu at Old Government House Parramatta, thedreamstress.com

A new 18th century fichu – HSM 2018 #5

I always try to have a bit of handsewing on the go, so I have something to work on while sitting in a waiting room, or whenever else I have a tiny bit of down-time (an all too rare occurrence in my life at the moment, sadly). My last handsewing project was another 18th c fichu – a twin to the one I made back in December, because it’s easier to cut a square and divide it into two triangles than to cut an individual triangle, so you might as well make fichu in pairs! I finished my fichu on the flight to Sydney, just in time for Theresa to wear it for my talk and our photoshoot at Old Government House in Parramatta, Sydney. There isn’t a great deal to say about the fichu’s construction.*  I cut it at 80cm/31.5″ along the straight edges, which creates a 132cm/52″ angled edge.  The little slit in it is 12cm/4.5″ long. The slit allows it to sit nicely and snugly against the back of the neck. The …