All posts filed under: Sewing

Things I sew – historical and modern

1780s American Duchess cap review thedreamstress.com

The 1780s cap from the American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Dressmaking

It’s always a good feeling to finish the year and a sewing project at the same time.  This time I finished the 1780s cap from the American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Dressmaking just as 2017 closed. Literally! I was sitting on my couch sewing on the bow and watching bonnet movies as the year ticked over, because that’s how I party! As far as I know, I’m the first person to have made the 1780s cap, which means I had the dubious distinction of discovering the typo where it says to cut one piece instead of two for the both the ruffles. I should have figured out the typo on my own.  Two makes so much sense!  But I was pattern testing for Scroop Patterns at the same time.  The cap was my ‘down’ time from pattern testing, but my brain was 100% in pattern testing mode.  That means I turn off independent thought and logic and follow what a pattern says exactly.  And I really wanted to do the patterns as AD gave …

Barcode Shirt & Smaug Shorts thedreamstress.com

Dinosaur Eggs & Dragon Shorts

Last year summer in Wellington was a non-starter.  I barely made a summer wardrobe, and didn’t get to wear the few pieces I did make.  This year Wellington is making up for lost sunshine with a vengeance.  It’s been SUNNY and STICKY.  Mr D & I have been spending lots of time outside, gardening and going for walks, which means lots of shorts & T-shirts. Luckily I found the perfect shorts fabric over winter.  Isn’t it wonderful when you find a fabric and it tells you exactly what it wants to be?  Down to the last detail!  So often I know what I want to make, but can’t find the right fabric, or find gorgeous fabric, and have a good general idea of what it should be, but figuring out the design details takes more time than making the actual thing… Last winter Made Marion Craft got in this fabulous linen blend with a little triangular pattern in yellow & black: It immediately said two things to me: shorts, and Smaug. Smaug? Yep! Think of …

A super-full 1916 petticoat thedreamstress.com, 1910s petticoat, starched petticoat

The super-full 1916 petticoat: or, the wonder & magic of starch

Remember my cheater 1916 petticoat? I’m sure a lot of you looked at it and thought: “It’s so limp!”   And “There is no way that is going to support a skirt as big as her inspiration image!” Behold the wonders of starch: The photograph above was taken after I starched my 1916 petticoat, let it sit around the house for a week in the Wellington damp, handled it a lot threading the ribbon through, shoved it in a suitcase, took it to LA, wore it, let it live in the hot humidity there* for 10 days, shoved it in a suitcase again, let it sit in damp, cold, humid Wellington for another 10 days, and then pressed and photographed it.** Plus, at some point in this process Felicity managed to conscript it as a bed for a luxurious nap… And it’s still poofy! A reminder of how poofy my 1916 ‘Gather Ye Rosebuds’ dress was on the night: So much poof! So how did I do it? Lots & lots of starch! How to …