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There is now a facebook group for Scroop Patterns!

There is now a Facebook Group for Scroop Patterns: the Scroop Patterns Sewing Group!  Yay!  Hooray!

I’m still polishing the group settings, but do come along and join it!

Use the group to:

  • Show off your Scroop stuff (yay, pictures!)
  • Ask questions about the patterns – this will make it easier and faster for me to answer, and if I’m offline, hopefully there will be other people who have made the pattern who can answer.
  • Get links to tutorials
  • Hear about new patterns and sales (Oooh!)

Hope to see you in it!

Goodbye Summer Henrietta Maria by Scroop Patterns thedreamstress.com

Rate the Dress: 1860s Aniline & Apron Effects

Thanks for your well wishes on lasts week’s Rate the Dress.  My posts are going to be written with help for at least another week I’m afraid…

Quite mixed feelings on last week’s 1906ish corded velvet ensemble.  Some of you thought it rich and regal, some of you thought it irredeemably ugly, and some of you liked it, except for a) the mismatched lace and/or b) the fabric and/or c) the clunky sleeves.  Lots of things to detract from perfection pulled the score down to 6.6 out of 10.

I personally loved the fabric and would take a chair upholstered in it any day of the week, but do struggle with 1906 sleeves.  They just make me think of an ape posturing to make itself look as big as possible in the chest and shoulders…

This week’s Rate the Dress, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is also purple and black.  The dress, one of the extremely fashionable new purple shades made possible by the discovery of aniline dyes, features the simple shape and enormous swathes of fabric typical of the mid 1860s, with visual interest achieved through applied ornamentation: in this case an ‘apron’ effect on the skirt, and trimming on the bodice and mancheron sleeves that enhance the illusion of a tiny waist and full rounded bust.

The lace and bead trim anticipates the late-Victorian fashion for layered and trims in jet, lace, and other materials, but its placement is pure 1860s.

The lace is almost certainly machine made – reflecting all the improvements in machine lace technology since the invention of the bobbinet machine in 1810.

What do you think?  The early-mid 1860s silhouette doesn’t always make for very exciting fashion.  Does this take on the style of its era, with all the new trends, and some unusual twists on trimming,  do enough to set it apart as interesting, and more importantly, elegant and aesthetically admirable?

Rate the Dress on a Scale of 1 to 10.

Making Bottom Donkey Ears for a Midsummer Nights Dream thedreamstress.com

Making ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’ donkey ears

I have actually done some costuming!

Mr D & I went to a friend ‘Night & Dreams’ themed masquerade birthday ball. I pulled out my Cobwebs & Roses dress for Titania, and Mr D pulled out his tails, and I made him a pair of donkey ears for a Bottom who would sweep Titania off her feet every day of the week.

Making Bottom Donkey Ears for a Midsummer Nights Dream thedreamstress.com

Here’s how I did it:

Take one ratty old rabbit fur collar, grey:

Making Bottom Donkey Ears for a Midsummer Nights Dream thedreamstress.com

Chop in half:

Making Bottom Donkey Ears for a Midsummer Nights Dream thedreamstress.com

Fold in half, lining side in, and zig zag:

Making Bottom Donkey Ears for a Midsummer Nights Dream thedreamstress.com

Three cheers for the Janome Sewist 521, pretty much the only >NZ$500 machine that will go through four layers of fur, two layers of collar stiffening, two layers of padding, and lining, plus double that at the ends, without a whisper of complaint:

Making Bottom Donkey Ears for a Midsummer Nights Dream thedreamstress.com

Now assemble the frame and trimmings:

Making Bottom Donkey Ears for a Midsummer Nights Dream thedreamstress.com

Two $2 shop flower garlands, assorted bits of florists wire, florists tape, ears.

Making Bottom Donkey Ears for a Midsummer Nights Dream thedreamstress.com

Denude the headbands of flowers and leaves:

Making Bottom Donkey Ears for a Midsummer Nights Dream thedreamstress.com

Wrap wires around both headbands to hold ears, and insert into ears:

Making Bottom Donkey Ears for a Midsummer Nights Dream thedreamstress.com

Sew ears around frame to secure on:

Making Bottom Donkey Ears for a Midsummer Nights Dream thedreamstress.com

Cover wires in florist tape to prevent pokies:

Making Bottom Donkey Ears for a Midsummer Nights Dream thedreamstress.com

Wind leaves back around headbands:

Making Bottom Donkey Ears for a Midsummer Nights Dream thedreamstress.com

Done!  Handsomest donkey ever!

Making Bottom Donkey Ears for a Midsummer Nights Dream thedreamstress.com

Making Bottom Donkey Ears for a Midsummer Nights Dream thedreamstress.com

Really comfortable too!  I enjoyed wearing them after the party:

Making Bottom Donkey Ears for a Midsummer Nights Dream thedreamstress.com