oh, hello there!

Monday, November 30, 2009


On Thanksgiving, I started/completed my shift IN ONE DAY! It's all machine done, but I'm so proud of it that I don't really care. I made it out of muslin, which was good because it was cheap, and I have leftovers for whatever I need it for later! ^_^ So, thus far, my whole 18th c. wardrobe has cost under $150, which makes me very happy. The most expensive things were the red petticoat I bought and the material, which was around $70, with several leftover yards of each.
My current projects I've got going:
-18th c. straw low crowned hat: I've put pictures of this on facebook, and will have these up on here after exams are over. Tis pretty much finished, but I'm really craving some feathers for it.
-Owl apron: So my mum looked far and wide because she wanted to find me an apron with an owl on it for Christmas, because I love anything with owls and she wants me to learn to cook better. She couldn't find one, so she bought me a pattern and some cute owl material!!! Pics will follow. 0,0
-Embroideried stomacher-- Just a random project to keep me busy. I've no gown to wear it with, but oh well.
This week is finals!!!! GRR. But afterwords is the ball!!! Yay! I've even been asked, too... Mr. Amazing reserved me months ago! ^^
So, that's it for the moment. Better posts with pictures of EVERYTHING will come as soon as exams are over.

Monday, November 23, 2009

oh. my. goodness. gosh.

For some reason, I no longer feel as guilty about using material that is not 100% accurate.... It could be worse. Much worse. Much MUCH worse.
Today, my petticoat came! I bought it from here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/bonniemissflora. It's a really really dark red, and I'll be wearing it and a pink one I made underneath my green silk one for the ball. Pics will be posted when I can be bothered. I did try everything on last night and was quite satisfied! I just need to hem the green and pink petticoats and finish the trim on one of the sleeves of the gown (still!). Oh, and I'm hoping to get out tomorrow to get some material for my shift.
Also, I started on a little side project of a short jacket-- practice for one I want to make for a possible senior trip to Williamsburg/possible reenacting. I'm still kind of in the researching stages at the moment but have a general idea of what I want to do.
Well, that's all for this time! Bye!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

shoes, stays, and other stuff.

so, my robe a la anglasie for the ball is basically finished, except for another sleeve ruffle which i am too lazy to finish at the moment. i also finished my pockets this morning while studying for an exam i have Monday--- multitasking win! basically, the only things i have left to do are hem and finish my petticoat, make my shift (which will be easy enough), and the nasty task of binding my stays, which i also started today. oh, i went to the fabric store last night in search of white linen to use for my shift. and you know what? they didn't have ANY. NONE! they only had pink, blue, an odd green, and this lovely deep red, which was tempting for a more practical future petticoat. but back to my rant. NONE! what the heck?!?!!? so for the sake of time and money, i might have to just use muslin. grr. while browsing about the fabrics last night, i kept in mind that in the 18th century your material choices were pretty limited. you had wools, linen, and silk, basically, all of which are pretty pricey and, unless you buy online, difficult to come by sometimes, because most things are a blend with polyester in them. Not to mention the price per yard... so I've decided that for my practical 18th c clothes, i'm definitely using cotton some of the time. i have no moral opposition against it!
i have also run into a shoe dilemma. i have found several tutorials on how to get yourself some 18th c shoes using thrift store finds and what not. here----http://bauhausfrau.livejournal.com/60973.html --- is a good one, and i'm guessing you could skip alot of those steps and just add straps and buckles for more sturdy, durable, practical shoes. at the suggestion of an expert, i'm going to check antique stores for a pair of 1940s-era shoes to modify. the problem is, i usually stay away from high heels due to my injury, so i'm a bit uneasy about it. i have seen some 18th c shoes with either very low or no heels, but they're usually from the 1780s-1790s and not civilian class shoes. but we'll see what happens.
so, questions for yall-- where do you buy your material? what kind of shoes do you use? comment below!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


So last night after getting home from classes I got lazy about doing homework and energetic about working on my dress, and HUGE PROGRESS WAS MADE. Last week, I drew up my pattern for my robe a la anglaise and cut out the material. So the pattern I had on hand was an embarassing simplicity 'colonial' pattern, and that would NEVER do. NEVER NEVER NEVER. *gag.* But the invitation for the ball came and I have less than two months to finish this project, so ordering a new pattern and waiting forever and a day for it to come was not an option. Therefore, I basically dissected the pattern I have! I had some lovely brown paper that a picture come back from framing had been wrapped in, so that got used for the final pattern. I used my embarassing pattern and photographs of original dresses as guidelines. ANYWAY, I cut out the lining for the bodice from some white taffeta leftover from my blue and white gown from the ball last year. I also cut out everything for the outer part too. i put it all together, and YAY, I think my pattern worked!! :D

I intend to work in it more tonight... Got to admit I'm dreading the sleeves. :/ Oh, and if any of yall have advice on the best way to pin the front of your gowns shut I would appreciate it.

well, that's it for the time being!


Saturday, October 24, 2009

a post about pockets

So! About pockets! A bit of backstory for those of you who don't know:

In the 18th century, pockets weren't sewn into petticoats, they were more like bags that tied about the waist and went under the layers of petticoats. These pockets were often quite elaborately decorated, even though they were unseen.
I used leftover muslin from my stays to make my pockets (again, no linen for two reasons, low on cash and laziness, two of the primary characteristics of students). For the embroidery pattern, I did some research on different patterns and kind of picked a general idea of what I wanted based on what I saw on some of the websites. From that I sketched out a pattern and went for it! Again, I used old embroidery thread I had lying about... not exactly crewlwork, but I'm relatively satisfied with how it turned out. I needed a sort of brainless project to work on anyways, what with most of the brainpower going towards chemistry midterms... ugh. Anyway, I'm going out sometime this week to buy some linen tape to bind the edges up and finish everything!
Oh, started on the green petticoat this weekend... measure twice, maybe even three times, cut once. I always get kind of nervous when I'm cutting material. :/ So I put most of that together yesterday and got the front part pleated. I thought I'd finished pleating the back too, but in retrospect I am entirely dissatisfied with the results, so I'll probably end up taking it apart tomorrow after classes and fixing it the way I like it. If I feel energetic I'll hem the slits for the pockets and work on stitching on the tapes... Then comes the daunting process of hemming... ugh.... life would be easier with a dress dummy.
Mmmmk, bye!

Friday, October 23, 2009


Hey yall! I am quite pleased to announce that the stays project is basically finished, except for binding the edges, which can wait. This is a big deal because now I can FINALLY do the fitting for my robe a la Anglaise. :D :D :D anyway, I laced myself up this morning and took a few quick pictures, none of which turned out very well because my camera was dying. Eventually I'll take some proper ones.
Anyway, details on how I made them/ what I'd change if I did it again:
I used the Simplicity 3635 pattern, which, of course, I did not follow exactly. I had some unbleached muslin leftover from a regency dress I made a few years ago, which, even though I know it's not period-accurate, i used for the outer part and the lining. For the middle layer I used some pink cotton I'd been given. I know none of these are historically correct, but I didn't want to spend a whole lot of money on this just in case it went horribly wrong, and I'd been given both of these fabrics so they cost me nothing.
There was a bit of a dilemma with the boning... the pattern called for 30 and 5/8 yards of boning, which upon further investigation, costs six dollars for a 5 yard package. Being a poor student who wasn't interested in spending this much, I don't think I need to say that I didn't end up buying it. Fortunately we found an alternative!!!!!! My dad works in the medical imaging business, and they buy boxes of contrast (a substance injected into patients so veins and stuff will show up better on images during an MRI). In the bottom of these boxes come these thick sheets of plastic, which upon being measured and cut into strips, work quite well as boning! What's even better is that I got them for free!! So thus far my project has cost me nothing and all I have to buy is the binding for the edges and some lacing. The whole thing is handsewn, including the eyelets, of which I'm quite proud.
If I had to do it again:

  • I would definately invest in the right materials. Reed boning, linens...

  • I would sew the boning channels first instead of as I went.

  • I would have practiced making the eyelets first... :/

  • I would have made the stays taller, as in longer. I underestimated my height.

Other than that, I'm quite pleased!

Ok, expect a post pretty soon on pockets. Yay! Also, leave a comment to tell me what you think and let me know if yall know any good substitutes for boning so we'll all know for future projects.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I suppose I should introduce myself, being new to this blog-y thing and all. I'm Sarah, and I'm a
homeschooler in my junior year of high school. I have been sewing for a few years now, and have lately developed an obsession with 18th century costume. Thus, I chose to join the handful of other 18th century bloggers out there! I'll be posting pics of current projects, ideas, and other good stuff, as well as adding posts about my past dresses and projects.
Thanks for reading!