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Thursday, August 4, 2011

shoes of awesome?! yes please!

The Devonshires are a leather 18th century shoe based on museum examples from the 1760s through 1780s. They're made of top-grade dyable leather, with a beautiful, smooth Italian leather sole for dancing, and are hard-wearing, water- and mud-proof, for even the toughest of outdoor re-enactments.

Pre-Order the Devonshires through August 10, and get the special $100 price. We're only making 200 of these shoes, so don't miss the chance to own one of only a couple hundred pairs on the planet! Visit http://www.american-duchess.com/ to order.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Wishful Thinking

It's the middle of summer and roasting hot here in Virginia, but I'm already thinking about my lack of cold-weather 18th c. clothing, especially with the rumors circling at my house of a mid-December Williamsburg trip.

I patterned the cloak off the red wool one in Costume Close-Up, only mine is shorter. It's made out of wool with pinked cotton for the ties and the bow on the back of the hood!

I made this muff a few months ago and just never took pictures of it. It's made of thick blue wool and lined with cotton, with nice thick wool batting sandwiched between. I lined the edges with scraps of rabbit fur. The blue wool is actually the leftover scraps from a coat my great-grandmother made me when I was about two!

I'm still plugging away at the pet. I had a mid-1900's bathing suit to make and ship for a customer this month, so this project has kind of taken the back burner. I have attatched the sleeves and hemmed it, and pinned on the stomacher. It doesn't close here because my dress form is not remotely shaped like me when I am all stay-ed in. XD

Well, that's it for the time being! I hope to have pictures of that bathing suit up as soon as my customer gets it in the mail!


Monday, June 20, 2011

The Beginnings of My Pet-En-L'Air

Ignore the wonky wrinkles! I'll make the stomacher to match the pet. :)

I haven't ironed down the pleats yet and the sleeve is just pinned on. And... I actually used the evil sewing machine for this one.

Sunday, June 19, 2011



It's sheer linen, with gold and green silk as the stripes. AND there are four yards of it. AND it cost me three bucks. AND it is vintage. (Seriously though, is it tacky to say how much something cost? I'm just a cheap person who likes good deals, I don't want to look like I am bragging. Nobody likes to read that.) So, I am thinking late 18th/early 19th c gown, or maybe something Downton Abbey-esque?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Corsets and Parasols and My Furry Dog and Birthdays!

So, today I turned 18! And, because I like my birthday, I decided to post some of the things that are making me happy today!

The first one is my new mid-Victorian corset! My old one was awful and it hurt. So, I spent all day yesterday making this new one to wear to a ball tomorrow. I made it out of that pink toile which failed as a graduation dress, but is perfect for corsets.

I know it's not perfect, and there are wonky wrinkles which will go away when I replace the plastic bones with spiral steel, but now, I am not afraid of corset-making. All those curves always scared me, which is why I loved my stays so much. But now, I feel like I can do this whole corset thing!

I am still afraid of setting grommits though. Those are metal rings covered by hand sitched eyelets. I wore this corset today and it was really really comfortably and the eyelets did not tear!

The second thing is this parasol! I got it for.... wait for it.... FIVE BUCKS!! FIVE! at an antique shop nearby. I think it looks to be from about 1890... what do yall think?

The cover has some rust stains on it-- the fabric is extremely fragile in these places-- and there are some small holes and fading. However, the frame is in good shape and I just love it!

And last but not least, my furry buddy Radar, who probably hates me for putting that stupid bow in his hair. XD

Monday, June 6, 2011

Blue and White/Help Me!

I can't help it- I love blue and white together! On our recent trip to Williamsburg, I couldn't resist this blue and white roller-print cotton, partially because it matches the dishes I bought at Target! (seriously, how cool is target!?)

I love it!

It just begs to be a pet-en-l'air! I even did a quick mock up of the back to see how much I liked it. The only problem is, I have two yards. Do you all think that will be enough, if I piece where necessary and make it short? Opinions please!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Pinball and an Apron

The apron I made, based off the one in Costume-Close Up.

And my slightly lumpy pinball. :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011


So, being too lazy to post about any of the seemingly hundreds of projects I've been working on (anybody else feel that spring is awful for CADD?!), I decided to post some pictures of a few blue gowns I really love. The first two are from the KCI, I believe... I'm not good about keeping up with sources. Just for fun, I put links to fabric that looks similar to the gowns. Click the pictures! :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Flat-Crowned Hat Experiment and New Fabric

I have wanted to try out Madame Berg's flat-crowned hat tutorial for awhile now, so I made a few changes and stitched together my own version!
Measuring out the crown! After I stitched the crown to the brim! :) I didn't soak the crown to reshape it because my placemats were a synthetic. I made it so it would be slightly higher where the back of my head is and taper down towards the front of the hat.

The finished product! I made it to match my sack gown. :)

The ribbon rosette. :)

A closeup of the antique button.

And now, the fabrics I have for my two upcoming projects! The one above is for an 18th century-inspired dress for graduation. (48 days!)

I found this fabric (the one below) at Wal-Mart and it reminded me of a certain gown... anybody want to guess which one? :) It's going to be a round gown for a Williamsburg trip. :)

Ball pictures will come in the next post! :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Home Education Day at the New Market Battlefield

This past week here in Virginia, we thought spring had arrived... until yesterday. When we got up this morning to leave for New Market it was blowing snow!

I wore my new 1860's day dress and the wool spoon bonnet I made. :)

My awesome friend and fellow history buff and seamstress, Abigail. I'll be helping make 18th century clothing for her and her 7 siblings soon, so I'm sure you'll be seeing some posts on that!
Bundled up. Brr....