Making an 18th Century Skirt and Jacket – Part 2

Hello everyone 🙂 Welcome to part 2 discussing my grey velvet skirt and caraco jacket. My last post was a bit on the negative side… But I do like the outcome.

If you’d like to know, how I made the undergarments for this project and how I constructed the jacket, you can find three blogposts here:

The fabrics I used for the jacket are from Buttinette (the cotton lining) and from the scrap section of my local fabric store Modesa (blue striped polyester). The beads are from the Bastelzentrum and the lace was bought on the market in Italia.

Ok, that’s enough, let’s start with the good stuff.

Making the Stomacher

For the stomacher, I decided to use a base layer, made from cotton as well as the grey velvet. This base layer is fully boned (I used some light plastic bonig I had around). I unfortunately did not take that many pictures while sewing.

The first step was to sew all boning channels. I marked the channels using a ruler and a pen, then I sewed along the lines (I closed the channels on one side):

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After that, I inserted the boning. As already mentioned, I used plastic boning and I filed and taped the ends for security. Then I closed all channels. Since the edges were raw, I decided to make bias binding out of the velvet (which wasn’t a great idea since the edges are quite bulky now). I am not sure, if the vertical boning channels are the best solution, I guess, doing diagonal channels like I did for my stays would have been a better option.

After that step, I already started decorating it. I used two different laces. The lightblue lace was gathered and then sewn on with a running stitch along the gathers. I also did some stitches to secure the ruffles in place. Then I used the darker lace and placed it over the gathers, hiding the stitches. This one was also sewn using a running stitch. This stitch was then covered by the lightblue ruffles and so on…

 

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To decorate the top, I used two rows of the darker lace as well as some beeds.

Finishing Touches

My last step was using some lining fabric from my stash and sew it on with whip stitches to hide the lines of stitching.

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In certain light, the stitching lines  are still visible, but I think, it looks much cleaner than before. I sewed the lining down with whip stitches. And this is the final result:

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I did not add some additional ribbon to secure the stomacher on my stays using them but might end up doing it in the future. It is a bit difficult to secure it with the pins right now. And that is already everything for the stomacher.

Second Mock Up

To make sure, all corrections for the pattern that I drafted in the previous post were ok, I decided to make a second mock up. I am happy I did, because the sleeve pattern still needed some alterations and I also made some smaller changes at the waistline and the shoulders.

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Then it was time to start assembling my jacket.

Assembling the Caraco Jacket

I started by assembling the lining. I sewed all seams with 1cm of seam allowance and then ironed them open. The sleeves were not sewn in until later and I also did not line them.

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Next were the boning channels. As you can see above, I did mark the waistline to make sure, the bones would not be too long. I created them using some scraps. I folded the edges inwards to prevent the channels from fraying and then sewwed them on.

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There are three bones, two at the sides and one in the center back. I filed and taped them for security too.

Pattern Matching

After assembling the lining, it was time to cut out the jacket from my beautiful fabric. I managed to cut all pieces out and (more or less) match the pattern, there was just a small edge where I had to piece it.

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The difficult part was to try and match the seams while sewing. I used a ton of pins etc. but I also couldn’t match the pattern perfectly after my second try. This might be the reason because I made a mistake while cutting out. But anyways… This is what the back seam looks like:

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Not perfect, but close enough for me. This is the top layer assembled after ironing all seams flat:

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The next step was sewing the top layer and the lining together. This worked pretty well, I only had to make a small pleat in the lining at the bottom, because it was a bit wider than the top layer.

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And this is what it looked like on after assembling top layer and lining:

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Making the Sleeves

The last step was drafting the sleeve pattern. I drafted about 5 patterns… In the end, I gave up and took the one I liked most. It was a bit too wide at the arm opening, a problem I solved with a box pleat at the top. I actually really like that pleat there.

Then it was time for sleeve flounces. I used the Americhan Duchess’ “Guide to 18th Century Dressmaking” again and I love the flounces. They are not that big because I didn’t have that much fabric left. But they are pretty… After cutting out all pieces from fabric, I decorated the grey velvet piece with some leftover lace:

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Then I joined the two layers and gathered them at the top:

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Sewing the flounces onto the sleeves was a bit of a pain, I have to say, but I adore the outcome. The last step to finish the jacket was sewing on ruffles around the neckline. I had to piece the ruffle together from 18 small stripes of fabric!

This is a picture taken in the city of me casually wearing my jacket 😉

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And that is it for the construction of my caraco jacket!

Dress and Make up

I have already taken some pictures of my finished caraco jacket and the skirt and accessories going with it. Excuse the background. I did not have the time to go outside and take pictures and my photo edge is not yet finished. So my living room had to do the job. Here we go:

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My hairdo was inspired by Georgine de Courtais “Women’s Hats, Headdresses and Hairstyles” and I liked it. It is no recreation, I did what I could (I am quite bad with hairstyles…). For my make up I went a bit heavier than my everyday make up and used a lipstick that matches the roses on the hat. That’s all :). While I did my little photoshoot, I always had to pin my jacket onto the stomacher…. Pins are not for me 😉

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As you can see, next to stomacher and jacket, I have also finished a fichu, a pair of handmitts as well as a hat. Since I documented the process quite detailed with pictures and everything, I will do a seperate post for the accessories. If you are interested in that, stay tuned.

Thanks so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed and I wish you a good time.

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New Dress, New Chapter

Hello everyone 🙂 This post is going to be a little bit different. As the title suggests, I have decided to move on and take the next step, that I thought about since half a year: I moved my website to my own domain! I am so incredibly happy about this! I did everything myself: I got my domain, I found a server, I moved all data from this site to my new site and I started working through all the posts to improve them as well as started working on the layout. The website is not finished yet, I am still working on it, but it is at a point where I feel comfy to show it to you:

The other update is this: I have finished my caraco jacket ensemble! I am so happy with how this turned out.  Part two about it will be published on my new website but I will also publish it here, probably on sunday. Here is a full shot of it 🙂

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Now, what does this mean for my wordpress.com blog? The second and final post on this ensemble will unfortunately also be my last post on my blog here. It will stay online for some time, until I transferred all data, but after that, I will move to my new page. Blogposts about the projects that I am currently working on will also be published on my new page.

Why did I move? This question is quickley answered: I like being able to change whatever I like to and I like to have the whole picture, not only a part of it. I loved how easy setting up my blog here was and I loved how smoothly you could publish things. But then again, I am someone who likes to take action and find out, how everything behind what I see works.

So, I did 🙂 It also opens a whole new chest of possibilities. I am currently fighting with css and html and I am learning soooooo much. I still use a template but I am at the moment adjusting it to my liking. I love it 🙂 I love learning new things, searching for info, being frustrated sometimes, but having a me-made solution in the end. Well, enough about me, let’s switch to a big thank you:

Thank you so, so, so, so much for subscribing and supporting me on here. Thank you for everytime you read something or had a look on a picture, thank you for paying me a visit, thank you for liking, following and commenting. I would be more than happy, if you’d pay my new page a visit and I hope, it will provide you just as good with information, entertainment or whatever you liked about my page 😉

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed and I wish you a wonderful day!

Making an 18th Century Skirt and Jacket – Part 1

Hello everyone 🙂 Welcome to a new post, discussing the making of my grey and ice blue 18th century ensemble, consisting of a skirt and a jacket with a stomacher. If you’d like to know, how I made the undergarments for this project, you can find two blogposts here:

The Materials

Since the pet-en-air failed because I do not have enough materials, I am going to make a caraco jacket. Let us start with my materials:

  • 2.60m of grey cotton velvet
  • 1.60m of my striped icy blue fabric
  • 5m of light blue lace
  • 4m of blue lace

So, we basically work with nothing… But a lovely colour palette, I am determined to make this work. It reminds me of a stormy day and the sea. My asthetic and my colours, I love stormy weather ;).

A skirt, that has it’s own mind

Let’s start with the skirt. I already had to compromise here. Since my two pieces of fabric were not the same length, I pieced the back of the skirt together by adding 30cm of length from the longer piece to the shorter. Which left me with two pieces with a length of 1.30m of fabric each. At this point, let me say, I considered this project a total failure. Which is why I did not pick up the camera too often. I was not sure about it in the first place and this feeling did not get better the more I worked on it.

I sewed my two pieces together and hemmed the side splits After that I draped the pleats on my dressform over my stays and pocket hoops. From here on, the skirt was a disaster. I managed to pleat it in a way that looked nice on my dressform. Until I secured the pleats with thread and needle. I’m not going to hide my fails, so enjoy and have a look at it:

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This is the front. And on the next picture you can see the back:

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Beautiful, right? I don’t exactly know where things went that wrong, but at least, I think, I know how to fix it (thanks to my dear friend Hannah on Instagram, celestialdiamondcouture).

The first thing that definitely is wrong, is the width at the waist. Front and back piece are both about 3/4 of my waist circumference, which makes absolutely no sense (no idea why I pleated it like this). The overlap at the side splits looks horrible because of that. The other issue, that I cannot solve, is that it is probably just not enough fabric for pleating. So what I am going to do is open all seams at the waist and start again. This time I will do the pleats in the center and gather the rest (thanks again, Hannah). Since I am disappointed with this, I am still procrastinating. But I will fix it eventually. I love the fabrics and the colours I decided to use and I want to save it and make something pretty.

This is, how it looks right now after trimming it to a (not so) good length and hemming it:

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Moving on, this skirt makes me mad ;).

Two jackets, but no fabric

In the meantime, let us talk about the jacket. As I already spoilered you above, the pet-en-air will not be made. I drafted the pattern for it on my dressform and also made a mock up. But I just do not have enough fabric because of the stripes (I want to pattern match, otherwise it will not look as clean and perfect as I would like it to). The pet-en-air will eventually be made, but in other fabric and maybe it will even be a robe à la française (I adore these…). I’ll show you the process of patterning when make it. For now, this is what the mock up looked like:

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This is a very elegant garment in my opinion. And extremely flattering. I would love to have one. There are a few things about this pattern though that definitely need more work. The side seams for example or the sleeves etc. But this is work for another post, so let’s go back to solution number 2.

Since the pet-en-air did not work, I started all over again, using this picture as a reference:

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I decided to make a stomacher and changed the front part of the bodice. It would have been too similar to my robe à l’anglaise with that kind of closure and I like to have some variety. I also decided to shorten the sleeves and add flounces, since I have such pretty laces. They play a huge part on the stomacher, and I like repeating details and pull the whole outfit together. There will also be ruffles araund the neckline (if I have enough fabric left, I hope so). Janet Arnold dates this between 1775 and 1785. But since the stomacker is inspired by another of her sketches (same book, p. 28f) and a different sleeve design, I guess it is more similar to 1760s to 1770s gowns, so I’ll go with that for the accessories.

The last thing I changed is the hidden pleat in the back. I decided to make the skirt in the back a little bit more voluminous, to create the illusion of a hidden pleat (due to: not enough fabric). Spoiler: That plan did not work really out, the back is flat without even the slightest sign of a pleat.

After drafting my pattern, I cut all pieces out from cotton to create a mock up:

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I marked the waist as a guide, the seams will be boned in the end. Then I sewed all pieces together without hemming them and this is, what the jacket looked like:

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I really like this jacket as well. I had to make a few changes to my pattern though. There was too much room in the waist, the back gaped away from my body and the sleeves where off (like always… I always need around three trials before I have a usable sleeve pattern). The last thing was levelling the hem (I also shortened it about 5cm, because, you guessed it, not enough fabric). This is the pattern I came up with in the end:

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Optimistic thoughts

This is what I’ll attempt to make. So far, it looks as if it should be possible to squeeze it out of my little bit of fabric and even have some scraps leftover to make ruffles or accessories. It’s starting to look good, I am a bit more optimistic about this project right now. But after I have finished this, I will venture into another period for some time. I need a break from the 18th century, eventhough I really started to love it.

I’ll end the post here. In the second post, I will discuss making the jacket and the accessories and hopefully be able to show you pictures of my finished outfit. That is, if I can find the motivation to correct my mistakes ;). Thanks a lot for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post, eventhough it is a bit more on the negative side. But we learn the best from mistakes, don’t we?

If you’d like to see the latest updates, you may want to give my Instagram a try 😉 Most updates are on there before my blog posts are ready. Thanks a lot and bye 🙂

Purry PS

“Your food is tasty!”

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Making 18th Century Pocket Hoops

Hello everyone 🙂 I initially intended to go on with something from the 19th century, but a sale in my local fabric store blew all my plans away. I found a piece of the most gorgous greyish blue striped fabric, that immediately screamed 18th century to me. I bought it, eventough it is only a piece of 160x140m.

Which means that I changed my plans and am still wandering through the beautiful 18th century. If you are interested in 18th centruy fashion, I have all my posts discussing the century here:

Now, let me discuss some more details on my current project.

Plans are unfolding and probably failing

At home I went through my stash and found two pieces of cool grey velvet, that match perfectly as well as two different blue laces, 4m each. The plan is to squeeze a jacket and a skirt out of these materials… Eventhough it is not that much. Like always. Many bad decisions… But just look at that colour palette! I love this kind of icy greyish blue. It reminds me of the northern sea.

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I really want this to work out, even if I have to compromise. Let’s start with my desired design. I calculated and if I piece the back of the skirt together, I should have enough of the velvet for a hat and hopefully gloves. More problematic is the jacket. I have no idea how much fabric this will take. The fabric is striped, so I cannot really use its full potential unless I let go of the idea of using the pattern as a part of the design. The thing that I would love to make is a French Jacket or a Pet-en-air (I love the french and their talent for naming things… this is hilarious). Basically a short saque gown:

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This is taken from Nancy Bradfields “Costume in Detail”. I have a slight feeling that I do not have enough fabric for this… But I decided to pattern it anyways because I want that pattern. Then I’ll make a mock up for the jacket. If it fit’s I”ll see if I get anywhere with my fabric. And if it is not enough, I’ll make a caraco jacket:

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This one is featured in Janet Arnolds “Patterns of Fashion” and was worn over pocket hoops according to her notes. It would also work for my plans.

Pocket hoops first

Back to the main topic of this post: The first thing we need are pocket hoops. I will wear my stays, my shift and probably also the petticoat I made for my robe à l’anglaise, but I need pocket hoops. For reference I used Nora Waughs “Corsets and Crinolines” as well as the American Duchess’ “Guide to 18th Century Dressmaking”, both fantastic books.

Materials I used:

  • cotton (table cloth), you need about 3/4m of a stirdy fabric
  • bias binding (to bind raw edges and as emergency ties or to skip creating your own boning channels)
  • ribbon (for the ties, you need 12 shorter pieces to tie the hoops in shape and 4 longer pieces to tie the hoops together in the front and back –> this will hopefully make more sense soon…)
  • hoop wire (and tape and/or a file)
  • and of course thread, scissors and a sewing machine
  • oh, and some grey cells for the following maths 😉

Yes, maths… well, not really. I just decided what measurements to go for and then calculated how long my ties would be since I did not have that much ribbon etc. So my notes are very messy and corrected, but maybe they can still provide some help.

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Since I do not have a lot of fabric for the skirt and the jacket, I shortened the width of the pattern. It is now 50cm wide, instead of the 54.8cm the girls from the American Duchess used. It is also not the same length and my bones may be placed slightley different (I did my own calculations here). I also shortened the ties because, surprise, I did not have enough ribbon… The emergency bias binding ties were not a thing at this point, because I made a mistake with counting the ties… 12 of the shorter ones, not 8 like my sketch wants to make you believe. A well thought through project, isn’t it?

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This is the pattern I made with my measurements and calculations. Lauren and Abby’s Book was a huge help with these. They are not that difficult to make, but it helps a lot, if you have something as a reference. I forgot to add seam allowance at the bottom, so I added it while cutting the pieces out.

I cut  the pattern out twice on the fold (make sure to not cut it out on the bias) from an old cotton table cloth I had around. Then I marked the slit and the boning channels. I did the slit because I plan to make myself a pair of pockets one day and it would be great to reach them through my pocket hoops.

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Then I pinned my bias tape on to create boning channels. I would not recommend using bias tape. Ribbon works well, or create your own boning channels. I had nothing else around (I was short on my ribbon and used it for the ties) so I used bias binding because I did not want to spend the extra time on creating boning channels myself. The lowest channel was created with the existing hem.

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I sewed all boning channels, then cut open the marked slit and hemmed it. Then I inserted the boning. I used 0.5cm hoop wire for these, taped at the ends for security reasons. After all boning was in place I closed the boning channels by back stitching over them several times. Next were the hems at the side. Then I attached the ribbon that was previously cut into 6 pieces of ca. 25cm and 4 pieces of ca. 40cm. The ties were attached next to the boning channels, for the ones I did not cut out from the ribbon, I used bias tape. The longer ones I used for the bottom boning channel (they were meant to be the ties in the following sentence… several mistakes made here ;)). I had forgotten to cut four additional ties, that would tie the two to each other in the front and back. So, I used bias binding again. Let’s forget about this whole part of the process, I don’t know, where I put my brain this day.

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Now there are only the finishing touches left. The top part of the hoops should be gathered, I decided to go with a third of my waist measurement. To finish the raw edges I used some satin bias binding again and also created the waist ties with it. The colour matches the rest of my underwear. And that is already everything for this project. Looking back, they really are an easy make (just don’t leave your brain in the bed like me).

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These are the hoops on my dressform together with chemise, petticoat and my stays.

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Ant here you see them from the back. The stays are not laced until the last eyelits. I will have them for some time on my dressform and since the eyelits are handsewn, they might tear… And I love these stays. So no tension where not needed and the minimum, where I have to lace it.

Thanks a lot for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post and I wish you a great time.

Purry PS:

“Give me whatever you’ve just planned to put into your pan. Now.”

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Making a Robe à l‘Anglaise – Singin‘ in the Rain

Hello everyone! Welcome to the last post on my Robe à l’Anglaise. My boyfriend and I went outside to take some pretty pictures as soon as the sun began to shine. The weatherforecast for today was quite bad. And yes, we got soaked.

For my make up I went with the same solution I used last time. I did a “natural” face to cover some imperfections and take away the shine for the pictures. Then I applied far too much blush and some red lipstick as a compromise between today and the 1780s. They wore their make up proudly back then…

For my hair… Well… Let me face the truth: I have no talent. But I tried my best and it looks at least like something. But nothing like the pretty hairdo I tried to copy. Applause to my hairspray, it saved my creation until we were done with the pictures.

For the photos, I decided that the forest next to my village would be great now that it is all golden, green, brown and red. We were strolling towards the woods nearby and after about half of our way it began to drip. And then a cloudburst. I had my hat, it was wet after we reached the woods and so was the lower part of my dress, the toppart was luckily protected by my trenchcoat. My boyfriend did not have that much luck, he was wet. The rain stopped more or less when we reached the forest and we managed to take some pictures before it started again. After the first few drops, we decided to leave.

It started to rain more heavy again. Luckily, there was a nice elderly couple in a car that gave us a lift back. It was all in all quite funny and I really like the pictures we took. Maybe we’ll try again. This time with an umbrella!

Sooo, many thanks to my boyfriend for this adventure and the pretty pictures. And thanks to you for reading, I hope, you’ll enjoy the photos. Next I will dive into the 19th century :).

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Making a Robe à l’Anglaise – Part 2

Hello everyone! Welcome to the second post about my robe à l’anglaise. Today I’m discussing all the things that were left to do: I finished the gown itself, decorated it with ruffles and beads and made a matching hat to go with it.

If you are interested in how I made the underpinnings that I wear underneath or would like to see how I drafted the bodice and made the skirt, you can find the posts here:

Now let’s start with the gown.

Making the Gown:

After making the mock up and adjusting the shoulder seams and one of the side seams, I corrected my paper pattern and then cut out all the pieces for the first two layers that are building the bodice. I decided to go with three layers since I did not want the seams of the boning channels to be visible. The base layer is made from the same cotton that I used to make the mock up, but also the chemise, the bumpad and the petticoat. I sewed all pieces together and then did the same with the jacquard pieces.

I managed to pattern match the two front panels, which is cool, I never got so close to match it nicely. After ironing all seams open, I continued by adding the boning channels to the base layer. I used bendable plastic boning for all seams. Since the base layer would be covered and thus protected, I did not bother with zig zagging the channels or be too careful. They will not really fray like that.

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Next I joined the top layer and the base layer. I turned the edges inwards and secured everything with whipstitches through the base layer, since I did not want to have any visible stitches on the outside of the bodice.

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I decided not to make the ruffle around the hem of the skirt, to have some of the red taffeta left to decorate the bodice and the sleeves with. I cut the remaining fabric in stripes (and kept a bigger piece for the hat) with a pair of zig zag scissors to make the ruffles more interesting. This also prevents the fabric from fraying which is great, if you are lazy like me. The edges can be left raw.

Furthermore, I have seen this element on several of the dresses I looked up for reference and wanted to incorporate it somewhere. The stripes were gathered in the center.

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After creating the ruffles, I patterned the sleeves. This is basically a copy of my sleeve pattern for the chemise with little alterations. I made it larger for comfort and it also needed some alterations in the shoulder area. The sleeves were cut out and sewed together using french seems. They were cut on the bias to make them elastic, just in case. My sleeves tend to turn out a little small.

Then I started adding the ruffles to the sleeves as well as the bodice. I did this by hand too, using a running stitch.

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Then I used tiny matt golden beads as well as fake pearls to decorate the ruffles in the center and hide the stitches that secured them to the garment.

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The sleeves were sewn in, I was very careful here and pinned the ruffles away, because I did not want to have to take the sleeves off again.

As closure, I decided to add something like a modesty panel on one side of the bodices front. I sewed the snaps and hooks directly onto the bodice itself on one side, and the eyes and ohter parts of the snaps to that modesty panel.

Next I tackled the skirt. It is made from three meters of jacquard. I initially wanted to do cartridge pleats but it did not happen, I gathered the fabric and added it to the bodice. I did this horizontally because of the pattern (I realy hope I’m making sense here…). The skirt was secured by using whipstitches, I directly sewed the salvage to the base layer (to leave no visible stitching).

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After adding the skirt to the bodice, I cut it to the right length. I saved the hem for last and instead cut out all lining pieces. I lengthened them at the bottom because I wanted them to cover all stitches (for example the line where I gathered the skirt). Then I started sewing it on around the first armhole, covering the raw edges there. The rest went pretty well, it is done with whipstitches, the only thing that was tricky was the second armhole. I did not mention yet, how much I love this colour combination, didn’t I?

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The dress was hemmed and more or less finished. Here are some pictures that show it in full length, the pictures I took with make up on and everything unfortunately only show half of the dress…

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And from the side:

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Some Problems I ran into:

I am really happy with the result, I am still surprised, how well my fabric choice, the beads and everything work together. I ran into some problems though, due to the closure I chose. I talked about it a little above, here are some details. This is what the bodice looked like after I joined the base and top layer. I lost about 1 cm on each side which was not planned (but I should have thought about it). The bodice still fits but it is tighter than I wanted it to be.

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On this picture you can see the “modesty” panel I added. I intentionally made it narrow because I wanted the two bones to be as close to each other as possible.

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Since I lost some centimeters there is quite some tension on that closure. And unfortunately, there is a visible gap where the ruffles are. I solved the problem by adding some fake flowers (you will not see them on pictures in this post, maybe in the next one, I’d love to shoot this dress in the automn forest). That is not ideal, but hides the gap.

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All in all I am really pleased with this project.

Making the Hat:

For this costume I wanted to try and make another hat. It is made from three layers, a top layer made from the jacquard, a base layer made from a netlike stiff fabric and the lining that I made from some of the remaining taffeta and satin (I used the satin on the inside and the taffeta where it would be visible). Because I am always short on fabric. For the record, I used fabric from my stash so… It’s not due to bad planning! Just saying. Still glad it somehow worked out without having to piece to much together.

Back to the hat: The pattern is pretty easy, I measured my heads circumference, drew a circle covering it and a second circle around it to create the brim. Then I cut it out. I used the leftover inner circle as a stencil to create the pattern piece for the top of the hat. The last piece is a rectangle, that is as long as the circles circumference (plus 1 cm of seam allowance).

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All pieces were cut out. I added 1 cm of seam allowance to all the pattern pieces that were cut out from fabric, for the netstuff I just went with the pattern without adding anything. I also reused the inner circle that was leftower after cutting out the brim. I just hat to sew it together where I had to cut it.  Then I started by sewing the three layers together by hand. The taffeta stripe for the visible lining was gathered on one side to create some nice folds.

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Then I covered the base layer with the jacquard and secured it with some hidden stitches. I should have started with the lining though, because I had to secure the lining with beige thread afterwards, otherwise the stitches would have been clearly visible from the outside. Now they are visible on the inside, which is unfortunate.

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But I was able to finish the hat nontheless. The last step before I started decorating it was to use the overlapping jacquard and create something like bias binding to secure and hide the raw edges of the taffeta. I would have preferred to have a little stripe of red around the top of the brim, but well, not enough fabric.

Then I decorated the hat with the remaining taffeta, two ostrich feathers and the rest of the beads and fake pearls. I overdid it here… But I still love the hat. Maybe I will remove those randomly placed looking pearls on the top of the hat…

Here are some pictures also showing the details:

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On the picture abve you can see the little taffeta flower I created from what was left from the ruffles I made to decorate the dress with. I just pulled the gatheres tight and secured the flower with some stitches. I think it looks cute.

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Here you see the inside:

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And the bow. I like that bow quite a lot.

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Some Photos of the whole Ensemble:

And that’s it! I took some pictures wearing everything (except for the fake flower brooch, I used a rose to cover the gap instead; I also bought a golden choker, not on these pictures too unfortunately) myself, to show something to you since the photoshoot will have to wait for a while… So here you go, I even tried to do something 1780s like with my hair and make up but did not go all the way. They caked that stuff on and I wanted to still look something like socially acceptable after being done. So only nicely draped curls, red lips and too much blush for my taste. Also ignore the chemise, that is slightely visible… I forgot to hide it but did not want to get all dressed up again…Especially after not getting that lipstick everywhere while getting into and out of all these layers.

I hope I can soon show you more professional photos and I also hope that you enjoyed this post. Thank you so much for reading!

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I even managed to smile 😉

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Making a Robe à l’Anglaise – Part 1

Hello everyone. It has been a while but here I am, back with a new project. I am making a robe à l’anglaise at the moment. The idea was to dive into the 1780s with a simpler project, that follows the usual cut and shape before taking up my more elaborate project. To test the ground… My Redingote will be the next in line.

If you are interested in reading how I made the undergarments that I wear beneath the robe à l’anglaise or if you are interested in part 2, you can find everything here:

Fabrics and Cut

The fabrics I chose for this project are a beige and white jacquard that I bought 7 meters of on sale from. This will be used for the bodice and train. I hope, that I will have enough of of it left, to make a burgundian gown.

The other two fabrics are from my stash. I decided to use the bordeaux taffeta on the front of the skirt and the red satin in the back.

I also chose some matching leftover beads to decorate the dress with. Along with the gown itself I would like to make a hat, a pair of slippers and a choker. For the hat, I want to go for something like this.

For the dress I settled with a mixture of two designs from my reference books, as well as my imagination. I have no idea, how it is going to look in the end…

On to the good stuff!

Making the Skirt

For the skirt I used in total four meters of fabric, that I found in my stash. Two of the wine red satin and two of the bordeaux taffeta. Which is not enough, if you want to do ruffles and also use some leftovers as accents on the bodice, as I soon found out…

The skirt was drafted on my dressform. The back has 4cm wide pleats across.

The front was left flat in the middle, I only pleated the sides, using double pleats. The dresses of this period have the most volume on the back and sides, the front is normally quite flat. I unfortunately forgot to take a picture of the draped front on my dressform. So here is a picture from a bit later:

All the pleats were secured with a running stitch. Then I pieced the waistbands together. The skirt works the same way the petticoat does, so two waistbands. I attached them like bias tape. Then I cut the hem to the right length and did the hemline by machine. Since I wanted to cover it with a ruffle anyways, it did not bother me. Now it does, since I want to leave the ruffle because I like the pleats. And because I need fabric. I never have enough fabric.

And here are some pictures of the final product.

As you can see in the next picture, my skirt does not have that much volume in the back. Since it is supposed to be a gown from the late 1780s, the bumpad is smaller. It came back in fashion and diminished throughout the 1780s.

Since I’d rather have my decorations on the bodice than a ruffle across the hem, that might destroy my pleats, I at this point decided to let go of the idea.

Drafting the Bodice Pattern

The last thing I will share with you is the process of drafting the bodice pattern and making the mock up. Since the shilouette of my dressform does not match mine while wearing stays etc. I wanted to make sure the pattern works. I will also use it as a guideline for my redingote later on.

I drafted the pattern as said on my dressform and cut out all pieces nicely afterwards. This is what I came up with. The backpiece will be cut on the fold, all the other pieces will be cut out twice.

After adding seam allowances and lengthening the back pieces a bit, I ended up with this:

These pieces where cut out from some leftover white cotton and sewn together with a 1cm seam allowance. Then I tested the fit over all the other layers (I laced my stays myself… my poor arms…)

The alterations that had to be done are quite obvious on the pictures. There is too much room in the waistline and the strap situation did not really fit. The front panel is also to broad, I ended up cutting 1cm off where the closure will be.

Here are some pictures of me wearing the mock up after the alterations over stays and everything. I did not alter the front panel, so here you can see, that I had to take it in too.

I am pretty comfortable with this project and absolutely in love with the shilouette!

That’s it! Thanks a lot for reading, I hope you enjoyed.

 

Making a Set of 1780s Undergarments: Shift, Stays, Bumpad and Petticoat 

I am finally back to sewing and I even have progress to show, hurray. The last few weeks I invested my time in finishing a set of 1780s undergarments consisting of a shift, a pair of stays, a bumpad and a petticoat. I really like how the set turned out, the pieces look nice together. Shift, bumpad and petticoat are made from a white lightweight cotton and decorated with a white lace trim. To match the trim to my stays, that are made from a beautiful rose and mint jacquard and light blue satin bias binding, I also used a light blue ribbon.

Now, on to the different pieces starting with:

The Shift

A different approach for this post, I thought, I could for once start with pictures of the finished garments (also starring my coffee plant…). Ironing might have been a good idea. Well, lets start with the pattern for the shift. It has a square neckline, 3/4 sleeves and an a-shaped ,skirt’.

The pattern for the shift was, like almost every other pattern I make, drafted from my dressform. Unfortunately I did not realise how short this would be on me until I tried it on. So it is quite a mini shift instead of a kneelong garment… Since I did not want to waste the material and time, I went on with it.

It is a two piece pattern and I cut both pieces on the fold. After that, they were sewn together with french seams. The fabric I chose was great for the petticoat and the ruffles, but a bit too stiff for the shift. I ended up adding darts to it, because I absolutely did not like how the fabric draped. It was also a bit too loose on me, the darts solved the problem.

The raw edges were bound with white bias binding. Over it I used a lace trim and added a blue ribbon to decorate it even more.

After that, I only had to make the sleeves to finish the shift. For sleeves I usually copy an older pattern that I know works, then make a mockup and adjust that pattern to what I need for the garment I’m making.

The sleeves were also sewn together with french seams, than attached to the shift. I bound the raw edges and added the lace trim and the blue ribbon. And that is it for my shift.

Now on to the next garment we would put on: the stays.

The Stays

They were a bit more complicated… I struggled quite a bit with the construction and they were really time consuming but they are done now and I love how they look. They also give me a nice shilouette and fit perfectly.

The pattern was drafted flat, not on my dressform. I used her once I had the pieces cut out and sewn together a first time.

I took inspiration from one of the patterns in Mandy Barringtond book ,Stays and Corsets’. I did not really follow her instructions, maybe I should have. But her illustrations were great for drafting my own pattern.

I made a few alterations after my first try. Less tabs, a wider and more squareshaped neckline, shorter straps in the front etc. On the picture you can see my first pattern (it was not good at all)…

After all the adjustments, I cut the pattern (it has two pieces, the front piece was cut on the fold). I absolutely adore the fabric I used for the top layer. Since I had the feeling, that the neckline might still not be wide enough, I added another 2 centimeters while cutting out the pieces.

I sewed the pieces together and ironed all seams. Next where the boning channels. I directly marked them on the base layer, so the inside of my stays looks rather messy.


I used a red coloured pencil to draw out the lines I had to stitch and then started sewing all the boning channels. It took quite some time and I had to pay attention since I had to leave some seams for later. By sewing them, I would have closed the channels above.

Then I started to add boning. I used three different kinds of boning. A bendable but stirdy plastic version (for the horizontal bones and the side ones that have to bend at the waist), light plastic boning for the tabs and hoopskirt wire for the rest. It is not uncomfortable at all, it’s much better to wear than my other corsets, I love it.

After I inserted all the boning possible, I finished the remaining channels and inserted boning there too.

Then I had to bind all raw edges which was even more time consuming than sewing all these boning channels. But I did it, watching a ton of movies next to it. I finally watched ,Logan’, I missed it in cinema.

I also handsewed all the eyelits. Before binding the top of my stays I added the straps. These have no base layer, which I regret looking back. They are flimsy. After binding the top edges I worked a bit on the inside of my stays. Just for security I added a thick and stirdy ribbon where the bones meet my hips. I taped them but I don’t trust myself… I used the same ribbon to finish the raw edges where I sewed the straps to my stays.

And that was all. I had to cut the lightblue ribbon to the right length for the lacing and to hold the straps in place and then the stays where finished.

The Bumpad

About this, I really don’t have much to say. It is not as poofy as others, but that is intentional, the gown I want to make does not look that poofy on the reference pictures. I may make a second bumpad for other dresses from the period.

I really only cut out two ,crescent moons’, sewed them together on one side, parted it into three compartments, filled those with scraps, added ribbon and then used bias binding to finish the raw edges. And that is it. Oh wait, thats a lie. I also added ruffles to it on the outer side. Just a gathered stripe of fabric that was cut on the selvage. I sewed it in when I sewed the top and bottom layer together.

The last thing I wanted to make was a pettycoat. The skirt beneath the redingote will not have ruffles or anything to give it some shape.

The Petticoat

And here it is.

The coffee plant is called Hadufuns by the way. And the carnivore next to him has the very creative name Sarcenia. They are happy to meet you! Aren’t they pretty? I have no bond to plants but I am fighting for the live of these two since two years now. They made it so far…

For the petticoat I used an about 2 1/2 meters long piece of fabric, that I draped on my dressform and then cut to approximately the right length. After that I finished the backseam and cut a slit on each side (the backseam stays in the back). The fabric was gathered and I did the seams for the slits. With the rest of the white and light blue bias binding I bound the gathered edges and created the straps to close the garment. Then I did the hem and added horse hair braid to stiffen it. The only thing left to do was decorating it to match the other garments and to hide the stitchline. Well, one of them at least.

The lace trim was about 20 cm too short… Wich is not cool, Now I have a gap in the back. I can live with it, it is beneath the rest but 20 cm suck… why not half a meter? At least I could blame myself correctly for that.

I like it nontheless and it is comfortable to wear.

The whole fun finished

And that is it! Here you can see pictures of me wearing these four garments. I had to ask my boyfriend for help since I could not lace my stays up properly myself. He had fun I guess :P.

I hope you enjoyed and I wish you a nice time :). Thank you for reading.



What’s Next? Some Sewing Plans.

New post and soon a new month with hopefully plenty of time for sewing. I did some alterations and fixed some of the garments I own for the last two weeks, so I don’t have progress to share. For the next two months I already have some plans and these are what I’d like to discuss in this post.

The first thing I’d like to show you are pictures of me wearing the summer maxidress I made about two weeks ago. I’ve been wearing it out and I am in love with it.

It was a really hot day and I was afraid, that I would be boiling in all the fabric but it was actually quite ok.

I also (again) did some shopping… I’ll set myself a fabric buying ban for the rest of the year… I have enough for at least four more projects and I’ll never be able to complte these within 2017. Feel free to call me out should I again buy fabric. Trims and stuff like that are not included in my ban since I tend to buy these as soon as I start a project specifically for it.

The next project that is inspired by historical garments is already planned. I stumbeled across an absolutely stunning Redingote and immediately felt the need to make a similar garment. The dress is dated 1786-1789 and from an anonymous artist from the Netherlands. You can find more details on the page of Rijks Museum. A Redingote is a usually double breasted coat with a wide collar inspired by menswear. I came up with air as the theme for it. I’d like to make it my own and nothing makes me feel more alive than watching natures unleashed power. I enjoy sitting on my balcony while a storm is raging and raindrops are flying like bullets, while clouds are racing and waves grow bigger and bigger.

This is my first attempt on the air design, featuring the Montgolfier brothers balloon, that has risen in 1783 (I thought this would be a nice detail since the dress is from the 1780s too). I would also like to incorporate waves, ships and a windlike line design. I’m no pro in embroidery and a little bit afraid of all of these embroidered designs. But the best way to get good at something is to do it a lot, right?

Below you can see the fabric I bought for this project. The original dress is made from olive green and pale pink silk. For air I decided to go with champaign and a light blue. Since silk would pass my budget, I went with satin. This was about 4.50 $ per meter. I bought 5 meters of the blue satin and seven of the champaign one since the coat will be lined with the champaign satin. The skirt beneath will also mostly be done with the champaign satin. I hope it is enough. If not, I can still cheat and use something else for the back of the skirt, since it will not be visible.

For this project I also already bought beads and embroidery floss (it’s going to be a little bit sparkly). I will finish my set of 18th century undergarments before starting with this and also do some embroidery samples but it is definitely the next project I want to do.

That is all on this project I have for now.

I would also like to attempt measuring someone other than me and that is what I’m goint to use the following fabric for:

The dress is for my sister and I hope it’ll work out. She’ll be measured today and we will decide for a design and then I’ll try a to make a mock up.

I bought more fabric…  This one is for my Robe à l’Anglaise because I abused the creme coloured fabric with the rose print, I planned to use for it, to make my maxidress. So, some stripes since stripes were quite fashionable in the 18th century.

The last thing I plan on doing is finishing this circle skirt that I started half a year ago.

Thanks a lot for reading, I hope you enjoyed.

Making a Maxidress with a Pleated Bodice 

Welcome to a new post on my blog. I own a new sewing machine and it is so good. I should have invested in a better one since quite some time… Loking back I’m somehow glad, my old machine did not survive.

The first ,bigger thing’ I made on my new machine is a maxidress with a pleated bodice. The bodice is copied from one of my favourite dresses in my wardrobe that is sadly starting to fall apart. After years…

This is it… I will bury it playing Mozart’s ,Requiem’ should it really fall apart. I adore this dress. There is a second one, also by Orsay, that I will copy too in the future. It has a really gorgously cut pencil skirt. At the moment, fashion seems so boring to me ^^’. I like clever cuts and colours.

I started by drafting the pattern with the help of the original dress.

That is what I ended up with. This is the pattern for the lining. The lining was made from a lightweight cotton fabric. The backpanels and straps where the same for the chiffon layer but I cut the waistband on the fold to allow me pleating it and I draped the frontpart in two pieces. I made slight changes for the waistband since I did not want it as loose as it is on the original dress.

I cut out all pieces of the lining, sewed them together and tried the bodice on. I only hat to change one seam a bit. After that I first finishet the waistband. I made the pleats and then sewed toplayer and lining onto each other. Looking back, that was a bad idea. I will change this next time because it left me with raw edges where I joined waistband and bodice and waistband and skirt.

Then I started draping the pleated parts and cut out the backpieces and the straps from chiffon.

After that, I sewed the chiffon parts together and sewed the lining in (after ironing the seams open). Then the bodice was complete, apart from the fact, that I had to bind the raw edges which was not all that funny…

Here you can see the front and back of the bodice.

The skirt was the easiest part. I decided to do a gathered skirt with a 3 meter wide hem. I had to line it, as the chiffon is seethrough. For the lining I went with a width of 2 meters and a lengh of 0.8 meters. I love full skirts!

I gathered the two layers and handsewed them together. Then I attached the skirt to the waistband by machine. I trimmed the seam a bit and then again covered the raw edges with bias binding. I hemmed the dress and did the back seam (using a french seam because I did use enough bias binding for my taste…). After that, the dress was finished apart from my alltime favourite task: add the zipper. It looks better than expected but is far from perfect. I really am not able to sew a zipper in nicely… But the dress fits perfectly and I adore the full and floor long skirt. I can ignore the sloppy upper part of the back :P.

Here are some pictures. Excuse the light, it’s pouring outside. But I wont complain, I really am no summer girl. I prefer cooler temperatures. It is so refreshing. I hope the next week will be nice and rainy.


Thanks a lot for reading, I hope you enjoyed the post 🙂 A little comparison: