Sunday, October 26, 2014


Orneriness, and stubbornness (well she's a goat. . .) 
My first goat and still my favorite.
She was a first freshening 2 year old in this picture, she's 8 now

And She's had lots of babies

Such as Buckeye, and his sister Ismira, her first babies.

Rosemary, her second doeling

 And Valentine who grew up and had a bunch of sons! (Just as ornery as her mother, 4 years old and still hasn't given me a doeling!)

One year Sombrita decided to be especially ornery and get bred out of season. In December of that year she had triplets. If an alpine kidding in December wasn't crazy enough (They're seasonal breeders) One of her triplets was out of a different buck, heck a different breed of buck even, than the other 2. At least the doeling was out of the right buck!

Candy Cane

Candy Cane's brothers, The white one was only her half brother. Darned Sombrita. Darned meat goat buck. 

The following year she had triplets again! 2 bucks and a doe. 
One of her sons has sired some very pretty babies. 

Like this set of Alpine/Nubian cross twins.

Her daughter too has had a couple pretty babies

Crystal with a newborn Diamond (Sombrita's first grand daughter, her daughters have been stingy!)

And then this spring Sombrita became a great grandma!

Diamond with her newborn daughter, Emerald.

Along with being an excellent mother, Sombrita is very patient with people learning how to milk her.

Most people I've taught to milk have learned on Sombrita.

Once upon a time I thought Sombrita would make a good pack goat.

She endured it.

And even survived the goat obstacle course I dragged through year after year

Sombrita's also won a few shows.

I got 3 impressive belt buckles thanks to her winning the county fair.

 I even took her to the ADGA national show twice. 

Apparently the pens there met her specifications

Yep, That's Sombrita

I included her in a few of my sr. pictures a couple years ago
She didn't believe it was important to behave well. . .

While all my other goats are definitely livestock, Sombrita's a pet as well.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Why I shouldn't go to Joann's

I decided to go to Joann's after church yesterday because I needed one little thing. My plan was to grab what I needed and leave, but that didn't happen. Why not? Because all the already clearanced fabric was 50% the clearance price. I can't go into a fabric store and not check the clearance rack. So instead of only coming home with the one little package of button I went in for, I came home with all this.

Did I need more fabric? No. Do I have a plan for the new fabric? Yes. 

I got the tan calico in the middle to make myself a winter church dress, and by winter dress I mean a dress with sleeves. I have lots of sundresses but almost no dresses with sleeves. 

The tan piece at the bottom is coat weight wool. I decided I wanted to make a cloak to go with my purple plaid dress, and this will work perfectly! So I got 3 yards of it cut. Then, since McCall's patterns were on sale I decided to go ahead and buy a cloak pattern, and discovered that most cloaks, that looked like what I wanted, called for about 6 yards of fabric! Well since I couldn't afford 3 more yards of the wool yesterday I kept searching, and eventually found a cloak pattern that only called for 3 1/4 yards of fabric. So I got that too. Don't laugh.


The cloak pattern is actually rather similar to cloakes from the 1830's and 40's.

With the Frozen pattern I should be able to make a decent reproduction of the cloak on the left in this fashion plate from 1842.

The blue piece on top I got to make a dress, like this one I found on Pinterest, for my little sister.

Like me she seems to be lacking many dresses that have sleeves. I will use the blue for most of the dress and use some green fabric I already had in my stash for the sleeves and upper bodice.

Now why did I go into Joann's to begin with if not for all this awesome fabric? For these

Wooden buttons. Why did I need wooden buttons? Because . . drum roll please. . .

I finished the bodice of my purple plaid dress!!!!!! While the back of the dress will close up with hooks and eyes, as that is the most historically accurate, I needed buttons for the cuffs, I had no clue where to get china buttons and I just couldn't use plastic buttons. So wooden buttons it is, for now atleast. If I ever find china buttons I may change them out. 
Now that the bodice is done I hope to finish the dress this week, as the shirt will be easy. I have finished all the undergarments to go under the dress - a corset, a chemise, a pair of drawers, a ruffled petticoat - except for one, a corded petticoat, the precursor of the metal hoop skirt. So this week I shall attempt to make that as well. Then, I will try to figure out where I shall wear this dress, after all the work I've put into it. Any suggestions?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Dress under way!

I'm finally making progress on my purple plaid wool dress, rather than just dreaming of it!!
It took longer than I expected it to for me to get the mock-up to fit right, because of course the measurements on the envelope that are supposed to correlate with each size don't actually correlate with that size. For the first mock-up I cut out the size that went along with my measurements when I'm wearing the corset I'll be wearing under the dress. That was way too big. I then cut out another mock-up 4 sizes smaller, and it almost fit, but I still had to take it in some. Finally, with a ton of help from my mom, the mock-up fit perfectly, so. . .
This week I got the dress cut out!!!!

Then I marked where the darts were supposed to be on the bodice and where all the pleats were supposed to be on the bodice overlay and upper sleeves

For that I used wax that disappears when you iron over it, so today I pressed all the pleats into place and no more white marks on my fabric! 

(although I may have a few burnt fingertips, but aren't all those little bitty pleats pretty!)

Then I actually got to start sewing! Yards and yards of piping. . .

I used cotton yarn for the filling of the piping, I was worried it might be a bit narrow, but it's the perfect width! 

Once that was done I started sewing the actual dress together.

Here's half of the back of the bodice, The plaid doesn't match up perfectly, but for my first time attempting to to match plaid I don't think I did to horribly.

I actually have monday completely, totally free (a very rare occurrence), so I'm looking forward to getting a lot done on this dress! Completed purple, plaid, wool, 1840 dress here I come!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What year is it?

In preparation for making my purple plaid dress I've been trying to find pattern reviews and such on the internet by people who have used the same pattern I'm using, Butterick B5832.

I haven't found much, except for a lot of people saying the pattern isn't historically accurate because it doesn't exactly match any fashion plates from one particular year. Apparently the dress can't be from the late 1830s because all the fashion plates from those years had very full lower sleeves, like this,

 where as the lower sleeves in the pattern are very slim fitting. This concerned me as I really wanted this dress to look historically accurate. I began to wonder if I should change the sleeves! So I starting looking at photos of actual dresses of the time, here are a couple I found
The sleeves on this dress are very similar to the ones on the pattern!
Those lower sleeves look pretty slim fitting to me!

Due to the slim fitting lower sleeves in some ways the dress seemed more similar to dresses from the early 1840s, than the late 1830s, except for one thing, all the fashion plates from the 40s showed a bodice that ending in a point at the waist, like this
While the fashion plains may have shown pointed waistlines for the era, it seems some people stuck with straight waistlines, for a little while at least, into the 1840s. 
Neither of these waistlines appear pointed to me!

The pleating on the bodice of the dress I'm making is asymmetrical, another unusual detail, but once again a historically accurate detail as shown in this original dress from c. 1838.

So no the dress I'm making isn't directly patterned after a fashion plate, but it is patterned after actual historical dresses of the time, which I believe is a much better indicator of what people actually wore. From looking at the actual dresses I figure my dress could have been worn any time between 1837 and 1842, but it is most similar to dresses between 1839 and 1841. 
One thing I will attempt to change on my pattern is where the sleeves sit. Through out most of the Victorian era the sleeves began off the shoulder, rather than right on the shoulder as they do now, so in an effort to make my dress as historically accurate as possible I will try to make my sleeves sit a little lower. Now, on to actually working on this dress rather than just talking about it!!!