Back in the early days of my engagement, before I knew how entirely wedding planning and wedding sewing would take over my life, I volunteered for a couple different pattern tests. We can all laugh now about how naïve I was when it came to the amount of time wedding preparations would require of me. Regardless, I had committed to these pattern tests, and I am a woman of my word, so I completed them. Sometimes late at night, at the expense of a few hours sleep, but I completed them. And I must say, I'm glad I participated in these pattern tests as both added some great garments to my wardrobe, which I have been wearing regularly ever since!
Sewing and Raising Alpine Dairy Goats. . . and occasionally finding time to do other stuff
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
1950's meets 18th Century - Wildflower Designs Coquelicot Skirt
Tuesday, May 18, 2021
A Pair of White Wool Embroidered 18th Century Mitts
In 3 weeks I will be a married woman. Woah, this engagement thing has flown by fast! My wedding dress is finished and ready to wear. The bridesmaids dresses are done. My mom's dress is done. This week I'll make the flower girls' dresses and the ring bearer's vest and then all the wedding clothes will be done. After 4 months of craziness, it's wild to realize this season is drawing to a close, and just about everything is actually ready for this wedding I've been planning and dreaming of.
Now, my past 4 months of sewing have been almost entirely wedding focused, with an occasional quick project thrown in here and there. At the beginning of this year, prior to my fiancé proposing, I had grand plans for all the historical projects I would complete in 2021. I began the year as I intended to continue, by picking a project off my long, long, list and making it happen. I started small, thinking I would work up to the bigger projects on my list, just wanting to complete something quick to kick off 2021. Thus, I spent a week hand sewing a pair of mitts for myself.
The idea for these mitts came about last summer when I was planning my "Felicity Work Dress". On the cover of the 6th Felicity book Changes for Felicity, Felicity is wearing her work dress (which I based my dress off of), her red cloak, and a pair of white mitts. Of these garments, I only managed to make myself the dress by my self-imposed October deadline, but I did intend to get around to the other two eventually.
The Challenge: Small is Beautiful - these are a pretty small item that I focused on making beautiful with some simple embroidery. They’ll be a great addition to several different ensembles!
Material: worsted wool outer, silk taffeta for facing the points
Pattern: American Duchess Guide to 18th century dressmaking, altered to better fit my hands.
Year: possible for any time in the 18th century, but mostly the second half of the century.
Notions: cotton thread for construction, silk thread for embroidery.
How historically accurate is it? The pattern is good, the materials are plausible, but there is no documentation for woven wool mitts rather than knitted mitts. Cotton thread is not accurate. The construction is good, all hand sewn with what I know of period stitches. They would be recognizable in the era. I’ll say 80%
Hours to complete: About one week of hand sewing, not sure on the hours - whatever I could squeeze in between making sure the kid was getting his virtual school done
First worn: Not yet
Total cost: All the materials were left over from other projects, so essentially $0! The wool was gifted to me from someone de-stashing, the silk left over from a dress I made my mom. The only thing I personally paid for was the thread, for previous projects. Great scrap buster project!
Saturday, May 8, 2021
A Dress for My Bridal Shower Tea Party
There's this thing about sewing a wedding dress. It takes a heck of a lot of time. A heck of a lot. For a solid 4 weeks, I sewed nothing but my wedding dress. So. Much. Silk. And. Lace. I love it. The dress is coming out just as beautifully, if not better, as I always dreamed it would. Four weeks of only working on one thing however? That is exhausting. I needed to sew something else. Something a little more instantly gratifying than this gorgeous gown I've been dreaming of for over half of my life. I love it, but I needed a break from it.
Thus, at the end of the fourth week of wedding dress making, I took that break. My sister and mother were hosting a bridal shower for me on Sunday, and I decided that was as good a reason as any to switch gears in the sewing room. On Friday I would not touch my wedding dress at all, instead I would make myself a new dress to wear to my bridal shower.
I told my mom about my struggles and she pulled out her collection of trims, passing me anything that might be about the right color. After considering quite a few options, I settled on a couple small lace appliques and some robin's egg blue bias tape.