Tuesday, July 17, 2012

New Mid Victorian Waistcoat, Regency Work Apron and 1830s Bonnet Caps

Unfortunately, my holidays from university are coming to an end. I am finding that I have no where near enough time to complete all the tasks that I had set for myself. Not that I can complain, as a few days were lost in a wonderful surprise trip to Melbourne to see the Napoleon Exhibit. This week I have finally completed my Regency Linen work apron. It is completely hand sewn. I am finding that I am undertaking more and more handsewing as I feel more comfortable and confident. I have been needing this for a few years now and is perfect for when on campain and required to work around the fire. I have also found it to be useful around the house and garden,  as it is really very comfortable.

After we got home from Melbourne, Nic decided that he needed a new waistcoat. I found him rummaging through my fabrics and about to cut into some fabric purchased for pants. Thankfully I got to him in time and redirected him to the waistcoat fabrics. Yes, I know Im strange, but I always purchase in quantaties for the projects in mind and I hate wasting good fabric when it is so hard to come by here. I was also very happy as Nic had not undertaken any sewing since our marriage, when he received some constructive, but not very nicely worded feedback on his last sewing attempts. This time he worked on it with my assistance and leaving the finishing touches and hand stitching to me to complete. It took two days and looks stunning. I think he should be very proud of his achievement.

Finally, I have also completed two 1830s linen caps to wear under bonnets. It is really nice to sit by the fire in the evenings and hand sew by candle light. Small projects like this one are perfect for these times. They are a very strange shape, compared to the periods that I am accustomed to. I have been told that it is very flattering, but I think the jury is still out on that one. The first I made for myself and the other for Jessie.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Regency Petticoat for Jessie

On Tuesday I was meant to be taking part in a 1800-1900 reverse strip fashion parade for the Freemason wives, during their monthly meeting. As the lady who was wearing the Regency attire did not have the undergarments required I had offered to lend my own. Fortunately/ Unfortunately, my husband did not know of these plans and booked us airfare to Melbourne for the same day. In Melbourne we are to attend the Napoleon Exhibit in period. This meant that I am no longer able to lend out my undergarments.

Thankfully, I recently partook in a fabric swap with my good friend Jessie. She gave me some trims and brocade fabric to make myself a wrapper and I provided her with linen to make herself a regency petticoat, an item she was sadly lacking in. Jessie will be attending the fashion parade and agreed to loan the new petticoat. She, however, had recently broken her reading glasses and was struggling with her own projects and feeling a little unwell. Due to this, I offered my time today to construct her new petticoat. It was also only fair as the linen did not cost overly much.

Jessie required the petticoat for use under Regency gowns dating from 1800 to 1820, so I fashioned the petticoat for the earlier period, which has thinner shoulders. I also added extra fabric to make the petticoat draw string around the neckline and under bust area. Many ladies suffer from weight fluctuations at times and so the drawstring would accommodate this and expand its period of usefulness. I would love to have had the time to finish all of the seams by hand, but even with the machine sewing I am very happy with the result.

The completed petticoat front view.

The completed petticoat back view.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Evening Odds and Ends

After a long day working on the larger projects its nice to cuddle up on the couch with a nice warm fire and do some small hand sewing projects while watching a nice show on tv.... or kittens attack each other if you have that option.
 Leopold and Dinah. 
Wonderful entertainment when not attacking my hand sewing or my sewing machine.

I am enjoying being so busy catching up on all those half finished or never started small projects that I keep in many little seal lock bags in a basket under the bench. Seeing that basket get fuller and fuller is very depressing, but finally I have started to get through it and it feels great. Three weeks of holidays to go and I am very happy with my progress so far.

 I have just finished this apron for Jessie, a very dear friend of mine. She has arthritis and so she struggles sometimes with cutting out and hand sewing, so I enjoy sewing small projects to help her out. This apron is made of a lovelly rough linen and makes a perfect work apron.

I have also made her this 1850s lace cap with some spare lace that she had from an old dress. It is a wonderfull feeling to give fabric a second life and to help out a friend.
The back of the lace cap.

As there was some of the linen from the apron left over, Jessie gave it to me to use to make myself a Regency work aron. It is amazing how quick they are to make with simple hand stitiching. I chose to make mine a cross over back to ensure the shoulders do not slip off while working. I am hoping this apron will come in a lot of use in the garden and when cooking over the fire on campaign. I am alos hoping the colour will do well to hide a lot of dirt and coal smudges I often seem to find on my dresses.

to be completed....