Sunday, September 24, 2017

Tan Toddler's 1860s Dress

Nic was able to get some of Elizabeth Stewart Clark's Sewing Academy Patterns shipped to Australia through a pen pal of his in America. I am super grateful to Betty for helping us out with the patterns.  I highly recommend these patterns for children. They are easy to follow, customisable, multiple sizes and period correct for the 1860s

I made all the undergarments according to the pattern. Amelia was too small for the smallest size, but that is just a bonus for me. I moved the buttons inwards to allow overlap on her stays and stitched the straps further down to make them shorter.

I do not have many photos of her undergarments, but I do have this shocker at the end of a full day event on a very hot day over 35C after her dress had to be removed due to something that she accidentally poured on herself.
** Edit - now at 3 years of age I have put the straps and buttons back to the pattern location and she has had 2 years of wear out of the same undergarments. Hopefully she will still fit them in another year. I have also used the patterns to make her new drawers and chemises. I still love how easy this pattern is to sew.
Moving the buttons, shows where the buttons were when she was a toddler. The move gave her 2 inches of growth room.
The dress pattern has many options to customise it. I used the draw string neck toddler dress for 2 year olds. I was given some amazing vintage fabric that I thought looked perfect and added multiple 1 inch growth tucks. The dress also has a piece of vintage lace under the bottom pin tuck.
 at the Goldfields in the Barossa
 Ayers House Museum
 Afternoon tea at Kingston House
Anlaby Homestead 
In this photo you can see that we have now had to let out all the pin tucks. She is also wearing a super cute child's bonnet I made before I was pregnant.
 3 years old and now wearing her first crinoline attached to her stays under the same dress. The dress no longer has any pin tucks.

Miss Amelia May with Minnie May her matching rag doll.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Bonnet Patterning (Regency 2 Piece)

Making a bonnet pattern can seem daunting, but it's actually fairly simple. There are many ways it can be done. For this guide I used sticky tape, scissors and A3 cartridge paper.

My daughter needed a Regency bonnet. I found this simple design on google. I will link to the original source when I have a little more time.
I started by making a tube the same measurement as my daughter's head. Then twisted it to make it slightly conical and sticky tapes it into place.

Next I cut into the paper to create an opening the size of the back of my daughter's neck. Paper can also be added to make it rounder and remove the "V" from twisting the paper. To make the shape stable enough to start forming the brim I made the crown pattern. There are two types of crowns.

1. Flat with a sharp edge
2. Circular and rounded.

This bonnet has the second type. They are both formed similarly. Trace around the inside of the back of the cone shape onto another piece of paper. For the flat you cut out the shape traced and sticky tape it on as is. 

For this one though I added an inch evenly around and them slightly pleated the paper.

This can then be attached to the cone on the inside or outside. I chose the inside as I still needed to shape the back of the bonnet.

Depending on the type of bonnet the depth at the crown can be deeper or shallower.

As my daughter is only 10 months old she will not sit still, so I used a foam head to shape for the most part. Then double checked alterations on her head. This was my beginning basic form.

For this bonnet I needed to reshape it around the crown, so I cut the paper in thin slivers until I was happy with the shape.

I also slowly shaped the brim/front until the paper matched the image. I only work on one side. This means if I make a mistake I can start again on the other side with starting from scratch.

As I managed to get my pattern correct on the first side I removed the crown and flattened it. I could then cut the other side to match. If you had a problem with one side you can cut the pattern in half and then cut your fabric on a fold.

The completed pattern

I will add further construction notes in future posts as I complete this bonnet.