Happy Monday all! For a while the last couple months, my sewing projects have been lacking. I've been doing little things like mending, underwear for myself, and baby bibs for a couple people, but nothing like the creations I'll now be embarking on through the next months to follow.
I thought it a grand idea to share with my fellow sewers here, both my plans and progress, as I try to meet my monthly goals of sewing. You see, in the Fall we're a small part of a Civil War reenactment! (You can read about what it is we've done the last two years and see all about the event here.) The last two years we've cobbled together outfits for ourselves last minute, (besides the cotton day dress I made for myself, see posts here & here) and so this year I'm getting a head start and sewing up a few period pieces for both our younger two sisters and a dear friend of ours as she also is involved! There's much work ahead, but hopefully I can keep on track and everything we have planned will see its way through all the steps and be just as we imagined! So let's see what I had set for this month and where I'm currently at with the projects!
Firstly I thought it a good idea to get our friend's dress going so that tension toward the end can be better spent on the girls' dresses who are always around with me for fitting etc. Also this way she and I both are at ease that at least we have hers done and don't have that in the back of our minds.
It ended up the style of dress will be a cross between the two patterns you see above concerning the bodice. She chose the fitted bodice of Simplicity 7212 while she favored the gathered loose cuffed sleeve of Butterick 5831. I decided it best to make a muslin/mockup of the actual bodice (without sleeves) to make sure the fit was what we had in mind as she wanted it quite fitted and these are only patterns typically used as a costume and not necessarily period correct. e.i. at times ill fitting.
The mockup turned out great. I ended up taking it in some in the seams (not the darts) once we got her corset size, as it was about one size too big to our liking. But really, since we were both quite happy with the way it looked, I was able to use the mock-up for the lining in the actual bodice just as I hoped I would. Win!
The two fabrics we ended up with each have a bit of a story behind them: The evergreen broadcloth was actually a dress I'd made for Bek a couple years back. Though I did a good job making it, the fit was ill and Bek never got much use from it so it sat in the sewing room since. Sara (our friend) was pondering how she could afford paying for a pretty big chunk of fabric when we happen to see Bek's old dress as we scavenged for ideas in the sewing room. Obviously one little Amish style everyday dress wasn't going to be enough for a Civil War gown, but I told her that since we planned to contrast with a print anyways, she was free to have me use the dress as partial of the material and that there was a good chance we'd be able to find the same shade again if we needed more.
She was still at a loss of which print to use and where to get it from without costing her an arm and a leg, when one day her sewing stool who's seat opens, dumped over and out toppled a fair sized piece of yardage she'd totally forgotten about! She excitedly snatched her phone and sent me a pic, hoping I would one, think it was accurate enough, and two, that there would be enough fabric for the majority of the skirt.
Fast forward a week and much calculating later, and huzzah!-- I was able to just barely squeeze the length of the 198"X36" skirt top from the floral. (The picture above on the left shows the skirt pieced together.) So the top 36" is of the lightweight floral, and then it extends another 17" w/o SM as we wanted to be sure to get a good hem in the bottom for weight as well as leave length for once the hoop-skirt is underneath. I did have to get a bit more yardage of the green material to finish off the skirt bottom with, but that was a small cost to the fraction Sara would have otherwise spent!
So, with the bodice muslin fitting well after the alterations to it, I then cut out the actual bodice for stitching. The skirt is completely pieced and ready to pleat and hem. That is, thats where she's at at the time of taking these photos. ;) Excited for you all to see next posting her progress!
My second project for the month was to whip out a chemise for myself. I hope to also don a new dress for this year, but I thought it would be good to get the smaller project for myself out of the way firsthand also. And that was definitely a CW period shift as I already have split drawers to wear.
I chose a short sleeved style from Simplicity, 9769. I'm making a couple slight changes, I'll more than likely not waste the extra time in securing a button placket and such as the lace- probably hand stitch it on and also hand hem the sleeve cuffs instead of sewing them by machine as I'd like a more rustic flair to it than just crisp white.
The underarm gussets and side panels are turning out quite the adventure! While many chemises were quite simple (i.e. like pull over the head instead of the button front option, which lead me to be more at ease in skipping that step myself in the realm of period correctness) this one has quite a few pieces to assemble together! Much of which reminds me of when I made this one. There's the underarm gusset you see on the left side picture above, and then if you look closely at the right hand photo, there's a small triangle shaped gusset at the meeting of the sleeve and (shown here) front panel. These little pieces are at all four corners of the slip to ease the way for the yoke which is currently where this project lies.
Thanks so very much for reading to see what it is I've been busy
behind the sewing machine with! I'm excited to blog my progress up till the occasion with you all! Until next time!
What was the last project you sewed?
What project are you currently working on?
the elder sister & writer