Monday, December 19, 2011

Apron Pattern and Tutorial Part 1

As a Christmas gift for my family and friends, I made aprons to give out at a Christmas baking party that I had at my home. I thought it might also be nice to give a tutorial and a free pattern for the apron to my blog followers. They are super easy to construct and make quick and cute gifts. 

With all my heart I hope that your Christmas holiday is filled with joy and happiness, and that next year will be prosperous. Merry Christmas! :)

To make this apron you will need:

1 1/4 yards of 45' novelty cotton print or quilting cotton print.
If you want your waistband tie to be the wider width you will need the 1 1/2 yards.

The above picture shows the apron's cutting layout. The only time you'll need scissors to cut in this project is for the apron bib... the pattern for it is below... all of the straps, ruffles and skirt are torn on the straight of grain across the bolt, from salvage to salvage. It's important to ask the store to tear your fabric or to give you and extra 3 inches or so, because as you can see in my layout picture this fabric wasn't torn on the grain from the bolt, and because of that I'm missing 2" or so at the top right. I should have been able to get 4 half straps and 3 full straps from 1 1/4 yards of fabric

Cut List:
2 apron bibs... either Arch or Heart shaped
4 half straps... 2 of these are for the neck strap and 2 will be used for the bib ruffle. These are torn 3" wide across the bolt from salvage to the bib
3 full bolt width straps... 2 of these are for the waistband tie and 1 is for the bib ruffle. These are torn 3" wide across the bolt from salvage to salvage.  If you want to have the wider waistband tie, tear the 2 waistband ties at 4.5"
1 skirt... You don't really have to tear this out. Whatever is the remaining fabric will be your skirt.

I think the heart shaped bib front looks shorter than the Arch... they should be the same length. (I've no idea how that happened.)

 Next entry will be all the steps of construction! I am now headed to my 3rd Christmas Party!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Finished things

I've been very busy... and really shouldn't be taking the time out to edit these pictures and such... but I've been putting this off for too long. It really needs to be posted.

Regency Fairy

First off is the Regency Fairy. I took a million photos, that have been lost. I let my son borrow my camera, and I think the pictures from faire are no more. It's a good thing my friend took pictures! lol! So I did a bit of pilfering and photoshop-ing and now have these pictures to share:

 I bought a bottle of bubbles. I like the picture to the right, as you can see my new bracelets.

With wings.... you can see my sandals. I found a painting of a regency lady wearing some very similar to these. I was glad to have worn them, it was rather warm that day!

Without the wings.. you can see how the wings are tied to my stays with ribbon. I am glad I decided to do this. Although my stays are a bit visible, the weight of the wings was better carried by doing this. My friend had a neck ache the next day because she only tied the wings around her shoulders.

The dress pattern is: Period Impressions #464
My stays: Past Patterns #38
I'm NOT wearing a petticoat... soooo skanky.
My chemise: Shift I shortened the sleeves

The Second of Three Victorians

This is my Blue Bonnet.... the pattern is: The Clara Christine

I made the pattern for this dress... but mostly it's from... Patterns of Fashion 1 and 2

and would you look at that 2 posts to this blog in one day!

Early Victorian

This post contains a free pattern!! very exciting. :)

So... Early Victorian.... in my mind this spans the time when the young queen took over, and some smarty pants figured out that if you put steel wire in a corded petticoat instead of rope, chicks would dig it. So 1840 ish to 1850 ish. :)

If any paragraph that I have written would clue you in that I'm NOT a reenactor but am a costumer... I'm not sure I could write a more blasphemous one. :) for reals.

But this is actually really accurate. Hand to god. I swear. During this time period... Early Victorian. women liked big skirts... :) but it was hard to get skirts super big. So methods were devised. I guess this started with the romantic era 1825-1830 ish?... but corded petticoats (if not heavy and hot) solved the bigger skirt problem, a little bit. Corded petticoats and heavily starched petticoats (heavily starched in so heavy a starch that the skirts could stand on their own) used together would hold a skirt out pretty well. I didn't mention petticoats made of horsehair or crin... crin is french for hair??... and yes, that would be a crinoline. :) (dropping knowledge like a bomb)

I'm not sure when this particular pattern was published... I'm assuming sometime late in this era. But this corded petticoat calls for 3 rows of reed. Yah... reed, that grows... in like a river... and you can make wicker chairs out of it. Yah. REED.

So this corded petticoat is super BIG. and for the most part is strong, and can support a heavy starched petticoat, and dress.

Did you know... I wrote this post super long ago, and was going to edit it, and add something. I don't remember what it was... I think a tutorial on double piping. Well, it's been too long and if I haven't written that tutorial yet, I might as well post this without it. At least the pattern is there. :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Regency Fairy... A wing Tutorial

My friend Katherine and I are in the sad position of being a pair of historical costumers in a landscape full of cos-players and fantasy costumers. To be honest though we have both costumed characters from movies, but for the most part, it's all about historical technique and construction.

She and I go to the Ren Faire most years. We try to make costumes relevant to the time period. We had planned on making rural Flemish gowns this year.. But wool?!?! Multiple layers?!? At 100'? Oh no. I just can't.

So Katherine and I were joking
around and came up with the idea of wearing light and airy Regency Gowns to Faire, but because it's Faire (not the most historically accurate event) wearing fairy wings had real appeal.

Being the big nerd that I am, I did a search for Regency Fairies and found this book..

It's a lovely little book, full of Regency Faries. I used the pictures in this book as a starting point for my wings.

As luck and serendipity would have it my friend MirthFairy is very knowledgeable in the construction of fairy wings. She even started her own fairy guild at the Ren Faire! She agreed to give Katherine and I, a crash course in wing making. It was very fun and educational... Plus I set out a pretty Tea. :)

No... I don't bake. Pic-link :)

With the information I learned and the magic of google I hitched a plan, and surprise surprise it was rather successful!

Like I said, I wanted my wings to have a realistic insect like look...
I found on etsy, and eBay... artist making printed wings on transparency film, for ball jointed dolls. They have dragonfly, cicada, and moth like veins through the wings. I was worried though that if I printed wings in a human size and tried to mount the printed transparency on iridescent cellophane the ink would smear... messy. So I decided cut work would do, even if it's not as realistic.


You will need:

a self healing cutting mat
exacto knife
Hammer and a board to hammer on
steam iron
small box to spray adhesive
A needle tool... Or a thin screwdriver.

spray paint (black) for metal
spray adhesive
black shower curtain liner
clear cellophane
iridescent cellophane
galvanized wire

First thing you'll do is draw your pattern... Or copy mine. :) you might want to copy 2 as a guide for placing your cut work.

Sorry about the glare...
I drew mine on old Christmas wrapping paper.

Next you'll need to bend your wire frame.

Then smash the center section with a hammer... Best part of this project! HULK SMASH!

Paint the frame... Do this outside so you don't asphyxiate yourself. :( .... Hang it out on the line so it will dry... And eat lunch now. :)

Now layer your wing diagram over 2 layers of shower curtain

Now cut out the wing

The cut wings will look kinda like this

Set up your adhesive station

And spray!!! But don't go crazy breathing is good... And its wicked sticky.

Your going to apply this cut shape to a layer of clear cellophane... This is kinda tricky. I'm good at this kind of tedious arranging... But if you aren't I suggest that you print out a pattern of the original drawing and use it as a guide. You can use a needle tool or a small screwdriver to manipulate the cut work.... it's infinitely better than your fingers! :)

Next you'll spray the correct wire wing section with adhesive also spray the cut work/clear cellophane assembly with adhesive withe the cut work side up...and apply the cut work side to the wire wing. Cut another section of clear cellophane and encase the wire wing. Turn on your iron... And using a TEFLON COVER!!!! I don't think it's possible to do this project without this... If you don't have one experiment with your iron on different settings to see what sealing and god forbid MELTING effects you will achieve... Otherwise use a heat embossing tool.

Once you have all the cut work applied use your iron or heat embossing tool and shrink the cellophane to the wire frame.

Now... I wanted my wings to have an iridescent effect... You don't have to do this part if you don't want to....

Spray the wing

Apply the iridescent

Iron... I messed about with steam for texture.

Trim off the extra cellophane.

Now the middle wire section is a mess... So cover it up with some fabric, and bows... And maybe a big ol silk rose. :) mine ties on with ribbon... Mine came from The Ribbon Store... Do go there!

All done!

I maybe might wear this dress... or make another... we will see! :)

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The first of three Victorians

I like that title... sounds like a historical romance novel. :) But in this context it's just as it sounds. I need three victorian dresses... and I've just made one.

I need a gown for the Victorian Grand Ball, a day dress for a reenactment, and a tennis dress for a contest.

Actually the day dress is practically done... it just needs:
skirt attached
but that's a blog for another day.

To be honest, the ball gown was going to be a MUCH different dress. I was planning on making a dress from one of my favorite Tissot paintings. I have everything to make it... but the weather got hot, and I started thinking that dancing in long sleeves might be a new kind of hell... and opted out. Also, I found a dress on ebay that is so very lovely in it's simplicity, I just had to try my hand at it.

Isn't it lovely? I love how the watered silk makes the statement. I wore off white and gold to last years ball, and only white reads "wedding" to me... although I'm not so sure it did the victorians. Regardless... I couldn't find moire in white. In fact the only watered silk I could find were so expensive I was a bit shocked. I'm a budget costumer. I very rarely go over $20 a yard, and do my best to keep projects under $100. So I was about to give it all up and try to alter the Tissot idea so that the skirt was the same, but with a ball gown bodice, when I found a vintage length of rayon moire... 5 yards! $30. Although I'm a on a budget, fabric content is kinda a big deal to me. So a dilemma. I bought it... because a $30 dress?? and also, buying vintage fabric is good for the environment. Not really sure how... but yah, environment. Plus, it's red. :)

My finished dress:

It's a pretty dress... and I like it very much. I've ordered some ribbon to add to the shoulders in long bows... and a ribbon for lacing, both in red.

Next post I'll give you the pattern for the corded petticoat underneath. Also a tutorial for making double, and single piping, and some examples of early victorian ball gowns.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Strawberry Recticule

This post is for a friend of mine that requested this pattern. It's not historically accurate, it's just freaking cute. There are historical hand bags shaped like fruit though, but this pattern is of my own design and uses modern patterning and sewing techniques.

to make this little bag you will need:
14" x the bolt length of red or pink silk taffeta.
20" x the bolt length of green silk taffeta.
black seed beads
a cord for the draw string
36" of ribbon for handles... I used my green silk to back my trim... just to make it stronger
perhaps a tassel to finish off the bottom of the bag.

this is the finished bag:

The only "tutorial" I'm going to give for this project is to remind you about gussets... the construction isn't difficult but it's important if you want a clean finished project is to START and STOP sewing on the X's... otherwise the bag just won't go together well...

I didn't mark 5 things on the pattern...

1. The center line... it runs down the center of the bag pattern piece from tip to tip
2. the placement of the straps... they go inside the bag at the center line about 1/2 underneath drawstring casing.
3. the placement of the eyelet holes for the drawstring... you will place 1 eyelet hole 1/4" on either side of the center line, in the center of the drawstring casing
4. The fact that the lining and the outside fabric DON'T MATCH UP!! They are offset by half... match the edge of the outside fabric to the center line of the lining... you can see this in the picture above.
5. The placement for the seed beads are marked with X's on the pattern.

and without further ado... Here's the pattern! :D

again just like the last pattern... it's in inches... 1 inch squared.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Regency Drawn Bonnet... Pattern and Tutorial #3

At this point in your project you should have...

all pieces cut
the tip sewn to it's lining and gaged to 14 7/8
Crown/Brim hemmed and all 13 cording channels done

The Crown/Brim pattern is marked with a broken line along it's center. The center front, and center back are marked with an X. It's a good idea to fold and press your linen along this line so that when you draw up your cords the center remains straight and the bonnet doesn't become twisted. You can also use your favorite method of marking your fabric (pen, chalk, thread tack.) As your drawing up your cords you can use a straight edge to maintain the center line.

Now we draw the cording through the channels.

I used an upholstery needle to do the job. I bought a set of old stock 12" double points on eBay. You could use this tool, or a tapestry needle, a ball pointed bodkin, or a Fast Turn or Quick turn tool.

It's a simple matter of threading your tool with your crochet cotton and pulling the yarn through it's channel. Do all the channels. Secure one end of the yarn first with a knot and then with either hand sewing, or back tack multiple times on your machine. Now adjust the cords lengths. I gave you the list of cord lengths last post, but here is the list again:

14 7/8
15 3/4
17 7/8
19 3/8
20 5/8
21 1/4
22 1/4
23 7/8
24 5/8
26 7/8
28 1/2
29 5/8

Once again, just to emphasize, make sure that you maintain the center line and that the cords length is evenly divided between the left and right sides of the center line.

Once you have got all your cords measured secure the end with a knot and a back tack on the machine or by hand.

Now we attach the tip to the Crown/Brim.

The tip has been gaged or cartridge pleated to 14 7/8". As you notice this is the same length as the first cord (neck edge). The center of the tip should be marked with an X... or a pin, the C.B of the Crown/Brim is marked with an X. The X on the Crown/Brim C.B is on the cord, NOT on the fabrics edge. This is because the fabrics edge is in fact a ruffle. You will be sewing the gaged tip to the Crown/Brim along the first cord.

Next we will gather the tips neck edge. Mark the center of the tips neck edge (this will be the placement of ties C.B seam) The neck edges total length is 3 1/2"

Next gather the last 3 cords on the Crown/Brim to 1"(these are the longest cords, the face edge cords)... obviously do this on both sides. :D. Sorry, no picture.

Now you'll attach the tie.

Use a 1/2 seam allowance to attach the tie. With right sides together, match the ties C.B seam to the tips C.B. at X.

Now with your 1/8 rolled hem foot roll both sides of the ties edges that WON'T be attached to the bonnet... you should over lap the rolled hem and the 1/2" seam allowance a bit (and inch or so on either side??) so that the ties edge doesn't come unraveled there. This area will take the most strain because this is the place that the tie will be tied and untied every time you put the bonnet on.

Rolled hem foot tip:

Finger press the first fold in your fabric (about an inch in length), place your material under your foot and lower your needle into the pre-rolled section, raise the foot and pull the pre folded edge into your rolled hem foot. Make sure the pressure is set high on the pressure foot dial... this is so that your fabric doesn't slip around inside of the foot and make your rolled hem larger than you wanted. Or worse yet unevenly hemmed, or the fabric coming completely out of the foot and not making a hem at all.

The last thing to do is to finish off the tie. 

The tie does double duty as closure and neck edge facing.  All of the raw edges from the Crown/Brim, tip, and tie are folded up neatly into the tie.  Just fold over the seam allowance and place the folded edge to to the line of stitching that attached the tie to the bonnet. Use a hand whip stitch to attach the tie to the inside of the bonnet.

I added extra ties to my bonnet... I use them for my victorian bonnets and it really helps to keep the bonnet in place. Use a thin cord for the extra tie. The cord tie holds the bonnet in place and lets the real tie look pretty tied loosely. 

The last thing you'll do is starch the bonnet. Use liquid starch and press the bonnet's Brim/Crown flat.  The stiffer the bonnets brim the better!

So, that's that! You made a completely ridiculous bonnet! :D good times!