söndag 31 januari 2016

1888-1890 walking dress

In Oktober, I posted that I had started a 1880-1890 walking dress based on a fashion plate. (Actually, the plate is not dated, but by the looks it has to be something like these years.) I managed to finish it in time for a the first intended wearing, a steampunk larp, but that also meant that I made a slightly steampunked version of the vest. Now I have made the more historically accurate (HA) vest I originally intended, so now I consider it finished. I posted about the finished skirt here.

This dress consists of a skirt with soutache embroidery, and a coat-like overdress with an attached false vest. Under, I wear a shirt and kind of tie. (And of course chemise, corset and bustle.) (I will probably make a better shirt sometime, but here I borrowed a modern shirt for the steam punk larp, and my Edwardian shirt for the photo session.)

Sometime, I might get around to describe how I adapted the standard bodice pattern to a coat-like overdress, but this time I will just put up lot of pictures.

A closer look with the HA vest:

I made a welted watch pocket, just as on the fashion plate! That was fiddly, and meant I had to do the scary thing of cutting a hole in the front and hoping I would not mess it up... But it turned out ok, and I like the look of it even while it is not nearly perfect.

 Then, in its steam punk version:
At the larp, with Stempunky Mystical Machines.


And the HSM facts:

 Challenge #1 2016: Procrastination
What the item is: ca 1888-1890 walking dress. 
Fabric: A soft blue polyester  fabric with some stretch, flat lined with old cotton sheets. Polyester velvet for collar, lapels and revers.
Pattern: I started with the Truly Victorian 1885 Cuirass Bodice to get the general shape, but then I changed the front totally, added a collar, and added a skirt to the bodice, so there is not much left of the original pattern. Truly Victorian 1885 Four-Gore Underskirt for the skirt.
 Year: 1888-1890  I would guess.
Notions: Soutache braid. Hooks and eyes for closure of the HA vest, those large hooks for closure of the steam punk vest (taken from all those useless key bands you get now and then as a student).
How historically accurate is it? The look and shape of it is pretty good, but construction methods is mostly made up as I went along. Materials is all wrong.
 Hours to complete: lost count. Something like 5 h for the soutache on skirt and a few more hours to sew the skirt. I think the soutache on the HA vest took 3 h. Maybe 5 h for constructing and testing the pattern for the coat/overdress. I would say, in total something like 25-30 h??
First worn: Steampunk version:  for my larp in last October and for my 30:th birthday masquerade. HA version: not yet except for photos.
Total cost: maybe something like 60-80 Euro?
Procrastinated for how long: Not so long, actually. I made it with its steam punk vest in October, but it took until January to get started on the HA vest.

Late 1880's skirt with soutache

I finished the skirt for the 1888-1890 outfit a while ago, but never got around to posting it. It took a while to make it, since I decided to finally make make a garment with soutache embroidery. I have been looking longingly at extant garments with soutache for a long time, so now I decided it was time to actually do it. For inspiration, I used pictures like this one:
From The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 I wanted something slightly organic, a feeling of leaves or sea grass rather than the stricter design found on military uniforms.(A bit unusual for me, as I am generally very fond of the military look.)

I worked out a design, and pinned a section of it to the fabric. I pinned free hand, just looking at one report of the pattern that I had drawn on a paper, and occasionally measuring to make sure that I didn't distort the pattern. I sewed it on by hand. I soon discovered that it looked much better if I used back stitch. Otherwise the thread pulled the band, making puckers.

For the skirt, I wanted to use thin wool fabric, but was not able to find any. Instead I found a polyester in exactly the color I wanted. It had good drape, but unfortunately also a bit of stretch. To get rid of the stretch I flatlined all pieces of the skirt with a soft cotton fabric. It seems to work well.

I used the same basic 1880's Truly Victorian skirt as I have used for my other skirts. And as with the other skirts, I added a pocket in a side seam, taken from the 1886 Patterns of Fashion dress. Following the strict feeling of my inspirational picture I made this skirt entirely plain except for the embroidery - no poufs at the back, no ruffles. And here is the result - a bit of a teaser, as I will publish the rest of the outfit soon.

fredag 1 januari 2016

Looking back at 2015

At the beginning of the new year, I will start classically by summing up the last year. Last was very productive for me sewing-wise. This was due to two things. The first was that I joined the Historical Sew Monthly (HSM), which meant a deadline each month. As I have only been sewing at vacations before, this meant that I got a lot more sewing done. The second thing was that I got in touch with some more historical sewing people here in Linköping. As sewing together is much more fun than being nerdy on my own, more people to sew with meant that I was inspired to keep up the speed in sewing. In all, I managed to get the first nine HSM challenges done. Then, my project did not fit the challenges.

So, what have I done? I started a new time period, Edwardian, with the practical 1905 outfit (that turned out to be not so practical, as the heavy underskirt pinched my stomach through the corset, the hat is large, and I could not dress myself as there was hooks and eyes at the back that I could not reach.) Still, I liked it. This project involved making an Edwardian corset (HSM challenge #1 foundations) and corset cover, an underskirt (HSM#3 Stashbusting), a skirt and a blouse (HSM #5 Practicality). 

For the turn of the century days I went to with some friends in August, I could not resist making a more upper class version, with a lace blouse (thrifted), reshaping the hat, and making a bolero and belt. I am really happy with the shape I managed to get by the use of lots of bust and hip padding.

Next big project was the 1860's afternoon dress from the book Patterns of Fashion - another new time period for me. Surprisingly, despite the large crinoline this turned out to be one of my most comfortable dresses. I modified my 16th century farthingale to get it more bell shaped instead of cone shaped. Then, there is the skirt, bodice, and undersleeves, and decorating the bonnet. (This was HSM #6 Out of your comfort zone)

In September, I started the last big project of the year - a ca 1880-1890 walking dress from a fashion plate. This will be a sneak peak, as I have not yet blogged it. As the dress neared finishing, I made the vest a bit steampunk by using large hook for fastening, as I was going to wear the dress at my Steampunk larp. I am currently making a period correct vest as well, so I can choose. This outfit consists of a skirt with soutache, and a coat with a false vest attached.

I also made some smaller stuff, to complement dresses I already had.
An over skirt and a new hat for the 1886 dress (This was HSM #2: Blue and #4 "War and Peace")

A "gröntröja", green bodice, for my mother's Gagnef folk costume. (HSM #8 "Heritage and Heirlooms")
Two Tudor caps, constructed in two different ways.  HSM #7 Accesorise.

Crazy stuff: A 18th century inspired dress in grocery store paper bags for a competition (sadly, I did not win anything...)

I also did a remake of the striped 1880's bodice, by adding a false vest and blouse. This way, it got a bit bigger (much needed!) and also a bit more fancy. I also added lots of trimming to the hat belonging to the same dress (HSM #9  Colour Challenge Brown).

After this year, I can confidently say that I have overcome my fear of making button-holes, after making a shirt and two bodices with buttons! I have also arranged a steampunk larp and a historical costume "fika", won a costume competition award, and been to at least five19th century markets or gatherings, so this have been a busy year for the historical costuming part of me! Plans for next year will come in next post.