To all who mourn in Israel, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory. Isaiah 61:3

Monday, October 17, 2016

Late 1850s Corset, Embroidered Chemise and 1860s Elliptical Hoops!

Good Monday to you all!  I hope you are all doing more than wonderful!  I am well, but life has become a little more busy than I like.  Fall means school and school means teaching, or making sure Colton gets his school work completed (as stated in my previous post, Colton is in a new homeschool co-op where "we" go to school all day Wednesdays then Mondays and Fridays for math...). This means earlier mornings (I'm a night owl, usually going to sleep at 1:30 a.m.) and sluggish feeling days.  All this translates into fewer sewing projects, which is just how it is going to be for a while!

BUT!!!  I have managed to complete a few things.  The hoops have been done for about 2 weeks, the same for the chemise.  The corset is a newer project.   Because of the way I have been feeling physically and other things that have been happening in my life causing me to want to hibernate, it has taken me this long to do a photo shoot with all the new items.  You know when you just feel off plumb and don't really feel like doing anything but sleeping and sitting on the couch, binge watching "Call the Midwife" and eating potato chips?  Yaaaaaaaaaaa....That's how I have been feeling lately.  I know that things will get smoother and I'll be back to my usual self, and I sooooo cannot wait for that!
So, on with the pictures of the new underwear items!

Elliptical Hoops

At some point in the hopefully near future, I really want to make two 1860s elliptical dresses....This one and This one.  I had in mind to make the half mourning one for my annual "All Hallow's Eve" mourning dress, but my mind changed itself for me and I will be making another instead.  In any case, the hoops are already made!  Huzzah!!

I thought it would be fun to make a colored cage, but in the end, white won out....

Late 1850s, Early 1860s Corset

I've been wanting a black corset for a very, very long time and since I will be doing the "Dressing the Victorian Lady in Mourning" at The Bishops House this coming Saturday, I thought I would make the corset for the event.  Well, plans fell through for the making of a new dress (oh how did God rescue me from a week of crazy,  out of my mind, working 24/7 on the new project! Thank you Lord for talking some sense into my crazy, OCD brain!!!)  I plan now on dressing in my 1840s Wool Mourning Dress and feel it will be a better thing to do anyway, so huzzah for simpler, non "are you out of your mind?" plans!!!

But again, I now have a new corset for when I do get my newest mourning dress made!

I really love this new corset and think it fits really well.  And....I did flossing on it!  I have never done any flossing except on the tips of the gussets for stability, and am super pleased with how the "tear drops" turned out!  You can't really see very well the color of the flossing, but it is a lovely robin's egg blue!

Pattern:  Simplicity 7215 (shortened by 1 1/4")
Fabrics: Dupioni silk
Cotton canvas

Love my new American Duchess Balmoral boots!

I'm one of those wear your chemise outside of your drawers kind a gal.  I have tried to wear the chemise inside the drawers and the feeling is just too uncomfortable.  I know that there are those who wear it in and more power to ya!  But this chick...chemise out!  

Embroidered Chemise

Ok, so I am super pleased with this chemise and really liked the embroidering so very much that I would like to make a set of drawers and corset cover that has been hand embroidered! Don't know if that will actually happen, but a girl can dream right?  

Fabric: Cotton 

The edge of the top looks puckered...I ended up having to take a full 6 strands of the embroidery floss and thread it on the underside of the scallops to "tighten" the top of the chemise up.  Without that tightening floss, it fell way down my shoulders and I really didn't like how it looked.  Also, I wish I hadn't added the buttons as it throws the "center" off a wee bit.  But, the pattern called for it and on one of the extant examples, it was the same way so....there ya go! 

Looking at these pictures, it's hard to believe that I actually embroidered all of that!  
Especially those teeny tiny eyelets!  ACK!!!

The sleeves are even embroidered...

Well, that's all for now....For the next two weeks, I will be slowly working on my mourning dress...This Glorious Work of Beautiful Art!!!!!!!!!!! 

 I hope you are enjoying the fall weather if you are a place where the weather is actually changing!  This is my favorite time of year and I LOVE the colors of the leaves on the trees, especially the bright crimsons!  

Have a wonderfully blessed week my friends!


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

My Insanity Knows No Bounds....

It appears with this new project that I am working on, I have taken leave of my senses.  Let's just say one thing up front.  I hate hand sewing.  Like, with a grand and glorious passion.  So, why I decided that embroidering a demi suite of 1860s underwear would be a good and happy thing to tackle, is well beyond the realm of my understanding.

On October 22nd, Mama and I will be doing another fund raiser for The Bishops House titled Dressing the Victorian Lady in Mourning.  I thought it would be fun to make a new corset for the event (it will be a black silk one even though I know they didn't have underwear that was black specifically for mourning purposes...) and thought, "Heck!  Why not make a whole new set of white frillies and just for the craziness factor, let's make them all hand embroidered! Because we like to do all the hard, time consuming things a month before the event!"  Actually, what made me decide to do things that are hand embroidered was Colton's new school.  This year we chose to put him in a Homeschool Co-op that is classical education in style.  He is taking theology, biblical theology, logic, rhetoric, philosophy, classical literature and math.  I will be sitting in on his classes until he/we get a handle on this new school format and then math two days a week away from home will give me ample time to do some sewing away from my sewing machine.  Therefore....hand embroidered underwear!!  

I have completed some on the chemise which includes the scalloping along the neck line and am currently working on the eyelets...five sections of three small eyelets takes about an hour to complete, so that part is going sloooooowly.  And my hands are quite grouchy with me.  But, I think it will be very worth it when it's all complete!

Scallops are complete and the eyelets are one their way to being completed!  Now I remember why I hate hand sewing so much... The fabric looks like it is blue, but that is just the light and camera working their weird sort of magic.

Working with Past Patterns 1860-1870 embroidered chemise pattern.  I also would like to make an embroidered pair of drawers and corset cover.

The Inspiration

While searching for inspiration for the chemise, I came across this gorgeous set of underwear from The Philadelphia Museum of Art.  I am so loving the moire corset and have located some fabric that would totally work for making a reproduction!  For my birthday gift this year, I have asked for money to purchase the narrow gauge wire cage crinoline from The Wooden Hamlet!  Can't wait to get it!!!

I love the beauty of this chemise!  I can't wait until mine is completed!!

A New Treasure!

Today, I was so happy to discover this wedding dress from 1903 at a place called The Yard Sale Place.  It is a fabulous place that is a consignment store selling yard sale like items for people.  I have found many incredible deals there and today didn't disappoint!  The fun thing is that if items are not sold in good time, they get reduced 30% then 60%.  Well, this wedding dress had not sold so was at 60% today!  I was beyond giddy with happiness as I paid a grand total of $27.35 for it!!  Huzzah!!!

It is made of a very fine cotton lawn, cotton and lace.  The tag that was pinned to the inside of the dress reads, "Wedding dress of my great-great-grandmother's married on June 11, 1903".  I sure would love to know Great-Great-Grandmother's name.  The dress is home made on a sewing machine with two of the front darts hand sewn after the dress was made.  I haven't steamed it yet, don't know if I will as I'm afraid that the steaming would damage the fibers...will have to do some research on that!  

Not sure if the bodice was tucked into the skirt or not.  I am thinking it was not tucked in because of the front vertical ruffle cascading down the bodice.

Tucks and ruffles and lace, oh my!!

Almost pouter pigeon front...but not quite there yet.

You can see through the sheer cotton, the eyelet lace at the top of the inner bodice!  

Inner bodice that takes the stress off of the outer lawn layer.  Closes with hooks and eyes.

And a Birthday Boy!

19 years ago today, I had this sweet baby boy whom I instantly and completely fell head over heals in love with!  We named him Dakota and he has been my sweet boy ever since!  We celebrated with a party on Sunday, and had a very nice time.  I can't wait to see where life and God take this young man.  I can wait for him to move out and be out of our daily lives, so I am happy that his plans to move out have not come to fruition... (two room mates that he was planning on moving out with had things happen).  I love having him home and dread the day when he strikes out on his own.  We are good buddies and friends and he delights my heart!!  

Happy Birthday Cody!

I hope you all have a truly blessed rest of you week!  For me, it will be hand sewing craziness and starting a new corset!

Be Blessed!!


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

1872 Riding Habit Complete!

Good Wednesday to you all!  I hope your week is moving along swimmingly!  Mine is a crazy, stressful week of getting all the things ready for a fashion show at Something Special Antiques in Meridian and getting Colton ready for the new school year at a new school.  I can't wait until Sunday!

I thought I'd write a quick post about the completed riding habit I made for the Women in Sports section of the fashion show.  While this isn't my all time, #1, oh-my-giddy-aunt outfit that I have ever made, I am pleased with how it turned out and feel that it is very elegant in its simplicity.  And this one I won't be selling!!

Here she is on Emma the Mannequin and may I just say that Emma needs to gain some weight!  Poor thing!  She is wasting away to practically nothing!  Oh!  And you can't see in the pictures here, but there are riding trousers under the skirt!  Huzzah!

Inspiration for my riding habit came from this one from The MET.  I like the way the hem of the bodice comes up more towards the waist.  I was using this one originally, but didn't like how the bodice fit me with the hem that I cut up the hem and really liked how it looked!

Will be doing a photo shoot with me wearing this in the future.  One of my fellow bloggers and readers has quite generously offered her horse as a "prop" for a photo shoot!  How fabulous is that!?  I think that will be my most epic "prop" ever in the history of this blog!

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your week!  



Saturday, September 3, 2016

Roller Skating 1880s Bustle Dress Style!

One of the questions I regularly get asked during my Historical Fashion Education Programs is, "Can you run in a corset?" or "Can you bend over in a corset?" or "Did they wear those to milk a cow?" or "Women did sports?" or "Ladies wore corsets to ride bicycles?  They actually rode bicycles?" 

The sad thing to me is not these questions (because there are no "silly" questions ever in costuming), but rather movies and the modern mind set that causes people to believe that corsets were instruments of torture, that women couldn't do anything but faint in them and that they weren't allowed to play sports.  I LOVE it when I am asked these questions, because it gives me the opportunity to share what I have learned with those who are really and truly curious!  After all, you can't learn if you don't ask questions!  To that end, I am creating a "Women in Sports" fashion education program so that those who wish to know, can see reproductions of sporting outfits worn by our ancestors!

Next Saturday, the fabulous antique store "Something Special" in Meridian is holding its annual High Tea and Fashion Show where the ladies of We Wear History model historical reproduction outfits!  This year the theme is "Ladies in Sports and Evening Wear".  I have made quite a few new sporting outfits already, and am currently working on the riding habit that will be worn.  I only have to set the sleeves in and add the boning and that will be complete!  Huzzaaaaaah!  I had wanted to make a roller skating outfit to go with my fabulous pair of black antique roller skates, but have run out of time.  As I was contemplating what to do with this conundrum, a thought came to me.  I could (and will) totally use my 1880s Military Inspired Bustle Dress for a roller skating outfit!  AWESOME SAUCE!!!  I knew that the antique skates fit me as I had tried them on previously, but would I be able to wear them next Saturday and not break anything?  This morning I found out that yes, I can wear them AND skate in them and not look a fool or break anything!  Thank you Lord for small miracles!

The skates were so very NOT like the ones I used as a teenager back in the 1980s!  These were "sloppy" feeling and the wooden wheels were just plain weird feeling.  But the more I skated, the better they felt and the more my feet and legs became accustomed to them.  There was also no toe break so that was an adjustment! 

The single hardest part to roller skating in a corset is this right here...putting the skates on!  Major maaashing of the guts ensued and I know my face turned a lovely shade of crimson!

Am I sure I want to do this?  The words of my sweet husband kept running through my mind...."Please don't break yourself!"

These skates look so cool!  They are just not the comfortable ones of now!

After skating a bit, I discovered hidden pebbles on Mom's driveway!  ACK!!!  That would not do at all!

There was much concentrating going on while skating today!

Skating backward?  Oh ya baby!

After a bit I took off my bodice to show that yes, I was skating while wearing a corset!  Huzzah!

It was fun to feel the overskirt flipping around as I skated!

Taaaa-Daaaaa!  Look Ma!  No broken bones or torn silk!

Thank you Mama for being my Photo-Video-Grapher today!  It was fun watching your face as I came at you full bore on my roller skates without a toe break!  Hahahahahahahah!!  Hilarious!!  You are a total rock star and I LOVE you!!

Two videos were shot today!  I had a lot of fun making these as these were really me not being poised and collected.  After all, when you think you are going to skid on a rock and go crashing to the ground, all semblance of formality goes out the window!!!

Roller Skating Part 1

Roller Skating Part 2

Izabela Pritcher of Prior Attire inspired me to do the video with just the corset...her videos are super fun!

 I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your weekend!!

Be blessed!



I forgot to include my Pinterest board...

Sports: Skating Both Roller and Ice

Lots and lots of fun inspiration!!!