Thursday, 3 April 2014

Back with the Autumn Winds.

Goodness, it has been quite a while since my last post. Things here in my parlor have been rather busy as of late, which means that my best laid plans of doing the Historical Sew Fortnightly have gone completely out the window.
The main reason is that my studies are taking up a lot of my time. The joys of studying fashion I suppose.
So hopefully I will soon share some of my other projects that I have been working on in my very small spare time.
Until then,
Warmest wishes to you all.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Challange the 2nd - Innovation

I had hoped to make an 1890 corset for the second Sew Fortnightly Challenge – Innovation. I had planned to have a heap of information about how the busk and steel boning had made corsets what they are today and about how before steel boning it was cording, rushes or whalebone.

But unfortunately life interfered with my plans and made it almost impossible to get this challenge done. That coupled with the fact that the supplies I ordered for this project have not arrived, being delayed by the Chinese New Year, mean that I will be skipping this challenge.

So, on to the next challenge.

Best wishes,


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Historical Sew Fortnightly - Challenge 1

For the first challenge, “Mend and Make Do” I have made a Victorian bustle pad out of an old cotton shirt.

In my research I found these two examples of similarly shaped bustles:
- This example from 1880, made of cotton muslin is very similar to the one I am making.
- This is the other example, also from 1880, is similar in shape and the ties are closer to the model I am making.

Here we have the materials and such (though not pictured are the several large cups of tea that also formed an important part of making this). And also the kuta top that formed the basis of my bustle.

Starting with my measurements and a rough guide drawn out on scrap paper I cut the general shape out, leaving a 2 cm seam allowance.

I machine stitched the main part of the bustle, double stitching to make sure no stuffing will come out, stuffed it with a combination of 'hobby fill' and partly felted merino fleece as I have them on hand, and hand stitched the cotton tape on.

The Stats:
The Challenge: No. 1
Fabric: Cotton muslin / Hobby fill / Merino Fleece.
Pattern: None, though I did draw out a rough guide.
Year: Roughly 1880'.
Notions: Cotton tape / white thread.
How historically accurate is it? Fairly accurate.
Hours to complete: About four or five (several episodes of both QI and The Addams Family), spread out between other projects.
First worn: Not yet, as I have no skirt to wear it with, but it is a start for my historical wardrobe.
Total cost: All materials were scrounged from the fabric stashes, but if I tried to give a rough estimate it would be around $6 (AU) for the cotton tape, the top I was given by a friend and the thread was about $2. The fleece I used was also given to me from a friend and the hobby fill was $9 for a 500g bag.

On-ward to the next challenge!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Joining The Historical Sew Fortnightly.

I stumbled upon the blog of Leimomi Oakes, The Dreamstress, halfway through last year, and her wonderful challenge,the Historical Sew Fortnightly (HSF). Inspired by it I had thought of joining at the beginning of the next year, but events and time pushed all thoughts of it out of my head, until it came up in my web trawlings the other day.

So I decided this year was the one I was going to join in.

The challenges have been set and my mind is already ticking over the possibilities.

I think I should note now that my historical accuracy may be a little out, as I am going for wearable as well as historical. And in my case it means most things will be made on the darker side of the spectrum.

Wish me luck.

Monday, 13 January 2014

First Project for 2014!

A Sewing Machine Cover.

It has taken me a little while but it took my finally got sick of all the dust in my sewing machine to make me realise that I need a cover for it.

A quick hunt through the fabric stashes (yes plural) I found the one. Its a Halloween print quilting fabric, a purple base with little black bats and orange stars.

All the necessary components, including my cup of tea.

To start with I measured my sewing machine.

I could not find my tape measure so I just grabbed my yard stick and measured it roughly.

Then measured the pattern out with scrap paper.

Cut the fabric to size, leaving about 2 cm gap all the way around for seam allowance.

Sew together.

To finish I edged the bottom with some black satin ribbon I had laying around.

And voila, my sewing machine cover is complete.

I had thought of lining it with something to stiffen it up, like cardboard, interfacing or wadding but a lack of suitable materials and a severe case of the “couldn't-be-bothered-s” I left it as it is. It does the job, that is all that matters.

Friday, 3 January 2014

New Years Resolutions

With the new year bringing thoughts of resolutions and the fact that my wardrobe has become rather thin of late (and that being a poor student I cannot afford to buy myself a new one) I have decided to take up a sewing challenge.

The main idea came from a few places:

Sewing Your Style on tumblr with her “Check Out My DIY Wardrobe” post.
Sew Country Chick with her post “Sewingyour basic Wardrobe.”

While her suggestions for a basic wardrobe is great for most people, those of us with more unusual tastes may find it a little harder.

A little info before I start. I am a Goth, a Goth with more of a Victorian flavour so most of my projects will be based around that. I adore the ornate and the unusual, as well as historical fashion so that has crept into my plans.

So here is my Sewing Plan:

- High collar blouses in black and white
- Shirt with v neck and large bell sleeves

- Semi bustled/gathered back victorian skirt
- Witchy handkerchief hem black skirt
- Corset laced pencil skirt
- Fishtail skirt with frilled bottom
- Fishtail skirt with gathered base
- Fishtail skirt with pleated bottom with alternate inner colour
- Victorian (natural form) bustle skirt
- Long skirt with back ruffles
- Knee length (for over petticoats)
       in a spider web fabric
       in plain black satin
       in blue velvet

Jackets and Capes
- Victorian military style jacket
- Lily Munster style cape
- Opera cloak
- Dolman Mantle

- Under bust sleeping corset
- Under bust everyday (underwear) corset
- Under bust pleather corset
- Under bust vinyl corset
- Under bust brocade corset

- black pencil skirt and tailored jacket set

Hats and Fascinators
- Veiled hats

And anything else I feel like making.
My main idea is to try and make one garment a fortnight. If I can make one a week, even better, but to start off with I think one a fortnight is more achievable for a sewing beginner like me.

And in the spirit of New Years Resolutions I thought I would share some of my other resolutions.

- Tightlace

- Learn to play 5 songs on the piano:
Comptine D'un Autre Ete L'Apres Midi
Lacrimosa (piano solo)
Weep You No More, Sad Fountains
Swansong for a Raven (piano solo)

- Create an inspiring sewing studio space

- Design and create my dream wardrobe (Fits rather well with this)

- Own a corset collection (So does this one)

- Create a beautiful gothic garden