Monday, December 26, 2011

Sense & Sensibility Year-end Sale!

Sense & Sensibility Patterns is having a end of the year sale, so if you've had your eye on something from there, you'd better get over there now and check it out! It is 15% off everything, and it ends on December 31st!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Beginnings of a 1912 corset....

I started this a while ago, but stopped due to some other pressing business. I'm planning on making a complete 1912 ensemble, so this is the first step, so far. And it isn't very far yet. :)

*NOTE: These are photos by me... NOT my sister. My apologies. *cough*

The pattern I got online from Bridges on the Body, which I found through a google search. :) *confession* I had never really sized-up a pattern before *end confession*

Here are the pieces after I measured and dotted and drew and corrected and added a couple sizes and re-drew.

An old curtain? Perfect for a mock-up!

Here they are, all sewn together and fitted....sort of. I had to take in a few of the seams, but it was very easy and not too head-achey. 

It fits me better than the dress-form. And I do NOT stab myself with pins when I'm doing least, not often. *insert Dick Van Dyke cough*

The pins are markings for the casings. I was too lazy to draw it out with a pen....why work that hard for a mock-up, right? They are just going to get ripped back out later!

And there are all the casing...and all the extra thread ends that I need to cut off. :) 

The mock-up isn't quite done - I still have to put in the lacing and try it on one last time, (hopefully....) and then I'll be ready to roll with the real thing. What do you think... should I make it pretty and get printed material, or go cheap and do boring white? I can't decide!

But this project is going on hold.... have a more pressing project, which I need to start. Soon. See the big roll of fabric in the background of the above photo? *big grin*

And now I'm off. Just a quick blog post, to show that I'm still sewing, still blogging, still alive, and still happy! :) It's been a great day - big project for some friends finished, yard work, singing, peppermint chocolate truffles to make, and maybe finishing watching Bleak House tonight. 

See ya'll later!

Monday, November 28, 2011

1940's on the Beach

I've had this dress done for quite a while now. I thought that I wouldn't have a chance to take pictures of it until next spring/summer, since it is currently 39ยบ outside. :) But our family decided to take a vacation in Hilton Head Island earlier this month and so I figured the beach would be a perfect place to take pictures.

We went there at mid-day, so the sun was shining full down on us, which made for *ahem* rather interesting squinty smiles and challenging for my sister photographer, but she is just so amazing that she could still take great photos, even in full sun. :)

Here's the front. I'm standing on the steps up to the dunes house. We've been going to Hilton Head Island since before I was born, so these steps have a lot of memories attached to them!

And there's the back.

I used Butterick Pattern #5209, with (of course) some small alterations. I raised the neckline, curved the empire seam, rather than having it come to a point. I also made a different skirt, because I didn't want gathers at the waist, and I eliminated a few seams on the bodice. The fabric is 100% rayon.

I got up early, did my hair and make-up, but I guess I could have stayed in bed, as far as the hair was concerned. It was SO windy that it pretty much looked like a mess as soon as I stepped on the beach!

You can see a little more of the bodice detailing in this photo, though the busy print makes it rather hard to see the seams. 

The sleeve seam - I'm loving the angle of it!

Neck-notch! Retro patterns are SUCH fun! 
*This actually was one of the hardest parts of the dress to sew - the notch came our crooked a few times before I finally got it right! :)*

Splashing in the ocean (notice the way my sister captured the water splashing on my leg)

And this is on the other end of the dunes house

So there's my latest creation! Lots of other outfits are swimming around in my head, so I'll be back with more sewing adventures sometime soon!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The New Regency Shoe!

Finally they are available for Pre-order!!! I have been following the blog "American Duchess" ever since they came out with the Devonshire and Georgiana shoes and have been getting soooo excited about their new Regency shoes - the Pemberley shoes!

A little about the Pemberley shoe:
The "Pemberley" Regency shoes are closely based on extant footwear from the 1790s through 1810.  The smooth, dyable, hand-sewn leather upper is designed to be lovely enough formal occasions, and durable enough for walking in the countryside.  Particular attention was paid to the point of the toe, as well as the other hallmarks of Regency historical footwear, with the main goals being both historical accuracy and all-day comfort.
 Head on over to American-Duchess and pre-order your own pair of Pemberley shoes, OR you can be like me, and enter her giveaway on her blog! :)

P.S. On her blog she also has a page where you can see the other shoes in the works... I am really excited for the Edwardian Strappy Pumps to come!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I am thankful for...

Life and living it to the fullest. The Lord who died for me that I might have eternal life. Home that is really a home, not just a house. Family, I couldn't ask for a better one. Fall and all the colors of the leaves, the cool fresh air. Friends who make me smile, think, and encourage me.

I'm thankful for...

A voice. I can't imagine life without singing. Socks. Because my toes are cold. Letters from friends - they make my day. Cheese because it tastes good. Patterns that make sewing much easier. Books. Especially on a cold day. Popcorn while watching a movie with family. Coffeeeeeeee with whipped cream. Or without. Just has to have cream and sugar. Music. It makes me happy. Fingers to tickle the piano. My bed. Being away for a week really makes one thankful for their own bed. Our yard. It's beautiful. Chocolate. Need I say more? Hugs. One size fits all and they are easily exchanged. Events that are coming up. Rag curlers since my hair is stick straight. My church family. You all encourage me! Health. Dear Nose, I'm grateful you aren't sneezing like yesterday. Love, Tara. My sewing machine, which makes my life so much easier. My sister. She's pretty amazing.

I'm thankful for...

An afternoon of hair curling, hats, and mousse-filled chocolate cups with Laura. Spontaneous 5-hour movie nights with Wendy. An evening trying to blow up mattresses with Hannah and Esther. Hotel nights with Lauren. Long email conversations with Robyn. Skype chats with Emily. Sprinkling snow on each other with Kristen. Sewing with Lily and Gretel. Kitchen clean-up late night goofiness with Grace. Swim poses at the L's house with Sokea. Sunday conversations over lunch with Dawn (I miss you!)

What are you thankful for today?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Small Squire

This little boy just has waaaay too much cuteness. He originally wasn't going to get an outfit for the Reformation Faire, but I was just dying to make a little boy medieval outfit, AND I had leftover fabric from my dad's costume, so how could I help sewing one for him?

I roughly based it on McCall pattern #5214, but he was too small for the smallest size, so I had to take it in quite a bit. The hat I made up, which is pretty easy, since it's just circles. :) And the boots... that was quite a challenge, but it worked in the end, even if they weren't "perfect". :) 

The plume is killing me. 

He looks so royal and dignified in this photo.

Two little cuties - making their outfits was just so much fun. I confess I squealed with delight several times while making them. 

Autumn is wonderful. Kids are cute. Life is good. God is Great.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Little Princess

I really did mean to get this post up sooner... but I only got the pictures last week. But once you see this adorable little face, you'll think it worth the wait. :)

We attended the Reformation Faire hosted by Providence Church this past weekend, so this little Princess needed a dress to wear - and I had the privilege of making it for her! It is a little large, with tucks in the sleeves and skirt so she can wear it for a few years yet. 

I used McCall pattern #6141. I think mine turned out cuter than the one on the front of the pattern. :) I had to add a two panels to the shoulders because it was too large, but they can easily be removed when next year comes. It closes with eyelets and lacing in the back.

There's that adorable face... we told her to look at the camera and she posed like this - soooooo cute!

Apologies for the tear drop on the front of her dress - she had a little meltdown towards the end of the photo shoot, and the wind was blowing her hair a little wild, but I just had to get a picture with her. 

So what do you think - is she cute or what!?!
I love you, little Princess!

P.S. Come back tomorrow for another cutie - her little brother!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I'm still alive...

...but I haven't been sewing a whole lot. The end of summer has been rather busy, and getting back into the swing of school has taken some time, but I'm back to posting and will have some new outfits up here shortly.

My spare time these past two days has been spent on the machine, and I expect to stay there for about a month with several projects that are calling to me. I have one that is almost done... one cut out... one with material ready to be cut out...some accessories that need to be re-cut and fitted, and then re-cut again... and a pattern that is begging to be pulled out, but I'm resisting because of the other projects that take priority.

And so life goes on. And I smell dinner cooking. And I wish I had curly hair. And this blog post is getting ramble-y.

But I can't leave without a sneak peak photo...

Any guesses as to what this is?

I'll be back soon... at least, I'll try to be back soon! :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Few of my Favorite Fictional Female Characters

This is a very random post of characters in books (or movies, but mostly books) that I love. They're in no particular order, just as I thought of them! Who are some of YOUR favorites??

Amy Dorrit

As soon as I started reading Little Dorrit, I knew Amy was one of the best characters ever invented. She is so sweet and loving - always serving others, and taking care of the unloved and unwanted. I also love how well she handles her relationship with her father. She could easily have been ashamed of him and disrespectful, but she respects and loves him as a daughter should, even in such a difficult situation.

Jane Bennet

I think Jane often gets forgotten in all the"Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth" talk, but she is still my favorite female character in Pride and Prejudice. She always tries to build people up rather than tear them down and is not selfish in the least.

Molly Gibson

How could anyone NOT like Molly?? So sweet and kind. Again I love her relationship with Mr. Gibson, and how it is portrayed in such a good light. She's another one who is always serving and helping others.

Lady Harriet

I've always liked Lady Harriet. She sees a problem and does what she can to fix it right away. And I love her red riding habit.... which has nothing to do with her character - just sayin'.

Polly Milton (Sorry, no picture)

I can't say how many times I have read this book and each time it helps me to get through a tough day. She relates to everyday life and is very real. She isn't perfect at all, and deals with growing up from a 14 year old girl to a 21 year old young lady with bumps and troubles, but always seeks advice from older women (usually her mother) and follows through with it. She also always tries to bring sunshine into other peoples' lives, to make their path a little easier. She is one character I really hope will never appear on screen - I'd be too afraid they would ruin her.

Beth March

Beth is another "forgotten" character, with Jo and Amy more at the front. But Beth is still my favorite, being okay with being in the background, taking care of details without thanks, taking care of little ones and the poor and generally making the home a home.

Mary Smith

She is such a great character (especially on film). I just love how she stays with the Miss Jenkins and listens to their stories of their childhood. One of my favorite scenes is when Mary is "set-up" with Dr. Harrison by her step-mother, and how Mary handles the situation without being awkward - just frank and friendly, and not romantic.

Mrs. Plornish

Ooooh Mrs. Plornish!! She is just too cute, with her attempted Italian accent, and continuously smiling face. You'll also notice how hospitable she is, taking in Mr. Cavelletto and Maggie, her father, and always having people over to her small abode. They are not rich, but they share whatever they can with others.

Anne Elliot

My favorite book by Jane Austen. I so wish I was as sweet tempered as Anne, seeing to all the little details, caring for others, etc. They really need to make a better film of this book....

Marmee March

And to close this off... Marmee. Who couldn't love Marmee - her relationship with each of her very different and unique daughters, how she guides them, and is always there for them. And how they all confide in her - if they have troubles, they go to Marmee for advice and comfort. I love good motherly figures in books - it makes the book twice as nice!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Devonshire 18th Century Shoes

 Devonshires are a leather 18th century shoe based on museum examples from the 1760s through 1780s.  They're made of top-grade dyable leather, with a beautiful, smooth Italian leather sole for dancing, and are hard-wearing, water- and mud-proof, for even the toughest of outdoor re-enactments.

Pre-Order the Devonshires through August 10, and get the special $100 price.  We're only making 200 of these shoes, so don't miss the chance to own one of only a couple hundred pair on the planet!  Visit to order.

Aren't these shoes sweet? I'm loving the shape of the heel! :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Traditional White Regency Dress

I love the simplicity of regency dresses... especially white ones. I searched high and low for the right fabric to make my dress - a white sheer cotton. Surprisingly the only plain white sheer I could find was polyester or poly/cotton blend, which I was not about to use (polyester... *shudders*) Finally I stumbled on this swiss-dot at Hancock fabrics... and it was on sale! Needless to say, I was pleased - very pleased. :) The petticoat underneath is white linen. I'm also am going to make a peachy-orange petticoat, so it will lightly show through and I can have two dresses in one.

We had a lovely location to shoot these photos. My dad took a vacation off work and we went up to northern Wisconsin to Door County. Dad's secretary's brother owns a beautiful "estate", 300 feet above the water, and he was so kind to let us stay there for our visit! 

Here's an up-close view of the back. You'll notice that it doesn't close in the back (the seam you see is the petticoat closure), and at first glance it doesn't look like it's possible to get into the dress, but the front of the bodice has a drawstring at the bottom, and hooks and eyes along the drawstring casing, so the front of the skirt hooks onto it. I wanted a somewhat invisible way to close it, and this seemed to be the easiest solution.

I love pleats. Just saying.

The whole house was stone, which made for some great settings. 

Off to the woods for more photos...
(we were having a lot of fun, hence lots of pictures. I hope you don't mind)

This spot was right above the 300 ft drop-off. The water was so blue and beautiful. Every day there were lots of sail-boats, as well as kayaks, speed-boats, canoes, jet-skis, and even a few para-sails! 

And there you have it! Many many thanks to my sister for the photos - she's amazing, if I do say so myself. :)

All photos copyright ©Kathryn Grace Photography. All rights reserved.

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