Monday, March 17, 2014

Because... {Pink}

It's a balmy 40ºF right now! And, yes, I'm running around barefoot, pretending it's spring. Because with March comes spring fever... and I've got a rather bad case of it! :)
I had a couple of free afternoons last week, so I made a spring-y/summer-y dress, in honor of the warmer temperatures! :)

This was a remake... it was originally a size 18 dress that I picked up at the thrift store. (I know... what was I thinking, I'm no where near a size 18!) But it was actually really easy, once I got the itch to actually start working on it... it hung in our laundry room for about a year waiting for the perfect moment to get pulled out and refashioned. :)

So this is how it started:
And here's what it turned into:
First I ripped the bodice off the skirt, and ripped the entire bodice apart, except for the seam across the back shoulder. Then I just started pinning it onto the dress form to get the general fit and idea. The seams ended coming in quite a bit, the back shoulder came up, I re-pleated the front shoulders to fit, and I had to add bust pleats at the waistline. I took the sleeve pieces and made those into the neck ruffles.
The underdress I just took in at the front, back, and side seams. It originally had straps to hold it up, but I used those instead to finish the armholes, and tacked the underdress to the eyelet overdress. It's also attached at the waist seam.
The skirt already had triangle panels to add fullness to each of the skirt seams. I really didn't want to rip all that out, so instead, I did inverted box pleats on 4 of the seams, stitching them down to the top of the triangle piece, which worked perfectly! Still nice and full, but it fit to the waist, and added a fun dimension to the otherwise plain skirt.
Finally, I used some of the access fabric from the side seams, and made belt loops, since I'm addicted to wearing belts! :)
The entire thing took me less than two afternoons, and several Broadway soundtracks. :) It's a super comfy dress, and I predict it will get lots of wear this year. :)
Hope you are enjoying this *almost* spring weather as much as I am! Yay for seasons! :) 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Correct Colonial Caps

Last year around this time I was frantically trying to finish up my outfits for Williamsburg. Being the {insane} person that I am, I made 3 jackets and 2 petticoats, on top of the essentials - stays, shift, cap, neckerchief.

Combined with the fact that I was out of time, and not knowing the correct technique for making a proper cap, I ended up whipping one up in an hour on the machine, using modern sewing technique. I knew I wanted to create correct ones later on, when I would have time to actually put some work into them!

It only took me a year to get around to doing that! :P

So I made two caps, using Kannik's Korner's pattern. One is a split ruffle, and the other an un-split ruffle.
 For those who don't know the correct technique (like me!), I'll explain it a little bit. First, all the edges of the pieces are finished with a hand-sewed rolled hem. The edge of the ruffle and the caul (the largest piece) are gathered with a whipped gathering stitch, and then they are sewed to the band with another whipping stitch. Finally, there's a casing on the bottom for a drawstring.
The top of the band is pieced, rather than sewn on the fold.
Don't ask me why they went to all that work back then. Seems like a lot more work than it's worth, in my opinion! :) Modern technique is so much easier. :)

That said, I think they do look rather nice. :) I love how lightweight they are, and "fluffy". :)
 Un-split, or....
 ... split ruffle.
Which one do you like better?
I'd really appreciate feedback, so I can decide which one to wear this weekend! :)

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