Wednesday, March 1, 2017

HSM 2017 challenge #2: Re-make, Re-use, Re-fashion

Faire Season is nearly upon us, and as a result of my body feeling the need to change shape yet again, I found myself in need of a new kirtle. Being between jobs at the moment means I don't really have the money for new fabric but according to this formula:

Last year's Kirtle + A recently purchased pattern from The Tudor Tailor = A new challenge entry

This was my first experience with Tudor Tailor Patterns and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this was to fit. I have an extremely narrow back and that can make fitting quite difficult, but all it took was two armhole darts and a strap adjustment and I was ready to go!

My previous kirtle was boned with heavy duty cable ties sandwiched between two layers of cotton duck and lined with linen. The skirt was made of two straight panels in the back and a quarter circle in front. I removed the front panel and the new bodice out of it.  I wanted something a little softer this time around, so I gave the cable ties a pass and interlined it with three layers of cotton duck then lined it with cotton sateen. It turned out beautifully and I'm looking forward to wearing it this coming faire season.






And some bonus pics of the blood orange marmalade I made today





  • Historical Sew Monthly 2017 thedreamstress.com

The Challenge: Re-make Re-use Re-fashion
Material: Linen, cotton duck, cotton sateen
Pattern: Tudor Tailor kirtle pattern
Year: 1570's
Notions: Thread, embroidery floss and two cable ties
How historically accurate is it? Machine sewn
Hours to complete: a week
First worn: Not yet
Total cost: $0

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Back from hiatus with a new HSM challenge #1:Firsts and Lasts

Well, that was unexpected...
I didn't expect to be away for so long, but the last two years have been pretty uneven and this blog just kind of fell by the wayside. But now that I have some spare time, what better way to pick it up again than with a new challenge.


This was supposed to be the finishing touch on a previous dress, but





The Challenge: Firsts and Lasts
Material: Lilac Picot Ribbon and artificial flowers
Pattern: Um, no.
Year: 1830's to 1860's
Notions: Thread
How historically accurate is it? Handsewn
Hours to complete: 1-2 hours
First worn: Not yet
Total cost: Free

Thursday, December 18, 2014

HSF '14 chllenge # 22 & 23: A Hatefish ladies uniform

Last weekend I attended the Great Dickens Christmas Fair in San Francisco. on . As per usual, I was having too much fun to take any pictures (though my mother managed to snap a few) On saturday I played a member of the notorious (and fictional) submarine Hatefish.


This was originally going to be my entry for the alternate universe challenge, but with the amount of work that went into it, I'm glad I spread it over two.

I suppose you could put the Garibaldi shirt and the zouave jacket in challenge 22's category (gentlemen's and gentlemen's inspired) and the skirt in challenge 23's (modern history)






  • Historical Sew Fortnightly 2014 thedreamstress.com

The Challenge: Gentlemen and Modern History
Fabric: Navy wool, blue linen and  red cotton
Pattern: Self drafted
Year: 1860's
Notions: Thread and red bias tape
How historically accurate is it? Equal parts machine and hand sewn
Hours to complete: Lots
First worn: To Dickens Fair on December 13th and 14th
Total cost: $20


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

HSF '14 Challenge 21: Re-do

I missed challenge #4 the first time around (I was visiting my sister in Washington) and so I took the opportunity to make a second chemise. 

  • Historical Sew Fortnightly 2014 thedreamstress.com

The Challenge: Re-do of underneath it all
Fabric: The same cotton batiste as the chemise I made for the UFO Challenge.
Pattern: Self drafted
Year: The Victorian era
Notions: Thread and ribbon
How historically accurate is it? Machine and hand sewn
Hours to complete: A day and a half
First worn: November 16th
Total cost: Free

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

HSF Challenge #20:Alternate Universes or The Red Queen circa 1840

I've been reading a lot of classic literature lately, and when this challenge rolled around, I was in the middle of Through the Looking Glass. I had a different outfit planned, but my fabric failed to arrive on time and so I turned to my reading material and came up with the red queen.

The bodice is made of red silk dupioni bought way back in the mists of time when the Jo-ann's near my house was going out of business. By the time I got there, they were practically giving it away, so I brought mountains of it and I'm thinking of maybe making something for my mother out of the rest.

This took longer than I expected it to, mostly because the sleeves decided to be difficult. The first pair refused to lie straight, and the second decided to stick out at odd angles. I finally decided on a simple double puff at the elbow and left it at that.


The bodice is trimmed with a red double lip cord, again from my stash.

  • Historical Sew Fortnightly 2014 thedreamstress.com

The Challenge: Alternate Universe
Fabric: Red silk dupioni
Pattern: Drafted
Year: 1840
Notions: Thread and double lip cord
How historically accurate is it? Machine Sewn
Hours to complete: A week
First worn: Not yet
Total cost: Free

Friday, October 17, 2014

HSF Challenge #19: Inspiration

Another fortnight, another challenge! After seeing this lovely pair of under-sleeves by The dreamstress, I was inspired to make a pair for the Bright Copper Penny Dress.


The material for these sleeves started out it's life as part of a set of curtains found at the goodwill. They were originally going to be a dress, but one of the panels decided to shred in the middle while it was in the wash. The fabric's a wee bit sheer on it's own, so I lined it with some cotton voile I had lying around.
             I like this fabric so much that I just might make a chemisette out of the leftovers.
                                          And here's what they look like with the sleeves:




Historical Sew Fortnightly 2014 thedreamstress.com

The Challenge: Inspiration
The challenge you were inspired by: The dreamstress' engageantes
Fabric: Embroidered cotton and voile
Pattern:  Nope
Year: 1850's-60's
Notions: Thread, hooks and eyes
How historically accurate is it? Machine and hand sewn
Hours to complete: 3
First worn: Not yet, probably to Dickens Fair
Total cost: $2

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Borrowed and Blue: HSF'14 challenge #18

As I was scouring historical poetry for suitable material for this challenge, this age-old ditty popped into my head:
                                                      Something old, something new,
                                                      Something borrowed, something blue,
                                                      And a silver sixpence in her shoe

It's not likely that I'll ever be a bride, but I was wearing my white dress from challenge #10 to an event and it was in need of a sash.

The ribbon is graciously loaned from my mother's bustle dress and hat, on the understanding that I will eventually give it back. It compliments the fabric of my dress perfectly.


  • Historical Sew Fortnightly 2014 thedreamstress.com

The Challenge: Poetry in motion
Fabric: Um, no.
Pattern: Nope
Year: 1830's
Notions: Blue satin ribbon
How historically accurate is it? Completely hand sewn
Hours to complete: 2
First worn: September 27th
Total cost: Free