Friday, 19 November 2010

A Bergere Hat

I went to The Original Reenactors Market (TORM) Sunday just gone and bought myself a straw bergere hat. I had already bought the bits to addorn it with - 2m millinery wire, 2m black bias binding, approx. 6m 4cm wide black organza ribbon and lots of ostrich feathers! (as I want to be 'the crazy feather lady'). It is partially based on the hat worn by Elizabeth Foster in her portrait.

I started off by sewing the millinery wire to the brim edge with a whip stitch and then sewed on the binding. After this I used about 1.5m of the black ribbon for the tie and sewed it to the inside of the crown of the hat. I then gathered the rest of the ribbon (although not all of the ribbon was needed) using a large zig-zag stitch. I gathered enough to go around the hat crown. But before I sewed this on, I sorted out my feathers and decided how I was going to arrange them, this included binding the ends with left over binding and then sewing that to the hat before sewing on the gathered ribbon. Afterwards I then positioned the feathers and attached them in place with a few small stitches.

Caraco Petticoat

This is slightly delayed, but at the beginning of last week I made the petticoat for my caraco as I am yet to be patterned for my polonaise gown. The petticoat was made in the exact same way the the polonaise gown petticoat except it doesn't have a flounce because a) I really didn't want to make a flounce again and b) the silk was £15 p/m! All is left to do now is the hem (it is currently pinned) which will be done when someone can measure it for me.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Victorian Cap

Another piece to add to my housemaid wardrobe - a cap. Made pretty much the same way as my C18th one here except it's made from muslin, I only have one ruffle and the bag piece is half oval shape rather than semi-circle.

The cap is actually too small really, but then I'm rubbish at making headwear because a majority of it ends up being too small. With a little ingenuity, I have got it to fit and I'll also add button loops so I can slide in kirby grips discretely. It also needs an iron!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Regency/Victorian boots.

A couple fo weeks or so ago, I bought some white jazz boots off ebay as they were of a similar style to Regency and Victorian boots (2 periods I plan to do/start on next year). It worked out cheaper to buy white boots and dye them black so that is what I did. Before I did that I had bought some 5mm thick leather (I expect something slightly thinner will also do, but this was the only thickness I could get hold of) and drew around the boot to get a shape for the sole and cut it out with a stanley knife. The heel part needed to be cut off as these are separate on the jazz boots.

Once the boots had had 2 coats of dye (Dylon Shoe and Accessories dye) I started to attach the leather soles. Luckily I had some thin black leather at home which I used for the sides of the heel. I then stuck on the thick leather soles - the main sole was quite hard to do as this required pegs and carrier bags to tie the boot and sole together so they stick! To glue the soles on I used, what has been recommended, Shoe Goo and it certainly does do the job well. I also put some Shoe Goo on the edges of the leather to protect them when wearing outside.

When this was done, I made up a couple of organza ribbon rosettes - 1/2" wide and a metre long makes 2 reasonably sized ones. I the ribbon in half and neatened both ends before running gathering stiches along one edge. I pulled the gathers as far as they would go and then arrange and stitched it into a rosette shape. I glued the rosettes onto the toe of the boots with a blob of Shoe Goo.
All I need to do now is find some black shoelaces long enough!


Next year I plan to be a housemaid for the Victorian events at Kentwell Hall. When I found a bit of time between writing essays, I managed to make a start on my first bit of clothing - engageants - these are cotton half sleeves that cover the fore-arm and protect the dress sleeves and so one doesn't have to roll their sleeves up and look like a scrubber (of pots and pans).

I started with 2 x 14" square (for the sleeve) and 2 x 4"x9.25" (for the cuff) of white cotton. I wanted my sleeves to be tight around the top so they stay up - the extant examples I've seen are quite wide so you might want to make your measurements bigger than mine.

Going by the extant examples, I used really small hems and seam - I allowed for 1/2". I sewed the sleeve seam first and neatend it and then hemmed the top. After this I did 2 rows of gathers around the cuff (as the sleeve is tighter compared the extant examples, there wont be many gathers in comparison) and knotted the thread when I got the desired size - 8.25", the measurement around the widest part of my hand so I can put the sleeve on. I then sewed on the cuff which was made up like bias binding.