Saturday, 21 July 2012

A Pocketbook

Today I have whipped up an C18th pocketbook. I was going to do it last weekend during an event, but it got cancelled due to flooding.

I got my inspiration and basic ideas from this blog. I used the same measurements for the main pocketbook piece and then made an additional pocket based on the measurements I already had. For my pocketbook, I used some scraps of leftover linen - stripe from my skirt and plain white. I also used some tape for the binding.

The whole process is pretty simple. I first bound the two sides and bottom edge of the pocket flap and the top edge of the pocket (the one that was to be sewn on to the pocketbook itself). After this, I turned under the bottom edge of said appliqué pocket and sewed it to one end of the main pocketbook (about an inch in).

Now came the binding of the main pocketbook. My starting point was towards the end of one of the long sides, I did this so I could bind in the appliqué pocket as I went, and when I reached the short end, I bound in the pocket flap too. I followed the instructions of the aforementioned blog and made my lining slightly longer. As I reached the middle of my pocketbook, I box pleated the lining before continuing binding. I think that was the only fiddly bit I had to do!

I was then that I realised that the other end of my pocket book will look bare, so I cut a square of felt and sewed it to the stripy linen (avoiding the lining) so I had somewhere to put pins and needles. Once I had finished binding, I then folded in either end to create the main pockets. I left an inch gap in the middle of the pocketbook in total. Finally I added some ties to keep it all together.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Finished Bonnet and Reticule

The ribbon came for my bonnet today and I bought a tassel for my reticule so I was able to finish off both items.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

A Bonnet

This I had been putting off for a little while as I was a bit scared of making it! I did think about purchasing a plain one already made, but I was looking at about £40 by the time I had decorated it. So I went onto ebay and picked up a plain straw hat for £11. I got some remnant silk from a local silk shop for £3 and some binding from the haberdashers. The silk organza I already had. I think that comes to around £20 when I add the ribbon I bought online last night!

I looked at the various instructions of making a Regency bonnet on the internet, the best one being here. Before cutting the hat, I made the lining with the organza first so that it could be sewn in straight away when I had cut the hat (that was the scariest part!) I would recommend folding the hat in half and drawing a rough cutting line before actually cutting the hat. Note that the brim is curved at the bottom. I also cut a little out of the crown of the hat. I then stitched along the new edge, as the hat frays. Then I was able to sew on the binding to the edges, catching in the lining as I went.

Once I had bound all the edges, I stitched down the second row of gathers on the lining to the edge of the crown, this holds it into place. With the leftover lining I folded neatly into the hat and stitched it down so it wouldn't come loose. After this I made the silk cover for the crown. I measure from the centre to the edge (6.75"), doubled it and added an extra inch to get the diameter of the circle needed. I them found a very big bowl with the same diameter and used that as a template! I then gathered the silk, folded the edge in about an inch as I went along. I placed it over the crown and pulled the thread so it gathered to the right size and then stitched it to the hat.

All I have to do now is attach the ribbon when it arrives!


Next on my list for making was a reticule. I had a browse online to see what other people had done, and I came across these wonderful instructions. I made the basic reticule as I was wanting something for 'everyday' use. For mine, I used some leftover cotton from my stays and some plain white cotton to line.

I used the same measurements given in the instructions. I then sewed the two pieces together, leaving the bottom edge open - the lining was slightly shorter than the outer fabric. I then folded and sewed the top edge down about 0.5" to form a channel for the drawstring. Then I stitched the side seams together. After this I gathered the lining up and stitched it firmly in place, followed by gathering the outer fabric. I gather them separately so that if either one of them comes apart, nothing will fall out of the reticule!

As I was having two drawstrings for my reticule, and the fabric had been folded, I had to make a hole on the other side to allow for this - if that makes sense?! I snipped the channel on the opposite side to where I already had two hole for the drawstring and I whip stitched the edges so they didn't fray.

I had bought some cream coloured cord to match my reticule fabric, and used this for the drawstrings. I think I need to purchase a tassel or two as it looks a bit bare without one!

Regency Stays

Firstly I apologise...again. I lost motivation after making my Mary I style hood and didn't pick my needle up until after birthday, and since then I've had several events!
One of my birthday presents kick started my motivation - a pair of Regency spectacles in a case - and also the offer of going to an event (in August) in whatever period I wanted! So the clock started ticking...

I had already made a start on my Regency long stays in January. For this I bought the Mantua Maker pattern. I must say, this is a great pattern to use and I highly recommend it to anyone. Of course, some adjustment was needed - I decided to make the straps separate, I lifted the 'cups' a little higher, and made the gussets higher too so that they sat on my waist.

The pattern comes with two options, normal or riding (the latter having two of the four gussets laced). I went for the riding option, even though I never plan to go riding. This was because I thought I could loosen.tighten the extra lacing for comfort. It also meant having to sewn in fewer gussets!

The instructions were very simple (do read them before starting!), although having made various boned undergarments before, I didn't really read them after I got going. For my stays, I used a paisley printed cream cotton for the outer fabric, canvas for the interlining, and calico for the lining. The main seams were machine sewn, but everything else (as it gets quite fiddly) was hand sewn.

I don't think I having anything else to add, but feel free to ask questions!