miss_philomena: (strawberries and cream window)
first off, thank you all for all the love on my last post! Things feel a little overwhelming still right now, but I've got a list of potential venues to call and get some detailed info from and start scheduling visits. My goal is to have the date set and booked by the end of June.

I'm looking at taking a class in the fall on drafting patterns for children's clothes. It's a sorely underserved market amongst historical clothing patterns, and it's got no prerequisites like a couple other classes I want to take as well. The only downside is it's only offered Sunday afternoons, which means I won't be able to do anything from August 31st till December 22nd. At least nothing that takes up both Saturday and Sunday. I already know I'll have to miss one class to make my best friend's bridal shower in November. But it'll be a fun new skill to learn. (I hope. Some of the infant/toddler dress forms are a little creepy, I think.) Hopefully various family members will be willing to lend me their small children as fit models in the future.
miss_philomena: (bib front)
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I'm not a horrible person that forgot to do this forever and ever, look! [livejournal.com profile] mandie_rw, [livejournal.com profile] dragoneyes19 and I goofed off in [livejournal.com profile] jennylafleur's yard before her card party started, and took some pictures. The album is here!
miss_philomena: (strawberries and cream window)
This fabric is speaking all the things to me. I can't make my mind up between anglaise, francaise, or 1860s. I've got almost 16 yards of it, so plenty to play with.
Giant picture behind the cut )
miss_philomena: (devil's whore blue pray)
I have a business-related question I'd like to put forth to you all. When using patterns, would you rather keep the costs low and potentially have to tape larger pieces together for yourself, or would you prefer larger pieces to be on a single sheet of paper, even if it means a significant price increase for the pattern?

The printer I currently have goes up to 11"x17", which limits the size of the pieces I can draft without needing to break it up onto two sheets of paper. To get a printer that can go larger would cost hundreds to thousands of dollars I don't have, and is therefore not an option, so what I would be doing is going to someplace like Staples or Kinkos to use their large format printers, but printing 18"x24" starts at around $2 a sheet there.

My instinct is to just stick with the size I can currently do and have occasional multi-page pieces. Someday I hope I can move up to a larger printer, but I have neither the money or the space for a printer like that. One can dream, though~
miss_philomena: (strawberries and cream window)
Back in September I started planning a Regency gown I could dance in, since all my other gowns are made of silk and/or have a train. Not dancing friendly. I'd picked up some light purple cotton gauze from Jomar ages back, and decided that was perfect for a nice light ballgown. Then the reason I was going to make it last fall didn't happen, so the idea got set aside.

Anyway, with the Jane Austen ball next weekend in Alexandria, I pulled everything out and started working on it again. The basic cut of the dress is inspired by this dress in the Met's collection. I really liked the neckline and shape of the bodice.

So now it's all finished, apart from the hem! It ties in the back with two drawstrings, one at the neck and one at the waist. There's another drawstring in the front neckline, in case that needs to be pulled a little tighter as well. It's not lined at all, so all the seams are felled by hand. I plan to make a pair of long sleeves to tack in, and then with a chemisette I can wear this for Beth's tea the weekend after the ball~

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I have a ribbon to wear with this as well, and I'm leaning towards wearing some of Taylor's flowers with it as well, but I can't decide which.A couple more pictures~ )
miss_philomena: (strawberries and cream window)
I'm so bad about keeping things updated here. Urgh. I'm close to done with a new dress for the Jane Austen ball next month, though, so there will be plenty of pictures of that once it's done. Promise.

And my goal is to go through and photograph all my outfits between now and the end of the year. We'll see if I can actually manage.

Victory!

May. 11th, 2014 01:32 am
miss_philomena: (strawberries and cream window)
Since the 17th was such an in-demand day Winterthur put up more tickets, and I managed to snag one for the 11-1 time frame. I know someone else mentioned having tickets for then, I just can't remember who now. And I'm trying to decide if I want to wear my 1920 petal dress, or if I want to try and knock something else out. I've got a 1914 fashion plate I really like, and I'm waffling. I think it will come down to when I get my sewing room back to myself, as the front windows in it are currently being replaced. We'll see~
miss_philomena: (red bridge)
Oops?

The symposium in Williamsburg was lots of fun. I met some new friends, failed to get any new pictures of my piemontaisse, and started making a calash bonnet. And it's out of the prettiest cross-barred silk, too. I need to remember to take pictures of it.

There have really only been two noteworthy events in April, the first being my birthday on the 5th. The Metropolitan Opera was performing La Bohème that afternoon, so my mom and I went up to see it. And of course that meant I needed to make a dress. I used one of Butterick's vintage patterns for a 1953 dress, with some slight alterations, and I made myself a crinoline to go under it too~

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The other big event sadly fell the same weekend as Ft Fred, which meant I had to miss 18th century shopping with everyone. But! I did something sort of 18th century related?

I haven't mentioned this before, but back in December I joined the Daughters of the American Revolution. I never thought I'd actually be elegible for it, 3/4ths of my grandparents being first generation Americans, but my mom went on a big geneology kick, and low and behold through my father's mother, I could trace back to the revolution.

The reason why I say this is because the New Jersey state conference was the same weekend and I was invited to be a page, AKA a gopher, basically. I got to spend two days running around doing whatever anyone might need me to do, wearing white the whole time. Nonetheless it was fun. I'm going to be helping out next weekend at the NJ history fair at the DAR table. If anyone is free, you should come check it out, up in Washington's Crossing on the New Jersey side. The site for it is here. There are going to be a lot of different types of tables and displays there, and the food trucks sound like they'll be awesome too.

On top of all that, I've also been spending a lot of time lately at Pennsbury Manor, mostly doing school tours in the mornings. I've been averaging twice a week lately. so lots and lots of kids. Yippy. Life's been busy.

As an aside, I went onto Winterthur's site for tickets for the Downton Abbey exhibit, and they might all be sold out. There was no option for times on the 17th, which makes me very sad.
miss_philomena: (yellow court face)
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I'll be doing a proper write-up about my robe à la piémontaise by the weekend. I had a lot of fun making it, and of course a lot of fun wearing it too!
(It's so exciting being able to tag this finished!)
miss_philomena: (strawberries and cream window)
"Let there be sleeves."

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The tops are just pinned at the moment. I somehow magically managed to, without actually measuring at any point, make sleeves that fit perfectly into the armhole without any ease or pleating needed. Go me?

PS I love stripes.
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miss_philomena: (strawberries and cream window)
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I swear I wasn't trying to line the stripes up on the side back seams. It just happened.

part three

Feb. 17th, 2014 09:03 pm
miss_philomena: (black and gold)
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 Bodice mockup! I dug out some really random Joann's red tag cotton I have several yards of for reasons unknown, and cut pieces on whichever grainline they fit, which is why the sleeves aren't cut cross. The bodice fits perfectly! I tied my petticoats a little loose by accident, which is why there's a little bit of gaping at the waistline.

DSCN0295
The sleeves, on the other hand, are a little too tight, and managed to be too long as well. To double check the length I just opened part of the seam to get the sleeve on, which is why it looks baggy here. The point of the dart wound up sitting well below my elbow. So I will redraft the sleeve with about 3/4" of an inch extra in width, and about two inches shorter above the elbow. The sleeve cap and below the elbow are fine, so I'll just make the angle down to the elbow a little less extreme.

Next I'm going to do the petticoat and gown skirts before bouncing back up to the bodice. The pleats will be the last step. The Denmark piemontaise appears to show the pleats are sewn at the shoulder. One of the piemontaises in the Imatex collection, on the other hand, clearly shows hooks and eyes where the pleats attach at the shoulder. I'm actually leaning more towards this kind of construction, because when I'm not wearing the robe, as will be the case 99.9% of the time, being able to detach the pleats from the shoulder will keep them from pulling the skirt and lower bodice up while being stored. And lends more weight to my belief that the pleats are sewn to the skirt below the waist. Why else would the top need to be detachable like this, if it was only a cape-like piece? Also, if you look at the outer pleats in the second picture, you can see where the edge rolls in, where to me it appears to connect back to the skirt below the waist.

0000024437 0000024438
Click on these for very lovely hi-res shots, with the hooks and eyes clearly visible at the top of the pleats!
miss_philomena: (mantua cuff)
As much as I really wanted to dive headfirst into all my sewing, I was good and did what really needed doing: new stays. My yellow stays, as wonderfully comfy as they are, are too big. I can lace them fully shut, and still pinch a good inch and a half out of the front while wearing them. So for my new pair (which accidentally matched HSF#3) all I did was lay down my current pair, trace the shape, then take off some width from the front and back, then add in new seam lines. Easy stuff. I didn't shorten the waist because I like where my other pair sit, and I'm somewhat short-waisted already. I patterned these to work for either 1780s with a center front gusset, the way I sewed this pair, or to work for 1790s stuff with bust gussets, based on the 1790 linen corset in Jill Salen's "Corsets".

For this pair I wanted that 1780s "prow" front shape, and put a long gusset in the middle. On the side shot you can see the forward curve of the stays. Making these was quite an adventure, as I used, quite literally, every single kind of boning I had in my house in these stays. The problem of working a) on a deadline, and b) while snowed in repeatedly. The center front and center back bones are 1/2" German plastic whalebone. The rest of it is a mix of 1/4" steel bones, cable ties, and for the longest channels where I didn't have anything else, the same cane I used in my other stays. I hadn't turned down the edges before trying them on, just to make sure everything would work and fit right, but after taking them off I've done the top edge. I'll get to the bottom at some point. I don't think I'll bind or line them before the dinner unless I have extra time at the end.

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I also made myself a new rump yesterday to go under everything. I went by the article [livejournal.com profile] demode wrote for Foundations Revealed, about late 18th century skirt supports. It gives me both hip oomph as well as rear shape, so I'm happy with it.

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(my mirror looks so dirty! Eek!)

The reason I'm going for the rounder look with this, rather than just using pocket hoops as the Denmark piemontaise appears to show, is because I really like the shape of this francaise in the Met's collection, and because having the back shape makes the pleats stand out even further, being further away from the body.

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I'm trying to decide if I should press the pleats down to where they'll attach to the skirts. All of the existing piemontaises show flat pleats, but is that how they were originally made, or is that from storage? I'm not sure.

And to round out this post, yesterday I also draped the bodice pattern, based on the Denmark PDF. Either later today or tomorrow I will cut out a full bodice and sleeve in scrap to make sure it fits, then onto the silk!
miss_philomena: (strawberries and cream window)
And so I start my next big project, with 18 days on the clock, to see if it can be done for the Française Dinner on March 1st. A gown I've been planning to make for years. Five and a half years, to be specific. I first made a post(private) about this gown in October of 2008, and it's finally happening.

Robe à la Piémontaise

(Yes, that was indeed worthy of sparkly text. Just because.)

According to "Dress in France in the Eighteenth Century" by Madeleine Delpierre,

The robe à la piémontaise, made fashionable at the time of the marriage of Princess Clotilde of France, sister of Louis XVI, to the Prince of Piedmont, was a variation on the robe à la française: the loose, flowing pleats at the back were added later to form a kind of cape attached behind. [source]

This indicates that the back pleats were attached only at the shoulder and left completely loose the rest of the way down. I'm working primarily from the extant robe à la piémontaise held in the collections of the National Museum in Denmark, which includes a pattern taken from their robe. Their pattern clearly shows where the back pleats rejoin the skirt, and there is a noted and marked seam in the skirt. See look, I drew on the diagram as proof. And to add to that, from the few others I've seen photographs of, if the back hem is visible, there doesn't seem to be a break in the hem in any of them that would indicate there is a separate piece where the pleat 'cape' overlaps the skirt back. More picture analysis and doodles to possibly come at a future date?

But anyway, my goal is to do as faithful a recreation of that dress as possible. I pinned a width of the silk (that will actually be the petticoat when I get to sewing) into the pleat configuration to get an idea of the look, just because, and here it is.

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(Very wrinkly silk: what happens when it accidentally winds up under a large piece of brocade. Good thing I know how to operate an iron. )

The Danish robe is very simple. with trim only along the center front of the bodice, and because my fabric is so bold on it's own, I don't intend to trim it more than that. The only thing I'm a bit unsure of is the sleeve cuffs. Should it have ruffles? I feel like there should be something there, even if it's a narrow lace frill. But that will be decided when I get closer to the end point, I think.

For now I need to focus on the under bits. The 1780s is more of a rounder silhouette than earlier, without the hoops, and more emphasis to the rear, which will make the gap between back and pleats stand out more, so I think I'll make a rump for this, one that adds some width to my hips as well, instead of the solely rear-heavy one I made for my linen round gown last year.

Stay tuned for more robe à la piémontaise progress! Since this is such a rare style, I intend to document as much of my process as possible.

miss_philomena: (bib front)
With my dress 99% done, and only a buttonhole left to be made, I started on my pelisse today. I'm basing it on the striped redingote in the KCI collection. The bodice is all assembled now, and I need to dig out some scrap silk to line the sleeves so I can put those in tonight, then probably tomorrow I'll put the skirts on.

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And because that's not all I did, have a couple bonnet pictures under the cut )
miss_philomena: (strawberries and cream window)


So I didn't quite get my dress finished before the end of January. The skirt is only pinned on so I could double check the hem length. But besides this dress, I also made pantaloons, a bodices petticoat, a chemisette, and fixed my regency stays. So, I feel like I've accomplished a lot in the last few days.

Tomorrow I'll sew the skirt in, finish the waistband with the last buttonhole, and then on Monday I'll start work on the striped pelisse to go over this. I've got the pattern for it ready and waiting.

miss_philomena: (1875 train)

So I started this and got as far as the bodice sewn and the sleeves pinned in when SNOW happened.

Today I got the rest of it done, with only the hem left to go. Which means, of course, we're getting a nor'easter.

But I have an almost finished dress?

It does nothing for my dress form.

name change

Oct. 7th, 2013 07:20 pm
miss_philomena: (1875 hat)
I decided I missed my old username too much, so~

[livejournal.com profile] miss_philomena --> [livejournal.com profile] miss_philomena

Now to go back to fighting with this stays pattern I'm working on.
miss_philomena: (la belle chocolatiere)


Germantown Country Dancers

Dance in the Footsteps of Jane Austen!
Experience the joy of English country dancing.

Beginners Dance Workshop followed by Tea
October 5th

Caller: Beverly Francis
Band: John Burkhalter, Josh Burdick, Wes Steenson

Admission: $8. Full-time students half price.

Summit Presbyterian Church Greene St & Westview St Philadelphia, PA 19119

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