Thursday, January 19, 2012

17thC Project

17thC Project is plodding along. I'm not used to dealing with such a quantity of uncut fabric. It takes a lot of time to wash and cut so much material!

I had fun dyeing parts of the white material to the bright coral pink, golden yellow, and odd red you see on the left. I also used dye remover on four yards of the brown to soften it a little. This way not all the petticoats will be the same shade of brown. The deeper colors on the right are for the girls who will be sewing their own bodices.

I have three bodices in various stages of construction; five caps and three petticoats. All in all, my bottom line goal is to sew five complete outfits and at least five aprons, five neckerchiefs, and ten caps by late April. I don't doubt there will be additions to the list.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


My test bodice, nearly done. No, I don't have a dress form.

I added cap sleeves and peplum, and finished the neckline and bottom front with bias tape. Bias tape is one of those things I love when it comes to making costumes, so I make allowances for it and try not to think about the fiber content and historical accuracy. In other news, the linen arrived today!


Fifty yards of linen!


Last week I ordered fifty yards of linen from I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of all that gorgeous linen. This session in performance group there are ten couples, and none of the ladies have appropriate clothing for our first planned performance, the Renaissance Faire.

For our more colonial/RenFaire performances I'm aiming for Seventeenth Century clothing. I know I probably shouldn't have chosen what seems to be a difficult era, but it appeals to me somehow. I spent a week or two doing research(many thanks to helpful people) and came up with a basic bodice pattern I can use for the ladies' bodice. About half of the ten ladies are sewing their own outfits, so I needed something simple to give them to sew on their own.

 Bodice back: altered from my Colonial gown pattern. This is made out of some cheap Wal-mart fabric I bought some time ago. There are three layers of fabric here, so the bodice is fairly stiff. I'm not sure if I want to keep the tab or not. This is the test garment; the linen is supposed to arrive today. I pushed hard to get my group wearing mostly linen this time around; maybe next year we will be able to afford wool as well. I have hope.

Sewing historical clothing to be used as rental costumes greatly changes the pre-garment planning. The ladies who will be wearing the costumes will not be wearing stays; and the costumes need to be worn by different sizes of ladies throughout the season. To that end I'm going to have them lace up the front to be slightly more adjustable.

The front before sleeves and eyelets.

Once this project is done performance group will have two standard rental costumes in stock: Regency, which comes in handy for the usual Jane Austen/fancy dances, and Colonial, which works well with the RenFaire/rustic performances. I'm hoping that these costumes will be adaptable enough so that I won't have continue to have such an enormous sewing workload.

 In other news, my quilted petticoat is nearly done!

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Holiday Season

We went caroling with friends twice in one week, and got very hoarse.
We had the Famous Fox Family over for a Christmas dinner. They have such adorable boys. We put the mistletoe to good use.
We visited family friends in town on Christmas day.

And finally Jen and I stayed with the Famous Fox Family over New Year's Eve. Our family traveled to TX for church business without us, so we spent the day out on the town and the night with our friends. We did stay up until midnight and we did drink a bit of alcohol.

And that's how we spent our holidays. Or at least, that's all I can mention publicly.