Archive for August, 2009

Hat quest may soon be over!

August 28, 2009

I have come to peace with the thought that my tricorne may not be suitable for all 18th century occasions. This though, has resulted in a problem that has been haunting the back of the 18th-century-clothes-making-part of my mind ever since… How to get hold of more accurate hat without spending more than I can (need). – Wow, this has really become a quest for the cheapest way to make an as accurate as possible 18th century outfit, hehe ;P I’ll have to try and write down exactly how little I actually have spent on this project! =D The shoes cost no more than 50 SEK btw – about $5 I should think. ;D
   Anywhooo! My favourite fellow Swedish rococophile Madame Berg just put up a super awesome tutorial on how she made her hat out of round place mats! I am sooo going out right now to look for round place mats!

Round place mats

She allways make everything look so easy – and you don’t even have to make the crown as high as hers. I rather want something smaller and lower, I’m betting that’s even easier! =D

The Swing - hat detail

Shoes for meee!

August 27, 2009

JOY, oh joy, oh joy!
   Indeed I have found myself a pair of shoes for this little (read: HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE) project of mine! I really do love Myrorna – the charity chain of second hand stores! They were perfect, perfect size, perfect heel, I dare almost say that even the material is perfect!
   Okay okay! Here’s two pics:

Shoes 1 

Shoes 2

The material is black suede, at first I thought I’d have to redress the whole shoe – thinking that they didn’t use suede for shoes in the 18th century. Turns out there are a few examples of suede shoes from the time:

Suede shoes

Aren’t they cute? I Know these are late 18th century, but here’s an example of mid 18th century shoes in suede.
   So now all I have to do is remove that horrible elastic weft of rubber bands. *Shiver with utter dislike* Oh, and find a rather small amount of black suede for tounges and stuff, and buckles… ^^

Is it award season again?

August 27, 2009


A hew days ago I found out I now have another award to add to my (unintentional) collection. =D It allways makes butterflies flutter in my tummy!  This is such a great community we share, and it allways makes me so happy when I get these little reminders that I am part of it, that all you wonderful people out there recognize me as part of it. Thank you all, thank you Wolfgang Amade Mozart (the blog) for creating the award and especially American Duchess – Lauren Reeser and Madame Berg who both dedicated it to me!
   This award – The Amadeus Award for Taste and Exellence, originally has been gracing the web since 1998, and is to be given to 5 blogs “dedicated to the 18th century and which demonstrated through their content and appearance the style and grace of that period in history.”
   So now to the hard part – I have to choose only 5 blogs, out of all these fabulous blogs that all meet the criteria, that will recieve this award… This will take all day! Must you all be so totally worthy!? ;P

Ok, you mustn’t think of this as a toplist, so I’ve just put my nominees in order of initial letter. =)

Pics: lining, draping, buttons – and me…

August 18, 2009

I know I’m a bit late adding these, but I haven’t gotten much further in the progress anyway so I guess it’s allright, hehe ;P
   First we have the fabric choice for the lining of the pet-en-l’air; I had an old linen sheet with a middle seem that my mother or grandmother had colored minty green for some reason. When I asked my mother if I could have it, at least 5 years ago, I had in mind to use it for somethin midieval or what ever, but I never got to it. I realized it was perfect for this project. The fabric left over is enough to make an under petticoat too. ;D

Minty linen

This is the pieces cut out:


And this is the back part with lacing (ignore the colors! ^^;). I actually got two spring boning pieces (?) I found at Robbie’s grandmother’s that I put in there! ;D

back lacing

Detail, you know me, love little details no one will ever notice! XD


I actually used the machine for the seems… ^^;

inner seem

This is the draping in the back, this is all made by hand:


On the picture above one sleeve is also attached. This is where I was thinking of putting in a picture of me trying the whole thing out. But you’ll have to keep your pants on until you’ve seen my first try at embroidered buttons. ;P I used both cotton and flax threads, but the colors were too perfect and I am cheap as allways!

This first one is a bigger version than I’m going to use for the per-en-l’air, I was just trying it out. =)

big button

Then I tried to come up with an actual design I am going to use, on a smaller button, this is the result:

small button

It’s about 1.5 cm in diameter, it sounds big, but it’s not that big really.
Oh, and here’s a test I did just to see how it would look with that gathered trim I was talking about (don’t know if it shows very good):


Now to the part I guess both all of you and I have been waiting for: me trying the whole thing out! Before you have a look I just want to say that the “stomacher” is just some fabric I have pinned on, the lace in the neckline is still not attached to shifts but rather tucked down there to demonstrate how (I hope) it will look. The goldish fabric underneath is the fabric I’m going to use for a petticoat, wrapped around my waist. And just ignore my tries to hide bathroom stuff behind cheezy ornaments! XD And I knoooow the sleeves look short, ignore that too please – I’m going to fix it! XD


 Wow, I really have to practice my pinning skillz – it’s haaaard! =´´´( Tips?

Museum date euphoria!

August 12, 2009

We (read: I) decided that it was time to lift our soft and cosy bottoms from the computer chairs and visit the county museum – after three years living here I still hadn’t been.
   Örebro County Museum (Örebro Läns Museum) isn’t very big at all, but I felt it MUST be worth a visit – every museum, in my mind, is! It was allright, but we seemed to have saved the best for last.
   They have a room called “Klenodkammaren” – The Treasue Chamber (roughly), there they keep mostly jewellry, coins and silver cups. But when I first looked through the doorway my eyes met a green silk dress… I rushed past the display cases of viking jewellry and old coins and pressed my face against the glass. “Late 18th century” I said with a dry voice and blinked a few times… I inspected the fabric, the pink flower pattern, the cut, and sighed. It was an original allright, but it hung all wrong – it was a simple two pieced outfit with a fully closed jacket and a petticoat, the petticoat hung straight down from where the jacket ended and was made to stand out at the bottom – not even a hint of hips!
   I didn’t let it bother me very long though – because in the corner of my eye I saw a pair of shoes. They had the common 18th century look with a flower pattern in mostly greens and pinks – not the same fabric as the dress, but they kinda matched. When I found out the size was a 36 I had a brief weak moment and thought of ways to make them mine – most ways were illegal. ;P
   When I felt I had seen all details I wanted to see, and could see without breaking the glass I sighed again; a signal for Robbie who called my name: “How about some 18th century garters?” I rushed through the room again and pressed my face against another glass. They had three beautifully embroidered garters, and what a petite flower embroidery it was! They were beautiful! Nowhere on the net have I seen such beautiful gartes! I wish I could do such petite embroidery – if I could I wouldn’t hesitate to make copies of exactly those garters!
   I let my wide eyes fall from the garters and down on two as beautifully embroidered pocket books – extremely small stitches made up vines of small oh so small flowers… Long, long I admired them – and sighed over my now seemingly extremely clumsy hands.
   Sadly there were no cameras allowed – and I respected that. This is the only photo from Klenodkammaren I could find:


New forum for historical sewing!

August 10, 2009

Our fellow 18th century seamstress Madame Berg has just set up a brand new forum for historical sewing – mostly 18th century. Isn’t that supergreat!? EXACTLY what I’ve been looking for!
I’m looking forward to seeing you all there! ;D


Time over = two sleeves!

August 7, 2009

So I got a few minutes over today and managed to put on the last sleeve, yay! =D
   I also took some measurements and made some calculations for the trim – I’ll need about 4 meters of finished gathered fabric, if I make strips about 3.5 cm wide I think It’ll be enough. Trying some pleating and gathering I’ve concluded that gathering probably will be both easier and save more fabric – it really doesn’t have to be as complicated as it sounds or looks. =) It was hell trying to pleat this fabric. =/ Oh, and I’m pinking the edges of the trim straight off, it looks allright. =)

Speeding up and having to slow down…

August 6, 2009

So, lately things have been moving forward in quite the pace! =D I’m starting to see what the finished product will look like and that’s allways a great cookie to keep you motivated! =D *Gaaaaargh, coooooockiiiiiiiieeees*
   Hrm… Yeah, so I’m quite pleased with myself! I have been using my fancy sewing machine for inside seems, simply because I think it’ll hold better – and yes for comfort and speed also indeed! But all hems and stuff will be hand sewn. ;D
   I’ve also gotten comments on the button topic. I can’t believe I didn’t think of embroidiered buttons!!! I have seen them and thought “That’s something I want to do some day!”. So today I had my first try – it was easy peasy! =D (Pics to come…) The only thing that’s bothering me though, is that I can’t seem to find many embroidered buttons on women’s clothing – only men’s! =/ Thoughts on that?


And on the trim topic: Abby had some great thoughts that I, for some reason, never even thought about: “trim really changed rapidly through the 18th century”… I can’t really do what ever I feel is cute if I want it to at least look somewhat time-typical. This, and the fact that I have been feeling a cream colored trim just wouldn’t do the main fabric justice, have made me reconsider my choice of having it that way. You can’t really find many surviving examples of mid 18th c dresses with different colored trims like that. I think I can make a thin trim of the same fabric – with a little patching, hehe. Worst case scenario I can just have the trim from the neck down to the front hem. =)
   These past few days I’ve had to slow down a bit though – I’m planning Robbie’s 30th birthday! It’s this saturday And I’ll be crazy busy cleaning the appartment – sweeping up threads and puting away fabrics that I strategicly have placed all over our floors. XD I feel a bit frustrated about all this – cause I’ve put on only one sleeve and it looks so wrong, hehe. XD Next week I’m hoping to be able to finish most of the actual jacket and start with the stomacher. =D
   Oh yes – I’ve got pics of me trying the whole thing, but you’ll have to wait to next week on that too! ;P

Progress and ideas

August 3, 2009

It seems I won’t have decided on the decoration/trim ideas until the pet-en-l’air is actually finished, hehe. XD
   Anywhooo – I’ve started to put the pieces together, what’s left:

  • Sleeves
  • Hemming
  • Gathering in sides
  • Decoration/trim
  • Stomacher

And on the stomacher point I have great news – it seems I will have enough fabric left to make a stomacher of the same fabric – which I am extremely happy about! I’m considering making a button closed thing like seen on most surviving pet-en-l’airs:

One question that I must consider in that case is buttons; I have these cute metal buttons – but except from riding jackets I haven’t seen metal buttons on womens clothing, so maybe I’d better learn to dress my own buttons. Ooh, I just remembered why it’s so great blogging in matters like this – I come up with new ideas as I write! =D I just rememered I’ve seen another kind of button:


This is from this dress at FIT. Maybe I’ll just try this version! 😀
   Before I leave you for some sleeve cutting I just want to share some ideas I have:


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