Saturday, January 23, 2016

Two Silky Winter Projects

I has silk!!! Mawhahahaha! One of my New Year's resolutions last year was to sew one thing that's truly amazing. Of course this meant breaking resolutions 1 and 2, not buying new fabric and sewing practical things. But last fall proved a surprisingly successful month for Etsy sales so I decided to treat myself.

I've been itching to make a new 18th century silk gown for a while now and really wanted to try the new "fashionable" gown pattern by Smith and Larkin. Searching for an ideal striped silk was a challenge and I had almost given up until I found this amazing silk from Duchess Trading on Etsy. It's perfect!! A touch more pink then it looked online but still very nice. And because I was a returning costumer I was able to get a small discount, always a plus! I even picked up a few silk ribbons! If you are searching for vintage ribbons, flowers, lace etc. for your next project I highly recommend Duchess Trading. Shipping is fast and the owner is fantastic to work with! :)

I've made two 18th century silk gowns but both were solid colors (ivory and green) and I felt it was time to do something a little different. The fashionable gown pattern by S&L is ideal for narrow stripes so stripes it will be!! I should have enough for a matching petticoat too, though I might have to piece the back section with a different fabric.

While searching for silk stripes I was bad an also bought this AMAZING silk plaid! Along with patterns and kits, Smith and Larkin offers a nice selection of fabrics. Go check them out!!

Referred to as "cross barred" in the 18th century, my plan is to use this plaid silk for a 1760s sacque gown. There are many beautiful extent plaid gowns in museums and other places around the web. Not only that, but take a look at this nearly identical silk pictured in Selling Silks: A Merchant's Sample Book 1764 by Lesley Ellis Miller. I will be posted a full review of this book sometime this winter! (You can view the original book here.)

I was only able to purchase 6 yards which will, just barely, be enough for the gown. But I believe that either the ivory or green silk petticoats from my other two gowns will work nicely with this silk plaid. So, now I need to look through my stash to see what I have for linen that will work for lining the bodice of each gown. Oh and silk thread too..... Other then that I should have everything I need to get started!

I plan to take my time with each of these gowns. I don't have any specific events coming up to wear them to so there is no need to rush. I'm not even going to set a deadline for having them finished. There are a few projects that will have deadlines this year so it will be nice to have something relaxing and fun to work on in between my other sewing madness. Honestly, if I have one close to finished by the end of the year I will be happy. Details, details, details!! That's what these gowns will be about. So, you can expect a few blog posts on each of them as I work. )

What sewing projects do you have going this winter?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A Little More on Handkerchiefs

Does anyone else have a long list of unfinished blog posts? I know I do! Today's post, one of many started then buried in my draft folder, is short but I thought it high time to share! I've written a few times in the past about 18th century handkerchiefs. Today I'd like to show you a few handkerchiefs I came across in my research as well as a few references to them in historic newspapers. There are endless references and it's a lot of fun discovering them!

A neck handkerchief is a necessary article of clothing for every living historian as well as a great (and simple!) way to dress up or change the look of your historic clothing. Burnley and Trowbridge has a nice selection of lovely printed handkerchiefs and fabric to make your own.Wm. Booth Draper and  Sign of the Golden Scissors both offer a fine selection of fabrics too.

Some 18th and early 19th century handkerchiefs in Museums.

White with red border - MFA Accession Number 16.391
Blue wool plaid - MFA Accession Number 44.804
Blue and white handkerchief - MFA Accession Number 51.1992

MFA Accession Number 34.126
From the Victoria and Albert Museum

V&A T.173-1921
V&A IS.166-1950

From the Metropolitan Museum of Art

MET C.I.38.85.2

From Christie's - Red and white showing rates for Hackney cabs

From Colonial Williamsburg - Reproduction handkerchiefs

And more ...

Boston Evening-Post, August 3, 1761  
- "Imported from LONDON and GLASGOW, ... strip'd and flower'd border's lawn handkerchiefs & aprons, ... spotted & flower's India bandanno handkerchief, lungee romalls, china taffaty handkerchiefs, cross bar's silk ditto, flower's culgee ditto, check'd & flowered linen ditto, cotton ditto"

Boston Gazette, September 7, 1761 
- "lawn handkerchiefs with flower'd & strip'd borders, ... gauze handkerchiefs of all colours; bandannoes; negligee & rosset silk handkerchiefs"

Saturday, January 2, 2016

First Reader Q&A

Hello everyone! I hope you all enjoyed your New Years Eve celebrations!!

I would love to kick off the new year with something a little different, a reader Q&A session! I've never done this before and think it would be a lot of fun. So, what would you like to know? Post your questions in the comment field or feel free to send me an email! You can also post your questions through Facebook.

Feel free to ask anything related to sewing, vintage clothing, things I've collected, my favorite foods, music, movies, hair related questions, etc! I will do my best to answer all your questions in an up coming post.

Update: You can hear my answers to some of your questions posted in the comments in my first video post!
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