One Step Backwards, Two Steps Forward…I hope

Bad news…

I sewed the skirt to the blouse and tried it on and it made me look like a blimp. That’s got to be bad, as I am relatively skinny! The neckline was too wide and showed the bumps on the tops of my shoulders, and Mommy didn’t like that, and we figured that it would look better to gather it a little. But the question was, “How?” I’d have to cut out a whole entire new bodice; I’d have to start over again from Square 1! And I did not want to do that!

So I presented my problem to my friends on the forum and got some good ideas. “Mrs. Jenny Chancey herself ( 🙂 ) suggested that these shelves be fit exactly as you see them here…” Oops, no, that wasn’t it… sorry… 😛 She suggested pulling a drawstring through the space where I understitched the lining. Unfortunately, I understitched very close to the seam, so I will just take that out and re-understitch it a little farther away so I can slip a drawstring through. So while watching P&P (1995) last night with my cousin (who hadn’t seen it yet 😉 ) I took out the sleeves, bias, and waistband to fix that lining. Bad idea to do it while watching P&P because now I want to make myself another Regency dress!! Ugh, I’m such a NUT! 😛

Well, I’ll let you know how it goes. 😀

Look at all those lovely dresses! 😀

Romantic Era Dress Update #3

I have nearly finished the blouse of my Romantic era dress.

The front:
The back:
Big, puffy sleeves! 😀
I do have one problem with it though. While watching Wives and Daughters again last night (my cousin says I am soooo repititious :-P), it finally clicked about the bias. I had been doing it the way I am used to– wrapped over the top seam– and wondered why it didn’t look so wide as Molly’s. So I’ve been thinking and am planning on taking out the bias and reapplying it just on the outside, so that it is wide like that. What do you think?

I’ve also sewn the panels of the skirt together, and inserted the placket (:-S Still not my favorite thing) I am going to have to REALLY narrow-hem the skirt because the width of the fabric was a little bit too short– and I’m a squat! So we’ll see how it goes. Hopefully I’ll have finished it by the end of this week.

Romantic Era Dress Update #2

I got the fabric for my “Molly” dress!
Isn’t it gorgeous??

We had a sort of mishap while cutting the fabric. I say “we”, meaning myself and the lady at Walmart who was cutting the fabric. Every three or four yards there would be a new panel that had been cut off, or a stain or something. It was getting really frustrating. She had pulled out at least four, maybe five, seperate panels, none of them in the five complete yards that I needed. So I glanced at my yardage sheet (I was glad I had brought the pattern in!) and saw that I needed 1 1/2 yards for the short-sleeved bodice (I already had made the lining from white material so I didn’t need that extra, thankfully) and AT LEAST two yards (more like two-and-a-half) for the skirt. So we finally decided to go with a panel that was two yards long, and a panel that as three yards long. I figured that would give me enough for the bodice on the two-yard panel and the skirt on the three-yard, with some left over, possibly for bias.
So here’s the two panels:

BTW, today we went back to JoAnn’s because I had forgotten to get hooks-and-eyes for my dress and boning for my new pair of stays. Most of you probably know Butterick patterns are on sale for $0.99 this week, so Amanda and I bought two new patterns: B4254 and B4377. Amanda has always wanted a “Belle” cape, and she loves medieval style, so she was excited about B4377. 😀
Hope that you are all having a wonderful day in the Lord! 🙂

Romantic Era Dress Update #1 and Inspiration

Just thought I’d post real quick and say that I made the mock-up for my Romantic era dress today– while watching Episodes 1 and a half of Wives and Daughters, of course! All I am going to change is that I am going to lift the waistline an inch or two so that it will work with my short stays. On Thursday, we should be going to Ashtabula and I plan to get the fabric for the actual dress and I will use the mockup for the lining. I will post pictures when I get the fabric… and of course of the finished project. 🙂

I’m going to mix and match two of Molly’s dress for the look I want.

Inspiration #1

I love this dress of Molly’s. I am going for the slightly higher waist and the neckline. However, I think her bodice is pleated whereas I want to gather mine. (Easier 😉 )

A glimpse of the back:

An upclose look at the neckline. I want to do the large bias around the top and possibly that bit of lace peeking out. (BTW, I think Molly looks so cute in this picture. 🙂 )

Inspiration #2

Here’s another one of Molly’s dresses that I like. Wait a minute! I like ’em all, what am I saying!? 😛

I’m pretty sure this bodice is gathered at the bottom… On closer observation, I noticed it is gathered on the top, and I don’t want that, but I do want it gathered at the bottom.

The sleeves are really what I’m aiming for in this dress: fuller than the orange flowered dress, perfect for summer. 🙂

Here’s a good shot of the sleeves (and of Molly 😉 ):

One More Thing!

Forgive me; I know I’m being longwinded.

Eventually I’d like to also try this beautiful dress of Cynthia’s. I don’t like a lot of them because sometimes they’re really way out there, but this one is more simple and very pretty!

(Note: for those who haven’t watched Wives and Daughters, Cynthia is the girl on the RIGHT, not the silly looking lady curstying on the left. 😛 )

BTW, watching Wives and Daughters is the perfect thing to do when making a Romantic era dress. 🙂 Thanks for letting me ramble. There’s more where that came from. 🙂

A Plastic Grocery Bag Keeper

Need a place to store plastic grocery bags between shopping trips to Aldi’s? Tired of plastic bags cluttering the house?

How about trying a Plastic Grocery Bag Keeper!

I made the following from Shannon’s Plastic Grocery Bag Keeper Tutorial . This bag, with rows of tiny red apples over a yellow background, would make a lovely edition to an apple-themed kitchen!

I will either store this up to sell in an Etsy shop, when we start one, or, if any of my readers are interesting in purchasing it now, please drop me a comment and let me know!

Step One to a Romantic Era Wardrobe

A Petticoat!

As the Victorian era grew out of the Regency era, waists became longer, necklines became wider, and skirts became fuller. Layers of petticoats helped to “poof” out the skirts of the gowns, still without giving them the huge rounded hoop-skirt look of the 60’s.

This area of transition in between Regency and Victorian is called the Romantic era, a somewhat forgotten era until the release of BBC’s wonderful masterpiece, Wives and Daughters, which takes place in the late 1820’s, early 1830’s.

I am attempting to make myself a “Wives and Daughters” outfit out of Jenny Chancey’s Romantic Era dress pattern. Since I don’t have a corset, or the money for a corset pattern and supplies at the time, I am going to make more “Molly-style” dresses with the slightly higher waists so that I can wear them with my short stays. Eventually I will make myself a full-length corset, I hope.

My first step was making a petticoat. I derived the following from a mix of patterns. I took some hints from Jenny’s instructions for a bodiced petticoat (though this wasn’t “bodiced” :-P). I got the idea of the flounced skirt from Simplicity 7157 (which I think is out-of-print now). Unfortunately, the fabric I was using for the flounce (leftover fabric from the 1914 dress Beth R. made for Marianne) just wasn’t long enough to gather. In fact, it barely made it around the bottom of the main skirt. So it’s just pretty fabric, it’s not exactly flounced. 🙂

Well, I’m afraid I’ve rambled enough about my petticoat. Let me show it to you now! 🙂

Here is the front (sorry it’s a bit wrinkled and not really spread out):

The back:
This was my first experience with buttonholes, actually! I am deathly scared of making buttonholes on the sewing machine; it’s just very intimidating! So I made them by hand. They’re not perfect by any means, but I enjoyed making them, and thought the pink was a fun accent. What do you think?

And a sweet little rose in front 🙂 :

I would love to get started on the actual dress very soon but I don’t have the fabric yet. I’m a little nervous, because I want to make it just right… I really should make a toile first. Will share with you any progress!

P.S. About the pelisses/spencers, I am putting those off until the weather gets cooler. I’d rather make something I can wear now, now, and then make something to keep me warm. 🙂

Austen Reflections on White Gowns

“A woman can never be too fine while she is all in white.”
-Edmund Bertram from Mansfield Park

“Go, by all means, my dear; only put on a white gown; Miss Tilney always wears white.”
-Mrs. Allen from Northanger Abbey

“Oh! dear; I was so miserable! I am sure I must have been as white as my gown.”

-Harriet Smith from Emma