Sewing projects

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ladydetemps
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Sewing projects

Postby ladydetemps » Fri Jul 29, 2011 9:05 am

I haven't done any sewing for years...being a bit rusty decided to do some practice.

First I decided to try the simplest pattern I could find...a coif. Problem is I got confused scaling up with the whole metric/imperial thing.
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Ended up with a teddy bear sized coif. lol!

Also decided I'd try to do an eyelet for the first time.
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Not sure if I did it right or how bit it should be?



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Re: Sewing projects

Postby ladydetemps » Mon Aug 01, 2011 1:05 pm

First attempt
Image
I messed up and went a bit wrong..my own fault for rushing.
Will try and get hold of some more fabric and start from scratch again.



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sally
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Re: Sewing projects

Postby sally » Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:35 am

We've already chatted more behind the scenes re the dress, but a couple of additional observations you may find useful as a new sempstress:
The iron is your friend when sewing. Do a seam, press it flat, preparing a hem, fold it up, press it flat. Irning as you go systematically helps you see exactly how the seams and stitches llie and can help you get a much neater result.

Match your stitch to the type of work you are doing, looking at the coif, you seem to have a hem that is running stitch with a raw fabric edge still showing. Try folding the hem allowance under then using a small whipstitch to catch the hem down, much neater, and you have no raw edge to worry about.

Most importantly, don't fret too much at this stage, you are experimenting with shapes and methods, and learning all the time. This batch of items may not be quite what you envisioned, but the next batch will be much much better.

Eyelets just need to be big enough for you to get eth lacing cord through them, you look a if you are heading in the right direction with yours, just needs a shade more practice :D



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Re: Sewing projects

Postby ladydetemps » Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:16 am

Thank you for all your help and patience Sally. :)

I'm trying various 'projects' to get me more comfortable and experience with sewing something other than cross stitch. ;)
And try you make the sewing machine seem less daunting (I'm sure its got a mind of its own). I can't help thinking I'd be more comfortable with one with a treadle so I can control the speed a bit more (my cheap-y one seems to have 2 speeds 0 and 100mph) lol!.

I'm hoping to work my way up to making a 'traditional costume' for clog....want to make it 'authentic'.

"Any style may be danced. Clogs must be worn and traditional costume is preferred in all competitions except the Group Section."
and
"There are various forms of traditional dress. We occasionally wear skirts, blouses and waistcoats or dresses with plaids whereas I’ve seen dancers with skirts (showing petticoat frills at the hemline), blouses with a shawl over their shoulders and an apron. Another costume is simply a skirt with different coloured ribbons stitched around the hemline and a blouse. "

As well as actually completing regency dress by next september.



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Alice the Huswyf
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Re: Sewing projects

Postby Alice the Huswyf » Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:33 am

As to eyelets: well, they are a skill and a curse in themsleves that we all master in time. http://www.mantua-maker.com/eyelet_construction.html : I don't do the thread winding thing, but stabilise with a backstitched circle before blanket stitiching, I only resize the hole with an awl from time to time while stitching , rather than every sttich as she suggests and I go round tice but more widely spaced stitches - it is the knot at the edge of the hole which provides the strength so if you are short of time it is better to do 30 stitches in two layers of 15 rather than one layer of 30 stitches. IF youa re working wools or loose-weaves, you can sharpen a piece of dowel with a pencil sharpener and take the sharpness off the point with nail file if you don't have an awl to hand or force a knitting needle through tighter weaves, cottons or linens.

Regency dress is easy enough - if you are using a Sense and Sensibility pattern - or the Simplicity 4055 licensed version (the two patterns most commonly available) then you will find Jenny Chancey's site is very supportive, with how-to links, e-workshops, and various extras. http://www.sensibility.com/ Sally did a very good "how to do a bonnet" on her website.


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ladydetemps
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Re: Sewing projects

Postby ladydetemps » Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:43 am

Alice the Huswyf wrote:
Regency dress is easy enough - if you are using a Sense and Sensibility pattern - or the Simplicity 4055 licensed version (the two patterns most commonly available) then you will find Jenny Chancey's site is very supportive, with how-to links, e-workshops, and various extras. http://www.sensibility.com/ Sally did a very good "how to do a bonnet" on her website.

That's the pattern I'm using. I found a lot of adjustments had to be made and wondered if it was because I needed the right undergarments.
But I've no been able to find 'off the peg' wrap stays or short stays for my...size (I'm over a DD). And well you've seen my sewing attempts I wouldn't want to mess up something so important. I only have a 'victorian' corset I got from a prom dress/wedding place.

I already have a bonnet..and another potential bonnet...I saw it in a sale and thought that's going to make a perfect bonnet....just need to to replace the horrible band with nice ribbon. I have a weakness for hats. :angel:



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Re: Sewing projects

Postby sally » Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:10 am

the right undergarments are everything especially if you are curvy. I take an F in a bra, so without the right corsetry or properly fitted undergarments, there is no way a historic garment is going to sit right on me, but underpinnings are worth taking time to get right. Bonus though, nobody but you will see them in use usually, so as long as you cut and fit carefully, they arent beyond a careful novice sempstress if you have a little help to get the fitting absolutely right. With Regency in particular teh bustline is worn so high, that a modern bra never gives quite the right effect



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Re: Sewing projects

Postby ladydetemps » Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:18 am

sally wrote:the right undergarments are everything especially if you are curvy. I take an F in a bra, so without the right corsetry or properly fitted undergarments, there is no way a historic garment is going to sit right on me, but underpinnings are worth taking time to get right. Bonus though, nobody but you will see them in use usually, so as long as you cut and fit carefully, they arent beyond a careful novice sempstress if you have a little help to get the fitting absolutely right. With Regency in particular teh bustline is worn so high, that a modern bra never gives quite the right effect

I've got the 'Daffodown Dilly Regency Era Wrap Stays' pattern from
http://www.spencersmercantile.com/Sewin ... Index.html
I looked at the pattern when it first arrived earlier this year and got scared and put it away. I will take it out again and have another look.



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Re: Sewing projects

Postby kate/bob » Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:28 am

I too was terrified of the stays pattern I got. My advice (for what it's worth!) is to take it one step at a time and not to worry if you can't work out why it tells you to do something - it all makes sense in the end. Mine took over a year to make as each time I did a step I'd look at the instructions again, get scared and put it away for weeks before I was brave enough to have another go. They worked perfectly in the end though, so press on!



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Re: Sewing projects

Postby sally » Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:30 am

get yourself down to the nearest charity shop for some old sheets, and make a mock up in that. You'll be able to see if the proportions are right for your figure, then when you cut out the real fabric, you will feel so much more confident. Be methodical, iron as you go, and take your time to get details right and neat, and you will do fine



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Re: Sewing projects

Postby Shadow7cat » Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:03 pm

The person who made the Daffodown Dilly stays is "Acacia" on the Sense and Sensibility Site - she will be happy to answer questions, I am sure.

Currently I wear a "bodiced" petticoat, based on a pattern in Jean Hunnisett's "Period Costumes for Stage and Screen 1800-1909" which I find holds me up well enough - I am a soggy D cup. However, I have recently bought (thanks Alice) a set of proper stays which need modifying before I can wear them, but I do plan to do so. Where do you live - are you far from London? You could always visit me for a fitting, so you could have help to make your own.

Suzi



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Re: Sewing projects

Postby ladydetemps » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:03 am

Shadow7cat wrote:The person who made the Daffodown Dilly stays is "Acacia" on the Sense and Sensibility Site - she will be happy to answer questions, I am sure.

Currently I wear a "bodiced" petticoat, based on a pattern in Jean Hunnisett's "Period Costumes for Stage and Screen 1800-1909" which I find holds me up well enough - I am a soggy D cup. However, I have recently bought (thanks Alice) a set of proper stays which need modifying before I can wear them, but I do plan to do so. Where do you live - are you far from London? You could always visit me for a fitting, so you could have help to make your own.

Thanks for the offer Suzi Very generous. I think I will try and make a mock up on my own (with a bit of help from mum or sis). Just need some of the sewing jargon deciphering. Some of the problem is I don't know the term...and this can't match which picture goes with which instruction.


On the dress disaster..decided to do small scaled down mock up to test to 'practice' on the kind of gingham I've decided to use next time (only difference is final one will be red gingham-this is out of my patchwork/bunting stash).
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Right side pinned

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Testing out how hem shape would be.



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Re: Sewing projects

Postby ladydetemps » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:19 am

Quick question is it worth getting dressform/tailors dummy? And if so where can I get them from and how much do they cost?



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Re: Sewing projects

Postby Teagirl » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:33 am

As usual for the forum, you're getting a lot of great advice. I really only want to add that you should be patient with yourself, and remember that if you look at a lot of museum pieces that many of them will have stitiching and finishes that would seem terrible to the modern eye. I'm not advocating being sloppy or messy but pointing out that handwork gives a far different effect than machine stitching and takes practice.


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ladydetemps
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Re: Sewing projects

Postby ladydetemps » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:53 am

I keep meaning to take a day trip to london to the V&A again...I've been to the fashion museum in Bath twice and the V&A twice. But always with someone who insists on 'rushing' when I want to stand and ponder.
I actually had a dress made for me 'inspired' by one of the exhibits.
Image
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I'd go on getting stuff made for me but its costing me too much. Hence why I feel more motivated to start sewing myself...plus its a good skill to learn.



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Re: Sewing projects

Postby sally » Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:08 am

isnt that funny, that dress is on my long term 'to do' list as well, mine is going to be in purply grey linen when I eventually get round to it.

Re dressmakers dummies, in my experience unless you take a lot of time to pad them to your exact measurements, they are only really any use to help get the hem the right length. If you are willing to take the time to fit a cover to them and pad them properly, very useful indeed though. Ask on your local Freecycle and equivalent groups in case someone locally has one to get rid of. Consider also a duct-tape dress form, those are great fun to make and handy if you have a lot of sewing to do, though they have drawbacks too



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Re: Sewing projects

Postby Alice the Huswyf » Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:12 am

About £120 - 180 for a new, generic size-band dummy, often up on ebay at lower prices if you are good at auctions (I'm not) OR you can take some time and make a personal dummy. Worth the effort as you are self-fitting to your own taste: this is my next project as I am fed-up with constantly makig the same tweaks.

http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/365 ... -assistant Simpler method, good enough for generic modern daywear

http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/363 ... ess-form-2 - this gives you an actual anatomical fit, so is ideal for evening wear or period dressmaking (although doing it over your actual corsetted shape would be the Rolls Royce option). I have seen it done with broad brown paper tape - worth filling the finished form out with builder's expanding foam.

of if you prefer video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCzXbz47Zpw is one of many


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Re: Sewing projects

Postby ladydetemps » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:33 pm

sally wrote:isnt that funny, that dress is on my long term 'to do' list as well, mine is going to be in purply grey linen when I eventually get round to it.

Cool. Its such a nice design (I actually have a picture of an ancestor of mine wearing a similar dress for a wedding - although it looks lake its made of a silky/satin-y material).

Alice the Huswyf wrote:About £120 - 180 for a new, generic size-band dummy, often up on ebay at lower prices if you are good at auctions (I'm not) OR you can take some time and make a personal dummy. Worth the effort as you are self-fitting to your own taste: this is my next project as I am fed-up with constantly makig the same tweaks.

http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/365 ... -assistant Simpler method, good enough for generic modern daywear

http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/363 ... ess-form-2 - this gives you an actual anatomical fit, so is ideal for evening wear or period dressmaking (although doing it over your actual corsetted shape would be the Rolls Royce option). I have seen it done with broad brown paper tape - worth filling the finished form out with builder's expanding foam.

The brown paper tape one looks like quite a good idea....and easy enough to do.



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Re: Sewing projects

Postby Shadow7cat » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:58 pm

If you actually "buy" a dummy, try to get one slightly smaller than your normal measurements. You can always pad up to fit whatever period you are doing, but much more difficult to take it off! Oh, and as a professional seamstress, I do not recommend the adjustable ones - the gaps are always where I want to put my pins!!

Suzi



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Re: Sewing projects

Postby ladydetemps » Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:20 pm

Shadow7cat wrote:If you actually "buy" a dummy, try to get one slightly smaller than your normal measurements. You can always pad up to fit whatever period you are doing, but much more difficult to take it off! Oh, and as a professional seamstress, I do not recommend the adjustable ones - the gaps are always where I want to put my pins!!

Suzi

Actually that's an interesting point...I buy skirts size 10, trousers size 12 and tops size 14...I'm not one size. :worried:



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Re: Sewing projects

Postby Shadow7cat » Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:09 pm

Then you need to buy, if you decide to, in the smallest size, put a bra on the top and stuff it with old tights or similar, and put a towel round the waist. Easy!

Suzi



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Re: Sewing projects

Postby mally ley » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:12 pm

sally wrote:isnt that funny, that dress is on my long term 'to do' list as well, mine is going to be in purply grey linen when I eventually get round to it.

It's on my list too - I've got a similar with-reflections style photo on my phone!

ladydetemps, as teagirl and others say - take your time, it is enjoyable. Honest!



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Re: Sewing projects

Postby ladydetemps » Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:06 pm

Shadow7cat wrote:The person who made the Daffodown Dilly stays is "Acacia" on the Sense and Sensibility Site - she will be happy to answer questions, I am sure.

I've had a little re-read of the pattern....think I can handle making a toile (although it's only got up to size 'D' cup....?) and having trouble sourcing a busk. Wondering if a thick nail file will do.

ladydetemps, as teagirl and others say - take your time, it is enjoyable. Honest!

I think I won't make mistake of rushing again.



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Re: Sewing projects

Postby Calendula » Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:36 pm

ladydetemps wrote:having trouble sourcing a busk.

http://www.venacavadesign.co.uk/Product ... tml?q=busk
:D



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Re: Sewing projects

Postby ladydetemps » Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:40 pm

Calendula wrote:
ladydetemps wrote:having trouble sourcing a busk.

http://www.venacavadesign.co.uk/Product ... tml?q=busk
:D

Did look at that but it says
"HANDMADE BUSKS TEMPORARILY UNAVAILABLE, MANTUA MAKER BUSKS ONLY AT THE MOMENT."
And the mantua one is too long for the short stays.
:(



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Re: Sewing projects

Postby Shadow7cat » Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:00 pm

Find an old ruler and get someone to cut it shorter and smooth off the ends - you don't "need" a genuine busk. How long is the busk in the pattern - I have literally hundreds of corset steels of all sizes (except long!) going begging, simply for a donation to a cancer charity.

Suzi



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Re: Sewing projects

Postby ladydetemps » Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:12 pm

Shadow7cat wrote:Find an old ruler and get someone to cut it shorter and smooth off the ends - you don't "need" a genuine busk. How long is the busk in the pattern

I'll have to go and double check. (comparing size of hand to busk in photo in instructions) Looked like no bigger than about 15cm-20cm.
http://dawnluck.livejournal.com/11415.html



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Re: Sewing projects

Postby Alice the Huswyf » Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:19 pm

You'll want a hardwood wooden busk, not a steel one. They are easy enough to make, but you will want it quite narrow in depth - I have a lovely one a friend made me which is too thick and so chafered at the edges that t is as lethal as a kendo practice blade. Gives me great posture (and I fear no footpad). You can use a thick perspex ruler, but you will need to trim to length, file off the corners and round down the edges. And, no matter how long or short your stays, you put on your shift, then your stocking and shoes do them up and then put on your stays. It saves snapping your busk, which is a surprising experience and unlike stockings or hankies, not something you carry as a spare!


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ladydetemps
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Re: Sewing projects

Postby ladydetemps » Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:34 pm

Alice the Huswyf wrote:You'll want a hardwood wooden busk, not a steel one. They are easy enough to make, but you will want it quite narrow in depth - I have a lovely one a friend made me which is too thick and so chafered at the edges that t is as lethal as a kendo practice blade. Gives me great posture (and I fear no footpad). You can use a thick perspex ruler, but you will need to trim to length, file off the corners and round down the edges.

This was the 'file' that sprang to mind
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v28/i ... MG0351.jpg
It's a 'foot' one that has become innaeffective thought it might be right kind of size. Not sure of shape though.

And, no matter how long or short your stays, you put on your shift, then your stocking and shoes do them up and then put on your stays. It saves snapping your busk, which is a surprising experience and unlike stockings or hankies, not something you carry as a spare!

Something I've learned from having victorian corset...Putting on shoes once your all dressed is quite tricky to do.



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Re: Sewing projects

Postby lucy the tudor » Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:33 pm

I realise this counts as advertising, but if anyone wants to send me the exact sizes they want a busk to be, I am happy to make them in hardwood (ash/oak or beech, as you prefer) for a small amount of money- between £3 and £7 depending on size, all nice and smooth.
Call me on 01772 814257 and we can talk about what you need. When all is said and done, 'tis just a nice smooth piece of wood.


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