Sunday, May 28, 2017

Odds and Ends

Sometimes I just get lost in making small projects.  Here is a compilation of what I've been up to lately.   The first project wasn't so small as it was a gown but it was completed in 3 days so it wasn't a particularly taxing project.  I purchased the hand block printed fabric from a friend who was destashing and I used the Larkin & Smith English gown pattern that I had adapted into a center front closing gown as explained in this post.  I wanted to wear this during the Printed Fabrics Symposium in Colonial Williamsburg as my goal was to wear a different print each day.  I got the gown almost completed before leaving and ended up doing some finishing in the hotel.

I love this fabric

I added the ties to draw up the skirt and finished the hem in the hotel.  Here it is with just the side seam ties drawn up.  There are also ties to draw it up at the side back seams.

Whole outfit as worn in Colonial Williamsburg

Visiting Philly for the members' preview at the Museum of the American Revolution and wearing different accessories:

And at Mount Vernon for Call to Arms with different accessories.

I love this gown.  It's lightweight and very comfortable.  Because the fabric is so lightweight, I made sure to use a medium weight linen to line it with in order to provide the necessary structure.

The next project which I had been procrastinating doing was a new shift which I'm wearing in the picture immediately above.  My old shift didn't have cuffs which I prefer so I finally made one that did.  I purchased some lovely cuff links from K. Walters At the Sign of the Gray Horse last year and finally can use them. I really dislike making shifts and shirts.  I think it's the gussets and felled seams that bug me so I'm glad that I got that one done.

Next project was a nifty silk work bag using the instructions in the first Lady's Guide to Sewing.  I used some silk taffeta I had bought to line a yellow cloak and lined it with a scrap of yellow linen.  Silk ribbon trim was added to the outside in a lighter yellow.  I need to order more of this ribbon for the ties as I didn't have enough.  I used white China silk ribbon in the meantime.  I love these bags when I don't wish to carry a basket and I carried this one around Philly when we were there (you can see it in the pic above.)  

Next small project:  A green market bonnet!  This green ribbed silk is one of the new ribbed silks that Renaissance Fabrics is carrying.  They are gorgeous!  This one has yellow threads in the weft which makes it somewhat iridescent.  This silk has a lot of body and is very crisp.  I used the Fashions Revisited Market Bonnet pattern which was very easy to follow and the project took one afternoon.  The ribs on the silk ran horizontally on the fabric so I cut the bonnet on the cross grain which ended up only using 1/2 yard!  I have enough left for another project.  I also had some double layer milliner's buckram in my stash so I only needed one layer of that for the brim.  Finished it off with some wide white double face satin ribbon from my stash which was ruched.

Next project was decorating a new pair of American Duchess Dunmores.  The shoes were on sale and since I wanted blue shoes to wear with a number of projects, I figured why not!  I bought the shoe dyes from American Duchess and mixed two colors using the provided swatch to get the color I wanted then I followed the instructions for dying the shoes.  The color was nice but the dyes did not dry evenly for some reason, leaving white areas along some of the seams and looking a bit splotchy.  AD sent me more dyes and I did another coat which helped somewhat.  After searching online, I found that a lot of people used Rit dyes successfully to dye shoes.  One difference with Rit dye though is that it typically needs to be rinsed out which doesn't happen with shoes so you have to Scotchguard the shoes.  The Rit dye worked great to even out the color and I sprayed the shoes with a water proofing spray created for sports gear.  Since I was using fancy buckles on these shoes, I felt they needed a little more trim so I found a narrow braid at Joann's that worked well.  

I haven't worn them yet but I hope to wear them with a gown made from the fabric in the background of the pics.

My last project was a utilitarian one.  I needed a hussif!  I have a lovely 18th century sewing box but it's too big to take with me to events and, quite frankly, I'm tired of hiding zip loc bags in my frail.  I figured out how many pockets I needed and made a hussif that would be able to house all of my basics.  I also made a little leather sleeve for my embroidery scissors so they wouldn't poke through the fabric and I used Pigma pens to create a linen measuring tape.  I have everything I need right at hand!

All in all, it's been a productive few weeks!