May 26, 2010

Little boy clothes from the 1860s

My little brothers Daniel and Joshua got to wear their “new” clothes to the reenactment in Payon last April. (more pictures on my blog!) Daniel (the older one, with longer hair and pants) helped sew his outfit on my c. 1920 treadle sewing machine! Joshua wore Daniel’s old out-grown outfit. More description on the way!

March 24, 2010

Nissa dress


This is Nissa. She lives in a small country in Africa in an orphanage with about 19 other children. Nissa is a Heavenly Princess, but she doesn’t get to dress like one.


This is the Nissa dress. Every cent earned from the sale of dresses made in this style will go to help Nissa and the other children who live with her. My goal is not only to offer this dress in doll sizes, but in girls’ sizes as well. Each dress will be made in the same general style (halter top, long, full skirt, elastic waist) but will be one-of-a-kind in fabric and embellishments.
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March 15, 2010

My Twinn dress with Silk Ribbon Embroidery

Inspiration: Silk ribbon given to me by a friend and all the beautiful silk ribbon projects I’ve seen


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March 13, 2010

1860s Corded Sunbonnet

Inspiration: I made a slat bonnet a while ago…and never wore it. I don’t like feeling like a mailbox. I drew up my pattern from the Duchess Martin bonnet (I’ll link to a picture when I come across it again 😉 )

Materials: Cotton batiste, “Sugar and Cream” cotton yarn (cording), muslin for the brim lining, homemade starch, narrow tape for ties

Construction: I did all of this by hand. Yes, I know I’m crazy. All those little lines in the brim are hand-stitched channels with cording threaded through them. The crown is gathered on a cord to fit the brim, and the curtain is gathered the same way to fit the lower edge of the crown. That cord is adjustable. Making and applying the starch deserves it’s own post (if anyone’s interested, that is).

January 24, 2010

Brown Jumper for an elderly friend

Inspiration: A client! A friend of my grandma has trouble finding clothes that fit her well, and that she can get into easily, as she spends most of her time in a chair or a scooter.

Materials: Simplicity 3532, brown suede (both provided by client)

Construction: I made a size 16, but I took quite a bit out of the center back and front. By doing this, the shoulder straps won’t fall off her shoulders (they’re quite wide-set in the original design). I also lengthened it and added some fullness to the skirt.


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December 4, 2009

Lisa’s graduation dress

Inspiration: My friend Lisa searched for a special dress for her graduation and 18th birthday. Not finding anything decent she came to me. Together we decided on this design.

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August 20, 2009

My Edwardian Apron

Inspiration: I stole my mom’s apron far too often and decided that I needed to make myself one!
Materials: Fabric from the stash (bequeathed to me by my neighbor when she passed away), packaged bias tape, and the S&S Edwardian apron pattern.
Construction: My mom complained of the neckline being too high on her apron, especially when wearing a collared shirt. I much prefer the scooped neckline shown in the pattern picture anyway (I’m not sure why the pattern’s is higher) so I cut it down. I also made the “back belt” piece smaller because the apron was a little large. This allowed it to be tied just a bit tighter around the waist. As before, I hemmed the top edge of the “back belt” piece rather that binding that inside corner. I cut the back ties out of scraps without the pattern, so I believe they are a bit longer and narrower than the pattern’s.
I must point out the pockets–I matched the print! I know, big deal… but it was to me.

July 6, 2009

Matching dresses

Inspiration: A client! A friend of my mom purchased a dress form me last year out of the floral fabric. I told her I had more of it, and we decided to make these dresses for her daughters.

Materials: lightwieght denim~the floral print was given to me and the blue is from Joann’s (it’s a really great fabric–100% cotton, extra wide, hardly fades even with many washings and doesn’t shrink at all) Sense and Sensibility Girls’ Regency dress, buttons and cotton muslin lining

Construction: I have played with this pattern a lot, and this is my favorite way to make it. It’s very fast and flattering. Basically, I take off the sleeves and make a half-circle skirt. I also added the patch pockets. The dresses close in the back with buttons, and the bodices are lined with cotton muslin (like the original pattern).

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June 4, 2009

Abby’s dresses

Inspiration: a client! A five-year-old princess who loves to dress beautifully all the time 🙂 (my kinda girl)

Materials: fabric from the tutti frutti collection at Joann’s, Sense and Sensibility Girls’ Regency dress, buttons, a tiny bit of bias tape

Construction: the only changes I made to the pattern were to take off the sleeves and make a half-circle skirt instead of a gathered one. The little blue dress I made for her doll. I created the pattern myself, using the shapes of the girls’ dress as a guide. I bound the doll dress’s hem with bias tape because that’s easier than turning a hem on this fabric (besides, it makes it pretty cute, doesn’t it?).

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December 25, 2008

Mom’s Edwardian Apron

Inspiration: I love the look of the Sense and Sensibility Edwardian apron pattern, so when Mrs. Chancey gave me a free e-pattern for advertising them, I immediately decided to get this one.
Materials: Fabric from the stash (bequeathed to me by my neighbor when she passed away), prepackaged bias tape, and the S&S pattern.
Construction: I basically followed the directions on this one, except that I changed the way the back was done. Being scared off by having to bind an inside corner, I decided to hem the “back belt piece” which made the construction much easier. The detail picture shows better than I could explain.