Well, it's been a while since I posted, but I've been fairly busy. So, here is a bit of a catchup post...
After my abortive attempt to make a dress for the Poe event (in under 4 hours), I took the bodice apart and added piping to it. I also took some modern crepe, starched it and sewed it on to see if it looked like the old crape. It isn't perfect, but it's as close as I can come to the real stuff, which isn't, to the best of my knowledge, made anymore.
Now, since I altered this to be front opening, I am thinking of taking more crepe, ruching it and making a placket of it over the front opening. It, of course, will mean taking the bodice apart again--but since it's really almost done, that's cool.
Meanwhile, I've been cranking through the UFO pile. First up--I made a petticoat to match this little jacket. I love the combination (I wanted also to make a matching jacket of the stuff, but the marseilles cloth I used is no longer sold).
Our lovely night at Gadsby's Tavern got me pulling into items I've half made for DH. I restarted work on one shirt I'd hand sewn for him...All that remains is finishing the bottom and adding one cuff. Trouble is, I can't find cuff material, so I'm thinking of cutting it from the bottom edge of the front (it can be quite narrow, so it's workable). Also, I realized that I still need to sew buttons and buttonholes for a common man's waistcoat I'd made...
To be honest, the waistcoat was big a point of personal accomplishment when I made it. I bartered with a weaver for handspun handwoven cloth. Only the lining is machine made cloth. I hand sewed it...but cutting into it to make buttonholes is a little terrifying, since the weave is a little loose. I think I will try cutting it with a chisel, which I understand keeps holes neater. Fortunately, I have a scrap to experiment with.
Last fall, I took a stays fitting class from Mark Hutter, the tailor at Colonial Williamsburg. It was insane, mad effort to size a set of stays to my body. I ended up with pieces of a late 18th century stays ready for stitching. I've tossed the item around, sewing one piece down with a fair amount of distraction. So, I decided I want to get this done. I have resewn much of that piece and completed another two pieces. Three down, seven to go. Then I tremble at the notion of boning this sucker. A 55" piece of baleen awaits my paltry carpentry skills. But now, the portability of what I'm working on appeals for the time being (and just I don't think about boning)...
Finally--I scored on fabric on President's Day! I got five yards of some delicious stripey silk for $35 (plus $5 shipping)!!! It is gorgeous...satiny sage green and cream. Dreamy stuff--even DH approved! However, that kind of deal comes with its own "price"--it's got this really strange iron on interfacing on the back. To boot, it's fused on it really well! DH and I managed to pry about two yards of the stuff free last night, but it was a tough effort. I think I will leave the stuff on the back of the petticoat and make the gown with the "liberated" stripey stuff. Oh, I am soooo happy about getting this!
A final note--my sewing machine seems to be getting caught up on stitches. I am getting so sick of it misbehaving. It's back to the shop--but I'm starting to think that when I get back to more profitable work, I am probably going to start saving again to get a new one.
Tomorrow: down to Richmond for my PAC. I'll sew in the car...hopefully!