Beach & Bonnet




We braved the beach crowds on the 4th to have some nom seafood from The Old Oregon Smokehouse (chowder, crab cakes and shrimp cocktail for the win!), and to let the boy play in the biggest sandbox ever. He was thrilled with the beach.
And here’s a final teaser on the now complete bonnet. I have a new bonnet and it wasn’t finished last minute!!


Road trips

The nice thing about road trips (we went to the beach on the 4th) is that I get to work on something creative. I have finished my bonnet excepting for adding this lovely antique lace I found a couple months ago with Nora. I am thrilled to get a new bonnet in time for the upcoming Pittock Mansion picnic!


New projects on the horizon

I’ve had many projects going, both physically, and mentally. I think it must be a combination of the weather, and the exhaustion of growing a baby. I am reluctant to leave the comforts of my cozy home and would much rather, say, learn crochet, or teach a friend to make ruffles, both of which I’m doing.
I am what is called an animator for a group of Jr Youth (12-14 year olds) and we have embarked on the joys of loom knitting. They seem to be enjoying it, and I enjoy teaching them the skill. I hope to build up their confidence in it enough to convince them to join in the next knitting for homeless event, as one of the purposes of the group is to help them find ways that they can find joy in helping others.  
I’ve made a couple skirts to accommodate my changing figure, the easiest of which is drawstring. I had fun working with the stretchy material for the printed skirt; I know folks have difficulty working with stretch knit, but I seem to work fine with it, which makes me happy as I will be chopping the top off of a couple pairs of jeans to add a stretch panel to those.

A full length skirt with a stretchy
panel to accomodate the belly
Close up of the fabric

On the learning crochet front, I am rather enjoying the craft. My stitches appear to be pretty even, although I seem to be having trouble keeping the length of the scarf I’m working on consistent.  I think it must have something to do with the difficulty I have in reading a pattern, oh and the dropping of stitches. Thankfully, the further I get in the project, the more I seem to be regulating myself, so I must be learning something. And the fact that it’s wider at the end then the rest is ok, since I can widen the other end to even it out. Fake it till you make it, right?

This one is going to my friend Analeigh, as
she like quirky things. Which it certainly is.
 I’ve also acquired a scroll frame and lap stand, which I hope will make embroidery easier since I won’t have to grasp the hoop for those projects – which brings me to one of my mental projects. I’ve had the notion to start thread painting, which is basically a multimedia type of artwork on canvass or fabric. My idea would be to take Regency images, most likely from our events, translate them into a simple drawing which I can then transfer onto my fabric. From there I could line stitch and fill in with thread and/or silk embroidery. I can embellish with lace or fabric bits. I have grand ideas about this medium, you see. One of my first projects will likely be a scene translation from the next book in a Regency series written by a friend of mine. I took her up on the opportunity to read the next two (unpublished) installments and the scene will be from the one that is being published in, I believe, March. She’s moving away in May, and I hope it will make a lovely going away gift and something for her to remember us by. Unless by some crazy chance I get it finished in time for the book release (haha). Deadlines are good for me, otherwise, nothing gets finished!
Speaking of deadlines, perhaps I should set a few in order to finish some Regency projects. I have one purple suede boot complete, a matching set of gloves started, and I’ve purchased a length of red silk to make a robe from, since I couldn’t bring myself to steal Nora’s robe.  I would set a goal for next Saturday, as that is a whist party, but I think I might only have time to finish the other boot. Although I really need to finish the gloves as well as they would be most helpful in this chilly weather. And they would look lovely matched with my boots. I’ll try and finish them both by next weekend. I have a whole week, what could possibly distract me from the task?

Oh what a list!

I have successfully completed the nightgown!

It really didn’t take me that long, per se, I just didn’t work on it straight through, taking breaks from sewing as that seems to be all I do in my free time lately. Even though that can’t possibly be true… But it will be soon. Miss Nora has reminded us that there are just over 60 days left until the Regency Retreat, and the following list I have for what I need clothing wise seems a bit daunting.

4 shifts – need 3

2 corsets – need 1
4-6 pair stockings – need 3-5
3 white petticoats – need 1
1 black under dress – need to finish trim
1 ball dress – need to redo sleeves
2 evening dresses; grey silk and purple sheer
4 day dresses – finish pink, need 3 more
Gloves, blue and white
Boots – need to make new ones for Nora and I
Dress shoes – would be nice to have another pair
2 mob caps – need 2
4 bonnets – need 2?
1 fishu – need 1
2 nightgowns – need 1 maybe
1 dressing robe – need 1

Last week Nora and I dyed some muslin for day dresses for me. I like the green we came out with, but the red is just not Turkey red yet. And a Regency girl must have her Turkey red! She has been experimenting with more color combos and I think we’re going to try again soon.  I think my next steps on accomplishing this list will be as follows:

  1. to finish altering the pink day dress I wore on the ship in Albany; I’m changing it into a wrap around
  2. to finish the trim on the black dress (yes I know, this should have been done directly after the haunted summer eve, but what can ya do?)
  3. take Nora’s advice and get my short corset made up, since we will be sitting around a great deal at the retreat and really a short corset will be most comfortable.
  4. Alter my ball gown to change out the white poly for some white silk, fix the weird puckering issue (that probably only I can see) on the bodice, and replace the pearls on the outer sleeve.  This dress was done a while ago, not sure if I have pix up of it, so when I start that redo I will post before and afters. I’ll probably do that for all of the redos.
  5. Make my green day dress, not sure what pattern to use yet…
  6. I’m assuming by this point we’ll have successfully turned out a Turkey red, so I can make my red day dress in the style of an extant gown I’ll post pix of at that time.
  7. All the underthings, maybe I can just whip em all out in a couple days since they’re not too complicated…
  8. The shoes!! Oh and I must must must make a viable pattern for the shoes and boots as I will be teaching a workshop on making them at the retreat.
  9. Dressing robe. I’ll probably need to make this pattern up at some point. I see viewing a bunch of regency era movies for ideas in my future.
  10. Mobcaps and fischu
  11. And lastly, if I have time and the inclination, another nightgown and more bonnets. I will however be making some of Stephanie’s new bonnet patterns at the retreat, so maybe it will be ok if I don’t have time for this now.

    Hmmm, feels slightly better to get that planed out. But the 60 days seems very short at this point too.

Onward and sew!!

More Drawstring progress

I had a minor setback of setting my sleeves slightly off kilter (which I do

more than I’d like to admit – it’s not that I put them on the wrong side, I

just rotate them slightly off) and after the ensuing panic that “it fit without the
sleeves, what’s going on?!?” I realized my mistake, then went through
the painstaking process of removing french seams, resetting them and
now they are good again. As you can see, I’ve attached the skirt to
bodice, added two drawstrings and it looks pretty good. Except for
my enevitable issue of the back being too big, right in the top center.
Which is so weird, because this is the exact same pattern that I used
for the purple sheer, and that back fit beautifully. Sigh. Well, I should
be able to get some pleated ruffles made and I suppose I can tuck that
 in when attaching the trim. I’m so close to being done at this point. And,
happy day, I have plenty of the linen left over, so I made myself a simple
drawtring skirt for daily wear.

Drawstring gown

Time to start a new Regency gown. I have this lovely black linen stripe that I will wear this weekend to an event hosted by Le Bon Ton.

I started out thinking that maybe I would make another bibfront, since I now like it much better with my new long stay underneath giving me the proper shape. But, like I’ve stated previously, I’m still not sure about this design. I almost feel like it’s the Regency version of overalls, and frankly, overalls are no one’s friend…
See why one should wear a petticoat ladies? Muslin is rather see through.

So, the mental debate rages on. I’ve attempted the drawstring previously, and failed to make one I particularly like. Nora has given me a few tips that give me hope and so I am altering a patten from two that I currently like. The back of my new purple sheer…
(This is just showing my alterations of the original Janet Arnold pattern.)

And the front of my bodiced petticoat.

So far, so good.

I’ve actually gotten a bit further than this stage, but have failed to take pictures yet. Have I mentioned how much I love this fabric? The stripes are subtle yet give it visual interest. I have the notion to add box pleat ruffles around the sleeve and neck line. We’ll see if I have time. After the event this weekend, It will make a nice under dress for sheers to go over as black was not an oft used color unless one was mourning, or (gasp!) worked for a living.