Past Adventures in Historical Clothing, Part Two


My family generally plans an annual historical ball. For a few years the theme was Civil War Christmas, but recently we moved it to October (warmer and less busy) and changed the theme to costume. Before that happened though, one of my sister’s best friends wanted a dress.

My favorite thing in the world to do is to look at a picture and make my own spin on it, so I sent her to the computer. She chose this design:

Her material was a beautiful green satin and someone had just given me a gorgeous piece of bright pink floral organza that I was puzzling over. It was too bright to go over white, but it was perfect over the green. So I overlaid. I did make the dress two pieces, rather than the one it appears in the inspirational image.

She was very particular about the bows on the shoulders.

I was very particular about the ruffles on the sleeves.

The bodice zips up the back, which definitely isn’t traditional or period correct, but it does allow for ease of dressing.


I call it my masterpiece on rare occasions. At least until I make something I’m more satisfied with.


Past Adventures in Historical Clothing


I made this 1860’s-style ballgown for myself. Inspiration was taken from this image:

Mine was a three-piece ensemble consisting of skirt, bodice and waist-cincher. It was my first experience working with taffeta and I learned a lot. Like how it smells like acetate when you first get it. And how it unravels in the wind when you hang it to air out. And how it absolutely must be serged/finished or your skirt will fall to pieces. The bodice I made from a leftover piece of white satin and edged in taffeta. The waist-cincher was another experience entirely as I put eyelets in the taffeta. I’m still ridiculously proud of this dress, even though I’ve worn it a grand total of once.

Sewing Tutorials

It has recently come to my attention that friends who live at a distance want to know how to sew. I was talking about it with a friend, and an idea was hatched. Online sewing tutorials!

They’ll be happening over at here as soon as I get all of the kinks worked out, as well as time to make examples and take pictures. Hopefully I can incorporate parts of my twice-monthly sewing class into it and vice versa.

So far, lesson-wise, I have:

Sewing Machine Basics – I have about six different sewing machines floating around here that I will be taking pictures of and pointing out the parts and what they do.

Tools – a variety of sewing implements, what they’re best used for, what you actually need, what’s nice to have, etc.

Seam finishes – such as zigzag, pinking, serging, french seams, how to do them, and what they work best for.

Then, unless anyone has any further suggestions to add to those three basic lessons, we’ll start our first project:

Throw Pillows. Because I easily get bored with throw pillows and I always want mine to look different several weeks later, our throw pillow class will be on making a plain, muslin pillow. The plainness of your pillow will be determined by the pattern or lack thereof on your fabric.

The second project will be Throw Pillow Pillowcases. It’s an idea I really like because then I can change my pillows anytime I want to, and if I go on a cleaning craze I just take the pillow out and wash the pillowcase. There are several types of pillowcases, too, so that will feasibly be more than one project.

From there, I’m open to suggestions. So please, suggestions. A small quilt is a possibility. Pillowcases, napkins, tea towels, bags, purses, wallets, etc. I need to know if I should go with more of a home focus, or more of a personal focus. I NEED SUGGESTIONS AND ADVICE.

I do fully intend to do a giveaway though. Materials for two throw pillows and six different throw pillowcases. It’ll help clear out our enormous fabric stash. 😉
Further information will be posted as I get to it. But if you’ve got any suggestions, let me know!

Helter Skelter

My schedule seems to have fallen all to pieces this week. Three classes, two taught and one learned; four days of work, church, sleep. It’s left remarkably little time for the fun stuff in life.

My sewing class girls are doing amazing things. Two of them have finished their 18-inch doll dresses and are starting on doll quilts. One cracks me up, she’s hilarious. She wanted to make a doll dress so bad, but before she was halfway through she decided it wasn’t her thing. Apparently quilting is her thing. I’ve never seen a kid so determined to get a straight seam!

I have more yarn for more crocheted dishcloths in springy colors! I’m excited about that. Not excited about waiting to work on them.

I’m knee-deep into a baby afghan I need to have finished by March 23rd. I found my color inspiration at Hobby Lobby whilst idly trying to pick a color scheme. My predetermined idea of two different shades of purple and two different shades of gray was undermined by the fact that they only had one shade of gray at the time. So my darling sister found this.
I found some Red Heart yarn and I Love This Yarn that matched almost perfectly. I prefer those brands over the more luxurious, more expensive ones because they seem to hold up best with repeated washings and I want anything I make to be USED and loved.

I’m playing around with the idea of a Honeybee Garden, trying to get one planned out and planted right around or just before the time I get my first hive going this year. I’ve researched and read about flowers and things and I think I’ve got my location figured out, so we’ll see.