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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Accessories Challenge · Feather Fan

The Accessories Challenge for November was fans, which happened to fit in quite nicely with my Reformation Day project!  The painting features the older sister holding a feather fan, so this was a perfect excuse to make a frivolous fan. ;-) 

 My first plan for the handle was to buy some wooden spindle pieces the approximate shape and glue those together.  Spindles the correct shape proved to be surprisingly difficult to obtain, so we wandered Hobby Lobby looking for a suitable alternative.  Inspiration struck in the Christmas isle- we could use a similarly shaped ornament!  

 Hobby Lobby and JoAnns didn't have anything quite right, but we found a great ornament at Jeffrey Alans; I was so thrilled that we found something so very similar and the right proportions!! 

Before- flat and sad.  After- fluffy!
I found very inexpensive ostrich feathers on eBay, which was a "must" since I ended up using 20!  They were rather flattened, so I lightly curled them with a curling iron to give them a little body.

 Cutting off the top of the glass ornament was rather nerve-wracking, but using a Dremel tool worked very well, and with no shattering. :-)  I taped all the feathers together with black tape.  I spray-painted it with a semi-gloss black, and then stuck the feathers in!

I'm super pleased with how well the project came together successfully!  Stay tuned for the reveal of the complete Reformation Day outfits next week! :-)

The Accessory: Feather Fan
Historical Period:  1550s
Outfit It Accessorizes:  My Sofonisba Anguissola dress for Reformation Day, 2013
Materials Used: Glass Christmas ornament, Dremel tool, Black spray paint, Black ostrich feathers, Curling iron, Hot glue
Techniques Used: Glass cutting, spray-painting

Saturday, November 16, 2013

In Lieu of Completed Projects...

Well, this certainly isn't going to be one of the fabulous, beautiful, witty blog posts I attempt to entertain you with.  My pretty, pretty picture post compliation has run out, I have no new completed projects to impress you with, and it's just plain old me this week. :-)

We returned from our trip to Williamsburg this week.  The riding habit class was just as informative, interesting, and inspiring as I was expecting!  We learned about the evolution of riding habit styles, the difference in accessories over the decades (and dependent on location), and construction techniques.  I was so pleased to be "fitting buddies" with Rebecca and Ashley (you can see read a fabulous overview at their blog!), and I currently have the beginnings of a riding habit. :-)  I have decided that making a habit shirt, while decidedly a less glamorous project, looks to be a wise next move so that I can assure a correct fit over the added layer before I finish up the habit itself.

I've got lots on my plate right now, and even more plans on the horizon!  This blog has been a great way to motivate me to keep pushing myself further and keep finishing up my current projects. :-)  Currently on the docket, I've got a Regency tailcoat for a customer in the works, a riding habit started, a summer dress which sadly will not see any practical use for another seven months yet never-the-less needs to be finished up, a 19-teens corset for Kathryn, and an antique store coat that needs minor re-fashioning.  My list of ideal projects for the rest of the year is far too extensive to list in a coherent and intelligible manner, however. ;-)

My ambitions are threatening to exceed my reality, which is a big part of the reason this post is picture-less.  Something quick and easy to let you know I'm still around, but that still lets me concentrate on the tasks at hand. :-)

I can't wait to share all my latest projects with you, and I'm hoping to re-plenish my stock of pretty pictures of my wardrobe soon. (as you might suspect, that's code for- I'm Hoping to Go Play with Kathryn Sometime Soon. ;-) )

Until then!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Inspiration · Riding Habit

This weekend, I have the great delight of taking a riding habit workshop! :-)  It is put on by Burnley and Trowbridge, and taught by Mark Hutter, the tailor in Colonial Williamsburg.  We will be learning how to drape, fit, and sew our own 18th century riding habit, and I look forward to sharing pictures of my progress in due time! :-)  But for now, here are a few examples of riding habits:

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Coltman by Joseph Wright, c. 1770-72
Detail from The Drummond Family by Zoffany, c. 1769
October 1767
Wool Riding Habit, V&A, c. 1770-75
Mme Borel de Bitche, unknown

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Accessories Challenge · Purses

The theme for October's Accessorizing Head-to-Toe Challenge was Bags and Purses.  Read about last month's entry here!

October was a very busy month, sewing wise, due to Reformation Day (posts about our outfits will be up later this month!) so I wanted to keep this month's "Accessories Challenge" small and quick.  It was just the impetus I needed to finally make a purse for this frame that I bought 5 years ago. :-)  A quick trip to Pinterest, and I had the inspiration I needed. ;-) ( I love that site so much!)  Since the design on the frame is fairly "Art Nouveau", I wanted a purse that fit into an early 1900s theme. 

I did have to put away my grand thoughts of a microbeaded purse after I remembered the "quick" part, though.... ;-)

See?  How can you not want this??  And surely I'd be able to acquire the requisite skills and proficiency to make this in 2 weeks, right? ;-)

I looked through our stash for fabrics to use, and came across scraps of this velvet, leftover from a different project.  I found several velvet purses from the early 1900s, so after deciding on a shape, it became clear that I needed some embroidery to spruce it up a bit. :-)  I was quite pleased to find that we also had enough pieces of various coordinating colors of silk ribbon for the embroidery, so that was an easy choice!

It has been awhile since I've done ribbon embroidery, and I'm not sure why I haven't found more excuses to use it!  I am always amazed by how good it looks with so little effort and time!  Very gratifying. :-)

The lining was left over from my silk 1950s dress and turned out to be a great match. :-)
The one aspect that paralyzed me with this project was attaching it to the frame!  I tried to find some tutorials online, but was unsuccessful in finding one for my style of frame.  It has a few small holes around the edge, so I just finished off the edges of the purse and then sewed it on through the holes.  The end result is passable, but I'm still not convinced it's as good as it could be.  So if anyone has any tips, I'd love to hear them! ;-)

All in all, I'm very pleased with the result and I'm sure it will get plenty of use! :-)

Historical Period:  Inspired by purses from the early 1900s

The Accessory:  Ribbon-Embroidered Velvet Purse
Outfit It Accessorizes:  None specifically
Materials Used:  Velvet, lining, silk ribbon for embroidery, and metal frame and chain- all from the stash, Hooray!
Techniques Used:  Ribbon Embroidery, Sewing

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