Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Regency Short Stays, Dress and Spencer


They are finished.  I shortened the shoulder straps and sewed on hook and eyes down the front. 

I want these to be something I can put on myself.  There's nothing worse than having to have help to get dressed.

Unfortunately I used the wrong hooks. They were all that I had but they are not at all suitable.  I can get 1 or 2 hooks done up but as soon as I go to do up number 3, number 1 will undo or 1 and 2 undo. It doesn't matter if I start at the bottom or the top edge.

Solution......remove the hooks and replace them with some that have a lump in them. The lump helps stop them coming undone.  Thus will mean a physical trip to my local sewing centre - not a trip I can do atm as, well, covid lockdown.

The dress I made went together quite well. The pattern called for inter lining as well as lining.  I only did the lining in both the bodice and the skirt.  I used a purple print poly cotton fabric with white satin lining. It also uses ties at the back that are threaded thru casings. Again, I want to be able to dress myself so I did not do the casings.  I installed a zip up the centre back.   This needs replaced......the type it is requires the zip tab to be locked down otherwise it just opens extremely easily.

The Spencer I am happy with. I used a plain purple polar fleece and lined it with white satin. I did shorten the sleeves before I realised the cuff is supposed to be folded back.... oops.  But they finished the right length to  my wrist. So if I fold the cuff back they become 7/8 sleeves. This is acceptable to me.

I have more plain poly cotton fabric in a purple to make another dress, this time with long sleeves. The print dress has short sleeves.  Not too sure at this stage if I want to make another dress the same,  make the other one in the pattern  (the neck line is a bit different) or try to work out how to make a open front bib style. I dont have a pattern for this. If I did the bib front style I think I will be able to dress myself easily....

I have also made a cream chemisette which is basically an under shirt that only goes down to your waist. I used a seamwork dress pattern, only did the bodice part and left the side seam open where the zip would have gone. Going to put ties at the side but it fits and looks nice on.

When I get all these issues sorted I will pop us a few pics for you all.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Making Regency Short Stays

As part of my making of some Regency styled clothing I had to think about underwear. Whilst knickers are not a problem a bra might be. Modern bras usually cover more of ones chest than a Recency dress allows for, even with an under shirt (chemisette).  I dont really want to wearing my new dress out on public and have my bra on show, even if it is a lace one. 

After a bit of research I found a couple of pattern ideas that might work as short stays.

What is a short stay, you ask?

Basically they are the Regency era equivalent of a modern day bra.  No hooks and eyes back then so ladies were actually tied into their stay.

Think of a bustier and you get the idea. 

My first attempt might work, eventually. I used a bather/swimwear pattern for the bust section and added extra at the sides as well as a back piece.  I want my stays to do up in the front so I dont have help in getting dressed. They are a bit too flimsy at the moment to decide if they will work in the end.

I then had a look for something else and came across what is basically a rectangle with some  'vee' inserts in the top edge. Others have made ones along these lines and they seem to work.

I measured my underbust and my actual bust to help with what I had to cut out. I also measured the depth of my bust.  This is what I have so far.....

I will make the loning the same as the front and will add heavy interfacing to the bottom band and up the centre front and I will use lighter interfacing in the straps.  Once together I will sew on hook and eye closures down the front, but I think it will work. It still looks kinda flat across the top edge though. I need to put it on and check the fit.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Dresses and Changing up My Style

 I class my clothing style as eclectic.  I like to wear jeans or leggings with tee shirts as well as wrap around skirts in sari silks or fitted 50's style dresses or straight knee length skirts.  If you were to go through my wardrobe you would find all styles if clothing in all sorts of colours.  About the only thing I don't have is button up shirts.  For months now I have been scouring the rabbit hole that is Pinterest and have been enamoured of clothing by Ivey Abitz as well as regency style dresses. 

I like the layered look of Ivey. It is loose and flowy yet fitted at the same time.  As a post menopausal woman with a thickening waist (ugh!) I feel it is a style that would suit me.  The OBI style belts give a bit of waist definition; the skirts and dresses seem to have room to move and be comfortable; the jackets and coats offer that extra layer of style and should be able to be quickly removed when the need arises.

Regency style is, to me at least, similar to Ivey Abitz style just with a higher point from which the skirt falls from.

I have recently purchased some fabric and a commercial pattern online (waiting waiting waiting) to make myself 2 regency dresses and a short jacket (called a spencer).  One of the fabrics is a plain purple poplin and the other is small floral print that should also be in purple tones.  The jacket fabric is a fleece in purple.  I am going to line the skirts of both dresses with a fine satin as well as the whole jacket. One of the dresses I will do as long sleeves - it's still winter here and I would like to wear it soon.

I already have some fabric to doctor up some Ivey styled clothing - I can't afford her stuff and she is on the other side of the world to me. I have numerous pdf patterns that I think will work for this - I think I just need to stop procrastinating and pick one and go for it.

Being Green

Warning ***** Possible Ick Factor Post *****

When I got dressed this morning I noticed that I was down to 2 panty liners. Drat, I knew there was something else I wanted to put on my shopping note!

For some time now I have been thinking of making re-usable panty liners. They make sense to me on an environmental point as well as a money point. The ones I have been buying have changed over recent years (or maybe my body has changed) and don't seem to hold together as well as they used to.

I had also thought of adding a couple of layers to all of my underwear instead.  That seems like a lot of work. Note that I am talking about liners - not menstrual pads as I don't need those anymore.

A quick search of the internet and I found a lot of people have tutorials on how to make these things. I had a look at some of them and decided to follow instructions from It's Not Easy To Be Green.
Hers seem to be most nice looking, professionally made item. Some of the others just cut out the shapes required and zigzagged or overlocked the pieces together. I found 1 where there was a pocket so you could add extra absorbent layers, great idea, but the open part was against your body and I wonder how that would feel. but as I said, I don't need that much absorbed.

So I went and bought some polar fleece and some soft cotton flannelette and started cutting.  I decided I would only need one layer of each of the fabrics.  I made 2 to start with, cut to the pattern size, and just zigzagged the edges of the 2 layers together.  The cutting was the hardest part - going around the curves.  I had purchased some plastic snaps and used those to hold these things to my knickers.  They work for their intended purpose but I felt they were a bit narrow.

A couple of days later I widened the pattern a bit and made more.  These I feel are much better.  I stuffed up 3 when putting the snaps on - 1 part of the snap was caught in the application tool and now the snap doesn't really hold on one liner. The other 2 I put the snap on the wrong flap.  I still wear these ones though. They wash up well and even go through the dryer.

On Refection:  After using these for a few months now I think they are ok. They do slide back during the day so I will either add an extension to one end or make more. I am surprised how I don't really notice them like I thought I would. That may be because I wear pants a lot and maybe I will notice them when I wear a dress.  Only time will tell.

If you are on the fence about this sort of product, don't be. Jump in and get yourself some.  

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Pattern Test

The pattern has finally been released, so I can now post this..........

About 2 weeks ago I was chosen to test the new Josephine Jumper by Rebecca Page.

After a few issues with facebook and getting accepted into the group they set up for it, I finally got to download the pattern and instructions.

25 pages of instructions and 29 pages of actual pattern later and I had something to work with. I drafted off the size I needed (XL) then picked my fabric - a floral knit. I did think of using a stripe but there was slightly more of the floral.

Laying out the pattern pieces I notice the grain line on the front is perpendicular to the back - what the.....

I decide to just go with it as my fabric is not directional and has 2 way stretch.

Sewed the front 2 bits together - I now have a piece of fabric that is about 1.5m long that I have to attach to the back. The fabric is slippery and drapey and just won't stay still.

So I have one shoulder seam sewn and now I have to twist the front over one full circle to sew the other shoulder seam.  Ok that's easy.

Not adding sleeves even though I did cut them out. I decided a top/jumper with floral sleeves is not a good look.

Found my marks to clip where indicated.  Hemmed where told to (after hemming the wrong side and unpicking it).

Moving on to attach the cowl to the back of the neck.  UUMMMM.  The written instructions do not make much sense.  Now I know how the Cali Mums feel.  Thank goodness for pics in the instructions.

Follow the pics, get the back neck sewn.  Wait - my clipped marks do not match up!  Post pic and ask question about if they should.  Get different answers, some saying fabric has stretched, some saying there's was the same.  Decided to just extend the seam to the hem. What else can I do.

On the home stretch now.  Hemmed the bottom edge and the armholes.  Yay! Finished.

Now to put it on to see if it fits.  It's a twisted up puzzle (I won't say mess) to put on.  I had to find the back of the cowl seam, use it find the shoulder seams and then the armholes, slide my arm into one armhole and then across to the other armhole.  I put it on a hanger to see how it looks.  Oooh, I think I like it.

Pop it on and head to the bathroom with my camera.  Urgh - need to clean mirror and clean up bench.  That's done.  Take front facing selfie in the mirror, take side facing pic in the mirror.  Decide I can't take a pic of the back with this camera.  Also decide I need someone else to take these pics for me.

Upload the front facing pic to the testing group with a promise of more to come.

I like the fit, just not the amount of fabric at the back of my neck (but I did make it on a warm autumn day).  The admin for the group comments on my post saying "ooh I love this on you". I feel quite please with myself.

24 Hours later and it seems I made a booboo.  I chose the size according to my upper arm measurement, not my hip measurement. Doing so would have meant I was to make the 3XL which is a full 8 inches (20cm) wider all around.  As this is my first test for anyone I put it down to newbie eagerness.

So now for the final make I suppose I should make the larger size. I was planning on making it in a grey cotton lycra, but I am not sure I would wear it with such a loose fit.

The item is described as a relaxed fit that is super comfy, sporty yet elegant.  A lot of the pics I have seen show garments that, to my mind, seem to be too big on the wearer.  Some of the wearers have even stated they feel theirs is too big, others have liked their make.

Sitting there typing this up I am thinking I might make the larger size as per the instructions, post up the pics of the final garment like a good girl.  Then when it's over run it in to the smaller size.  Though maybe the cotton lycra will behave differently to the floral polyester knit used as the first test make and I will like the final make.  Time will tell.

Mind you I did ask if there would be some adjustment to the pattern/instructions between the first and final makes that we had to accommodate - I didn't get an answer.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Pattern Testing Update

Opened up my email this morning and saw this......

"Dear Joy
Thank you so much for applying to join our Tester Team! We’d love for you to join in on all the fun.

Keep an eye out for the next call and volunteer when you’re interested!
We are so excited to add you to the team!"

Yay! I can't wait to see what the first item will be.

Now to get my machine serviced and my scissors sharpened.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Pattern Testing

I just applied to be a pattern tester for Rebecca Page, a London based clothing designer (she designs other things too).  If I get accepted I will be making something for me every 3 months - yay me-made clothing!  I will just have to slot it into the schedule.

Here's hoping.

oh, this is her blog.....