Friday, February 21, 2014
Created By Lauren at 8:00 AM
Thursday, February 20, 2014
This gown was one of those projects that I needed after the Riding Habit of doom. It was easy, it had no issues, and it only took me 12 hours to make. Yes, it is possible to hand sew a gown and sew it well, without cutting corners in that amount of time. Anyway, here are the pictures. Enjoy!
Created By Lauren at 4:13 PM
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
So, the ladies and I decided we needed to do some sort of riding habit day while we are in Williamsburg. I had started this habit a few years ago, about the time I started getting into horses. Anyway, after a move and buying a business, the habit fell to the sidelines waiting for the perfect event to make its debut.
I had already drafted the pattern and cut the original pieces out when we lived in Portland. I was never quite happy with the fit and decided it was time to readdress those issues this time around.
Angel, aka Mrs. Cartwright, had made these lovely buttons to go with the riding habit as well. The colors are perfect!
After a few hours of fussing with the fit, I felt I had tackled the major issues…. This, of course, would prove not to be the case as the project progressed. This was one of those sewing projects that caused frustration from day one! The sewing gods were not in my favor and it was annoying.
I decided to line the lapels and the cuffs in blue silk to match the blue in the buttons. The hat I plan to wear with it has the blue and green as well.
Now take a good look at the shoulders… notice anything strange? Well, I didn’t until AFTER I put the sleeves on. If you said the shoulders look short, you’d be right! I have no clue how I could have missed that very important detail, but I did. Yay me! Anyway, more on that later.
The time to construct the collar had come. Pad stitching has to be one of my least favorite parts of tailoring. It takes FOREVER and it feels like you haven’t accomplished a whole lot by the end. Yet, it is one of the most important shaping tools in the bag of tricks. I also decided to line the inside of the collar in the blue silk to match the lapels. At this point I had finished the collar and started attaching the sleeves. Then I did a fitting…. Yeah, the sleeves pulled the collar out of alignment and did not fit right.
So, I added a shoulder strap on top of the shoulder. I did a lot of research before I decided to add this crucial piece to extend the shoulder. Since the 18th century was chock full of pieced gowns, spencers, jackets, ect, I decided it would be ok to have this piece. Yes, I am that particular!
This time it worked! The shoulder straps allowed the sleeves to sit in a correct position at the shoulder seam. Mind you this was after a few dates with the seam ripper and ever mounting frustrations! It’s projects like this that keep me humble, that’s for sure.
Finally it was time to start on the cuffs. This part went surprisingly fast and was fairly easy. I decided to keep the stitches red like I did on the lapels and the collar.
Now it was time to attempt the skirt. I, wrongfully, assumed this part would be a breeze, no issues, ect. Well, as I mentioned before this was one of those projects. I discovered something about my body…. Long peplums and same colored skirts do not work on my body…. AT ALL! So after two days of fighting with the skirt trying to figure out why my already hefty derriere looked like a moose had taken up residence under the skirt, I decided to call it quits.
An Amazonian dress, 1797, Lewis Walpole Library Digital Collection
Costume Parisien, an 8 (1799-1800)
I researched once again and rediscovered these fashion plates/ cartoons that I had forgotten about. Perfect! I can wear it as a spencer over one of my numerous voile gowns!
And the results…. I know not the greatest picture, but you get the idea.
So, the riding habit that almost defeated me has been bested and checked off the list of “Items to Make for Williamsburg.”
Created By Lauren at 4:01 PM
This is going to be old news to many of you, I’m sure, but I am finally heading to Williamsburg! I was invited to attend the Millinery Through Time convention and my dear husband is sending me for my 30th birthday (Scary I can’t believe I’m going to be 30!). It will be quite the reunion for myself, Lauren of American Duchess, Maggie of Serendipitous Stitchery, Samantha of Couture Courtesan, and the most hospitable friend who is opening up her home for us, Abby of Stayin’ Alive! I am beyond grateful for this opportunity and extremely excited. Although, I’m not sure if Williamsburg is ready for our descent.
As a result, I have been sewing like crazy! I’m still not quite finished with everything I need to make for the trip, but I have made some progress. Over the next few posts I will show you what I’ve been up to. So stay tuned!
Created By Lauren at 3:12 PM
So, those of you who follow me on Facebook have seen many of these pictures before. The past few months have been filled with our animals and our business. So, here is a little slice of our life at the Fort. Enjoy!
In January we adopted this little guy and named him Dexter. He is the sweetest dog and is in love with Aaron! He is also growing like a weed! He just passed his 1st birthday in November and he hasn’t stopped growing!.
Then in July we brought home these adorable snuggle bunnies! I had no idea how much fun rabbits are and these kids have us completely wrapped around their fingers!
Of course, they are now 8 months old, and a bit larger. I jokingly refer to them as the “kitchen staff” because they live in our kitchen.
The animal count was now at 13….. But who can stop there, right!
This winter has been rather cold for us and we had a few days with quite a bit of snow. Bob and Aspen had a very good time playing in the white powder.
Bob being Bob!
My sweet Aspen is still showing us her personality day by day. She was so badly abused in her previous homes that she has flash backs and I have to remind her that she’s not going to be beaten by me. She has made amazing progress in the year we have had her and I love my girl!
The girls have not been fans of this cold winter. They still believe that I control the weather and protest when it freezes, event though they have an outdoor heating pad in their coop on the harsher days.
Gico is still Gico! He’s a crotchety parrot who loves me and Aaron and pretty much hates the rest of the world. He loves to make sure the dogs are in check, especially Dexter.
Max and Leila are getting older and older. Max is really starting to slow down and his arthritis worsens with each passing year. But he still has some spunk and likes to run around and play.
Our animals are our joy and they keep us sooo very and happily busy! God Bless!
P.S. Stay tuned for a rather large post about an exciting upcoming trip!
Created By Lauren at 2:26 PM