Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Got My Pemberlies!

Another huge thank you to the lovely Lauren R of American Duchess for producing the Pemberlies!!! They are so comfortable and I love the shape. I have to say, the pictures do not do them justice. You must see them in person! I have plans to paint them in the style of some original shoes from the 1790’s. I haven’t decided which ones yet, but I have a few options…







I still have more research to do before I begin this venture, particularly what kind of paint and finishing techniques with yield the best results.

Well, that’s all for today!

Love Lauren

P.S. I’m almost finished with my new stays after taking almost two weeks off from sewing. I hope to have pictures for you soon.

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Pictures of the Girls…

*Warning: These pics are a bit disturbing. Rosie is extremely underweight and you can see every bone in her little body. I’m posting them to document their progress and to educate in the process.*

We spent most of the weekend out at the barn working with Rosie and Beezus. We are learning more and more about these sweet girls’ personalities. Rosie is definitely head of their mini herd. Beezus looks to her for everything. Due to Rosie’s position, she has been on super high alert and was on a bit of a hunger strike the first few days she was at the barn. We had to shave both girls, due to the rain rot and the results were pretty shocking.


It was shocking to see just how skinny she really is.


It appears that their previous owner would feed them together and Rosie would give Beezus the majority of her food. We suspect they weren’t on grain of any kind and maybe a bit of hay. Plus, they are both infested with worms, which contributes to the emaciation.

As I said earlier, it’s been difficult getting Rosie to eat any food. I finally was able to get her to eat out of my hand, on Saturday, and she ate almost a whole scoop of grain. Audra, our instructor/ barn owner, told me she started eating more yesterday morning and evening. She also finally started drinking. So, hopefully she will be gaining weight as the weeks go on.


Here she is with, Anna, a 9 year old student who is in love with Rosie. When she is up to health, Rosie will be the perfect child’s horse.


This is Beezus and I riding yesterday. This was before we shaved her. I, unfortunately, did not get any post shave pics yesterday. I hope to get some tomorrow. Anyway, Beezus is doing very, very well, she’s eating and she’s settling in a little faster than Rosie. However, she has separation anxiety when Rosie is not in her sight.

We have been working each horse on the ground for a few minutes and then I’ve been riding Beezus for about 15 minutes, only walking and trotting lightly. She is extremely out of shape and has little muscle tone; so much so, that she pants and huffs after a few laps of trotting. However, she is trying hard and has a lovely smooth trot. We’ve been riding her in Western because that’s what she knows and she is a bit unpredictable with her cues. I’m hoping to get her into an English saddle once she settles in more.



Well, that’s all for today. I’m sure I will have more for you as time goes on.

God Bless!

Love Lauren

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Rescue Babies…

Aaron and I had a wonderful day at the barn yesterday. He is advancing quickly with Jazz and he definitely has the horse bug! The horses love him and he is really enjoying them as well.

Most of our day was spent working with the two new horses, Beezus and Rosie. We already have an Appy at the barn named Ramona, so of course, our new Appy had to be named Beezus :) Both girls are in pretty pitiful shape, butI think they will be great once they are rehabbed. Here are a few pics!


This is Miss Beezus. She is a 20 year old, 15.3 hand Appaloosa Mare weighing in at 1049lbs. She is a few hundred lbs under weight and lacks a lot of muscle definition. We think she is infested with worms and she hasn’t been worked in a long time. However, she does know her cues and was so respectful when we were lunging her. I love how she stayed out of my space and gave her full attention, once she settled down from the excitement.



I’m not thrilled with this pic of me, I’m wearing tons of layers and I think it makes me look huge. But anyway, I love how you can see Beezus’ pretty face and her personality in this pic. She is very sweet and wanted reassurance that everything will be ok.


Here we have Miss Rosie. She is a 20 year old Arabian mare standing at 14 hands and weighing in at 617 lbs.This little girl is several hundred lbs under weight and exhibits signs of malnutrition and worm infestation. She has a long dull coat covering a very ribby body, but she is still spunky, friendly, and cute. She is the “pack leader” of the two and Beezus looks to her for direction. She is very respectful on the ground as well and she really loves to be rewarded with love. This horse loooved to be cuddled as her reward for working hard. I think she will settle in much faster than Beezus.


Here you can see her rain rotted coat. Poor thing is getting shaved and medicated today. We think we are going to have to clip her main and tail as well. They are just clumps of matted hair.


Both horses will need their hooves done as well. The bad angle is much more apparent on Rosie than Beezus. You can really see it in this picture, in my opinion.

Everyone was teasing me yesterday saying “hey, finally a horse that’s Lauren’s size!”


This is my favorite pic of Rosie. This was when we were free lunging her. She is very spunky and cute.

I hope to keep you all updated as they’re progress improves. It’s such a blessing to be working with animals in need. I have a passion for it and I am learning so much. I really appreciate Audra, my instructor, for including me in the rehab processes. It is amazing!

Have a lovely weekend!

Love Lauren

Friday, January 13, 2012

Stays Progress and Gratuitous Pet Pics

Hello All!

   I hope you are doing well and enjoying the lovely winter weather. I , personally love winter, it’s one of my favorite seasons. Anyway, I have been slowly plugging away on my stays and I’m pretty happy with the progress thus far. Although, I haven’t had as much time to work on them as I would like and have only managed to get two days of sewing them so far. Next week will probably be just as busy, so I doubt I will finish them in the time I prefer. Luckily, I don’t have a deadline to complete them, so I can take my time on them.

I also thought I would walk you through a bit of my own process for adjusting patterns. I’ve been getting a lot of questions, lately, on how I go about fitting patterns. I hope this gives you a bit of insight on how I do things. Enjoy!


I always make at least one mockup. This is the most important step for me. If I can get it to fit in muslin, then I know it will work in my fashion fabric. I usually pin the pieces together and adjusted them to fit my form, as best as I can.


I can tell, based on where the top of the back piece hits, that it will need to be cut down a bit. I also know that the shoulder straps are too wide. I know this because I have sewn enough garments to judge where the straps and back should fall.


I like to use my sheerest gown to test the stays. It allows me to see where the stays will fall beneath the dress and easily adjust the pattern. (Note the bust cups are not part of the stays, they’re just extra padding for my dress form.


It may be hard to see, but the stays stick out of the dress about 3 inches in the back. The straps also stick out. So, it’s time to cut the pattern down so the stays are not shown outside of my gowns.


I basically take a pencil and draw where the seams should fall on the neck line. I like to do it to only 1/2 of the pattern. That way I know the other half will be identical when I redraft it.


I then take my traced pattern and lay it over the muslin and transfer or cut the changes. Sometimes I need to do a full redraft because things need to be added or taken away, ect. This time, the original pattern fit so well, I only had to take the back and straps neckline down.

So, that, in a nutshell, is how I draft and fit my patterns.


Here are the stays so far. I have bound the bottom taps, sewn the boning channel, and started the eyelets. I wanted to hold off on binding the top edges until the eyelets are sewn, just in case I have any last minute adjustments that are needed.


Here you can see a close up of the binding. As always, everything is done by hand. I prefer it that way and I find that my pre-sewing machine era projects go together more quickly and precisely by hand than by machine. Plus, it keeps the dying art of 18th century clothing construction alive.

Gratuitous Pet Portion

On a totally non-related note, I have a few gratuitous pet pics that I’ve been needing to post. Enjoy!


Mrs. Cartwright and I playing horse soccer with Bob and Jazz yesterday. They loooove this game and Jazz is quite good at it! Mrs. Cartwright and Jazz totally beat Bob and I 3 to 1. Although, Bob is only 5 and still very new at this game. Jazz is a seasoned veteran and is quite competitive.


Aaron on Jazz for his first riding lesson last week. He did very, very well and I’m thrilled I finally got my man on a horse :) He will eventually be riding English, but we don’t have stirrup leathers long enough for him. So, he’ll be riding in a Western saddle with an English bit until the stirrups come in.


My big baby, Bob, and me. He’s doing so well and learning so much, as am I. He surprisingly jumped over a cone and the soccer ball this week, which was exciting and unexpected. So, we’ve decided it’s time to teach him how to jump. I’m very excited about it.


And finally, a picture of Leila and Gico konked out on the couch together. Gico and Leila have a history of teasing each other and Leila has a healthy fear of this little bird. She doesn’t usually let him sit with her. However, lately, they have been sleeping like this for an hour or two in the afternoons while I sew. It’s just too cute!

Well, m’dears, I am off to the barn to work with a new pair of rescues we brought in last night. They are both in their twenties and are in pretty bad shape. Today is going to be shaving and cleaning rain rot sores, cleaning hooves, de-worming, vaccinating, and a little ground work for the new kids. I hope to have pictures up soon.

Love Lauren

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Time for New Stays

It’s a new year and it’s time for a new pair of stays. You may remember my current pair that I made back in 2009.


These stays have served me well over the past few seasons, but it’s time for a new pair. My body has changed the bust area and this pair just doesn’t do their job well anymore.

So, I have been researching and pouring over my books to find a new pair that I think will suit me. Corsets, by Jill Salen, seems to have the perfect pair for my body shape.


This pair. They are classified as jumps, due to minimal boning, but the pattern and shape are exactly what I am looking for.


The exciting thing about this particular pair is that they are already my size. The pattern will only need minor adjustments. I have found that using historical patterns are much more successful for my body size and shape than using modern patterns, like JP Ryan and S and S. Hopefully this set of stays will prove to be similar.

On a side note, if you don’t already own Corsets Historical Patterns and Techniques, you need to get it. It is AMAZING!!!! It is full of stays and corsets from multiple eras as well as patterns taken from each pair. There are also detailed instructions on a few pairs that walk you through how to construct them. I can’t praise this book enough!

That’s all for now! I hope you have a lovely day :)

God Bless!

Love Lauren