Every so often I just get this craving to buy fabrics. Like any person who sews, I have boxes full of fabric. But new projects loom on the horizon, so I had to scope out the possibilities and get prices. The first great find of the day was at JoAnn’s. Ever since I’ve gotten quite good at making petticoats by hand, I’ve really wanted to make a quilted one. However, I don’t exactly have the time to make one now that I’m making quilted jumps. (And if I make a quilted petticoat, I don’t want it to be the first time that I quilt something, so a little more experience quilting is needed). So I remembered that in the home decor department, I’ve seen some quilted fabrics that work. I walked up and down each aisle carefully fingering all the beautiful colors and designs. I rarely look on the back ‘sale’ wall because rarely do I find anything worth buying there. However, I stopped dead in my tracks. I found gorgeous fabric with an 18th century print on it. I could not believe it. There was only a bit left on the bolt, but I knew it was enough for a petticoat. I quickly snatched it so no one else could get their grubby hands on it.
In this pic, it’s folded in half and on the right and left side is the salvaged edge just waiting to be stitched together.
Then, I went to Patched Works, a quilt store in Elm Grove, WI. I’m on a search for the perfect fabric for our regency dresses to wear at Waterloo. I tried to not just throw down my credit card and buy the fabric because it’s pretty and I have to have it. So I just bought samples. That way I can see what looks best against my sister’s skin tones and with mine and I can double check it against extant fabrics. Also, the majority of the quilt store is cotton. In the back of my mind I’m still wondering if I should get linen or cotton. Linen drapes so beautifully…..it’s hard to not want it.
Here are the samples I got for regency dresses.
A lot of the regency dresses I’ve been looking at online are light colored fabrics, so that inspired my finds for today. Although there are a few dresses that have gorgeous deep colors. I can’t decide just yet, but I think I need to decide by Thanksgiving. The sister and I have a dress fitting project then and once I know her size, I need to know the fabric type and color.
Lastly, as I wandered around the quilt shop, I saw the fat quarter bundle. These are the devil. I think, oh I can throw something together out of these. They are totally worth it. Yep. Well actually this time, I found a bundle of beautiful French General fabrics that would work well for dish towels. I’m obsessed with hand/dish towels both for my home and reenacting. I don’t know why, but I just do! Here is the bundle I got:
I have a lot of petticoats after only 4 years of reenacting, but I love making them by hand. They are so easy and it’s just so beautiful to watch the garment take shape. For the latest one, the last steps are hemming the ends of the ties and hemming the edge. Here is a pic of the petticoat with my round gown. My studio has fluorescent lighting and really does not do the fabrics justice.
Unfortunately, I don’t have my mannequin wearing my stays so the bodice of the gown looks a little odd. It does not pull like that when I wear it. I mean, I could have put on all my clothing just to take photos in the new petticoat, but that seemed like a lot of work, especially because no one is here to tie my stays properly.
Tomorrow is finally the weekend – again. I graded for 15 hours last weekend. That time was split over two days. Just two days. Since last Sunday, I have practically graded more papers/quizzes when ever I had a spare moment. I even started reading the research papers from seniors on the day I collected them! What’s wrong with me?
Now I deserve a reward – a morning in the art studio. I need to finish a petticoat. If I can finish 80ish papers in 15 hours, I can finish sewing on waste ties and hemming a petticoat. Then, who knows what else might get sewn or created!
I finally decided to line the jumps with blue kona cotton. I know most 18th century garments did not use cotton, but I had it in my stash and it was just enough for this project with a bit left over for something else. So I went with it. I really like the way the stripes lined up – yay me for cutting them properly!!
The cut of the neckline on 18th century garments is very becoming; smooth, graceful, just lovely.
The sides are laying a little janky because pinning it together does not exactly give the smoothest side seams. I’m hoping the little wrinkly bits dissolve when I saw it together correctly.
I could have done a tad better matching up the stripe right down the back, but on the whole, I’m pleased with it.
I started to quilt each piece. I’ve never quilted before, so I looked in Fitting and Proper and it said that on an extant garment, the rows of quilting were a quarter inch apart. I know 18th century women did not measure much, but I measured the spacing just to get a feel for it so I can eyeball it as I continue to go. However, I don’t think my actual stitches are close enough together. I’m wondering if I should rip it out and try again? I’m willing to keep trying until I’m satisfied, but I have four panels to quilt!
I really like the overall silhouette of the garment and once I’m finished with this project, I plan to make the jacket. I have beautiful fabric for it that I purchased a few years ago and I can’t wait to use it!!
On another note, here are some fall time pics of the yard. Spring is gorgeous and I love watching the different flowers bloom all summer, but fall is extremely colorful this year, more so than last.
As I’ve been driving to and from work watching the trees change, I decided I’d really like a red maple tree in the yard. I think it would be a nice addition and add some good color. I still really want a forsythia bush simply for its bright yellow leaves in the early spring.