As I’m sure most seamstresses and/or costumers can attest, putting a project on a “to do” list and then finishing and wearing said project is incredible. Sense of accomplishment – right here. Back in the spring/early summer, I had the pieces cut out for the bedgown. I wasn’t sure how I would fix the “collar problem” as noted in the directions/comments of another sewer who posted the original pattern with directions. Therefore, I focused on sewing the side seams and hemming the front edges. Then I had to pleat the sides from the hip down. Luckily, because of the gown workshop and sewing more petticoats, I now understood what type of pleats I needed. At an event in September, I looked at someone’s bedgown and realized I had sewn down the pleats the proper way as well! Yay. Then, a few weeks ago, I had a dream about sewing and instantly popped out of bed with a ton of motivation. I sewed all morning. Finally, I was ready to sew the collar together. Thanks to my mother-in-law, I now own a dress form. I don’t think I could have figured out the collar without the dress form. I pinned an extra insert of fabric at the gap where it would cover my neck and then I sewed it in to place. Magically, the pieces fit, and a beautifully curved collar appeared. Hemming was last and the most tedious. For the first quarter, I think I made my stitches too small. Saturday morning, at an event, I finished hemming my garment so I could actually, finally wear it!! And I did just that. After wearing a jacket or gown all day that pulls my arms back in a way that my 21st century body is not used to, my new bedgown was delightful. Even though I’m sitting in this picture, I think it does the garment justice. I’m wearing the striped garment – my newest addition to my 18th century wardrobe.
In this photo, we are vigorously sewing sleeves for a regimental.
Of course, at the time of this writing, I cannot locate the original blog I had read the directions on. When I find, I will provide credit.
First the bedgown. This is one of those projects that I because I’ve never made one before, I don’t know how much longer it will take me to finish. On my days off I try to sew as much as possible, but then I think, wait, I should be doing more or something else (like cleaning the kitchen table of all the junk that gets piled on it). Or like last time, I sew about 5 inches, realize I’m sewing the second sleeve the wrong way and I rip out all the stitches and then stop for the day because that completely exhausted my mental capacities. So now again on my day off when it is 90+ degrees, I’m sewing again. The second sleeve is nearly complete; I just have a teeny bit more to go on the underarm gusset. Then I sew the vertical waist part. There is some crazy pleating I’m supposed to do for the sides and that’s the part I could not figure out when I was making the mock-up 1.5 years ago. I want it to look tastefully and flare out and be gracefully feminine. But this is also just a “lying around camp” garment for when it’s too hot or the public has all left. I’m really happy I used the striped cotton – it looks super cute!
After I get the pleating on each side figured out, I’m just going to line the upper bodice area (back and two front pieces) and the lining will only go as far down as the top of the pleats. Reasons: 1) I don’t have the patience to line any more than that; 2) I realized if it’s completely lined, it may be too hot; and 3) this was supposed to be a fast garment to make.
Garden update. In the past two weeks, my husband finished the garden area that we started last summer. Previously, he had mowed the weeds in half of the “sun garden” area. Then we layered newspaper and grass clippings and staked off the area. We got dirt. Then the weeds kind of all came back as of this spring/early summer. So he chopped them all down again. Then we bought retaining wall bricks and he built a nice little walled/raised garden bed. I have to wait for the lilies to stretch over and grow up next to the wall so it does not look like the island is “floating”….though I suppose that’s what islands do. Anyway, it only took a few days to build the wall, then we topped it off with new rich topsoil and we finally bought perennials. I always love how I have these lists of “oh I want this perennial and that one” and then I think I only got one of them that was actually on the list. But there are dark purples, medium pinks, corals, whites, and bright yellows which I feel is a nice color selection. I’m trying out lavender again. I really want to dry it and make sachets!!
Here is the new perennial garden!
Back in January, I posted about the projects on my “dream list” for the summer. It’s now mid July. How many have actually been completed: zero. Oops. However, the jacket I started making out of the striped fabric (historically accurate, but in case I mess up, I won’t be crushed), has since been turned into a pair of quilted jumps because when I laid out my pattern pieces on the fabric, I did not account for the sleeves and there was no more fabric, so I just have four bodice sections. This project was not on the list. Hehe.
Then after going to a Rev War event in Silver Lake, WI where it always seems to be extremely hot, I realized I really need the bedgown. After wearing a corset four days a week for work, I could not bring myself to wear my 18th century stays. I didn’t really like the thought of going around in just a chemise and having creepers creeping on me all day so I decided the bedgown must be finished first!!!! I’m not making it reversible like I had originally planned because that would be too much lining and making teeny stitches that I don’t have the patience for in this summer heat. I also don’t want to be sweaty/uncomfortable when I wear the garment at events. The point is to be able to move and not faint. Because this garment is made from one giant piece of fabric folded in half, there is not a ton of sewing so I’m hand sewing it. After making the round gown in the workshop, I now understand how to make the pleating in the back of the bedgown as well. I couldn’t get two pleats to come together because the fabric was difficult and I was tired, so I left it at one and it fits. And it’s good enough for who it’s for!
The last time I worked on it, some of my stitching got wonky/janky and was not even at all!!! Either I was too tired or not paying very close attention. I normally don’t mark where I need to stitch except for the first inch or so to make sure I’m the proper distance from the edge of the fabric. Needless to say, I ended up ripping out about two inches worth of stitches and then I thought, yeah I’m done for the day. I closed up shop. Now today, on my day off, I’m ready to go back and attack and hopefully finish sewing side seams and cutting the pink lining. Yes the lining is pink! 🙂
As you can see, back in January, this project was not a top priority. But now it is and I’m excited to finish it. Hopefully by the end of the summer I can also finish my jumps and possibly the jacket. I really want a new jacket!