Saturday, September 22, 2012

Lucy Locket Lost her Pocket...

...Kitty Fisher found it. There was not a penny in it, but a ribbon 'round it...

In th 18th century, women didn't lug around large purses like we do today to store the inevitable amount of junk they needed at their disposal on a daily basis; however, that doesn't mean that they didn't need something to carry around keys, money, handkerchiefs, love letters....Thus the "pocket" was born.

According to the VADS Pockets of History website...

"Just like Lucy Locket in the nursery rhyme, women and girls in the past had tie-on pockets instead of handbags to carry the things they needed. Although life in the past was markedly different from the present, the small possessions that people carried with them in their pockets was just as important to them and just as telling about how they lived their daily lives as they are for us today.

All through the 18th and 19th centuries, capacious and practical tie-on pockets remained a favourite for women. These pockets were not expensive or glamorous objects but they are rich in information and meaning. The ways they were made, decorated, used and even lost and stolen, reveal a lot about life in those times.

The pockets were tied around the waist usually underneath skirts or aprons. They had a special usefulness at this time because women of all social classes had little or no private space and few if any rights to own property. But they had significant roles and varied responsibilities within households, as employers or as servants, and many were involved in their families’ trades and businesses and it made sense to be prepared for all kinds of practicalities. Whether the contents of these pockets were utilitarian or precious, for daily use or private consumption, keeping them in a tie-on pocket was an efficient way of ensuring they were accessible and secure."

These tie-on pockets were sort of like an early form of the familiar "fanny pack" that we know of today, although worn underneath the clothes, not on top of.

They are a fairly simple design and an excellent way to practice or show off one's skill at embroidery.

There is a very nice template for an embroidered pocket on Page 68 of "Costume Close-Up", so I used that to embroider my own pocket.

It was a bit time consuming, but I worked on it in the evenings.

The finished pocket...

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Dresses I Must Make

Waiting rooms are not conducive to witty blog posts, as they usually involve one's nerves being on edge. So here are some fabulous frocks that are on my fantasy to do list...
ZOMG! Zone front!
I like the zone front on this and the fabric colors. I wish I could find more pictures of this gown from different angles.
This one because it's butter yellow and of my favorite color combinations.

I like the belt and the stripes. It kind of resembles this gown from "The Duchess", except that this one is a zone front.

I like the pink and the flowers on this one.
I'm not sure why I like this one...something about the subtle color combination and the trim, although not particularly crazy about the straight across bottom on the stomacher - I think I would bring it to a point...

I like everything about this dress...the trim, the color combination, the style...

This dress mostly because it is my two favorite colors of blue and purple, but it has some interesting trim and texture as well...

I'm not generally interested in the Baroque period, but having watched a couple of movies set in the time of Charles II, and read about another seamstresses adventure in making a dress from this period, I can say I was a bit intrigued...If I was ever to make a dress from this era, I like the one in this painting of Catherine of Braganza, wife of Charles II, mostly I think because it's pink...

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Regency is not a New York State educational test

Yeah, okay, so the title of this post is lame, and you won't get it if you didn't go to school in New York sue me...;-p

I've been suddenly struck by a mad frenzy of creativity after a long bout of malaise in matters concerning needle and thread. How can you blame me when I have had to endure not one, but TWO college level Algebra classes and you KNOW how I hate Algebra! (Well, maybe you didn't know...but you do now!) It's enough to drain out anything in the left brain...or what's left of my brain...

Quite some time ago I had made a really fabulous Regency stovepipe bonnet of an olive green silk with pink accents;

Of course, one needs a dress to go with it...There are several Regency era costume patterns out on the market, and since my draping skills are non-existant (one of these days I will remedy that), and I wanted something fairly accurate, I decided to go with the pattern from Sense and Sensibility. This pattern has had very good reviews and looks fairly easy to work with and alter.

RGP Cover

I bought the pattern a while ago, but then put it on the back burner. I decided to get it out again and finally make a gown to go with the bonnet. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to make, but did I want long sleeves, short sleeves, removeable sleeves so I could have both?...I scoured the Internet for examples of extant Regency gowns for inspiration but couldn't quite find what I wanted. I had this fabric that I wanted to use, because it went nicely with the colors in my bonnet.

In the meantime, I decided I had better start somewhere, and what better place to start than with underpinnings, because, afterall, you need the foundation before you can build the building. I also purchased the short stays and shift pattern from Sense and Sensibility. I made them entirely by handsewing, no machine at all! It's the first thing I have actually made to wear that I made completely by hand. It was actually a quite relaxing endeavor and gave me something to do whilst watching movies.

I still had no idea exactly what I wanted to do with the gown, until a few days ago while perusing Tumblr when I stumbled upon the perfect dress, which is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC! My fabric will work nicely with it and I like the simple, yet sweet look of it...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Regency Shoes

I've been bad about keeping up with this blog, but I haven't really made anything worthy of posting. I've been collecting a series of historical reproduction shoes from American Duchess, and the fun part is you can embellish them yourself. I decided to decorate my Pemberlies, but first I wanted to practice. I had a pair of cheap white ballet flats from Walmart that I thought I would paint.

I got some acrylic leather paint from Tandy and mixed together white and yellow to make a pale yellow. I took the liberty of using the same yellow/blue combination that Lauren from American Duchess used on her Pemberlies as my practice colors. There was already a grosgrain ribbon border on the shoes which I colored blue with a marker.

I then pleated some grosgrain ribbon and hot glued it to the top of the shoes.

Then I made a couple of different embellishments from ribbon and sewed shoe clips on them.

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