Wednesday 14 October 2015

1848's Jacket update

In March this year I started working on a early Victorian jacket with the 1848's jacket aka kacabajka pattern from Marmota's Dress Diaries but I didn't get it to work. I enlarged the pattern but the fit was really off for my body type/size. That could be due to the alterations I had made to the pattern because I wanted a round neckline and the jacket to close in front. Whatever the reasons were I didn't get it to work, got discoraged and put the project away waiting for new insights and inspiration.

We all havebeen here, more than once, right?!

I bought the Simplicity 4900 pattern. Hoping for a quick and easy fix but when it finally came in I saw that the skirt of the dress was cut in a different way, half a circle  sewn to the bodice instead of princess seams. Than I was used to for this type of jacket so I still wasn't content.

Simplicity 4900 Civil War Dress and Riding jacket

I ended up blending together four different patterns to make my version of the jacket. The pattern of the original 1848's was the base and I then I used the bodice pattern of Simplicity 4900 to get the right fit on my upper body, the Period Impressions paletot pattern for the skirt and the pattern of the bell sleeves from TrulyVictorian #560, Late Bustle Coat.

Truly Victorian pattern #560

I still very much a work in progress. There are some issues with attaching the faux fur in the middle of the back because that pattern pieces has a very round hemline. 

The other problem that I am facing is setting the sleeves in the right way. As the bodice and the sleeves are not from the same pattern and I always struggle with setting in sleeves.

My husband and son have nicknamed this jacket the Mrs. Santa Claus jacket. My only defense is; but that's how it looks in the picture!
And this is the image (right) that I am referring to:

Although the green coat on the left is longer than my jacket the fabric in the back does drape the same way and it has the same slight bell sleeves that I am looking for.
The red coat also has the right style of sleeves and the front looks like the pointed front of my jacket. Which is easier to see when the jacket is worn.

Sunday 11 October 2015

A Vintage Singer 99k sewing machine

A while ago I bought a Singer 99k, I've always wanted an antique looking sewing machine but never knew what make and model. Until I came across this Singer 99, it is the little sister of the Singer 66. She is only 3/4 the size of her bigger sister and weights less which makes her a little more portable than a full scale sewing machine. A feature my husband is particularly grateful for as I want to use it at 19th century events and he will be most likely the person ending up carring her around. She was born, a term they really use at the Singer website, on the 24th of September of 1952. Something that was clearly visible when I got her.

She came in the 1950's faux crocodile skin carrying case, a motor, footpedal and light and with the "modern" faceplate. The carrying case is very practical it protects my machine during transport.  I absolutely love the motor, foot pedal and the light. This means that I have two machines for the price of one. I can use it at home with all the modern conveniences and at an event as a hand crank machine. We only need to loosen two screws to change it!

So I bought an original  hand crank on Ebay and took the motor, foot pedal and the light off.

1950's faceplate
I also bought the old version of the faceplate to make her look older. Plastic surgery reversed!

1911-early 1950's

The old lacquer of the wooden bases had been badly damaged through the years. We sanded it down and waxed it.

She didn't come with any accessories, so I bought a original 1950's  99k box with a lot of different sewing feet and a seam guide.

 Now she looks exactly like an older version from 1911 and is ready to attend her first event!

For safety reasons in time the motor, foot pedal and light will be fitted with new black electrical cords. Now it is time for me to start practising sewing with a hand crank machine.

Thursday 1 October 2015

Redecorating hats.

I've been really busy with altering my costumes and accessories. Two of my latest projects are my 1840's bonnet and my 1880's hat.

One of my friends is borrowing my 1840's working class costume. This was a very good reason for me to give my old green velvet bonnet an update. I removed the cotton lace and ribbon flowers and added 6 inch pleated crinoline instead. I also removed the wide velvet ties, which where really hard to tie, and replaced it with petersham ribbon. No matter who wore the bonnet it kept falling of so I decided to cheat and stitched a small clear plastic comb in.


right side

Still not to happy with the curtain.

left side

A while ago a friend gave me a lot of flowers to decorate my hats with. I had intended to make a new 1880's hat but didn't have the time or the money. So I just added colored flowers and now it looks completly different! My hat pins can't get through the hat so again I decided to cheat and stitched in hat elastic to keep in place.


right side 

This was the inspiration for the hat. Rachel McAdams as "The Woman" Irene Adler in Sherlock Holmes. Can't wait to wear it!