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Tuesday, 29 March 2016

A New Doll From my Neighbour - Collector's Choice

A few weeks ago my Grandad's friend's brother sadly passed away. He was 92 and had ageing problems to do with the mind (I think it was dementia, unfortunately), and therefore he used to buy everything that he saw advertised on TV and in magazines, without any need for them - including dolls. I'm very sorry about their loss, even though I never actually met the man himself, as he lived in Scotland and passed on before he could be taken down to his brother's house to be taken care of.

My Grandad's neighbour was told that I like and collect dolls, so this Collector's Choice doll was very kindly given to me to take care of. Isn't she beautiful! She is made from hand-painted bisque porcelain, authentic fabrics and trimmings, and has a fabric body.
I just love her mesmerizing green-blue eyes - they are coincidentally the same colour as my own eyes - and soft strawberry blonde curls. The lacy dress and headbow also bring out the colour of her eyes.

I'm thinking of names at the moment; possibly Elizabeth or Eleanor? Any suggestions would be welcome!

Monday, 28 March 2016

1860s Chemise and Nightgown

This project very nearly ended up being a UFO if it weren't for me trying it on again and deciding that the fit was okay. Funnily enough, I tried it on backwards the first time (forgetting that I had a narrow slit in the front), and the fit was really off - too tight and gaping at the shoulders - but when I tried it on a second time later, it was perfect! Silly me :)

The pattern is Simplicity 1139, a Civil war era pattern for a chemise, however, I intend to wear this as a Lolita-esque/historical-inspired nightgown so I have something more to my tastes to wear for bed. But when I do make some 1860s fashions, I'll be sure to dig this out for the underpinnings.
At a first glance, this pattern looked very simple and easy - but the picture on the envelope is deceiving! It came with all sorts of strange things that modern fashion seldom ever has, such as gussets, additional panels where just one would suffice, and underarm facings. It was confusing at first, to say the least, as things could have been a whole lot easier without all the little pieces. But once I got started, it was actually okay, even if the underarm facing never got put in because I was so perplexed.

In the end, it makes a very pretty nightdress, and in the future I may do some ribbon embroidery on it, possibly along the hem.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Vintage Laura Ashley Sailor Dress

Yesterday I went shopping in Liverpool and found this adorable sailor dress in Soho's Vintage store! Surprisingly, it was just my size, fit me like a glove, and was my favourite style and colour! I just love the feel of this dress, as it reminds me of an Edwardian child and the 1920s dropped waist at the same time. It's also vintage Laura Ashley, which I've been in love with for a long time now.
It was £15 too. :)


By the way, I'm going to Florida for two weeks on Wednesday, so posting may be scarce from me in those weeks. Expect plenty of photos when I get back though!

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Wearing my Chemise en Robe at Tatton Park

Today I went to Tatton Park with my family, seeing as it was the first day in months that the house was open, due to bad winter weather. The day wasn't exactly spring-like and sunshiny, but at least we got some good shots.
In these photos I accessorised with pearl drop earrings, a pearl necklace, a black taffeta sash and two black ribbons to tie around my sleeves. The great thing about chemise en robes is that you can mix and match with different colours each time, so I may make a purple sash someday.

Entrance to the gardens...

The back view (I hand-sewed an additional panel into the back so that it would fit)

I'm not usually this sour-faced, but in these photos I didn't want to have a big grin, either.

Outside my house... Just kidding! I wish.

It felt rather strange wearing this ensemble around the gardens and house, as everybody else was wearing walking gear and modern-day clothes. Strangely enough, nobody asked any questions, but I did make a few people smile and say "look, there's a Georgian!". I'd like to do photoshoots for future costumes I make, maybe at other historical houses and gardens. It was a lot of fun, even if I was freezing!
Again, it was wonderful to be at Tatton Park once more! I love the interiors, the portraits, and all the different rooms; I feel very inspired there, and can't wait to go again in the summer some time.

Friday, 18 March 2016

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Sunday, 13 March 2016

New Camera and Dal Clair

Hi everyone, yesterday I got a new camera - a Fujifilm bridge camera, and wow, it's amazing! - so I decided to take some pictures of my newest doll, Dal Clair. Her name is Grace and she's a spoiled brat, but I love her. :) Aika decided to join her for a few photos, along with my Grandmother's flowers.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Future Costuming Projects

This year I hope to do a lot more costuming, as it's become one of my main obsessions for over a year now. Here's a list of the things I want to make in the future. I may not get them all done this year (it would be amazing if I could, though), so it can carry on for the next five years seeing how slow I am at making things. :)

In no particular order, I have planned:

  • Sky Blue 1790s Open Robe (to go with my chemise en robe I recently made)
  • 1790s transitional stays
  • 1790s turban to match the open robe

  • 1860s Sunshine Yellow Quadrille Ballgown (for a dancing festival I may go to)
  • Mid-Victorian corset (the chemise is already in progress, but it doubles up as a nightgown :))

  • 18th Century sack-back gown in pale blue and black
  • Some more 18th Century stays
  • A shift/chemise to wear under the stays
  • Some hand-sewn plain white petticoats, one striped, and one with a ruffle. 

  • Some Edwardian day dresses based on this pattern; I already have variations in my mind, but I'm planning on a black and blue dress, a white dress with lace inserts, and a black and gold trim dress made of velvet. 
  • Edwardian corset

  • Lilac Regency Fairytale Ballgown
  • Plain white, or striped, Regency dress

  • Glinda the Good Witch costume from the Wizard of Oz
  • 18th Century panniers as underpinnings

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Silk Ribbon Embroidered Pin Cushion for Nana

This morning I finished putting together my Mother's day present for my grandmother. I'm also going to get her some spring flowers, as she helps me a lot with my sewing and other things. My real Mum doesn't sew much, so I thought maybe some fudge would be a better present, but I digress.

The execution of my pincushion is nowhere near as perfect as the pincushion in the video, but I'm pleased for a first attempt. :)

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

New Sewing Blog!

Hi everyone, how are you?
Recently I've made a new sewing blog on Blogger that I thought I'd share. It doesn't have all my sewing things on it yet, but there is a new post about ribbon embroidery that I thought I'd share. It's a lot like this blog in content and layout, though specially for sewing, rather than a little bit of everything.

Have a nice day,