When Jen Thompson of Festive Attyre came up with the idea for a Curtain-Along, I thought it was a fabulous idea.  Using the Waverley Felicite curtains to create an 18th century garment was an inexpensive way to start my foray into that time period.  I have been wanted to create costumes from that era for a very long time - they are all SO beautiful!  So I ordered two panels from Amazon with the intention of making a Robe a l'Anglaise.  However, with 3 kids and going to university full time (which also consists of an hour-long drive each way), I wasn't able to start right away.  When Leimomi over at The Dreamstress announced that Challenge #9 was going to be Flora and Fauna, I decided that I would combine both challenges.  Luckily the HSF challenge deadline fell after my final exams, giving me a week to complete the outfit.  It was at this time that my husband, Shannon, said that he didn't think he would be able to go with me and the kids to our first re-enactment of the year. Since my family does 1812 re-enactments, and all my clothes were back-fastening, I needed to make two new outfits that I would be able to get into myself. I was planning on just doing either a crossover gown or an apron-front gown, when I came across this

Love this
on Pinterest.  I immediately fell in love!  Who wouldn't?  That jacket/bedgown/whatever you want to call it, plus a petticoat would be perfect for the event.  It even had a print similar (though in a smaller scale) to the Felicite print.  I got to work immediately.  I pulled out my trusty, reliable Regency bodice pattern and whipped up a toile. Changing from back-opening to front opening was no problem, making it gathered instead of fitted in the front was no problem.  The armsyce seemed fine after a minor adjustment, so I whipped up the real thing.
I was careful in the placement of the pattern for the back and the side-back pieces, as these were fitted.  I wanted to have a large flower on the centre back, and other flowers centred in the side back pieces rather than having them cut off at a seam.
The skirts and the front of the bodice pattern placement didn't matter as much, as these would be gathered.  In fact, I had to piece part of the centre front of the bodice, which was no big deal.  Once it was gathered, no one would know.
I attached the skirts and ran olive ribbon in the neckline and waistline.
I then made a  mockup sleeve.  And that is where everything went wrong. If the sleeve wasn't pulling across the upper arm, I couldn't lift my arm. And if I fixed that, then there was something REALLY funky happening to the neckline of the bodice.  It was totally ridiculous.  I went through five or six mockups.  The Waverley print is not a tight weave, so trying my mockups onto the actual bodice was starting to fray the edges.  I finally gave up trying to fix what I had. I used the sleeve drafting tutorials here and here to completely draft a new sleeve/  I sewed in the bottom half and the day before I left, had my sister pin the top half in while I was wearing the bedgown.  By this time, the HSF #9 deadline had come and gone, and I actually wound up hemming the sleeves at the event about an hour before the gates opened to the public. 

I made it to wear with my olive petticoat.  I might pull out some other colours and make a whole slew of petticoats to go with the jacket.

I only have one shot of me wearing the jacket at the event. (Please excuse the goofy look on my face)

I will be having my sister take me out for a photo shoot so I can get some decent pictures of me wearing it soon.  I am just about finished another project and will have her take pics of both at the same time.

Because I TOTALLY overshot the HSF Challenge #9 deadline, and it fits with the Challenge #14 - Eastern Influence theme, and was finished within the limits of that challenge (even if it wasn't blogged about til now), I am submitting it in the Eastern Influence album.

The Challenge: #14 - Eastern Influence
Fabric: Waverly Felicite Curtains (purchased from Amazon.com)
Pattern: Sense and Sensibility Regency Woman's Dress, with modifications
Year: Not totally sure - there is no date on the original, but somewhere regency - early regency, I think. I will be using it for War of 1812 reenactments though
Notions: Thread, ribbon
How historically accurate is it? appropriate fabric, based off of museum piece, with alterations that could be used in period.  Only fail on this is that it is almost entirely machine-sewn. Not sure what that would make it. 7/10 I guess
Hours to complete: far too many. 6 or 7?  Most of that was messing with the sleeves.
First worn: Saturday, June 1st
Total cost:  Approximately $20, though the only thing I specifically bought for the challenge was the olive ribbon, the rest was stash stuff.

One of the added bonuses of starting my own blog is sharing great things with you.  Like this:

Lauren over at American Duchess has done it again!!  She has come out with a gorgeous pair of Regency flat slippers, The Highbury:

Can't you just imagine dancing the night away in these?

They are a dyeable satin, so you can make them whatever peek-a-boo-shoe colour you want.  They also have 4 hidden loops for the ribbon of your choice, so you can look just like those countless fashion plates you use as your inspiration.

1812 fashion plate
1800 fashion plate

They are currently on pre-order, at a discounted price.  So dance on over and order your own pair.  'Cuz you aren't getting mine! LOL

Finally, my first blog post!

It only took forever...

I first set up my Blogger account months ago, and couldn't find a template I liked, then couldn't find the camera for pics, and then.....well, let's just say, life happened.  One does get quite busy with three children, a home, and going to university full-time.

I am starting this now because I have (finally) completed my first entry for The Dreamstress's Historical Sewing Fortnightly.  I had wanted to do all of the challenges, but the (various excuses listed) above happened.  I hope that I can play catch-up and complete the other challenges that I missed, not for submission (because I wouldn't feel right about that) but so I can say to myself "I did it all."

Please note, these were finished on time, but I had exams (still not done :( ) and couldn't post immediately.

So, without further ado, may I present, for your viewing pleasure:

The Mostly Matching Caps

Taigan was reluctant to model her cap for pictures

That is Taigan's cap peeking out from under mine.

The best pic I could get of the tiny running stitches

The Challenge: Accessorize
Fabric: white cotton voile (brand-spankin' new for me, Taigan's is recycled from my old chemise)
Pattern: Kannik's Korner's Woman's and Girl's Caps, Cap A for me, eyeballed reduction of the same for Taigan's, with triple loop ribbon bows added.
Year: Pattern states Cap A covers from 1740 to 1810.  For our purposes, we will be using them for War of 1812 reenactments here in SW Ontario.  (No, being a couple years out of date doesn't bother me - parts of SW Ontario (Upper Canada) was sparsely populated at the time, and new fashions took a little while to make it there from Europe, America and the more developed parts of the Canadas. In addition, just because it wasn't high fashion doesn't mean that the old styles were dropped right away.)
Notions: thread, very crappy turquoise poly ribbon for mine, slightly less crappy pink poly ribbon for Taigan
How historically accurate is it?  I would call it 90%.  Fabric is accurate, pattern is accurate (with lots of source material), it is completely hand-sewn using appropriate methods.  The only non-accurate part is the ribbon (which I hope to replace with silk ribbons in the near future, when the funds allow).
Hours to complete: Mine: 6 (first time is always slow)  Taigan's: 4 hours (would have been 3, but the caul was too small, which I didn't find out til I put it on her for pictures.  Had to rip it out, cut and sewn in a new one - oops).  This is with distractions caused by children, etc.
First worn:  Monday April 8th for pictures, May 31st at the Battle of Stoney Creek will be the first real wearing. I hope to get pics of us wearing them in full costume - the weather has been horrible here lately - rain, rain, and more rain.
Total cost:  Materials for mine all came from the stash, but would have been maybe $1 for fabric, $2 for the ribbon.  Taigan's was even cheaper.  Her material was formerly my chemise that had ripped in several places (note to self: while cotton voile chemises make very comfortable nightgowns, the material is much too thin for constant use, unless reinforcements are added to key areas - which also explains the chemise in Costume Close-Up).  Even her ribbon was free - it was formerly the drawstring on a pair of pj's that pulled out in the wash and I never bothered to put back in the pants.