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Posts Tagged ‘bracelet’


I’ve finally got round to writing up my Master Plan of how I’m going to learn to sew, and here it is:

  1. Take up linen work trousers – practice hemming and hand-sewing (backstitch).
  2. Sew silk cuff from Sew It Up book.
  3. Make a shift from cotton lawn, using a combination of Marquise.de’s instructions and those on MaraRiley.net.
  4. Sew pair of pockets (thanks to the lovely Lithia Black and her dragonflies, I now am thinking about embroidering these – something I wasn’t originally planning to do!  It’s all her fault!).  I might go for white on the outside and something bright (to match the embroidery) on the inside as a little flash of colour at the pocket opening.  I already have the pattern for these in the Butterick Misses’ Historical Underpinnings pack I bought the other day (this pattern is in the clearance sale at the moment on Butterick’s site – make the most of it if you’re in the US!).
  5. Make my Halloween costume for this year to help me learn fitting.  I’ve decided to go for an undead/zombie Marie Antoinette as I like her pretty outfits but like to wear scary costumes for Halloween – I get the best of both worlds this way!  I think I’m going to go for the Simplicity 2832 pattern as it’s much simpler than an accurate 18th Century gown, but is still fitted on the bodice and therefore will give me that fitting experience.  Also, for a fun Halloween party, I would feel too over-dressed in a full-length gown and wouldn’t want to shell out all that money for the fabric when there’s a good chance it’ll end up with someone’s drink/fake blood down it!  I’m going to get the pattern and choose my fabrics in the next couple of weeks.
  6. Sew a kimono.  This doesn’t quite fit with the other things, but my mother and I bought the pattern and fabric a couple of years ago, but I was scared off by the bizzare, arcane symbols of the pattern, because I didn’t understand them.  With a bit more know-how and my helpful books, I’m hoping I’ll be able to work it out this time – a new dressing gown for me!
  7. Finally – the stays!  I’ve got the Butterick half-boned pattern, which I’m going to make up with heavy-duty cable ties, cotton coutil, a soft cotton lining and something pretty on the outside… Maybe some silk dupion like my cuff but in a different colour.  I’d quite like a greyish blue or silvery grey ooor a darker, more graphite grey, but I don’t think they’d have those.  I think they might have had a very 18th C pale blue, though.  Perhaps that with a deep pink cotton bias tape and as-close-to-matching-as-I-can-get ribbon to fasten…  Rather like the colours of the fashion plate I’ve posted previously.

Ann Frankland lewis - 1775 dress painting

Then I can start thinking about gowns and jackets and petticoats – oh my!  I just need some more excuses to wear them, as I’m developing quite a wish list (more on that another time).

Meanwhile, after being ill yesterday, I was well enough to go to lunch today with some friends, so the cuff had its first outing.  Here’s a pic in natural light (and hopefully a bit less blurred) of me looking with pride upon my creation ;P

Silk Cuff Luv

I am being a good girl, too – another chapter edited today – just two more for this week, then another 6 next week and Part 1 of A Thief & A Gentlewoman is all edited up!  This is A Good Thing(TM) too, as my hand-in is a fortnight today, then my Masters will be all done… It’s a little sad.

(EDITED – I forgot to cross off the things on The Master Plan that I’d completed.)

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Silk Cuff – Finished!


I have just finished making the cuff!  Huzzah!

Finished Cuff

Finished Cuff

Sorry the photos are a bit blurred – I didn’t realise until I put them on my computer.

The buttonholes look pretty neat, considering their my first non-practice ones, though I did have a bit of a nightmare with the dupion fraying almost as soon as I cut it!  (Despite backstitching around the buttonhole.)  I then overcast the fraying edges, and the buttonhole stitch hid all the disaster, with the only sign being that the buttonholes are rather wide.  Luckily, their fine with the actual buttons.

First sewing lesson learned from experience: From now on, I will use machine buttonholes on fabrics that fray easily.

I have to say, I’m pretty proud of myself for doing this all by hand – I’ve been putting off sewing and dressmaking because of a lack of access to a sewing machine, but it was actually quite enjoyable to sew by hand.  (Having said that, I will use a machine in the future as well as sewing by hand – it’s just it wasn’t as bad as I’d expected!)

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Just a quick post with a pic of my cuff progress:

Silk Cuff 2

As you can see, I’ve done allthe Suffolk puffs.  What you can’t see is that I’ve finished the cuff all nice and neatly and have started the two buttonholes.  The black rectangle at the top is a practice buttonhole on a piece of linen from the trousers I took up the other day, as I haven’t made a buttonhole before and had some scraps.  Just need to finish the buttonholes, sew on the buttons and Suffolk puffs – should finish it tomorrow.

In more 18th Century related sewing news – I’ve washed the cotton lawn I got the other day, so will start working on my shift soon (as and when MA editing allows).  I’ve also managed to find a local hardware shop that sells 8 or 9mm wide cable ties (about 50cm long)… stays, here I come!  Or not, as I’ve realised that I don’t yet trust my handsewing enough to hold together the seams of stays and so would want to machine those at least and I don’t have access to a sewing machine at the moment.  Of course, there is also the matter of me not knowing how to fit clothing yet, either… I really need to get round to properly putting together my dressmaking plan!

There is some promising news on the sewing machine front, though – my mum bought a new one several months ago and it turns out that she hasn’t thrown away her old one (which is a heavy metal beast that’s older than I am – I hear this is A Good Thing in sewing machines), though it is acting up.  Fingers crossed, when I can afford to, I’ll get it serviced/repaired and will have a wonderful, working sewing machine!

I have also posted a few short stories – just look at the ‘Fiction’ tab at the top and you’ll find them.  I hope you enjoy!

And now for that fuzzy, feelgood animal story like the ones they have at the end of the news… complete with photo!

As I was getting ready for bed last night, a massive insect flew into my room.  At first I thought it was a butterfly as it was big and fluttery and brightly coloured – we’ve had loads of butterflies this summer, its lovely!  When it finally calmed down and perched on a basket, I saw that it was actually a moth.  I’ve never seen one like this before:

Giganto-Moth!

The colour isn’t very clear in this pic – what looks like a buff-beige colour is actually more of a yellow shade, and the second set of wings, which are hidden when folded, are vermillion and black.  There are also small dots of vermillion at the centre of the rosettes.  Also, its wings are massive when spread, which you obviously can’t see here.  I thought it was really pretty and unusual (at least, I’ve never seen one before!) – a leopard-print moth!

Anyway, the little git sent me on a merry dance, with me trying to catch it to put it outside.  Eventually it landed in the bottom of this basket, which was full of toiletries… So I had to empty it all, march the moth downstairs and put him in the back garden.  Safe and sound and free!

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I should be in bed, but my MP3 player’s charging, so I thought I’d blog in the meantime…

Plus, I’m pretty pleased with and excited by my progress – I only worked for a couple of hours (by hand, being very much a beginning at sewing) on it, but I’m a fair way through the cuff.  I bought this lovely silk dupion:

100% silk Dupion

I took the photo without flash as that shows the colour slightly better than with flash.  Slightly.  Anyway, there’s a peacock blue and a really bright cerise pink.  Mmmm… yummy… the peacock is actually more of a teal shade, in fact – I love it and might have to make something bigger from it at some point – but first things first!

Here’s a pic of my progress so far:

WIP - Cuff

(This time a pic with flash to short the detail a bit better… Or, rather, that was the intention – sorry about the focus… I’m tired!)  I’ve cut all the pieces, wonder-webbed the contrasting pink to the main fabric and made 3/5 of the Suffolk puffs (these are the smallest ones) and stopped part way through hand-sewing the base of the cuff as I realised it was midnight – time flies when you’re sewing!  I’m really enoying it, actually – it’s been a while since I made something by hand, and I’d forgotten how much I enjoy it.  And the Suffold puffs are so cute – I love them!

At the fabric shop, I bought 25cm each of the two dupion colours, 2 buttons (for the cuff), the wonder-web and 3m of cotton lawn (to make a shift for my 18th Century clothes) and it came to just over £8 – v impressed!

I also thought I’d go and order the Butterick pattern for ‘historical underpinnings’ as I didn’t expect them to have something so specialist in stock… or so I thought!  Turns out they sell loads of this pattern all the time and so I ‘accidentally’ ended up buying it …

The quetion is – just where are all these women in 18th Century costume in Portsmouth?

… for now, bedtime!

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First Sewing Project – Silk Cuff


This cuff:

Sew It Up - Silk Cuff

was a deciding factor in me buying Ruth Singer’s Sew It Up.  It wasn’t the only reason, but it was something that really caught my eye and I just thought “Wow, I love it!” 

I’m planning to buy some silk dupion at lunch time.  I’ll also get some cotton lawn (if it’s in stock) to make my shift and line my stays, but more on that another time.

I’d like make it some time this week, but I have a lot to do, so we’ll see.  The pattern and instructions for this cuff look pretty easy, so fingers crossed!  More news when I get fabric…

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