Sunday, March 16, 2014

This week in sewing

18thc, all the time! All the sewing time, anyhow. Most of the week was spent waiting for my Mary Heany/indentured servant outfit fabric to get here, so I worked on my striped linen dress.

Evil bias stripes.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Indentured servant outfit

(Me posting about it is all free and clear, so here I go!)

One of my good friends has connections, you guys. She'd been told about a project for an historic house, but as it wasn't really her thing, she passed it on to the rest of us. And since it seemed to be totally my thing, I jumped on it!

It's for the Whitall House at Red Bank Battlefield in South Jersey. The owners of the house in the 18thc were the Whitalls (you'd never have guessed that, right?), well-to-do Quakers. Ann Cooper Whitall famously refused to leave her house during the battle, and supposedly she was spinning when a British cannonball blew right into her room; she took her work down to the basement and kept spinning. Well, it's a good story, anyway!

Anyway, in the records, there's a 1760s advert for a runaway indentured servant, Mary Heany. As is usual, there's a description of what she was wearing when she ran away. They wanted somebody to make a reproduction of an outfit from this description, and, hi! that's now me.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sewing for other people

...is unusual for me. I'm a wildly selfish seamstress, and only like to sew on my own terms. If my terms happen to mesh with yours (historically accurate within reason, lots of absurdly meticulous hand-finishing, I can make what I want) though, I'm all for it!

That's what I've been doing this past week - or, rather, planning for it. One's a bonnet commission for a friend, which I will post about in due course. The other is for an historic site near me, which I will sew "online" if I get their ok.

Today I did sew for me - finished up a 1770s petticoat of striped linen. I started this outfit last year for the Fort Fred market fair, but didn't get very far as it turned out I wasn't able to go.
But now it's done! The petticoat anyway. Gown's still got a ways to go.
The gown will be of the same linen, a simple anglaise, probably with the skirts looped up a la polonaise. The bodice pieces were already cut (and they're very wrinkly!!), but I'll have to recut the fronts, because there is Fun With Bias, and the stripes don't match up. Try again! I have enough fabric for this oops, so no problem there. As long as I don't mess up the sleeves...

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Francaise Dinner 2014

I think this dinner keeps getting more fabulous every year - I don't know how we'll top ourselves next year! Everyone had such wonderful hair. A big thank-you to our organizers!

The dinner was held at the General Warren Inn, in Malvern, PA, as it was last year. They've got a great building for 18thc events, and some rooms upstairs if you want to stay over. Many of us did, though all 26 of us unfortunately wouldn't fit! And this year we bought out the place...last year there was one lonely room taken by two poor souls who must have been terribly confused by all the half-dressed people with big hair running around.

(photo by Isabella) Look at the feathers!