Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sewing: 1920s housemaid

About-face from the 18th century, eh what? I sort of forgot that I was volunteering at the Jazz Age on the Delaware at Glen Foerd (if you're in the Philly area, you should come! Tix are a little pricey but it's a fundraiser for the mansion, and I think it's going to be rather fab...also, yes, that is Yours Truly on the home page) on August 1st...well, not forgot, exactly, but August 1 seemed so far away!

And then all of a sudden it was next Saturday. Oh.

I had plans to make a 1920s housemaid outfit (volunteering, see), so I scrambled a bit to find some appropriate fabric for a maid's dress - of course there wasn't anything in the Stash, as I don't really go in for practical dark stuffs in my historical costume! Two yards of wool won't break the bank, though, and it should get here tomorrow or Tuesday.

(As an aside: yes, wool. I flatly won't wear synthetics on a day I have to be outside in a Philly summer, plus it of course wouldn't be correct to the 1920s. My instinct's against linen for a maid's dress - would look too sloppy and wrinkly. Rayon or cotton, possibly, but it's hard to find a dress-weight cotton that's not a sticky broadcloth nowadays, and neither of those will hold up as well as wool for a work dress. I'm a little fuzzy on the history of rayon anyway, not sure that it would be a cheap practical choice as yet in the 1920s? So that left me wool. A nice lightweight wool will breathe, and wear well - although I probably will only ever wear it this once! Details...)

So I did a bit (a very little bit!) of research into the maids of well-off families...and mainly discovered there's a relative wealth of information on British domestics when compared to their American counterparts! Not that this has to be a well-researched project, but I always feel the need to add a disclaimer when I'm Making It Up As I Go Along. Which I am doing. I'm running on a few pictures (mainly sans attribution, annoyingly) and common sense.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Living history day at the NYHS

I was invited to join some new friends at an 18thc living history demonstration they were doing for the New York Historical Society this past Sunday...I could sit and sew things and talk to the public about it? Sign me up!

I worked on a cap, which was apparently not as exciting as the tailoring demonstration going on next to me; I kept teasing that next time I'd have to bring a whole gown with me, would that be impressive enough?

And I was very glad I was inside yesterday, unlike the poor guys with their drumming...it was HOT! And the triathlon closed down half the streets in the city so we couldn't even get to the Historical Society; we had to park about six blocks away and hike our stuff over so I can tell you just how hot it was! Was very grateful a gauze cap didn't weigh much, at that point...

Sunday, July 12, 2015

A Summer Day in a Turque

Today Robin and I went to the Historic Village at Allaire, partially to do a favor for a friend that volunteers there and be in their fashion show, but mostly because it was a very good excuse to dress up! Robin wore her new Regency dress, and I decided to finish something that's been in the UFO box for...approximately two years. All the satisfaction of a new dress with about a tenth of the work - all I had to do was sleeves and finish the neckline.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

A brief update

No pictures, though, sorry. Feel free to move on!

I didn't sew much this week (did do a lot of reading, though!)...I tend to take a bit of a break after a sewing crunch, and that was definitely a crunch for Tall Ships. I did finish my 18thc linen mitts and wore them yesterday to the Indian King Tavern, for their reading of the Declaration of Independence. Familiar as I am with that document, I don't think I've ever actually heard it read aloud in its entirety, and if you can process the 18thc style it's really very moving! Especially if you can put yourself in a bit of a 1776 mindset...which is always helped by the costume. ;)

I'm making a couple of 1860s bonnets for other people for Gettysburg, so I'll probably start those this week. And I'm also working on organizing my sewing space a bit before I dive into the rest of Gettysburg sewing. And, of course, sorting out what I am actually going to be making! I originally had very ambitious plans, but I'm not half as enthused as I was half a year ago when I dreamed them up. Hence the need for sorting.