18 September 2007 @ 08:57 pm
This post will take us from buckram to covering the hat in velvet. The as yet unwritten Phase One (Patterning) will appear when I get around to taking pictures of myself with a grocery bag on my head, which I'm sure won't take too long, since I love to put ridiculous things on my head. I've never been to a party with lampshades, but rest assured that if I do go, there will be one on my noggin in short order.

I am proud to say that there is not a drop of glue on this hat and it is entirely handsewn. Additionally, all materials came out of my stash, but the final cost would probably be less than $25.

Materials used
  • heavyweight buckram
  • 14 gauge electric fencing wire (in place of millinery wire; less than 2 yds)
  • thread (button, regular sewing, and silk)
  • fabric (less than a quarter-yard of cotton muslin, flannel, and black velvet)
  • double-fold bias binding
  • 1/2" wide ribbon

  • darning needle (curved needle recommended)
  • pliers
  • thimble
  • scissors

There are a lot of pictures under the cut, but they're small.

Next week [I] shall begin my operations on my hat, on which you know my principal hopes of happiness depend. )

Next comes trimming. Which I don't actually have any pictures of (the process), so just see my last journal entry.

The quote in the cut is from a letter Jane Austen wrote in 1798. I highly recommend you read the quotes from her letters if you need some amusement. My favorites: "I give you joy of our new nephew, and hope if he ever comes to be hanged it will not be till we are too old to care about it." and "At the bottom of Kingsdown Hill we met a gentleman in a buggy, who, on minute examination, turned out to be Dr. Hall -- and Dr. Hall in such very deep mourning that either his mother, his wife, or himself must be dead."
18 September 2007 @ 03:58 pm
I'll post a more detailed entry following the construction process later; I need to figure out which of the approximately billion pics to use.

Three pictures )

There are some more of the process in the gallery, though I still have to upload about ten. Most of them have notes, but not enough to explain how I put it together. If anyone has the burning need to see the huge original photos, let me know. I'll e-mail them to you or try to upload them.
Current Music: Poor Irish Stranger -- Niamh Parsons
First things first: I knit myself a beret, using the same pattern that I've knit multiple times for friends. Instead of the Elann Peruvian Wool, which I used for all previous incarnations, I used Cascade 220 Tweed. I wanted a tweedy beret. I got a tweedy beret, but . . . just look.

The horror )

I think we can all agree that this is not a good look. It's so lame that it causes my face to spasm whenever I put it on my head. The beret goes to the frog pond, and will ultimately become fliptop gloves/convertible mittens. When I get around to knitting the beret again, it will be in a solid worsted weight wool.


True to my word, I decided to start the hat for my Natural Form outfit before anything else. Why? Because I freaking love millinery.

I wasn't sure what sort of hat I wanted to make. Most of the ones I was seeing were these ridiculous sugarloaf-shaped things. If I wanted ridiculous sugarloaf, I'd stick with Elizabethan, thanks.

Then I found something I thought was incredibly cute on Demode. It's the second picture under 1878. It's right in the period that dress is dated to, so win-win. The model and I even have very similar profiles. (That's right, guys, I have the face of a Victorian fashion plate: weak chin, little nose, and round cheeks. Go, me!) I like it so much that I'm thinking about cutting curly bangs for the Pabst Mansion trip. I think I'll get over that, though.

So, I went ahead and mocked up the hat using a grocery bag, tape, a pencil, and scissors. It was surprisingly easy, which makes me feel that perhaps something will go wrong later on down the road.

On to the pictures )

The resultant pattern ) If anybody would like to use this to make their own hat, feel free. Just resize the photo until the square is one inch square, using a projector or photocopier. The shaded areas are the bits that overlap in the back.

If anybody would like, I can document the "draping" process I went through changing a grocery bag into a hat pattern. Tutorials are fun, right? And I happen to love posting ridiculous photos on myself on the Internet. As evidence by just about everything I've ever done.
Current Music: Keep It Gay -- The Producers Soundtrack
10 September 2007 @ 01:04 am
Sooo, spinning ever forward and having finished my current projects (Tudor kirtle, Elizabethan corset, and 18th century skirt (pictures forthcoming; loading them on dial-up take yonks), tonight I shall analyze my next sewing project.

First the story )

Long story short, sometime in the first two weeks in January (we think), we'll be heading to the Pabst Mansion in Milwaukee in full Victorian regalia. We'll be able to catch the tail-end of their Christmas extravaganza. If anybody else is interested in meeting up there and maybe grabbing a meal, let me know, please. (Dreams of high tea flitting through my head.)

Here's the link to the gallery of pictures of I have of my inspiration dress. I snagged the photos off Vintage Textile a while ago, but the dress was originally on the Whitaker Auction site. It has since disappeared from both sites, so I'm glad I grabbed the photos when I did.

The dress is dated between 1875 and 1880, according to the text that accompanied it on Vintage Textile. It's likely of French origin. What drew me to it is the, as Vintage Textile said, "superb quality of design." It's very subdued for a bustle dress, and lacks the usual window drapery air. (Is it a dress or is it a set of drapes? The world may never know.)

I have my doubts about the date given by Vintage Textile, though I'm sure they'd know better than me. 1875-1880 is the Natural Form period, and this still has a pretty prominent backwards protrusion. I haven't seen anything like this silhouette in a brief perusal of fashion plates for the era, but anything's possible, I guess.

The Plan )

Of course, the greatest question I have is how I'm going to stand a two-hour drive to Milwaukee in this get-up. If this really was the 1880s, then I'd just hop on the train in Livingston or Montfort in the morning, and be there before lunch. I'm not sure if that would be more comfortable than a compact car or not.
Current Music: Distant Future -- Heidi Talbot