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1830's Lapis Lazuli Gown

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While  I'm a few years behind the Gigot craze that rocked costuming community back in 2019, I finally managed to make an 1830's day gown of my own. Everything about the gigantic sleeves, the bell-shaped skirts, and the ornate hairstyles, lured me to this awkward and fascinating era of fashion - I'm all about it!  Materials:  7 yards of printed cotton fabric  2 yards of tulle (for sleeve enhancers)* 3 yards of scrap fabric (for sleeve enhancers)* 3 yards of muslin to line the bodice (the pattern calls for 7 to line the entire gown, but that can be left entirely up to the wearer in my opinion) 2 packs of piping trim corset bones to stabilize the front and back of bodice  Small Hook & Eye closures  Pattern-TV455 from Truly Victorian  After preparing the pattern and cutting out the fabric, it was pretty easy to put the mockup together for the bodice. However, I failed to realize that the bodice actually closes up in the back rather than

1900’s Blue Bell Cotton Shirtwaist

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Over the Summer, I faced a medical emergency which resulted in a week-long “staycation''. While in isolation, I opted to do some stash-busting. The project started off with a simple plaid Edwardian skirt, made from a recycled cotton 1830’s gown I made in the Spring. I was very pleased with the finished result, but realized that it needed something more elegant than the blouse I made two years prior. While you can never have too many shirtwaists, I really wanted one that was best suited for this future ensemble.                                      Using the Edwardian Blouse instructions from Black Snail Patterns , I opted for vers.1 -- but with some modifications. Instead of cutting out the neckline as directed for the insertion lace (for the upper portion of the blouse’s neckline and collar) I left the pattern as is. I also pin-tucked the collar for the sake of ornamental aesthetics…which led to more pin-tucks and pleats around the sleeve cuffs.                              

2022 Military Through The Ages (Mini-Review)

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 I've often heard that history is bound to repeat itself; in terms of reenacting, that's always true. Specifics from military tactics, clothing, tools, food, etc. are all replicated and studied for the sole purpose of education and interpretation.   Back in March, I attended my very first "Military Through The Ages" located at the Historic Jamestown Settlement in Virginia. This 2- day event spotlights military encampments and tacticles from the present year 2022, to dates as far back as 1300 BCE.  While I was not part of the massive living history event, I did dress out for the occasion... by making a vintage dress in one night.  Simplicity S9291 aka Patterns by Gertie  There was so much to see on the grounds, that the weekend truly wasn't enough to cover everything. So of what I could get on camera, here are some of my favorite moments and displays. Really loving this spread Cracking jokes with Officer Cauldwell A WWII encampment (one of many) Jamestown's sol

1890's Herringbone Walking Suit Part 1

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Last September, I came across these beautiful fashion prints of 1890's walking suits. I've seen these online before (mostly through Pinterest), but seeing them again, there was just something about the style and silhouette and fabric prints that inspired me to want to make my own. I particularly fell deep in love with the herringbone and plaid printed suits... I just had to replicate it . . . OR at least combine the two styles to make something completely unique.  Luckily, I managed to obtain 8 yards of cotton "plaiditudes" fabric from JoAnn's and got to work... well, sort of. While the shape of both skirts are definitely similar, I did not have the actual pattern to replicate the skirt; also did I want the skirt cut out in seperate pieces or in two pieces?  So, what does one do when they don't have the appropriate pattern? Why they make their own. I utilized a generic steampunk skirt pattern, and elongated the front and back pieces (excluding any extra pieces

True Colors Flag Project: Creating The US Jack

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If you've been following my Instagram @tiger.lilys.threads , you've probably seen the massive project I've been working on for the Museum of the American Revolution; I started working on the project on the first weekend of May.  Normally I sew 18th and late 19th century gowns and hadn't really taken on a project like this before, however, I was thrilled when I was considered to be part of the project. In fact, I saw it as a challenge I wanted to take on. To use my skills to reproduce a 5x7 foot flag meant for a Sloop. As soon as I received the materials, I immediately got to work.   First, I laid out at least 20 seperate pieces on the floor to get a feeling of what the flag should look like. Using the diagram and drawings as a reference, I interchanged the colors to red, white, and blue, then started piecing everything together to make the long strips. At first glance, this fabric looked like lightweight linen as it was coarse like linen and frayed heavily (more on that

"La Petite Dauphine": 1770's Robe á la Française

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In all my years of sewing dresses primarily from the 18th century, I've always wanted to make my own Robe à la Française, but many times have been intimidated by it's construction to be able to do it. I've looked at fashion plates, photos on Pinterest, and read countless blogs that some of my friends in the costuming and reenacting community have made of their own gowns, bought the pattern from American Duchess, looked through their dressmaking book for more detailed instructions (more on that later-trust me, you'll NEED the book), and lastly, stocked up on 9 yards of cotton fabric from a really good sale at JoAnn's' for me to experiment with (silk taffeta would not be the best option for a first time project). Keep in mind though, I started this project on September 19, 2019 in hopes I could get it ready for the Francaise Dinner in March 2020.  I was MORE than prepared... but still apprehensive to give it a try. So, all of the materials just sat in my sewi