July 16, 2014

Cecile's Summer Dress

Addy enjoys modeling.
This dress was a request from a client--she wanted one of higher quality than American Girl's version and more similar to the book illustration as well.

American Girl's cheaply made and sucky version...
//
(not my photo)

...vs. the book illustration!
I had so much fun making this dress! From the search for an appropriately yellow fabric and mint trim just the right shade,

I couldn't find yellow striped fabric, so I sewed down stripes of cream-colored ribbon instead.

 to the pretty lace on the petticoat and the pleating of all that tiny trim (it may seem tedious but I adore it) 


to the meticulous skirt gauging, I enjoyed every minute. I don't know, I just really enjoy the challenge of making something similar to a picture, finding the right fabrics and trims and deconstructing the pattern from mere clues. And this one was a bit of a doozy--look at those sleeves! And that yoke! 

I wish I had a cage crinoline to show off that full skirt!
The blouse pattern was one I modified (slashed & spread it as well as added a yoke) from the American Girl Kirsten patterns. The sleeves were from Josefina's patterns, again heavily modified. And then I just added a full & long skirt (to fit over a cage crinoline) and a high collar, and there you go! 

I don't know about you, but I think my version is vastly superior to American Girl's *sniffs*
;)

Yellow Fabric: thrift store blouse
Mint Trim: Hobby Lobby
Lining: a sheet my grandma gave me //  cotton lace from JoAnn's


June 17, 2014

Addy's Apple Picking Dress


Addy loves this pumpkin-colored paisley dress! It's trimmed in cheerful red, with puffed sleeves and a yoked/pleated bodice. It even has a white collar and cuffs, very accurate.


I took inspiration from several Civil War CDVs for this dress, and sewed it up with special details such as piping at the yoke line and a full gauged skirt. You can find it in the shop


I think Addy rather likes it, don't you?

June 12, 2014

Isabel and Cecile

Isabel is from England, 1592
Two lovely dolls in the shop today--I found them at a second-hand store and as I already own each, have decided to find new homes for these two lovely ladies.

Cecile is from France, 1711

For those who don't know, Isabel and Cecile were once a part of the "Girls of Many Lands" collection, which was discontinued by American Girl several years ago. Both of these dolls are in perfect, collector's condition. For more photos, please visit my Etsy shop. They would make wonderful gifts!

May 15, 2014

Doll Clothes, Vintage Sewing Machines, and an Etsy Shop!

Lots of big news here! I have finally, after much deliberation, opened my own Etsy shop. At the moment I am primarily making doll clothes but am open to requests/commissions of another nature. (Email me at ladysresource (at) yahoo.com to discuss orders or if you have any questions.)

Anywhoo, on to the pretties!

'Caroline's Herb Gathering Dress'

The linen apron was made from a pair of pants I got off the 50 cent rack at Salvation Army!
This ensemble was inspired by the newest addition to American Girl's historical line, the regency-era Caroline. It features a cotton printed dress, linen apron, necklace, and a basket of accessories for tramping through the woods.

Gathering basket, bandages, dried flowers and real glass bottles!

'When Wishes Come True' dress


And here we have Kit modeling the "When Wishes Come True" dress...it comes with a tiny 'Wish Dust' necklace! Both ensembles are for sale in my Etsy shop. Plus more to come ;)

The most challenging part of all of this is opening a shop without any sewing supplies! All of my sewing stuff is still packed away in storage and I am making do with what my grandmother has lying around....which means I get to sew everything on her 1963 Singer Featherweight!!



This machine is a dream. It's an absolute dream. At 50 years old, it sews better than either of my modern (name-brand) sewing machines--although it only does one stitch. It takes heavy fabrics very well. It's lovely and adorable and tiny and quirky and very, very quiet. My grandma bought it in 1963 to patch my grandpa's Navy jeans and paid $3 a month on it. (!) I think I shall christen it 'Betsy'.


My grandma also graciously donated the use of her dining room and dining room table, haha...here you can see all of my various upcoming projects. ;) I've never had a room specifically devoted to sewing, nor a large enough surface (besides the floor) to cut on so I'm very grateful.

May 7, 2014

Granny Stripe Afghan in 'Canyon'

What's portable, quick and easy to work on? Crocheting! In the past year of transition, with my sewing stuff neatly packed away, I've found myself turning once again to needle arts...kind of where I began.




I started this afghan last April; Tina over at the Quiet Home had made a lovely, stunning, cozy rendition and I just couldn't resist making one of my own. I used paint chips to pick out the colors (my favorite part!), partially inspired by Tina's blanket, and headed home, yarn in tow. The pattern is very simple, works up beautifully, and is a joy to behold. It took me until January to complete simply because I didn't work on it constantly or consistently.

Striiiiiiiiiiiiiiiipes!!
All of the colors except the blue stripe are Vanna's Choice; I think it took three skeins of each color and I had a bunch left over. The blue is some random, more expensive wool...can't recall the name of it. I used this page to determine the size I wanted it to be.


My comfy-cozy sage green chair...hopefully it will reside in my room permanently one of these days!
Anyway...it has been a "comfort project" of sorts, and so very easy and transportable! My friend Bethany and I were just discussing how jolting it is to go back to sewing after knitting or crocheting, to find that you have to set aside a whole chunk of time devoted solely to that, rather than being able to work on your project while someone is talking or while listening to sermons, reading, watching television, etc. Sewing, by contrast, almost makes one feel less productive. Almost ;)

Afghan making is so addicting! I almost want to make one in every color scheme available. Be on the lookout for more in future ;)

April 23, 2014

Addy's Accessories


A couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to find a first-edition Addy doll in the thrift store for less than $3...unfortunately she had only her boots and pink dress, so I set about making her a set of accessories.



The bonnet was pulled from scraps of an old hat; simply hot-glued together. I lined it with some scrap fabric which matches the original pretty well. Actually I think my hat is better because the inside of it is lined and doesn't pick her hair--apparently the one from American Girl isn't lined inside.



She also has a large kerchief (scrap bin fabric), a gourd and a 5 cent piece.


My version of the AG Accessory set...

...and American Girl's version.


April 30, 2013

Past Patterns 703 (Civil War Corset)


Along with my new chemise, a new corset is in order! My old one was dreadful; I made it about five years ago, without a pattern, as a sort of "basic" corset that would work for multiple costume eras--and when I started doing living history events a couple of years later, decided it would have to do. Unfortunately it didn't. ;)


My friend Bethany was generous enough to loan me Past Patterns 703, which is based on an actual corset from 1863. It was quite easy to put together, although I omitted several things and changed several others. The original pattern has an extra band of horsehair around the bottom edge to help support the skirts; I left that out. It also doesn't open all the way down the back; changed that too. I think I also unwittingly omitted a bone or two (didn't make much difference as far as I'm concerned). And as I don't like busks, nor have ever used one, I made the front open with spiral lacing for easy on/off.

lining
The outside fabric is simply thick cotton and the inside lightweight canvas; both from the stash. As per usual I used plastic cable ties (or zip ties) from the hardware store for boning; it's cheaper and more comfortable than steel, comes in different widths, and you can easily cut it to size. (A pack of 25" zip ties will easily serve me two corsets, but I was able to reuse most of the boning from my old corset in this one.) I hand-punched & stitched the lacing eyelets, and the traditional green ribbon trim is mostly salvaged from my old corset, re-pressed and turned as our historic sisters would have done.

I love how pretty historic underthings are!
All in all, I adore my new corset! It's very very comfortable, loads more comfortable than my old one (which laced further down and had more boning and less shaping). Plus it gives quite a nice, accurate shape, don't you think? The only problem is, all of my Civil War dresses were fitted on my old corset, and this new one provides such a different shape that I'm having to refit most of the bodices!