Friday, August 29, 2014

Get to sewin'

Last week I went downtown to see the Emmy costume exhibit at FIDM. It was great, particularly the Downton Abbey dresses. They do a lovely job of mixing vintage pieces with new construction and make it look seamless. There is also a great exhibit in the Helen Larson room of corsets and amazing extant gowns, late 18th and early 19th century. Wow. They don't allow pictures so you are just going to have to imagine it. Of course no trip to FIDM is complete with out a look around the scholarship store.
YOU know whats coming....

Black and white silk polka dots=30's blouse

Dark blue rayon print=40's dress

Coral cotton print=30's house dress

Browny/blue tweed mystery fabric= 1890's bicycle costume

 I  need these like a hole in the head.

But after inheriting many boxes of fabric, trim, patterns and props from the estate of friends (way too many friends). And after mind churning soliloquies about acquisitiveness, I'm good with it. I'll just keep collecting and let someone else sort it out.

I have made a dent in the stash with a fast and dirty jacket for an event this Saturday.

You all have seen this pattern I know, I have made it a few times with changes. I like a coat sleeve and I'm not crazy about the side points. I only had enough embroidered fabric for the bodice, the sleeves are plain linen.
I'll wear it with a thrift store Indian gauze skirt. You seem doubtful, I'll get pictures.

Meanwhile, the aqua blue seaside dress  reproaches me from the corner.

Ever Your Thimble Servant,

Miss Brilliantine

Thursday, August 21, 2014

I am soothed by headwear

I thought to get over my picnic disappointment by re-blocking a straw hat. I love a fast and satisfying project. Creative but not time consuming and you can say "looky what I made!" I got a little mushroom shaped hat from the eBays, which had a very pretty straw if not shape.

 But "We can rebuild him" as the saying goes. I am crazy about the flower pot shape of the 1880's, and with enough persuasion, it can be done.
Here it is in a tub of hot water, I usually just steam the heck out of straw but I thought the shape was so bulbous it needed a good soak.
After the straw is nice and pliable I drape it over anything that has the right shape (not very scientific, I know) upside down vase, wooden candle holder, you get the idea. I just pull and shape it by hand,  carefully avoiding breaking  the straw. The shape was pretty round to begin with so I didn't get as conical a crown as I would have liked, but short of un-stitching and re-sewing I'm good with it. Then I leave it to dry in the sun. I have some of those bean bag book ends which make great weights.
This has been a very hot Summer, so it dried in about two hours and it was soaked.
Hey Pesto! I would have liked it taller but the straw wouldn't take it so I cover the bits I don't like with camouflage. I also will add this vintage ribbon which is falling to pieces even as I watch. But I thought it should have a last flouncy fling even if I leave bits of it in my wake like Witch Hazel looses hairpins in a Warner Bros cartoon.
See, super easy! It's just pinned together but hopefully it'll last one wearing. I feel better now.

Every your Thimble Servant,

Monday, August 18, 2014

I Am Cruelly Disappointed

My picnic was cancelled. I got an email this morning from the docent at the light house. I've been organizing these picnics for years and this is the first time. So now I'm all at loose sewing ends, without a deadline for this project it could languish. It was looking pretty promising too, wanna see?  
I was going to wear my new "Tissot" boots too.

And a little seahorse, because you know, seaside.
Maybe I'll reshape a straw hat, or start my Gatsby Summer Afternoon dress. Maybe I should pretty up this blog, if company is coming. It's like serving dinner on paper plates, if you are kind enough to come over I should have something nice.  Hang some curtains, throw around some pillows, put a lick of paint on the walls.
Still disappointed though.

Your Thimble Servant,
Miss Brilliantine

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wherein I make a Dress from Scraps


So. I get a bee in my bonnet about certain colors, some might say in an obsessy way but I like to think of it as focused. I have scraps of this saturated aqua blue/green in a few different fabrics all left over from other projects. And since I have a seaside picnic at the end of the month, I thought I'd try and squeeze dress out of it. Not a very elaborate dress but serviceable. Plus I've worn this season's bustle dress twice already and as the saying goes, "Third times the hate". Here are some pictures.

(On this blog there are words and pictures, why skimp.)

There will be sleeves.

(Am I supposed to sign off with "Ever Your Humble Servant" or "Yours Respectfully"?)
Ever Your Thimble Servant,
Miss Brilliantine