Sunday, May 30, 2010


The bodice is completed and it fits! Here are some pictures of the bodice in various stages of completion.


Front and sides.

All together...

On me...I hate having my photo taken :( The front neckline on every pattern I make never lies flat. It must be a result of the FBA. The bodice looks so much nicer on my form than on me. I did loosen the corset a bit.

There are some issues with the directions for this pattern. If you are new to period sewing, I don't recommend this one as there are a few assumptions in the directions. I'm working on the piping now and really prefer the patterns way of adding the piping than what I have been doing. Rather than making the piping the then attaching, this pattern calls for the bias fabric to be placed down, the cording added and then the bias folded over the stitched. I found that easier.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I was really not happy with the bodice after I started the other half, so I have taken it apart and am starting over with the fashion fabric. What would a sewing project be without redos :). In addition I've decided I need a corded petticoat to go with this dress as a hoop I just don't think would look right. One more on the pile.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fashion fabric

I have started on the fashion fabric part of the bodice. Oops, it appears I forgot to shorten the lining bodice pattern when I shortened the fabric pattern or I didn't shorten it enough. Everything appears to be fitting ok, though.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Eye side


I've completed the hook tape and attached it to the bodice lining.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Using the sewing block

I've started making the hook and eye tape for my new dress and am using the sewing block. It really is very helpful. Pinning the tape to the block allows me to use both my hands to sew on the hooks and to keep the tape tight .

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Today was a Grange at Henkel Square. We had three new participants! Very nice. We spent the day discussing first person techniques, the Henkel Square event, reenactments in general, history, etc. Had a nice time. Forgot my camera. No one dressed out as it was just too hot; I think it was over 90 at one point today. But there was a breeze, at some times a wind, and sitting in the dog trot with the breeze was actually very tolerable.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pattern ready

I finally got the pattern fitted the way I wanted it and it works. So the lining is cut out, the fabric patterns are adjusted, now to cut the fabric...later. Have a Grange this weekend so need to replace collars and get ready for that. Woohoo, things are moving forward.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

new dress progress

As mentioned previously, I am working on a couple of not so dressy dresses, nice, but not as high style as I usually do. Last night I completed tracing the pattern and the FBAs (needed on every pattern I do now). The next step will be cutting out the mock up using the lining fabric because if it works I'll just use that :). I'm also getting ready for the Grange this weekend. We intend to have a first person round table to discuss ideas to research, come up with impressions and how to stay in first person.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Henkel Square planning

It's just over a year away but Henkel Square 2011 planning has started. The scenario this year is the sending off of the troops/militia from Henkel Square with a flag presentation and banquet. Guidelines are posted for both civilian and military participants. More information at

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sewing block finished

Finished the sewing block. Fun project, good use for scraps I had.

Bran. Picked up more than I needed, but had no idea how much to get. Got it at Central Market bulk. Looks slightly illegal doesn't it :).

Filling the bag. The period instructions say to do this on a tray and wear an apron. The bran clings to everything.

The full bag. Chip clip really comes in handy when taking pictures before sewing it shut :).

The bag attached to the brick.

Covering the brick. I used a silk brocade/twill. Upholstery skills would be very handy here.

And done. The period instructions say to not put bows and such as they will catch the thread, so I left it plain.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sewing Block progress

I'm on a roll. I finished the bag that is sewn to the brick as the pin cushion. But I don't have any filler just yet. The period directions call for bran but I'm not sure I want to use that, so I'm going to do a bit of research first.

So I moved on to the bottom. The period directions calls for green baize. I didn't have any real baize but had a good stash of green felt.

Now I am at a stopping place as I need to attach the bag before I can continue.

Sewing brick step 1

I've completed step one of the sewing brick, covering the brick. I had intended to use coutil but didn't have enough scrap, so I used a heavy cotton twill right side toward the brick, only because I wanted the smoother side out.
The brick


Next step is the bag or cushion that sits on top of the brick. I was going to use a silk/linen blend, but again relying on scraps, not enough, so using a lightweight wool. This bag is filled with bran and then attached to the top of the brick. It is used basically as a pin cushion. In the Past Pattern instructions that are using the brick to lay out and hold the tape for construction the hook and eye tape.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sewing Brick

I'm making the sewing brick described in PP sheer dress pattern #812. I'm using an extra brick from my front planter, left over coutil, felt, and a wool/silk blend. Pictures to be posted as project progresses.