Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Great Great Great Grandma's Quilt

When my Aunt (will be 99 in June 2013) was born her Great Great Grandma made a quilt for her.  Grandma was very old and had problems with her eyes, probably had cataracts.  She still did such tiny little stiches, very even in size, it amazes me.  My Aunt gave me the quilt and I have a note attached to it documenting its history.

 Grandma was a pioneer.  She had left Pennsylvania and Ohio to travel to Iowa in a covered wagon.

 The quilt is made of cotton print fabrics.  It was made in 1914.
The backing is a blue cotton fabric.  It is all hand sewn.  Can you see her tiny stitches?

I unpacked her quilt so my daughter can use the design so she can make her first quilt.  And it came out beautifully.  Isn't that so cool.


Monday, February 25, 2013

A 100 year old McCall's pattern!

In honor of those beautiful gowns in "Lincoln",  I am bringing forth the McCalls Ladies skirt pattern!  While looking for an antique pin, I came across this pattern I bought at a little flea/antique market in Pennsylvania about 20 years ago.  I have had it just stashed away, afraid to even pull out the pattern pieces.  I have decided to make a copy of the pattern pieces and maybe even to actually try my hand at making the skirt.

Are you ready!

Here it is!
Did you notice the price, 15 cents!  

 Is that embellishment, or what.  See the size!  24 inch waist and 42 inch hips!! It's called corset and padding.

 And here you go, the instructions..... and believe me that is IT on the instructions.

So, I got big and brave and pulled (carefully) the pattern pieces out.

There were a few brown spots  but otherwise the pattern tissue looked fine.

Do you notice anything unusual?  No printing on the pattern pieces.  That will be challenging when making this skirt.....The instructions do say the names of the different pieces, hope it is obvious what is what.

And as I unfolded the pieces one kept going and going and going....

 This is the pattern for the bottom "underskirt".  It goes forever!

And then I started tracing the patterns.  I put the tracing paper on top of the pieces so I wouldn't mark the originals.There are these little rectangles and circles and arrow holes punched in the pattern.  The instructions tell you what they mean.

I thought it was interesting that the pattern paper was actually pieced at one point.  You can see the line but the paper is actually woven together at that point.

 So now I have all my copies.  I'm going to have to think about this project for awhile.

Hope you enjoyed that little adventure!  I did!

How many yards??


How many yards of trim and fabric could possibly be in that dress?!

Since I have been trying to loose weight for so long I shudder to think Sally Field put on 25 pounds to more correctly portray Mary Todd Lincoln.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Watching the Oscars!

It certainly wasn't the best Oscars I've seen.  Rather boring actually.  I really thought "Lincoln" should have won more but, oh, well.  Actually we only saw 3 of those nominated: Life of Pi, Argo and Lincoln.

And the winner is.........  Argo!

It was rather neat the person and place where the winner was announced......Our first lady, Michele Obama and in the White House.  Both Lincoln and Argo were regarding happenings that involved the White House so I'm glad one of those won!

I'm in the middle (literally) of reading "The Rivals" by Doris Goodwin.  And Ive read other books on Lincoln also through the years.  A most important time in our country.  The Rivals tells the background on how Lincoln was elected and those he ran against.  Then how all of those people of differing opinions worked together to bring our country back together again.  It always amazes me how little things affect the outcomes of momentous moments.  And how "what ifs" could have so dramatically changed those outcomes.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Clean up!

Today was a clean-up and put away day.  In the challenges I worked on I had used a lot of my fabric staches.  I do need to go through and see what I have left for future projects.  I found out I do need another petticoat.  The brown skirt is cotton and really clings to other cotton.  I am planning on making a petticoat out of a lightweight satin or something slippery and light. 

I am skipping the Peasant Challenge but will be joining in on the one after that "Stripes" starting officially on March 12th (although we can start sooner).  "Accessorize"  is after that on March 25th.  I will be recovering my 1900ish purse.

I did spend some time in the garden room leveling the ground where the old tree had been.  I know it is going to sink because of all the loose dirt but I am going to put bricks in that area for a small patio.  It is a bit larger area than where I had my little bistro table and chairs.  We will have to get a new umbrella for that area for summer.

I'll try to remember to take pictures tomorrow.

and what is Missy keeping an eye on?

It's our Black Phoebe!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Brown Skirt is Finished!

I just finished the hem on the brown skirt so it is all done! 
The front

The back
 And I just have to show off my new iron!  My old one never made me happy, didn't get hot enough.  This one has plenty of heat and lots of steam.

I just finished the hem on the brown skirt so it is all done!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Closing the Brown Skirt

Today was more hooks and eyes, or rather bars.

As you can see, I hadn't trimmed the threads yet and was getting ready to iron it.  Tomorrow I plan to get the horsehair braid for the hem, hem
it and then it's done.

Feeling bad for all those in the bad weather in the mid part of the USA:

Spring will come.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Progress on the Brown Skirt

Today I only had time to sew all the side seams on the brown skirt and sew the hooks and eyes on the plackets.

It is very pretty to see snow on the Bay Area hills but it is really chilly outside!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

And New Shoes!!!

I never did show you my new shoes!!!  Well, here you go!

Aren't they just so cutezy!!  and comfortable too!

I got them from American Duchess and her little vintage shoe store.

These are called Astoria.

 And she has a brand new line "Gibson".  And she has button up shoes too!

Dolly in just her petticoat showing off her new shoes!

 Next to her is navy wool skirt waiting to be hemmed.

 Ready to hem the horsehair braid into the hem.  I had never worked with the horsehair braid before but it wasn't too bad.  It makes the hem hang nicely.

And slipper pics from American Dutchess' blog just for Cathy!

New Skirt, Old New Skirt

The dining room table has been cluttered by my sewing projects off and on pretty constantly since I started the Historical Sewing Challenges the last week of Dec. 2012. 

I decided that I wouldn't participate in the "Peasant and Pioneer" Challenge since I am a docent in the Patterson House at Ardenwood Regional Park in Fremont, CA.  The house docents  portray the 1895-1910 period.   The park docents at the outside kitchen could do the Peasant/Pioneer garb though.

 So, before cleaning up I cut a skirt out of the new material I bought a few weeks ago.  The fabric is cotton but the pattern makes it look shiny.

 So I have this skirt ready to sew, but.......

Remember the wonderful navy lightweight fabric I made a skirt out of.....well, I didn't tell you but by the time I was ready to do the hem on that skirt I broke out in hives, at least I think they were hives.  I hadn't eaten any thing really weird, but who knows, maybe it was something I ate.  I worked in the garden and thought maybe they were bug bites of some kind or allergy to one of my new succulents I planted....didn't seem right though.  BUT, could it be an allergy to WOOL!! NO!!! I love my new skirt!  So I put the skirt away (hem left to do), kept an eye on what I ate, didn't work in the garden.  And I didn't even go in the hot tub which is my meditation area in the morning, thought maybe clorine was the problem.  In the meantime,  I thought of new things I had been touching recently.......  
The only skin allergy I know I have is to earrings and watches that have nickel in them.  And then it dawned on me... PINS.  I had bought a large box of sewing pins at JoAnn Fabrics for all these sewing challenges.  I have this habit of sticking pins in my mouth while cutting out patterns.  And I was doing a LOT of pining when I was working on the first blouse while doing fitting on the dress form.

So, no pins in the mouth to see if that made a difference.

Then after a week and a half I started working in the garden.  Hives were still going away, didn't see any bugs I didn't know.
Ate the same and hives were still subsiding.
Kept sewing but no pins in mouth.
And last night I brought out the navy skirt to work on the hem!  I attached the horsehair braid for the hem and then got half-way on whip stitching the hem till I went to bed last night.  I waited rather expecting to start itching before going to sleep.  NO ITCHING!  Yay!  I sure don't want to be allergic to wool. 

So I think the culprits are the pins.  I sure broke that habit fast!  Those pins are a pain all around.  They are the ones with the yellow heads.  I've used that kind for years and this box were the first ones where the heads kept coming off, so I was already irritated with them.  Then hives.  They were made in China and I am already half serious that I think they are trying to poison us...actually I really don't think it is planned but there has been a lot of instances of contaminated products shipped to the USA. 
Anyhow it seems I can tolerate using the pins (the ones that haven't lost their heads yet) just NO PINS IN THE MOUTH!  And I'm going to be hopping in the hot tub too!

Anyhow, back to the navy skirt:

I have the 2nd half of the hem yet to do and this is the first time I have used horsehair braid and it really it neat!  Makes the hem on the trumpet skirt hang very nicely!

Meanwhile.... So what is with this weather!!!  70 degrees F yesterday and today it is not only going to rain but the weatherman is talking thunder storms, hail and SNOW down to 2000 ft!  It is freezing out already (OK, I'm talking in California terms. actually it is 50 F outside, but I swear it must be colder!)  So much for working in the garden!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A temporary touch of spring!

The weather has been so warm and beautiful this week!  We went out and painted the mustard blooming and spent time in the garden.

My poor little girl fountain had to lay down for the winter.
When we had the large eucalyptus tree cut last fall things had to be moved out of the way very quickly. 

Then the rains came and so it has taken a long time to get out there and find new homes for everything.  The "Garden Room is going to be really changed so we have to get ready for that.

And all kinds of garden projects!

And the yellow black-eyed suzanne had frost damage this year.

Eros' pedestal had to sit alone while Eros waited in the greenhouse.
Of course the weeds are growing like crazy.
 And the girls wanted out to look for bugs!

We did have lots of fun in the garden today.  I'm going to feel it tonight!  

(And it's going to rain in a couple of days.)

Challenge #4 Embellish! - Finished

"Challenge #4 Embellish - due Feb 25.  Decorations make the historical garment glorious.  Whether you use embroidery, trim, pleating, lace, buttons, bows, applique, quilting, jewels, fringe, or any other form of embellishment, this challenge is all about decorative detail. "

All done! The buttonholes are cut and all loose threads trimmed!  Wow, that was a lot of hand sewing of trims.

And it would look something like this.

I still have a decision to be made.... I can add some of the insert fabric to the bottom of the sleeves and make long sleeves.  Well, I'm going to think on that a while.
This is the lace insert for the sleeves.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Finishing Touches

All the "Embelishment" is finished so I have completed the Challenge!

Today I attached the collar, put the casing for the drawstring in, hemmed the bottom hem, put in the hooks and eyes, completed the buttonholes and attached the buttons.

I still have little details to finish:  cut all loose threads, take out gathering stitches, cut the buttonholes open and wash out all the marking ink.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Embellishment step 4

Last night I had finished most of the trim on the front and back on the blouse so this morning that was done. 


Front (The corset cover shows through the lace....what to do!)

This afternoon I started working on the embellishment on the sleeves.  All the trim is hand sewn so it takes quite a bit of time.
 Then I attached the sleeves!  And finished the bottom edge of the sleeves and trim.

Left to do: 
Waist Casing for drawstring
Bottom hem
Hooks and eyes (again)