Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sewing the Sleeveless Spencer...and a Short Hiatus

Ye spencer bodice. All seams and hems are stitched
in constrasting yellow silk (Au Ver de Soie 100/3)
Much of the sleeveless spencer has been sewn together during the past two afternoons. It had been so long since the last time I did any 18th century or Regency sewing, that I had to relearn the construction process. Silly, silly.

Anyhow, here's another view, below. Being at my mother's house, quarantined from my son-with-a-cold so that I'd not get sick and affect tomorrow's abdominal surgery, I've only had the smartphone camera, and her borrowed computer. Therefore, no detailed progress pictures, I'm afraid.  All I can tell you is that all seams are lapped and all hems are point a rabbatre sous le main.

What's left? A final bodice seam, and two hems, then attaching the straps, adding the front closure, and the neckline ruche.

It will be several weeks before I get to that. Segue to a hiatus I'm taking from the blog: there'll be no posts until recovery is well underway or over with. No need to work with a needle while the hands are shaky or the head woozy :} Last time I tried that after a surgery I produced one of the worst efforts in redwork embroidery ever. Huge wonky lopsided stitches. It's a nice memento but I don't need any mementos on this spencer, thank you.

Very best to all, and see you in a few weeks! Meantime, I'll try to keep up with everyone's blogs as I can.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Garsault Online...Le Tailleur, et Plus, La Lingere

Oh for heaven's sake: Garsault is online! Yes, Art du Tailleur, Contenant Le Tailleur D'Habits d'Hommes; Les Culottes de Peau; Le Tailleur du Corps de Femmes & Enfants: La Couturiere; & la Marchande de Modes. From 1769. That means men's clothes, naturally, but also stays and gowns and caps.

Wait, there's more!

L'Art de la Lingere. From 1771. Caps! Shifts! And etc.

Here's plate 5 from Art du Tailleur, with all useful stitches, drawn from profile, top, and underneath.

With all of the text, and the the plates, and their captions!  Here are the captions to the part of plate 5 having to do with stitches. Ah... With a little effort, you can understand them all.

The rest of the text and the patterns await you.

Go ye now to Bunka Gakuen Library and find it under the 18th century listing of their holdings. Bless that library!*

Maybe everyone else has long known the volume was there; somehow I managed to miss it...and now that I look, so many other very good books! I hadn't visited in awhile.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Tea on a Winter's Day

Isn't tea just what's needed when the rain, in this case, is clacking on the outside of the windows, or when the snow is blowing in drifts?

The kitty is a teapot. She's a vintage Chinese kitty set in a pose of comfort and welcome, and is a sign of warmth and happiness.

Her head is the lid. It's a little odd taking it off: even though she's an inanimate object I feel odd doing that. Her paw's the spout, and it doesn't work too well. No matter. She and the tea make me happy anyhow.


Next time I report on a new activity, learned so I'll have something calming and repetitive to do in the hospital: knotting.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

The Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge...A Partial Take-Up

Good gravy...it's finally back!
As many of you all in Costuming Land know well, The Dreamstress has dreamed up a set of 26 fortnightly challenges, each with a theme. Everyone who has read this blog for any length of time knows that I don't do particularly well with deadlines, the latest example being going to a Steampunk party in an unfinished ensemble with hastily thrown-together hair and accessories. I had started that project months earlier.

So I "trepidate" a bit stepping into any challenge, and do so here with a couple of caveats. I'll watch joyfully as the rest of you venture into 26 different projects, will encourage and applaud. I'll take up a very few challenges, and not worry about their end dates overmuch. Daily life here is more than busy enough without extra stress, and besides, I have major surgery coming up near the end of this month. No need to complicate things.

Here are the two winter- and springtime challenges that seemed a good fit:

#4: Embellish – due Feb 25
For this challenge, I'll be finally finishing the sleeveless spencer, adorning it with contrasting stitching at the seams, and a scalloped-pinked ruche at the collar. The exciting part, for me, anyhow, will be testing out using gum arabic as a fray check on the ruche. Gum arabic was used in the day and it's still available. How does it smell? How will it act on silk? We'll find out.

#7: Accessorize – due April 9
Several things are spinning around in my head. Do I chain-stitch embroider this little pocketbook from Colonial Williamsburg, which will help refine the small bit of skill I have in using silk chenille, or do I spring for another reticule, one decorated with small garnet-colored beads?

Really, this one is sweet...look at the garden implements and the little sprigs. It's calling to me: "Come embroider me, come and dream of springtime..."