samedi 21 décembre 2013

A Very Merry Christmas to You, Updates and Vintage finds

Hi! Hope everyone is doing fine and getting ready for the holiday season! I haven't been very active on the blogosphere lately. I'm working at the birth center, sometimes have doula clients of my own, am starting my own placenta encapsulation business and have other various activities and engagements. I have managed to do a little bit of knitting and sewing, since my last post, but nothing that exciting. I made a pair of socks (actually, one sock, the second is in progress), some made-to-order baby hats and presents. I still haven't worked past the linen chemise for my renaissance dress. By the way, that linen renaissance chemise is so comfortable I made a few more and wear them for sleepwear!




My renaissance chemise, made with lightweight linen. I decided to go for 3/4 sleeves. 

This is our christmas tree this year. It's actually a Christmas cactus. We didn't have the heart to cut a tree this year, so we just decorated our cactus. Looks nice, doesn't it?





I went to the antiques store recently and found a couple of fun things. 
This is an old undergarment, looks a little bit like a corset cover to me! it's just a tiny bit too big for me, I'll resize it and use it as a corset cover for a future Edwardian or late Victorian dress. 

These are antique hand crocheted lace gloves. Aren't they gorgeous? I'll use them with the Mary Poppins costume, and they will most definately be of use for many other outfits to come. 

I couldn't resist these adorable vintage baby clothes. Maybe I'll try to reproduce them someday. 

For next year, I have a couple of projects I would like to get done. they are:
- Touching up the Mary Poppins costume to make it with a high collar (closer to the original version)
- Making the renaissance dress
- Maybe one more costume? I'd love to make either an Edwardian dress or a 18th century one...

And very merry Christmas (or whatever you're celebrating)to you! 


mercredi 13 novembre 2013

My costumes and I are being immortalised in art!

Hi! It's been a while, sorry about that. Lately I've been sewing little things, but not that much like cloth menstrual pads and the likes. I have sewn the linen chemise to go under my renaissance gown, I'll take pictures soon. Right now it's in the laundry. It's so comfortable I've adopted it as a nightgown (and ordered more linen to make a few more)...

Apart from that my sister, who is a painter is working on a series of portraits of me in my costumes, in different settings inspired by either real ladies or female litterature characters of the past, but with a twist. So far, she's made two. The first is me as a romantic young Queen Victoria . The second is me as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, with my cat instead of Toto. Here they are:

''I think of thee!--My thoughts do twine and bud''- Elizabeth Barrett Browning
 76 x102 cm

Where you'll find me, 71 x 188 cm


The Dorothy one is quite big, almost life-size. I love both of them! She'll also paint me in my 1912 evening gown, as Molly Brown, in my Regency dress as Marianne Dashwood, and in my Wicked dress, as the Wicked Witch of the West (and maybe others, we'll see)

If you'd like to see her other paintings (they're not all of me) you can visit her website here: www.helenavd.com

Have a nice day!

mardi 17 septembre 2013

What's next?

Hello! So, here's a little update on what has been happening here lately, and what is my next big project (hint: it will be AWESOME). First of all, I haven't been able to do a whole lot since I finished my Victoria ballgown, as I have been working like crazy at my new job. I love what I'm doing, but it does take up most of my time, and when I'm home I try to sleep as much as possible to keep my energy up (for those who don't know, I work as a midwife assistant in a birthing center, which explains my crazy hours and the need to sleep during the day). Anyway, I managed to knit a little and made a little baby dress to try my hand at smocking.

As or my kitten, Flora, I had to give her up because she was too agressive... my family couldn't stand her anymore and as she was getting bigger she bit harder... she is now living happily in the stables where she was born. I had to get a new cat though, cause giving her up was hard on me. This time I chose carefully, and also chose an adult (or almost) cat. He is the cutest most adorable and cuddly cat ever and his name is Charming. Here he is:


 This is the little smocked baby dress I whipped up. The idea was an old-fashionned fairytale-ish baby dress. The idea was also to try out hand smocking. You never know when having that skill could be useful! Anyway, I had this (probably vintage) piece of embroidered fabric, from the stash of my uncle's mother who passed away a few years ago (and left lots and lots of goodies behind). I aldo decided to add a little purple ribbon rosette for a touch of color. I aldo didn't want it to look too much like a christening gown.

close-up on the honeycomb smocking

back. It snaps in the back with hidden press studs.

And the little knitted overalls I knitted lately. I wish they were in my size, they look super comfy, and the yarn is very soft. 


And now for the big reveal (drumroll) My next costume will be a venetian renaisance gown! My sister is studying in Italy (in Florence), and I will be visiting her in the spring, so that put me in the mood! Plus we will probablu be hopping into Venice for a day or two while I'm there. And my sister is a painter and she is planning to paint me in my venetian gown in a gondola in venice, as if I was a courtesan coming back or going to a ball or someting. (seriously can't wait for my ballad in a gondola in my gown) 

And now some inspiration. I want to make it red, ideally with a patterned fabric, kinda like these:



I blurred out her face cause I didn't ask her if I could share her picture. Picture taken from her ETSY shop at: http://www.etsy.com/listing/50518949/venetian-renaissance-gown-and-chemise-in

I've already ordered the linen for the chemise, and am still looking for the perfect red fabric for my dress!!

I'm also planning on re-making, or at least altering my Mary Poppins dress. I will be aking a different bodice, one that looks more like the high-collared version in the movie. I've also succesfully fixed up the had (it got damaged in the rain, for those who didn't know), and am still looking for some nice shoes to go with it. 

Have a nice day!




jeudi 29 août 2013

At the New-France 1750 market

Hi! So I finally got to attend an event! Last weekend was the New-France market in the Old-Montreal. It's only two days a week, and I keep missing it year after year. But this time I planned in advance and even wore a costume! The concept is that it is supposed to recreate what a public market in 1750 in montreal would have been like. There are a lot of various stands, local fine foods, activities, musicians, animation and info about the way of life back then. It is all orchestrated by the Pointe-À-Callière archaeology museum.

Anyway, here are a few snapshots:













I wore my 18th century pirate costume, with my American Duchess silk stockings and black Pompadours (my feet were killing me at the end of the day, after walking around all afternoon. next time I'll add some gel padding in the shoes and bring some emergency backups). I also bought a straw tricorn hat at the market to complete the outfit. The little girl in the picture is my stepsister. There was a dress-up stand for kids so she dressed up to have her picure taken with me. It was a lot of fun, and I hope I will be able to attend next year!

Have a nice day!


vendredi 16 août 2013

Busy Busy...

Hi! Sorry I've been neglecting my blog again. I've been very busy this past month. I work at a birth center now as a midwife assistant, and since it's summer we are running on a smaller staff than usual, which means more hours, and since it's in the birth field, the hours are crazy (nights, etc) so whenever I'm at home, I'm sleeping or just trying to enjoy the summer as much as I can.

So I haven't been sewing a lot, nor knitting that much lately, but as things are slowly calming down a little, and I am getting more used to the lifestyle of a midwife assistant, I am getting to the point where I am starting to think about new projects again.

Next on my to-do list is a 1940's sailor girl playsuit. I have been eyeing the Wearing History pattern for a while, now, and recently decided to buy it. I am presently at the cutting stage, and I hope it will be a fast and fun project to make. I also have to fix my Mary Poppins hat and have a decent photoshoot in the costume. I have also found a really nice 1920's knitted cloche pattern which I will be trying out soon, and I saw a picture of a 1840's child dress I would like to reproduce. And after that we'll see. I might tackle the 18th century and make a dress to go with my American Duchess ''Pompadour'' shoes, or make a 1912 walking dress or day ensemble. We'll just see how it goes.

So more coming up soon on my blog!

Have a great end of the summer!

lundi 15 juillet 2013

Officially Introducing my ''Young Victoria'' 1840 Ball Gown!!!

I drew that dress on a piece of paper during the summer of 2011. In insisted to make the corset all by hand (which took around 80 hours) and took a long long time to finally make this costume because of various events in my life and other projects that came along on the way. Anyway, here it is at last, and I am very proud of myself!! It is made of blue satin, with purple silk piping and lining, lace on the sleeves, stays, a purple silk petticoat, a corded petticoat, a bustle (yep, thay had bustles in the 1840's), and hooks and bars for the back closure. Enjoy the pictures (you can click on them to enlarge them)!





oups... I haven't got any shoes to go with it yet, but I do like the barefoot look! You can also catch a glimpse of the silk petticoat and the corded petticoat underneath.











And for those whe were wondering, this is the corset I am wearing underneath you can see more pictures here:


 Have a nice day!

mardi 9 juillet 2013

Update on the 1840's Dress, Some Recent Knitting and Various Other Things

Hi! So I've been working some more on the ''Young Victoria'' dress. I should have finished it a while ago, but I decided to sew the dress to the bodice and to change the back closure, which took some time to do. Anyway, It's all done now (YAAAAAYYY!!) All I have to do is to take some decent pictures with me in it. I want to make a hooded cape eventually, made of the same purple silk as the piping, and some drawers to go underneath it all. Here are some pictures! I will try to take some good ones of me wearing the dress this week. 

The finished dress! In the end I decided to sew the skirt to the bodice instead of making two separate pieces. 

Back opening. I also re did the back closure, opting for hooks and bars instead of the ugly white hook strips. It looks much better now!



Here is the corded petticoat with the bustle to go underneath the dress. I also have a petticoat (the silk skirt I made for the 18th century pirate costume) I had intended it this way in the first place. All that is missing is some drawers, stockings and shoes. 

I also just finished this adorable littke knitted set for a little child. The pattern was supposed to be a 6-9 months, but because I didn't knit a gauge and didn't use exactly the right needles (I didn't really care what size it would turn out anyway, I had plenty of yarn and wansn't knitting it for anyone in particular) it turned out more like a 18-24 months size... I still have to add a little ribbon to the bonnet, in the same color as the buttons. 



Close-up on the lace pattern

back

My kitten is doing well too, she's growing up really fast. She is a very naughty kitten but makes up for it with cuteness.



My aunt had some old sewing supplies in her barn and she asked if I was interested to have a look at it. I had gone through a part of it before, and ended up with lots of vintage patterns, fabrics and trimmings.  This time I found lots of lace, ribbons, trimmings, thread bobbins, knitting yarn, fabrics, kid leather, and even a vintage sailor hat! 



My first harvest of the year! I had my first zucchinis this week, they were amazing! 

Have a nice day! My next post will be full of AMAZING pictures, I promise! I also still have to take some good pictures of my Mary Poppins dress, so stay tuned!