vendredi 24 mai 2013

Sleeves, sweet vintage finds and a double birthday

Hi there! I've been working some more on my Young Victoria gown and the bodice is getting there. I will still need to make the skirt, bustle and pantaloons (and eventually a cape)  but I'm getting there. I finished setting in the sleeves yesterday and am quite pleased with the result.
Here is what it looks like now:

At first I wanted to make straight sleeves with the lace ruffles, but My pattern didn't come out that good, so I decided to gather them. I'm quite pleased with the result. 


Close-up on the sleeve

That's the bertha. It isn't pinned on or anything, I just laid it over the bodice to get an idea of the look. The only ting I like less with it is that it covers a part of the cute gathered sleeves. There will also be some blue tabs in the middle and on the sides to fix it in place and finish the look. 

Here is the lace I used for the sleeves. It is really quite beautiful and was pretty expensive (10$/m!!), but worth it. I bought a lenght of double sided lace, and cut it to have the two layers, one longer, and one shorter in widht. Then I sewed them on top of one another and gathered it all in the sleeves. 

Also, last week I went to a wonderful antiques store near Quebec City and bought these: The gloves are made from a wonderful soft leather, and the two baby bonnets are just darling. I think the one on the left is from the 50's or 60's and was originally part of a christening ensemble. The one on the right is most likely from the 40's. I might make some modern reproductions and sell them in my etsy shop. 

And finally, today is may 24th of may. Not only it marks Queen Victoria's 194th's birthday, it also marks the first birthday of the first baby I helped being born as a doula. I'm told this sweet girl is thriving, happy and growing well. Happy Birthday!

Queen (or actually Princess) Victoria as a baby

Have a nice day!

dimanche 12 mai 2013

1840's bodice comig together nicely, and a succesful attempt at dollmaking

Hi! Sorry again I've been so boring lately. Good news is I finally managed to pick up my Young Victoria costume and work some more on it. The piping is done, the top edge has been turned down, and the hooks back closure is on. I had some issues with the back closure, though. I purchased a hook and eye pre-made band (you just have to sew it on, instead of sewing all the hooks and eyes separately) the only problem is that it's white, and my costume is royal blue. I thought the overlapping fabric would hide it, but the white still showed. In the end, I sewed some press studs all along the overlapping part, kinda like in a winter coat. Not period accurate at all, and we still see a little bit of white when I move, but it will do.  Next thing will be the sleeves and the bertha. I haven't decided on the sleeve style yet. Any suggestions or ideas?

Here are a few pictures:

Front- The color is more of a deep royal blue in reality. 


Back closure. As you can see, it's a very weird system, but it will do. I'm way too lazy to rip out everything and start over.

Apart from that I'm still working on all my doula and birth stuff, and working an some prenatal classes and workshops for kids in schools. In order to explain birth to the kids without having to show some videos to the younger ones, I decided to make a cloth birthing and breastfeediing doll to explain the process (since I don't have the funds to buy some of the really expensive ones on the market). It was a lot of work, but I'm pretty happy with how it came out!

Pretty cool huh? She's all handmade, with natural fibers (cotton interlock for the skin, wool for the stuffing and wool yarn for the hair) and her face and the baby's face and hair are hand embroidered. She's also got a wire skeleton, so I can post her in any position I want.  And she's pretty tall too, about 21 inches high. She can nurse her baby with strategically placed press studs, and the little cord also detaches at the umbilicus with a press stud. I know some of you may find this weird, but please keep in mind that this doll is intended for educationnal purpose, so no nasty comments, please. I still haven't decided on a name for her, she reminds me too much of Snow White (which was unintentionnal). A friend of mine suggestes Blanche because Snow White in french is ''Blanche-Neige'', we'll see if it sticks. 

Apart from that I'm working hard on my vegetable garden. It's still too soon to plant everything outside (I live in Canada, remember), but my seedlings are doing really well, and maybe I'll be able to transplant/plant the kale, carrots, green beans and lettuce this week. I'll have to wait another few weeks for the cucumbers, peppers, beets, tomatoes, melons and all the various squashes. I'm also going to make a mandala vegetable garden, and it's gradually taking shape! I just need to finish putting the rocks around all the sections, and add some soil. The circle in the middle will be full of sunflowers. I'll be posting some pictures soon, it's all rainy out today so I can't take the camera out. 

My beloved seedings. They're all pretty eager to get out, don't you think?

Have a nice day!