Tag Archives: 1660

The 4 Month Round Up

17 Dec

Hello again blog.

As usual, all my promises of exciting progress and regular updates have fallen flat on their face. However, I haven’t been totally unproductive – since the last update, I’ve come on leaps and bounds with the Versailles dress, finished Simplicity 1715 (I LOVE IT), made a pair of 1770s stays and made a dress in homage to Ginger Rogers using Sense and Sensibility’s Swing Dress pattern.

I’ve been doing things!!

I plan on doing a proper post on each of these projects over the next few weeks, but until then, here’s a little break-down of each one.

The Versailles Dress

I am in love with everything about this dress. It’s 17th century, gorgeous and orange. What more could I possibly ask for?

I’m SO close to being finished – all I need to do is hem the skirt. To keep you going until my real post, here is a photo of here we’re at so far:


Simplicity 1715

So at first, I wasn’t sold on this dress. I don’t really know how I feel about the weight of material they use in the photo…it looks kind of foam-y.

But then I came across this tiny elephant print fabric in John Lewis (As seen here). And a plan began to form. 

When I actually looked at the dress pattern, I realised that the combination of dropped waist and slightly full skirt could be the solution to my lack of waist. And my guess worked out a dream!

1770s Stays

I was bored about a month ago, and flicking through my Janet Arnold books, cooing at all the lovely 18th century polonaise dresses. In my head, I thought ‘I could make a muslin and see what happens’…images of dress success were flying high.

And then I really thought about it. And decided to finally follow up on the Marquise.de ‘How To’: http://www.marquise.de/en/1700/howto/frauen/18corset.shtml

I LOVE my stays 🙂 They’re comfortable, with an Ikea pillowcase outer, a lining made of my own fabric (available from Spoonflower) and bound with chamois leather (a joy to work with).



The Carefree Swing Dress

I’m an unashamed romantic, and I adore Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. My favourite film is ‘Carefree’ – it’s sweet and sentimental, but with a dark sense of humour.

It was on the BBC quite recently, and I was suddenly struck by the quiet awesomeness of a blouse that Ginger wears in one particular scene.


How cute is that? (Image courtesy of: http://celebration-anniversary-gym.blogspot.co.uk/2009_12_01_archive.html)

I’m also a huge fan of Jennie Chancey’s Sense and Sensibility pattern line, and have been looking for an excuse to buy the Swing Dress for a long time now. Despite ‘Carefree’ being made in the late 1930s and the pattern based in the 40s, the sentiment is the same, and the heat motif carries over well. Here’s a sneaky peak to keep you going until the real photos appear:


So there you have it. That’s my sewing round up from the last 4 months. Not as much as I’d have liked to get done, and I’ve still got a couple of things on the ‘unfinished’ pile, but I’m getting there.

Hopefully I’ll manage to persuade myself to produce another post before Christmas. It would be an achievement indeed!

Until the next time,

The One with The Amazing Woman Talents


AWT How To: Making Ringlets

25 Sep

Hello lovely people,

After a 2 month hiatus of jobs, holidays and rest, I’ve decided it’s time to jump back on the blog with a vengeance, and get this thing up and running again. My promises of posting once a week fell to the wayside in preference of sleeping, seeing friends and moving from university back home as the job search begun again. I feel like I’m back at square one again in a lot of respects, but this is also an exciting time – I’m a free agent; my time is my own and opportunities (the few there are), can be taken 🙂

Anyway, to get back on topic, today’s post has been something I’ve been looking for myself for a long time and been unable to find: how to make INDIVIDUAL ringlets from a curly wig. I’m attending Prior Attire’s ‘Spectacular Spectacular’ Masquerade Ball in April next year, and that’s going to be the first outing of the Baroque dress. I need, therefore, spaniel-levels of mad curls to accompany the costume.

This is the wig I bought for the costume, unsure of what to do with it (available here):

ImageDo I just wear it? Do I hack it to bits? Do I abandon the plan altogether?

I decided to hack it to bits.

I realised after lots of messing about with pins and pieces of wire that the best thing to do was to make individual ringlets, which can then be pinned into my own hair, which is thin, fine and won’t hold a curl.

But how??

After much humming and hawing, I came to the conclusion that if I snipped off a little ringlet from the wig, and played about with it, I’d find out what to do. After much trial and error, here’s my ringlet-making method.

You will need:

  • A very curly wig, preferably in layers, with variation in curl length
  • Thread that matches your wig colour – needs to be enough for the top and bottom spool of the sewing machine
  • A sewing machine (you really can’t do this one by hand)
  • Some tissue paper (the kind you wrap presents with)
  • Scissors
  • Hair ties
  • A display head (useful, but not essential)
  • Some sewing pins
  • A lot of patience

Step 1

Take a hair tie, and section off a ringlet.Tie it nice and tight! You can put the hair tie anywhere along the length of the piece of the hair – make it as long or as short as you like. I found it was best to keep the long lengths long and the short ones short, as that’s how the wig was made. But it doesn’t really matter 🙂 Cut the ringlet off the wig just above the hair tie – you want to be left with a little tufty piece at the top.

Step 2

Cut a rectangular piece of tissue that’s long and broad enough to contain your ringlet when the paper’s folded over. I apologise in advance for the shocking quality of these pictures, but it was quite late at night and I wanted to make sure I took the photos! Although there’s masking tape holding the paper to the table in the picture, I learned the hard way that you want to keep the environment as tape-free as possible, to avoid getting the bits of cut wig all over the place. It was a nightmare.


Step 3

Holding the ringlet just below the hair tie with one hand, remove the hair tie with the other hand. Keeping the hair together (it helps to have dry hands and no breeze), place your ringlet on the tissue paper and fold the paper in half, sandwiching the ringlet in the middle. You can then choose to fold the edges of the tissue paper in too, making a nice parcel round the hair. Alternatively, start at one end of the tissue paper and ‘roll’ the hair up in the paper. Both methods ultimately have the same effect.

Image Image

Step 4

Setting your sewing machine to the smallest straight stitching setting (some lovely alliteration there), stitch forwards and backwards across the entire tissue paper-hair sandwich. And then do it some more, at diagonals. I went at it like a madwoman until I was convinced that nothing would move. Remember to go ‘past’ the edge of the tissue paper a little at either side, to make sure the hair is totally contained in the stitches.

Image Image

The paper might rip a bit, but don’t be discouraged! That’s why you folded lots of other paper in!  This step works most effectively if you try to keep the wig hair as flat as possible in the tissue sandwich, so that all the strands line up and get caught in the thread, meaning that they are secure.

Step 5

This is the good bit. Carefully unpeel all the tissue paper from the stitches. You can be fairly heavy handed about the outer layers in particular, but be careful with any delicate layers of stitching – you don’t want to undo all the work you’ve just done! To get the tissue paper out from in between the lines of stitching a combination of tweezers and sewing pins work well to loosen out particularly stubborn pieces.


Step 6

Using sewing pins, stick the new ringlet into your display head so that it can hang in its new shape. Stand back and admire your handiwork 🙂

At the moment, my plan is to part my hair and make a twist of hair on either side of my head that goes into a bun at the back. The ringlets will then be kirbie pinned into the twist, which should give them a fairly solid base to sit on. I currently need to come up with a way of masking the pins though – all suggestions are appreciated!

Until the next time, which will hopefully be sooner than the last time,

The One with the Amazing Woman Talents