Tag Archives: summer 2012

The Great Jane Austen Wardrobe Project: It Begins.

6 May

Today has been most productive 🙂

Ever since handing in my dissertation, I’ve had itchy fingers, and been dying to start sewing.

So this afternoon, I whacked out Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion Book 1: 1660-1860, a whole load of squared paper, measuring tape, pencil and some tango music, and got scaling.

I chose the 1806-1809 morning negligee as my first project, rather than the bib-front gown I was planning on, mainly because the idea of all those strings and pins and whatnot confused me too much. I also discovered by happy coincidence that the original wearer of the dress (Arnold’s patterns are all drawn from extant garments, so the measurements in the book are those of the wearer), was roughly the same height and size as I am.Image

Epic, epic win 🙂

This saved me no end of bother, because I didn’t need to do any alteration to the pattern to make it fit, which must be pretty unusual! I then made a muslin (mock-up) of the bodice section to make sure that my freehand pattern scaling was OK. I had a bit of a panic attack when the bodice appeared to sit far too high…then remembered that I had to wear my stays every time I fit a dress. Panic averted, I can confidently start hacking into my ‘real’ fabric tomorrow. Alot of this new-found confidence came courtesy of a fantastic blog, ‘Tea in a Teacup’, I found today when Googling the pattern: http://teainateacup.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/my-regency-journey-making-an-embroidered-morning-negligee/

This blog is a great resource for the new Regency costumer, with its detailed guides, well-written explanations, and wonderful photos. I need to learn how to take better photos…Image

Today has been a good day.

Until the next time,

The One With the Amazing Woman Talents.

Dissertations, Graduations and Confections

4 May

I’m officially done.

The dissertation’s gone, the last pieces of coursework are submitted, and I’ve experienced the most stressful fortnight of my life. And in 47 days, I’ll be graduating, having reached the end of the education conveyor belt.

While this is an utterly terrifying prospect, this fear brings with it an amazing realisation that I’ve got a whole summer of sewing ahead of me. A WHOLE SUMMER. I’ve got so many things I want to do, try, and probably fail at.

As the list stands:

  • One of the Regency era dresses from Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion Book 1. I’ve got 6 metres of white cotton crying out for some empire-line loveliness. I think I want the bib-front, 3/4 sleeve one.
  • A spencer – this is all actually part of what I’ve termed ‘The Great Jane Austen Wardrobe Project’ – as yet still in the early planning stages with regard to colours, materials and style. 
  • A late 17th century court dress. I’ve wanted one of these for YEARS. Ever since my now flatmate bought me a copy of Le Roi Soleil  in first year, I’ve been pining for an off the shoulder, huge-sleeved thing of gorgeousness. 
  • A shift to go under said ridiculous dress

I also need to acquire a dressmaker’s dummy, if for no other reason than to avoid maiming myself while trying to pin sleeves onto bodices, and to actually produce a straight hem. I’ve been putting this purchase off for a long time, partly because I’ve been living away from home in student halls and houses, and partly because these things cost a flipping bomb. But the time has come, and I can put some of the money I’ll get from selling textbooks towards buying a dummy.

I also require a haircut. I’ve got the finest, most ridiculously thin hair that has no volume in it whatsoever, and it’s got to the stage where it’s far too long (underarm level). When I was little, it was past my bottom, but since coming to university, it’s gone to pot. I think there’s going to have to be a drastic amount of work done to it by someone who knows how to make a good job out of a bad situation.

This summer, one of my friends is getting married, and myself and my flutey partner-in-crime are going to be providing music for the ceremony. It’s going to be lovely, and I really can’t wait. I plan on whacking out a Twenties-influenced ensemble for the evening, which I’ll post pictures of here.

Alongside all these other things, and a summer job, I’m going to make a serious effort of this blog. I admire bloggers who keep their audience updated on their plans, and who manage weekly (or even more regular) updates. To the committed, I salute you. So if I cook anything tasty, do anything interesting, or pick up a sewing needle, I’ll come and bore you with it. This is my goal. Make it a good habit.

I think that’s all the nonsense for the time being – back to packing and tidying!

Until we meet again,

The One With the Amazing Woman Talents