Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New Drawers

After reading several posts in the Sewing Academy about mid-nineteenth century underpinnings, I realized just how "off" mine are/were and determined to work to correct them. I determined to start with new drawers. Using the free pattern and instructions from Elizabeth Stewart Clark I began to draft my own. I took extensive measurements, and using pattern paper drew out the pattern.

They are "split" drawers, meaning they are two legs attached with a waistband. Each leg has three tucks with embroidery between each. I will add a fine tatted edging to the end of each leg as well.

Eventually I will finish another chemise (this makes three - they make great nightgowns), shorten one petticoat, and change the waistbands to add buttons and buttonholes. I am also considering making another corset with correct steel bones. In the meantime, I need to finish Ben's frock coat. Of course these are all done on my 1910 treadle. Sew much fun :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Slatted Sunbonnet

I've finished my 1860's slatted sunbonnet. This isn't what most people think of when they hear the term "sunbonnet". However, the modern idea of a sunbonnet, think Laura Ingalls and Holly Hobby, was actually a Twentieth century garment. Those from the 1860's were much more utilitarian, serving a very definite purpose. These were frequently made of a lighter color cotton as it would be cooler in the sun, the wide brim provides a tremendous amount of shading from the sun, and the long "Bavolet" (the skirt of the bonnet) kept sun off of the neck as well as protected the shoulders and upper back of the dress from being faded by the sun.

This was quite an easy project and took less than a yard of fabric that I had in my stash. Is is two rectangles of fabric, sewn together with chanels stitched into the brim for cardboard slats. A tie in the back provides shaping that would fit around the hairstyles of the day, and utility ties keep it on. The slats are/were removeable for laundering. I had read that they feel a little like you're wearing a mailbox, and that's definitely the case. You have to turn your head to see what is around you, but definitely great for shade.