Saturday, April 22, 2006

Ok, I've been a hermit

Truly I have been a hermit.. I have been flying massive hours and it's already volunteering season at the Farm Museum! I've spent time as a living historian on 3 days this season so far, and it's just the beginning. It's so worth spending the time when the kids ask good questions and really are touched by seeing folks in period dress doing traditional arts.
But, the big reason I've been out of touch is that I've been sewing.I purchased a "Tea Dress" in Gettysburg (Civil War era) for an upcoming dance, and though it is beautiful, I spent a lot of money on it. Then one day I happened to look at the $2 a yard fabric at the local Wal-Mart, and you guessed it, there was my Tea Dress fabric. I got angry at myself and decided that I would get my sewing machine out and work on some outfits for myself rather than paying the high prices for already made ones. Since I posted last, I have made (left to right) Blue floral skirt to go with a blouse I already had, Tea Dress which is a duplicate pattern-wise to the one that I bought, and purple skirt and Zouve jacket which will be worn with a white blouse. However, I want you to know that the Tea Dress that I made took at least 20 hours of work on my part and it wasn't $2 a yard fabric...so the price I paid was really worth the money when you figure in the time of the person that made it. The skirt in the one I made has 6 yards of fabric in it. The least that any of the reenactment skirts has is a little under 4 yards. This is the latest project that I started last night. It's a bodice and skirt, but it'll look like a dress when worn together. I'm no seamstress, believe me, I made some dresses for my daughter when she was younger, and some Halloween Costumes for the kids, but mostly I made "easy to sew" things. These are reproduction patterns and they assume that you know what you are doing, the instructions aren't very complete. And they are honestly the most difficult patterns I've ever sewn. But I'm learning as I go and since the outfits aren't for everyday wear, I think they'll be ok. The outfit I'm working on now has piping around the neck, sleeve, and cuff, the first time I've ever done that. And all the skirts have kick plates made of thicker material, and tape added to the bottom, and there are many hooks and eyes to sew into everything by hand. Time consuming, but I enjoy wearing the finished product. I always say I like to sew when the garment is finished, but not before! So please forgive my hermitness...I've got an awful lot of fabric in my stash to get to. :)

2 comments:

Liz said...

Yay! I'm happy to hear you are still among the living! I've missed you!

Those dresses are beautiful!

Shirley E. said...

I don't know how you do it! All this and you find time to knit? Your period dresses are amazing--sounds like fun. Keep up the fabulous work with
your store!