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Wednesday, February 18, 2015


This was originally meant to be my January Historical Sew Monthly Challenge; it's late and I put yarn in instead, but I'm still going to go with the same information for it

The Challenge:  Foundations
Fabric:  Lining is cotton duck for strength and the outer is a very fine silk twill which still has excellent body
Pattern:  Red Threaded's Regency Stays pattern, bought off
Year:  1810
Notions:  Thread (polyester), German plastic boning (when I ran out of the spiral boning), spiral steel bones, sprung steel bones, silk bias binding (made by me), cotton cording laces, polyester ribbon and black steel grommets.  There will be a wood busk, but I have to make that yet
How historically accurate is it?  Probably about 70%, some of the materials aren't quite right like the cotton laces, some of the boning for obvious reasons and some machine sewing.    A lot of it was hand sewn though and I'm pretty sure the silk was close to accurate.   The grommets aren't but I wasn't about to put my RSI through that many eyelets by handsewing, unfortunately I only had black.
Hours to complete:  No clue whatsoever, but they're done now so I can now start working on the dress and shift and bodiced petticoat.
First worn:  For the photo's, managed to get them on by myself, was worried they weren't going to fit, but with the laces snugged in they fit well.
Total cost:  Hard to know, many of the supplies I bought some time ago, but probably around $100
See, they fit!  The shoulder straps could be slightly longer, mainly cos I'm slung a little lower than ideal for these styles, indeed too low for modern styles too.  I have to do pattern adjustments for modern clothes too.

Need to work on my lacing being more even, but considering I had no help this is pretty good.

hand sewn gussets

and all the annoying black grommets
 I wasn't only working on the stays today, this is the East Fresian all plied and waiting to come off the bobbin.
And now I'm going to take a break and kill some zombies.   I might get the dress cut out in a few days.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Some very good advice

Today I took a break from tidying out my corner cupboard and perused Facebook and I found a link to a blog I think is really valuable it's about pricing handmade items.   Now at the moment I don't sell what I make, but I am considering selling my hand-spun yarn at some point and when I get good enough my weaving.   I know a bit about pricing, but the main thing I know is that most people who sell their hand-made items undercharge "because it's just a hobby".
When I do start selling stuff I will be charging enough to cover my materials and a reasonable amount for my labour. 

In the meantime though I'm still working on my stays, at the moment there's the top to bind and the eyelets to add which I'm hoping to finish this weekend

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

1st week of school

I thought I'd get heaps of time in the sewing room, and in some ways I have, but not sewing.   Mostly pulling out yarn I've sold, addressing bags and putting it all out for shipping.    Not quite what I had in mind, but as a result I'll be making a big dent in the HP for my macro lens.   I am thinking about spending a wee bit of it on a Fitbit as well though.
I think I'd managed to forget the first week of school back is busy.   Monday was full of phone calls, making appointments.   I've now had my eyes checked and all is well there.   Heard from ACC, no sign of injury in the MRI (I had to ring them to find out), so not covered from here for the pain in my arms.   Will have to go back to the doctor for that, but it'll have to wait as I am going to the chiropractor first and I can't afford both in the same pay.   I've also made a mole check appointment, there is a family history on my mother's side of skin cancer so I decided it was time to check on that.  And, also had the plumber back to check the outside tap he replaced as it was leaking a bit; turned out to be brass filings inside it and now it's fixed.
Tomorrow is also busy, probably more yarn to pack, at least I hope so!   Then just Thursday left of the first week back at school, wonder if I'll get some sewing done then?   I need to finish my stays so I can start on the dress.   Plus I need new jeans and I think I'll have to make them both to save money and to reduce stash.

So far the boys are enjoying being back at school too, they're even getting ready relatively quickly; I hope that lasts.

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