Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A lovely painting

"English School, Circa 1830, Portrait of a lady in a black dress"
Isn't this painting beautiful? The girl is stunning, and I adore her dress. I'm sorely tempted to recreate it. I'm thinking black wool with black silk taffeta bertha trimming and belt. I've been wanting a black wool 1830s dress for a while, and I've even picked out fabric for it. 
I've even tried out her hairstyle, and it actually works with my long, thick, stubborn hair. I do resemble her a bit, or at least that's what a friend told me.

HSM May: Practicality: Pieced Linen Apron

I graduated at the end of April (yay!), so I've finally had time to sew again. I've been working on some more accurate 1830s stays (with embroidery, because I can't just do something simple). I'll hopefully finish them and post about them soon! I wasn't going to do the HSM challenge this month, but I changed my mind when I remembered that I'd picked up some linen at Goodwill a while back. I didn't have enough time to make a full ensemble, so I decided I could make an apron after reading through The Workwoman's Guide (such a valuable resource!). 
The apron is 40" wide by about 33" long, and the waistband/tie is about a nail (2 1/4") wide. This is very close to the dimensions in The Workwoman's Guide, accounting for the fabric I had. The body is made of 5 pieces, and the waistband is made of 3 pieces, because my linen was in kind of weirdly shaped pieces when I bought it.

This picture doesn't really display the apron properly, but I didn't think it would look right on my silk dress.

You can see the piecing more clearly here.

My small prick stitches in the hem. Its rather hard taking a picture of white-on-white detail, especially with just a crappy iPhone. 

The Challenge: Practicality 
Fabric: About 1.5 yards of off-white linen
Pattern: None, I used the diagrams and instructions in The Workwoman's Guide
Year: I was shooting for 1830s, but it could probably work for multiple periods
Notions: Cotton thread
How historically accurate is it?  I'd say about 90%. The fabric is close, and it was entirely hand sewn with period techniques, though it should probably have been sewn with linen thread. 
Hours to complete: Probably 5-7? I'm rubbish at keeping track of time.
First worn: Just around the house, to show my family.
Total cost: Probably $1-$2. I don't remember how much I paid for the linen, but it wasn't much. The thread was already in my stash, but I probably only used less than $0.50 worth.