Saturday, December 29, 2007

Aprons in the shop

Just a little heads up to let you all know that I have listed a couple aprons up on ebay. (For now, I'll sell up there and keep etsy back in mind...)

Curious to see them?

I saw this darling apron pattern several days ago, but didn't bid on it. There is no way I'd pay THAT much for it! Maybe I'm just stingy, but as much as I love vintage things, I will not pay $50 for a pattern.

Friday, December 28, 2007

A Heart of Modesty

Earlier this evening I came across a blog and found this good article that I thought I'd link to from here:

Kaysie shares:
"We who are God's children were bought with a price! And because we were bought, we belong. Not to ourselves, but to Jesus. We now live for Him, to bring Him glory, and to direct the eyes of others to rest on Him and not us. For when a woman focuses on glorifying God with her body, she considers carefully what she puts on that body, and her modest heart dictates her wardrobe and appearance.

"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you were bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body." 1 Cor. 6:19-20 [emphasis added]

God finds the women with modest hearts precious and beautiful in
His sight. Won't you be one of them?"

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Miscellanious Rambles

I just can't keep out of the sewing room no matter how hard I try! Well, it is more along the lines of: "I'm sick of having stashes of fabric laying around. Something must be done!" =) A good majority of stashed fabric is from our sewing business that I have no clue what to do with and there are several pieces for myself, but then I don't need any more clothes...

In fact, I am resolving by God's grace to get down to 10-15 garments this coming year. As I'm sure you seamstresses could attest to, when you sew your own clothes, it's no where near as expensive as buying them. It is quite easy to get carried away, at least for me, when fabric is on sale or when 50% off coupons are easily accessible. Eventually, I'd like to get down to maybe 5-8 things per season, ie., Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter that way I can make something new each year instead of having at least twice as many clothes that seem to take forever to wear out.

Another thing that I'd like to do in the coming year is to keep track of what I sew, as in how many things I've completed. There is one friend that did quite a bit of sewing before she was married and one year she counted that she did over 100 garments in a year. That's roughly 2 a week! That's more than what I do I think. Anyway, I'd like to keep track, just for fun. Has anyone ever done that? I know several friends keep track of how many books they read in a year, so why not sewing projects? =)

Two projects that will be fun to work on in the near future will be trying another apron pattern, and Anne Shirley's Wedding dress pattern (based from a real 1916 wedding gown). I need to slow down before I get overly addicted to patterns. ::winks::

I have been updating the links on the side, and I was just curious if anybody has anything that I could consider adding? I hope some of you don't mind, but I added a couple blogs that I enjoy visiting, as well as etsy shops that I feel comfortable "promoting."

Oh yeah, and I also listed a white Regency gown on ebay, click here to see it. I warned you all that I had "Regency fever." =)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

stealing from my friend, Courtney's blog:
God gave
His Best for the worst;
His Highest for the lowest;
His Greatest for the least.

May you all have a wonderful Christmas, celebrating as to why Jesus came to earth so that we "may have life, and have it more abundantly!"

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Vintage 70's Wrap Apron Dress: Simplicity 6915

A couple months ago, I found this at the thrift store, and just had to pick it up to add to my collection of apron patterns. =) I loved the square neckline, and the ties that ties in the front (on the left side, a back tie goes in through the skirt side seam towards the front to tie into a cute bow.

This summer when I purchased a bunch of fabric at a flea market/antique store, I picked up a piece that I liked, but wasn't sure what I'd make in it yet. But then when I noticed how it seemed to match view 3 in this pattern, only it was blue, I decided to use the fabric with the 70's apron pattern:

Because I was short a yard than what the pattern called for, I had to make it mid-calf length instead of ankle length, but I am still very happy with it.

It even has crisp white rick-rack on the front pocket
The back and side view. I couldn't capture how perfectly this flared skirt drapes, but at least you get the idea of what it looks like in the back. Though shown by itself in view 3, I will be wearing it with something else on underneath!
Now I'm off to help bake and decorate some Christmas cookies...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A story of: "Recycling the ole' scarf"

Once upon a time a young woman made a scarf. After learning the single and double stitch, she became ambitious to try making one (a scarf) for herself, "After all, there's nothing to it," said she. So she bought a lovely roll of homespun yarn with several soft colors in it that would suit her green coat nicely.

Upon working on it, she noticed that she began doing fewer and fewer stitches in each row ... which obviously made the width smaller and smaller. And so she added one stitch here, one stitch there, until the end was as wide as the beginning. At last she was done with it. The color was lovely, but she had to admit that the scarf looked rather strange with seeing "waves" of small widths and wide widths throughout the scarf.

A year later she became very dissatisfied with it. With more knowledge in crocheting (from a dear lady who is teaching us), she learned that each row must have the same amount of stitches and that one must chain one or two at the end in accordance to the kind of stitch.

And so she went out to find another roll of the same kind of yarn, and made herself another scarf. Using a single stitch, and 20 stitches in a row, she finally finished her scarf:

She even put tassels on the end! (Do they look funny? I was hoping for more "fluff" but ran out of yarn in the end.)
But to her only disappointment, the colors were much brighter than the original one. While she likes brighter colors in some things, she felt like she was wearing a rainbow (although wearing it would be a reminder of God's promises!).

And so she decided to take apart the ole' scarf after firmly deciding that no amount of extra adornment would make it better when what it really needed was a true transformation (a reminder that this could be said of our own lives sometimes ... how many of us "cover up" or "add" when it's our hearts that need to be changed?).

And this young woman is going to start over. This time, she is going to try doing the half-double stitch and see what happens. (Thankfully I saved the rest of the roll of original yarn too, to add to the length and maybe some tassels.)
End of story. =)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

She worketh with her hands...

Other than sewing a couple aprons (doesn't this pattern look like fun?!) lately, the sewing room has been quiet and empty. It won't be that way for long as I have gotten "Regency fever." Need a translation? I mean: I feel like sewing up a bunch Regency day dresses and gowns. =)
But our hands have kept busy with crocheting Christmas surprises. =) We have a few question for those of you ladies who crochet: how do you finish scarves? Do you do a complete edging around the whole thing? Or maybe just tassels at the end?

Do you have any websites you could recommend, or would you mind sharing exactly what you do for your own? We have been slowly learning new stitches, but we don't know how to do any special edgings or tassels yet, and so we girls would greatly appreciate any ideas or thoughts!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

What is red & white with black all over?

Another apron! =)
The front view

The back view

I told a friend that I rarely make two aprons alike, and with this one I decided to use lace.

I'd offer this up on ebay or such to sell, but "a local" saw it and immediately snatched it up before I could barely blink. But if you are seriously interested in an apron like this, let me know and I may be able to find some more fabric just like it. And also, I finally found some limited supply of identical fabric that was made up into this favorite apron. I am ordering some, but there won't be enough to go around. So, speak up if you'd like an apron out of either. ::wink::
Which brings on a question: Do any of you have experience with I have had an account there (peasantcottage) just because in the past I have considered selling homemade items there; aprons being one of the many fun ideas... and I was just curious what it's like over there. I may quit my part-time job outside the home do to recent happenings, and I need to earn income.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A little Christmas cheer

When I was a little girl I can always remember how excited my sisters and I were to hang little felt crafts on the door knobs in our cozy little house. To the three little girls (at the time), they added "the final touch" in Christmas decorating. It was either when we moved to the Pacific oceanside of the country, or from just plain wear 'n tear but that little tradition faded away for many years. This year, that old tradition has come alive again. While they don't bring "warm fuzzies" as when I was a child, making them brought back a lot of fun memories...
Felt, glitter glue, ribbon, and various cut-out shapes of snowmen, trees, stars, and snowflakes make this project fun!

Decorated with "jingle bells"

All finished and waiting for the glue to dry

Saturday, December 08, 2007

All dressed up!

I thought you all might like to see our costumes! It was so much fun to dress up with other people, and to make music this evening for the Christmas Oratorio.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Sneak Preview of 1850's inspired outfit

The skirt has pleats galore. I could have done gathers, but with such a full skirt, and the fabric being striped, pleats just seemed to suit it. I would venture to say that the hem circumference would be around 130" or so.

And the vest, which will be a modern pattern, is going to be made out a silky black shirting type of fabric with subtle black stripes. I had 8 silver vintage buttons that I thought would go well on this. Later on I hope to make a jacket very much like this one, which would make the outfit more historically accurate.

I was going to go all out on this for our music performance, even with proper "underpinnings," but after being scared away by looking at Simplicity's instructions for a corset, I decided to forego that idea.
At the moment I am searching online for a snood to wear, to fit in better with the time period, rather than my black scarf. I wear a scarf all the time anyway, so I wouldn't mind wearing it to the event, but wearing a snood would add an extra "touch." =)

So this ensemble will not be period correct ... more along the lines of a "costume" but I think that it shall be fun to wear. I'll be sure to post pictures when everything is finished.

Monday, December 03, 2007

"The Perfect Winter Skirt"

If you know me, when I see something I really like, I usually try to make one just like it. (I have been, shall I say, convicted in that area though... I mean, really, do I need everything I want?) With a few guidelines from Laura (thankyou SO much!), I made a skirt very similar to her's. Since she is about 4 to 5" taller than I, I had to adjust the lengths of the tiers, but I think it turned out ok. It too has the faux muslin petticoat that was hemmed in eyelet! What I can say: I love it! =)
Now I'm off to sew up another skirt, but this time it is for my historical outfit that I will wear this weekend for our string quartet performance. I also found out last week that I need to make a black vest to wear with it. Sometime I'll have to find the time to make a mock-up, and then the real thing...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Over on the S&S board, there is a hilarious thread going on of ladies confessing their addictions. Most of the the addictives? Fabric and patterns. Maybe you can relate? I will confess that I can. As someone suggested in the thread, companies need to print on their patterns or at the end of the fabric bolt: WARNING: highly addictive! =)

After posting somewhere else of how I really need to cut back on sewing due to music pursuits, I visit Laura's blog to find this perfect winter skirt. =) Don't you just love it?! It's totally "me," and so if I were her size, I'd probably beg her if I could buy it from her. =) Especially considering that the pattern she used is out of print! Now I know what I'll be looking for on ebay and thrift stores. Does anyone have one that they don't want??? =)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Mission Completed

It is always an adventure being in JoAnn Fabrics. Today was no exception. I don't think that I have ever seen it so busy as I did this morning. People up and down isles, excitedly talking of their projects, and "Oh, I need to get buttons!"

Today I walked out with some goodies: a piece of white striped shirting (my mind was thinking in terms of a couple blouses, or a Regency gown to sell), some dark green corduroy with the large "wale" to try out in a winter jumper since we always get the fine stuff. And the biggest purchase of all, ::drumroll:: a quilting frame! I have had my eye on them for quite some time now, and I have had several people recommending the PVC (or is it PCV?) pipe frame. Since they are $100, I always tell myself "no." However, since they were 50% today and I had a 20% off coupon, who could say no? =)

I think I had a very nice shopping experience today, and enough to keep me busy this winter! =)

Oh, I wanted to mention:
I finally got my tatting site back up! It was hosted with our sewing site, and therefore it disappeared when I chose not to renew the domain name. So anyway, I have moved everything over to a blog now, and so do take a look! And btw, I don't have all the designs up yet, and so stay tuned to see more up over there!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

General sewing

I haven't been doing a great deal of sewing lately. Lots of stuff to sew, but little inspiration to do it... =)

The aprons that I mentioned awhile ago are still "in cuts" on my table, and so I hope to have them finished and listed on ebay within the next week or two. It depends if I go out of state for violin lessons... Leah gave me a blue/green plaid that will someday be made into a jumper for myself. I have so many jumper patterns that I'm not exactly sure which one to do it in!

And amongst the historical line of things, I STILL have yet to sew up the green velvet spencer jacket (Regency era), a brown twill to make in an Edwardian skirt, and I just bought some ivory silk for a Regency gown. Oh, and I almost forgot the green stripe shirting for the 1850's ensemble that I'm going to attempt to put together. It may not be as "period correct" as I was hoping, but I think it will do for what I'm wearing it for.

I am just about finished with a girls dress from that pattern that I used to make my youngest sister's dress. I wasn't sure which size to use for her, and ended up doing the larger of the two, and so I'll have a girls size 12 to sell, if anyone is interested in it. It is of different fabric, though with a detachable antique collar. It sort of looks like a "Road to Avonlea" style dress.

Ah, just typing this all out overwhelms me! =) Should I set a goal of finishing it all by Near Years Day? I don't think I'll ask for accountability, just in case I can't get it all done...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

"There is nothing I love better than a country dance!"

Yesterday I received an invitation for an English Country Dance that would be held down in the Big City, but after having been down there twice this week and half way down there once, I am quite tired of the drive down there.

I guess my reasons for declining would be that:

  • It would be another late night

  • I have have not started sewing my green Regency spencer jacket (like Lizzie's on the the A&E version) and that would be a must during this time of the year.

Has anyone ever been to an English Country dance, or Regency ball of some kind? I would dearly love to learn how to dance in that fashion (any kind of dance after the 1912 era does not interest me). Does anybody know of websites that might give tips or some such information?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Autumn & Winter apparel

I so appreciated Laura's post on feminine winter wear! If you have time, you would probably enjoy it as well, not to mention get a few inspiring ideas of her skirt sketches! I'd like to make myself a tiered skirt like her drawing. Can anybody recommend a good pattern for one?

I thought I'd come over to my sewing blog to ask:

What do you ladies enjoy wearing during the winter while attempting to be feminine and warm at the same time?

Here at our house, we girls will often wear corduroy or denim jumpers/skirts just because of their thickness and ability to keep one warm. We will wear lighter apparel, but then we will usually wear something on underneath such as sweatpants to keep our legs warm. We often wear sweaters too. Speaking of which, I have found some really nice ones at Kohl's and Christopher & Banks (my favorite place to shop for clothes after fabric shopping) this year. Since where we live, we can have up to 6 months of cool weather and having a nice sweater is, well, just nice. =)

Edited to add: You also might have fun seeing Janna's blog for some feminine hairstyles! She has one up, and I think will be putting more up sometime.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


After doing some online searches, and I finally found what I want for my 1850's ensemble at JoAnn's this afternoon:

This fabric here

I got it for 50% off, and so while paying even THAT much a yard is more than what I like to spend, it is just about as close to what I want. =)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Patterns, patterns, patterns

Well perhaps I spoke to soon in my last post! The string quintet that I am in will be performing a Christmas Oratorio next month, and the players will dress up in historical clothing! My two favorite things combined: music (violin) and historical dress. =) I think it will make for one very delightful evening.

The husband and wife in our quintet do reenactments of at least a couple time periods (Colonial and Civil War are the ones I know of) and so their clothing will be more of the 1860's. But I think I could get away with dressing up for 1850's since a hoopskirt doesn't really appeal to me. =)

It isn't firmly decided, but I think we all were thinking of skirts (with either hoopskirts, or a flouncy and full crinoline), white blouses, and vests. I have a couple 1850's patterns: this one, this one, and this one to work with for the skirt, and then perhaps making a blouse off of the bodice. But then I'd have to find a vest pattern... Is anyone familiar with any?

Right now, I sort of have this look in mind (love the green stripe fabric!!):

But instead of the bodice/jacket, wear a vest in the same fabric of the skirt, with a skirt-blouse-vest look, like this:

At first they mentioned "Victorian Christmas Carolers" and my first thought was "Yuck!" Despite my love for old-fashioned things and historical apparel, I have NOT formed an attachment for 1870's-1880's clothing. But then they said something to the fact of "A Christmas Carol" (written by Charles Dickens in 1843) or Civil War (1860's) style. How fortunate that my newly found love for the 1850's is right in between! =)

Friday, November 02, 2007

Another Romantic Dress

I told Erin the other day that I think it would be fun some day to have a dress from every historical era. A rather ridulous notion, especially considering that I'd have no occasion for wearing them... =)

This 1830's dress was one that I wanted to keep, but I decided to list it on ebay.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

1854 Girl's Dress

For Molly's 13th birthday, I made her an outfit fashioned after the American Girl doll, "Kirsten." Some friends (you know who you are; thankyou again!!) =) lent us some patterns for a dress along with patterns for a petticoat & pantaloons.

With snippets of time here and there, along with using the day hours when she was away at school, I locked myself away in the sewing room to sew and this is what became of it:

Saturday, October 27, 2007

North & South

Based from another work by Elizabeth Gaskell, this work I believe was dated around 1850.

Thanks to a friend who loaned us North & South, we girls watched this 4 hour film last night since our youngest sister had a bunch of friends over for a sleep over. For a review of the film, you may enjoy this link.

North & South is quite different than Jane Austen films, or even Wives and Daughters that was written by Elizabeth Gaskell. I think maybe because the time period is closer to the Civil War era. It did seem to have a hints of a similar story line to Pride and Prejudice however.

Do I need to even mention that the gowns of there were scrumptious?! I loved them! =) I am now online to search for dress and gown patterns from this era. Don't be surprised if I make a couple.

I also found it interesting that the woman who played as Margaret Hale looks surprisingly like a young woman we know who just got married last month, and also like Elizabeth Botkin. What do you think?

After watching so many films of late that were filmed in England, I am wishing that I could talk English like that. I should learnsometime, since after all, we are predominately English.

There, you all even got a little family history in with this post! =)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Topic of Discussion: Interfacings

After receiving a comment/question about interfacing's, I thought I'd make a blogpost about it.

First of all, what is the difference between interfacing and facing?

We call the "white stuff" you glue on or sew on, to stiffen an area, "interfacing" and we also call the little pieces you attach to a bodice neckline "front interfacing" and "back interfacing." =) Maybe that is normal or we're just a little confused here.

And to answer your question, Alexandrea, a "rule" I go by in my own sewing, ie, for myself: "If I can do without, I won't do it."

I generally don't use interfacing, ie. in this case "the white stuff" (even though the pattern calls for it). Now if the fabric I was sewing with was lightweight, I may consider doing a strip where I'd be doing the buttons-holes to give them some strength, but other than that, I wouldn't use it.

For instance, a dress that I'm working on called for "the white stuff" on the neckline interfacing's, on a button belt, and maybe in a couple other places, but since the fabric I am using is already on the "sturdy" side, my thinking is, "why use it?" =)

So do you (my readers who sew) use interfacing?

Monday, October 22, 2007

How I began to sew

Among my relatives and family, it is always fun to hear of how they began to sew, and how young (or old!) they were, and who it was that taught them. In my case however, it wasn't my mother who taught me. In fact, she doesn't sew at all. Grandma (her mother) was rather low on patience with Mama when Mama was still at home. Despite not knowing how to sew, my mother has many other wonderful qualities, especially spiritually, in which I look up to her and admire in her.

When Erin and I were young (11 and 9 maybe?), she wanted us to learn, and Erin being the oldest, she had a homeschooling mother teacher her at her home through a sewing camp. I picked up a little interest in it but only because Erin was learning. So in exchange for Mama watching this lady's youngest daughter, I was able to attend 4 sewing classes. Through those, I learned how to thread the machine (it took me probably a half hour or more to be able to thread it from start to finish!) to use a simple stitch, and the "back-stitch." From there, I made a drawstring bag, and a pair of shorts from those classes. Don't faint; this was before we learned about modesty! =)

It was years later when I was around 12 or so, that because of the American Girl doll dresses in the catalog were so expensive and "Kirsten" was wearing her dresses out, I decided to pull out the old Kenmore machine of Mama's, and make some elastic-waisted skirts for her. It took several skirts for me to realize that I need more fabric than what her waist measured, in order for it to fit.

Once that concept sunk in, from there, I began making doll dresses and clothes for my dolls and my sister's dolls. When I went to sewing clothes for people, I found it to be SO easy since all the seams were so much larger than the dolls. However I have never found making doll clothes difficult at all, just because that is what I started on.

In fact, some of you may remember way before Erin and I started "A Joyful Handmaiden" of making modest apparel for women and girls, I had a small but thriving business of sell doll dresses! I even made up a small catalog and sent out a new one to customers anywhere from 2 to 4 times a year.

Just a couples weeks ago I pulled out my old patterns and my large bin of fabric scraps to make some for the doll that belongs to my sister Molly, and to sell some on ebay; I hope to list them in a couple weeks. In fact, Molly's birthday is this Sunday, and I am working on a surprise dress for her (thanks to some dear friends who are loaning me some American Girl dress patterns for girls!) so that she can match her doll, and so stay tuned for pictures later this week.

Edit: Wow, I rambled on quite a bit. It must be the longest post I've written yet! ::grins::

Friday, October 19, 2007

Netherfield Ball Gown

Ah yes, this has been what I have been working on this week. For months now I have had this ivory silk duponi fabric sitting on my table. I have been scared to sew it for two reasons: one being, the fabric nearly cost an arm and a leg, and second, what if I ruined it in the process of making a gown? But with violin lessons coming up next month, and needing the finances for them (after not having the money for lessons this month), I decided to be brave and sew it up.

Surprsingly, sewing with 100% silk is not at all difficult, although there were a few times I was afraid it would unravel before I could get the serger to the newly sewed seams!

So within a week or so, I hope to list this Regency gown that was made with inspiration from Lizzie's Netherfield ball gown on the A&E Pride and Prejudice, a green velvet spencer jacket, and stays up on ebay. I already have a couple things up there now, and have hopes that the upcoming items will sell well before the end of the month.

EDIT: I have decided to list the items as I finish them, and so here be the listing for this gown.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

And we have a winner!

It was a slow turn out this time; just 22 entries, but thanks to the site, we have a winner out of the 22 that entered!

Our winner is: Jennifer Buckley!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Apron Giveaway

Is is that time of year where our western sky seems to be at its most vivid blue color. White clouds are scattered across the blue sky, while down below the gardens finish producing the year's harvest (in our case: tomatoes!) and trees begin to show their autumn colors of golden yellow, rustic orange, and copper reds.

This evening, clouds are decending from off the mountains bringing rain (we hope!) and cool weather. It is currently 56 degrees and I think we'll be anticipating a much cooler night tonight.

With all of these things, I always get in a mood for baking delightful treats in the kitchen such as my favorite homemade bread recipe, a coffee cake, or apple crisp.

Are you getting inspired? If not, perhaps this apron will help! =)

Yes, I have decided to offer one more apron for a giveaway (more will be made to sell on ebay) this year. I made the apron from a vintage late 60's apron pattern and the fabric was found at an flea market/antique store that looked sort of like a 60's to 70's fabric.

To enter: Please e-mail us your name and mailing address and you'll be automatically added into the drawing.

To find out who won: Make sure you are in by noon (MST) on Wednesday and we'll anounce the winner of the apron sometime shortly after we do a random drawing!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

If I had money growing on tree's...

Yesterday while browsing around on ebay for some American Girl stuff for my youngest sister who is all of a sudden interested in dolls and so forth, I came across this listing.

At nearly 23½, I suppose it may be ridiculous, but my love for historical, old-fashioned things cannot be helped. =) Anyway, I wouldn't have an occasion to wear it, but it is still very pretty and fun to look at and get ideas from.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Crystal's giveaway: Wow!!

Whoa, I am excited for this giveway that Crystal is hosting over on her blog. Especially since we can enter twice and she has 10 of them to giveaway!! What is it? Go over there to find out! =)

A quick hint for you: it's a book that looks like it will be especially encouraging for wives and mothers. And while I wouldn't fit in that description yet, I AM closer to it than I was a couple years go. =D

And for a heads up, I'll be hosting another giveaway myself, in the not to distant future. Perhaps this will give you a clue. Stay tuned!

Friday, October 05, 2007

A step back about 200 years ago...

...there was an era known as the Regency Era. With nearly everything being charming and agreeable, especially the delectable gowns and dresses.

This is my favorite era to sew for, and this ensemble is "a keeper" after sewing many to sell. No, it's not extravagant silk and lace, but made out of a lovely floral stripe light cotton for a day dress and cotton "unmentionables."

It is all finished, but for the hem and I wanted to try it on so that I would know how much to hem up. Molly took the pictures of me wearing it despite barefeet, wearing a watch, and doing nothing with my hair.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Of Corsetry and Hand-stitching

::clears her throat::

For any guys reading the blog, you all can scoot on out of here as I doubt you'll find this post interesting. For one thing, I think I would find it quite amusing if any gentleman was reading a sewing blog ... but anyway, that's besides the point.

::resumes to original post::

This week I decided to have another go of sewing some Regency stays. I made some about six months ago, and while I was pleased with how they turned out, I didn't really want to keep the stays for myself.

This time around, I only used two layers of fabric, instead of three like the pattern suggests (previously I used 3 layers of twill and I think it was so thick that it wasn't really supporting anything despite using 10 bones) and used some white twill for the lining, and some white-stripe cotton shirting left over from a Regency gown, for the outer layer. I sort of cheated and used store-bought bias rather than making my own out of my dress material; instead of using eyelets I did button-holes, and as last time, I used plastic boning from JoAnn's instead of the recommended steel boning that I'd have to order off line.

Needless to say, the stays turned out really well, and they fit wonderfully! =) I couldn't ask for anything better. I then was looking forward to start working on a Regency dress (maybe for myself this time?) that requires proper undergarments. After being inspired by Rachel's lovely hand-stitching on her beautiful Colonial ensemble, I decided to try hand stitching the fabric casing down around the neckline. I must confess that it took me a couple of hours (partly because I was watching Pride & Prejudice and partly because I've never done hand stitching on a garment before) this afternoon to go around the neckline. ...I wondered many times why I chose to do it by hand, but it turned out in the end and it did the job. =) I'll use my machine and serger for the inside seams, and do hand stitching for the rest. We'll see how the rest of the dress turns out!

Who else sews by hand? Do you find yourself getting faster?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

1830's Romantic Dress

Take note that in my last post, I didn't say that I wasn't going to sew at all. =D No indeed, for the last couple of days I have worked on and finished this Romantic Era Dress:

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Pleasant Peasantry

I must have 5 shirts of out of my Peasant Shirt pattern (that I made off of a thrift store find) and this one I have made for the autumn weather. That is, whenever we get the autumn weather that decides to stay.
I think I could wear it with brown corduroy for a casual look, or with a tan linen skirt for a dressier occasion. To celebrate the first day of fall tomorrow, I considered wearing it until I found out that it is supposed be close to 80 degrees, so it might have to wait until Monday when the forecast shows a high of 59. =) We'll see ... you never quite know when you live near the mountains!

Lord willing, I probably won't be posting much in the next week or so as I have been in the sewing room this week more than I should have. Just thought I'd give you all a little heads up.

Friday, September 21, 2007

We have a winner!

Wow, for this giveaway, we had 88 entries! But alas, we can only have one winner since we only have one apron to give away.

After doing a random (Thanks to drawing, our winner is: Chrissy Hall!

As to several questions I received, here are my replies:

Where can I find apron patterns in girls sizes?
Well the first website that came to mind was Crystal's site, Biblical Womanhood as I know she carries some apron patterns for girls. Modest Sewing Patterns, would also have a pattern or two of aprons for girls. Does anyone else want to add to the list?

What pattern did you use?
I actually have a copy of a 1930/1940 apron pattern that my friend Amber sent to me. After seeing her apron, I begged her for the pattern. =) I can't say for sure, but if perhaps she had enough requests, she'd consider reproducing the pattern for sale.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Apron Giveaway!

What is black and white, with red all over? =)

Yes, I am offering another apron for a giveaway! This one is made out of a black and white tea cup cotton fabric that I purchased at a flea market/antique store; whether it's vintage or not, I have no idea. It's trimmed with scarlet bias and rickrack to bring out the red calico in the fabric:

Front view

A view of the back

Close up of one of the two pockets. How have I never used rickrack before in my life, up until this apron?! Needless to say: I love it!


To enter: Please e-mail us your name and mailing address and you'll be automatically added into the drawing.
To be entered in twice: Mention this giveaway on your blog/LiveJournal/xanga, then e-mail us with a link to your blog, and you will be added twice!
To find out who won: Make sure you are in by Friday at 3:00pm MST and we'll anounce the winner of the apron sometime shortly after we do a random drawing!

Monday, September 17, 2007

In the shop this week

Well ladies, I added a couple things to my ebay listings this week:

Sunday, September 16, 2007

THE Bungalow Apron

After seeing Anna's 1950's apron quite sometime ago, I have always looked for the same pattern, and wouldn't you know it, I just found one! I was tickled pink, and in just the size I wanted too since with vintage patterns, I usually have to go a couple sizes larger.

So now, I'll have to decide if I want to use my retro fabric found at an antique store on this pattern or another fun one that I purchased off of ebay. Which of the two patterns do you like?

Now I'm wondering: How did I get addictive to aprons?

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Return of the Daughters

I've wanted to post this for awhile, and so while it may not have anything to do with sewing/modesty, I think that it will be very encouraging for daughters who are at home and who have chosen to go against the culture of this world:
I know I have been greatly challenged (and I pray: changed!) by their book, So Much More, that was written for daughters as well. If you are not familar with it, the above website will tell you more, and a cheaper place to buy it would be over at Crystal's website (click on the link: Biblical Womanhood) or do a search for it on ebay. Of course, it depends on how your heart is when you first open the cover, but I would venture to say that it will bring a dramatic change in your heart and life!

1909 "Beatrix" Shirtwaist

So why has it been silent on this blog recently? It is two-fold: I've been practicing violin for hours a day, and in my "spare time" I've been working on what is now, a finished 1909 "Beatrix" Shirtwaist!
I think has joined the ranks of one of the most complicated things I done with sewing. Not hard, just complicated. The pattern was very easy to understand, and to put together.

This one features a netting-insert in the bodice with lace following the seam line, leg-o-mutton sleeves (they ended up not having any gathers where the sleeves and cuffs meet, since I had alter the cuffs, and forgot to do so to the sleeves).

The pattern suggests pearl buttons, but I decided to go the cheaper way with some clouded white ones that have a little trim around the edges.

Arabella seemed to agree that my brooch helps set off the blouse. =)
On my sewing agenda, I have the following items that I'd like to sew within the next couple weeks:
  • 1909 Beatrix Walking Skirt (to sell along with this shirtwaist, on ebay)
  • 2 aprons using some vintage fabric
  • a plaid jumper for the autumn season
  • a peasant shirt to go along with my brown corduroy skirt.
  • a couple Regency gowns to sell on ebay

Stay tuned for reports and pictures of these! =)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

In the Shop

I have decided to sell my 1910 shirtwaist, and it is listed in my shop. You can view it here.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

All good things come to an end

We will offer free Priority shipping tomorrow (limit 2 items) to conclude our last day, as A Joyful Handmaiden offering modest apparel.

Our prices are now at rock-bottom price*, unless Erin says to keep marking down.

*Meaning, the price is at or below what we paid for just the fabric and notions to make the garment.

Frugality - LOOK for what you just might have!

After stewing over a reply I received from an ebayer wanting close to $30 for less than a yard of beautiful vintage dotted swiss, I decided I was going to look in my collection of vintage lace collars that I have here at home.

And, wala!
A lovely vintage collar would fit perfect inside my shirtwaist, and it would even resemble the larger picture on the actual pattern!

I was quite pleased with how it looked, so I slipped my Folkwear Prairie Skirt on Arabella, and snapped a picture. Next time I will have a 1909 black linen skirt with a train, made for a period correct look.
For now that will have to wait, as I leave this weekend for some violin lessons down south and can't spend anymore time in the sewing room. =)