Friday, February 28, 2014

HSF '14: 1780's Linen Shift

I sort of cheated for this challenge.  Dan and I are planning on going to Elfia this year as hobbits, so I'm using the HSF to make a couple of our pieces.  They will be historically influenced, and I intend to research exactly how I'm diverging from history, but when it comes down to it, they're still fantasy costumes.  

For HSF Challenge #4: Under It All, I started with my hobbit shift/chemise.  Female hobbit costumes draw inspiration from both the late 1700's and 1550's fashion.  Their chemises seem to come directly from the 1780's, so that's where I started.  This was my first brief foray into the 18th c, so I had a lot to learn. And the biggest shocker is that they didn't have ruffles at the neckline or sleeve, unlike every manufactured Marie Antoinette-era costume ever!  This may seem small, but it means that the shift was both more versatile and less.  At the sleeve cuff, one could add (lighter weight) ruffles if an ensemble called for it, or leave it off if one wished.  But at the neckline, instead of using ties to gather the neckline to whatever shape was called for, the neckline was finished and again you could add a ruffle to it if you wished--meaning your neckline was fixed, making that particular shift only suitable for a specific dress neckline.  Is all that clear?  Probably not.  Sharon Ann Burnston says it a lot better than I do here.

The ChallengeUnder It All: Make the foundations of your outfit: the things that go under it to provide the right shape and support, and to protect your fancy outer garments from sweat and grime.

Fabric: Loosely woven, coarse linen I found at one of Amsterdam's fabric markets.

Pattern: I started with Mara Riley's shift pattern, with neckline research from Sharon Ann Burnston.  

Year: 1780's ish.

Notions: Thread and cotton twill tape for the neck and sleeve ties.

How historically accurate is it? Not great.  My fabric choice is okay, linen being the material most commonly used for undergarments of the time.  My basic pattern is reasonable.  But then there are all the things to make it more Hobbity.  The sleeves should have cuffs with lighter weight fabric attached.  Same goes for the neckline--it should be fitted and have a ruffle attached.  Also, parts of it are machine sewn.

Hours to complete: 12?

First worn: It will be worn to Elfia in April.

Total cost: Fabric was $5 per meter, so about $12.50

Saturday, February 15, 2014

HSF '14: Late 30's Pink Blouse

This fortnightly challenge was 'Pink'.  And as most of you know, I'm not a pink person.  Maroon is about as close as I get.  But a few weeks ago I was given several pieces of shirting fabric, one of which was a blue-ish pink plaid.  One of my sewing goals this year is to start on a 1930's wardrobe, so I decided to use the pink plaid to test a blouse pattern I received for my birthday last year.  I have to say that I'm not entirely satisfied with the result.  The shirt makes me feel like a linebacker.  In all fairness, it's meant to be worn with high-waisted pants, which I haven't made yet, and the proportions may work better once I have.  But worn with modern jeans it makes me feel a lot larger than I am, especially in the shoulders.  And of course, the color is really outside my comfort zone.

Also, matching plaid is so annoying.

The Challenge: Pink!

Fabric: Pink cotton shirting.

Pattern: Wearing History's Smooth Sailing 1930's Blouse.  Found here.

Year: Late 30's.

Notions: Buttons and thread.

How historically accurate is it? I believe the pattern is accurate, and the fabric is plausible, I'm not sure about my plastic buttons though, and my seam finishes are probably not period.  Accuracy in the 20th century is so much easier to achieve.

Hours to complete: About 15, but at least 3 of that was matching the plaid and cutting my fabric so everything would match.

First worn: Probably not till I make pants to go with it.  And possibly not even then.

Total cost: Fabric was given to me, buttons were $5, and thread was $3.50.  So $8.50.