Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunday Shoe Spectacle - New Styles from American Duchess

Hello my lovely readers. My apologies for a lack of posts this month. I have been dealing with some lower back issues that have made sitting at a computer (for work or fun) rather uncomfortable. This last week I spent more time laying on the floor with an ice pack on my pack than I care to admit. Ah well, slowly on the mend but it doesn't seam fast enough.

Anyway, it's been a while since my last Sunday Shoe Spectacle post. Today I thought I would share about the pre-order happening right now at American Duchess. They are offer THREE new styles for three different time periods.

Up first are the Renoir Civil War button boots in black. For those of you who are into Civil War or Victorian era reenacting, these look like a good option. They are all leather and have real functional buttons. This style also comes in cream, but it's just the black that are offered right now at the lower pre-order price.

Photo from American Duchess
The next style are ones I'm very excited about as an 18th century reenactor. The Fraser, yes named after the character from Outlander, is an early to mid 18th century style leather shoe. This style is perfect 1700 to 1760. Ladies who reenact the French and Indian war, I'm looking at you here! What makes the Frasers so unique is the white rand - that little white strip of leather between inner and outer soles of the shoes - and the dog leg seams. Both are something you see on earlier 18th shoes. To my knowledge, no one offers shoes like this unless you are ordering a custom made pair. (Check out Sara Juniper's shoes for examples.) Seriously, take advantage of the savings here. Oh, and they also come in ivory, which I believe is dyable. For more information on the Frasers and the research behind them check out the AD blog post here .

Photo from American Duchess
And last but not least, the Londoners! OH MY YES!! Offered in two very different colors, these Edwardian style oxfords are truly an awesome looking pair of shoes. Again, real leather, cool details and a nice Louis style heel. I ask what's not to love here?! My understanding is that because the patina is added my hand, the coloring on each pair of shoes with vary a little bit. You can read more about the Londoners and the research behind them here.

Photo from American Duchess
If you like videos, have a look and listen to this one where Lauren and Abby share more about these shoes. The pre-order for all three of these styles ends November 1st.  

Disclaimer: I'm an affiliate for AD and earn a tiny commission if you make a purchase using any of the links I share.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Second Wedding Anniversary and Fall Colors

Yesterday was our second wedding anniversary! We spend most of the day unpacking from the WWII event we attended over the weekend. It poured on Sunday so we had a lot of wet gear to deal with when we got home. Yep, wet canvas, the bane of all re-enactors! The day wasn't all work though, we did go out for a nice dinner.

Surprisingly, despite the drought here in New England, the fall colors are rather stunning right now! I'm hoping to quickly finish a few projects and squeeze in some photo shoots before the leaves disappear. I'm thinking of using this location again because it's so classic New England but have a few new ones in mind as well.

I used this location for a fun photo shoot last year and hope to use it again soon.
And speaking of pictures, I thought I would post a quick recap of some of my wedding-related blog posts. Lots of wedding photos including! I hope my sewing pattern review and DIY wedding tips will be helpful to some of you! Enjoy!


Don't forget about the sale in my Etsy shop! Lots of good things for sale including my selection of silk taffeta!!! Save 20%, no discount code needed. :) Sale ends October 14th. 


Friday, October 7, 2016

Autumn Sale!

Hello everyone! To celebrate the arrival of Autumn, and my upcoming wedding anniversary, I've decided to have a sale in my Etsy shop. Lots of good things for sale including my selection of silk taffeta!!! Save 20%, no discount code needed. :) Sale ends October 14th.

 Please note, sale excludes new listings and Made by Me/Reproduction items.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Roaring 20s Lawn Party - Pt 2, the Dress

I made my dress for the Roaring 20s Lawn Party from this 1930s pattern. Yes, I made and wore a 1930s dress for a 1920s event, I'm such as rebel! I love the 20s, I really do! But I'm not super excited about how I look in most 20s dresses. I'm short with wider hips and those boxy dropped waist styles just feel frumpy and odd to me. I just need to find the right dress/style to suit my body type.

Anyway, after pulling out a few patterns and sketching a few different design ideas, I realized I just didn't want to make a 1920s dress. As I prepared for the Art Deco weekend earlier this spring it occurred to me that my vintage wardrobe was seriously lacking items from the 1930s. OK, I've made a few late 30s pieces but they have more of that 40s/WWII vibe to them. I didn't have anything that screamed 30s and was really wanted too change that.

Enter Simplicity 1945. This pattern was among the very first vintage patterns I purchased a few years back when I became interested in vintage sewing. It might have come from Ebay but I can't remember now.

As the lawn party would be in August I knew it would be hot. Having something that would be light and comfortable to wear and move around it was key. I think it was the sleeves of this dress that really sold it for me. And this deco style cotton (from the stash, whoowhoo!) was perfect for it. I traded some of this fabric with another vintage blogger recently. Really excited to see what she creates with it!

The simplicity of this pattern (no pun intended!) surprised me too. I think one of the reasons I had not attempted this pattern before was believing it would be too complicated. Turns out, it was one of the easiest  vintage dresses I've sewn and it went together fast!

The bodice is constructed of a front and back piece, both cut on the fold. The sleeves are cut in one with the bodice with seams across the shoulders and at the sides. Before sewing these pieces together a series of 1/4" tucks are stitched across the front and back. The perforations of the pattern pieces were a little wonky so I remarked my fabric to avoid wonky pleats.

The skirt is pretty straight forward with small darts at the back. The waist seams of the bodice and skirt are lapped and then top stitched in place. The dress closes with a side placket and snaps.
I finally got to use one of the special attachments for my sewing machine. This foot creates a nice rolled hem which is how I finished the edges of the sleeves.

Since I had a bunch of metal grommets kicking around I opted to use those instead of sewing eyelets for the front lacing. I also only added about half the number because I didn't think I would like the dress as much if it laced all the way down the front. Lacking proper ribbon I used a piece of navy blue rayon bias tape.

I had planned on wearing my navy blue suede 1930s shoes with this but opted for a pair of modern sandals because the ground was still a little wet. The red celluloid buckle is from my stash.

Even though I was a vendor at the lawn party, Cori and I were able to escape for a little bit while some friends watched my booth. (Thanks again Heather and Devon!) The gardens at the Crane Estate were in full bloom and made a wonderful backdrop for some photos.

Some of you might recognize my hair flowers. They are the ones I friend Monica made me for my wedding. I had attempted to reblock a hat for the event but it didn't turn out very well so I opted for the hair flowers instead to tie the outfit together. Plus it was nice to wear something from my wedding again. :)

Outfit Details
Dress - Made by Me
Hair Flowers - Made for my wedding by my friend Monica
Shoes - Thrifted

Pattern - Simplicity 1945
First Worn - July 31st
Complicated parts - Just marking sure the tucks on the bodice were straight and neat. The pattern perforations were a little off so I had to remark them.
Changes - I only needed to allow a little more room in the hips and shorten the skirt a few inches.
Cost - I don't remember what I paid for the pattern but I don't think it was more than $15 with shipping. Fabric and notions were all from the stash and the fabric was purchased on sale. I would estimate the total cost to be around $25 to $30.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Roaring 20s Lawn Party - Pt 1

Another overdue post! I had such a wonderful time the GBVS's Roaring 20s Lawn Party back in July. This was the fourth year of the event. The weather looked rather uncertain in the days leading up to it but this year the organizers made the choice to hold it rain or shine. In the past there has been a rain date. Indeed the morning we drove to Ipswich it poured almost the whole drive there!

Fortunately the rain let up in time. This year there was a big tent set up over the dance floor and stage for the band. As a vendor I also had the good luck of being able to set up under an enormous tent that had been used for a wedding the day before. Complete with chandeliers!

I'll admit, it was a lot of work preparing for this but it was worth it. It's so great to be able to meet people and discuss things in person. I was able to catch up with friends and meet a few people who have been following my blog which is always a treat. This was my first big event as a vendor and I still have much to learn but it's a fun process. I would like to set things up a little differently if/when I do this again but overall I'm pretty happy with how things worked out.

I'm going to write up a separate post on the dress I made for this event so stay tuned for that in a day or two.

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