Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Young Victoria Dress the Second

Do you remember the Young Victoria Dress Replica I made fall of 2012? The one that got displayed in Blenhiem Palace? Well, I just completed the Young Victoria Violet Dress 2.0.
This version was a custom dress for a client in Italy. I had a lot of fun with it, and only made a few variations from my original design.

The fabric was a luscious pink/blue shot silk taffeta. 

 A double ruffle of English netting lace at the elbow.

The flowers were a combination of silk irises and velvet lilacs.


I just love the way this fabric plays with the light.

 I did change the back fastening from lacing to hidden hooks and eyes.

Also included was a matching floral headpiece.

I've go a lot of neat dress commisions coming up in the near future.
 Interestingly they are almost all silk. Fun stuff!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Refashioned Dress for Marian

What do you do when you have a shirt that is too small for you, and a cute little baby girl? Why, make a dress for her, of course! Mom had sent me this lacy top she had found at a thrift store, and it was too small for me, but had a lot of cute detailing. It struck me that it would make a cute dress for Marian, and as I started looking closer, it was the perfect shape for changing into a little empire waist dress for her.

 I took the stretchy straps of the shirt off, and started playing with the shirt, seeing how it would be best to cut it into a dress. Soon it became obvious that by overlapping and sewing the two points over the bust of the shirt to make little shoulders for the dress, and by bringing the rest of the lacy part to a point in the back, it made a perfectly shaped little bodice, and all I had to do was create armholes in the sides. 

The ribbon bow in front was a little big, so I took it off and retied it and tacked it back on.

I cut out the excess in the back, hemmed what was left, and added a button and ribbon waist tie.
The pin tuck details on the shirt were perfect for the back of the skirt!

The shirt was somewhat sheer, so I also added a sewn in petticoat of white cotton batiste, with extra laces that peeked out from under the dress hem.

When I got all done I tried it on Marian, and she seemed to approve!

She even got to wear it to church the next Sunday!

I really like how it turned out, all the lacy details were so perfect for a Marian! Its like a little Bohemian princess dress!

The back view cracks me up, because of her poofy diaper it almost looks like she has a tiny bustle!

Marian seems to like modeling Mom's creations - hopefully it will stay that way! I'm afraid there will be a lot of that in the years to come!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Blue Silk Victorian Ball Gown

I recently finished a mid-Victorian ball gown for my Etsy shop. It is a blue-pink shot silk taffeta. The fabric was originally ordered for a custom dress for a client, but when I got the bodice and skirt cut out, I realized that I wouldn't have enough fabric to complete the dress. So, I ordered one more yard, in the mean time got the bodice and skirt near completion. However, when the extra yard arrived, there was a horrible sinking feeling when I saw it. It was *technically* the same fabric - a blue/pink shot, but the weave was such that it looked much darker and had more pink tones - it just wasn't a match. So - unable to get any more of the exact shade of the first fabric, I had to completely re order for the custom dress, and I had a blue silk bodice and skirt that I had to do something with, and absolutely no matching fabric to work with. Yikes!
Finally I decided on a design, and I made it up into a differently designed ballgown. I think it turned out rather well - I'm pretty pleased with it! It's now for sale in my shop.

Since I had no extra fabric for sleeves and trim, I used sheer cotton voile to make little puffed sleeves, and for trim went with a gorgeous piece of netted lace that had been in my stash for a while. The ruched trim was the darker shot silk.

This was my inspiration for the fabric and trim - 
an original dress found on my 1850s-60s board on Pinterest.

 I love the creamy white with the bright blue tones! In fact, I was a bit sad to use this lovely piece of lace on a dress I was going to sell, as I would have loved to use it on a ball gown for myself (shame on me! lol), but it was just what the dress needed.

If you know anyone who is in the market for a new ball gown, do send them over!
This dress wants to dance!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Two Blogs of Note

Two blogs for you to check out! 

One is my sister Aspen's blog, Texas Rebel Girl, where you will find true-if-crazy stories of ranch life, healthy recipes, how-to tutorials on raising animals, and lots of humor!

The next is my dear friend Janet's blog, Home-Made-Homestead, where she has just begun to chronicle her family's life on an off grid homestead. Expect amazing pictures of country life and their to-die-for house and farm, cute kiddos, and useful tips and recipes!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

House Tour

Welcome to our house! It is still far from completed, but we are finding it so much more comfortable now that we have an upstairs and downstairs to work with.

When you come in our front door, the downstairs is one big open room, with the sitting room to the right and the kitchen to the left...

First, the sitting room. Comfy seating, books, and a wool rug.

Brass lamps and lace on an antique dough box used as a side table.

  I keep imagining how different it will look when we have the walls and floor finished! But for now, I am quite content to have such a cozy space.

Now, turning to the other side of the room we have our kitchen area.
 (please forgive the laundry drying by the fire!)

 Still one of my favorite places in the house. Big wood table, my antique hoosier dish cabinet, and always some flowers in a jar.

Don't know what I would do without my ceiling joists for storage!

Kitchen Aid, rolling pins, and vintage aprons.

If there is one thing I could collect, I would probably be dishes...

You saw right - I have a sink! Soon after Marian was born, Jordan and Laredo put in a kitchen sink! Talk about exciting stuff - in case you have never had experience with this wonderful modern invention - it. is. incredible. Even though this sink is just temporary till we fine 'the one', I LOVE IT. I feel like I have a real kitchen. The amount of work running water over a drain saves is pretty incredible. If you have a sink, be very, very thankful. I surely am!

Spices and baking items in vintage glass jars with decorative labels...

 These banners have been through a lot, first made for the Jane Austen booth event, then used at the wedding and other celebrations, now adorning my kitchen windows.

 Now, won't you come upstairs??

Our bedroom.  I really love being here, its so bright and cheery with all the sunny windows. I used the same swiss dot fabric for the curtains as I used in the sitting room, but also added a creamy lace valance.

 Mirror and lamp over the dresser.

Pom-pom trim on the door curtain 

 I love the view from this window behind my bedside table.... 
(which is actually a stack of boxes covered with a tablecloth...but you wouldn't have know if I hadn't told you!)

 Upstairs is also one big open room right now, we have curtains hung up to divide the rooms where we will eventually have walls. This is the beginning of the spare bedroom/ kids room in time. My old iron bed. The missing window is the last window we need for the house. So far we haven't been able to find one of the right size and type.

 Drum roll please! - my sewing room. This is just beginnings, but it is oh-so-nice to have a space dedicated to my work! Have a look at those fabric shelves Jordan and Laredo made me? Aren't they awesome?

 My vintage singer iron and sewing machine have a home again!

Vintage suitcases store lace, supplies, and unfinished projects.

I hope you enjoyed the tour! Come visit us for real sometime!


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