Friday, November 29, 2013

1870s Bustle Dress

I had a darling sewing commission this fall - an 1870s bustle dress sized for a small girl. This particular client I have been making items for since she was two years old, and its always a pleasure. (both her and her mother have great taste, and I always enjoy their requests so much!)
This time it was a bit different from anything I had done before, never having ventured into the bustle era before. Starting with a basic 1860s bodice, I did a few modifications and a lot of research pinterest-ing looking at other bustle dresses and the bodice shapes. Turned out very satisfactory.
The little girl picked out the fabric herself - a lovely pink and tan rose ticking stripe. The trim was rose pink shot silk taffeta with pinked edges overlaid in tan vintage cotton ribbon. Lots of time, and lots of gathering, but very enjoyable.
My biggest dilemma was over the bustle itself. Because this was a costume I wanted it to be easy to get in and out for a child, so back opening would be better I thought,  - but how to attach the bustle to a back opening dress??? (the buttons in front are centered on a faux opening for looks, it really fastens with hooks and eyes in back.
Finally my dilemma was solved by realizing the answer was actually quite easy: attach the bustle to a separate but matching silk belt! Thus, the dress can be worn with or without the bustle!
The bustle gathers are held up with rows of twill tape underneath.
 I found this article and video very helpful.
A decorative rosette in front is the final touch.
A couple of pictures of the lovely little lady herself!
Adorable or what?
I don't think the 1870s will every be preferred over the 1850s/60s for me, but it sure was an interesting and challenging project! 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Printing Autumn Leaves

I had never really seen fall colors before living here in Tennessee, so it was a neat experience to see the leaves change and get brighter by the day. Recently I had been introducing to the really simple but very beautiful concept of Hand Printing from Nature from a book by the same name that I borrowed from my mother in law. (read her homesteading blog here)
Basically you collect objects from nature and ink or paint them and press on to paper to make beautiful designs. I've tried both ink and paint and find that calligraphy inks work very well and bleed together beautifully when doing multiple color designs. One good tip is to use a separate piece of paper or a magazine to press the object down to keep it even - (not your hands).
The book is well work a look, and the process was very fun and easy. In the pictures above I was at home alone one evening and decided to try out the technique with fall leaves on a stack of thank-you cards on which I needed some artwork. I love the way they turned out! The best part to me is how each one is always a surprise!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

First Baby Picture

Our first baby picture! We had a sonogram done in October just to check up on everything, to make sure we didn't have to plan on any emergencies. The baby looked fine and healthy!
I think he/she has a cute nose.
Jordan and I had both agreed long ago that we did not want to know the sex, so we didn't find out!
It will be fun to be surprised!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Log House Progress

Our log home is making progress! Over the last few months we've had family and friends generously give of their time to help us get the house more winterized and finished. Hopefully you will notice lots of changes from the last pictures I posted back in the summer!
One of the biggest outside changes are the attic ends being sided in and the windows put it.
Aren't they cute!!?

The upstairs outside chinking between the logs has all been completed as well. Big step forward!

The chinking is dark in the pictures because it's still drying, when dry it is light grey like in the first floor.
Front view. It's a messy construction zone, but we are moving forward! :)
Three views of the inside of the 2nd story. One big room right now, eventually it will be divided into three rooms: The west side will be the master bedroom, the east side will be divided into two
Insulation is stuffed between the layers of chinking and wire. As of now we are getting very close to getting all the inside chinking finished as well! More pictures soon! So excited to get moved upstairs and start fixing it up. :)


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