Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Maternity 18th Century Clothing in Action

So far my plans for accommodating a growing belly with my current 18th century wardrobe are working!  I've been to two events so far this year (one this weekend--holy cannoli, but it was hot!) and the garments are all holding their own:

Gestational Stays: Best thing ever.  Seriously.  They allow me to continue to wear my fitted gowns and jackets because the back is still shaped 18th century style, while allowing for expansion in front.  Plus, a little back support is actually really nice.  Will post pics as soon as I have my sanity back from this weekend.

Current Fitted Garments: Still working, though becoming problematic.  I made a printed cotton stomacher that matches my caraco and coordinates with my linen gown, and though it's currently workable and even kind of cute, it's probably going to be outgrown.  Will have to keep adjusting and trying new options as we continue!  I wear an apron to cover the hilariously splayed-out bottom portion of the gown bodice.

Everything Else:  It's so awesome how shifts and petticoats are so adjustable!  It is funny though--I've already developed the characteristic "shortened front" that happens when your petticoats have more ground to cover in front than in back.  It's actually kind of nifty to share this with women who lived centuries ago!

Yes, I always fail to do real photo shoots and have to rely on what friends snap over the course of a weekend!  But here's the caraco in action, with the apron tied higher than usual to accommodate the bump (classic 18th century move--I think some have claimed it's a deliberate camouflage technique, but honestly, there's no other comfortable way to tie it!):


Seated shot...not as great at showing how the clothing works, but it shows how shade works.  Shade works really well when it's 95 degrees.


Hope everyone had a lovely Memorial Day weekend!  Despite the heat, it's always a privilege to celebrate the weekend by actively remembering those who came before us.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Moving...New Writing Blog!

When I started blogging, I wanted to write about two main topics: sewing/history/living history and writing.  I still want to write about those two things--but I've realized it makes a lot more sense to do it in two different places.

I love the communities I interact with on both sides, so if you're a writer-friend who'd rather not read about all these sewing shenanigans, come over to the new place: rowennamiller.blogspot.com.  If you're a stitchy-friend who'd rather skip the writing musings, stick with me here.  And of course, if you're a rare bird who wants to read about both--I'll see you even more often!

One more thing--thanks so much for stopping by!  Keep creating!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Moved! And a New Apron

First--Hi! I'm back! It looks like I missed some interesting stuff out there--catch me up on what you're up to!

So, in my world. Moving. That was fun.

So was finagling getting internet service moved. Fun.

You know what's also fun? Discovering that your apron is buried in a box in storage. Ooops.

But every cloud has a silver lining, sometimes one that involves scrap fabric and sewing challenges. This one? Whip up an apron from the scrap fabric I'd used to pack my sewing machine.

See, I brought only a few projects with me to our temporary digs, and the rest of my fabric and supplies went into storage. But I had just a little bit of fun cotton broadcloth leavings that I'd used to pad my sewing machine in its box for the move. And thus the Apron Challenge.




Felicity models how I intended for the apron to be worn:


Now she shows you how someone with a baby bump has to wear it:


Whoops, should have thought of that when I put this thing together--at least it's flexible! I kind of like it this way, to be honest--it reminds me of a Regency-era Empire-waisted bib-front gown.

As you can see, it's a very basic style, and I just kind of winged the design--no genius pattern drafting skills needed here. The curved top? Because the fabric already had part of a curve cut in and I kind of liked it. The box pleats? Because box pleats are pretty--so why not? The polka dot straps? I ran out of stripes...
Box pleats are pretty.  I'd add them to everything, but that might get a little goofy...

Lots of sewing coming up--including (finally) pics, research, discussion and general yappiness on the gestational stays, a cocktail dress to accomodate my ever-increasing bulk, and--perhaps--the start of the Regency gown I've been planning for over a year--wearing my new apron has inspired me to get back to it! Also--fingers crossed for a new Rather Old House as Relocation 2012 continues!