Monday, February 4, 2013

Sky Blue 1770s Gown: The Bodice

I finished making up the bodice of my new 18th century gown, and I feel I must gush a bit.  Not over anything I did particularly well, but over the Incredibly Wonderful Slipstitch found on the stitchery blog (now sadly--though not so sadly given the circumstances--in archive only) Stay-ing Alive.  Abby demonstrated a sweet slipstitch that joins lining and fashion fabric in one fell swoop, is documented to the 18th century, and produces just an eensy ridge on the interior of the garment.  (More on the nitty gritty how-to with fab tutorial here: http://stay-ingalive.blogspot.com/2011/03/how-to-do-weird-running-whip-stitch.html)

You guys.  This stitch is so much fun.

For one, thought I love handsewing, my time is pretty limited nowadays, and I don't have the luxury of spending hours and hours on a single project (well, I do, but only if I want one gown to take months to make).  This means one row of stitches instead of about seven, saving me time while I indulge my handsewing itch.

Exterior shot (it looks incredibly funky laid flat, but I swear it looks normal on stays on my dressmaker's dummy):


And the interior, where you can see the fun lines of stitching:


The skirt is cut and assembled, but not yet hemmed...I dislike hemming.  I may cheat and machine sew the skirt hems, because...well, sometimes a funky slipstitch can save you time and sometimes trusty old Edith, my sewing machine, is a better bet.  I've completed the arms and am planning to set them this week--whee!  And then skirt hemming and joining, finishing and trimming...so much more to do!

Friday, February 1, 2013

I Have Toilet Phones

So, I have toilet phones.  We live in a house built in the 1870s, renovated and expanded in the 1890s, and installed with toilet phones c1985.

Our lovely house:


A less than lovely toilet phone:

(Yes, the toilet roll is out.  It's perpetually out.  Because I'm too inept to be able to figure out how to work the roll holder.
Phase II of Bathroom Overhaul: Easy to use toilet roll holder.)

I'm not sure why we have toilet phones--why someone sat down (presumably on the jon) one day and thought, "You know what our beautiful historic house needs?  Phones in the loo."

The strange thing is, we have exactly three phones on the property.  Two are in bathrooms.  The third is in the garage.  Did these people never make a phone call in a normal location?

Regardless. Despite the fact that I love the evolution of our house, how I can see when different historic styles of architecture and design had their moments in the house and stuck around, the toilet phone epoch is one I'm not terribly attached to.  I'm not terribly attached to much of anything about the bathroom decor, to be honest.  Case in point below.  But while the overhaul will need to wait, getting rid of the toilet phones doesn't need to.


So that's my home-renovation goal for the weekend--unscrew the toilet phones from the wall.

More adventures in This Bizarre Old House to come.