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Thursday, 28 July 2011

Countdown to the Jane Austen Festival 2011

With just over seven weeks to go to the Grand Regency Promenade in Bath, I am beginning to feel the first stirrings of panic.

Last year I spent so long working on Robert's costume, that I had no time to make my own, so consequently I ended up looking like Stigitha of the Dump!

This year I want to look smart and well turned out, and the plan is to make a new dress, but if I don't have time, I will concentrate on the spencer and hat or bonnet.  

I was making a blue muslin drawstring dress, using Sense and Sensibility's 'Elegant Lady's Closet' pattern, but it's not quite right, so I have now started a calico toile using the S&S 'Regency Gown' pattern, which is for a back-fastening dress.
I'm still not happy, and will have to do the usual re-jigging!  
As Robert will now be able to have the time off work, we will both be heading down to Trowbridge together, so that means that I now have to make his new trousers as well as my costume.  

I have the pattern, Kannick's Korner Men's Fall-Front Trousers...
The pattern pieces have been cut, and I have started to put them together in calico...we still need to find some decent fabric to make the actual garment, which isn't easy in Lincoln!

Time to panic, methinks!  What I need is a plan of action...OK, where to begin???? :-O

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Here's Some I Started Earlier...

Whilst sorting out my sunbonnets, I kept ignoring a green carrier bag that contained projects that I'd made a start on but never completed.
The Green Bag

Today I actually inspected the contents and realised that there were two North Yorkshire bonnets half done, an unpiped soft bonnet, and a piece of striped coffee-coloured fabric that had piping and tucks sewn in, but not in any sunbonnet style.  
The partially made bonnets

This I put to one side.  The red soft bonnet has all it pieces constructed, and all I need to do is put it all together...
Red uncorded bonnet
Also with the red bonnet was another piece of fabric that had a brim corded and nothing more...I will have to decide what to do with that one, later.

The two North Yorkshire bonnets have had their brims corded, and are cut to the basic shape...these will need lining and gathering tape, as well as ribbon ties and perhaps a bow to finish them off...

Looking at what I have here, I notice that some of them do not have enough fabric available to make the ribbon ties, so I will definitely have to get creative in order to finish them!

For sunbonnets, I have fabric flower print, apple print, and strawberry print...almost makes me want to have a cream tea among the flowers, butterflies and bees in the garden (if I had one!)
Flowers, apples, and strawberries

Finally, the coffee stripe fabric that I put to one side.  Inspiration suddenly came to me...another Empire/Regency bonnet...a confection of coffee and cream with ribbon and lace added (now I'm thinking of gateaux!!)  I think this will be the next bonnet, before I start on either the green or white ones!!

Opening an Etsy shop to sell the odd creation seems to be growing into something more...I wonder where it will lead me...?


Wednesday, 13 July 2011

A Bonnet For Myself

Last week I began work on a new bonnet...for myself.  

I decided to make this one with a stiffened brim, so I worked out the shape with paper, then when I was happy with it transferred the design to pelmet stiffener (or whatever it's called!), cut it out...then set it aside.

Next I took my fabric, two layers together, transferred the bonnet shape then stitched the outside edge.  Then came two rows of piping cord...(normally, I would buy a thick cord and unravel it for a smooth look, but this time I wanted the cord to show through as I wasn't going to gather it).

The next step was to mark the diagonal lines and sew in the rows of piping. 

It was beginning to look good when I suddenly realised...I'm going to have trouble getting the last couple of rows of piping in!  OOPS!

Plan B...forget first attempt, grab some more fabric and start again!  This time marking in from the edge to allow for edging piping, then starting with the diagonals!


If I had struggled on with the first attempt, the words of my old needlework teacher would be ringing in my head:  That's not good enough...!  So I just had to start again...

Empire of Grace

That's it!  I've finally done it!  I've posted my bonnets and opened my Etsy shop...Empire of Grace...

Three Empire/Regency-style bonnets, and two of the Lincolnshire sunbonnets have been posted so far, and it's the green bonnet that has generated the most views so far.

I still have to sort out Shop Policies, and a few other things, and the postage rates need to be looked into properly so that I can ammend the amounts, then it will just be a case of make more items and post them!

(I wonder if I'll be able to sell anything??)

Lincolnshire sunbonnet

Back of Empire/Regency bonnet