I have my pictures uploaded, but I may not post them here, in the public, for reasons that many could probably figure out.
Those of you who know me, you can blabber about it and you'll probably be able to see them. They are posted on ISLAS. So there. >:)
One site that has been helpful for me in lots of ways for historical clothing is this. The site's mistress is one of the Sewing Academy ladies... so, that's her affiliation, to the best of my knowledge. :P
The reason I brought this up is because I want to show you photos she's gathered or owns that she's got on her site of some dresses I'd like to reproduce this summer, hopefully, when I'm done with my underclothing. One thing you all may not fully understand is that I'm seeking very hard to do everything correctly, as far as I can. There are some things that we modern historical sewists can't do, like using whalebone for boning corsets, and maybe a few other things. I don't know too much yet, so I won't go farther into detail. :P
I don't want to ever use polyester. One thing is because I very much dislike it, and others are because it's plastic and is very hot on me, because it doesn't breathe. Also, it can melt near fire, and when you're re-enacting and cooking at a fire, and you accidentally whip your skirt in the fire, it could melt away from life, and possibly harm you.
I suppose that all of you people think I'm really odd and quirky, or else that I'll end up with the costumey stuff that some people wear for halloween events. But I'm more looking for remaking the clothes they actually wore in the 1800's and around. Gina thinks it's kind of crazy, but cool, because public-schoolers don't do it. :P Well, they may, but the STEREOTYPE of a public-schooler doesn't. Stereotypes, however, are very unreliable.
This will probably be a long post, but I'm going to mention a lot of things I have in my head about this new interest. It started somewhere in the late summer last year (2008, for your information...). Back then, I didn't think I'd really do it, nor that I could. I thought the people who did do it were somehow genii, behind the reaching of any of the vulgar people (I'm using the sense of vulgar as 'common'). But, they are the 'vulgar' people! But vulgar doesn't sound nice in English. Rather, they're just normal, interesting people like all of you people. And, as I learned more and more (rather steadily, by the day), I got more and more interested, and my ambition grew into a great big viiiine, entangling the idea and choking the life out of it... no, that's not right. Hehe. I think I have muses, too, that like my sentences, and change them.
I think you get the idea.
Then, when I was... still fourteen years old.... (forget it.) Some weeks ago, ElisabethD of Scholars Online, whom I had finally emailed, rather shakily (as in, bashfully), suggested that get two of Mrs. Clark (www.elizabethstewartclark.com)'s books, 'Practical Prinkery' and 'Dressmaker's Guide to Fit and Fashion'. Of course, I told Mummy about it (she knew about me emailing Elisabeth all the time, and was trying to encourage me to get it done- :P -but I was so stubborn for so long), and she ordered them... and when they came, I found out she also ordered Mrs. Clark's other book (and only other book... unless I just don't know about any more, which I don't), which is 'Skirting the Issue'. As it may suggest, 'tis about making skirts and petticoats and such. Happy book. I was superbly glad, and still am. I'm still bouncy about it. And hyper. And exceedingly grateful.
With those books, I found out (...am still finding out) that historical clothing from around 1860 was even easier than I thought before. Hehehe. And also, learning more about it made it easier to me- that's what it's always like for things, whether I practise with them or not.
I don't know, but I'm pretty sure that my interest in this isn't an obsession. It's gone beyond obsession-level, although I still get pretty excited about the things I learn every day. Who couldn't? It's like a child, finding out how to spell 'ignoramous'. Believe me, this is all more of a lifestyle to me... as in, I feel like it's the way I would rather live. I don't like many modern things; they confuse me and I just don't understand them or connect with them (like you ought! Being connected to a computer would be painful!). I like the old ways, and I hope I can run my household in the future that way. For some reason, I see it all as much more simple and easy, and dreadfully fascinating and stuff. It touches on how I like work. Living that way IS work, but I think it's fun work. Living in the city doesn't help much!
Sooo. By now, I'm hoping to by a good deal of white muslin to use for making my first drawers and chemises, and possibly make a mock-up for a corset, depending on how wildly ambitious I get once I have twelve or fifteen yards of muslin. :P (I don't know how much mum will get, but I believe she knows that I'm committed to doing it, so that I'll actually try to use the muslin. Truth to tell, I feel a little pressured and responsible, more than I'd like to, because she is really trying to depend on me for getting these done... :/) I totally understand why a lot of the other sewists on the SA say that it's good I'm going to start from the skin out: you learn the sewing techniques well, so that when you get to the outer garments, you're made firm and hard and can tackle them like a black-garmented ninja. That was pretty random, eh?
Is that enough intro? I think so.
I don't know if I've said already, but there are quite a few garments I hope to get done sometime in the centre of this year. I will try to pave a list in an order quite like the order I hope to execute them in. Hehehe. Another thing to note is that the clothing I'm making is all teen clothing. I'm not one of the girls who wants to appear older than she is. Teens had the advantage of having open necklines (though not immodest, in my opinion), which were cooler on warmer days. They also wore a higher skirt length than adult women; a bit above the ankle, which was also cooler. And there are other things they could take advantage of, and so, I shall make the most of my teen years and I hope to burst off REAL hard and go at an amazing speed, so I can get as much done by the time I'm eighteen as I can. We'll see where I'm at then! The other reason I'm doing this is because of accuracy; I don't want to portray my age wrong. Only if I'm made to portray a person who would have worn long skirts will I do it, etc. But those instances may never happen in my younger teen years, and if they do, they will be very rare. :)
Here it is:
Work dress- cotton plaid, gathered-to-fit, jewel neck, tucks in skirt for growth and decoration (I don't know if I'm REALLY going to do this... I'm pretty ambitious about all the stitches, so I think I may- it's a big likelihood, as I'm so insanely crazy), smallish bishop sleeves
Good-ish day dress (the goodness of which will be decided more by the helpful ladies of the SA than by myself, probably)- this is my [old... title has the newer version of the sketch, both are helpful] sketch, though it hath been updated, though not scanned yet. I hope to scan tomorrow; it's too late now. Brown calico (from Originals by Kay, I believe I've posted it before, I won't fetch it now, as it is late), half-high neck, yoked bodice (with a slight drop in the middle), possibly pleats instead of plain gathering for the front. Possible sleeve caps (I edited the picture with myn Evil Eraser and took 'em out, though; they look sort of funky, I think), very full bishop sleeves, perhaps three sets of tucks, three tucks each, in the skirt. Oh, I almost forgot completely! Ruching on the sleeves and bodice, probably, of the self-fabric. This is my inspiration.
Summer dress- this one may go next, or else I'll make another simple day dress, for practise. This all depends on 'how I feel'. I think I should work on one as soon as I can, however, because summer dresses are nice in summer! Some sort of a cotton lawn (plaid, print, stripe?), not sure about sleeves; possibly short sleeves (I need to research ca. 1860 short sleeves to find out which type, though), tucks in the skirt (looks positively delightful in a sheer!), half-high or whatever you call it... the more wide neck (I can't believe I forgot. Don't killll me! It's just one of those stupid moments when I forget everything), gathered-to-fit bodice... that's pretty much all.
Party dress, or ball gown, or (if possible) both at the same time- this and this portray what I want quite well. I'm not sure about the material yet. Of the first two, I only have vague guesses, or not-so-vague, but certainly not verified ones, the second is quite obviously silk taffeta. My choices would be either a sheer fabric of some sort, probably lawn, or else a plaid or plain-coloured taffeta. Only, if it were taffeta, I'd want a dark colour, so it will probably end up being lawn. The second picture probably almost fully sums up what I'd like, except I'd have tiny changes.
HOWEVER, I need to go to bed. Good-bye. Enjoy this ultra-long post. I think it was not worthless, as I needed to say something like this to y'all who don't really understand why I am always talking about old clothing.
And, when I'm done tackling my own clothing, I want to try making clothing for children, and other stuff. Whoopeee. Children's clothing is brilliant.
God With Us
3 months ago