18th Century

18th century stays

dh and I were planning on taking a belated honeymoon this year. We threw around a whole bunch of ideas from London, to New England, to a cruise, to Williamsburg and New York. The lat one is the one that we ended up settling on, and through some stuff that I cannot remember, I discovered that colonial Williamsburg encourages guests to come dressed up. What more do I need?  In the end we won’t be going to CW this year, but we’ll get there eventually and making things up while Dh is deployed keeps me entertained. 

So I started doing some research, and as usual, I’m starting with the foundations.  When I made my regency short stays I found that the front edge of the straps cut into my arms (probably an easy fix, but not something I want to tackle right now) and so I decided to avoid any other stays that have straps, at least for now. I also need to be able to move my arms, my children are not always willing to behave well enough to where I don’t need a full range of motion. 

I am using JP Ryan’s full-boned stays pattern. Since this is my first foray into the 18th century I got a kit making kit from the silly sisters. They were extremely helpful in answering my myriad questions. 

I made myself wait to start on them until after I finished our things for the civil war weekend, and with that over, I finally started on them today. 

Awhile back I made a cardboard ‘muslin’ since a few blogs suggested it.  


It seemed to work well, smooshed my bosom and widened my waist, sounds about right!

And then I waited, it’s been around 2 months since I made the mockup. 


The outer is linen, the interfacing is linen canvas. I went with a more neutral color since I really don’t know what I’ll be wearing over them. 


Because I’m lazy, and this is my first go, I am machine sewing them.  At least until I get to the binding.  I am using linen thread (35/2). 

  Everything seamed together.  And the seam allowance pressed open. 


Next up are the boning channels. I’m using 1/4″ reed, doubled, and skipping the metal bones. I can always add them later if I find that I need them. 


Long time no blog… Again

it is not for lack of things being done, rather lack of time for blogging and lack of a husband. We are, once again, in the midst of a deployment. Can you hear my joy?

We hit 13 years of marriage yesterday, our older daughter turned 10 the day before. I turn 30 next month (gasp!). 

Plus my oldest broke our laptop, so I have no way to upload the photos from my big camera. 

I do have this one, taken a few days before it met its untimely death.   
When did she grow up?

From our recent civil war weekend, only a snap from the lcd of my canon. 

More another day, posting from my phone is a pain. 


Volunteering and cardboard stays

for the 2nd time this year I’m volunteering at the book fair. 

What better time is there for sewing?  Today was buttons!  

I’m also entering into the late 18th century. Due to surprising deployment developments, we won’t be going on our belated honeymoon this spring. Instead, we’re going to hit up the east coast later this year. What more of an excuse to dress up in pretties do I need?  

My stays mock-up was made in cardboard. I’ve read that it’s the most like what they’re like made up; which is totally fine. However, I’m hoping they’ll be just a bit more comfortable around the armpit area. I think they’ll be thinner, which should help. 

I was alone, so I couldn’t lace them up all the way. They definitely made my waist larger and my bust smaller though!  

I have some stuff to work on before I can start them though. More ‘rustic’ wear for our refugee impression next month. I’m really looking forward to it!


HSF #2: Blue

It’s a wool petticoat for my littlest. It’s a bit too long, so I’ll probably add another tuck. And my pinking sheers are missing, so the hem is unfinished. 

The top is muslin, helps to keep it from being too bulky around the waist. He wool is 100% wool flannel, it’s a very dark blue. 

She was nice and warm!



is the total number of ‘likes’ I’ve received on my blog. Ever. 

Isn’t that a kick in the face. 

Some days I don’t even know why I still blog.  Oh well. 

I have my February HSF finished, I just need to get my model to allow me a quick photo shoot and the post will be up. 


the red riding hood

i started this a few weeks ago and finished it this afternoon.  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/93097917273330445

because i made it for the girls, i made it a bit smaller.  i think my square was around 26″. i used a water bottle to measure the curves and used pinking shears to trim them.  the outer is wool flannel and the lining is silk quilted with a thin layer of wool batting.

the quilted lining was whipstitched to the wool outer.

because i’m lazy, i skipped the part where you add the casings, and just did running stitches about 1/2 an inch from the edge of the lining and ran my cording through it.   it also has the added benefit of being more adjustable, i can just run new cording and make it bigger or tighten the current cording and make it smaller.

i used german moire ribbon, and omitted the bow on the top.

i pleated the ribbon for the ties a bit and backstitched them on.

i’ll get a better photo at some point, she wasn’t in a photo taking mood.  it’s very warm!


the making of a paletot, part 1

i’m always so worried that the kids will be too hot or too cold in their reenacting clothes and won’t want to participate anymore, so i tend to work on stuff for them before stuff for myself.  plus smaller things are just so much cuter!

i posted about this engraving on the sewing academy, and another member graciously offered to send me a copy of her draft.  unfortunately, i don’t yet {and might never} have the spatial abilities to enlarge it.  it’s the angles that get me.

the outer will be wool with a cotton sateen lining quilting with a thin layer of wool batting.

both of the body halves are quilted, and 1/4 of the sleeves.  i broke my last machine needle, so the rest is on hold until i get some new ones tomorrow.

i’m just doing one right now, it’s a modern 10, which is perfect for my older daughter, but it might just work for my little one as well.

she might just end up looking like this little girlLittle girl in a coat and curls, c. mid-19th C.

civil war · regency

the historical sew monthly

it used to be the historical sew fortnightly {which is 2 weeks, for those not in-the-know} and while i loved loved loved to see everything that so many awesome ladies made, it was just too much for me to take on.  if i feel too pressured i tend to give up.

however, this year it became the sew monthly, huzzah!  something i can handle!  this first month has been foundations, and i settled on a set of regency short stays.  i’ve wanted a pair for forever, but have put them off because where could i ever use them in the middle of oklahoma?  i do need a new mid 19th-century corset, but i didn’t want to jump into that again so early.  plus, i already had almost everything in my stash for a set of stays.  they’re not quite finished yet, and i’ve got a bit over a week to go.  the finishing touches always seem to be what bogs me down and i still need to get them bound.

gussets are in

eyelet holes prepped

eyelets half-way done.  eventually i’ll get to the point where they’re all pretty and symmetrical

i also finally started working on dollie clothes again.  in this photo i had done the gauging on the skirt wrong, so i took it out and redid it {i forgot to fold the top edge over}.  it’s just missing it’s neck binding and closures now!


Raspberry shrub!

And not the bush lol.

Or just a fruit vinegar drink, but that tends to sound unappetizing to our modern ears. I know my family gave me crazy eyes when I mentioned it.

For more info, and some recipes


Obviously (or maybe not-so-obviously) ours will be non-alcoholic. I decided to go with raspberry, it just sounded tasty. I’ll try other varieties at some point.

I ended up doing an amalgam of different recipes. Equal parts raspberry vinegar and sugar, boiled for 10mins. Cooled on the counter and chilled in the fridge.

I got the larger flat of raspberries and put half of them in a jar with enough vinegar to just cover them.


After “one day and night” I strained the berries, squishing them in the strainer to get all the juice.


Added the other half of the berries and replaced the partial raspberry vinegar.


This is where I deviated. I didn’t have any more berries, and didn’t feel like purchasing more and so I just left it in the fridge for a few days (4 if you must know).


I strained and squished the berries again. I ended up with exactly 1 cup of raspberry vinegar.


At this point, I wasn’t quite sure about this endeavor. It still smelled really strongly of vinegar.


I added a cup of sugar and whisked. Eventually the whisk started making too many bubbles and I switched to a wooden spoon.


A long 10-minutes of stirring later, it had thickened and become very tasty. It’s cooling on the counter and will be placed in the fridge. In a few days we can try our first taste of raspberry shrub!


If we (mainly meaning me, but I do hope the kids will like it!) like it, I’ll make a larger batch and can it for reenactment use.

Other than a very vinegar smelling house, it wasn’t difficult at all!