30 Dec 2009

More forum information

Hi all forum members,

I hope your Holidays have been great and I also take the opportunity to wish you one heck of a New Year!

And on to the business: not only the forum but the server as whole are experiencing problems, as you may have noticed.

I have contacted support and was assured things would be back within 48 hours. Those hours have not yet expired so I will will try to keep my patience and also keep in mind that there were and are holidays going on which may slow things down. Annoying, but everything IT-related is or so I' starting to believe.

But I hope we all will meet again in 2010, with or without new costuming resolutions!

Take care of yourself and have a smashing New Year's Eve!

10 Dec 2009

Info to the members of Historical Sewing Forum

...the rest of you can simply disregard this message...

The forum is being transferred to another hosting service and is therefore unavailable at the moment.

I had no idea that the transfer would occur so soon after I signed up with the new host, so I hadn't even time to inform the moderators, even less so the members.

But everything should be back to normal within 24 hours, I hope.

The good news is that the domain historicalsewingforum.com now has been purchased and should be up and running soon. So bookmark it now!

9 Dec 2009

Mini-project completed. Now onto a big one. Of madness.

I started on this little linen fichu yesterday and completed it today. It's rather smallish since I only had scraps left of the fabric.

One day I want to make a BIG one, the kind that wraps around you! But that will have to be in a time when I have forgotten how tedious rolled hems can be.


And tonight it was time to start on my new project of madness...

It is going to be a dress heavily inspired by an extant gown belonging to the museum of Gothenburg.

This gown was in its turn inspired by the National Costume that was launched by king Gustaf III in 17778 (Read Isis's great post on it here), but this gown's first owner must have been a fashion-conscious lady for this gown shows very few traces of the National gown, like this one,

but the much more fashionable profile of the 1780's.

What I like about it are the simple lines and the lack of embellishments (I am going to leave out the bow in the back, I think) and that it's black! When I stumbled upon this dress I had had thoughts about a black robe á la Francaise but I quickly changed my mind.

So tonight I made a working toile for the bodice (I had a pattern I could alter so it wasn't too much work) and I then cut out the lining for the bodice. Then I went on an extended break, lasting until tomorrow evening, post-dinner.

The lining is of grey linen and I have lots and lots of black silk taffeta for the gown itself.

What I can't tell from the museum's vague description is if the back is cut en forreau or not. I think it is and I have decided to make it that way because it will look awesome!

So the only cloud on my sky, and the madness part of this project, is the deadline. 12th night. Yeah, I'm crazy but if there's hope and all that. I may be able to hire my poor relatives for some sweatshop work if things get out of hand.

Wish me luck?

7 Dec 2009

Yesterday's Christmas dinner - with pictures

Yesterday evening was very pleasant.

The weather was most un-Christmasy with rain but that's how most winters are in Stockholm nowadays so it was only to be expected.

But the house, Kristinehovs Malmgård, was lit up both on the outside as well as within, which helped my spirits up. And they continued to rise with the aide of good company, entertainment, drinks and - food!

The traditional Swedish Christmas food is very rich and plentiful! It's served buffet style and with dozens and dozens of different dishes, it's next o impossible to try them all - especially when in stays! I was pretty full after only the cold dishes (pickled herring, salmon and other lovely things) and then there were tons of dessert!

Christmas trees was not too common in Sweden in the 18th century but not unheard of.

Someone spoke of a written source from 1741 mentioning a decorated tree with present beneath so the beautiful tree was not out of place.

There were many children present and I don't know if it was them or me who was the most fascinated by Gustafs Skål's mascot, the tiny rooster Gustaf!

He popped in for a quick visit, but thought himself better off with his three chicks in the hen house.

And I did finish my pet-en-l'air in time, althiugh I made the last stitches only withing hours from the start of the event.

Miss Ellinor did my hair and I think she did a pretty darn good job too, if you consider she never did anything like it before!

I wore my new stays for the first time (for more than just a couple of hours, that is) and believe I'm very pleased with them. They were really comfortable, even after a heavy dinner and that must be a good sign? And my shoes did not fall apart, although they weren't too comfortable. But a girl can't have everything...

The next event is Gustafs Skål's 12th Night Masquerade and there is this gown I desperately want to make but will I have the time? More about that later; tonight I'm working on a mini-project, a linen fichu, and I just finished 320 centimeters of rolled hems - fuuun!

Für Elyse

Some of you already follow Elyse's fascinating blog Gillray's Printshop of Historical Absurdities and the rest of you has a very pleasant discovery to make.

The last updates have had a very Napoleonic theme to them, and I immediately thought of them when I rummaged through a drawer the other day.

I didn't find what I was looking for, but I found the Napoleon incense I bought in Krakow this summer!

That's right - Napoleon incense! Of course I couldn't pass it up.

So what does it smell like? Well, a great part of gun powder and Austerlitz, with a hint of Waterloo and Joesphine's unwashed body.

Or, to make a long story short:

"Such a blend can never be again."

Indeed not. We keep all our Very Important Papers in this drawer together with the incense sticks so they too smell like Napoleon. This amuses me a bit (in the pictures you also see a couple of miniature portraits of the late pope John Paul. He was born in a little village outside of Krakow so this is just the town for all your pope memorabilia needs. They had everything but T-shirts and ashtrays I believe).

4 Dec 2009

Shoes, fabric and a cat

Three lovely things indeed: a pair of shoes, lengths of fabric and the cat in my life!

Me and the cat are all by ourselves tonight. My DH is out with a friend (they were actually going to see Pete Doherty, but I just got a text message informing me that the sweet boy never showed up. Surprise, surprise...) and my stepdaughter is acting as a hostess at a Christmas dinner in an 18th century building (in costume of course!) just like I did last year. Sniff! They grow up so quickly these days...

That means that I can do lots of sewing without getting bad conscience for being anti-social on a Friday night. I really am going to have the pet-en-l'air finished on Sunday!

Anyhow - in the picture above you see the shoes I recovered about 200 years ago. They now have buckles (modern buckles, alas) and will also be worn for the first time on Sunday. I do hope that the heels will carry me all night since they're glued on. Maybe I should bring a spare pair of shoes, just in case?

You also see a newly-bought fabric (actually curtains) that found at one Salvation Army thrift/charity store. I'm quite in love with it and there's lots of tit but I haven't the slightest idea what to do with it. There just isn't that Instant Image in my mind when I look at it, but time will tell. Ideas and inspiration always welcome, of course!

And last, but not least, sweet Börjesson. I love him but he eats shoes and that's the truth! Only my shoes, and only dressy shoes. I don't know what's up with that. I have to put shoes I care about on a shelf 2 meters above the floor if I want them to stay safe from him. He likes to chew on the corners of books too, especially fancy coffee-table books. Why it's better not too keep those kind of books on the coffee table any more.

I hope y'all will have a good weekend, I know I will! I had the day off today (Friay) and won't get back to work until Tuesday! Mini-vacation FTW!

I'll try to take some pictures on the Christmas dinner on Sunday, beause this place lacks pictures badly these days. XXX