Sunday, March 4, 2012

I'm not dead, I'm just sewing.

I knew that Sweet Daughter had outgrown her shifts for reenacting, and while shoveling out my sewing room, I somehow came across no fewer that four in various stages of completion, all of which fit in some manner. I got them all done. Score!
Horrible picture. Oh, well.
I thought SD could get one more season out of her gowns -- after all, they laced all the way shut last October, and you can leave a 2" gap if necessary. Somehow, I had a brief moment of lucidity and decided to try them on to confirm.

Apparently she's been in the midst of non-stop growth spurt since September. She couldn't even get her arms in the sleeves. I found one hand-me-down gown that fits, other than being a bit short, and being of the mindset that it's better than nothing, asked SD what she thought. She clearly had some sort of issue with it, but was sucking it up and said it was "fine". I finally got her to tell me what was wrong. She hated the shade of pink. So some red dye, and a little black dye (it looks like grape juice when I mixed it up), a crock-pot and about 45 minutes gave me the following ...

After. No more Pepto Bismal pink. It's actually a lovely shade of rose.
Since out first event of the season is in mid-March, and the weather can range from sleet to short-sleeve weather, I decided to start with a wool gown. I figured that if we prepared for the sleet, we'd get 80 degrees.
Bodice from the back. The sleeve is turned up with a remnant of a more expensive cotton print. The lining is done with another remnant. There is boning up the center edges, and eyelet holes for lacing the gown shut.

Growth tucks along the bottom. The hem is finished by binding the bottom with twill tape. This reduces bulk and is more wear-resistant than the wool, and can be replaced if worn through. As SD gets taller, I'll pull the stitching out of the pleats to lengthen the skirt.
Just two to go ... one in linen, and one in dimity.


  1. I admire your ability to do that. My daughter can make clothing by just looking at something and making her own pattern. She teaches hula (she was adopted by a Hawaiian family) and makes the traditional costumes by hand. It takes quite a talent to do that, and what you do here. I'm glad there are people like you that can do this, and continue to teach it.

  2. I'm so happy that all my Sewing Needs are met by Pointing and Clicking on the InterWebs. But I empathize with you. When I was doing WW2 reenacting, I used to wonder if ANYONE over 6 foot tall was ever born during the 1920's. The Running Joke was most pants were made in size 30-30 Winchester; i.e. 30" waist, 30" inseam. And I don't EVEN want to go into Boots! Ooooh! Better check SD's feet while you're at it.

    You do realize, of course, that with SD's growth spurt you may have to add Spacers to the Length of Pull for her Evil Pink Rifle soon, right?

    Take Care.

  3. Brigid - Teach? I'm a crap teacher, and I know it. Luckily, SD learns seeming through osmosis. She started sewing two days ago. A post on that will be forthcoming.

    BHL - My dad was born in 1916 and ws 6' 1". He had a 36" inseam, and wore a size 13 A shoe. I inherited his inseam, but thankfully not his feet.

    He was a bombardier during WWII and I still wonder how he crammed himself into that space on the B-17.

  4. At 6'5 I'd never fit in a B17. And with a 15 shoe I can't fit in most boots.

  5. Nice work. I agree that the new pink is better.

  6. SGB, I feel your pain.

    Nancy, those look amazing!

  7. You left out dates and location for the first event!

  8. Military Through the Ages, Jamestown, VA, March 17 - 18.