This december I started on a new eliptical crinoline cage. My older one was made mostly out of plastic piping and ducttape, and while the piping was sturdy enough, it kept falling apart. As result, I’ve only worn in twice and was constantly worrying how it would keep. Not very pleasant, so I decided to make a new one, do it properly and with steel boning. So I ordered the pattern from Truly Victorian, the boning and loads of ribbon. Here some progress pictures. Good quality will follow when it’s done!
Making the bag:
I couldn’t find proper bone-casing, so I chose to use 3 cm bias tape and folded it in half and stitched it together. This worked fine, although it was narrow for the 11 mm boning. Took a lot of stitching though, as it was 14 meters.
I started with pinning everything together to check the length and even-ness. This is what it looked like before boning. A bit sad still.
That’s better! With all the bones inserted and everything pined together.
And with the ribbons between the half-circle hoops. This is what makes it stand out. Starting to look like a proper cage skirt.
At this point, it looked finished, but everything was still just pinned in place. I shifted some of the hoops slightly, and then started hand-sewing all the ribbons to the hoops. Suffice, to say, this took some time.
To attach the hoops in the front together, I was advised to use heat shrink with glue. I’d never heard of this, but it’s shrinkable plastic piping generally used to attach electric wiring together. It worked quite well, and is very sturdy! This is what it looked like before closing the bias tape over it.
Almost done! So when it’s finished I’ll make some proper pictures to show.
When I decided to make a spencer jacket so I could wear my new regency dress outside, I also immediately had a whole other list of ‘things to make’. I needed a bonnet, and as my hands get very cold I wanted a muff. And as I was looking at fashion plates, I also noticed that there’s usually a chemisette worn beneath spencers, so I also wanted one of those. Only problem; I had about 3 weeks to make everything, while working full time and doing all other stuff I already planned. I started with the spencer, as seen in the previous post. After this, the priority was the bonnet.I managed to finish those on time, so I also made a muff. It’s so simple, but very nice with the cold weather! I made mine of white faux fur and lined it with white cotton. I also put some fiber fill between the fur and cotton layer, for extra isolation. Finally, I sewed hooks and eyes to the inside and made a ribbon. The hooks make the ribbon detachable.
For the chemisette, I based my pattern on one of the chemisettes in Janet Arnolds’ book. Of course, I loved the one with all the little pleating in front and mushroom pleated collar. I decided to just start with the garment and see how far I’d come, but I actually finished on time. I only made 6 pleats on each side of the front piece. Mostly, I must admit, because it was a pain to do and I thought it looked good enough this way. All the pleats are set in place by repeated ironing and then sown with tiny stitches to secure it. The collar I improvised, having no clue how to mushroom pleat a collar. This chemisette is also the first garment I completely sewed by hand!
The photo quality is bad, but you can just see the tiny stitches to keep the pleats in place.
Last weekend, I wore the whole outfit, and had a lovely day. I made almost everything I’m wearing, with the exception of the leggings and thermo shirt underneath to keep warm. I’m wearing my stays, blue dotted regency dress, spencer jacket, chemisette, muff and bonnet. My friend took some lovely pictures of me.
When I decided to make a spencer jacket to be able to wear my blue Regency dress outside, I figured that was also the perfect opportunity to finally make up a bonnet. A few years back I bought a straw half-sunhat-thing on a discount which would be a perfect base for a straw bonnet. I delayed decorating until I had something to wear it with though, and now I’m glad I did because it fits with my dress now!
My main inspiration was the blue/straw bonnet in this fashion plate:
Although the straw bonnet is a regency stereotype, I believe fabric-covered bonnets were actually more common. Most fashion plates show other types. The straw version was easiest to make though, so I chose that. Aside from the blue ribbon, I really wanted flower decorations to fancy it up a bit.
I bought a fabric (plastic) flower from Xenos and took off the blossoms. I then pinned them to the side and pinned the ribbon over it to see what it would look like. This was the approved version.
I started with sewing on the ribbons to tie it close
I then glued on the flowers with my glue-gun. Not very period, but the whole thing is plasticky anyway, and it wasn’t going to show.
I don’t really trust glue, so I sewed on the flowers for good measure.
And then I sewed on the blue ribbon around the brim.
Photo’s of the bonnet worn will come soon!