Whew! I am alive! I didn't vanish! It just seemed like it! :) We've been ridiculously busy of late, and I got hooked on the Bronte sister's books, so I'm afraid I spent my hours of leisure reading instead of blogging. Whoops. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I already read them all, so I'm back to blogging again. ;)
In any case, I am two-thirds done with Grandma's wedding suit! Yay!! I had started the skirt last month, but it ended catastrophically, so I had to buy more fabric and start over. That experience left me with a bad taste in my mouth, which is probably why I took this long to try again! This time it went very well, I'm glad to say, and both the blouse and skirt were very easy, one-day projects.
(Please pardon the detestable-quality picture! That's what happens when you take pictures in the basement, in the evening, and your subjects are starkly opposite dark and light colors. And you're a bad photographer.)
I LOVE this lace! I used a rayon-poly blend from Field's Fabrics for the main blouse fabric (Simplicity 3688, incidentally), and a gorgeous lace from JoAnn for the overlay on the yoke. I originally thought I could machine-baste the lace onto the yoke using the walking foot, but that ended up being a very bad idea! It skewed, caught up on the foot, and was pretty much a terrible mess. So I ended up hand-basting the two pieces together, and that worked great! The rest of the blouse was a cinch.
As for the skirt, I don't have any decent pictures of the entire garment, so I'll have to leave you in suspicion. I'm quite happy with how it came out, especially that side opening! It seemed to work so much better to have the zipper end at the waist rather than at the top of the waistband.
The fabric is a lovely brown and tan-striped cotton, which is not only beautiful, but the name of it is "Chocolat," so I really can't help loving it. ;)
I realize that Grandma's suit was without a doubt made of wool, but since I found no appropriate wool, this cotton worked out just fine.
A nice view of her whole suit, and even a glimpse of the skirt!
The suit is what I'm absolutely, positively dreading. The idea of having to fit it just so, and all the upper collars, under collars, over collars, inside collars, outside collars, (okay, maybe there aren't quite that many!) is just not sounding fun at all. But I won't let myself wear the rest of the outfit until the suit is made, so that should provide some incentive! Hopefully it will come together a lot more easily than I am picturing!
Meanwhile, I'm very excitedly preparing for an 1812 reenactment next month. This will be the very first historical reenactment-type event I've ever been to, so it promises to be a very fun day!! I took the opportunity to do a little revamping of my calico regency gown; I took the lace off the hem, remade the sleevebands, made undersleeves, and added some much-needed hooks and eyes at the back. Thanks to Lily's recommendation of making the sleevebands wider and more fitted, they came out great and fit perfectly with the undersleeves. Thanks, Lily!! :)
^ Part of the reason why we've been so busy lately! ^
We were blessed with a wonderful tomato crop from our garden, (which isn't even very big!), and were able to can 54 quarts of tomatoes, and 20 quarts of salsa. It is so wonderful to see a full pantry again! :) Praise the Lord for such a wonderful crop!!
Last but not least, thank you all SO much for your lovely, encouraging, sweet comments on every single post. I appreciate you all so very much! You're the best!! :)