Monday, March 30, 2015

Pattern review: Pegee of Williamsburg cloaks pattern

I needed an 18th c. short cape to wear with my francaise gown for an event at the end of March. Evenings are still a little chilly, so outerwear is a good idea.  Something like this:

A google search led me to: 

Perfect!  Yeah yeah I could draft one using online sources, but I hate reinventing the wheel and this is exactly what I wanted.

I bought an old copy probably from the 1980s on Etsy.  It's printed on paper -heavier than the Big Three tissue, but not quite as heavy as Truly Victorian or the new Laughing Moon paperstock.  The directions have a few pictures, but nothing as detailed as Big Three patterns.  Basically, if you've made a cape before, you'll be fine because you know how to fill in the blanks such as clipping seam allowances, etc.  It offers a little information on cloaks of this era such as what each style was typically made of and for what events they were worn.

I made the capuchine view and it was pretty easy.  The hardest part was the pleating on the hood.  I believe there is an error:  Under "sunburst pleats" it says, "...making three pleats folded on top of each other."  For me, it was four pleats folded on top of each other.  Judy also used this pattern and had the same experience.  We either both misunderstood or it's an error.  Not a big deal.

back seam sewn up:

Turned right side out:

I repeated the same steps for the lining and sewed them together.

Here's the hood!

As you can see, it's not very large. You can't put that over a fancy tall hairstyle or wig.  So enlarge yours if you want to use it for such a purpose.  Simple solution!  Next time I will.

For the capuchine, they have 8 extremely narrow pleats to give it a curve around the shoulders.  I changed it to 4 slightly larger pleats because I was using a thicker style lining and it worked out just fine.  

So here it is!  Made of shot purple poly taffeta, quilted black silk batting for lining, black net lace trim, and black moire ribbon for ties.

Sadly, despite lining it with quilted batting, it was just not enough against the bitter cold winds the night of my event.  It was unseasonably bitter cold!  I ended up wearing my modern wool coat with the muff.  Oh well!  Best laid plans and all!

So here it is the next morning before we left to drive home...

Matching muff with rusched trim made using the pattern from The Lady Detalle

Hopefully Judy from Learning To Costume will post her experience making the full cloak version of this pattern!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Royal orders and badges

Making pendants and miniatures has enjoyed a long tradition in the crafting world.  Michaels, AC Moore, and other craft stores as well as dozens of online shops have sold the parts to make them for years, and there are countless websites and blogs dedicated to tutorials on making them.

Here are a few...



Gwen Stefani in a fabulous miniature portrait necklace

"I Am Who They Were" portrait necklace by Ashley Gilreuth

But I was particularly inspired by the project in Gina's blog "Beauty For Ashes" because I'm obsessed with royalty, Court life, and Court Presentation.  Remember the "Court Presentation" class I gave at Dress U and the court gown, feather headdress and train I made for the Dress U Court Dinner back in 2013? 

 Jessica wearing the practice feathers/veil and train I made while practicing the walk and curtsey (that many of you watched on last season's Downton Abbey!)

My Court dress inspired by that pink dress from The Met

 Well, her "Royal Family Order" recreations were RIGHT up my alley!  I'd been collecting "royal" badges for years whenever I came across them in vintage shops or even Forever 21.

Gina and I were chatting one night and she showed me a portrait pendant she'd made using supplies from her local Hobby Lobby.  I was in love, and she encouraged me to make my own, so I did!
I used these pendants from Michael's and AC Moore, a crystal jewelry connector, a friend's heat gun to remove the cabochons (Thanks, Steve!), some quality ribbon from Dames a la Mode and The Ribbon Store and I got crafting!

(not pictured in supplies, crystal crown pendant I glued to the top of the Alexandra order)