Monday, November 29, 2010

Wool Salsa Skirt = Warmth




= this

A warm, wool Salsa skirt. The pattern used was from the MacPhee Workshop store, in Edmonton, Alberta. Linda MacPhee patterns have been around for 25+ years. This is a simple pattern with great results.

I used this wool fabric to whip up this wonderful skirt. Taking this skirt, teaming it up with my winter petticoat makes for a very, very warm garment to wear in freezing cold temperatures.

For those who don't know, my winter petticoat was made a couple of years ago. It is made from two layers of linen and on the inner layer, facing the top layer, the lower 2/3 of the skirt is quilted with silk. The two layers are stitched together at the waistband, leaving the two layers to be free to trap in the air, making it very warm. Quilted petticoats were very common in the 1800's. This is not one of those full petticoats, but a slim style, allowing it to fit under my modern skirts and dresses. It's wonderful to take sewing techniques from the past and applying them to our modern garments. No need to reinvent what was already so wonderfully invented. :)

Bring on the freezing cold temperatures, I am ready. :)


Friday, November 19, 2010

Toile 1780s Girls' Portrait Dress

Merissa says I have a live dolly to dress up and accessorize, I think she's right.

Here is Olivia's second 1780s Girls' Portrait Dress, done up in a lovely, soft cotton toile fabric. I used a light, plain weave, blue silk fabric for the hat and sash. I lined the bodice of the dress in some white linen. I wanted the dress to be able to close in the back and stay closed, so I opted to use buttons. Not wanting to draw attention to the buttons, I covered the buttons in the same fabric as the dress. Olivia has her linen bodiced petticoat that I made for her other dress, on underneath this dress. This bodiced petticoat will get lots of wear out of it.

I will write more about the dress on another post and some of the changes I did. For tonight, I want to leave you with some fun pictures that we took of her today. Most pictures were taken by big sister Merissa, but I did manage one or two in there...but obviously the one's by Merissa are much better. ;)

Sleep well......


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Beautiful Blue In Progress

A little look at what's being worked on! :) Lovely fabrics for a lovely garment for a lovely little girl. :)

Soon....... :)


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Girls' Regency Dress Pattern

Over at the Sense & Sensibility web site, Jennie has a little contest going on. She asked us to share about our favorite pattern from her line. Well, I have one, with a second close behind. My dear Olivia has received many garments I have made for her from using the Girls' Regency Dress Pattern but I have also paired many of those dresses and other garments made from that pattern with the Girls' Pinafore & Pantaloons Pattern. The reasons I have so enjoyed using these patterns are that they are simple to put together, you can make such a wide variety of different garments with the patterns and they are true to size. By having these patterns, true to size, it makes it incredibly easy to make up a dress for a friend's child for a gift, without the child present, and they always come out looking great.

I like to look outside the 'pattern envelope' to design things my daughter needs. Much like a loved recipe is a 'guide line' so are the patterns, when they are in my hands. ;)

I have said many times over, I probably owe Jennie for the patterns as I have used them so many times.

In this collage you can count 20 squares in which you will find 20 different outfits I have made using these two patterns and while you won't find 20 pairs of pantaloons in the pictures, you will find 20 Girls' Regency Dress Pattern. I have used the The Pantaloons Pattern more then 20 times as I would often make several pairs at any one time for pantaloons made out of wool or cotton batiste. Olivia has worn through many pairs of these pantaloons and she has outgrown them as well. I teamed up the Pantaloons pattern with the dress to come up with a couple of swim dresses and a gym dress too. Truly two great patterns.

So, in my home, these two patterns have seen the most use on my sewing table and the garments have made my Miss Olivia one happy, well dressed little girl.

More of these dresses are planned in the near future. It's my go to pattern for special dresses and in a blog post found HERE I learned about a special project that is going on called, "Destiny Dresses". The creator of this project makes special dresses for girls overseas who would otherwise not get special dresses. The story that lead the creator to set this up is incredibly sad. I have dresses dancing in my head for those I want to make for this project. :)

This next picture I took many years ago. They were several of the garments I made from those two patterns. I have since given away all of those clothes.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

WIFD Day 7 Nov. '10

The week is coming to a close. Unfortunately, today Olivia is ill. The trooper that she is, she still wanted to participate with me so I have a couple of pictures of her in her....feminine unwell attire. ;)

Today I am wearing another linen skirt made from the Burda 8213 pattern and a linen slip made from the same pattern. I am also wearing a cotton blouse, cotton sweater, tights and belt, all from Lands' End. I was on my way to the local town centre to observe their craft fair. I have always wanted to go, but I always forget when the day arrives. This time, it was going to be a 'date' with Olivia, but since she is sick, I went at it alone and made a very quick trip of it. I was surprised by how many people are selling goods as well as those purchasing goods. The parking lot was full. I think they need someone to sell children's garments there! :)

Olivia is my happiest sick child ever. She is always happy, even when she is ill. What a blessing to have a sweet smile in the midst of not feeling well. She truly shines brightly.

Olivia is wearing her Regency Knit Nightgown that I made for her a few weeks back. She also has her warm housecoat that her grandma gave to her along with her red birthday slippers form a year or two ago.

I am working on a new dress for Olivia, hopefully it will be done in the next couple of days.

Blessings to you,


Friday, November 12, 2010

WIFD Day 6 Nov. '10

In honour of Red Fridays Olivia and I are wearing red today.

I am wearing a skirt I made about 3 years ago. It was from a vintage wrap skirt pattern in which I added a flounce to it. It is made out of a linen/cotton blend fabric. I have on a cotton tank, cotton sweater, microfiber tights and belt, all from Lands' End. The linen slip I have on is made from a Burda skirt pattern I made earlier in the spring. I have on the same older 'granny' boots I have worn this week.

Olivia has on her dress I made for her, using a 1930's pattern. All the information about the dress and pattern can be found at this link. Her red fabric is the same linen/cotton fabric my skirt is made out of. Olivia enjoys wearing her wool beret. Here she is wearing it while getting ready to eat her lunch and while she plays the piano. :)

Blessings upon your day,


Thursday, November 11, 2010

WIFD Day 5 Nov. '10

While today is WIFD Day 5, it is also a more important day, Remembrance Day.

Top on our list of things to do today, was to attend the local Remembrance Day ceremony.

Here's a picture of Olivia and I after we left the ceremony and were about to get into the vehicle. The second picture is upon our return home.

Here is a picture of Olivia being held by her father so she can try to see the ceremony going on. The place was full. Standing room only by the time we arrived. It was great to see the place so full.

I am wearing a skirt I made from Burda 8213. This was the first one I made so it was my muslin, but seeing how well it fit and liked the colours, I kept it as a part of my wardrobe. It is made from a polyester, linen-like fabric, not actual linen. That's OK, I wear my linen slip made from the same pattern, underneath, and that helps a great deal. :) I am wearing my same boots from yesterday....old....and a cotton tank with another rayon jersey sweater over top.

Miss Olivia is wearing her 8th Birthday Dress that I made this last January for her. She has on a lovely cotton cardigan to go with it and her trusty hand me down Joche boots.

Here are a couple pictures from the ceremony today. We were surprised at how full the turnout was for this event. I think there were far more people then they intended to show up. The people standing were more in number then those sitting, which was a great thing to see.

To those who serve or have served I want to personally say, THANK YOU!


Sorry for the blurry pictures.....

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

WIFD Day 4 Nov. '10

Another brisk Fall morning here.

Today I am wearing my Salsa skirt made out of slinky fabric, along with a cotton turtleneck from Lands' End and a cotton knit sweater from a store last spring, I can't recall the name of it. I just saw the wonderful price and snapped it up, along with a few others in various colours. When I can't purchase the fabric for the price of the ready made garment, and the ready made garment is at an excellent price, it's not difficult to decide what I am going to do. :) I also have on a very old pair of leather boots, old April Cornell scarf, Lands' End tights and one of my ever faithful linen slips. The linen slip really warms things up for me and it makes it so nothing sticks to the tights. :)

Olivia is wearing her Edwardian Easter outfit along with her hand me down Joche leather boots.

Today we had an errand to run in the big city. I have a wonderful East Indian store I like to go to and purchase silk fabric. They have a 'plain weave' silk that feels like a light weight silk taffeta. It's perfect for what I want to do. This time, they also had some embroidered silk of the same weight. The prices were very, very good. I am really looking forward to playing with the new silk. First though, I must get it all washed before that, and since I hang dry silk, it will take a few days to get is all washed up.

Aren't they just beautiful? :)


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

WIFD Day 3 Nov. '10

Today is a brisk morning, but we are hoping for a high of about 5 C.

I am wearing a linen skirt and slip made form the same Burda 8213 pattern, along with Lands' End blouse, tights and linen scarf. The jacket comes form Sears form about 3 years ago.

Olivia dressed herself this morning, putting on a skirt that her cousin made, using fabric she was gifted from our family from a few years back. Olivia is also wearing a top from Please Mum, from a year ago. Olivia liked the idea of wearing her lovely wool cloche that we purchased on sale when we were in the states, back in Feb. for Sewing Expo. She really enjoys that hat. :)

In the second picture, Olivia is back at her 'school work' playing the piano and singing. I love listening to her play and she obviously enjoys her 'work'.

I hope you all are having a wonderful day.


Monday, November 8, 2010

WIFD Day 2 Nov. '10

I am working on a lining for Olivia's new 1780s Girls' Portrait dress. I have the dress cut out, now I have the lining cut out, too. No excuse to not get sewing on it. :)

I am wearing another one of my Edwardian aprons from the S & S pattern. I am also wearing my Salsa skirt, again a from the Macphee Workshop pattern, this time I used the slinky fabric. The shell is made from the same fabric, but I don't remember the pattern. The sweater comes from Lands' End, their cotton sweater collection.

Olivia is wearing her knit dress from Lands' end that she got last year. She is wearing her lovely cotton batiste pantaloons underneath, that I made from the S & S Pantaloons pattern. I need to take down the tucks in the legs as these are getting too short on her.

As you can see, we have a bit of sunshine out there and it was tough trying to get a picture without us squinting. :)


Sunday, November 7, 2010

WIFD Day 1 Nov. '10

It's that time of the year. We are having our Autumn WIFD (Week In Feminine Dress) over at the S&S forum

Olivia is wearing her new 1780s Girls' Portrait dress, linen bodiced petticoat, Edwardian coat and Easter dress and hat.

I am wearing a linen skirt I made from the salsa skirt pattern from MacPhee Workshop. I also have on lots of layers, I was cold this morning. :)

Here we are coming home from church and then with our coats off.

In the kitchen you have Samuel and I working on our lunch which will be crepes....Samuel is our crepe master. I am wearing my S & S Edwardian apron that keeps me well covered in the kitchen. Samuel is wearing his apron he received as a gift from his parents when we got back from Paris, this past June.

Then you have sisters playing the game of stepping on each others shadows. :) Sisters....such fun!


Friday, November 5, 2010


I have a happy little girl. Her 1780's Girls' Portrait dress is finished. The only thing really lacking is a proper sash. I need to go find some lovely pink and green silk fabrics to make her lovely sashes to go with her new dress.

Her dress is made from a Swiss dot, cotton voile, but not the fine Swiss Dot...I am sure this was made elsewhere, but it fit our needs well. I purchased the fabric when it was on sale a couple of years ago, knowing it would be made into a little dress for Miss Olivia. I waited for the fabric to be put into the bargain centre, then waited for that to go on sale for 50% off. The cost of the fabric for the dress ended up being about $3 CDN. That of course does not count the cost of the bodiced petticoat I made, which was made out of fine linen. That I'm afraid, was more money. I suspect I spent about $18 on the petticoat fabric.

For the bodiced petticoat, I made the bodice 1" longer then the pattern called for, so that I could put a 1/2" tuck into the bodice for growth room. I added 3" in length as well, so I could add in 3 1/2" tucks for growth into the skirt. If all goes well, Olivia should get a couple of years of wear out of this petticoat. The dress, on the other hand, even though it has some growth room built into it, in the skirt, I did not add growth room to the bodice.

Part of the history of these style dresses was that the clothing for children became more 'active' friendly. It encouraged the children to be at play. We put the dress to the test with Olivia having some fun playing.

There are more Portrait dresses in the 'idea queue' to happen soon.

Olivia is here in her bonnet, but she also has her lovely cotton sweater on for a more casual-modern look.

She's a very happy girl to have her new dress and petticoat finished. She was certainly patient with me. :)