18th century stays confession

Remember how I said I would post photos and tell you about my 18th century stays in progress? 

No longer. Because I tried them on and it’s all wrong; they’re too short in the body, not wore enough in the neckline, the stomacher is not big enough, and the placement of the bones at the side seams means that the stays don’t sit comfortably on the body. In fact, the made me look worse than if I’d worn no stays at all. 

I really can’t see any way of fixing these, but I’m not TOO upset. The problem is, that I used pretty much all of the pink linen so I can’t redo them. 

In any case, it means that I can work on my 1860s cage crinoline. This is something I’ve been puttin off for a while, and so either this or adding a peplum to my corset cover will be my January HSM. 

So, like I say each time, photos will come soon, but the cafe crinoline is still in progress and looks a bit tatty. 


HSM 2016

Hello, everyone, and Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and are looking forward to whatever 2016 may bring. I am. And, with a new year, comes a new set of monthly challenges from the Historical Sew Monthly.

  • JanuaryProcrastination  finish a garment you have been putting off finishing (a UFO or PHD) or make something you have been avoiding starting.
  • FebruaryTucks & Pleating – make a garment that features tucks and pleating for the shape or decoration
  • MarchProtection – make something to protect yourself (from weather or injury) or your clothes (from soiling etc.)
  • April – Gender-Bender – make an item for the opposite gender, or make an item with elements inspired by the fashions of the opposite gender
  • MayHoles – sometimes the spaces between stuff are what makes a garment special.  Make a garment that is about holes, whether it is lace, slashing, eyelets, etc.
  • JuneTravel – make a garment for travelling, or inspired by travel.
  • JulyMonochrome – make a garment in black, white, or any shade of grey in between.
  • AugustPattern – make something in pattern, the bolder and wilder the better.
  • SeptemberHistoricism – Make a historical garment that was itself inspired by the fashions of another historical period.
  • OctoberHeroes – Make a garment inspired by your historical hero, or your historical costuming hero.
  • NovemberRed – Make something in any shade of red.
  • DecemberSpecial Occasionmake something for a special event or a specific occasion, or that would have been worn to special event of specific occasion historically.

So, there are the challenges. For January, I am going to finish my in-progress 18th century stays, for which progress photos are coming soon, I promise! I have been meaning to post the photos FOR EVER, but never found the time because the WordPress on my iPad is so appalling.

So, this was just a brief update to let you know I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth; I know it’s been a while since I last posted. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get round to doing the previous November and December HSM 2015 Challenges (Silver Screen and Re-do respectively), although you might be able to count the stays as part of the Re-do because they were foundations, like the January 2015 challenge asked for….

What are your plans for this year’s 2016 HSM? Tell me below and get sewing!

Check out my Pinterest board!

Hi! Last night I spent some time creating a couple of new Punterest boards. Tip: If you love costuming, GET PINTEREST. There is a wealth of resources out there, available at your fingertips. Actually, even if you’re not such a fan of costuming or history, still get it because there is something for EVERYONE. It’s good fun and you’ll never be board again! (Get it?) 

Anyway, here are some links to my Pinterest boards. They are added to regularly so do follow me! 

http://pinterest.com/pinkpuss1234/18th-century-dress/.   My 18th century board

http://pinterest.com/pinkpuss1234/my-regency-board/.     My Regency board

http://pinterest.com/pinkpuss1234/my-1860s-board/.   My 1860s board

http://pinterest.com/pinkpuss1234/my-1870-1880s-board/. My 1870-1880s board 

 http://pinterest.com/pinkpuss1234/edwardian-fashion-i-love/.  My Edwardian board

http://pinterest.com/pinkpuss1234/undergarments-through-history/. Undergarments through history board

Have fun looking through them! 


Historical Sew Monthly – May. Practicality

My, where has the year gone?! Already in May! (Nearly) 

This month’s challenge is great: create the jeans-and-t-shirt equivalent. We’re talking aprons, caps and… Aprons. 

So, true to form, I have made an apron. I love it. It was based on a variety of sources: 




In my dreams, I will make the entire outfit above. It is wonderful. I have coming (waiting for my parents to get new curtains…) some orange fabric like the jacket. Also, THAT CAP IS SO ADORABLE!  


First, Imade the apron. It isn’t as wide as I would have liked, but it’ll do. 



Pinning the pleats 

Sewing the waistband.


  Then I used bias binding to make the ties.

I used guesswork to get the shape of the apron flap. 



 Hemmed and with the pink petticoat. It is pinned onto the dress form (still not found a name for her, suggestions welcome) on the inside using two small pins. There is no evidence in the prints and paintings to suggest how the apron bib was attached to the bodice, so I assume pins. 

The colours compliment each other so nicely. 

I am also working on a cap to go with it, and will post more when there is progress. 

The Challenge: Practicality

Fabric: old curtain lining, but I assume cotton. 

Pattern: Inspiration taken from period pictures and sources. 

Year: I see this style of apron in most periods, but this one was designed with the 18th century I mind. I suppose it could work for a Victorian maid too 😉

Notions: Bias binding for ties.

Historical accuracy: reasonably. I wouldn’t say the fabric was accurate, but the pattern and style isand I sewed quite a bit by hand. Only the long hams were done by machine. 

Hours to complete: About 3.5 I’d say. 

First worn: Not yet.

Total cost: All from stash = £0.00 yay! 


The problem with long skirts, leather shoes and silk stockings…

I realised as soon as I posted my last post about my ensemble so far I omitted my leg and foot wear. I managed to pilfer some silk stockings from a remote drawer and my mum lent me some shoes which looked period. However, on a fine April morning there will be dew on the ground. And leather shoes+silk stockings+dew=… 


 Yup, blue dyed silk stocking in the heel and toe area. 

Long petticoats got damp and slightly muddy… So I used an authentic way of preventing this (which led to the loved Robe a la Polonaise) which is tucking the outer (longer petticoat through your pockets and waistband. I actually like this effect, and discovered the reason you always wear more than one petticoat. Luckily my flowery petticoat is shorter. 


 These are the shoes which I wore – period looking, no? Unfortunately the dew seeped through, dying my stockings. Actually, they’re not even my stockings. Oops. 

I should have know the poor wouldn’t wear silk stockings, and for this very reason.  

My 18th century ensemble so far

I am aware that I have been incredibly lazy about blogging recently. I apologise sincerely. A few weekends back I decided that, it being a glorious day, I would try out all of them18th century garb I have. 


I am wearing my shift over a vest and underwear. I didn’t feel fully motivated to embrace all aspect of the costume




I didn’t realise I was wearing the shift inside out…. Oops. The apron is not made by me, I fully intend to make one for a future HSM which I will blog about at a future opportunity. Under my  pink petticoat I am wearing my flowery petticoat

I am also wearing my two bum rolls to add shape to the rear, which they did, and my fichu.  I added my lap cap on to my hair. Despite my parents’ thoughts, it was actually quite comfy to wear – I felt supported and cocooned. Oh yes, I also have a pink, lacy, thin shawl which I dreamed over my arms. Sorry about the absence of photos with accessories… 

Lace cap

Actually, this was finished a while back, but I haven’t found time to post or take photos. 

I will not lie when I say I am really very proud of the hair. It took about 500 bobby pins but it looks good!  

I am happy with it, but I wish it was a little smaller.