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Yet another new/old member!
November 28, 2012
5:13 am
francesgrimble

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Forum Posts: 2
Member Since:
November 21, 2012
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Hi, I see the new board is getting active! I publish books on making historic clothing, I collect vintage clothing, I sew historic and modern clothing, and I trim the occasional hat. Currently I am into sewing “lagenlook” (especially historically inspired lagenlook) and also, I am repurposing Victorian and Edwardian chemises and petticoats and laces by dyeing, decorating, and adding various parts together. Today I extended the straps of an embroidered square-necked chemise that was too high under the arms, and added an eyelet flounce from a petticoat that was in the same dye lot (a coral color).  I live in San Francisco with my husband. Look forward to seeing everyone (again).

 

Fran

Lavolta Press

Books of historic clothing patterns

http://www.lavoltapress.com

November 29, 2012
7:41 pm
carol
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Forum Posts: 314
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November 2, 2012
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Good to see you back here, Fran!

 

It’s taking some of us a while, to get back at it……now with the new software, it’s much easier, though still a bit of a learning curve for me. 

 

Carol

Carol http://stitchedbyhislove.blogspot.com/
November 30, 2012
3:01 am
1812lynette
Shores of Lake Ontario

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Forum Posts: 74
Member Since:
November 4, 2012
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So happy that the board is gearing up again!  Welcome back!

 

Those Edwardian and Victorian chemises are beautiful but are always too high under the arm and uncomfortable. 

 

How did you modify it and how does the result look?

November 30, 2012
6:29 am
Geneece
Texas
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November 5, 2012
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Welcome back Fran.  Your projects sound interesting!  Do post photos!

http://www.sewmanytreasures.com
November 30, 2012
8:29 am
francesgrimble

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Forum Posts: 2
Member Since:
November 21, 2012
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1812lynette said
So happy that the board is gearing up again!  Welcome back!

 

Those Edwardian and Victorian chemises are beautiful but are always too high under the arm and uncomfortable. 

 

How did you modify it and how does the result look?

——————————————

 

I work almost entirely with sleeveless chemises, which I wear as tunics, jumpers, or shortened as camisoles. I find some are too high under the arms for me, and some are not. If they are too high under the arms, the neck is usually also high, as a jumper goes.  What I do is either cut the shoulders in the middle and piece them there, or replace the shoulder straps entirely with longer ones, which is easy to do with those 1920s chemises with straight straps. I put several items in a machine dye lot. Often there is a petticoat I have to shorten from the top, so there’s enough fabric from that to alter the shoulders of a chemise dyed the same color. But ribbon, braid, lace, or appliques can work.

 

I have made a few very large, thin chemises and nightgowns into dresses by putting a drawstring under the bust, but generally I avoid sleeves, and also most of the chemises that have yokes and a lot of fabric gathered into them. Those are pretty but most don’t look good on me.  I do use the crocheted yokes that are straight across the bottom to make garments.

 

As for other alterations: I put flounces from otherwise damaged petticoats on the bottoms of chemises to make dresses. I use the upper part of a chemise and a petticoat, including as much above the flounce as necessary, to make dresses. I do a lot of decoration a la Magnolia Pearl or Krista Larson which is hard to describe. I cut the bottoms of chemises up in a reverse U-shaped curve to make a kind of tunic popular for lagenlook.  I cut the bottoms into other shapes.  I put petticoat flounces onto other petticoats, for example to create a bustle effect in back.

 

My strategy has been to dye chemises and petticoats that are sturdy enough and leave ones that are not undyed.  Today I dyed the third of three very heavy chemises I bought from a French eBay and Etsy dealer.  It’s gratifying because they were all ugly to start with, either tattletale gray or over-blued in streaks. Possibly both, and some old, brown and yellow dirt was ground in there too, even after I washed the chemises with Synthrapol. I think the fabric is a linen/cotton mix because the threads are not only different weights, they take the dye differently. Between that and the fact that the color was irregular before dyeing, the dyed result is irregular, intricate, very narrow stripes in different shades of the same color, rather like ikat. It looks great.  I also dyed a very heavily tucked petticoat with a narrow ruffle.  Now I have to put a waistband on it, or add a drawstring, or put in elastic.  I often cut off the waistbands of closely gathered petticoats because otherwise, the folds often dye differently and give a streaky, badly dyed effect.

November 30, 2012
9:14 am
carol
Member
Forum Posts: 314
Member Since:
November 2, 2012
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Well, I know this won’t happen Fran, but gosh, I should would love to see some of those projects. :) Thanks for sharing that information.  

 

Carol

Carol http://stitchedbyhislove.blogspot.com/
December 1, 2012
6:42 am
acacia
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Forum Posts: 295
Member Since:
October 25, 2012
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Fran, they sound beautiful. 

Dawn Luckham Live Journal http://dawnluck.livejournal.com/
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