Some more Henna…

As i was on the welcome-back-camp accompaniing the gap year, I had a lot of opportunities to draw Henna/ Mahendi designs 🙂 Here you go, it’s nearly all of them:



The tabs are finished :)

Umph and hurray, I finally finished finishing off all the round bits of the tabs at the bottom edge!


I decided to go for a bias tape around the edge, because it is the most historically accurate way to finish the bottom edge, especially on tabs and anyway this is the easiest way to make it look nice, if you use a coloured bias tape. I didn’t have any at home, so I just cut up the skirt of an old dress, that I had saved for its fabric; actually I had thought about using some pink piping/bias tape, but I ended up using the blue-dark blue checked fabric from the old dress.

It was so much work!

First I cut off all the layers along the pattern outline and pinned the bias tape along it, stitched along with some millimeters distance from the edge, folded it over and stitched it down by hand. Sorry, I didn’t take any pictures, but it’s just the normal way to apply a bias tape properly. The annoying part was, that the lining fabric is such a tightly woven one, while the fabric from the skirt was a really lose one, so that getting the needle through the one without disintegrating the other into single threads was quite a task… But I did it! 😀

Now it’s only the straight bits, that are left and I think they should be a lot more easy; I’m going to cut the strips straight and not diagonally for this, I think.

So here just another closeup of the finished tabs:

Oh, and I forgot to mention: I used a separate strip of bias tape for each tab; that made cutting the bias and pinning it on a lot more easier and is responsible for the strange gap that you see on the inside 😉


Tab on the outside


Tab on the inside

The bottom edge; inside on top, outide below

The bottom edge; inside on top, outside below

New Project: A regency dress

So, as promised, I started a new project and am going to document it 🙂

As I am watching all of Jane Austen’s movies, one after the other and all adaptions, with some friends and I’m back at home where I´ve got my sewing machine and my  fabric stash and space and so on, it is to be a regency gown with all the historical undergarments and made as historically correct as possible 🙂

To get an impression of what I am talking about:

Found via DeviantArt

Found via DeviantArt

Of cause I started with the undergarments, as you always first need to get the proper body shape, which they give you, before you can draw the pattern for the actual dress. So I started out with the ‚bra‘ – in the regency era a sort of small leftover bit of the old rococo stays, but neither as stiff nor as long down. There were three different styles of stays, as they were still called: short ones, quite close to a bra, semi long ones, also covering the ribcage and long ones, going down to the hips. Look up this page, they have a good explanation of those three kinds. The great difference in regency stays from earlier ones is, that they were boned only very lightly or just corded and not tight or made to reduce the waistcircumference at all.

So why not wear modern underwear, if there seems to be so little difference? Please don’t! The big difference is in the shaping of the breasts. Modern bras give it a roundish shape, and are rather low on the body, compared to the historical ones, which push them up and hold them aloft the empire line. Look it up here 🙂

I decided to do a semi length corded stay with regular gussets (not those set in cups). I started out drawing a pattern with four pieces each side, to accommodate the slight difference of circumference between the empire- and the actual waist line. However, when I realised, that there where anyway only straight lines that were to be sewn together, I decided to cut them all in one piece. The same happened with the gussets: There were two straight ones separated by a straight bit of fabric/ pattern; so I cut this bit of and taped it in between the two gussets, having now only one to set in 😀

stay pattern

As fabrics I used a cotton twill, that I had actually bought thinking of making a 1878 outfit and using this for the corset, but I had bought enough to use it for this one too. As it is close to coutil, the fabric used for later corsets, I thought it might be a good one to start on. As I wanted to use cording, I anyway had to make two layers; as an outer layer I used an old linen from my grandma – fine, soft to the tuch, but strong and not see-through-y. I think I did more cording than was necesary, but I learned how to do it only recently and really think it is a great technique for such things, so I didn’t mind putting it in. Here you go with some pictures:


Ouside and inside of the cording – you see how the inner layer stays straight and keeps the patterns, while the outer layer accomodates the cords.


One half is finished

One thing you shoud do before you start cording (I realised that, when I had finished one half already: Just sew along the outside line of the pattern on the inner layer; that way you will have it visible on oth sides of the fabric and can even feel it slightly through the outer layer, for example to determine how far you have to sew down the cording 🙂

The pattern outlined

The stay is going to be closed in the front by , so I left some space in between the cords for making the holes. To finish the edge, I cut the inner layer exactly at the edge, folded the outer layer around, made the red marked seam, cut the outer layer, folded it under and sewe alongfront

The top edge I did similiar ; first I cut the inner layer and the cords exactly along the pattern line, cut the outer layer with 2cm of seam allowance, folded it under and stiched it down.

top edge

The finished top edge (yes, the gusset is still missing and yes, it does need some ironing):

top edge finished

Now for the last picture to bring you up to date of my work so far: I changed the bottom line a little bit and made those flaps a little narrower, so that in between there will be a little space which will make it so much easier to finish the edge:


I haven´t yet decided on how to finish this edge; either just the same as the top or a little more difficult but looking much better: to sew on a separate bit of the fabric of the outer layer, as if I was going to make a lining, turn it over so that the seam allowances are in between the fabrics and then fold this bit under and stitch it like the top edge finish. The cool thing about that would be, that I could put in a piping along the edge in a nice colour, giving much more style to the whole stay 🙂

Blogging again :)

I am sorry, I have shamefully neglected this blog… But I will cath up with what I was doing lately and then hopefully keep you updaed on my upcoming projects.

As I was in India the last year for a gap year and came back at the beginning of january, I didn´t have that much time for creativity except when it came to finding a job and writing applications for uni. But I did do some small stuff:

I did some more naalbinding, this time I made some socks (which is anyway the only thing exept mittens the techique was used for historicaly); one pair with only a tiny shaft as bedsocks for myself and one pair with a knittet shaft (for more flexibility) as houseshoes for my sister. These are my ones, and I do really like them, they´re so warm and soft 🙂


I used the Oslo stitch for both of them and I so quite like the design it makes as a surface – a little like being cord being sewn together … The Oslo stitch is the easiest one, but, being me, I did of cause start with the difficult ones and only now tried the classical, easy Oslo stitch 😉 Here is a close up of the design it makes:


And I also did some knitting, as it is quite cold here still and the above socks are definitely too thick to be worn in shoes. So I am making these socks, but as yet I finished only one:


Yeah, I know, all I seem to have done are different red coloured socks 😉

And there is another thing I definitely want to tell you: I´ve got a new sewing machine 😀 And, actually, it is not new at all, but about 80 years old; it´s a Singer treadle sewing machine with lots of stuff still in the small drawers attached at both sides 😀

For example one foot, that makes up a whole hem in one go, so you don´t have to fold and in it first, just let the fabric run into the foot and out of it comes the finished hem 🙂 Ok, this sounds a little strange and I guess is hard to imagine, so here a few pictures:



And it is even possible to choose the width of the hem you are creating:


But there are still many pieces that I don´t have a clue on how to use them 😉

Ok, this was a long post with many things stuffed into it, but I hope you bore with me and from now on I´ll write more regularly 🙂