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 🙂


bag :)

the bigger bag is finished 🙂 well, nearly. There is still the red bit missing, that will go onto the shoulder, but that I’ll do by hand. This is what it looks like now:


CIMG0099   Taschendetails















You can’t see the colours properly, but you see the way the bag is made 🙂 In the picture of the back of the bag you see the green nicely and the red in the detail of the flap and piping.

It is the first time that I used piping and directly made it all myself – and it came out very nicely, I think 🙂

At the bottom of the see…

Once there were two little fishes, living at the bottom of the sea, between the seaweeds and under the waves…


My Co-volunteer in the school I’m working in started making bracelets with the children and I also did one:



I like it always, to have some story or meaning in the stuff I make 🙂 Even if it is only two little fishes…


This is how I did the starting and ending:



The jacket for my cousin is finished, so here comes the next project: Making two bags, a bigger shopping bag and a small one just for the purse, phone, keys etc. 🙂

I bought some nice fabrics and a border and this is my plan for the two bags:

CIMG0070Sorry, its a little dark and the labels are in german, but with the flash you couldn’t see anything.

The bigger bag is to be big enough for an A4 size paper or book to fit in. The smaller one is to be about 10 by 15 cm big (or small…).


This are the fabrics I bought and the idea on how to use them on the bags:Bild

The red and yellow one are a cotton-silk mix, the green one is raw silk. The yellow is actually a very greenish one and the dreen is also more green and not as yellowish as it apears in the picture… But it’s always hard to get the colours right on a foto.

Holiday knitting 2

Sorry, I published this by mistake on my other Blog, which made it an even longer time till I wrote something here again…


India is a good Country for knitting while traveling if you ignore the dirt – you are sure to have loooong bus or train travels, where you find many undisturbed hours in a row to knit 🙂 On one bus drive I knitted throughout the night (the whole night!) and finished one of the two front pieces in one go; I was sitting in a government bus from munnar to mysore, which took the whole afternoon and night 😉

The three weeks afterwards on the other hand I didn’t find too much time for knitting; but now the sweater is nearly finished 🙂

I also found some hours to spare for the burgundian dress: I finished the collar as far as I could without attaching it to the as yet nonexistent dress. I really enjoy the sewing – I didn’t expect that… Also, I didn’t expect, that it would be so easy to such small and regular stitches; on the sewing machine I use a bigger pacing… 😉

Lazy?! Some nearly finished stuff

Sorry, I didn’t post anything for some time… But the Jacket for my little cousin took some time, as the design slows you down a bit in your knitting speed. But that wasn’t the only problem – because the knitted bit was only growing slowly, I fear I lost my enthusiasm a little and didn’t knit as often/ as long each as I could have…

But now at least the design part is finished (body and arms), and of the shoulders I already finished half yesterday 🙂 That part goes so much faster.

But I also nearly finished the Harpcase! I sewed the parts of the outer Layer and the lining together respectively; I still don’t have a fabric for the padding, so that I just made two separate bags that are to be connected, when the padding is in between at the whole top seam.

I was happy, that the harp actually did fit in, as it had been difficult to make a pattern for it, because all the edges are slanting in a different directions, so that the main planes of the case are somewhat twisted… (The top edge going steep down, the bottom edge coming slightly up and somewhat to the outside)


I have played for some time with the idea of making my own case for my harp, as the one I have for it is actually a bit too big and its not well cushioned. Especially for the flight back to Germany (I’m in India) I want a case that looks small (so I’ll be allowed to carry it as hand luggage) and that protects the harp from all the hits it’s going to take in the airport and on the plain.


So my plan was to make a closely fitting bag, that is lined with one or two layers of woolen blanket.

I already found a nice fabric, which has a green-golden colour and is made of 60% Silk and 40% Cotton. I wasn’t looking for Silk, but in India you get is very easily. It is 110cm wide and was 380 Rupees per Meter, which is something around 4,50 Euro.


On the back of the Case I wanted to do some embroidery and came up with the following pattern:


IMAG0884 For the embroidery I used the shuttle-thread of the fabric – the more golden part of the fabric. The weft is a thin green Yarn, which gives the whole fabric this nice colourchanging appearanc. In the picture the colour doesn’t really show.

It is a single yarn (not twistet together out of multiple strands) and frays quite easily, so that I used quite short bits of yarn for the embroidery.


Because the design has quite many points and curves, I used whipped backstitch, which takes points and curves very well:

whipped backstichFirst you do backstitch (first picture) and than you just take the thread through the stitches you made, without piercing the fabric (second pic).


I decided to continue this blog in english, as most of my sources are in english and this way my blog also is open for more poeple 🙂


Ich habe mich entschlossen, diesen Blog auf Englisch fortzufuehren, weil ich eh nur englische Quellen benutze und auf diese verweise und ausserdem, weil dadurch mein mehr Leuten offen steht. Wenn jemand sich aber ueber deutsche Post freuen wuerde, weil Englisch eine zu grosse Sprachbarriere darstellt, bitte kommentieren, dann ueberleg ich mir was 🙂


Und schon wieder Baendchen, diesmal aber in einer anderne Technik 🙂

Fingerloop ist eine mittelalterliche Flechttechnik, bei der man lange Schlaufen mit den Fingern haelt und austauscht. Eine sehr schoene Anleitung auf der Grundlage historischer Flechtbeschreibungen gibt es hier und hier noch mehr Anleitungen, mit Video und ausfuehrlichen Beschreibungen.

Zum flehten habe ich ungeteiltes Stickgarn genommen, was sehr gut funktioniert hat und auch gut aussieht 🙂

Das erste Baendchen ist mit fuenf Schlaufen rundgeflochten:


Oben im Bild sieht man das Muster wie es oben und unten ist, unten im Bild sieht man das Muster an den Seiten. Eigentlich ist das Band nicht Rund, sondern viereckig und besteht aus zwei kleinen, flchen Baendchen, die an den Seiten verbunden sind. Wenn man sie nur an einer Seite verbindet (kleine Variation beim Flechten mit der einen Hand), erfaellt man ein flaches, breiteres Baendchen; man kann sie aber auch einfach gar nicht verbinden und dadurch zum Beispiel eine Oese/ Loch in das Band einarbeiten:

IMAG0858Sorry, ist leider etwas unscharf.

Weil meine Tuer nicht so richtig gut schiesst/ der Riegel nur schwer ins Loch geht, habe ich dieses Band einfach als neuen Tuerverschluss angebracht; an der Tuer um eine Schraube geknotet und an der Wand mit der Oese auf einen Nagel gehaengt 🙂

Weil ich noch Garn uebrig hatte, habe ich dann noch ein flaches Band mit sieben Schlaufen ausbrobiert – was so lange ganz gut funktioniert hat, bis ich nach einer Oese die Seite gewechselt habe, an der die beiden kleinen Baender verbunden waren; danach bin ich oefters mal durcheinander gekommen, an welcher Seite ich offen lasse und welche zu sein soll… Insgesammt erinnert mich dieses Band an Schnuersenkel 😉

IMAG0849Hier kann man auch wieder huebsche Schlaufen einflechten:



Die Linien sind fertig 🙂

Ich habe zuerst die gruenen


und dann die blauen


Linien gestickt; andersrum waere besser gewesen, weil die ich die blauen an die gruenen anpassen musste, wodurch sie nicht immer eine schoene Biegung bekommen haben. Weil die blauen Linien aber aus zwei Reihen Chainstich bestehen, konnte ich das immerhin ein bischen wieder ausgleichen…

Ich habe wie gesagt fuer die blauen Linien zwei Reihen Chainstich benutzt; die zweite nach unten aber in Stemstich auslaufen lassen, um einen gleichmaessigen uebergang zu schaffen. Die gruenen Linien sind auch Stem- und Chainstich; die mittlere, etwas dickere ist Chainstich und die beiden aeusseren sind Stemstich. Hier noch mal ne Nahaufnahme, da sieht man die verschiedenen Stiche besser 🙂


Als naechstes werden dann die Flaechen ausgefuellt 🙂 Ich muss mich nur noch entscheiden, mit welchem Stickgarn genau, also mit welcher Farbschattierung…