There was a vacuum after the competition gown was finished, so I just had to sew a medieval kirtle for my little niece. She was so happy! This was done in a few hours, so I needed yet another project. I have some beautiful whitework embroidery saved from pillow cases, which I believe were made by my husband’s grandmother. As I also recieved an old curtain with a pretty floral print, screeming Regency, I knew I just had to make a regency dress for another niece. I incorporated the embroidery in the bodice and the poofy arms. I made an interior bodice with lacing in the back, in order to leave room for some growth. The fashion layer has drawstrings in the neckline and under the bust.
Now I am eager to see whether the dress fits the pretty maiden.
Photo Shoot In The Valley of Cherry Blossoms
The dress fits my niece so well! I’m so proud of this intelligent, pretty young maiden and her wonderful family.
As you might see, there was also a pregnant seamstress lurking around.
So, for those of you who have not followed this project from the beginning, I want to introduce the Lady of the Green Kirtle, the Queen of the Underland or the Green Witch, from The Silver Chair, in the book series of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. She is perceived as a lovely, beautiful creature by those who meet her, but the story shows that she is a ruthless ruler and a witch who sometimes transforms herself into a serpent. She is described as tall, slender, with glimmering skin and wearing a flowy green gown. My pretty silk is woven by green and red thred and looked very green laying flat. Along the way I understood that my Green Lady would have to accept the more purple tone, which became even more dominant with the pinkish arms. I am very pleased with how she turned out. Here she is!
För er som inte har följt mitt projekt från start, vill jag presentera Gröna damen, Drottningen av Underjorden och Ormhäxan, från C.S. Lewis ”Silvertronen”, i Narnia-serien. De som möter henne uppfattar henne som en älskvärd, vacker kvinna, men genom berättelsen framgår det att hon är en hänsynslös härskare och en häxa som ibland förvandlas till orm. Hon beskrivs som lång och smal, med skimrande hy och med en grön böljande klänning.
Mitt vackra siden är vävt i grönt och rött och såg väldigt grönt ut när det låg ner. Under konstruktionens gång har jag insett att min Gröna Dam måste acceptera en mer lila ton, vilken blivet ännu mer framträdande med de rosaaktiga ärmarna. Jag är väldigt nöjd hur hon blev. Hoppas att ni ska gilla henne!
The corset is by no means perfect, but it is far better than any corset I have made before. I made 4,5 mockups and learnt new techiques, as rollpinning, stitching in the ditch, using fray check etc. This is thanks to the Stitchlings’ community and the fantastic mentors of Foundations Revealed.
Korsetten är inte i närheten av perfekt, men den är så mycket bättre än de korsetter jag tidigare har sytt.Jag har använt nya tekniker, som roll pinning, stitching in the ditch, använt “fray check” mm.. Detta är tack vare Stitchlings’ community och de fantastiska metorerna på Foundations Revealed. Allt korsettmaterial och en del klänningsdetaljer är köpt på Vena Cava Design.
I am so pleased with how the dress turned out and so glad that I made the corset for it – it really gives the dress a more regal silhouette. For the dress I started with making the foundation piece in lightweight cotton and polyester for the skirt, with tulle attached for giving the skirt the right silhouette. I used 9,5 metres of silk for the dress. All hems are hand stitched. The hem of the skirt is lined with horsehair. The arms are detachable, so that I can use it as a modern ball gown, would such an opportunity ever appear. The belt is made from four twisted strands of steel wire.
My dear friend Josefine Antonsson shot these beautiful pictures yesterday, when we had finally been blessed with a thin snow powder on the naked ground. Thank you so much!
You can follow the whole journey from idea to sewing the different parts here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
Jag är så nöjd med hur klänningen blev och så glad för att jag valde att göra korsetten till den – korsetten ger klänningen en mer kunglig silhuett. Jag började med ett undre lager med tunnt bomullstyg i livet och polyesterfoder för underkjolen. Längst ner fäste jag tyll för att få rätt silhuett. Jag använde 9,5 meter siden till själva klänningen. Alla fållar är handsydda. Kjolfållen är dessutom fållad med “hästhår”. Ärmarna är avtagbara, så att jag kan använda klänningen som modern balklänning, om det någonsin skulle dyka upp ett sådant tillfälle.Bältet gjorde jag genom att fläta fyra stråltrådar.
Min vän Josefine Antonsson tog dessa magiska bilder igår, när vi äntligen välsignats med ett tunnt vitt snöpuder över den nakna marken.Tack så mycket!
Du kan följa hela processen från idé till sömnad av de olika delarna här: Del 1 och Del 2 och Del 3.
I wanted to try horse hair lining for the hem of the skirt, in order to have a more professional finish. Haha. That did not work out very well, as I had placed the horse hair upside down and the thin fabric was distorted. I had to unpick everything again, start from the beginning and finish it by hand instead.
I had pondered on whether to leave the dress without arms or not, but as the skirt was finished, I thought it did not look enough fairytale like. I had a dupioni silk (given by a friend, Carolina Holmström) laying in my stash, matching the gown perfectly.
I wanted a late medieval S-arm with shiny buttons, preferably 10 on each arm. I used the pattern from my late 1300s cotehardie. Unfortunately I had only ten buttons totally, so I spaced them out in the best way I could.
After finishing the cotehardie arms, with handsewn buttonholes and metal buttons, I used the scraps I had left of the dress fabric for the flowy arms. Everything was hemmed by hand. I had time for it, thanks to a nasty cold causing one week of isolation, due to the Covid restrictions.
As the dress was finally finished, I tore my corset mockup apart, so that I could use the busk and boning for the real corset. This time, I tried to make everything as precisely as possible – rollpinning, basting, using waist band, fray check, stitching in the ditch etc.
After trying the corset on for only three times, I found out that the wonderful satin was already straying away from the eyelets.
I have got wonderful advice from the mentors and Stitchling members on the Foundations Revealed Community, so that this will not happen again, with the next corset.
There are a lot of new wrinkles, which I suppose depend on the silk behaving different than the mockup material. My uncorseted waist measure is 72 cm, but laced up its 62,5 cm – so almost 10 cm reduction. Overall I am very pleased with the corset. It is so much better than my earlier ones and I have learnt so much that I want to apply on new projects.
Compare this to the first mockup, and you will understand why I am content, even though there are some issues left.
After achieving the right shape for the corset mockup, I have aimed at making the smoothest foundation possible, to go underneath the lightweight silk. A few minutes at a time, I sketch, measure and sew. Tiny steps, over and over again. At last it begins to look like a dress.
Efter att uppnått rätt silhuett på korsetttoillen, försöke jag skapa den jämnaste grunden jag kunde, för det tunna sidenet som ska vara ytterst. Jag har skissat, mätt och sytt några minuter åt gången. Små steg i taget, om och om igen. Till slut börjar det likna en klänning.
First, I made the bodice part, from a lightweight cotton, that I got from Birgitta. It has a long zipper under the arm. It has two darts in front and, mistortunately two gussets at the lower back (don’t ask me why). Then I added a skirt, made from a synthetic lining fabric, that I got amongst the most beautiful fabrics from Sollan, through Carolina Holmström. In order to get the right flowy shape, I have added tulle in several rows, smother in the front and more gathered in the back.
Först sydde jag klänningslivet av rester från ett tunt bomullstyg som jag fått av Birgitta. Livet har en lång dragkedja under armhålet, två inprovningar framtill och två sprund i ländryggen (fråga inte varför). Sedan sydde jag fast en underkjol, av tyg som jag fått tillsammans med flera fantastiska tyger från Sollan, genom Carolina Holmström. För att få till den perfekta böljande formen, fäste jag sedan tyll i flera rader nedtill på kjolen – mest rynkade baktill.
The fashion fabric is a very lightweight dupioni ikat from Khiva (an ancient city along the Silk road), that I got from my mother years ago. Since it doesn’t fit the historical fashions that I use to do and is too beautiful to use for any project, it has just layed in my stash, to be taken out and be stared at for a while every year. I was thrilled when I finally found out that it would suit my serpent witch!
Klänningstyget är ett tunt ikatmönstrat dupionsiden från Khiva (en uråldrig stad längs sidenvägen), som mamma gav mig för många år sedan. Eftersom sådana tyger inte förekommer under de historiska moden som jag sysslar med, har tyget legat i en låda för att bli framplockat och stirrat på med jämna mellanrum. Jag blev så glad när jag kom på att det skulle passa fint på ormhäxan!
It is 60 cm wide and good 9 m long. I have measured and counted so many times, trying to figure out how to cut the fabric and have something left for the sleeves. Finally I have decided to just finish the dress and see what I can come up with with, using what fabric is left afterwards. Oh, the horror.
Tyget är 60 cm brett och drygt 9 m långt. Jag har mätt och räknat så många gånger, för att lista ut hur tyget ska klippas och ändå få något över till ärmarna. Till slut har jag bestämt mig för att göra klart klänningen först och se om det sedan klura ut hur ärmarna ska se ut, utifrån hur mycket tyg jag har kvar då. Kära hjärtanes.
Now I have started draping. It is great fun! But it is challenging to save the hemline at the right height as I manipulate the fabric. I put a pin in every wrinkle and will then secure all of this stiching by hand with my finest needle. This will take maaaany hours.
Nu har jag börjat drapera tyget. Det är superkul! Men det är knepigt att bevara rätt höjd på kjolfållen medan jag manipulerar tyget. Jag sätter en nål i varje veck och ska sedan fästa allt detta med handsömnad. Detta kommer ta mååååånga timmar.
The journey has finally begun! The theme of next year’s Your Wardrobe Competition is any character from any literature. Exciting, isn’t it?! I haven’t been able to decide on which character to go for, as I feel like I can’t go down the Jane Austen lane and yet another regency gown. Unfortunately the Elizabeth Gaskell characters are from particular years that I am not willing to spend a year on recreating and the wonderful characters of Dickens are either too young or too old for me. There are some sympathetic background characters in Astrid Lindgren’s books, but I have already made a competition piece inspired by her Edwardian teachers. I have already seen many go for my dear Tolkien characters. For a while, I thought about making a dress for David Eddings’ Polgara. Then there is a character in the Narnia book “The Silver Chair”, which actually has tickled my mind for many years – the Green Witch! When I was a child I dreamed of designing a dress for her, but then I lacked the skill to carry it out. Now, as a member of the Stitchling Society, surrounded by true masters, I think that I actually might be able to pull it through!
The Green Witch
I read the passages with the witch again (in Swedish). She is obviously the most beautiful creature Prince Rilian has ever beheld. Haha! She is very slender, with curly hair and glimmering skin. Her dress is flowy, in a venomous green colour.
I want to make a dress for this lovely lady! In order to get such a slim waist, I will need a corset with waist reduction and breast padding. As I like the victorian take on the medieval fashions (especially the preraphaelite take on this), I will make what I call a Medievorian dress. I will use my lightweight dupioni fabric from Khiva, hoping to create a flowy texture on top of the corset base. I have not yet decided what the arms will look like, as I am not sure how much fabric will be left when the rest of the dress is finished.
I want to make some kind of belt, incorporating her serpent avatar.
I made a self drafted corset pattern by Cathy Hay’s tutorial, years ago. Because of lack of money and thus lack of the right materials I have never finished it. I have returned to it several times, though, and drawn cryptical lines… I believe I originally made it for giving 2″ waist reduction and some push up.
Here comes my several mockups.
Now I am ready for draping the foundation layer and then the dress on the corset mockup. Hopefully I will have time both for finishing the real corset, the dress and accessories in time for the competition.
There is seldom time for sewing since we moved to our house. We are so lucky to have a helping family and to know craftsmen, so that all organic material is removed from the cellar, the electicity, plumbing, draining around the house, topographic changes in the garden and the new floor in our washing room is already finished after only four months! The projects in waiting are quite pressing though… I’m proud of having put back the pavingstones, but the ground needs preparation for grass and flowers, and the cellar is still kind of dangerous.
By Christmas, I laid my hands on a pair of pretty curtains with an extreme amount of fluonces at the second hand shop. 30 SEK. What a find! My husband was horrified, thinking that I intended them for the room of our son. ?
Last week, the stormy weather at last gave me an excuse for not working in the garden, but delving into a nice little sewing project. I made a really simple and usable dress out of the curtains. My husband was relieved.
I did everything just I use to: I draped the fabric on my mannequin, pinning it so that the grain lines would be straight and putting darts in front and at the bust. Then I stitched it together, leaving one side seem open for a zipper. There was enough fabric for a halfcirkle skirt. I put pockets in the side seams. This time I carefully ironed the hemline as I folded it twice. The bodice was attached to the skirt and the zipper was inserted. Then I finished the neckline and arms.
The dress was finished yesterday and today it had its premier. I was too tired and my dear photographer was too eager to go fishing, so there was no photo shoot today, even though the weather is lovely and the woods are full of anemones.
Last year I disintegrated my sister’s old wool winter jacket (she let me, I promise) in order to reuse the lining for my red winter coat. Originally, I planned to use the wool for my nephew’s medieval clothes, but when I had the vlieseline (?) removed, it was too sticky on the wrong side. So I saved it in my stash. When I found this fluffy faux fur at Panduro, I knew just what to use it for! It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!
Förra året sprättade jag upp min systers gamla vinterjacka (hon tillät det, jag lovar), för att kunna återanvända jackans foder till min röda kappa. Jag sparade yttertyget, som var ett fint ylle. Jag tänkte använda tyget till min systersons medeltidskläder, men det när jag hade tagit bort det stadgande materialet (vlieseline?) var det alldeles för sticksigt, så det fick ligga kvar i tyglagret. När jag hittade denna fluffiga fuskpäls visste jag precis vad jag skulle använda yllet till! Det är så fluffigt att jag dör!
I made a new pattern, tracing the outer lines from my son’s favourite jacket, but adding one centimeter at every side, except at the bottom, where I added one decimeter. I thought about hiding a zipper behind a flap (?) and adding fancy metal buttons, that my son adores, but it seemed too intricate to sew and for a child to put on by himself.
Jag ritade ett nytt mönster genom att rita en centimeter utanför varje kant på hans favoritjacka. Nertill la jag till en decimeter. Jag funderade över att ha en dragkedja dold under en flärp med fina metallknappar, som han älskar, men det verkade vara för knepigt både att sy och för en tvååring att hantera.
I removed the old pockets and used this part for arms. Unfortunately the fabric behind the pocket seams had a lighter colour, which I unsuccessfully tried covering up with black ink. Obviously the ink reflects sunlight very well… I had to make some piecing together, as you see.
Jag sprättade bort de gamla fickorna och använde dessa tygstycken till ärmarna. Tyvärr visade sig tyget under sömmarna ha blivit ljusare, vilket jag försökte maskera med svart tush. Tushet reflekterar visst solljuset väldigt bra… Som du ser fick jag skarva en del för att få tyget att räcka.
When he first tried the jacket on, he began crying and wouldn’t try it again for a few days. Today, I realized that there was a needle left in the faux fur. After removing it, he loved this jacket. He described it as “Awesome! Cozy!”. I am so pleased!
När han testade jackan första gången började han gråta och vägrade ta på den igen. Idag upptäckte jag att en nål gömt sig i den fluffiga fuskpälsen. Efter att jag tagit bort den älskade han sin nya jacka. Han beskrev den som “Häftig! Mysig!” Jag är så glad!
For Christmas gift, I made a pyjamah, tracing his favourite pair. He loves the fact that it is a dress with pockets
Jag sydde en pyjamas till honom i julklapp. Hans favoritpyjamas är en klänning med fickor. Denna använde jag som förlaga och han blev väldigt nöjd.
These last few months have been crazy. I’ve had my internship at the psychiatric ward, which have been both thrilling and exhausting, as I have been working nights a lot more than I tolerate. At the same time I have been preparing clothes for a recency ball. In a weak moment I decided to even participate in dancing sessions before the ball, in order to fully enjoy the historically authentic ball (for those of you who don’t know me, I am not the dancing type). My dear nieces will accompany us for the dancing lessons and thus, there is need for one more regency dress, for a slender thirteenyearold. The younger niece will wear this dress which will be long enough after having removed the pin tucks. I made the quickest dress ever, with the least amount of material ever, leaving approximately five square centimetres of scraps. This is the result.
Our toddler will join the dancing sessions, off course. So he needs a kirtle. I made one in a few hours by machine. He should have a pair of trousers and a hat too, but there is no time and what does it matter, really? If you want some background about children’s clothing, see this lovely page.
Fall Front Breeches
I have been working on a new pair of breeches for my husband for some years, moments at a time. Now only the buttons remain. I have tried to solve the mystery of the construction of the elusive fall front breeches and drafted the pattern myself. This is how I have interpreted what I have seen in pictures.
After I stopped documenting this process – why, in heavens name? – I added a waistband to hide the raw edges at the rest of the top of the breeches. I hid the raw edges of the end of the legs in the same way. And at the very last I will add buttons and make button holes!
Shirt with Ruffles
I thought that he also needed a nicer shirt and cravat than the first set of clothes, so I made a new shirt with ruffles in the neckline and by the cuffs. Afterwards, I have found excellent tutorials for period regency shirt construction, as in Fabric and Fiction and at Your Wardrobe Unlocked. This one is obviously wrong in many ways.
I started by cutting the double length wished for, folded and cut a whole for the head and a slit at the mid front. Then I added two square arms with square gussets at the arm pits, with gathering at the shoulder and at the end of the arms. I also added ruffles at the slit in the front, although I found out later that the slit should probably have been 3-4 dm long and the ruffles should have been in one continuing piece, instead of one on each side.
I have no idea how this should be done, but this was my way of making the ruffles at the end of the arms: I had two pieces of fabrics in which I hid the raw edge of the arm gathering. After having stitched this in place, I added a folded piece of fabric with gathering, which I tucked in between the two layers in the same way as the arm gathering.
My most time consuming sewing project ever must be his new tailcoat. I have used historical methods and made all of the interlining by hand – hundreds of stitches that no one will ever see… ? I used the fantastic pattern of Laughing Moon that I bought for the prize money for my win in the 2017 competition of Your Wardrobe Unlocked.
Now there is only a new waistcoat left to make the suit complete. And a pair of shoes, stockings, pocket watch, new hair etc… When starting to update the historical wardrobe, there is no end to it, especially as the family expands.
If I’m still alive by the end of the week, after two more nights at work, I look forward to see all of these clothes during the dancing session.
The dance training was featured in the local newspaper, with some nice pictures. This was what our family looked like. Alas, it was all too obvious that I had not made adjustments for the tail coat during the process, for it did not fit as well as I had hoped for.
Two years ago, we planned on going to the Medieval Week at Visby together with my brother and my sisters family. At the eleventh hour, I noticed that we had booked the ferry ticket and hotel nights for the wrong week. Oh, the horror. We comforted ourselves by going to the beautiful castle of Tjolöholm instead, where there was a Jane Austen display. My nieces have been very keen on experiencing the Medieval week though. I had no vacation this summer, so Visby was out of the question, but I had time for a day at the medieval fair at Söderköpings gästabud.
With a tiny bit of help from me, my nieces made their own gowns – all from cutting to sewing. I am so proud of them! We used fabric from my stash. The green cotton was initially blue, but became green when I was trying to dye it black for the Scary Robe. The pink linen was a huge table cloth. The dresses are made from rectangles and triangles. As the fabric is so unmedieval, the girls went all in by using Tanzanian wooden belts fort decoration. I think that they look like fantasy princesses!
They asked me several times what our boy would wear. Eventually I could not resist making a little kirtle for him, out of an old linen skirt.
Earlier, we worn the cheapest underwear, made out of old cotton bed sheets. At our last stay at the Medieval week though, I bought linnen. During my internships far away from home, I spent the lonely evenings hand stitching a new shirt and a pair of breeches for my husband. I made a new chemise for myself the last night, on machine. I am quite proud of that I succeeded in making alterations for my husbands cotehardie. I made it for him ten years ago, when he was quite slender. Since he began bodybuilding, he has not been able to get into these clothes again. Astonishingly, I seem to have been wise enough to save broad seam allowances, so that I could make both the torso and sleeves wider. After adding sleeve gussets at the shoulders, he was even able to move!
The day at Söderköping was cosy. Off course, it could not compare with Visby, but our boy was happy in the clothes (he had my liripipe hood because of the cold weather) and my nieces were happy to play with him for a whole day. The city is beautiful; the main part consists of pretty wooden houses from the 19th and early 20th century. The market was nice and I found a nice fabric for a new modern coat. All together, it was a nice day, in great company. Thank you, dear nieces!
– where you can see what I do – designing, sewing, singing, creating etc.