Wednesday, December 8, 2010

1928-1941 Coat Repair

I don't usually do repair work on vintage clothing because, quite frankly, it's more trouble than it's worth, (for someone like me who enjoys making things from scratch). I'm also far from a professional when it comes to these things.


One of my camp friends asked me to see what I could do to save her "1890 Persian Buffalo coat" and for some insane reason I agreed.
Said coat sat in a pillow case on my shelf awaiting it's turn for a few months & didn't stink too badly... Then the docket was up & out of the sack it came.

Now... for a very good restoration, one should separate the fur from the lining, make all necessary repairs to the hide, fur & seams, matching & patching with fur as close as one can get; then repair the lining and stitch everything back together. Critical seams (armholes, etc.) should be reinforced with twill tape or similar fabric.
This was not to be.
First, there were past repairs that were quite sound & stitched right to the lining.
Second, time constraints & cost concerns prevented this approach.

So, the plan of action was this:
Find leather of a nice color & patch from behind the fur, saving as much of the fur as possible & make the coat wearable & look good. No major changes, no overhauls.

Leather found (split elk in a beautiful cinnamon brown) with too many flaws to use for anything else.
Damage assessed & diagramed (10 major holes or splits in the hide with about 10 more minor ones).
Patterns for patches made (cut paper & numbered with directional indicators; up down, front, back).
Leather bits traced & cut.
Let the patching begin!

My main concern was that the shoulders were completely blown out. Most of the leather along those seams was rotten or so damaged by past repairs that it was not salvageable... an entire patch about 12" long & 4" wide was missing from the left shoulder. The right was completely shredded. The shoulder seams were reduced to thread & powder.

Various holes & splits threatened to undo the garment at the least movement... but the leather was, for the most part, sound. It was being held together by a lovely orange embroidery thread, green cotton thread, tan button-hole thread and, of all things, fishing line!

I removed one "repair" and rotten bit at a time, so the coat stayed mostly intact throughout the process.

Starting with the left shoulder, I pinned in the patch, stitched it on with running stitches near the outer edge of the patch & then whip stitched the fur edges so they laid flat.
Next, I patched holes across the shoulder & neck seams; mostly by whip stitching with huge Frankenstein whip stitches to keep tension to a minimum & grab as much material as I could.
Repaired the splits under the arms.
Reinforced the armholes on the body side with leather & tacked the padding back onto the fur so the shoulders regained their beautiful shape!
Laid the sleeve cap over the shoulder & stitched it on (again with big ol' Frankenstein stitches). Made sure it was sound & pulled the hair up to cover the threads.

The right armhole was a bit trickier (the whole right side of the coat is dry rotted). At first I thought it was in better condition than the left, but once I removed the excellent fishing line repairs (they really did hold it together well), the utter devastation became apparent. Everything was crumbling. The whole right sleeve was in the process of blowing out, the leather was cracking & splitting.

New solution...

Because the leather couldn't handle twill tape stitching I thought "what about band-aids?" (fabric & glue). Looked it up & figured it was worth a try. So I cut linen patches to size & using fabric/fiber/plastic/metal/etc. "not sensitive to heat or cold!" glue made myself some long-lasting band-aids for this poor beleaguered sleeve. After the first 2 patched dried & I had carefully repaired the armhole on the coat body, I thought "this just might work!"
The sleeve cap was in danger of shredding with another hole & I just couldn't see it standing up to having thread pulled through it. So I glued pieces of linen bias tape along the edge to stabilize that too.
Moving on while that drys.

The bottom fronts both had L tares. The first was a simple patch & whip. The other was in similar condition to the sleeve: "band-aid" and let dry. Amazingly enough after the glue had dried I was able to just whip the tares together & no patch was necessary... though I think this might qualify as a "patch & pray."

Right armhole was stitched back together (the glue made the leather a little stiff, but not bad at all), small whip stitched repairs in the cuff, chest & belly were made & Ta-Da! Finished coat...

It's now in the "freezer" (the van at 20F) for 3 days to kill any mites, after which time it will become well acquainted with fresh coffee grounds to make it smell much better.

All done!

It's not 1890. It's not baby buffalo.

What it is is 1928-1941 Angora kid goat fur/hair. Most likely made by Clearfield Furs of Clearfield, PA or Buffalo Bill Fur Farms of Cody, WY, or any number of other fur coat producers of the 20's & 30's.
The coat has the characteristic straight sided cut of the 20's & 30's, which was not seen in American fashion prior to 1917. (vs. the gored, fitted, darts & curves of the 1890's, 1900's & 1910's).

(if these are your -- very cute-- angora goats, I want some to eat my weeds... and if you'd like me to remove the images I will. Got them from Flicker & didn't have any notices that they were copyrighted. But seriously, I could use some goats to combat the weed issue... and they are cute).

It has elastic inner sleeves to keep the cold air out, which was done starting in the late 20's and continued into the 1970's... why, oh why, have they stopped doing this??? Even though the fabric doesn't match, it's original to the garment.
The collar is very much in the style of the late 20's & 30's, (vs. the stand-up, huge, fun shapes of the previous decades).
The shoulders have the delightfully squared off look of the late 20's & 30's, but not quite the blocky solidness of the mid-1940's.

The American Bison was nearly extinct by 1884, with an estimated 500 individuals roaming free. By 1890 there were a few select ranchers breeding captive herds to preserve the species, but their hides were not routinely used for garments at this time... however, there were literally 100,000's of tanned hides stockpiled in warehouses throughout the US & Canada. Now, it's possible that a few of these (30 or 40 yr. old) hides were used to make this coat, but that is unlikely.
(isn't he cute? If this is your --really cute-- image & you'd like me to remove it, I will. I got it from Flicker & it didn't yell at me).

However, goat, sheep, & exotic animals (cats, monkeys, etc) were common coat material in the 20's & 30's.

Many thanks to Darlene, Barbara, Carol & Betty for helping me brainstorm about what kind of fur this was & when the coat was made.

Friday, November 26, 2010

An Interesting Month

October & November have been a rather interesting months in my life & business. Here are some images of the garments that we made...

These are both 1840's outfits, we made the coats & waistcoats.
Thank you to the Frazier International History Museum for sending the pictures along! (Dashing young men, aren't they?)

I spent most of October bouncing between being terribly sick & hyperactive. A positively unbelievable amount of clothing was produced & shipped out. Despite the head-cold, it may have been one of my best months ever.

November was a little rougher. The cold lingered (the cough has yet to depart) and a new & rather uncomfortable illness set in. My Dr. freaked out & sent me to some specialists & for blood tests and all of them said "there's nothing wrong with you!" Which was wonderful news to me, despite feeling like death warmed over on some days & just peachy on others. A good dose of garlic seemed to fix what ailed me & I'm continuing on with this plan until I find something better. Vampires beware.

Work in November has been rather disorganized, but constant. I've based my schedule more on how I'm feeling that day than who is next in line, though I have managed to keep to the general outline. I've made many patterns, cut about a dozen orders & have been bouncing around sewing various things according to my energy level on any given day. On high energy days I wrestle with the larger garments, on bad days I curl up with my hand-sewing projects. I'm looking forward to the week when everything is miraculously finished all at once!

The quilted petticoat is progressing quickly, I've been devoting a couple hours to it in the evenings while "watching" t-v. The top border is more than 1/2 finished and I'll soon have to decide how to proceed with the middle section... or I'll just work on all those straight lines on the lattice-work top...

I've been messing with various cuts & angles for Canadian Caps. Playing around with "how to make a fur pom-pom" and if it's better to put cording inside the fur strips or leave them on a natural fold. What weaves work best & which fabrics to avoid, (don't use very stiff material, it doesn't turn). One must also account for the space fur takes up when figuring out how large the bottom has to be. The next one I'm going to try will be seams on the outside covered with fur... this might work better than the cording & bag-lined version. We aren't quite there with the design, but I'm getting closer. By the time I figure it out, I'll have enough test hats to give away as Christmas presents. My failed attempts are still very cute.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Quilted Petticoat... 4

I finished the last repeat on the bottom border of the quilted petticoat tonight.

Now I have to decide what to do with the rest of it. Considering that the bottom border took me a year to complete, I'm not sure if time or design should win out.

I'm willing to put it to a vote!

The options are:
A: Lattice work (diamonds) for the whole top.... you know... "XXXXX": fast.
B: A central motif of flowers, etc with lattice work on either side: moderately fast.
C: cockle shells: "(((((((": moderately fast.
D: Central motif of flowers, etc with cockle shells on either side: time investment.
E: continue the floral motif for a really long way & finish the top with "(((" or "XXX": serious time investment.
(this almost resembles the NY governor's election!)

I have every intention of wearing this thing on the first muddy day at camp. OK, not really, but it'll turn out that way...

The 3 options here are basically the same: "E"
Yeah, I'm crazy.
This motif would continue almost to the top, maybe hip level before the XXX or CCC would take over. I think I'm going for the XXX because it was a little more common judging from the examples I've seen... and I can be lazy & just draw it in with a T-square.

The vines are following a basic circular pattern so they can match up fairly easily. The final petticoat has 8 central flowers and 8 garland repeats. In this design it would have a front & back medallion higher than the 2 sides. I like the symmetry enclosing the flowing vines.

I'm still up for input & suggestions.
(BTW, the darker bottom design isn't quite what's on the petticoat now... the real quilting is a little more open, spaced just slightly wider & is rather even from one end to the other).

Here are the petticoats I used as inspiration:

Mid-18th century silk-satin lined with linen, this was the original inspiration petticoat.

I don't recall where the petticoat is, but judging by the lovely gray background, it might be the MET.

I liked the 3 crown design that serves as the border & background between the lattice work & the actual design, but preferred the puffiness of the petticoat below.

18th century quilted petticoat that was for auction or sale a while ago on some site... I did not save the information. This is also silk, the waistband was linen if I recall correctly. I don't remember what it was lined with. The quilter used trapunto and stippling to create that wonderful raised design.

I especially like the outlining stitches used to give the vines & border some puffiness, rather than just defining them with the stippling like in the petticoat above.

You can also see that the quilting ends just before the waistband and the petticoat has been folded over rather than cut off. This would ensure that a 2nd owner could lengthen or shorten it without damaging the work the quilter had done.

The third petticoat is from the Williamsburg collection. It is also silk with a linen backing. The top has been extended with brown linen to reduce bulk at the waist & perhaps to lengthen it for a taller owner.

I'm not as crazy about this design as the others, but I do like the spacing of the lattice work on top. It's just a little larger & provides a bit more texture than the smaller diamonds.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Featured Gown

As a favor to a friend I'm posting a gown that I made for her here. You can find it on the "for sale" page of our web site with all the pricing info, etc.

This was worn once by my best friend & maid of honor to showcase her lovely ink art.
She partied hard, but there are no stains, runs or tares in the gown.

Due to a pressing need, she must sell it and I've agreed to list it for her. So if you want to look as fantastic in this as she does & can pay the asking price + shipping, please contact me either through the e-mail address here or the contact info listed on the Oakhill site under "contact us."

The Curiasse bodice top is a cotton / synthetic blend in a gold tan & pink brocade with a lovely historic pattern that dates back to the mid 18th century, lined with olive linen. It is boned and closes with many buttons.

The hoop skirt has a pale gold faux-silk (polyester) base and a neutral green sheer striped overskirt that is edged with pink ribbon that has a beautiful gold floral pattern.

The 120" hoop has a drop-waist, is made from tan cotton & has white ruffles up to the hips, the ruffles are mystery fabric.

As a side note, a full-grown man can fit under the whole thing without wrecking the line of the dress. What can I say? it was a great party. And I'm the boring one in the family!

The outfit can be worn with or without a corset, which is not included.

It is dry-clean only.

This is an excellent buy for anyone getting into mid-19th century dance as long as you aren't particular about fabrics.

It's also available just in time for Halloween.

The top could double as a work-place vest if paired with a button-down shirt and flowing skirt.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Bad Customer, No Cookie!

I just found out that my nightmare customer is a recurring theme in the lives of other historic seamstresses. Thankfully I can say "no" to this one quite easily. I really think we need a black-list for PITA's, history of non-payment & general harassment.

It's really important to those of us who re-create these garments that they be:
1. correct
2. durable
3. beautiful
4. well made

...We all try really, really hard to make what you (the customer) wants. Most of the time we manage it. Sometimes we don't. These things happen... not very often, but they do happen.

But occasionally there are individuals who can't be pleased. No matter how hard you work, how many times you re-make an already perfect garment, how many hours you put in, how long you research, how many times they approve (and then change) the design... they will never be happy.

There are customers who will actually yell at you. Yes, they will yell, scream, holler & sometimes swear, I even had one physically threaten me (over a coat, people! over a coat).
Before you can even send their money or fabric back to them they will call the BBB... they are on the phone bitching before the lady at the post office can stamp the package. They will call or write to whatever powers-that-be to tell them just how much you suck. They will send hate e-mail, hate mail, trash you to every other professional in the business.
There are customers that are soooo nice until they turn into rabid dogs.

These are the people who make us just want to quit. These are the people who (even if they are right - technically), make those of us who sew want to throw our hands up in the air & say "forget it, I'm just sewing for myself now."

Here's the thing: seamstresses are human. We love our jobs. But we are overworked, severely underpaid & these things take time. Once you add in the sheer volume of garments & customers that we work with in a year, there are bound to be a few things that don't work out. I'm sorry for that. Truly I am. I will fix it. But I may not be able to fix it this month... maybe not even next month. Heck, I'm booked into January right now!

I understand if someone isn't happy. Occasionally I'm not happy. If it's my fault I will do whatever I can to make it right. But for goodness sake, read my Terms & Conditions, understand that I'm not making these things in China or Mexico, I don't have a 6 figure bank account... (I'm lucky if I've got a 3 figure account).
Being yelled at by you on the phone or e-mail is not going to get your garment sewn any faster... no, I can't make the fabric supplier ship that stuff any sooner, nor can I make the button guy cast any faster (he's got a backlog too). Nor am I going to make customers who ordered well in advance wait longer because you want your stuff for the end of this week.

As to the non-payment thing... it's quite upsetting. Those of us who craft your beautiful clothes work very hard. A dress takes an average of 10 hours to sew... by machine. Never mind the hand work, design work, fabric prep, fabric cost (...5-10 yds!).

A man's suit takes 2 or 3 days. A pair of breeches is 5 hours start to finish. That's 5 hours of my life plus materials ($20 in buttons alone) that you just stole from me. And no, I don't have a spiffy insurance policy that will pay me for "that kind of thing." It's just me here, with a sewing machine, scissors, needle & thread.

That literally takes food out of my mouth, literally doesn't put gas in my tank & there's half a day of pay that you took from me. For what? a pair of pants that I'm only charging you $65 for? WTH man, this isn't Walmart! I don't keep a slave in the basement!

I do this because I love it. I sew for you because I enjoy your company, I love the sport & have a true passion for history. I'm not asking for an arm & a leg ( I just want them measured correctly). I'm asking for a fair price (a reduced one at that), so you can play toy soldier on your weekend off. I'm asking you to pay me for my material, my time & probably a little bit of my blood too.

I get blisters, muscle cramps, sometimes I can't move my hands on the weekends, sometimes my whole arm goes numb from working on the sewing machine, or doing repetitive motions wile hand sewing. I stay up for hours researching garments & fabrics & weaves & history of economics so that I know what I'm talking about. Do I always remember? Nope. Can I always get tow cloth (not in North America I can't... and btw, if you've made it this far in the rant & know where I can get tow cloth, please tell me!).

There are few things worse than having someone walk out of your store with something you worked so hard to create & later finding out that they gave you a stolen credit card number, or wrote a bad check. Even worse is "I'll pay you the rest later" and they never do... what a betrayal of friendship & camaraderie.
Nothing leaves my store now unless it's paid for. I'm sorry to the rest of you for that, but promissory notes & credit cards will reserve the item, but they will not buy it until I know that money is in my account.

And it's the same people over & over!

Which leads me back to the desire to have a black-list.

I hear the same things from my seamstress & tailor friends... same people again & again. C / S / M didn't pay me... M is a total PITA... P yelled at me & sent the garment back.

Normally I don't let this stuff get to me. It's just that this incredibly talented & wonderful seamstress (who's work & blog I haunt) may be quitting because of this horrid customer, who I've had bad experiences with. Everyone I know who sews has & she's actually made 2 seamstresses throw in the towel. She's not a bad person, she's just a terrible customer! Which somehow makes it worse. I don't want her to sink a 3rd ship.

Please check out Lauren's blog,
it rocks.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Not just a dummy!

Eventually real people wear the clothes I've made. Here are some pictures. I'll add more as soon as I transfer the images from the other computer. Usually I'd save as a draft, but that option seems to be gone... so bare with me.

Joe & Jessica

1780 English Gown with matching petticoat

1800 - 1815 outfits

Brian as "Free Frank"
1829 gentleman's outfit.

Jori in her 1880 "Pirate" polonaise. This was a gift that she gave back to me after she outgrew it... I'm still looking for a little girl to gift it again.

She still tells me about the pirate festival she wore it to.

Tanya in an off-the-rack 1780 English Gown that fit her like it was made for her.

Sara in an 1860's outfit. The hat took longer than anything else.

Bobbie in an off-the-rack gown that my mother modeled in in a previous post
She is also wearing paniers that were made for this dress... I'm working on a version that sit up higher.

Diane in the green gown with thistle stomacher. I'll post it there too. I have to figure out how to make 18th century rumps so the English gowns get filled out correctly.

Friday, July 2, 2010

1780 Sleeve Puffs

There are many types of trim on gowns & suits of the 18th century. The white sleeve puff of 1780 has always interested me. Though I looked for a pattern, I never found one. The "ah-ha" moment came with the last English Gown that I made. I needed a way to cover up as much fabric as possible (my customer loved it, I hated it... in the end it was quite pretty), without using flounces / engageantes as she's not a fan of them.

Sleeve Puffs are most often seen on English Gowns, Polonaise dresses & jackets... anything with a fitted back. They are rarely paired with flounces, though I've seen a few museum examples set up this way; I'm not sure if this is modern interpretation or historic fact. Puffs do not appear to be as common as flounces or plain cuffs.

My best guess as to who wore them: upper house servants, the lady of the house & upper class ladies who preferred the polonaise styles.
By the time the garments filtered down to the lower and working classes, most of the lace & other decorative elements would have likely been removed, reused and/or sold... this trim is difficult to keep clean & would have to be removed for laundering, making it unlikely that a working woman would bother to fuss with it... though it doesn't require pinning up like flounced do.

Sleeve Puffs, (if anyone knows the proper name, please tell me!), are made from lightweight fabric; muslin, lawn or even fine lace netting... usually white, that is cut to shape & gathered up into puffs on a sleeve. Very similar to decorative cuffs or an outer sleeve. Gathered lace can also be stitched in the center & left loose on top & bottom. This was usually done in layers and often accompanied the puffs.

Ruching, silk or paper flowers, lace, ribbons, bows & all manner of other stuff could be piled on top.

This is the formula I used:

1. Measure the "cuff" of the sleeve: 12"

2. Measure the uppermost portion where you want the puff to be (bicep). 14"

3. Measure the distance between these 2 marks up the arm. 3"

4. Decide how full you want the puffs to be & multiply by 2 or 3.
I prefer loose gathers, so I'll multiply by 2.

Cuff: 24"
Bicep: 28"
Depth: 4" - 8" (this leaves room to make the puffs... I figured 1:3 ratio)

5. Draw the pattern to proper measurements & cut on the straight or bias (whichever looks better)
(please note, the above drawing is upside down from how you attach the puff - refer to the purple marks)

6. Sew puff ends together.

7. Finish the edges... I just turned them over rather than rolling them. This reduced bulk & the raw edges are encased at the end.

8. Run gathering stitches along the top & bottom edges.

9. Divide equally up & down into as many gathers as you want & run gathering stitches along those lines. The more lines, the more depth you will need (3).

10. Pin in place & gather onto the cuff. Stitch in place.

11. Pin & stitch each row, moving up the sleeve. Make sure to squish the fabric down so the puffs are evenly distributed. (you may want to pin at the top marker; -bicep- so you know where the next stitching line should fall).

12. Finish the last row so the puff lays horizontally around the sleeve.

13. Add any lace or trim.

14. Repeat with the other sleeve.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Oakhill Clothiers Website

Dear Oakhill Clothiers Customers,

We have a new website! It's at the same address, so no need to change bookmarks if you were so inclined. Go check it out & let me know what you like about it & anything that isn't working (there are a few pictures that aren't uploading & must be replaced).

As of right now, we are booking NEW orders in December. Please do not ask for an earlier date as we cannot accommodate you; it's not fair to our other customers.
We will not be booking orders over the Winter Holidays (Dec. 23-Jan 4). All machines will be shut off & all pins left in their cushions through this week.

Gail Kellogg Hope
Oakhill Clothiers.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Green Gown with Thistle Somacher, 1750-80

The green gown with thistle stomacher is finished!

This is my 2nd to last "it's taken forever" project from last year, and it feels sooo good to be done...

And she likes it!

I won't go into how to make yet another English Gown.

The gown is made from a light to medium weight linen that was a lovely acid green which I over-dyed to this fantastic grass-green. In sunlight, some of the yellow undertones still show up, playing very nicely with the brighter green in the stomacher.

It's lined with a lightweight but stiff black linen to give it shape & a little more substance. The bodice is lightly boned, laces in front with space for the stomacher to fill in the gap.
The skirts have a slight pick-up in the back via loops & ties, but can be worn long.

The cut & style are what I would call a remade gown or a later gown with earlier hold-overs, which was done all the time; rather like a middle aged or older woman saying "just look at what those kids are wearing today!" and a young woman looking at Grandma's gown and thinking "yeah, if I change THAT and this, it'll be perfect!"

The bodice is totally separate from the skirt, as in the 1760-80 cuts, the false pleats & sleeves are 1750-60 with their generous ease (she'll be able to move her arms), and the braid trim on back is very 1760-80.

The entire dress is hand finished with green or black cotton thread.

As in everything I do, if I had it to do again I would change some things.
The back would be cut in one with the skirt (which I may start doing with most of my English Gowns as it gets rid of the odd shape that the detached skirt makes at the point... and that I have to fuss with to get it to lay right...)
The braid would have tassels on the ends, and the sleeves would be a little more decorative... perhaps a cuff, flounce or more braid.
I would pair it with a black linen petticoat.

"Simple" was the customer request, and I think I achieved simple and elegant all in one.

The next few weeks promise to be very, very busy and involve lots of multitasking, paperwork and perhaps some electric saws & wood glue. Then I'm off to my first event!

End note: packing for my first event. The wooden clothes rack is finished & will go on the first test run this week. I'm hoping it will work much better than the hangers. We shall see...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Production line update

Since sleep is elusive, I'll update the "what I've made" section here. This is a fraction of what has passed through my shop in the past 2 months, but it's been fun!

There have been several English Gowns and several more still in-progress.

I keep saying that I need a small dress doll, but I REALLY need a small dress doll. I've had a slew of orders from the size 1 to size 6 range recently, and my smallest dummy only goes down to size 8.

And isn't my mother lovely? This gown will have a matching petticoat shortly, and I will probably make a shift with ruffles to go with it as well.

This was a test dress for another gown that is much more labor-intensive. And in the works right now. It has paniers, a stomacher, and those false pleats that hang loose & pin in place so no matter how pregnant you get, it still fits (not that my mother is going to get pregnant, but it's one of the benefits of this kind of dress... built in maternity).

Many, many stays have gone out, come back & gone out again... actually only 2 pairs have come back: 1 because the lady found out she has heart trouble & the other because it was a "this may fit you, but probably not" kind of thing... that one is in the mail right now.

I'm exploring a new stays pattern. Diderot's 1776 lightly boned stays with the cross-pieces in the front. Not sure how well they will hold up, function or support various bodies, but we'll find out! I have to make a test version for myself before I launch into this with both feet.

Only a couple waistcoats in the past few weeks, as I've been stuck in pretty-ruffle land for a while now.

Speaking of Pretty Ruffles, my mother has been making ruffled shirts like crazy. Now she's on to pants, but I think she was going a bit loopy with all that foof.

This tailcoat is another 1808 version, gray wool with white linen lining. I dubbed it "The Manta Ray" as it looked like one of those lovely creatures heaped my cutting table. I kept doing double-takes.

I've also made a lot of "small" garments for ladies. Shifts, petticoats, pocket paniers,
(this is all the same outfit, it's just that with the paniers it doesn't show the lovely ruffles on the sleeves.)
I loved this green when it was all laid out... but it ended up looking very military when it was done... very Korean War. Ah well, the red & white striped & bright yellow ones made up for that & the lady I sold them to loves them.

The pink dress from the previous post, of course.
I'm also working on an acid green cotton pelisse from about 1818 as a test garment for a customer.
I've broken the 1/2 way point of the bottom border on my quilted petticoat. Yaay flu! (No, no, I really didn't mean that. Flu bad. No flu).

I'm not working as fast as I possibly can, but I am working as well as I possibly can. I've slowed down just a little, taken my time to get things done properly & started trusting my instincts a little more than the numbers. It seems to be working out quite well.

Last night I re-worked our calendar & found out that we are realistically booked right through September. (Technically August, but September is reserved for the Eastern). I'm not sure if this makes me very happy or a little flustered.

Oh yes, and our web site is a bit wonky right now. Our web master is working to fix it, but it may be a few days before everything is updated... so just in case you bounce between sites, our new order date is October unless you've made prior arrangements; the For Sale page is almost totally out of date, and I have a whole slew of pictures to post in the catalog, but most of you have already seen them here.