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.


Stephanie Ann said...

These are so pretty! I love those top two dresses.

Sirens Sexy said...

I just adore your stays! I wish I could make them as well. I have tried, but fail. I am gonna keep up on it.

Gail Kellogg Hope said...

Thank you Stepahnie Ann! The yellow one was for a 1780's ball when printed cotton was so "in". The other was the test dress & got rolled into stock. It's a little more appropriate for middle-class wear.

Sirens, find some fabric that doesn't have much stretch. Flatline it with a lightweight, but tough fabric. Sew your pieces together, press the seams open, then over to one side (opposite side for the lining to keep the seams the same bulk... this doesn't work with the curved seams). Carefully line up the seams & stitch on either side. Put boning channels in (mark carefully if necessary). Sew eyelets or put grommets in. Insert bones. Sew binding on. DONE! And that's a lot easier said than done. Keep trying. Go through a lot of scrap fabric. It took me about 5 pairs before I got the hang of it.

Gail Kellogg Hope said...

And if you get that weird bump where the fabric stretches out of shape, take the seams out & do it again... or slit the wonky place, topstitch & re-weave, then put a patch over it & decorate the heck out of it.

Sirens Sexy said...

Thanks! I will give it another try :) I have a few projects I want to work on this summer, and this is one I will try to "master" (or at least get a bit better at!).

Gail Kellogg Hope said...

One thing I forgot, iron your fabric before you cut. I know a lot of people skip this for garments that are not quite so fitted, but you can't skip it with stays & corsets.