Tuesday, July 14, 2015

1880s Parasol

For the challenge: accessories, I thought I needed a parasol.  It is extremely hot in California and a lady needs to keep the sun off. (Especially when she is wearing so many layers!)
This is the inspiration piece I used as a reference.  I still have a few more details to finish, but wanted to share to get opinions on the spots.

This is an old faded umbrella I inherited from my mother. 

You can see the faded lines from being folded and sitting in the sun.

And of course it was in the back of my Jeep and got chewed by a nervous dog.

First thing was to clip all the little threads keeping the fabric centered on the ribs.

Then I removed the fabric from the metal ribs.  I clipped off the little metal tips and saved them all in a box so the kitties wouldn't get them.

I carefully unstitched one section of the old fabric to use as a pattern. It needed a little extra seam allowance as it had very narrow 1/8 inch seam allowances.

I traced them onto my Polyester Taffeta.  I know.  Cheat.  But there was no way I was going to use silk when I more than likely would be ripping and resewing. Then I cut them out and Hemmed each section. Then I sewed them in pairs, then fours, and finally sewed the two halves together. I matched the outer edges but didn't worry too much about the tip.  I left that open a bit.

I hand stitched the tips onto the new fabric and then slipped the new canopy over the open ribs.  I put each spoke back into a tip.


Next, the ribs were each hand tacked along the seam lines in two places to keep them in place and evenly spaced.

Here is the underside.  I cut off the hook part of the handle and sanded and applied wood filler to the chewed point at the top.  Then I painted the tip and handle black.

I'm afraid the paint is already scraping off the shaft of the parasol as I open and close it.  I will also need to seal the paint on the handle so It stays put.  I used basic wall paint.  I figured craft paint would come off more quickly.

The original parasol has  this little fluffy thing at the top as well.  I used it to hide all the points of the sections.  They are sewn to a ring and unfortunately hot glued.

There you have it: a representation of an 1880s parasol.

Question:  Should I paint the large black spots or leave it plain?  It is to use with this outfit. I am concerned that I will make a mess of it if I try to paint.
The challenge Details:
Challenge #7: Accessorize
Fabric: 100% polyester taffeta
Pattern: None
Year: ca. 1880
Notions: polyester thread, hot glue, wall paint
How Historically Accurate: Maybe 20% for overall look
Hours to complete: Approximately 6 hours
First worn: Not yet
Total cost: $6 usd, I had all the notions etc. on hand.  I only purchased the yard of fabric.
Let me know what you think, weigh in on to spot or not.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Ariel The Little Mermaid Town Dress

My lovely daughter allowed me to dress her up and take pictures, finally!  This was supposed to be Ariel's town dress from Disney's The Little Mermaid.  However, with her hair cut short and the way she put the bow in her hair, she sort of looks like Esmeralda. 
Show's how versatile a basic skirt and corset can be.  We put absolutely no accessories on her.  The whole costume can change just with the use of jewelry, hairpieces, etc.
I would love to make this for anyone who is interested! The corset is fake suede while the blouse is cotton and the skirt is, well, garage sale fabric!

Thank you for checking out this fun costume.  Maybe a pink or lavender skirt and blouse for Aurora?

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July!
Celebrate safely and please remember all those men and women who fought, died or survived, to allow us to be free.