Normal, Internet-Normal and not bothered about the difference.

Historical Sewing Challenge #0


I’ve signed up for the Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge, started by the dedicated and talented Dreamstress. I’d like to have a good basic steampunk wardrobe, as well as finish all of the pieces for our Dragon*Con costumes with time to spare, so I’m using the challenge as inspiration and impetus.

For the pre-challenge Challenge, I decided to start very simple – with some drawers! Two tubes and a waistband, right? What could go wrong?

Remember - Iron your britches before you take photos of them!Project Details

  • Status: 90% complete! I need to ruffle, hem and/or decorate the legs, then put in some new ribbon for the waist ties.
  • Fabric: Sateen Cotton Solid – White. (with a 40% off coupon and a gift card – yay Xmas!)
  • Pattern: Simplicity 9769 – Civil War Drawers, Chemise and Corset
  • Decade: 1860’s
  • Notions: Polyester thread (purchased, as I was out of white thread!). Red satin ribbon for cuff embellishments – unused.
  • How historically accurate is it?: The pattern is fairly accurate, from what I’ve seen. I’ve kept the open crotch as I anticipate wearing this under a lot of petticoats and I think it will be a necessity for calls of nature.
  • Hours to complete: 4, split across 2 days, but I would say I’m only 90% done.
  • First worn: ????
  • Total cost: $10, but I might spend some more to make it fancy!

Lessons Learned

  1. Check all of your materials – including your trim – before starting a project. Threading the ribbon into the casing right before you have to get ready for a house party is not the time to discover that the ribbon is┬ádisintegrating.
  2. Use fabric with an obvious Right-Side and Wrong-Side, or figure out how to keep that straight when sewing up pattern pieces. One of those legs is inside out.
  3. Always read (and re-read, if it has been a few months) your sewing machine manual. I remembered to do that this time and I was much more comfortable with the machine sewing portions than I had been on some previous projects.
  4. Remember: hand-sewing never takes as long as you think it will, and pressing and hemming will take 2x the time you’ve allotted.
  5. You’re not going to be perfect at something the first time you try it! This was true with knitting and is true with sewing (maybe even more true!). Remember this next time you get mad at a flat-felled seam that just won’t work out! ┬áThe seams did, eventually, both work out. Which was why I was more amused than annoyed when I realized that I’d have to sew one of my legs on inside-out. At least I got to show off that seam!


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