Sunday, June 30, 2013

Becky: 1 Down 2,000 More To Go

I have no problem admitting I'm selfish. I find my self most selfish at my sewing projects. I seem to always come first. One example, this cap:

I may have, once again, penciled in another project on my list, but for once Ive completed one!

This baby's cap is made out of thin cotton. It was 50% off when I wasnt really looking for fabric. I hate when that happens! It could be washed a couple more times to me softer, but I liked how I could see my fingers through it. 

I had washed and cut the fabric that day and, like all the other projects, neglected it for a few days. I said to myself that I could pick up one project today and work on it. I watched the 150th G-burg Live ceremony online while I worked on it. I finished the cap as soon as the ceremony ended. All I need is to add the drawstring, something I still need to buy.

I was happy that it was light work, easy and I completed it in one day. I plan to have a few more to do, yet Ill save them for an event to keep myself busy. Maybe Ill bring two at Hastings when Ill announce to my Living History family to good news.

And If you couldnt detect the "good news"; I am pregnant with my first child. I have not reached the 3rd month, and Ive hear that this is the most harsh time, and its kind of a superstition that if you announce before the first trimester, then there is a chance of something going wrong.

Im excited to bring another member into the reenacting community and I think I would have the most fun making the infants clothing. I have watched Zane come into the community with his mother and I look at them in awe and excitement.

So here is my updated sewing list! The bolded projects are the ones most currently have been worked on, yet all projects have been started.... because I dont know how to finish one! 
  1. Stephanie's travel bag
  2. Fix Dinner dress belt
  3. Add Drawstring to silk wrapper
  4. Sophia's Travel bag
  5. Margaret's wool dress
  6. Finish Susie's bonnet
  7. My travel bag
  8. Michelle's corset
  9. Finish my bonnet
  10. Baby clothes. Did I say Baby clothes?!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Kristen: Palette Hairwork How To

There are so many aspects of hairwork I have yet to explore! However, the one I have had the hardest time researching is palette work. Fortunately, I came across a blog here; the author attended a workshop at Leila's Hair Museum. I have wanted to go so badly! Unfortunately that is not on the agenda, but she did give me helpful hints to supplement my research.

How to treat the hair for Palette work

1. Gather your materials: glue, hair, brush, scissors, aluminum foil

2. Swipe glue onto hair liberally, making sure to keep it flat

3. Wait and let it dry (or get a blowdryer like me!)

4. Cut pieces and create!

The flower was fairly easy, but the weaving was nearly impossible. I can't help but think that I'm not using the right technique for that one...oh well, more research I suppose! Later I tried the whole process again, this time letting the glue dry completely. It was easier to work with and could be cut without flaking. 

My cutting skills need more work too. Practice makes perfect! I also have a few side projects that I am trying to finish before the Charlton Park reenactment this year in late July. Here's my running list at the moment:

1. Finish gold dress
2. Recover Felicia's parasol
3. Finish traveling bag
4. Finish another handkerchief
5. Make 1 hair ribbon


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Kristen: Waterloo Museum

As a reenactor, I've attended many events. From large events like Jackson to busy ones like Greenfield Village, I can always see the beauty in the company and the surroundings. Waterloo is no exception!

This is the first year I've been able to attend. It was an oppressive, cloudy 90 degree day, so I wore my black sheer. The dress is quickly becoming my favorite!

I had a chance to walk through the museum, which was a farmhouse for a German family from the 19th century until the 1960's when the last daughter died. The Waterloo community later donated most of the antiques found throughout the house.


The house was beautiful. The first time I walked around I was able to take pictures of just the house. Later, Ken and I took advantage of a few photographic opportunities. Nothing feels more authentic than an actual historical place!

Also, I found some hair jewelry in the house! It was a completely unexpected surprise. If only I could open the case and take a look...


After a long day of walking around and visiting friends, this bag caught my eye. A fellow reenactor made a traveling bag just like the one I will have soon! I also found a maple syrup stand, and purchased a little candy to chew on. Perfect!

Overall, it was a beautiful, wonderful day. It's these little events that make my summer fun!


Friday, June 21, 2013

Becky's sewing update

Remember this?:
Well, this is my progress:

Ive outlined the bag with one layer of white ribbon similar to the picture above. I now have to get my father to make the machine button holes. I have no idea how to do them on machine, and my hand sewn button holes are kinda notorious for begin horrible!

I start Kris's traveling bag soon, but with the mistakes I make from the first one, I can correct then on the next bag I make! They will get better and better each one I make.

Again, Im adding on sewing projects faster than I can make them!

I was asked, however, to make, with pay, a custom work dress for a member of our group. Her impression is a domestic and I found some fabulous wool:

She asked for light blue, but I geared towards a gray just in case she gets the dress dirtier than a few beatings would clean out.

And so, this is my up to date sewing list, Ive been procrastinating because TODAY IS MY FINALS!

Sewing List 
  1. Stephanie's travel bag
  2. Kris' travel bag
  3. Fix Dinner dress belt
  4. Fix Wrapper belt
  5. Sophia's Travel bag
  6. Margaret's wool dress
  7. Finish Susie's bonnet
  8. My travel bag
  9. Michelle's corset
  10. Finish my bonnet
  11. Baby clothes. Did I say Baby clothes?!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Kristen: Hair Flowers

Another busy week! My etsy shop has been especially busy with orders, mostly reenactors preparing for Gettysburg. I've had to replenish my shop to keep up! Sadly that has taken time away from my hair jewelry, though I did manage to make 4 large handkerchiefs in an efficient manner.

I did find time to try a few hair flowers; while I might feel more adept at making them, I feel that they don't look any better! I've added pictures of several of my hair flowers.

 Perhaps my best improvements have been to wet the hair as I worked and to find smaller gauged wire (Currently #30, looking for #34). *Sigh*

I know that I said I would be patient throughout this process, but I started to become antsy. Practicing everyday without progress really bothers me. Until I made this flower...

My first "official" hair flower looks like a mess, but practice makes perfect! Stay tuned for my next post; I have a finished piece of hair braiding to show off!


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Kristen: Hairwork Success!

Without a hint of frustration, I continued on my path to hairwork glory. Thank goodness for my patience! I am now starting to see results from my work, and it is rather satisfying.

I decided to practice braiding, which is possibly the easiest of the three techniques. First, I assembled my equipment: fake hair from Sally's, a bit of glue, the kumi-himu disk, and some thread.

Next, I followed the basic pattern from Campbell's hairwork guide. You can see me practice this with thread here. I'm glad that I spent the time practicing, because the pattern could be confusing if my fingers weren't already accustomed to the motion.

Here are a few of the problems I encountered:

1. I didn't count the strands. For most hair threads, it was okay. A few were WAY too big.
2. I need to be consistent about my level of tension at all times. Sometimes, I wasn't.
3. The hair needs to be moist. A little water on my fingers worked well.
4. Long hair is ESSENTIAL for braiding techniques.
5. Be patient; the braid takes a while to form

In less than an hour, the braid started to take shape. By the end of the hour: SUCCESS!

I know the braid isn't perfect; there were a few strands that needed to be clipped with fine scissors in the end. It was difficult with little hair pieces sticking out. By the end I was very squirmy, but satisfied. There were a few minor mistakes, but overall it looked authentic. SUCCESS!

Later I headed out to my local beading store to ask questions about attaching the hair to a finding. The woman was very helpful, and I left with the hope that my next piece could be completely functioning. Even my dog Rambo couldn't contain his excitement...

Save your hair, ladies and gents!


On My Bookshelf: December

December has been a really rough month. Between what happened in Oxford (not far from where I live...) and just the general pandemic issues,...