Getting ready for Christmas in the Colonies 2013

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For the last Christmas in the Colonies of the year, all the guests are required to dress up. For those that do not have their own costumes, they can rent them from us. This year I had 20 people rent costumes, including 5 children. We never know exactly how many are going to rent until the day of (I try to cut it off, but we can’t help but accommodate if we can). We always seem short of something, so we stocked up on basics. We made 20 cravats (you can never have to many!). They took forever! I don’t know why, they are just 6’x5″ or so, but it seemed like they took days and days to hem up. We also made 12 white aprons, 5 plain linen, 5 linen with a simple cross bar type embroidery and 2 cotton with embroidered sprigs. We have had another 15 just laying around, waiting to have waistbands attached, so we finished those up too. Those are a mix of cotton and linen checks and stripes. We were also short 5 pairs of pockets, and those were finished the day of the dinner, but hey! They got done! 

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Abi made 2 pairs of jumps, and one of the little boys waistcoats. We had two 6 year old boys, and we had one set of small clothes that were….ok. The waistcoat had seen better days, and the breeches are so stiff they can stand up on their own (I’m not kidding either, they really can!). I didn’t remember my own 6 year olds small clothes until we had already started the new ones, but you can never have to many! I took the old waistcoat and just kind of drafted a new pattern from it. There might be a few changes if I make another one, but it came out pretty well.

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Here is my little guy, Luke, trying on the waistcoat for me. It always helps to know I’m going in the right direction size and fit wise.

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It still needs buttons here, but I was just making sure it was a go. The one below is the one Abi made.

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And the little breeches! I had to make a pattern for them too, I didn’t have any the right size, and no drop fronts. So…I pulled out a pair of men’s breeches and made a little pattern. It needs a little work in the crotch area, but not too bad.

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Here is the barn while I was getting all the costumes ready…

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And here is what the cider cellar looked like, when it was ready for the guests to get dressed. I only have the one picture, my camera died before I could get the rest…but I got a new one for Christmas (yay!!!), so hopefully the quality of my pictures will improve.

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Christmas Carol 2013, Part 2

I finally finished the regency gown for Fair Young Girl! Yay! I will admit, I cheated a little bit. I used the serger on the armholes and the waistline, instead of hand overcasting everything. I figured I used the machine to sew the dress anyway, so it’s not going to win any awards for being hand done anyway! The back of the dress has a little pad sewn in to keep the dress from falling into the small of her back. I used a diagram out of one of my books, and used ties on the inside to attach it so that we can remove it for laundering (as per the original). The dress has a overlapping flaps in the front to help secure everything. They are attached at the shoulders and sides. They just overlap and pin snugly.

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The dress bodice crosses over at an angle. The one that goes under has an extra panel of skirt that extends past the bodice and ties at the side back (you can see the tape tie hanging in the photo above). This helps keep everything secure, and also prevents undergarments from showing when you walk. The top part of the crossover has 2 hooks to secure it in place.

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Here is the spencer. I used a collar I drafted out of a book (I’m sorry, they are at work and I am at home, I will add the books I used later). I also altered the back, by adding some length to make little tails, like on a frock coat. Also used books for inspiration, but didn’t copy exactly. The spencer has ties at the center back that wrap around to the front and tie. They keep the back snugged down. The center front of the main ribbon closure has a hook and eye to keep it shut.

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The tape ties are attached under the rosettes at the back.

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Here is the whole ensemble, with the reticule, and the hat I trimmed.

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The hat trim is pleated, then all the corners of the pleats folded in towards the center (which is slightly off center…oops! I now have a design element on the side instead!)

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