Thursday, October 29, 2015

More Infant Gowns and Pattern Review of HMP-105

Cute garments first:
Natural waist, long sleeve dress from SA/HMP-105

Adjustable "infant" style dress from Sewing Academy- #105 infant gowns pattern

With five loaner dresses made, I'm finally ready to review Historic Moments Patterns/The Sewing Academy 105: Infant Gowns.

This is an easy and versatile pattern, and if you need to make 1850s/60s baby clothes, you should buy it.  As with the girls' dresses pattern, there's many different customization options: three bodices (five,counting the high/low options), 4-5 base sleeves, waist treatment options, etc.  In fact, it's basically the same pattern, only sized for infants instead of girls & pre-teens.  The main difference is that the infant pattern includes a straight long sleeve instead of a coat sleeve option  In theory, you could get one pattern or the other and simply size up or down as needed--but then, in theory, you could also drape instead of using a pattern at all.  Also included in the pattern booklet is specific discussion of long versus short infant skirts (for mobile versus stationary babies); fabric choice, yardage calculations, and trim options are also explored.

Undergarments and outwear are available in separate patterns.  All HMP/SA infant patterns are unisex.

Since I'm making clothes to fill gaps in a lending wardrobe, I made up the dress pattern as-is, in the three larger sizes--they'll be getting altered for every wearer anyway, so tucks and waistbands were used.  As noted before, it would be nice if suggested skirt width/lengths pairings were included for those without a good grasp on how wide a skirt should be for a wearer of a given stature.  I imagine this is easier if one has a model on-hand and can experiment a little.  Nonetheless, the instructions are very thorough for making skirts to measure and the smaller range of infant sizes made it easier to guess where on the width range a given garment should fall.

There is an error in the pattern copy I was working from, in that coat sleeve instructions are included, but the long, straight sleeve is not (however, it makes up fine following the short straight sleeve instructions).  This may have been fixed in newer copies.  On the size B jewel-neck bodice, I'm concerned that the neck line is disproportionately small, and will be looking into it (if sewing for a specific child, a toile/mock-up would have solved this problem at the beginning--make a toile!).

What You Get: Pattern Book, 1 page of bodice and sleeve pattern pieces on printer-weight paper (skirts/cuffs/bindings, being rectangles, have cutting instructions rather than printed pattern pieces).

What You Need: Fabric; thread; hooks and eyes or buttons; cording and twill tape (for some styles); sewing tools

Score: Five Stars

Difficulty: Beginner and up.  As in other SA patterns, there's an illustrated explanation of period sewing techniques included, putting this pattern within the reach of even the most novice of sewers. I'm told that those less mathematically-inclined still find them a little challenging, but the designer's accompanying on-line advice forum can help. The small pieces in this pattern make some parts easier to sew by hand than on machine.

Accuracy: Very High.

Strongest Impression: A versatile and accurate pattern that goes together quickly.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Infant Gown #3

Yoked bodice dress with long slim sleeves, Sewing Academy/ Historic Moments Patterns #105

For this one, short full sleeve overlaid on the straight long sleeve, forming the puff.  Jewel neck yoked bodice with waistband. Sewing Academy/ Historic Moments Patterns #105: Infant Gowns.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Infant Gowns

Part 1, of who-knows-how-many.  For the Fort Nisqually volunteer wardrobe, of course.

Yoked dress from Sewing Academy-105: Infant Gowns pattern

Natural waist bodice with bishop sleeves, from Sewing Academy-105: Infant Gowns pattern

The pattern is Liz Clark's Historic Moments Patterns #105: Infant Gowns (ages 0-2). The first is the yoked bodice (high/jewel neck) with the short, slim sleeves; the second is the natural waist bodice (high neck again) with bishop sleeves.  I chose the use waistbands on all of them, to ease future fitting.
Pattern review forthcoming.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Chicken Salad, From Mrs. Beeton's

With no current HFF challenges, I've not been doing many food posts.  So, here's the 1861 chicken salad recipe I used for Candlelight this year and last. 

Chicken salad from Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management (1861)

931. INGREDIENTS.--The remains of cold roast or boiled chicken, 2 lettuces, a little endive, 1 cucumber, a few slices of boiled beetroot, salad-dressing No. 506.
Mode.—Trim neatly the remains of the chicken; wash, dry, and slice the lettuces, and place in the middle of a dish; put the pieces of fowl on the top, and pour the salad-dressing over them. Garnish the edge of the salad with hard-boiled eggs cut in rings, sliced cucumber, and boiled beetroot cut in slices. Instead of cutting the eggs in rings, the yolks may be rubbed through a hair sieve, and the whites chopped very finely, and arranged on the salad in small bunches, yellow and white alternately. This should not be made long before it is wanted for table.

With no endive available in the garden, I substituted some Indian cress.  It has a sort of peppery kick to it, and the flowers are also edible!

Salad Dressing (Excellent)
506. INGREDIENTS.--1 teaspoonful of mixed mustard, 1 teaspoonful of pounded sugar, 2 tablespoonfuls of salad oil, 4 tablespoonfuls of milk, 2 tablespoonfuls of vinegar, cayenne and salt to taste.
Mode.--Put the mixed mustard into a salad-bowl with the sugar, and add the oil drop by drop, carefully stirring and mixing all these ingredients well together. Proceed in this manner with the milk and vinegar, which must be added very gradually, or the sauce will curdle. Put in the seasoning, when the mixture will be ready for use. If this dressing is properly made, it will have a soft creamy appearance, and will be found very delicious with crab, or cold fried fish (the latter cut into dice), as well as with salads. In mixing salad dressings, the ingredients cannot be added too gradually, or stirred too much.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

1857 Wedding-dress

Background on weddings and dresses being previously posted, here is Miss Work's wedding dress:

Silk basque dress with two tier skirt, open sleeves, 1850s style.

It's a basque bodice of light-weight silk (fully lined) with open "pagoda" sleeves, worn over a two-tier skirt.  Undersleeves and white collar to be worn with dress. I'm afraid the dress-form doesn't do it justice.