Thursday, April 26, 2012

Commisson Dress...DONE!!!!!!!

Alas, I will not be going to OpSail2012 but the commission I have been working on, the blue cornflower dress with yellow Silk will be there, on the lovely form of April Thompson. With Detachable Sleeves
Without the sleeves (for evening)
the bow is to help hide the tattoo on her arm, but now that its on, I think that I like it. It will look soooo much sweeter on her, and I hope to have pictures after Sunday with her in it, fichu and all, but now I just have these. I'm pretty tired and ready to start making silk flowers for the bonnet. So enjoy the photos.
The back will tie like this, will get a better ribbon tomorrow or soon....was the best I had.

Monday, April 23, 2012

My commission, a blue dress

I have been lucky enough to have a commission. I am doing it for a friend, therefore, My pricing has been..friendly. I already posted on here the success of the stays made for said commission. Now onto the dress. She chose a blue on off-white printed flowers that looks like it was block printed. Here is the sleeve being hand sewed.
I draped the muslin on her, as I wanted it to be as accurate as possible. Considering that patterns need to be altered even if they are true to size, I figured I would just drape. I had never draped before and I did about three alterations to the draft, as well as draping and pinning the sleeves and have come up with a bodice that fits correctly, and covers the tattoos she has, with the exception of the sleeves, but I will be getting around that hump. Here is the back. I chose to do drawstrings, and we will be replacing the current ties with stronger ribbon as well as a third in the middle.
We are going for 1810 to 1812, since she will be playing a middle class widow in a reenactment in celebration of the anniversary of the War of 1812, and so as is, this dress is too plain. It's hard to know what someone of middle class would wear, especially since its America, which could be behind the Paris Fashions a couple of years, you wore what you could make unless you had the means to have a mantua maker. I have looked and looked and it just comes down to what the customers taste is. The one thing that HAS to be done is detachable sleeves. The question should it attach? to the dress? or the chemise? I have decided that attaching to the underclothes will be easier to detach for evening activities. here is the sleeve
I have to make a couple executive decisions on the decoration and I think it will work out well. Can I just say tho, that the yellow silk is hard to work with. The sleeves had to be taken apart and a gusset put in...and the french seams worked well, but took forever as i had to do them by hand.
The yellow silk will adorn the bottom of the skirt and the neckline and a sash around the empire waist. More photos will follow. I should have it done later today. Who knows. I hope so, because I have another commission that needs to be done SOON! Respectfully yours, Mrs. Azevedo, Modiste and a Baronets Daughter.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


This project of stays has been a challenge to all my meager skills and I have to toot my own horn on this one. The cups/gussets on this do EXACTLY what I want and need them to do and that is keep a high busted empire line set of ladies. A good fashion plate example of what we are shooting for is a la Dames A La Mode for Feb 1812
So, as in my last post about stays, I struggled with the gussets. They are really something that every accomplished stay maker should master. I wouldn't say I am close to mastery, but I have definitely made some strides. So, at a second fitting, this is what they did for my client. The gussets where unlined and it was un-bound, but I would say....we achieved more than I could have hoped for.
I would say the shelf has been achieved. Holy cow! We could all be so blessed. I didn't attempt this in a conventional way as I draped and used a hand made pattern and i lined it after i boned it and I quilted it and THAN I hand lined the gussets. I am a masochist. Truely. I did it the hard way..but here is how it turned out the quilting on the inside. I attached the lining by hand without a pattern. I quilted it and encased the bones while I went. I used a combination of covered plastic and metal
Hand lined and sewed gusset
the gussets from the tops
the whole thing
I know Pride may be a virtue or a sin, but considering how much I have gone through, sewing, taking it apart and trying again...yeah, I have made something I am proud to put my name on and sell. I have touched the high standard bar. Next time, I will raise it higher. Now onto the dress. I have draped it and will be refining and continuing on with that. I will take pictures today and blog when I'm done. Mrs. Azevedo, Modiste and a Baronets Daughter

Friday, April 13, 2012


As some of you may know, I have been corresponding with friends and some new people to me via the month of letters. I have continued since and have received some letters from various places that are both pleasant and joyous. I received a letter from Mrs. Weissner and I responded in like....since we are writing in the 1812 parlance. I'm eager to receive a response. As well as from Mrs. Hanselmann in Germany. I am so used to instant gratification that I wish I could check my mail box digitally!!! IMPATIENT! Although I know that once I have a letter or two in hand, I will be delighted! sigh. Yours Truly Mrs. Azevedo