|Two sets at once!|
The 2016 Secret Snarker is wrapping up, and my gift has arrived to me and will be documented on Instagram later. And mine has gotten to and been the recipient--one of the two sets I made. As I explained when I made "Samantha's" Pink Dress and Pinafore, I generally when making a gift go ahead and make two sets of things. This in part helps me craft better--not only do I make them simultaneously and thus can figure out the steps all together, I make sure to give the better put together set to my giftee. This time I was gifting kaleb92 and she has among her gang members Colette, who is Cécile with a name change. Guess which Historical Gang Member didn't have a Miss Nethie's Original Outfit? Okay, more than one. I've have the brain issues. But Cécile was the one that matched a member of her gang, and it was a chance for me to design something sweet for her Colette and my Cécile.
I even wrote a description like the old catalogs did. (I actually did for the dress and pinafore, which I've retroactively put in.)
Cécile’s Turkey Red Dress, Fawn Jacket, and Trimmed Cottage Bonnet
Cécile is ready for a bright spring day in her new ensemble. Her turkey red vine print dress has short sleeves, a faux vest with a bow accent, and a scalloped overskirt—all edged with cotton lace trim. (Turkey red is a highly fashionable, colorfast red—and is so named from the method of dying, not the bird!) The fawn colored jacket is fully lined with six smart buttons down the front and a flared shape, and the matching cottage bonnet has runched ribbon trim, a flower accent, and gathered lace trim on the lining. With her full ensemble—including matching hair bows--she’ll look her best!
There's only one major difference between my set and the set I sent, which I'll point out. Hop under the cut for details of the sets.
Also--because this doesn't need a whole post--I've released my first cross stitch pattern in my Etsy shop, which I've restarted. It's to make a 1900's Style Cross Stitch Sampler, with bonus instructions to turn said sampler into a pillow. Take a gander. I hope to get more cross stitch patterns out over the month, once I've crafted them into something. It's always a task to know what to do with a cross stitch once you've finished it sometimes.
The idea for the outfit was finally using the KeepersDollyDuds Patterns I'd purchased from her. Keepers Dolly Duds has some of the best patterns to use. She designs awesome, realistic patterns with easy to read directions, and I found her patterns and instructions super clear. In fact, her patterns on Etsy go on sale starting tomorrow for 50%! Click faster to buy awesome patterns! The two I used for the set were 1850s Girl's Dress and the 1850s Girl's Jacket & Bonnet. In both cases, View A. These are intermediate patterns so you might want to make sure you can chew that bite when you take it. I didn't do any tweaking to the patterns themselves, other than to use red ribbon on the bonnet where the pattern used gathered fabric. A good sign of a pattern for me is when I don't feel like I want to tweak it.
I had originally been planning something maroon and cream, because I'm an Aggie all the way and thought that it'd look cool to have historical Aggie colors, even though TAMU was founded over 20 years after Cécile's books take place. Then I learned about turkey red and had a total "I have to do that right now" moment.
Time for History lesson!2 Turkey3 red, known in France as rouge d'Andrinople (Edirne Red for the city near where the dying technique was created), was a shade of red that was created in the 1740s using the root of the rubia plant. And notably colorfast. Most other shades of red dyed to cotton either came out shades of brick red or tended to fade with exposure or washing. But turkey red kept its bright red color in the same way carmine did and worked with dying cottons,4 and most importantly it didn't bleed into other colors. If you've ever made anything with anything red ever, you know red will run into every color around it and dye them if you don't wash it like, four times first with a fifth to make sure--but turkey red didn't. The process of dying the fabric took a lot of steps, so made it on the expensive side of purchasing; still, it became popular in the 1800s in America and was often used in quilt making. To use enough fabric to make a whole dress--with the wide skirts that were popular in fashion--would have been quite indulgent. And Cécile is a notable rich little N'awlins girl. C'mon, I had to. Red is like, one of my top five favorite colors.5 So having picked out enough red in a fine print, a solid for the jacket and bonnet that would have been called fawn or buff in its day, and a lighter print for lining it and the hat, lots of trims--and going back to the store to get interfacing--I put together the set over the course of a week.
|The fashionable cottage bonnet.|
|Tied in a bow.|
When I packed the set up, I set a Styrofoam ball under it. I did not want all my fine work to get crushed and misshapen.
|The full body shot of the jacket will be played by the gift set.|
The pattern called for 3/8" buttons. Guess what the store had approximately zero of in a proper color. Fuck. I went with 7/16, because the difference of 1/16th larger is minimal and you probably can't even tell because I barely could.
|Get to the point please.|
|Two Dresses, alike in dignity, in fair Seattle, which isn't fair at all.8|
I also included two hair ribbons because hair ribbons make the dress.
|Dress on Cécile.9|
|Faux vest. And the lace requiring the patience of St. Tib's.|
But the lace. Peeps, let me tell you about this lace. This lace, man. This damn lace. I picked a narrow white that wouldn't overpower the print of the dress, and went with cotton to help compliment the look. And a narrow lace means a narrrow lace channel to sew on--in this case, it was only 1/8th" to sew, if that. So I had to ever so carefully sew that lace onto every bit of the dress it's on, with slow but secure machine stitches so it caught without catching the lace. Damn straight I take the steps to make things awesome.
|Scallops. With LACE.|
|In the pocket corner!|
|Bottom hem and back.|
And now something new that will go with my crafty bits--conclusions.
Best part of making it: I gotta say, I loved the lace application. It took time and patience, but the lace looks so mother fucking good that I would do it again, and I don't often say that when I have to attach fiddly lace to narrow hems that are then pressed. I also love to gather, and the gathering of the double skirt made the dress look floofy woofy. And the little flowers on the hat just look so good.
Worst part of making it: I was personally frustrated by not having the interfacing and buttons and having to go get more of each. And I still hate button holes. Still hate them. Hate them so much. Ugh, button holes and then I actually ripped one of mine too far and had to redo the whole tab. UGH BUTTONHOLES.
Historical Accuracy: I compliment KDD on researching styles for the era and making them accurately. The turkey red had me geeked and when Moni let me know that fawn was a color and a popular one at that, I felt really awesome. The cottage bonnet looks sweet and was a style still being wore by girls in the 1850s.
Does it look good on the doll?: Look at my Cécile. Look at kaleb92's Colette who practically never wants to take the set off again. It looks trés magnifique.
Would I use the pattern again? I not only would use it again, I plan to soon to make View B for Cécile around here once I find a lovely dress color for her I like. (I won't be doing the scalloped skirt for that one, just for variety.) And I plan to pick up some patterns in the sale I don't have already.
Final Thoughts: Set looks good on her, and it's going to be some time before my girl changes out of this at all.
Happy Leap Day, everyone!
1 Parts of my paganism include Discordianism.
2 I can get them into any post!
3 Not the country specifically. Back then, everything in the general area of the Middle East got called "Turkey, much like racist idiots call everything south of I-10 "Mexico."
4 You have to dye cotton differently than, say wool. I learned this dying my yarn.
5 In no particular order: blues through greens, reds, lavender side of purples, black.
6 There is nothing worse in my mind than people sticking lacy frivolous pinner caps with a damn day dress. Get a mob cap or else.
7 And they didn't.
8 That grey in the lower corner is my leg. Also Shakespeare playing with words round here.
9 This is also when I realized that Cécile is going to need restringing. She kept falling.
10 Some bitch told me that once. She's dead (to me) now.