Sewn to the bone…

I’m not sure if I shared this project before, so excuse me if I did. This is a reproduction of a Victorian Era sweet bag. A project found in Piecework magazine… about the best magazine subscription I’ve ever purchased. I love the articles that speak of the history, and of course the projects to go with. I was especially entranced by this sweet bag. The article describing it’s original use was very interesting, too. So, I decided to give it a shot. It’s rare, very very rare that I go to the extravagance of purchasing taffeta…and white taffeta at that! But I did. There was not any silk threads to be found, so I used regular cotton DMC threads. Still, it’s coming out very nicely. I’ve now finished the one side and am sewing on the other side.

As you can see, it’s not a huge bag… the bottom edge is only 9 inches before sewing. The top edge is 7 inches. It’s mostly long&short stitch with some couching with metallic threads around the center motif. I’ve purchased a piece of pink satin for the lining, and matching ribbon for the ties. I cannot wait to see the finished bag! 🙂

In other sewing news. I decided to go with the Ojibwe Smoke dance style dress this time around. As you can see it’s a pretty basic drop-waist indicative of the 1920’s. I like the style a lot. I was in a quandry about the material, but finally decided that I rather love the small roses in this calico. I love roses, and I like the earthy tones in this pattern, the subtle antique pinks mixed with dark green/brown stems. It goes really well with the maroon and brown satin ribbon that I used around the hem. Sorry for angle of photo, relying on Hubby and he’s not so good with the phone. Now, onto the skirt…

The dress really calls for a simple rectangle of cloth tied around the waist and coming down halfway to the ankles. As you can see, I have rather short legs that make this an “odd” combo. So, before I cut into the lovely suede-like, or the maroon-ish fabric that I bought, I wanted to give it a try with muslin.

Please excuse the junk in the background. Sooo, I think the muslin looks about right. It’s not a wrap perse, though. I tried it wrap style with the suede-like fabric and couldn’t get it to stay in place long enough to walk downstairs for a photog. grrr…. I know, I know, the original fabric should be wool, and wool would hug the body the way it’s supposed to. Only one problem with that – I’m allergic to wool. So, for me it must be cotton or a synthetic (like the suede fabric). So, suede didn’t quite hang the way that I wanted it to, nor did it withstand walking tied in the traditional manner. What’s a girl to do at that point. No Elders around to call on, I’m on my own to figure this out. UGH! So, I’m resorting to a wrap around skirt pattern with a cynch tie/elastic waistband. You won’t be able to see that part, so I hope it will swing for my needs. The bottom will hang properly with a straight edge on the flap part, It will have nice lines. It is what it is the best that I can manage it. Last night, I cut the skirt from the maroon-ish fabric, and pin fitted it. It does actually look even better than the muslin mock up. Oh, my hand is at natural waist level in the photog. I have a long torso so it makes the dress waist seem more dropped than it is. Anyway, I may still do the little caplet, gauntlets and leggins in the suede since it took all the maroon cloth just to do the skirt. Sigh….I’ve yet to make the final decision on decoration for those parts. I’ve narrowed the selection down to three… still praying about it, though.

If you’re curious, the sweet bag pattern can be found in this issue of Piecework magazine…. And no, I’m NOT going to attempt the argyle socks…. way beyond my skill set they are.

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I am a middle aged wife who enjoys doing something different everyday.

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