July 30, 2016

Blogiversary Giveaway!

Anyone else hear the word “give” in blogiversary?  That’s right - in celebration of two years of blogging at The Young Sewphsiticate, we're giving away a 19th Century Housewife!

This handmade, travel size sewing case would make the perfect addition to your living history and reenacting kits!  Soldiers and civilians alike carried housewives for quick repairs and on-the-go sewing.  (Don’t sew?  That’s fine too as this case can also serve as a wallet – modern or historical – or home for organizing any odds and ends.)

Hand-sewn from reproduction cotton prints and lined with sturdy linen, this housewife features three interior pockets and twill tape ties to keep your belongings secure.  

Let the giveaway fun begin!

How to Enter:  There are two ways to enter.  Each participant may have up to three entries.   
  1.  Tell us about your dream historical sewing project(s) in the comments below!  If time and money were no object, what would you make?  (This will be counted as one entry and may not be repeated.)
  2.  Share the giveaway on your blog, Facebook, or other social media site! Make sure to post a link to your share in the comments below.  (Each share will be counted as one entry and may be repeated up to two times.) 

Timeline & When to Enter:  Now and throughout the next nine days!  You have until midnight (Eastern Time) on Monday, August 8th to enter the giveaway. 

The Winner:  The winner will be randomly selected and contacted on Tuesday, August 9th!  The prize is one handmade housewife:

*Please note that the giveaway prize does not include sewing supplies or Scrabble game tiles - it is just for the pretty housewife!

Good luck!  

July 27, 2016

Another Year, Another Blogiversary!

“Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, dreams are forever.”
- Walt Disney

Blog-a-versary (noun) - the anniversary of one's first blog post.

It's July 27th...which means cheers for TWO years here at The Young Sewphisticate!  So much has happened since its beginning, and, looking back on it all, I am left with such overwhelming gratitude.  It gives me great pleasure to write about my interests in historical clothing and its reproduction - and the fact that people actually take the time to read and encourage my amateur sewing adventures, makes me smile wider than ever before.  Every single like, comment, share and subscription has been greatly appreciated and keeps me blogging - THANK YOU!

For further fun, let's take a look at these amazing blog statistics: 
  • We've had a grand total of 19,710 pageviews, which means 13,385 views in this year alone!  
  • 31 fabulous followers on Blogger & 21 more through Bloglovin' 
  • New this year is the Facebook companion page, where 120 friends have joined in the sewing adventures
  • Finally, there have been 115 posts with 246 comments in all published

Have I mention how grateful I am for all of your support?!  It makes me want to jump-up-and-down, shout for joy & twirl around the room!  In fact, here are some pictures of me doing just that - twirling in 1820s clothing: 

Out of breath and a little dizzy from all of the twirling, I must thank you again.  If you've liked what you've seen here over the past two years, and would like to continue following my sewing adventures, please consider commenting, subscribing and/or sharing (if you haven't already)...and stay tuned for the upcoming 2 year blogiversary giveaway!

Your thoughts, suggestions & support are always appreciated on this journey!  

July 25, 2016

Stop, Drop and Roll Hems!

Alright, true confession time: I may be addicted to rolling hems...whipping gathers...and, most of all, the pursuit of all things ruffly!  If you've been following my blog or facebook posts on the past 1812 weekend, you may have noticed my new Regency wardrobe additions - a new cap & chemisette.  One can never have too many accessories, or ruffles for that matter.  

Tonight, I finally uploaded about a month's worth of pictures; so, in addition to asking you to stay tuned for posts to come, let's take a look at some clothing construction! 

First up, the new cap:  Made from a single layer of a fine cotton lawn, this round-eared cap of my own pattern is entirely hand stitched using the period correct techniques of tiny rolled hems and rolled whipped gathers.  I am very pleased with the shape, despite its fragile nature.  I've only worn it a handful of times, but already it is shredding at the pin holes.  (If anyone has a better way of keeping fly-away caps in place without using a bunch of hair pins, I am all ears!)

PSA for historical cap construction methods:  Please note that this cap has never been starched.  Even with the unbearable heat & humidity that it has been subject to, the ruffle still stays pretty well...ruffly and stands up as it should all thanks to the rolled whipped gathers!  While the technique does take longer (as in waaay more hours of hand work) than quick gathered stitched on a machine, the result is well worth it!  Not only does it look better, but you can get away with crumpling up and forgetting it in a pocket, then pulling it out and still have springy ruffles, no starch required.  Plus, it's so light and airy that you'll forget you're even wearing a cap - true story! 

Here's a look at those rolled whipped gathers and 1/16th inch rolled hems from the inside:

Feel free to click on images to make them larger...

Close up of the rolled whipped stitches whipped to rolled hems of the cap's band.

The finished cap! 

Next, the chemisette, which may be my favorite accessory yet!  It's such a handy piece to have, easily transitioning any low neckline into day appropriate wear and adding that extra frill! to any look.  Mine was made from the same sheer cotton lawn as the cap.  It features double ruffles (made and attached with 1/16th inch rolled hems and rolled whipped gathers), french seams at the shoulders, and hand made cording to tie at the neckline.  Entirely hand stitched.  Aside from the fact that the fit is a little short and the neckline too wide, I really like it.  It was tempting to add more ruffles or lace edging.

The children at work call it the "clowny-thing," haha!

Interior details:

Close up of both ruffles attached (separately)
at the neckline, which was hemmed to 1/8".

My hand stitching has improved!
All of the stitches are about an even 14-16 per inch.

French seams join the shoulders.

The finished chemisette!

And here they are in action!  Now onto some more Regency attire to pair them with...Tall Ships, anyone? :)

Before the ball, 1812 weekend.
(Photograph courtesy of Rhonda B.)

Day #1 of Fashion Fun Camp!

Day #5 of Fashion Fun Camp.
Please ignore the tired face...
and the fact that some of those ruffles look as wilted as I felt...

July 14, 2016

1812 Weekend in Genesee Country

Several weekends ago, June 18th and 19th actually (it's been a while, I know), I worked my third annual War of 1812 & Jane Austen Weekend at the Genesee Country Village.  This year the event was much more...quiet, though still enjoyable thanks to friends and co-workers.  In fact, much like last year (see post here), I owe my good friend, the dressmaker, who diligently snapped pictures, for letting me share hers once again!

The servants of Hosmer's Inn at your service, dear sirs and madams.
(Photograph courtesy of Rhonda B.)

Some of the weekend's highlights included:

The beautiful flaxen field behind the town hall in full bloom -

Our lead historic farmer.
(Photograph courtesy of Rhonda B.)

Two of our other historic farmers, who are both accomplished tailors.
(Photograph courtesy of Rhonda B.)

Such pretty blue flowers!

The dressmaker in her shop! -

Our dressmaker.
(Rhonda, I love this picture of you!)

Tools of the trade & fashion plates.

Just look at that ethereal "little white Regency dress"
(Another personal favorite of you, Rhonda!)

All of the shenanigans at Hosmer's Inn -  This is probably where I spent the most time throughout the weekend.  As part of the reenactor luncheon staff, I was in charge of plating the cold food - pork and sausages with cherry sauce, dressed spinach, salmagundi, and thick slices homemade bread - Saturday and Sunday.  Thank goodness my museum twin, Ariana, was there to keep me company in the back, haha!  We really were so fortunate to have such a fantastic Hosmer staff this year!     


The kitchen staff in action.
(I assure you I was reaching for the meat tongs, not into the salmagundi...)
Pat, our lead of historic foodways, snapped this picture and I rather liked it!
(Photograph by Pat M.)

I wasn't planning on staying Saturday night, but after hearing that there would be dancing on the lawn of Hosmer, the dressmaker had me convinced!  (I was even able to wear what I've dubbed the "Samantha dress" again!)  Allison & Stephen were great dance hosts, and the live music courtesy of Mark B. & Colton was a real treat! 

Name any tune and they can play it!
And, look, there's the head couple moments before the dance.
(Photograph by Rhonda B.)

Dru & I - she could not have been nicer to work (and dance!) with!
Luckily we get to see her again for the upcoming Civil War weekend.
(Photograph courtesy of Rhonda B.)

As for shopping, Regency Revisited returned!  I picked up a yard each of three cotton sheers for neckerchiefs and a corded sunbonnet: 

Lastly, no 1812 weekend would be complete without silliness from Ariana and me...so this happened:  We tried to capture the our misery and toil.  It was such a hot and humid weekend that there wasn't a drop of water in sight!  

The struggle was real.

Misery loves company.

'Till next time...next year. 

Bonus:  Here are some pictures from the Hyde House gardens in full bloom, which, next to the Livingston Gardens, are my favorite in the village!

Davis Opera Hall.

Hamilton House & Grounds.

Hyde House.

Hope to see you here, soon!