Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Early Christmas gift!

My mum got me an early Christmas gift! I can't wait to make some of the recipes in it.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Slowly But Surely

Work is really slow right now, I am sooooo terribly busy with school. Somehow I've still made  progress on the green dress. All I have to do is finish attaching hooks and eyes, add buttons, hem it and attach the collar and under sleeves. I am determined to have it all done by Christmas so that I can get on with the the rest of the dresses. Thankfully my huge project for school will be done by late January, so my work load should hopefully lighten a bit, and school gets out mid May, so I will have a month and a half to dedicate to sewing before Tennessee. I am also applying for a junior internship at Old Sturbridge Village for next summer (as if I really need another thing on my plate)(but I do love history so!) I haven't been taking pictures as I go because I keep forgetting. But here is a picture of some of the handsewing I did today :) (You can see my first attempt at piping in the background)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Got a bit of shopping done for my dress project. School's started, so I'm hard pressed to find time for sewing, but I am determined! I picked up fabric for the last two dresses and velvet for trim on the one I'm currently working on. 

Clockwise, starting from top left: green (celery if you want to be snobby bout it) satin to be used to trim my ball gown (Simplicity 2881), ivory satin-y taffeta-y stuff (whatever the bridal section had) to be the main part of the ball gown, oodles of black cotton for the mourning dress (so as far as I know, cotton for mourning isn't exactly period, but it's for Tennessee in July, and it's in my budget...) sheer white cotton for under sleeves of current dress (the green one), and black velvet for trimming. 

I also grabbed some buttons and lace and other notions. 

Last but not least, I ordered a bonnet awhile back off eBay (specifically a mourning bonnet), and I finally got around to photographing it! 

That's all for now! I'll try and get more progress up soon!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

500 Page Views!!!!!

Ramblings of a Seamstress has reached 500 page views! Thanks to everyone who reads, despite my lack of regular posting. :)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sneak Peek!

Dress # 2 is in the works! Pattern is simplicity 2887, fabric is some cotton blend, maybe rayon, I'm not sure, my burn test was kinda hazy.... But it's shiny due to the weave, which is cool. Sorry for the lousy pics, iOS devices have horrible cameras...

Sunday, May 19, 2013

150th Commemoration and Re-dedication of the Civil War Monument

,Yesterday was our History Day, where we celebrated 150th anniversary of the rebuilding of our former town hall and the Unitarian church. I was technically there with the Historical Society, but I am in the process of formally joining the 13th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, so I sat with the ladies for most of the day.
The ladies of the 13th! (and one from the 15th)
The members of the 13th not from Grafton camped on the common overnight so they could be around for all the town's citizens to see for the entire day.

Muster on the common
The Civil War monument was also rededicated and re-landscaped as an Eagle Scout project for one of the members of the 13th. 60 men from Grafton died in the war.
There was also a costume ball encompassing all eras last night, but there weren't any good photos of me. Overall I had a ton of fun and I look forward to doing more reenacting with the 13th!

All pictures courtesy of Richard Gardner

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I'm in the paper!

This is what happens when the news finds out about a sixteen year old seamstress- Never expected to be interviewed, but it's pretty cool!

Monday, April 29, 2013


I finished my dress made from Simplicity 1818 over April vacation. The skirt came out a bit longer than is easy to walk in, so I might make a tuck under one of the ruffles to shorten it, but I don't know.... Any suggestions?

I also got a dress form as a gift from a friend ! its awesome to actually have a real form instead of using a decoration one padded with batting.

I'll get pics up after my event on May 18th- It's the 150th celebration of rebuilding the common after a large fire swept through, and I'm portraying a 16 year old girl. I need to do some research on what one would think of the war, religion, boys, etc. If you know anything, or where I might find the info, it would be much appreciated!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It's Been A Long Time..... (picture heavy)

It's been a while...I finished up the chemise and drawers over MLK Jr day. The facing ended up rather nice looking, and I hand did the button holes. However, I did cheat and machine sew the hem... Anyway...
Faux mother of pearl buttons

The drawers were quite simple to make, took me about five hours. The most annoying part was the curved flat felled seams. There's got to be an easier way to iron a curved surface. Other than that, they came together wonderfully. They have a split crotch and tie in the back. They reach to about halfway between my ankle and mid calf.

sooooo annoying

Split crotch

The corset from 9769 I made over February break-thankfully the final product came together without a hitch. I made a mock up, but sewed the panels all wrong and threw caution to the wind. The final corset fits decently, it's a bit large, but relatively comfortable and in proportion to me. I was able to go 6 hours in it at an arts festival last weekend, and it held up nicely. I got all my supplies for it from It has 1/4" spiral steel bones everywhere except near the lacing where I used spring steel.

my ill-fitting mockup 
all the panels, facing the correct direction this time 

twill tape boning channels
8 of the 34 grommets
the final thing- 15 hours of hard work

Next up was a petticoat made from Truly Victorian's free pattern. I have a 150" hoopskirt, so i had to use more fabric than they suggested. I ended up using huge box pleats (3.5" across) to get the ruffle thingy on the bottom. If I were to do it again (and I will at sometime) I will definitely attach it to a fixed waist band instead of a drawstring.

 I started work on Simplicity 1818 in February as well. The chemisette and under sleeves turned out nicely. I did learn that my sewing machine eats delicate lace for snack, so all lace gets hand sewn. The button holes are all hand done. (I failed to get a picture of the undersleeves... eventually) And this past week, I got a fair chunk of the bodice of the dress done. It has that very annoying plastic boning in it- I really do hate that stuff, and I probably won't use it again if I can possibly help it.

pretty little button holes, how tedious you are

dress fabric pre ironing

 So that's what I've been up to these past months. This dress will be done by May 18th as I need it for a 150th anniversary reenactment. And I'll attempt to post a little more regularly now :)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Chemise Part 1

I'm making all my undergarments from Simplicity 9769 (except the hoops, which should show up soon!) I got a very lightweight poly-cotton of the chemise and the drawers. After wrangling all 11 yds of it onto the table to be cut up, I decided it would be better to just hack off a piece.

Now note that this is a cotton blend I'm using here. I wish I'd remembered that when ironing the front opening... One slightly melted, shrunken, bubbly piece of chemise later, I was pulling out the ridiculous lengths of fabric to cut another.

The body and sleeves went together perfectly, all flat felled seams. I didn't do too badly for my first try :) And then the underarm facings.... Those weren't fun.... I managed to sew one side in on the machine, then back to the ironing board (and a cooler iron). Pins weren't cutting it, so I sewed it down as I went along. Also not the most brilliant thing, as I sewed it to the ironing board....
Not too shabby :)
Nasty little things....
Gathering the body to the yoke, no sweat. Sewing on the yoke, a different story... I thought everything was fine until I went to sew down the facing. Everything was NOT fine, for I'd sewn the dang thing on inside out... Both sides looked the same to me... Not about to try and take the seam out (no seam ripper... I lost it a few months back), I just decided to use microscopic hand stitches and make it look like nothing was wrong. Press seam, trim it, accidentally cut hole in facing.... By that point, I was rather annoyed with myself. So, I'm not done yet, though I'd hoped to be. Maybe by the end of the weekend... I'll get pics of the finished thing up eventually :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Athenaeum Rectory

In two summers, I am going to be attending the 1861 Girls School at Athenaeum Rectory in Columbia, TN. (Here's their website:

So my first big project is the long process of outfitting myself :) The school requires each attendee to have period clothing: undergarments (chemise, drawers, hoops, corset), two day dresses, a ball gown, and a mourning dress. So much fabric! I went fabric shopping this weekend and picked up a very lightweight poly cotton for the chemise and drawers and a unidentified diagonal stripe cream fabric for the corset.

Hope to have some pictures up by the end of the week!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Welcome to my blog!

Hi everyone!

Here I shall be capturing my adventures through the wondrous world of sewing. A few people suggested I start blogging as to better share my creations. So here I am :)

Happy reading!