Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Blue Lace Civil War Ball Gown

 At long last, here are the pictures I have promised of my Civil War ball gown!
The dress is three pieces, skirt, bodice and Bertha collar.  I used the Simplicity ball gown bodice as a base, but that is all. I really tweaked the design and made-up the Bertha collar pattern myself. The skirt was basic, needed no pattern, the waist band is hidden under the bodice. The skirt has two layers pleated to a stiffened waistband and fastens with a dog-foot closure in back. The bodice laces in the back with hand-sewn eyelets. Bodice has boning on all seams sewn to the lining layer, so that no boning channels are seen on the outside. The fabric was found at a thrift store in form of drapes! The lace was given to me. I am fully corseted and have my hoop underneath. The crochet gloves were made for me by a dear friend for my birthday.
My cousin Liam is to thank for the awesoem photos.
I hope you enjoy these photos!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Passing of a Poodle

 Molly Moo
Female Toy Poodle Mix
Born a stray in Chihuahua Mexico sometime in 2005 or 2006 
Adopted from  LapDogRescue in collab with Save a Mexican Mutt when I was 16 years old
Weighed 12 pounds
Fur color was Pink most of the time (pet approved dye only)
Long Tail
Energetic personality
Great with kids
Adored Chocolate (and no matter how sick she got, always recovered to get more)
Loved to jump, and could jump very high onto couches, bed and chairs
Slept in my arms, under the covers every night
Constant companion, dear friend

I am sorry Molly you had to go when you did. I am sorry that you were poisoned and we could do nothing to help you. I wish we could have found out what exactly made you sick. I kept you alive as long as I could. But I am glad that I made the decision to put you down, when you were suffering. I am so happy you died in my arms. In life we were always together, and so in death, it was fitting. Thank you for making people turn their heads and smile at seeing a pink dog. Thank you for the countless kids you let hug, hold and pet you. Thank you for always licking away my tears when I cried, for sitting in my lap when I was sad, for perching on my head in the morning to wake me up. 

I will never forget you. 
See you again dear friend....

Your "Miss Lexi"

Monday, February 24, 2014

Literary Heroine Blog Party Questions 2014

 If you love books, history and Heroines from the past-hop on board!
Jump over to Kellie's Blog and join Literary Heroine Blog Party fun!

The Literary Heroine Blog Party
~ The Questions ~
  1. Introduce yourself!  Divulge your life's vision, likes, dislikes, aspirations, or something completely random!My name is Lexi, I am in my early 20's, and was homeschooled all my life, and graduated about 4 years ago. Most importantly, I am  saved through grace and have committed my life to Jesus. I have come to believe our God is big, bigger than we think and can ever imagine. He is far more loving and gracious to non-believers than we can grasp, and while we think that for some, all is lost, God is there, ever wooing them toward him. He loves, saves and forgives. I am thankful to God for His abundant grace toward me-even though I struggle to understand it! Seriously! God is SO good, even when things feel so WRONG, I am still tripping along, ever looking toward the cross and humbled by this God I will never fully understand. And that is what Christ is about Unconditional LOVE, any Christian that tries to act perfect and condemn you is fooling himself.  No one is perfect. We all fail. We can only be accepted by an unfailing God. I read about Christians announcing to the world that they are going to hell, and realize that this is the exact opposite of how Christ approached sinners when He was on earth. He loves. He shows people they are broken without Him, and that He will save them from themselves. My favorite quote this year is partly from a sermon, partly from a devotional and it is: God is the one who enables us to become GREATER than ourselves. Anyway! I had that on my heart to share and needed to let it out. Now I will tell you some facts about me.  I am a home-body, but am an active seamstress and historical-costumer. I discovered sewing when I was 17, and there has barely been a day when I haven't sewn. My mother puts it best " Sewing, for you Lexi, it's not a hobby, or a job..it's, it's...a NEED". And it is true. It is what I know best, feel comfortable doing the most. I have instructed my Sunday School class I teach that I am to be buried along with my machine. I also pray that I will not become arthritic in my old age. I want to die at my machine sewing for my great-great grandchildren. So there!  Well, recently, after four years of daily use I toasted my old Singer sewing machine (the inward parts literally became UNSCREWED! ) and had to get a new one! I now have a great Brother machine which I hope lasts me longer than 4 years! I also love to dance, and have collected American girl dolls since childhood. Recently I went to England, and since returning have had an addiction to Earl Grey tea which I have yet to kick. I own a pink poodle named Molly and she was rescued from Mexico. I still don't know the plot to Hunger Games, or Enders game  have no idea what 50 Shades of Grey is, don't recall Justin Biebers latest hits ( or any hits) and only know a bit about One Direction becuase they have the ever epic British accents. Oh-and I often go grocery shopping in period dress. There. Done. A "little" about me! lol
  2. What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine? I would say something like "courage, love and Godliness" But honestly I love heroines who are not so perfect! So, I will say, that for me, the true essence of a heroine is that she learns about herself and others, and grows in Character  by the end of the book. 
  3. Share (up to) four heroines of literature that you most admire and relate to. Jane Eyre-I admire her bravery through hardships and  abuse. I am glad she did not marry St. John as I don't think he shows the love of Christ even though he is a preacher. Ann Eliot in persuasion-I admire her steadfast love for Wentworth after all those years apart. Meg March-I identify with her choice to be a wife and mother. Marianne Dashwood-I identify with her passionate and emotional nature.
  4. Five of your favorite historical novels?S&S, Emma, Persuasion, Jane Eyre, Across Five Aprils, War and Peace.
  5. Out of those five books who is your favorite major character and why?Currently? Jane Eyre. Can you see a pattern?
  6. Out of those five books who is your favorite secondary character and why? I am going out of the ordinary and am going to list an anti-herione I like Mrs. Elton because she is so ridiculous and makes me laugh. I also sympathize with her tendency to over trim dresses. I often joke that if I was the villain in a Jane Austen book, it'd be Mrs. E!
  7. If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to - and what would you plan to do there? This is a dream vacation right? Okay. Good. I want to go back in time to the Regency Era and would like to frolick around with Dolly Madsion in the White House.
  8. What is your favorite time period and culture to read about? Regency Era.
  9. You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert. Singing, comedy, recitation - what is your act comprised of? Can't sing any. I love poetry. My favorite poem is the Lady of Shallot. I would recite that.
  10. If you were to attend a party where each guest was to portray a heroine of literature, who would you select to represent? That would change with what I am sewing at the time. I guess my next project is my Jane Eyre era dress, but it is too fancy for Jane, so I would go as an anti-heroine again-Blanche Ingram. I am crazy-I know.
  11. What are your sentiments on the subject of chocolate? Love.
  12. Favorite author(s)? All the typical authors...Jane Austen Elizabeth Glaskell, L.M Montgomery... etc.
  13. Besides essentials, what would you take on a visiting voyage to a foreign land? Ideally I would take my dog Molly.If not, my costumes!
  14. In which century were most of the books you read written? My century of choice-the 19th.
  15. In your opinion, the ultimate hero in literature is… It is NOT Rochester! lol. I don't like his temperament. I would say Col. Branden.
  16. Describe your ideal dwelling place. My house! I love my family's house. It is my favorite place to be. It is not in farmland or near any beautiful place like the woods or a romantic lake. I live in a city house with a pretty backyard. I have the entire sun-room in the back of the house as my sewing studio. It is truly my favorite dwelling place.
  17. Sum up your fashion style in a short sentence. Very Stylish-if you count the fashion trends of past decades....centuries...eras....
  18. Have you ever wanted to change a character’s name? Hmmmm...no.
  19. In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is... I was drawing a blank and my mom suggested Pro. Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes. I think it is a great answer!
  20. Three favorite Non-fiction books? I am a sucker for biographies. Shall we just say three biographies of 19th century writers?
  21. Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer afternoon? With some friends, in costume at a Civil War reenactment! Then out to tea!
  22. Create a verbal sketch of your dream hat - in such a way as will best portray your true character. How about a very large straw bonnet with a huge brim bound with peach silk bias binding. There would be large flowers decorating the base of the bonnet crown with lots of  cream and sage-green ribbons streaming down the back.
  23. Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year. I have had some huge personal goals met this year. A big one is getting back into dance after 10 years. Another one is I took the step of learning to drive-which has been a huge source or fear for me. Traveling to the U.K by myself was huge! God also put a paying part-time job sewing in my path...
  24. Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently. I am a chronic worrier. My favorite verse is the end of the Gospel of Matthew: And "Behold, I AM WITH YOU, even unto the end of the age." For me, this is the most comforting piece of scripture to my heart.

Battle For Valverde 2014

 The event I wait for all year long!
The recreation of the Battle for Valverde which was fought outside of Socorro NM on February 21st 1862. The Confederates matched from Texas with the idea of taking NM for the Confederacy, they won this battle, but it did not signify. By the end of the battle they were weakened, and after intensive marching and supply loses in the following weeks, they marched back to Texas, sick, weak and with nothing but a tactical victory to show for their efforts. 

My dear friends came with me again this year. Such a great time.
Now I will not delude you, some of our party got extremely sick the night before the big day. No one slept well at our hotel and I was worried about the outcome of this adventure with sick, sleep deprived persons in our group. But actually, it went great. We woke up, got dressed, arrived on time, and the sick ones were in good spirits and had a fine time. It was a total God thing.

 My awesome sister who goes to NM Tech and will graduate with her degree in Civil Engineering in May was part of our group. She is such a sport with my costuming.
One very embarrassing thing happened, which I still have NOT gotten over completely.
I started to fun across camp and my sister yells, "Don't run in your dress!" but I had already taken off and was gaining speed when wham! I face plant. Literally. Emily was shaking with laughter. " I told you!" It was pretty funny! Never again will I make such a mistake!

Camp life...

Dear Hannah..

 In a flutter for the ball...

Dear Abigail..

Dear Sarah...

Bodice detail on my Ball gown..

Are those shoes under there?

Matching gloves-- notice dirt stains on mine? Guess when I got that?....

All I can say, is that is was the perfect, imperfect trip and we had a blast.
 xoxo Lexi

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Super Sew Sunday

What I did instead of watching the game- go figure!
I had been invited to hang-out with my Aunt and make cards, but something happened and I was uninvited. 
Soooooo, I had a good day sewing. Quiet, but really nice.
What did you do today?

This is my new dance bag to keep my shoes, fan, money, water bottle, etc. all safe and sound.
I made it from some old curtains I was given to re-purpose.
My dancing has been going well and we are working twice a week to get ready for recital. I should get  a CD with my practice music, and a practice skirt, on Tuesday.
Then I can really work hard!


Thursday, January 30, 2014

1840's Timely Tresses Bonnet Trimmed

 The bonnet is covered and trimmed!
I am very happy!
This bonnet makes me feel so happy and proud at how God has allowed my sewing to progress!
I am thankful for the opportunity to create historical pieces like this.
Words are useless though, so here are the pictures for you all.
All I have to say REALLY quick before I let off, is that it took white cotton to interline the whole thing, and several layers of a delicate taffeta-as well as lots of lace and trim! The pink ribbon is a strip of the fabric which will be used to make my dress!

Front views:

Delicate horse-shoe-shape curve:

 Back of crown:

Lace inside detail on top of taffeta lining:

Partial side-views:

Back neck area :

Birds-eye view;

 Flower-feather detail:

Please comment and tell me what you think!