Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ice Blue Civil War Ball Dress Part 1

 With Christmas Day less than a week away- I am trying to de-stress as much as possible. Sewing has always been my main activity to relieve any pressure I feel-it really clears my mind and generally I like to tackle long projects when I am feeling like this.
But when you sew as much as I do-fabric gets expensive. So imagine my relief when the Lord provided 5 GORGEOUS (not to mention huge) ice-blue drapes at the thrift store for $15. We are talking about 10 yards worth of this high-quality material-which has the feel of a very heavy silk-although I am not sure what it really is.
I have been wanting to make a new Civil War Ballgown and given the amount of yardage I had lying on my hands from these drapes-it seemed the ideal time to start.

But December time is always fraught with distractions-and with my dear parents out of town for a week at the beginning of the month, a church holiday dinner last week, spending time with my grandparents, mailing presents, the Hobbit premier and a dear friend graduating....

Well, I only finished the skirt-the bodice is in the earliest stages.
Hope you like it though!
I really had fun doing a layered skirt with lots (16 yards?) of lace!
Don't ask how I pleated two separate skirts and then attached them to the same waistband. 
Each skirt (the upper and lower) are each over 4 yards long.
It was super fun though. And the volume of the finished skirt is quite impressive. Especially shown as it is here under the hoop.

A panel of lace goes down center of  the top skirt layer-and the pleats work out from the center lace.

It closes nicely in the back with a slight lap-over.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Handmade Bible Cover

 My latest project is not the typical kinda thing I usually sew. I am mainly a garment-sewing gal, but every so often, I delve off the straight and narrow and do something different. The result is I feel mighty clever.

My dear Bible has needed a cover for some time, and after making one for my Mom last year, I figured it was time to make one for myself.
All I needed was 3/4 yard of pre-quilted cotton, and my sewing machine.
The pre-quilted cotton can be found at Joannes in a wide selection of prints. It is made-up of two cotton fabrics with batting in the middle and then quilted together. Each side of the pre-quilted cotton is different. You can see how I used both sides of one cut of my fabric since it is a reversible fabric.
I basically took the measurement of the leather cover of my bible and then added 6inches to either side and as a result cut one lone rectangle that covers the enter book and could fold at the ends to slip over each cover. 

I then cut another identacle rectangle and with right side together stitched around. The whole thing got flipped inside out-and you have rectangle with no raw sides.
 I folded the sides over,
and stitched along the outside edges to hold the flaps in place.
 See how part of the rectangle is folded to the inside and stitched with a whip-stitch to create flaps for my Bible to slip into?

Here you can see the even stitches.

 The tab that snaps the cover shut is very handy to keep loose papers in my Bible secure.

I have never installed a metal snap like this before!
I pounded it in with my grommet setter.

The pocket is a neat carrier for pens and small pads.

The straps surround the whole cover for extra support.
The bow adds a special touch of girly-ness.

What do you think?
I feel really blessed to have such a Bible cover!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

When all else fades...

In the world of sewing projects, and gleeful creation, when you work so hard for hours upon hours, you have to remember to not define yourself by your abilities-because you will always find yourself wanting. You can go through life, month by month, and never be satisfied, because what you can do, never really is who you are.
Even your passion-which will always be part of you, that never is ALL of you.
As October comes to a close, and the Civil War Dream Dress nears completion,

One thing remains.....

Psalm 16

Keep me safe, my God,
    for in you I take refuge.

I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
    apart from you I have no good thing.”
I say of the holy people who are in the land,
    “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
    I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
    or take up their names on my lips.

Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
    you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
    With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
    my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
    nor will you let your faithful[b] one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
 For really, what are we other than dust?
We are nothing in ourselves. 
God made us who we are.
We are His.
We are defined by Him.


Friday, October 4, 2013

Grace Unplugged Giveaway

A new Christian movie is out, and Vicki is hosting a giveaway!
Go hop on over and enter here:

 About the Movie:
Having just turned 18, Grace Trey aspires to more than just singing at her church where her father, a former pop star, is the worship leader. So, with the help of Mossy, her dad's former manager, Grace records a cover version of her dad's old Top-10 hit, runs off to Los Angeles, and begins to taste the kind of stardom she's always dreamed about.
Yet with each rung of the ladder she climbs, Grace feels more and more pressure to compromise her values, further straining her relationship with her parents. Will everything she experiences lead her to reject her faith… or rediscover it?

I think it will be a good movie- a bit soppy, but I like soppy.

Monday, September 30, 2013

England Tour Photo's

After much labor, here is the slideshow of my England trip!
I went with Sense and Sensibility Pattern Tour, and we traveled to Bath, Winchester, Chawton and London.
We participated in the 2013 Jane Austen Festival in Bath, and went to the Ball at the Assembly Rooms. Then, off to Winchester, we visited the Cathedral where Jane Austen is buried, the house where she died, and outside the town in Chawton, where she lived for much of her adult life. 
London held many attractions, the principle ones being Westminster Abby, St. Paul's Cathedral, Big Ben, The Victoria and Albert Museum and Kensington Palace!

God was so good, and the trip was.....just amazing!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Home from the Jane Austen Tour of England

Hello Readers!
Just wanted to pop in and say that I am home safe from England!
The Costumes were fab and the people even fab-er!

I will post a long story with photos when I have recovered enough,
but for now here is a picture to wet your appetite!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

England Tour 2013-The Pre-Journery

" Never  will I leave you,
Never will I forsake you"
Hebrews 13:5

Hey Readers, the first part of my journey to England (the flight from NM to NYC,) was safe and delightful. I leave on soon for the overseas voyage.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Cherrio Darlings...

I am packed.
I was prayed over at Church.
I have snacks.
I have an international phone.
My bonnet is safely in my carry-on.
I have some English currency in my wallet.

I guess I am ready!

I leave tomorrow!

Much Love,
I will write more when I get back from England,

Monday, August 19, 2013

Regency Bodiced Petticoat

 Oh deary- undergarements are not as exciting as full-blown ball gowns!
Yes, that is true. I am sure this post is NOT AS thrilling as it could be, but, if you are a fanatic about historical clothes, you will know one cannot forget the clothes which go UNDER everything else.
I have never really made a bodiced petticoat because I thought "How boring!" but when I got into the project, I really had fun!
First-some inspirtation:



Also-RomanticHistory blog has an awesome repro that the lovely Sarah Jane made!
For a tutorial on how to make an easy bodiced petticoat to Sensibility Patterns for help!

There were several decision to make when I began this project, since I was making my own pattern up, and not basing it on a pre-exsisting one. I would suggest you ask them yourself if you are wanting to make a bodiced petticoat:

1.What type of neckline-scooped or square?
2. Fitted bodiced petticoat, or drawstring?
3. If  the latter on question #2,  Drawstring on neck and waist or just waist?
4.Buttons in back? Or hook and eyes? (also have seen a lacing petticoat-go here to see ZipZips tutorial)
5. Boning in bodice?, or no boning?-thus to allow you to wear separate stays.
6. How low a neckline in front and back do you need to accommodate the gowns you will be wearing over this?
7. Will I use the lining to enclose the neck edges? If so, will I bind the sleeves-or bind both sleeves and neckline?

My petticoat took about a week or two to complete-and that was me being very divided in my attention to it. My sis had TONS of mending and refashioning for me to do before she left for college. Plus, I have become the local repair shop for teenage boys whose skateboarding and free-running Parkour obsessions leave there pants in serious disrepair. I usually get the same pair of jeans or sweats back several times-patching up the damage in layers!
Suffice all this to say-that the petticoat is really a 2-3 day job if your a quick sewer, and a week or less if you are a slow sewer. Just make sure you have a pattern planned out (your own or a pre-exsisting patten) and you can construct it quickly.
A great resource if you are handsewing-or you can do this on machines too-is to learn how to make flat-felled seams:

 I did not take the time to flat-fell anything-I was naughty and serged everything-bad Lexi!

I used 100% cotton.

The bodice has two darts, is lined, the necklines joined together right sides together and then turned through and top stitched. I went with a low scoop shape with the straps on the edges of my shoulder to allow for a wide-necked ball gown!

The skirt is pleated in the back, extending to the side-seams and then flat across the tummy-area. I DID build-in a slight amount of ease for waist drawstring (to allow for changes in size!) so the front LOOKS slightly gathered.
sThe armholes  are bound with self-binding from left-over fabric scrap.

The back dice dips down in back a bit-because I do not want competing waistline that have fullness, hitting at the same point.

The back bodice is even lower-cut than the front accommodate the low-back or a certain ballgown I own!
It closes with hook and eyes (the metal closures) and the edges meet tip-to-tip.
The meeting edges allow the drawstring to meet and tie evenly-which they would not do in the case of the sides overlapping with buttons.

Here is a detail shot of the inside of the dress. (notice the serged waist-line seam which is turned up and stitched to make drawstring channel.)Please note my petticoat opens in the back-but there are lots of people who make them open in the front!
Notice the metal closures I sewed! The hooks (above)
The eyes (below) (they are spaced close together for strength)
I hope you enjoyed this!
Much love,

Friday, August 16, 2013

Raffle Winners

Thank you to my many friends and family in NM who bought a raffle ticket!
I appreciate the support!

My dear friend, and unbiased party- Marie Wignall, drew the names of the winners.

The Runners Up-all receiving a 1 hr Massage:

*Ann Meierkord

*Mrs. Lucero 

*Luisa Gignac

And finally the winners of a 2 nights stay at ArrowRidge  B&B :
*The Swartz

Congrats winners! Everyone's prizes have been mailed out. 

Much love, Lexi

Friday, August 2, 2013


A Big Thank You to My Relatives and Friends who will be viewing this blog to find out about my Raffle for a two night stay at ArrowRidge for two people!
I appreciate all you contributions to make my journey to England possible.

******Due to a recent class, I will be moving the day of drawing a winner forward two weeks,
it will be held and the results posted on this blog on August 16th 2013.
Thanks for your understanding!

God Bless

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Super Heros Anyone?

So what happens when your church camp has a Super Hero themed week?
You make 5 super hero capes for the kids in your Sunday School!
I worked very hard, wrestling that satin, using fusible web for the insignia's and hemming them.
You know what? I found them harder than some of my Regency clothes!
Anyways-Hope you like!


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Jane Austen Costumed Promenade Dress!

 Well, Hello Readers!
I have less than 2 months before I fly to England to attend the Bath Jane Austen Festival.
I will be going with the Sensibility Pattern Tour!
After finishing Rachel's Dress, I have been working on my Promenade Dress! It consists of my white drawstring dress I made using this pattern
After that dress was finished months ago-I knew I needed a spencer jacket. I bought fabric cut it out-all was well, until I spilled glue all over from a project I was doing at the same time. I was in the middle of making my fake American Duchess shoes-watch video here -alas and the glue I was using to attach trim RUINED my Spencer!!!!!
I was basing if off this Spencer I found on Etsy. (I could not find the actual link to it-so if this was yours, comment and I'll give you credit!)
Isn't it lovely?

Well, with my spoilt fabric, I was crushed. Spent a whole night worrying with no sleep-yes I get emotional over fabric-please pass the kleenex lol!
Then the next day-the 4th, dawned bright and beautiful and Emily and I went to our local Thrift Store sale-and the heavens OPENED!!!
Or at least so it seemed to me! God was in it though- I know He was. He cares about my worries and provided for me in His typical way-via drapes in the Linen department. I will not tell you the amount I paid for two curtain panels,  but needless to say it was a pittance, and 1/2 off that!
With so very much more fabric than expected, I decided to make a Pelisse (or long jacket- with the same style as the original inspiration piece!)
I do not claim 100% Historical Accuracy, indeed I made the decision before hand to take inspiration from a variety of repro's and existing era garments, and throw my own ideas in the mix. The result is something I am IN LOVE with.
I spent bunches of time on details-pipping, lining, wide collar, decoration, fitting and  stripe matching.
The pattern I basically drafted my self.


 Dips down to a V-shape.
Collar is pipped to contrast white gown underneath.
Inspiration for shawl collar
Inspirtation for v-neck

Here are the dog-leg closures.

Back of Bodice with wide collar and back detail.
Pelisse Back Inspiration 

Front View
again-with sleeve

(The fact that most pelisse's didn't have a puffed upper sleeve, doesn't mean they were not used-link- my upper sleeve is a bit longer, that is all)

 Upper Sleeve decoration inspired by the green repro spencer!
(Notice pipping!)
 Tab is in-cased in sleeve seam.

 Under sleve view!

Better Sleeve view showing it with the rest of garment


The skirt is where I deviated from reg.  Pelisse's. I want a cut-away, halfway-round skirt! I thought it was dashing, but this type of skirt was used in 1790's over gowns, not typically in Pelisse's. 
I made the choice because I liked the look! 

Here you can see how the skirt falls from the bodice.

Observe the skirt lining!

The skirt is deeply pleated-such a nice look, and neater than any gathers I could have made!
Do you think I should add trim on the bottom edge?

Bonnet and Bag
For futher details, I remade an old bonnet, and fashioned a purse!
LOVE how it came out!
The purse is special. Have you ever seen those roll pillows?
Like this:
I have had one on my hope chest for years, and it did not go with my room decor at all. Last night I was looking at it, and became aware it went with my Pelisse! 
I took scissors to it, cut off one end, unstuffed it and trimmed a few inches off, till I had a limp sack the depth I wanted the purse to be (granted , I allowed 2 inches to be turned over for a drawstring). 
What I held in my hand was a sack with a round bottom, all pipped so prettily!
It was just a matter of turning the edge and making the casing, threading a ribbon through it, and adding trim!
What do you think?

Ta da!

Here is the round bottom.
I can hold my cash, a lipstick and my camera in there while we walk around Bath during the festival.

Much Love,
My wonderful friend Theresa, is knitting me a special shawl by hand! Will post that when it is done!
Love you!