Day 3 Vienna

Filed under: Uncategorized — by sistersuzi @ 13:10

Today was a busy day – we visited Vienna, somewhat briefly, and the Schonnbrunn Palace. Our morning involved a coach trip round Vienna, being shown all the important buildings, and I confess, I have a rather blurred memory of them. (I was assured that I would love it by someone whose favourite city it was, but I don’t think I registered enough of the best part!)


There were lots of very imposing buildings, like the picture above, and of course the famous Ferris Wheel, which we saw from the coach and needless to say my photos are totally useless!

I do remember the Spanish Riding School and stables, with its beautiful white horses, as interested in us as we were in them!



We continued to walk along one of the main pedestrianized streets, where Christmas preparations were in full swing. Sadly, the “big” Christmas market was further away than we were prepared to walk, but later we found a smaller one.


The Germans seem obsessed with cakes, and sweetmeats, and there are cake shops and cafes everywhere – all our guides mentioned or recommended places!


An amazing memorial commemorating, I think, the plague. You can see the decorations going up.

The walking tour stopped close to this place, and we were allowed some free time to potter about. So we found a lovely café and devoured, in my case, a Mozart torte, and in his, sacher torte, and hot chocolates – it was not a warm day!



Finally, we found a very small Christmas market next to the church, and managed to collect some great wooden decorations – something that part of the world excels at.


We were taken back to the boat for lunch, the off we went again, this time to the Schonnbrunn Palace. More on this amazing place later.





Day 2 Budapest

Filed under: Uncategorized — by sistersuzi @ 19:29

After a great breakfast, we got organised and joined a guided tour round the city of Budapest. We had done the trip the last time we were on a cruise, and didn’t expect much, but were happily impressed. As it was a Sunday, certain parts of the trip were not available, so we got an extended visit to another part of the old part, Buda, that we had not been able to visit before.

We drove round the main, modern part, visiting “Heroes’ Square”,  as before, only this time it was quite foggy, instead of bright sunshine, and the pictures look quite different! The building in the background is a copy of an historic building, while the pillar to the right is part of the memorial.


From there we drove up to the older part. This where the Royal Families lived, now libraries, museums, and office Image

buildings. We were shown a dig where Roman foundations are being unearthed, and were pleasantly surprised to watch a Hungarian version of Changing of the Guard in front of the Presidential building.

This is, I think, the St. Matthias Church, with a splendid, rebuilt ceramic tiled roof.Image 

Keith took a photo of this fine fellow on my arm – total tourist trap, but he was very beautiful, and a camera hog!


We took lots of photos here, as the views were spectacular.


The spectacular Parliament building, from Buda, across the Danube in Pest.


My favourite building, not that old, but attractive – the Fishermen’s Bastion, also in Buda.

Eventually we rejoined the boat for lunch, as she sailed “up” the Danube to our next stop, Vienna.










A long gap, but working again

Filed under: Uncategorized — by sistersuzi @ 12:38

I finally managed to work out what was wrong with the Duchess sleeve – I had made a two piece sleeve, a la Hunnisett, and was putting much too much fabric into the undersleeve. I went back to Arnold and drew around the original sleeve shape, but with the CB seam split to the elbow. It is now a one piece sleeve, with a dart at the elbow, which was also moved down about an inch. Hopefully this should work. She is coming down again over the weekend, and we will have what should be a final fitting, and fingers crossed, she should take it away with he – she has been very patient.


These are the Chinese silk brocade stays I made to go under the “Duchess” dress. Based on the 1776 Diderot stays, we chose that pattern because she may well have another outfit to wear for 1745, as with the other members of Danse Ecosse. This shape suits, just about, both periods.

I am planning a Victorian man’s dressing gown for an old customer, and a new 1650 outfit for the theatre lady who has another character to portray. Then, unless anyone comes up with an offer I can’t refuse, I will have no more historical costumes to make until I get round to Keith’s suit for the Bath Parade next September. I have several small, none historical items to do, for presents mostly, and another great tidy up of the workroom, if I can ever push myself to do it, and some shirts and skirts and trousers for me.


Well, back again.

Filed under: Uncategorized — by sistersuzi @ 19:54

After quite a gap, I’m back and sewing. The cap that I made for my 1827 lady was extremely succesful, apparently, and she was comfortable in it. The theatre lady wasnts to buy the cap I made for her. It was on loan and was going to go to an old customer, but I realised that I had put one of the bands on back to front, so am happy to sell it on, and remake the cap correctly so I can photograph it for the pattern I am making. She also wants an apron, which will not be a problem as I can cadge a small amount of linen from a friend.

Another lady reminded me I was to make an apron for her, and the same friend probably has the linen for that too. My gentleman customer who wants the Victorian dressing gown has contacted me, and we are going to set up an appointment shortly.

However, first I have to reset the sleeves of the 18th century dress nicknamed the “Duchess.” I felt they weren’t quite right but there was no time for a final fitting, so off it went. S. wore it, but brought it back to me for final tweaking this weekend. As usual she is staying over, and will probably be able to take it back with her. Then the only thing I have to finish for her is the partlet for her Mary Queen of Scots dress, which was never quite right, and now she has lost quite a lot of weight, needs sorting out.

In the gap time, before we went on holiday I cut out several blouse/shirts for me, and a pair of trousers. I decided not to finish the trousers as they are wonderfully warm wool, and we were going somewhere warm. I was so glad I wore my cotton jersey trousers instead – I would have melted! I only finished one of the shirts, but did wear it, and of course, didn’t like it! The neck is wrong for me, so I shall alter that, and change the other ones to match – another “Thank goodness I didn’t finish them” moment!


Finally, real sewing!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by sistersuzi @ 11:09

Having spent a few more days sorting out and throwing another huge bag of scraps of fabric, I finally did a little work. This was after I finally found the fabric that had started the Big Tidy, and filed it carefully with the other “holiday clothes” fabrics ( only to lose it again when I forgot where it was!)

I had suggested that the 1827 lady wore a cap to cover her modern hairstyle, and had made a toile/trial cap. I found some lovely permanently pleated organza, left over from a previous job, to replace the very flat looking lace that I had originally trimmed the cap with. I overlocked (serged) the edge, and pleated a double layer at the front of the the cap, then sewed down the lining, to cover the raw edges. The difficulty for the lady was that, as a musician, she did not want her ears covered, so the cap was specifially made for that purpose. I machined a channel in the middle section of the cap, so I could put a drawstring through it, although it probably wasn’t necessary. She seems to be very happy, and I shall tidy up the pattern before going on to the next one, a corded Regency style.

Cap from a museum collection, possibly the Met?


My copy, slightly modified


Busy with fabric but not sewing!?

Filed under: Uncategorized — by sistersuzi @ 20:16

I’ve spent some very useful time going through my shelves, crates and boxes of fabric, tidying, reminding myself of old favourites, finding lost treasures, and eventually, throwing away a huge rubbish sack full of calico , cotton and linen offcuts, saved “just in case” only never used! I have bagged upo some pretty scraps for an adult help centre, where they use them for pictures, collage and craft purposes, and I should make the effort to bag up some more.

 mean to make some clothes from some of the fabrics I’ve found or sorted out – I need (not really, perhaps want is a better word) another skirt or two, and a couple of overshirts, so as to have the right clothes for our next holiday.


1827 costume collected

Filed under: Uncategorized — by sistersuzi @ 18:18

The lady came and collected the remaining bits of the 1827 costume, and tried on the cap. The lace looked way too flat, but the organza strip I had prepared had disappeared this morning. I’ve no doubt it will turn up again soon, as I would much rather use that. She found the cap fitted well, so I shall finish it with a better frill, make a copy or two of the collar, and send them off.

Those will not happen immediately, but am taking a little break from sewing for others. I have several items I wasnt to make for myself, having bought yet more fabric over the summer!

However, I was on tenterhooks over the weekend as I had sent the 1785 dress off on the overnight train to Inverness without a final fitting, and didn’t get the usual note to say it had arrived!

Matching stripes!


 Eventually I got a note saying she’d worn it, but it need the alterations I had mentioned – the sleeves need twisting a fraction. Also, proper lace falls on the sleeves need to be added. But then she sent a small, blurry picture, adn commented that she felt and looked like a Duchess – as that was the theme I was very pleased



Nearly all done

Filed under: Uncategorized — by sistersuzi @ 22:30

I have been working on both sets of costumes simultaneously – one day the suit, then next the dress, and so on. I managed that way to get most of the 1827 couple finished. If I hadn’t made a very silly mistake centering the pleats on the lady’s dress, hers would have been completely done! She was thrilled, and said it was so comfortable it was like wearing clothes – a huge compliment. I have to adjust that pleat, stitch on the ribbon belt, as it was a fraction short, and make up her cap.

Piping everywhereI did an enormous amount of piping, shoulders, armholes, side back seams, waist, neckline and cuffs.

 His shirt, which took far too long, waistcoat, and coat were all finished and ready to go, but I needed, I thought, to take his trousers to be buttonholed. However, in stock, I have a pair of beautifully tailored trousers I made for my DH, and realised that I could do this with my Singer widget for making buttonholes. I might hand stitch over the machining, just to make them look better, but as they are on a fly front, I think they won’t show and not matter.

Wool crepe with a silk lining.

I also have a couple of plain silk cravats to finish, just strips doubled, machined and neatened, nothing fancy.

And then there was the 18th century dress….


All Behind! (Again)

Filed under: Uncategorized — by sistersuzi @ 19:10

Over the weekend I had S. to stay again, and we worked on finalising the details of her 18th century dress, like decoration and so on. We refitted the corset/stays as I had altered them, checked the fit of the modified pocket hoops – twice, as the first time I forgot to measure waist to ground – and eventually the altered sleeve and the bodice.The stays needed a fraction out of the underam seam, the pocket hoops worked perfectly, giving a gentler slope, and the bodice needed the waist nudging a bit. The sleeve, I am happy to say, was “perfect” – her words.

After she left I returned to the 1827 man, getting the coat ready for its buttonholes which need doing professionally. I will be ordering matching buttons. The waistcoat also is ready for the buttonholes, but I have antique buttons for that. S. sewed in the lining for me which was very helpful.

Today I was distracted as I had to get the results – not good – from my blood test last week. I need to finish 1827 man and lady by Monday, preferably Sunday, so I have half a chance of getting S’s whole costume to her on Wednesday evening on the sleeper, courtesy of one of the other ladies – saves a lot of money!


More 1827 progress

Filed under: Uncategorized — by sistersuzi @ 21:08

The extra fabric needed for the lady’s costume arrived today, so for that relief much thanks.The man’s waistcoat, with bound pockets, has the lining pinned in and ready to sew. They are on hold now while I work on the friend’s 18th century costume. She’ll be here tomorrow, so I have to be far enough ahead of her to give her something to do – she’s a very good assistant! I lost time on Wednesday going for a blood test, and shopping, and this morning I had to go and buy some steels for the stays’ back as in spite of, quite literally, having hundreds of steels, I had no 16 inch ones! Everything is marked out for work tomorrow – just need to actually do it!

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