mala_14: (Default)
I managed to get a mock-up done today of my ballgown bodice. I had to make a number of small adjustments, but didn't have time today to get to mock-up #2, which will also have a sleeve draft. I think it's looking good. Fitting the off-the-shoulder bodice is a bit tricky, though. I had the strap hitting right at the shoulder point, but after looking at photos from the 1860s and 1870s, it looks like ballgown bodices were actually off the shoulder, so I had to change that, which makes a weird armhole shape. I did take pictures, but my camera battery is charging now, so no pics for now.

I decided that I need to be way more disciplined about my daily schedule, because I want to get this sewing done, but I also need to get a TON of reading done. I had a prof a few weeks ago say that for doing the reading to prepare for these exams you need to set aside 7 hours a day to read. And another prof told me yesterday that she read for 9! hours a day when preparing for these exams. Right now, I'm probably averaging around 5-6 hours, which is probably why I'm not progressing quickly enough in my reading. It's stressing me out. So I need to get a strict schedule going that looks like this (minus the days that I have to go to school, which means that sewing gets cut on those days, and weekends, which are a mish-mash depending on what's going on):

9:15am: get up, shower, eat
11:30am: sew
2:00pm: snack and start reading or doing notes
5:30pm: make supper, eat
7:00pm: read and get in 30 min of exercise
12:00am: go to sleep

I can do this! *deep breaths*
mala_14: (Default)
Finally got my silk skirt finished (minus optional flounce), ie. it is totally wearable. It has a broadcloth hem facing that nicely weighs down the hem. And I added rings to the inside to bustle up the train and I tried it on and it actually works. So good stuff there. I wanted to get to patterning the bodice today, but I don't think I have time. I'm using the same base pattern that I used for my 1867 print dress, but with alterations, partly because the 1867 bodice didn't have a perfect fit (just good enough for the moment) and because the top needs changing to a ballgown bodice neckline. So that is on the docket for tomorrow, pattern and mock-up and, if I work quickly enough, cutting out the silk bodice and lining.
mala_14: (Default)
I've managed to get my skirt to where it should have been before my snafus. It still needs a hem. And preferably a flounce, but I'm waiting on the flounce until I finish the other parts of the gown to make sure I have enough fabric. For the hem, I'm doing a hem facing and I need to put weights in the train because it doesn't seem to want to lie right. Oh, also planning on sewing little rings on the inside with a tie through them so that I can bustle up the back from the inside.

Some pics of the finished bustle and the skirt as it is now.

In the last pic you can see where I had to attach a new back to the waistband and the cartridge pleating. This skirt also has pockets!

I think that I need to change how I do gored skirts because these don't seem to like to lie flat in the front over the stomach. They should probably be angled a bit more at the top rather than having the line straight. It lies smoothly when I pull the waistband up, though, so not redoing this.

mala_14: (Default)
I need pockets. I was looking at all the pockets in Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion Vol. 2 for the dresses 1866-1877 and they are pretty much all the same, a pocket that sort of looks like an 18th century pocket but it sewn into the seam of a skirt. Except, that Arnold gives NO explanation about how the slash is sewn to the seam. Anybody here know?

The closest thing I could find online is from Jennifer Rosbrugh's Historical Sewing website that says to finish the slit edges just like 18th century pockets and handsew them in, which makes sense, but I want some corroborating evidence before I do this.


Feb. 21st, 2017 03:03 pm
mala_14: (Default)
I finished my lobster tail bustle, finally! And it gives a very good early 1870s shape, so I'm happy. I got worried for a moment when I was comparing the silhouette to 1875 silhouettes and it was way too round, but I realized that my large bustle pad (which I've been using for early 1880s) actually gives the right shape for 1875, if I make sure that the future skirts are cut with a bit of a train (rather than the no train of my 1880s stuff). Pictures sometime. I just figured I should post because it's been a while. I've been busy with life and school.
mala_14: (Default)
With the John Bright Costume Collection! Seriously, check it out. You can search by era, garment type, and categories. The pictures are beautifully zoom-able. And it's a bunch of stuff that I haven't seen before. It's gorgeous and glorious! Why are you still reading this? Go! Explore! Enjoy!
mala_14: (Default)
As promised, here are some pictures of my latest sewing. I should really call this outfit the KatherJen ensemble or something because it's totally a rip-off of [personal profile] koshka_the_cat  and [personal profile] jenthompson 's outfits from some years back. I used all the instructions from Katherine's website for her c.1880 Bustle Bodice, which she made a beautiful version of in brown velveteen. And I copied Jen's plaid skirts with solid bodice and fur accessories: shoulder cape and muff, all of which you can see here. I guess I have nothing to say other than that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and I really love the things that they made. :)

The capelet still needs hooks and eyes. I also have to say that sewing the faux fur was the bane of my existence. I don't know how it managed to be so squidgy but it moved everywhere at once and all my seams are wonky and ridiculous. No more faux fur for some time.

I have the pieces for a new collar cut out to dress up my print polonaise and I still need to make a hat.

mala_14: (Default)
So I finished the velveteen bodice on New Year's. Then I got started on the skirts. So far, I have the skirt mostly put together and the overskirt cut out. I just need to pleat the waist of the underskirt, assemble the overskirt, and get them together in the same waistband. Then this one will be done! I decided to try draping the overskirt to figure it out and took some pictures.

The underskirt plaid is supposed to be pleated, but my pleats aren't really lying right. Oh well. The pleated plaid is attached to a knee-length skirt of brown cotton poplin. The overskirt is a rectangle at the back and a bias-cut trapezoid at the front, pleated up at some strategic points.

I'm hoping to get this mostly finished today, maybe with the fastenings to do tomorrow. But right now I need to finish writing my end-of-term papers! I can get the jacket and bonnet done in less than two weeks, right? ;p

mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
I decided to pick an easy option for the CoCo 2017 Pool Party since I'll have to make at least 3 new things for it (1871 ballgown, 1918 suffragette, and 1910ish black & white) and maybe 1 more (1871 ivory day dress). Since the theme is the 60s, I was thinking of wearing something that belonged to my grandmother. I thought that the dresses I have that were hers looked rather late 60s. I tried on a couple and snapped some pics. I was thinking of this one, but it turned out to be a bit snug in the hips (too much junk in the trunk!), so I get weird wrinkles in the small of the back:

It's so fun though. I love the print!

I think I am going with this one:

It's super shiny! It ends above the knee (which you can't see in this pic) and has a cute little stand-up collar and sort of 3/4 sleeves with a little cuff. It's some sort of synthetic turquoise and gold fabric that is awesome:

All of the things that I have that were hers seem to have been made custom for her. My grandmother must have been a pretty fancy lady sometimes. :) I'm just guessing that these are 60s. Anyone know more? Also, how would I get wrinkles out of this? I'm afraid to iron it because I'd probably melt it.
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
Even though the faculty association is on strike and my classes are cancelled, I am still busy trying to keep up with schoolwork and get things done so I don't have a ton of stuff to catch up on when classes resume. However, I'm still finding bits of time here and there to work on sewing and knitting. I had a sewing session/stitch-and-bitch on Sunday with my local Victorian costuming pals from Victorian at Heart. I took the opportunity to get started overcasting the seam allowances on my 1883 velveteen bodice. You can see some the seams that have been finished:
Don't worry; it has sleeves. They'll be attached once I'm done overcasting everything. I still need to cut out things like collar, tabs, and facings. Anyways, it's going really slowly, but it's going.

Knitting is slightly more productive. I've been knitting while watching hockey games. I finished the first ball of yarn and it knitted up to be 11" long and about 23" wide. I was aiming for 18" wide, but obviously cast on too many stitches. By the time I figured it out, there was no way I was going to rip out all the stitches and start over. So it's going to be bit wider than needed. Not really a problem, since I think it will be a perfectly fine length.
When I stretch out the knitting (not to its farthest length, but what I think is a goodly amount), I can get about 17" in length. And considering I bought six balls of yarn, the finished length after blocking should be about 8.5 ft. Not 9, but still pretty long. So I'm glad I don't need to worry about buying extra anymore! :)
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
Or at least cutting. I got the velveteen cut out yesterday (aside from the collar and tabs). Hoping to the get thing assembled today and then spend some time over the weekend whipstitching seam allowances. As for the cloud, it's just under 6" now. Looks like 2 repeats = 1 inch. I am a bit worried that I didn't buy enough yarn though. A question for those who are real knitters, will I get any sort of extra length after blocking? (It's knitted with a lacy pattern, every 6th row is a YO, K2tog, and it's 100% Shetland wool.)
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
Things have been a little stressful lately, but I'm still working on costuming projects. I'm not quite finished my 1867 print dress because I'm tired of it. All that needs doing is hooks and eyes, so it's something I can finish up quickly when motivated. I cut out the lining for my 1883 velveteen bodice and the new black velveteen is currently in the wash. I also started up knitting my Canadian cloud. I decided to change my pattern to 5 rows of garter stitch and one row of YO, K2tog, all with a slipped stitch at the beginning. Somehow it already has a couple of boo-boos, but nothing major, so I'm forging on. (As far as I can tell, I missed a YO at some point, but had the right number of stitches later for several repeats of the pattern and then I counted and found that I was short a stitch so made sure to add another one. I have no clue what happened with that.) Pictures:
It's so soft and fluffy! You can see all the little fuzzies, or "halo" of the Shetland wool.

Well darn!

Oct. 20th, 2016 07:56 pm
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
I don't have enough of the green velveteen to cut out my bodice. Crap. I got the lining cut out though. This means that I'm going to have to make a trip to the fabric store sometime and get some velveteen. I am thinking black, since that seems to be the standard for this style of bodice based on fashion plates and [ profile] koshka_the_cat's extant bodice. In addition to the style (with tabs), I am also copying the construction. So, thanks Katherine, for putting all the info online! I've been wanting to copy this bodice for a long time. :)

I guess the green will become a winter hat? I'm kind of glad it worked out this way because I was having trouble deciding what colour I was going to go with for the hat. Now it'll be green, maybe with gold or black trim. Like this girl's bonnet from LACMA:

This wasn't only a kid's style of bonnet though. Some adult versions from the Met:

I like all the velvet though, especially the scrunchy edging. So I'll probably be making an all velvet version with ridiculous bow on top.


Oct. 20th, 2016 04:16 pm
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
My 1867 print dress is just about done. I made a collar and cuffs the other day and got them tacked on to the dress yesterday. The only thing left is hooks and eyes. I think I am going to do hooks with thread eyes. I gave up on the idea of overcasting the armscye seam allowances because the piping makes it kind of weird and I don't want to have to deal with it. So yeah, just hooks and eyes left.

I just cast on 103 stitches for my nubia/Canadian cloud. I have the Jamieson and Smith Shetland Supreme 2-ply laceweight and am using size 7/4.5mm needles. So far I've knitted one row. I think I am going to do a 4 row pattern: 3 rows of knit and 1 row of yarn over-knit 2 together. I tried some samples of just Knit and YO,K2tog, but I think it was too holey for the larger needles. I was also trying out some even larger needles and thought it just looked too open-weave-y. I think these ones are big enough.

Since the 1867 dress is so close to being finished and today is the day I don't have to go to school, I am about to head off to cut out my 1883 green velveteen bodice. I am so ready to be working on something new. This print dress has taken forever. I am hoping the velveteen bodice won't take too long, especially since I already have my tried and true 1880 bodice pattern! I'm going to shorten the back about 1/2" to get rid of the slight wrinkles that I've been having with it. Maybe I can even get it done by November! (HA, let's not get carried away. ;p)
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
New Rogue One trailer is out! It looks so good! So excited!
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
I put on my chemise, corset, hoop, gored 1890s petticoat, and tucked petticoat, and then my print dress to mark the hem. My mom helped me by pinning up the hem. So that's done. Now it needs a facing, which means I need to find something to make a facing out of. Anyways, the point of listing all the undergarments was that I had totally forgotten about my tucked petticoat, but it makes a really nice over-hoop layer. It's all rectangles, so it adds bit more fullness all around, which I think looks right. I may have spent a few hours looking at photos c.1865-1875 to figure out skirt silhouettes and how to adjust my hoop to make it work for early bustle so that I don't have to make a bustle just yet.

Upon further reflection, I've decided that I didn't distribute the skirt properly when attaching it to the waistband, so it looks a bit skimpy over the back when worn with the hoop. But not enough that I'm going to redo it. I'm just noting it so that I remember for future reference.

Ok, I'm also super sniffly/running nose/sneezy. So I wasn't actually very productive on sewing today. But slowly things are getting done.
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
It still needs a hem and hooks/eyes. And I need to unpick some of the stitching attaching the skirt to the waistband and redo it because I didn't overlap properly for the opening in the skirt, so it gapes a bit. Annoying, but shouldn't take too long. One of my classes has videos of storytelling to listen to instead of books to read, and one of the benefits of that is that I can get handsewing or knitting done during those hours. It's great! Anyways, here's the bodice (which is a bit too long in the back, something I need to fix on my future Victorian stuff) with skirt attached. I knife pleated the front/sides and cartridge pleated the back of the skirt and then whipped the skirt to the waistband (as per the advice I got on The Sewing Academy).
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)

  • school, lots of school: classes, homework, grant applications, conference proposals, meetings, workshops

  • minimal amounts of sewing, but still sewing!, the skirt for my 1867 print dress is sewn together with pockets

  • cooking, including making homemade granola bars for school snacks

  • hanging out with friends and family, bonfire the other night with marshmallow roasting, little cousin's 14th birthday yesterday with lots of cake

  • got paid so I finally bought yarn for my nubia/Canadian cloud!, Jamieson and Smith's Shetland Supreme laceweight 2-ply in white from Sheeps Ahoy (who had it back in stock again)

Ok, off to print some things for school and make granola bars.
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
Busy and productive day today. I made lasagna for dinner and am looking forward to eating it. :) I took the dog out for a short walk. I got some homework done. And I finished some edits for my funding application proposal because we are having a workshop on them tomorrow. Still to do: machine sew the skirt of my 1867 print dress together, probably after dinner.

Speaking of my 1867 dress, here's what it looks like right now. I think the sleeves are better than they were before. Thanks for all the advice! I ended up reshaping the curve of the elbow so that it was less curved, thus less fabric in the elbow. I also took in the sleevehead a bit. And I rotated the sleeve forward. So now the sleeves are have an acceptable level of wrinkle.
You can also (sort of) see the antique china buttons I got for this dress from Treadle Yard Goods in St. Paul, MN. I think they were a good choice.
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
School has been keeping me busy. But good news! My dog's test results came back for the lump in her jaw and it's not cancer! :) They think that it's just a growth as a result from some sort of trauma, probably the roots of her bad teeth. She is back to her old self now and is acting kind of like she was when she was a young dog again. We're joking that she's entered second puppyhood.

I'm determined to get some sewing done tomorrow and post the whatever pics I've taken recently. Thursdays I don't have any school, so I've designated them sewing days (as well as homework days).


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September 2017

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