mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
After over a year and a half, here it is! And a few pictures. The shawl after the knitting was done, but before the fringe was added. And the finished shawl with fringe and on me for scale. It's huge! And cozy.

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My camera doesn't seem to want to capture the colours properly. Oh well. I didn't block it. Not sure if it needs it. What do you think?
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
[livejournal.com profile] ashamanja_babu says pictures. So I took a quick pic of the finished corset with the binding, lace (from Treadle!), and flossing. After I'd already sewn on the lace with the binding, I realized it would have been more accurate to add the lace over top of the binding and facing pointy edge up. But by that point it was already on and I wasn't redoing it. Oh well. ;p
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The hoop has been cut out and the panels assembled and felled. I've marked where the twill tape will go for the hoop steel casings. Still not finished my shawl, but planning on working on it this evening while watching the Netflix show Stranger Things. Watched the first couple of episodes yesterday and I really enjoyed it. Kind of like Stephen King and The Goonies; even though it's modern, it's set in 1983 (almost typed 1883 lol) and really reminds me of 80s movies (which I love!).
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
Unfortunately my outing tomorrow is cancelled due to weather. They're predicting thunderstorms all day. Boo.

However, this gives me more time to work on my corset. I cut it all out yesterday and today I ironed all the seam allowances and assembled one half of the panels! I had to iron the seam allowances because I'm doing this lapped method of sewing the seams, shown bottom right. I think it will be stronger than felling, since the stress is placed on two lines of stitching, rather than one that is reinforced. (Picture from [livejournal.com profile] the_aristocat's blog.)

It's a bit fiddly on the curved parts of the seams, but I think it's going alright. My corset is two layers treated as one: peach poplin and white cotton drapery lining. Both are cut with the lengthwise grain going across the body instead of down. The drapery lining is a bit stretchy, but not much, and the poplin is really stable. Cutting perpendicular to the usual way keeps the least stretchy part going around the body. Some period corsets are cut this way.

Tomorrow I want to get the other side assembled, the busk inserted, and a couple of extra boning channels made and sewn on. While a bone on each seam is probably OK, I want some extras around the sides. The fabric is pretty lightweight, so the extra boning will add stability. I also find that having more bones in the corset distributes the compression more evenly.

I also got a couple more rows knitted on the shawl. I measured yesterday and as of right now it is 36" from the centre of the neck to the point. This is going to be a large shawl, especially considering I'm so short. :)
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
Um so you may have noticed that my shawl still isn't done and is way late for the HSM Travel challenge. I am OK with this because, well, partly because I am easy-going about self-imposed deadlines, and partly because I have been working on this darn corset. Oh, and I had a cold. I cut myself a lot of slack when I am sick. But the shawl is still slowly progressing. I am in the last cream-coloured stripe now. Then it'll be maroon edge and fringe!

As for the corset, I went back to not-quite square one. I used the pattern from mock-up #1, made a couple of alterations, and did a mock-up #1B (since the first mock-up is #1A). It needs a couple more small alterations, but is actually looking quite good. So my faith in my corset-making abilities is restored. I don't know, maybe I just suck at hip gussets? I figured out bust gussets enough to make a good set of Regency stays, so it might just be troublesome hip gussets. Anyways, I want to let out the back hip a bit more and raise the underbust a bit plus make the bust rounder. Expect pictures of mock-up #1C that are (hopefully!?) successful.

Also, I made scones today. :) My dad and I searched 3!!! different grocery stores for clotted cream/Devonshire cream but none of them had any. But we got some pretty tasty jams to try. Nothing beats homemade scratch baking!
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
Turns out that the New Look pattern that I want is available on the Simplicity website as a printable pattern. So I don't need to worry about trying to find it in the States and can get started on making this dress earlier. I want it for a wedding I am attending on July 1st.

The baby quilts just need binding, which I am hoping to get done today. The shawl is coming along nicely too. The first cream stripe and the first maroon stripe are both done now. Circular needles are interesting. Sometimes I get a little confused about which way I should be knitting. I would like to make up the dress this weekend and have it done early next week. Then I can get started on my new corset mock-ups (which I think I have a cunning plan for) and maybe a new pair of shorts.
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
I took some quick pictures of my current projects. Two baby quilts (one is now tied) and my 1864 shawl.
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Today I want to get the second quilt tied and get started on the binding. Unfortunate moment yesterday when I realized that the quilt batting I had was JUST BARELY wide enough for the quilt. And that was the quilt with more piecing, so I am not entirely certain that the batting with be quite wide enough for the pinwheel quilt. It might get cut down a little bit round the edges.

The shawl is barely fitting onto the needles anymore, so I'm also picking up a circular needle today. I've decided that once I finish my shawl, my next project is going to be a pair of mitts, using [livejournal.com profile] quincy134's Taylor mitts pattern. I've never made anything so complex before, but I think I'm going to follow [livejournal.com profile] atherleisure's lead and do garter stitch edges and leave off the point to make it a bit simpler.
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
Good Stuff
Amongst the copious amounts of reading I have to do for my Medieval Literature and Gender class, there are some really interesting readings that I am enjoying a lot. I read a chapter about how in the late Middle Ages, people understood Christ as simultaneously both male and female. Like, he has a male body, but because the body/flesh was associated with the female and his blood had life-giving properties (they thought that milk from lactation was also a form of blood), his body is also female. Blew my mind. Now I'm reading about Medieval ideas of how human reproduction works.

I wanted some nutritious snacks that satisfy my sweet tooth, so I bought some apples and bananas to make apple and banana chips in the oven. The apple ones are almost done; they're just cooling in the oven. Banana ones will be made this weekend some time. I also bought some stuff to have a roast chicken dinner tomorrow (chicken, turnips, and cauliflower) and to make chicken tortilla soup out of the leftover chicken.

Doing better spending time with other school people outside of school. There is a pub-like place that is a converted house on campus that people like to frequent. Went there after a lecture with people, went there for a trivia night last week, and possibly going there tomorrow after another guest speaker.

Sort of Bad Stuff
I may be getting a cold. I'm having trouble sleeping lately, like waking up around 5 am and again at 8 am, when I don't really need to get up until 9:30. And this has been going on pretty much all week. It makes me feel run down and I'm all sniffles and sneezes lately. So I might not be up for going out tomorrow.

No time for sewing because of all the reading for school! Plus no energy because see above^. However, occasional knitting is still occurring. Going to get to the stripes soon.

Overall, much more good stuff than bad. Nothing very exciting, but still trucking.
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
It occurs to me that I haven't posted in a while. I don't have much going on. Mostly just trying to keep on top of ridiculous amounts of readings for class and doing house things like the dishes and cooking. I have a pork roast marinating in the fridge right now and planning on making a pulled pork out of it to eat with an apple chutney that I'll make tomorrow. Other nice meals made lately include a broccoli soup and chicken liver pate. (Also chocolate chip cookies, but those were mostly for taking to school.)

Some really intermittent and minute sewing and knitting. My corset cover now has facings at the fronts and bias facings around the neck and one arm. I realized that one of the bias strips I cut just isn't long enough, but I don't have the fabric here, so I have to wait until I'm back home to actually finish it off. But I'm going to get the rest of it done. I managed to motivate myself enough to put on my corset and fit the corset cover, so the darts are marked. I noticed, however, that my bodice pattern for this era is slightly too short waisted, like maybe 5/8", so the corset cover won't fit perfectly, but it'll work. I'll lengthen my pattern a bit before I make any more bodices from it.

My 1864 shawl continues. The rows are getting really long and tough to keep on the needles, but I don't feel like trying to obtain the appropriate circular needles, so it just gets squished onto the needles. I'm looking forward to starting the stripes soon. It's also cool that I'll be using up all the yarn of this maroon DK (maybe like 10 one-oz balls of yarn). It was part of a huge stash of vintage yarns I got from an old lady who was moving out of her apartment whose son knew someone who knew my mom, which is how we got hooked up with the yarn.

No pictures because I decided to leave my camera at home. I got tired to taking it back and forth between the apartment and home. I don't have the software on the laptop and knew I wouldn't feel motivated enough to install it, so I wouldn't be doing any pictures out here. Just seemed easier to leave it at home. I'll take pictures of things when I'm back home for Reading Week.

Moving on

Jan. 4th, 2016 09:59 pm
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
Got my apartment stuff sorted out (keys on the way to me and bill paid) and thinking about other things, like what is on the sewing docket for the coming year. I've mentioned my projects before but I'm kind of sad that all of my upcoming projects are already decided. I like it being a bit open-ended. But since the reason for these projects being determined is the fact that I have specific things to wear these to, it's not really a bad thing. So here are the projects and their different elements, just to keep it organized:

1. 1895 ensemble: petticoat, corset cover, skirt, blouse, bow tie, straw boater, (jacket?)
2. 2 baby quilts
3. 1867 outfit: corset, crinoline, petticoat, (chemise?), print dress, hat, shawl
4. 1883 plaid kilted outfit: kilted underskirt, overskirt, velveteen bodice (I hope 1m is enough for this, if now, I have a cotton-silk suiting I could dye green that would work), (collar?), (cuffs?)
5. 1883 outerwear: coat, faux fur short cape, faux fur muff, faux fur hat, nubia
6. Modern: grey shorts

It's a lot of items for me to make in a year, but last year I made 3 ensembles/dresses for Costume College, so I think I can get it done. And when these are finished, I have some others that I want to get done after (maybe for the Francaise Dinner or Costume College in 2017).

1. Painted 1780s gown: bum pad, petticoat, petticoat, gown, wig, cap/hat
2. Lilac silk and cream net 1871 evening gown: petticoat, skirt, overskirt, bodice
3. 1816 ensemble: print dress or shortgown/skirt combo, cap/hat, apron, ruff/chemisette
4. 1790 riding habit: shirt, cravat, petticoat, waistcoat, jacket, hat
OR 4. 1908 ensemble: net guimpe, green jumper dress, (hat?)
OR 4. 1920s one-hour dress: lavender polka dot day dress, hat
OR 4. Yellow linen-rayon 1930s/40s something
OR 4. 1916 outfit: petticoat, corset cover, striped skirt, blouse, hat
OR 4. 1869 burnt orange dress: dress, overdress,
5. Modern: pants, (blouse?), (wool-cashmere blazer?) (birds voile dress?)

Other potential sewing )
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
The Dreamstress has the HSM 2016 challenges posted. I may be participating in this one. I have so many things that need sewing this year. Surely, I can make them fit the challenges.

January - Procastination: the petticoat, corset cover, and skirt for my 1895 ensemble
February - Tucks & Pleating: 1895 shirtwaist will have tucks to fit the front shoulder
March - Protection: maybe a hat? or I'll have my 1864 knitted shawl finished, or the jacket for the 1895 ensemble
April - Gender-Bender: if I have time to make the jacket for my 1895 ensemble, or the hat which will likely be a straw boater, or the bow tie I'm planning on having for this outfit
May - Holes: a lacy cloud/nubia? (unlikely that I'd get all 3 yards knitted by this time though), 1860s corset?
June - Travel: 1790s straw hat?
July - Monochrome: 1860s corset or crinoline or petticoat, all will be white
August - Pattern: 1867 cotton print dress
September - Historicism: 1867 bonnet (lots of these bonnets have names like Marie Antoinette and Pompadour)
October - Heroes: 1883 Laura Ingalls-style bustle dress with plaid kilted skirt and velveteen bodice (plaid bustle always makes me think of the later Little House books)
November - Red: Does maroon count as red? Cuz then it'll be my bustle coat. If not, then no idea
December - Special Occasion: faux fur cape, hat, and muff

Obviously, I'll have to figure out some of these when the time comes. I seem to have 3 major ensembles on the schedule for this year: 1895, 1867, and 1883. Other things that need sewing: 2 baby quilts. Maybe some modern clothes. Other things I'd like to work on, but probably won't get to: 18th century and late-Regency stuff.
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
Both of my visitors have come and gone. And as they left, I wanted nothing more than to go back home with them. But I'm still here and up to my neck in homework. It's the end of term and I have two class seminars to give and two final papers to write. I think I have some good work done in all of them and should be able to get things done before heading home for the holidays.

While my mom was here we both did some good handiwork. She got work done on the afghan she's crocheting and I did a good chunk of knitting on my shawl. I was thinking that I might be ready to start the cream stripes, but looking at pictures from the 1860s of women wearing shawls, I'm second guessing myself. For reference, I'm doing the 1864 Knitted Winter Shawl from Godey's. Right now, the shawl measures about 20 inches from centre neck to the point. I'm calculating that the stripes will take up about 12 inches more length. But is 33 inches from neck to point long enough? Considering I'm only 61 inches tall, it's probably close, but pictures suggest that bigger is better for shawls, so maybe knit another ball of wool in the maroon? Any one know how big these sort of shawls should be?
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
Got through my first week of classes. Seems alright. My Brontes class is very promising (the prof brought cookies!) and the detective short stories class I'm TA-ing for was really interesting too. The other classes were more blah: professionalization skills, research forum (which is really just attending talks and discussing them), and Aboriginal Voice (had lots of texts which I've already studied back home which is good because I won't have to buy all the books, but the prof is less fun than the one I had, who was super awesome).

Walked downtown today and did some fun shopping. Got a spray bottle for ironing (not really fun, but needed). Went to 2 bakeries and bought a chocolate raspberry square in one and ginger cookies in another. Stopped by Minotaur and bought some cream-coloured wool for the eventual border stripes in my 1864 shawl. I hope one skein is enough. It's Cascades 220, so 200m/210yards. Also picked up some yellow dye because it is cheaper than at home. I want to use it to over-dye my pale yellow silk that I bought on sale from Golden Silks, which has a grey-ish tinge that isn't really flattering. And some plain buttons for the corset cover I should be making if I ever finish my 1895 petticoat.

Plans for this weekend include: homework, cleaning, and knitting (or possibly even sewing, but I doubt it, although the machine is unpacked and sitting on the table, not feeling very motivated). I hope all my friends have a nice weekend!
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
I had my first day of classes today, which really just meant going to one class and having a meeting with the person that I am a teaching assistant for. I got to actually meet all the other first-year PhD students and they were really nice and friendly. The class itself is a professionalization and skills class, so small assignments are do every week, but mostly for practical things that are concerned with what we will be doing anyways like writing grant applications and such. TA-ing looks like it'll be a fair bit of work (lots of reading to keep up with), but I guess that's what they're paying me for.

No sewing progress. I should really start putting that petticoat together. Instead, I've been doing some knitting. Still working on the 1864 Winter Shawl from Godey's that lots of people have made. It's nice and simple so I don't have to worry about screwing up and there's no complex pattern to remember, just knit stitches and the very occasional increase. My kind of knitting! I'm maybe about a third of the way through. I don't have any wool to make the border stripes yet but...

There's a cool store here called Minotaur that carries some wool and one may be the kind that I'm looking for. Minotaur sells novelty stuff, like funny socks and Star Trek themed cups, as well as interesting books, board games, jewelry, and furniture. They also have the aforementioned yarns in addition to some novelty print cottons, buttons, and fabric dye. AND they also host game nights and knitting workshops. I've never been in such an eclectic store before, but it's pretty awesome.
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
I have a variety of things that I want to sew in the coming year and a half. Some of them have deadlines or events, which is good for making sure I get things done. I'm excited about getting to try new eras as well as having eras that I can now do fairly comfortably. I still need to make more underthings, which is sort of a downer, but I am looking forward to having them in the wardrobe. So here are the projects that you should be seeing in the not-too-distant future:

Must sew:

  • 1895 Tailor-made Gown for a conference presentation in April: drawers, petticoat, corset cover, shirtwaist, skirt, jacket, hat (I have most of the supplies for this one, after a trip to the fabric store today. Still need something for the hat and maybe other small things that I will figure out as I go along.)

  • 1867 Cotton Print for living history celebrations for the 150th anniversary of Confederation: corset, hoop, petticoat, petticoat, dress, shawl, bonnet (I need all kinds of things for this one, like all the supplies for the hoop, busk, cotton for the petticoats, buttons, and bonnet supplies.)

  • 1883 Little House Winter Dress: kilted skirt, overskirt, bodice (Yay for having all the correct undies for this! I am using my blue and green brushed cotton plaid for the skirts and my green dyed velveteen which burn testing makes me think is cotton for the bodice. The velveteen was originally supposed to be for my GoT Tyrell outfit. I wanted black velveteen for this project, but I have the green on hand and it matches, so it's getting used. Also need buttons.)

  • 1883 Little House Winter Outerwear: coat, cape, muff (I can use the burgundy wool I got upsold on in London to make the coat, with a hood I think. Need to get some faux fur for a cape and muff, as well as whatever else that will require.)

  • 2 Baby Quilts for friends' babies being born at the end of August and early December

Bonus sewing or projects that may also appear in the coming year or so:

  • 1820 Blue Print for living history: shortgown and petticoat a la [livejournal.com profile] koshka_the_cat or a morning gown, chemisette, cap (Living history does lots of Regency era, so would be useful to have this, especially now that I have my quick 'n' dirty stays. Have all the supplies for this.)

  • 1790 Riding Habit: shirt, skirt, waistcoat, jacket (Now that I know how to make death head buttons, I can make buttons for this. Have all the other materials as well as correct undies.)

  • 1916 Ensemble for living history celebration of 100th anniversary of women's suffrage in Manitoba: skirt, shirtwaist (I have fabric and the undies for this.)

  • 1780 Painted Gown: stays, bumpad, petticoat, skirt, gown (I have almost all the stuff for this. Would be very labour intensive project with all the painting. No real occasion to wear though. Maybe for Quebec City?)

  • 1870s Little House Winter Dress: petticoat, skirt, overskit, bodice, mantle (I have some possible fabrics for this, but would still need to buy more to really make it. Definitely a maybe.)

  • 1950s playsuit: shorts, skirt, top (I have all the stuff for this, but not really an occasion. Except for the shorts; I need more and better shorts in my life.)

  • Retro Yellow Dot Sundress (I have all the stuff for this, minus zipper. For wearing in regular life.)

  • (Modern) Birds Voile Sundress (I have all the stuff for this, minus zipper. For wearing in regular life.)

  • Smooth Sailing Trousers (I have some plum plaid that I could make a pretty awesome pair of trousers out of. For wearing in regular life.)

  • 1779 Striped Polonaise: same underthings as 1780 Painted Gown, skirt, polonaise (I have the striped silk but need lots of silk organza for this to make it froofy. No real occasion to wear though. Maybe for Quebec City?)

  • 1871 Lavender Silk and Cream Net Gown: petticoat, skirt, overskirt, dinner bodice, ballgown bodice (I have the lavender silk but need lots of cotton net for this. No real occasion to wear though. But I want something FROOFY!)

I have fabric for other projects that are languishing in the stash, but these ones make the (not-so-)short-list either because I have an occasion for them or because I have all the supplies (or because I just got the fabric for them and am thus super excited about them because they're new and shiny!). Links go to Pinterest boards.

Whew! That's enough!
mala_14: (iris)
Today I evened out the bottom of my corset, looked at a bunch of pictures of 1880s corsets, measured my corset, and ordered the appropriate boning. Not much, but better than nothing. I had originally thought that I could have 2 groupings of 3 bones at the front of the corset, but it is not to be. The area is just too small at the waist. Instead it's a pair then a group of 3 moving toward the side. My research (staring at many pictures) showed me that, although the groupings of 3 or more are most common, sometimes groups of 2 and 3 are mixed. I also changed the groupings of 3 toward the back of the corset to pairs for the same reason. So I spent less on boning than I was expecting. :)

Now I need to put on the back facings (which I had to recut and Just Barely had enough coutil for), put in the grommets, and remove all the basting. Then it will be time for boning channels and binding. Flossing will be last, but will probably be something I take a long time completing. I want to floss everything and make it look all pretty. More work, but, like the knitting, something that's easy to just pick up and do in front of the TV.

Knit a couple more rows on the shawl too. It's definitely looking more like a shawl now!
mala_14: (iris)
Ok, I finally kicked myself in the butt and did some sewing. I got the second half of the corset put together. Now I can measure things and order the boning. Picture proof!
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You can see all the wonky seam allowances and how they're sewn. The front ones will get topstitched close to the seam, trimmed, and then covered with the boning casings. The back ones will all get felled and the boning casings will be on the inside, but not where the seams are.

Also, a picture of the shawl in progress and my getting close to finished first skein of wool.
P1010832
mala_14: (iris)
It was my birthday this past week and I had a great time with my family and boyfriend. We went out for dinner to a restaurant my brother had never been to and he asked how big the portions were. They're pretty big, like a 12" plate full, and my dad said, "Not huge, but pretty good sized." My brother was quite surprised when our food arrived. I stated that I could eat my whole meal, but generally didn't so that I could have leftovers. My brother didn't believe me and said, "I bet you $5 you can't." Well. I couldn't have my brother thinking that I made false claims! So I proceeded to eat it ALL. All two pieces of schnitzel, heaping portion of potatoes, and large serving of cabbage. Delicious! And bonus $5. Plus then I went home and ate a piece of cake. My brother was impressed. :)

I got some awesome books for my birthday that I had been wanting. My Frances Grimble library is looking pretty healthy now. I got Reconstruction Era Fashions and Edwardian Modiste! Reconstruction will be super helpful for when I start working on my 1867 stuff. And I figured I needed Edwardian since I already had the appropriate corset. So, good stuff!

My boyfriend also got me the complete DVD collection of Little House on the Prairie. lol I've been re-reading the series and telling him all about how awesome it is and how I want to visit all the places Laura lived. I never had the chance to really watch the show. I don't think the reruns played in Canada when I was a kid, so I only got to catch an episode or two when I was on holiday in the States. Should be fun and hopefully will get me motivated to finish up that darn corset!

I also started a knitting project on my birthday. I conveniently had an appropriate weight yarn for an 1860s project and, after much dithering between making a sontag and a shawl, I decided on the latter. I'm making this shawl from an 1864 pattern out of a wine-coloured DK wool yarn. I probably didn't need another project, but it's fun to have a knitting one to just pick up or take with me around to places. And it will be practical for the living history stuff too, especially considering our climate.

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