mala_14: (Default)
2017-09-02 03:26 pm

CoCo 2017: Saturday

It's been over a month! I need to get this recap wrapped up.

Saturday was mostly a socialize with friends day. I wore my old 1883 print polonaise during part of the day. Not very exciting, thus no pictures. Several of us had lunch in the hotel restaurant. I had a pretty tasty tomato and white bean soup. Then I was SO ready to get out of my corset. The only class I took was Cynthia Settje's (RedThreaded) "Measure of a (Wo)Man" class. I was in a group with[personal profile] quincy134 and Christine (who I had met the last time I was at Costume College, but, silly me, I didn't realize it was her until the evening!) and we took a very thorough set of measurements. I did mine with my corset on, so I'll be able to adjust some of my patterns to fit better. Very useful! And you really do need someone else taking your measurements. How else are you going to measure the length of your arm while its bent or across your back from armscye to armscye?

Then it was time to get ready for the Gala. I was feeling pretty bored with my 1871 lavender silk gown, just because I'd finished it so much earlier, but it was really fun to wear and I loved it. There were lots of other early bustle gals, which added to the fun. I was ready pretty early because the hairpiece made doing my hair SO easy. I just put my own hair into a braid and pinned it into a loop. Then I stuck the curly hairpiece just behind the braid and then curled my bangs. Done! I also remembered all my accessories, like my silk neck ribbon, white gloves, and Dames a la Mode earrings. I headed down to[personal profile] koshka_the_cat and[personal profile] llyrafantasyfae 's room to bug them about taking photos. ;) They were still getting ready and I was able to help them out with a few things. Then I wandered down into the lobby to see all the people in the line for the red carpet. A picture of me with Christine and her husband in their incredible embroidered suits (once I finally realized who she was):

[personal profile] bauhausfrau looking awesome in her Fox habit inspired by The Duchess with bonus Alyxx in the background.

And Taylor and Jenny-Rose looking fabulous, as always!


Taking pictures outside meant that we didn't end up doing the red carpet, which I was fine with. I got some good pictures of my dress, a couple of Katherine in her beautiful hand-beaded dress, and Amy Lee in her Captain America. We had fun!

Also, I thought it was funny to take a picture of them both looking at pictures:



Even more pictures taken of people after dinner, including a couple of Empresses, other bustles (with butt bows like mine!), a couple takes on Captain America, and beautiful friends in creative and wonderful costumes:


I somehow missed all the dancing. A bunch of us were lounging around outside the room and chatting. And afterwards there was another quiet hangout in a hotel room. With delicious cheese and crackers and olives! Fun times with friends. :D

I took a lot more pictures, but they're kind of awkward because they're more "documenting people's costumes" and having them stand alone and pose in a hallway with bad lighting than actual good photos. I need to try and get more pictures of people in pairs/threes next time. As always, please let me know if you prefer to have a picture of you taken down. :)


mala_14: (Default)
2017-06-19 12:10 pm

Almost done

I just have the hooks and eyes to sew onto the waistband and then the Gala gown can be officially done! So here are some very badly lit pictures I took the other day when I was trying it on to find out where I needed to put the hooks and eyes. I was lazy so I'm not wearing any petticoats. Also, please forgive the wrinkles on the silk skirt (which is also bustled up in these pictures because I got tired of picking dog hair off the underside of the train). It will get ironed one of these days.

mala_14: (Default)
2017-06-16 11:48 am

Slowly getting things accomplished

The overskirt is now attached to the belt, along with the sash ends and the big bow. Next up, basting it to the bodice and adding closures. Then I'll be done!

A question: How does one keep silk knots knotted? I unraveled the ends of my sash to make a fringe and have it knotted, but the slippery silk keeps wanting to become un-knotted. I am considering fray-checking the knots. Any other suggestions?
mala_14: (Default)
2017-06-10 02:41 pm

1871 ballgown, with pictures!

I forgot that I had pictures. I took another picture and now here they are. The finished bodice, with closures:


I wore it around for a while after that, so I snapped a pic of it on:

It could definitely stand being about an inch longer in the waist. I am hoping that making a somewhat wide belt will be enough to cover the gap and skirt waistband without the bodice pulling out. If not, Plan B is to baste the belt to the bodice.

Overskirt as it is so far, with the ruffle and silk header attached. I did this by layer the ruffle and overskirt wrong sides together with the silk header right and ruffle right sides together. Machine sewed them all, then flipped the header up and attached it by hand at the top. This kept everything nice and neat with all the seam allowances encased.

I really like the way the net looks over the silk. It looks kind of coarse in pictures and really isn't particularly fine net, but from a distance it looks lovely and airy and sheer. Also, have I mentioned, NO hemming!? [personal profile] elizabeth_mn told me that early bustle should make you look like a little cake. I think lace trimmed ruffled net totally qualifies.

I was super lazy yesterday and only managed to try everything on and swan around in it for a bit. Today I'm going to cut out the belt/sash/butt bow. Tomorrow will probably not involve much sewing because I'm going on the train in costume with friends (like last year)! Hopefully no dastardly train robbers are about! ;p

mala_14: (Default)
2017-06-02 03:10 pm

Lalala

Sitting around wearing my just-finished ballgown bodice! :) I don't feel like doing anything today, but I got motivated enough to sew the 3 buttons on this thing. I think I'll do a load of laundry and lie on the couch. Maybe I'll nap. Whatever. Lazy day today! Also, Wonder Woman this evening! Yay!

I took a couple of pictures, but am way to lazy to post them today. Maybe tomorrow. We'll see.
mala_14: (Default)
2017-05-22 09:13 pm

May

This month has been almost a complete wash in terms of sewing. I've been reading pretty much all the time that I'm not eating, sleeping, or out of the house. However, my exam is this Friday, so I will finally get some sewing time after that (well, after the follow-up oral exam on Monday). Things I am going to do the week after I finish this exam (ie. the time before I have to get into reading for the next one):
  • read something for fun, a friend published a post-apocalyptic novella recently that I am looking forward to reading
  • finish up my silk ballgown, which includes adding the last bit of lace and putting in closures and making the overskirt+sash
  • cook delicious food, I want to make pasta and smoke some brisket or something (I watch a lot of Food Network)
After that, I'll have to get started on my suffragette outfit. I think I may have actually finally settled on a plan? I may do the 1910-1911 Tub Frock in Waugh's Cut of Women's Clothes:

The waist measurement is pretty close to mine and the rest isn't fitted, so theoretically I could just whip it up without having to do a mock-up or a lot of fitting. It has an interesting cut, which would add visual interest for my plain solid green fabric. And I could have a violet bow at the neck with a white lace collar to do the suffragette colours. I want it to be a quick project because I really want to get to work on something else...

Namely, 18th century stays! Because I want to do that. I have ideas and plans and that is where my brain is right now. I want to use the pattern in the Kyoto Fashion book for these stays:

This got a little picture heavy )
Thoughts/questions that I am pondering and would be happy to hear from you about if you are so inclined:
  • Can I get away with not doing a mock-up of my suffragette dress?
  • Should I use canvas for a strength layer of my stays? I can get it here and not break the bank
  • What should I use for the lacing/cording in the front top half of the stays?
OK, back to studying. Gotta review some poetry. Ugh.
mala_14: (Default)
2017-04-27 02:23 pm

Pleating

Got all my neckline trim pleated and pinned. Whew! That took a long time, but I'm quite pleased with how it's looking. It's a tube of taffeta ironed flat with the lace sewn on one side and a line of stitching to fake a tiny hem on the other side. I was going to ruche the thing, but it ended up being a bit too stiff so I went with pleats instead, copied from this gown in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.


Here you can see the lace that was giving me so many fits. It's just slightly more ivory than the net. I'm totally over it now, though. I decided it looks fine and I was being silly.


Now I have to decide if I want to stitch down the pleats with one line of stitching down the middle or two parallel lines. What do you think?
mala_14: (Default)
2017-04-20 02:13 pm

Little by little

I sewed on the silk piece in the middle today. I still need to add a frill of the silk under the net strips to finish off the neckline trim, but here are some pictures of the bodice so far. Plus, the dime buttons!

The net parts that look like they're pleated are actually strips that I've folded in half and sewn down by hand. It would have been faster to sew them by machine, but I had them all prepped before going out, so I took it with me to do handsewing while watching The Expanse with some friends. The top strips are narrower than the bottom one because a lot of the bottom one will be covered by the silk frill.

The inside. The strips are sewn down with a running stitch and all the seam allowances have been overcast by hand. The top and bottom edges were finished with a bias strip that I machined on then sewed down by hand on the inside.

And the buttons are dimes covered with a tiny circle of batting, a dime-sized circle of batting, a larger circle of Star Wars flannel, and, finally, an even larger circle of taffeta. The taffeta raw edge is turned under and a running stitch around the circumference gathers in the edge. Then I overcast all over the back of the button to pull the fabric really tightly over the dime and knotted off the thread at the back. I'll probably attach the buttons with a bit of a thread shank.

That's all for now! I decided to upload my pictures and post instead of cutting out the frill.

mala_14: (Default)
2017-03-27 07:21 pm

Moving right along

My ballgown bodice is actually progressing, slowly but surely, with few hitches (so far *fingers crossed*). After dealing with the mock-up and it's misfortunes, I was able to get the silk taffeta layer and muslin lining cut out Saturday night. Sunday morning I sewed the pieces together and, heading off to a living history sewing day gathering, overcast the seam allowances. Today, I attached facings to the fronts, sewed the inner sleeve together (again taffeta lined with muslin, the outer sleeve will be gathered net), and cut out and attached the bias facings by machine. Tomorrow (or possibly tonight if I get lots of reading done in the evening), my plan is to cut out and assemble the net sleeve, gather it and attach it to the taffeta sleeve, machine sew the binding on the bottom edge, and attach the sleeve to the bodice. Tomorrow evening I'm heading over to a friend's to watch some episodes of a TV show (The Expanse season 2, if you're curious) and I can get the hand-sewing done on the, front facings, the bias facings, and the sleeve binding. After that, all that's left of bodice is the trim, the closures, and the tucker. I'm still waffling on what I want to do with the trim. I am considering box-pleated net with a bias band of taffeta in the centre on the sleeve bands and something like this (from the Museo del Traje) on the neckline, with the pleated net and some sort of flounce:

But I'm trying to decide if I want a little flounce with a bias strip, or to trim the flounce with lace, or to do a ruching, or what. I'm also thinking shoulder bows. I still have a few days before I need to decide, though.

mala_14: (Default)
2017-03-25 05:04 pm

Bodice pattern, finally

Yesterday I had some serious issues with my ballgown bodice mock-up. It was somehow much worse than the previous mock-up. Ugh. So I was apprehensive today. But I think I finally got a good ballgown pattern! Trying to figure out the off-the-shoulder bodice/neckline was the tough part. Here are some things that worked for me to get a good fit:
  • really scooping out the armhole, front and back, to get rid of excess fabric there that was causing a lot of wrinkles
  • figuring out the right angles for the shoulder straps, front and back, and the angle that they should join at (this involved a lot of fiddling and taking tiny horizontal darts out of the armscye)
  • taking in the neckline a lot so that it is closely fitted against the body
  • padding just in front of the armscye over the bust will be necessary to get a really nice shape and prevent wrinkles
Following up on [livejournal.com profile] nuranar 's comment on my previous post about range of motion, yeah, not much in this bodice for me. Maybe I should have cut it a bit higher in the underarm, but I didn't want to mess with it once I got something that looked good. Anyone else who has made 1860s/1870s ballgowns have any knowledge to share about being able to raise arms in this kind of bodice?
mala_14: (Default)
2017-03-23 03:21 pm

Not getting as much done as I'd like

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)
2017-03-20 02:19 pm

Slowly getting stuff done

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)
2017-03-14 07:39 pm

I sewed some

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)
2017-02-24 11:58 pm

Pocket Question

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.

mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
2016-07-26 10:19 pm

I think I'm in love

With my new corset! It's not as pretty as my lavender satin one, but the fit is much better. The waist is in the right place and the bust and hips have the right amount of room so that I have an almost perfectly even lacing gap. And, when I laced it up normally, I got half an inch more reduction than in the lavender corset! It's so comfortable too. The only nit-picky problem I have with it is that the bust isn't quite as in my mock-up, because I probably wasn't quite careful enough with the lapped seams and getting the curve just right. But it's pretty minimal and I don't really mind,
P1020764P1020765P1020760P1020762
I put in the grommets today and almost had a terrible moment on the very last one. I was stretching the hole with a knitting needle and I felt the fabric tear, but it was only a tiny bit and the grommet still totally covers it, so it was all fine. Whew! Tomorrow I will definitely do the binding and maybe even the flossing.
Re-thinking my sewing plans for a bonus outfit )
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
2016-01-04 09:59 pm

Moving on

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)
2015-08-11 08:28 pm

Sewing Plans

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!