mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
Overall, a very productive year for historical sewing because of Costume College, at least for the first half of the year. Sadly, no modern makes and not much done lately.
1880s Undergarments: Chemise, Corset, Bust Pad, Ruffled Bustle Pad, and Petticoat

Felt very accomplished in making all of these. Not pictured is the little ruffled panel that I made to button on my Edwardian petticoat that I wore underneath. This corset is pretty and kinda fancy (gives a very curvy shape) and fits almost just right, but I still need to finish the flossing on it and want to make a new corset this year that is more comfortable and fits exactly right.

See the rest here! )

Altogether about 12 individual items. Not too shabby and definitely a productive year for me. My 2015 goals were to:

  1. Make clothes to wear over historical undergarments

  2. Focus on fit

  3. Make accessories

  4. Use the stash

  5. Figure out hair

I definitely made clothes, 3 outfits/dresses! I am pretty happy with the fit on all of the things I made, although there are a couple of small tweaks that I can and will make in the future. Did better on accessories for some things, although still weak in the hat department. All 3 outifts used stash fabrics (print cotton, green silk, purple synthetic, black chiffon). Hair was OK, but nothing to brag about. Mostly curling and some braids. Having bangs was definitely key with all the bustle stuff I was doing.

My goals for 2016 are looking pretty similar. I want more clothes, especially since I have so many undergarments now, although some more are on the list. Fit will always be a priority with me and something that can always be worked on. I want more comfort (range of movement in arms, waist placement) and I know how to do that, so I can put it into work this year. More accessories, for sure, especially hats but also a couple of other things that are on the docket. I got a bunch of straw hats for Christmas that I can cut up and take apart to make new hats! I bought a lot of fabric this year, so next year needs to be about using them! (A problem you can all sympathise with, I know.) Hair, well mine's getting longer, so some styles should be easier. Also, I have Kendra's 18th Hairstyling book, so that may come into play some time.

Whew! So that was sewing in 2015!
mala_14: (iris)
I put the skirt on the dressform so I can mark the hem and took pictures. And now I'm posting instead of marking the hem. :p This is my improved dress improver/ruffled bustle, the ruffled panel that gave me fits buttoned to my narrow 1910 petticoat, and the scaly Gala skirt.

For the painted scales, I used a scalloped stencil on the bottom edge of each scale row and used Lumiere paint (a mix of metallic silver and bright gold) well diluted with water and painted with a sponge in upward sweeping strokes. I'm not totally sold on them. I think they look cool when light is shining on them and you can see that they're all shiny, but they don't look so hot in low light. I guess it's fine for the Gala. I'll change the skirt to something less mermaid-y one day, if I can find a nice brocade.
mala_14: (iris)
I finished up my small bust pad, complete with buttonholes and sewing on buttons to my ruffled bustle. Not going to be able to paint today, though, because while making supper I managed to burn my thumb with hot oil and having ice off of it for any period of time longer than like 30 seconds makes it hurt, a lot. Ouch! :(

However, I got my muslin ruffle all cut out and the flounce hems ironed. So I can sew that up this evening instead and hopefully get the painting done tomorrow. Puts a hitch in the sewing, though, because I have to wait for the paint to dry before assembling. Maybe I can cut out the silk organza for the flounce while it dries...
mala_14: (iris)
I started painting the scales on my skirt. It's a somewhat gruelling process and it also takes way more paint than I was expecting, though I'll definitely have enough for the skirt. I got the front and back panels done on Saturday. I was painting on the floor and my back is not pleased with me. But it looks interesting and shiny, and you can definitely tell that the pattern is scales, so all good stuff. Sorry, no pics right now.

Yesterday was a pretty busy day for me and I knew I wouldn't get enough time to do more painting (just the 2 side panels to go), so I started my extra skirt poofers. I have the bustle pad about half assembled and stuffed with fabric scraps. The muslin is washed and dried and needs cutting out and ironing before I can get to assembling it.

I want to get these three things completely finished this week and then next week I can get to work on the train and a balayeuse.
mala_14: (iris)
Looking at the profile picture of myself in my polonaise, I decided that my skirts just don't have enough back poof for the era. I don't really have the time, or the inclination, to make another petticoat right now. However, I've come up with a couple of stop-gap ideas that are quick and easy: a small, flat-ish bustle pad that I can button under my ruffle bustle and a button-on back ruffle for my 1912 petticoat (which is pretty narrow). Both will be put on bands with buttonholes and the ruffle bustle and petticoat will have buttons added. This way, in the future, I can remove the bands and the buttons and the bustle pad can become its own thing and the ruffle can become a part of a new petticoat when I have more time to make one (I'm thinking a yoked petticoat). If I do machine buttonholes and keep everything very simple, should be easy to make these two things in a day. The bustle pad is already cut out and the muslin for the ruffle is in the wash right now.

I've also ironed my sateen for my ballgown skirt and pulled out my skirt pattern. This sateen is from Joann's and doesn't have the nice sheen that the Dharma Trading sateen does, but I think it will be fine once I fancy it up with paint. I can always make a new skirt for this outfit in the future out of something nicer, like a brocade, and switch over the trim, which will be box-pleated silk organdy.
mala_14: (iris)
So I took a bunch of pictures of it all as it stands so far. Mostly my 1880s undergarments, but also an unhemmed skirt. The petticoat I'm wearing under my ruffled bustle pad is my Edwardian one. It's narrow (like Natural Form) but gives a little more volume than just one petticoat. I really like the ruffled bustle pad. Add a bit of extra junk in the trunk and stops the skirts from collapsing, but isn't as pronnounced as the shelf-like late bustle.
SO many pictures )
I think the skirt might be a bit too long in the back, but it wouldn't be if I was wearing heels. I have no idea what shoes I'll wear with this, but I think I'll leave it as is because I'm lazy and will probably have heeled shoes for it. I also took at hint from [livejournal.com profile] jenthompson and added an elastic to hold together the back of the skirt. Gives the right narrow shape in front. I'm pretty happy with how this is shaping up so far. :)
mala_14: (iris)
I made a ruffled bustle to replace my excessively large bustle pad. You can see the couple of different ones I based this on on my Pinterest board. The ruffles are made out of hair canvas bound with store bought double fold bias tape. (I figured that if the hair canvas is already part poly, it doesn't matter if the binding is too.) They're box pleated and bound with a cotton broadcloth band. The ties are cotton twill tape. The ruffles are 2 U shapes, the under one is 12 inches long and the top one about 5 inches. The top one is also twice as wide as the bottom layer. Gives a bit of a lift to the skirts.
P1010846
I also took a picture of the flossing I did the other day. I think this will be my new project to work on while watching hockey games.
P1010845
I'll get a picture of all the different layers on once I put the hook and eyelet on my petticoat and make some sort of bust padding.

Binding

Mar. 8th, 2015 12:51 am
mala_14: (iris)
Got the binding sewn on to the corset. It was a total PITA to hand sew the wrong side down. The coutil was just murder on my fingertips, which are now all red and have a new hole or two in them. I ended up using a metal thimble on my index finger and masking tape padding my thumb. Of course, then I was less dextrous so it took longer to sew. It's all done now though, which is the important thing!

I started on the flossing, doing a couple of bones to give my fingers a break from the binding. I'm using pearl cotton because I can't seem to find silk floss anywhere locally. It ends up looking like period examples to me. My design is an X with a little bar across the middle and a stem with a sort of wheat-y flower. Sort of like a combination of the bottom front of this corset from Jill Salen's Corsets book and the barred X's from this Met corset.

The only other thing I might add to this corset is some lace at the top. But I'm counting it as finished now! Tomorrow will be a new ruffled bustle. I found a really neat ad for an 1882 ruffled bustle pad thingie. I'm thinking something like No.1 out of hair canvas.
mala_14: (iris)
My petticoat is finished, minus hook and eye which is waiting until the corset gets done. The corset is the last puzzle piece in my 1880s underwear. Well, except that now I need to make a small bustle (maybe ruffles or a small crescent-shaped pad); you'll see why in the comparison pictures.
Standard front and back pics:
P1010820P1010821
Comparison pictures and details )
One more thing crossed off the list for CoCo sewing!
mala_14: (iris)
Ok, I totally didn't get my petticoat goal done. Things were busy and I was lazy. Standard stuff. But as it stands at the moment, all the machine sewing is done and just the hand finishing is left. There's a hockey game on tomorrow and I should be able to finish up the petticoat while watching it. I gave it a preliminary try on, with and without my bumpad. It is definitely a c.1880 petticoat; very narrow. It barely fit over my bumpad, but gives a great mid-1880s silhouette with it. (I may need to make a smaller bumpad for the dresses I'm planning.) I'll have pictures in the future. Without any sort of padding underneath, it looks a bit sad on its own. I may end up wearing my Edwardian petticoat under it. Really, a petticoat with a flounced back would be ideal, but I just don't have that kind of time or patience right now.

I think it may also be a bit short. It definitely clears my feet and is about low ankle length. Do you think that's ok? How long do you make your petticoats?

In other news, I went to my first event with my living history group. One of our neighbourhoods was having a heritage day and invited us for local colour. It was rather loud (lots of fiddle music and jigging, classic Metis culture stuff) and the kids were a little TOO enthusiastic about the quern/stone handmill/grindstone and had trouble sharing at times, but it was still fun. I met a younger member who I hadn't met at the meeting who is into costuming, both historical and cosplay, and we had lots of talks. I also learned how to use a hand loom. Super cool! I look forward to attending more (preferably quieter) events. :)
mala_14: (iris)
It's just not quite big enough. ;)

The Challenge: Paisley & Plaid (There is a little paisley in one of the stripes.)

Fabric: 1/2 metre of quilting cotton

Pattern: My own based on a V&A example for design and various Met Museum bustles for measurements

Year: 1880s

Notions: Thread, twill tape, scraps (for stuffing!), and poly fibrefill

How historically accurate is it? Pretty close. Everything is natural fibres (including the stuffing scraps) except for the fibrefill and machine sewing would be correct for this period, so I'm going with about 95%.

Hours to complete: Maybe 2-3

First worn: As soon as I finished it! I wanted to see how it looked. I don't have anything to wear with it, however; that's something I'm hoping to fix next year.

Total cost: Probably a bit under $10


When I'm wearing the bustle pad, my hips are definitely wider than it, unlike on the dress dummy.


Spot the paisleys! I tried to make them a little more prominent by centering them in the upper bustle pad. I also had fun making one of the stripes the visible part of the waistband.

I had a really tough time figuring out something for this challenge. I just didn't have any stash fabric suitable and I didn't want to be spending a lot of time or money on this project. I remembered that paisley was pretty common in bustle era undergarments and thought I'd be able to find a paisley cotton at the fabric store. Apparently, not so much. This was the closest I could find, but I think the colours and pattern read Victorian-ish, and I thought it was cute. I didn't end up tacking the upper pad to the lower because I'm lazy and it seems to be fine this way. I can always puff/fluff it up like a pillow to re-distribute the stuffing properly.

Although the waistband gave me a bit of guff when trying to finagle it under the machine, overall I'm quite happy with this. It's cute and kind of silly and will be a useful part of my costume/historical wardrobe. :)

Done!

Jul. 26th, 2014 02:22 pm
mala_14: (iris)
I finished up my bustle pad last night. I spent a good chunk of time ripping up random scraps of cotton and linen fabric to stuff the two pouches with, but there wasn't nearly enough. It gave me a good feeling of being economical though. To get a good shape I used some regular old poly batting because it was sitting around in the house. I made the bigger bustle pad less full and then stuffed the smaller one more. I know that I don't have a problem with holding on to a modern aesthetic because, as I was stuffing, I kept thinking, "I don't think this is big enough..." ;p I'm still not sure, since it will probably squish down some with skirt/petticoat weight, but it is definitely a visible presence.

Pictures tomorrow. Have to get going to a bachelorette party!
mala_14: (iris)
So, stays may take me forever, but looks like I can make some progress on a bustle pad. I'm hoping this will be like a 2-3 day project. (I'm sure it's actually more of a couple hours worth of project, but I'm slow sometimes.) Today I made a pattern and cut out the pieces. My pattern consists of two 11 x 12 inch squares and two 8 x 9.5 inch squares and a part of a waistband. The longer side is the width, so the waistband is a rectangle 3 x 12 inches which will have twill tape ties attached at the ends. All the squares have their bottom corners rounded off. I'm going to stuff them with a mixture of little bits of scrap fabric and fiberfill.

While my design is based off of the bustle pad in the Victoria and Albert collection, I actually used extant pieces in the Met Museum collection to find my dimensions, as well as a couple of period ads. None of these are the sort of bustle pad that I'm making, but I thought they'd do for general sizing. The ones that are on mannequins show that the width is less than the width of the hips. Many of the Met bustle pads had a length of 10-11 inches (see here, here, and here). And these two (here and here) said the semi-circle circumference was 19 inches, so I calculated the diameter (or width) to be about 12 inches. I also may have taken a ruler to the screen of my computer to gauge ratios and such. Most had a greater width than length but not by much. Advertisements talk about being 9 inches at the waist and anywhere from 10-12 inches in length, but these were generally the kind of bustle pads with padding and ruffles.

Hopefully I can get some good progress done tomorrow. Really there's only about 4 steps: sew the square pieces, stuff them, sew on waistband, tack together. Even I can do that without taking forever! ;)
mala_14: (iris)
I have a couple of fabrics in the wash to pre-shrink them, notably a quilting print and white cotton drill (for my Margaery bodice). The quilting print is for a bustle pad for the HSF Paisley and Plaid Challenge. It is brown and multicoloured with wide stripes that have a floral stripe running in them and little paisleys in the skinny stripes. I'm making an 1880s bustle pad based on this one in the Victoria and Albert museum. Except, instead of a silk cord holding down the little bustle pad, I'm going to do some stitches on the underside of it tacking it to the larger bustle pad. I think it's cute and it must be way easier than making a bustle with boning and such.
mala_14: (iris)
Ok, so things are busy now. Three of my good friends are getting married (a wedding every 2 weeks from Aug. 23 - Sept. 21) and I am in two of the weddings. This means planning out and executing showers and bachelorette parties and 2 of those are this weekend. I have also been commissioned to make the bouquets for the weddings I am in. Plus, I will be making my bridesmaid dress for the second wedding. In addition to this, I am trying to get thesis research done so that I can write my Master's thesis and graduate in May and I have a part-time job as a research assistant (which is fun and awesome, but still takes up time). I also have regular life stuff to do, like be a normal sociable person and spend time with family, friends, and boyfriend. So what does all this mean?

When it comes to sewing, I have a lot of grand plans. (Don't we all?) But I think that I need to streamline them a bit. While I still want to get my Regency stays finished, there is no way that I will finish them and then get to the next 2 HSF challenge project and sew up a bridesmaid dress. So I am giving myself a pass on the Regency stays. I will work on them when I have time and they will eventually get done. But my next three projects will be (and aren't you getting sick of my sewing plan changes?):

  1. 1880s bustle pad (HSF Plaid and Paisley Challenge): a very simple project that I can complete in a day or two and that I have all the materials for

  2. My bridesmaid dress: something that I HAVE to get done, but since I don't want any extra stress I am changing my design for it. Instead of a bias cut dress (which I would have to pattern from scratch), I am going with an Audrey Hepburn-inspired design with a bateau neckline and slim skirt, (something like this) using a tried-and-true pattern that will take minimal adjustments. Not very exciting, but nobody cares what I look like, I'm just there for pleasant-looking background to the bride right? :)

  3. Margaery bodice (HSF Terminology Pattern): this will be the most labour-intensive because it will involve creating a new pattern and some hand-sewing, but I can use my body block as a starting point and I have all the materials for it

All of these projects are on the smaller side, especially the bustle pad, compared to my other grand plans. But that's a good thing, because it means that they will get done without taking up inordinate amounts of time and I will feel accomplished. Sometimes I really need to have completed projects. Sewing for weeks and not having anything to show for it can get discouraging at times, especially when I feel like so many other things in my life are going the same way. It's just like treading water: tiring and you don't go anywhere, but you have to keep paddling so you don't drown. If all the other things in my life are treading water type things, then I need something that I can get DONE, that I can have finished and put aside and check off a list and point at and say, "Look what I made!" and not have a UFO hanging over me.

Grand plans can wait until after the wedding madness is over. Of course, then it might be thesis madness... ;p Enough rambling for now.
mala_14: (iris)
Well, this is my second time failing at making the HSF deadline. Life is just too busy right now trying to balance work, research, exercise, and time with friends/family/boyfriend. I try to squeak in some sewing time, but it only manages to happen a couple times a week. However, I don't feel like beating myself up about it because I really have to get things like thesis research done and it involves reading for several hours every day. And all the other things are as important as sewing. I think I just need to figure out a more balanced balance.

Also, even though I am not making the deadlines, I am still finishing the projects, which I think I can still consider productive. I am still averaging at least one project per month which is a huge step up from last year. I'll even get in a couple bonus modern projects, like the tan houndstooth pants I made earlier this year to wear on my trip and still haven't blogged about and the bridesmaid dress I need to make for September. That one will be an interesting project because I want to make a bias dress, so construction will be simple because it'll only be two big pieces, but figuring it out and patterning will be a challenge.

I have the next few HSF challenges figured out and managed to come up with a fast and easy project for the next one. Here's the line-up and status for my next few projects:

  • #12 Shape and Support: Regency stays (These are cut out, but need sewing and the dreaded eyelets.) Due: Today :p

  • #14 Paisley and Plaid: Bustle pad (Getting ahead for next year's sewing. Have some quilting cotton for this that has a little bit of paisley on it. Trying to figure this one out was killing me for a while. I needed something simple because the next HSF project is going to be a big one.) Due: August 1

  • #16 Terminology: Embroidered Regency dress (Have fabric and some idea of patterning out the dress. Hopefully the previous project will go quickly so I can get going on the embroidery of this one, which will be the most time-consuming.) Due: September 1

  • Bias cut bridesmaid dress (Have fabric, which is a taupe polyester crepe, and a design. Need to pattern and sew.) Due: September 6 (the wedding date), but will hopefully have it done before that!

  • #18 Poetry in Motion: No idea! Hopefully something easy and low-labour or maybe something that will help with the next challenge, like a skirt. Due: October 1

  • #20 Alternative Universe: Margaery Tyrell-esqe/Tyrell handmaiden dress (I have nothing for this, following two unsuccessful fabric-shopping excursions. There are two local fabric stores that I have yet to check out however, and one will definitely yield a fabric for the skirt. I have some ideas on patterning this one.) Due: November 1

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