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)
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)
I finally put in all the boning channels and eyelets and boning. All that's really left is the binding and any decoration. So I decided it was time for a try-on! This is, without a doubt, the curviest corset I have ever made. I managed to lace down my waist over an inch more than I usually can with a corset. (Measurements in this are 34.5 bust-24 waist-36 high hip) I'd probably be able to lace down even more if I wasn't so very short-waisted; my ribs get in the way. ;p

I've got a little bit too much room in the front bust and hips, but nothing terrible and the excess can mostly be tighted away in the bust. This is partly why the lacing gap is so uneven in the picture of the back. Maybe I should pad the bust a bit? The excess in the bottom front will be hidden by petticoats and such.
P1010840P1010841P1010843
I'm wondering if the weird bunching at the back waist that can be seen in the second picture could be fixed by putting a flat spring steel bone in there instead of spirals. I should give that a try before I sew on the binding.

ETA: The flat did solve the problem in the CB. :)
mala_14: (iris)
I applied the other 2 exterior casings. I may end up ripping out a couple of the seams and redoing them because they look a bit wonky, but mostly looks good. I figure that if I can get one thing done a day, the corset will be done this week. So today, redo those 2 seams and put in the grommets. After that only interior boning casings (Wednesday) and binding (Thursday), not counting flossing. The interior casings will be so much easier because I won't be dealing with stupidly skinny pieces that have less than 5mm seam allowances. The tricky part will be sewing them from the outside and not being able to see the casings, but I think that it'll be ok with lots of drawn on lines and pinning.

In other news, it's grad school time and I've finally heard back from all the ones I applied to. I got a really good offer from the school that I wanted to go do so that's all good. In the fall I will be attending Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. One of the really cool things about this is that it's right between Toronto and Montreal AND Their Garment Districts! So if any of my friends-list is planning to be around that area in the next four years, give me a shout! :)

Also, looks like I'll be taking a trip to Chicago and Indianapolis later this spring. The boyfriend has cousins in Indy and has always wanted to go to Chicago and they're only a 3 hr drive from each other. So a week-long trip is in the books. I'm planning on checking out Vogue Fabrics and a couple of other places in Chicago. Doesn't look like Indy is much of a sewing/fabric place; anyone know differently?

That's all that's going on with me right now.
mala_14: (iris)
Here are some pictures of the corset in-progress. I applied the CF-most casings today. You can see how curvy I tried to cut this corset. Hoping for some good hourglass shaping.
P1010833
I trimmed down the seam allowances and pressed the seam open. Then I sewed the casing over the seam so that it's covered. Because the stitching on the sides of the casing is so close to the edge, from a distance it doesn't really even look like there's a casing applied. These casings had the tiniest edges, only 4mm turned under on either side.
P1010835
And the inside looks nice and clean with the felled seams and the seam allowances on the outside for the front 2 seams.
P1010836
mala_14: (iris)
Go check out the photo albums on Alexandre Vassiliev's facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/alexandre.vassiliev/photos_albums. Absolutely gorgeous stuff ranging from early-19th to mid-20th! Some of the pictures you might recognize from Pinterest, but there are a ton of exhibits and others that I haven't seen.

I'm still working on my 1880s corset but progress continues to be slow. I felled the back seams. One side went super smoothly, but the other side was a total beast. I'm pretty sure that I had to re-sew the same seam about 5-6 times, I kid you not, and that doesn't include the 2-3 times I had to redo the other seams on that side. This corset has just been a nasty little thing to try and sew. No wonder it's not done yet! :p

Wooo!

Feb. 24th, 2015 01:24 pm
mala_14: (iris)
I had my thesis defense this morning and passed! So I'm almost done with this whole master's thing. I'm not used to being up so early in the morning and, of course, I was a little bit nervous and stressed so I had trouble falling asleep last night. The sleepiness and the (minor) trauma of the defense itself make me not remember it very well. It was all a blur of trying to understand questions and answer them adequately. I remember people saying interesting things, but I only remember that they were interesting, not the things themselves lol. But I'm glad it's done and all that's left is to format the thing and submit it to the online database by April 1st. Then I graduate!

...and have to get started on that PhD thing. :p

I got a bit of sewing done yesterday on the corset, but having to sew almost all of the seams twice reminded me of why I was so glad to take a break from it and make a petticoat. At least the back facings and boning channels are in now. Next is felling seams.

Mail day

Feb. 23rd, 2015 01:48 pm
mala_14: (iris)
The boning came in the mail today. I did like no work on the corset this weekend. I guess the mail is telling me to get a move on!
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!
P1010829
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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)
The 1880s corset is so fiddly I needed a break. Plus the living history stuff is more Regency-focused. So I went back to working on my Regency stays. Now the back pieces have boning channels! :) Unfortunately, sewing by hand for several hours on the couch all slouched gave me bad back pain, so that's on hold for the next couple of days. I'm going to an event on Saturday and will bring the stays to work on there.

My goal for the week is to finish up my 1880s petticoat. I now have the flounce trimmed with embroidery (store-bought eyelet) and tucks. I'm going to gather and attach the flounce with a facing to hide the raw edges inside. Then I'll just need to sew down the facing by hand and put on a waistband and closure. The closure will wait until I'm done the corset though, so I have an exact waist measurement. It won't matter if the waistband is a tad big. Then it'll be back to corsets and stays.
mala_14: (iris)
I attended my first meeting for my local living history group. It was a lot of fun. The people are super nice, welcoming, friendly, and fun. There was an annual general meeting and then a sewing session. I got a welcome gift as a new member of a period appropriate sewing kit with flat wooden spools for thread, needles in red flannel, little metal snips, a brass thimble, bone buttons, and an awl. (I'm extra happy about the awl. I've been needing one of those.)

The only downer is that because of the local history they do not tend to recreate many eras or much fancy clothing. The focus is on early 19th century. And the people in this area at that time were very early settlers so lots of work clothes. Some ladies had some very nice caps though. They put out the Country Wives patterns. So I need to make some stuff that is appropriate. Luckily I have some repro cotton print dated to 1822 that I can use to make something plainer. I'm thinking something like this. My stays are about half done. Need to get those finished up.

I'm thinking that February is going to be the month of undergarments. I have my stays, my 1880s corset, and my 1880s petticoat to finish. I would also like to make my 1820 dress, but we'll see. March will be my 1882 print skirt and polonaise. Then April will be my Little Mermaid ballgown. Hopefully I will get all these things done by May. Then it will be on to Lost Hope Fairy. I just need to focus!

And yeah, looks like HSM 2015 is not in the cards for me. My sewing schedule just doesn't fit in with the challenges enough. Oh well, one of these days.
mala_14: (iris)
I got half of the corset together the other day, but also managed to run out of thread. So corset is now on hold until I can pick up some more silk thread. Having to re-sew things three times probably didn't help the thread situation. Also, I had put in a waist tape, but forgot to add it in until I had sewn about 1/2" past the waistline. I threw in the waist tape there, but once I got all the pieces together it was pretty clear that the waist tape was too low. I gave up on the waist tape and just cut it out of the seam. Oh well...

Since I'm out of silk thread, I'm going to get my petticoat cut out today and maybe put together. I can use cotton thread on that. If I get it done tomorrow, I can use it for my HSM 2015 foundations challenge.
mala_14: (iris)
I recut the front facings and put the busk in. It only took THREE tries to get the loopy side in right. (I don't know why but the post side only took one go.) Now I'm too tired to work on it any more today.

New Cinderella trailer that I haven't seen! I'm so excited for this. I love the vintage fantasy vibe it has going on. And Helena Bonham Carter's gown is SO FAB! Also stepfamily rocks the vintage. (Edited to fix pictures.)


In other vintage-y tv/movie watching, anyone been watching Grantchester? It's on Masterpiece Mystery right now, after Downton Abbey. There are some pretty lovely 1950s things on it. Plus, murder mystery! All fun stuff.
mala_14: (iris)
Turns out I totally cut the front facing wrong. I cut out a long rectangle instead of accounting for the curves at top and bottom. It's fine for the CB facing because the back is fairly straight across, but I now need to cut out a new front facing. Colds make my brain not work. :p
mala_14: (iris)
I caught a cold this weekend. I still managed to get all the basting done. I also cut out facings for CB and CF. I considered putting in the busk but my nose is being disagreeable. So break time.
P1010819
Basted corset pieces (well, half of them). I tried to shape them as I went, rounding outwards at the bust and hips and curving inward at the waist.
mala_14: (iris)
I got half of the corset pieces basted together yesterday. Hoping to get the rest finished this week and start actually sewing the darn thing together. I don't think it'll get done this month, if only because I then have to order the boning, but it'll be mostly done. And I can get started on my petticoat in the meantime.

Slighly off-topic, I totally need a tiara. I don't have one! I've been looking at this one from Venus Jewelry:

I like the mix of pearls and rhinestones; sparkly and sort of with the "under the sea" theme for my Gala dress. But I want to wait a little bit and hope that the exchange rate gets better. The Canadian dollar keeps going down. :p
mala_14: (iris)
I was good today and got my corset cut out, coutil and satin, minus binding and boning casings. The amount of the satin that is going to be left after I've cut everything out will probably fit into a thimble. I'll have to take a picture. There's hardly anything!

I want to do a really good job with this corset, so tomorrow plan on basting together the coutil and satin along the seamlines of each piece, which are marked in pencil on the coutil. That will give me a guide for when I sew the seams together and it will prevent the various pieces from moving around. Also, since some of the pieces have 1/4" seam allowances and some 1/2", it'll prevent me from messing up those too. (The 1/2" ones are going to be felled. The 1/4" ones get covered by boning or are under the felling.)

Once I get the busk in and the seams sewn, I'm going to measure it for the boning and then order that. I still need to cut the facings for the CF and CB. So much to do! And I want to finish it this month. Yikes!

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