mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)

I went on a train ride in costume with friends over a week ago and have just now uploaded the pictures. The weather was pretty terrible that day, very windy and rainy. I had perfect, super curly bangs when I started, but they disappeared quickly because of the weather. The rain also had a rather disastrous effect on my hat and made the sticking-up loop very sad and droopy. We have a historic train that runs locally called the Prairie Dog Central. It's a steam locomotive and the car we were travelling in was built in 1901, but there are cars from different years. We had a peek into one built in 1908.
Dawn and I on one side. My sleeves are being big. :)
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Shirley on the other side. She had a fake book to store stuff in that I thought was super cool.
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Read all about the adventures here. With pictures! )
After this rather exhausting excursion, we took the train back home. Here's the train station. It stopped raining by then, so I could get a picture of it.
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I had a WONDERFUL time! I loved being on the old train in costume. It was so much fun!
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
You may remember this outfit as the one I made to present at a conference last month. Well, I made a hat to go with it (which I ended up changing the design for AGAIN) and wore it for the Doors Open event this weekend, which is an event where many places are open for tours to the public. Our living history group was at Dalnavert House Museum, the place that I made this outfit to be contemporaneous with. And I got pictures of me in my 1895 outfit in the 1895 house!

On the veranda, where we were set up with some displays:
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And in the house itself:
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Close-up of the hat, plus now my hair is long enough to make a respectable bun:
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I really love this ensemble. It's comfortable and allows me to be fairly mobile. I also feel like it looks more like clothes and less like costume than a lot of my other outfits. My only real qualms are that the waist tie on the shirtwaist is too high in the back so it shows above the skirt and that the skirt's placket doesn't stay closed. I'm going to remove the waist tie and (eventually) add the proper hooks to the placket (right now there are none). No problem!

I'm also in love with my new hat! It's my second hat ever. I deconstructed one of those craft straw hats and sewed this together by hand. It has a fairly shallow crown and a sort of medium-ish brim. The front tilts down a bit and the back tilts up to accomodate my bun. I shaped it by spraying the hat with water and propped it up the way I wanted and left it to dry overnight. (I also used a book wrapped in a plastic bag to get the top of the crown flat.) The "ribbon" is actually the same silk fabric as the bow tie. It's double-sided silk, one side gold taffeta, the other side orange-y satin. I turned the edges over and sewed them so that it looks like a striped ribbon, then made fun loops and bows. The tallest loop is a bit droopy at times, but overall they are pretty perky loops.

My shirtwaist and petticoats are all starched, but I found that after ironing they were less stiff and starchy. Anyone know if that is normal? I was hoping for a bit more starchiness, especially to keep my sleeves and collar supported. Maybe I just need to use starch more heavily.

It was a fun day. We had some Votes For Women signs that were popular (it's the 100th anniversary of Manitoba women getting the vote) and people like seeing us around. Lots of people wanted pictures taken with us. Good stuff!
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
I got pictures of my 1895 ensemble before I presented on it at a conference. This ensemble has parts for multiple HSM challenges, including: Tucks and Pleating, Protection, and Gender Bender. The skirt is Tucks and Pleating, with it's double pleats at the CB. The corset cover is for Protection. And the bow tie and shirtwaist are for Gender Bender. I'm too lazy to put in the whole spiel for all three of these. But here are pictures!
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The dressform's torso is too long and the neck too big plus no arms, so everything isn't fitting perfectly. But it's remarkably close to me in size, which is cool, considering it was a random find in the university's archives. I was up past 1:30am the day before the conference sewing the darned bow tie. It gave me fits and and is actually really crappy. You can't see, but the entire middle section is topstitched instead of properly finished. I made it too narrow and couldn't turn the ends through it and the silk was fraying. It was a mess. But I thought the outfit really needed it.

For my presentation, I gave a short talk about modern historical costumers and how the goal of historical costuming isn't always 100% accurate reproduction, but that we can learn a lot about the era as well as our present mindsets from historical costuming. I talked about how reproducing the past isn't possible, but that there are a lot of interesting things going on between the past as it actually existed and how we think about it from our modern viewpoint. I used these articles as examples to frame my talk, showing the current interest worldwide in historic costume:
Sarah Chrisman "I love the Victorian era. So I decided to live in it."
Rebecca Onion "Vox's Victorians"
Leimomi Oakes AKA The Dreamstress "A Practice in Practicality: Doing Housework, 1910s style"
Ruth Goodman "Getting Clean, the Tudor Way"
Then I undressed the dressform so that people could see all the layers. One of the ladies wanted to try on the corset, so I let her. It was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed this conference and am looking forward to next year's. But I am SO exhausted. I've spent the past 3 weeks finishing final papers, moving, sewing a bunch of this ensemble, writing my conference paper, and attending the conference. Whew!
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
I put the collar on the shirtwaist and decided to try it on and take pics. Although the collar is about an inch too loose around my neck, it's looking alright. It's not a very exciting ensemble, kind of butter churn-y, but OMG I love how ridiculous the sleeves will look once I get the cuffs on them. (I'm sad that their true ridiculousness does not show in these pics.) It really needs starch, but I will have to forgo the starching this week. I have to have it done tomorrow and will be giving my conference presentation Saturday morning. But next week, I am going to have a starching day and EVERYTHING will be able to stand up on its own! Bwaahahaha!
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Back and button band detail )

Bonus petticoat pictures. While my cotton lawn petticoat is lovely and delicate and soft, this stiffer poplin really gives a great shape because it has so much more body, especially with the flounce. Lazy picture of it over my ensemble skirt on the dress form.
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And this is how the flounce was applied. The gathered edge is sewn into a tuck in the petticoat. So there is more petticoat under the flounce and the flounce sits on top. This keeps the raw edge all covered and neat. Plus, tuck for bonus stiffening around the circumference.
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mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
In-progress pictures of the skirt for my 1895 ensemble. Right now it's on the dressform so the bias can hang out. All that's left are the hem and the closure, probably hooks and eyes. It could probably use a hem facing of something stiff to make it look really 1890s, but I kind of like the idea of having versatility with it because I think it will also make a great Edwardian skirt.
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I really like this pattern. The back has a lovely drape. But it's also super heavy. I hope my petticoats are up to the task of supporting this skirt! I am hoping to get a flounce on the poplin one and then starch them this week. Do you think my shirtwaist/blouse will also need starching?

Thoughts?

Apr. 15th, 2016 02:58 pm
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
This is the new shirting fabric I bought for my 1895 shirtwaist. It also conveniently has stripes at the exact right spaces for the tucks on the pattern I drafted before I had the fabric. So it really is meant to be! Every second white stripe will be the top of the tuck so that it will look like alternating even width stripes of green and white at the shoulders.
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It doesn't look very exciting, but I really like the soft colours. And there is a bit of texture and more subtle colours than appear from far away. The white stripe is satiny and raised and there are peach stripes outside the blue ones.
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Because it was so cheap ($3.20/m), I'm thinking of going back and getting more, but I don't know what I'd use it for and thus don't know how much to buy. Do you envision this fabric as suitable for any particular time period? 1860s? 1900s? Just modern stuff?
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
I finally gave myself a kick in the butt and patterned the body of my 1895 blouse. It's based off of my standard 1880s bodice pattern, but changed into 2 pieces (front and back) with 3 tucks in the front and straight fronted. I didn't pattern the sleeve because my piece of newspaper wasn't big enough. It'll just be one giant piece anyways because it'll be a very full bishop sleeve. I also left off patterning the collar and collar stand and cuffs because I won't be doing those until later. One thing at a time, right? Tomorrow will be cutting out the main pieces (front, back, and sleeve) in ivory voile.
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
I want to flatline (ie. treat fashion fabric and lining as one) my skirt for my 1895 ensemble. I'm using a wool suiting and planning on lining with a plain, lightweight cotton. I'm using this pattern. My question is: do you think it's alright to flatline the wool or do you think the bias will make it wonky after I've left it to hang before hemming? It's very bias-y and I'm worried that the wool will stretch more than the cotton.
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
I actually like doing handsewn buttonholes! (But for some reason I don't like doing eyelets.) I got all 5 buttonholes done on my corset cover this past week. The corset cover is now on hold, to be finished when I'm back home. There's going to be a sewing day with my living history group when I'm there, so I'm going to take that along to sew on the buttons and whipstitch the darts to finish them. The darts turned out huge so there is a lot of excess fabric on the inside. I'm going to cut off a bunch of it and whip the cut edge. I'm hoping to cut out my skirt and skirt lining and maybe get the seams and darts sewn this weekend. Using this pattern for the skirt from Dressmaking Research from an original Harper's Bazar from 1897.

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)
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!

Blah cold

Apr. 18th, 2015 02:40 pm
mala_14: (iris)
I don't it's cold here. I mean I have a cold. And it makes me feel blah. I think I just crashed after all the school and conference stuff. It's put a damper on the sewing. My skirt is still sitting around with its hem just pinned up. I ironed and trimmed it at some point, though. In even better progress, I drafted up a bodice pattern! I will attempt to cut out the mock-up today. We'll see how that goes.

Tomorrow is a sewing write-off day because I have to go to a baby shower during the day and group watching Game of Thrones in the evening and, if I'm suddenly completely better, maybe the weekly visit to my grandmother, but probably not. I had to skip out on the living history group sewing day today which made me sad. But my nose is like a leaking faucet and my head feels about 2 sizes too big. There's no way I would have been able to do 5 hours of sewing. Plus, I'd hate to go there and potentially infect everyone. So I slept in and had chicken-vegetable soup for lunch. :)

I have a new upcoming project for post-CoCo sewing: an 1895 outfit! It seems very likely that next year's Victorian Studies conference will be in my hometown with the theme of Making Victorians. Combine that with the fact that much of our conference will be connected with Dalnavert House, a local museum originally built in 1895, and you get my project/presentation for next year. I want to make an entire tailor made suit (but this may change to a dress, not entirely sure yet, depends on what fabric I find) from the ground up (including undies) and document the process. Talk about the research done, the hours put in, the $ it takes, what the historical costuming community looks like, what wearing these items is like, etc. I think it'll be really interesting. And with a big deadline like that, I'll have to get it done. :)

(I had shown my prof my earlier post of all my 1880s undies and the beginnings of the polonaise outfit and she said I should show that at the house. "But it's the wrong era!" I declared. We just couldn't have that, now could we?)

Uh oh CADD

Sep. 9th, 2014 12:36 pm
mala_14: (iris)
I went to a welcome back reception at the unversity for staff and grad students and got to talking to one of the Victorian profs. Somehow my historical sewing came up and she said that I should volunteer to work at one of the local museums when it re-opens. It was closed earlier this year because of funding issues, but it's a Victorian house that was built in 1895. So then I got to thinking about clothing from 1895...

Ok, the humongous sleeves are totally wackadoodle, right? But in that crazy, can't-help-but-find-it-fascinating way. (Also, flashbacks to Anne of Green Gables and her longing for puffed sleeves, which is all part of my thesis.) I spent all day yesterday looking at 1890s fashions. And I think that a tailor made might be in my future. Something with the huge gigot sleeves and big lapels and the stiffly bell-like/triangular skirts. There's just something so artificial about the whole look that I enjoy even while I dislike it aesthetically.

So, if you're looking to make something from the 1890s, here are some helpful things I found yesterday.
Behind the cut, with pictures! )
I have no idea when I would ever get to this project, but I had the fun of looking into it and scheming and dreaming and learning about all the great online resources for this era. Still, it might be something that I have to make and then I can parade around in it at the local museum!

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