mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
I don't have any real pictures from Monday other than two hazy ones taken of the Hollywood sign on the way to the Garment District. I was too busy shopping! [livejournal.com profile] starlightmasque, [livejournal.com profile] cavaliermom, and I joined two other ladies, Elizabeth and Jonalyn (sp?). First we went to breakfast at Ruby's diner, where I had a nice waffle with bacon and fruit, in order to prepare for the long day of shopping ahead. We had a few errands to run before hitting the Garment District, but our first real stop was the FIDM Scholarship Store.

The FIDM store is a really interesting place. It's filled with clothes, of varying degrees of funkiness (I mean in terms of style, not smell). There's also a section in the back with sewing stuff, mostly trims and fabrics. Nothing really caught our eye, but I've heard of some great deals from online friends who are locals.

But NOTHING can prepare you for the magical, fabric-filled world that is the LA Garment District! I've been to Goldhawk Road in London, which has a block of stores on both sides crammed with rolls of fabric, but this place was like Goldhawk Road times 50! It's blocks of stores that are chock full of fabric and trims; a thing of beauty, for sure. The fabric is just falling all over itself trying to come home with you, tempting you and your wallet to be generous. I bought some nice stuff and am still regretting that I didn't just give all of my money to the Garment District in exchange for copious amounts of silk.

I've fabric shopped in a number of places in North America and a couple in the UK for historical costuming fabrics and they have their different specialities. In LA, it's definitely silk. You can get some nice linens and wools and I'm sure there are cottons too, but this is the best place I have ever seen to get silks at a low price. So, of course, I bought silk. :)

My two favourite stores were Home Fabrics and Memo Fabric.

Home Fabrics was having some awesome sales. There were silks at different price points and the lower ones that I considered good deals were $8.95, $12.50, $15, and $20 per yard. I got 6 yards of two different $8.95 ones, a stripe that will probably become a gauze-trimmed 18th century polonaise and a luscious plaid that I have no idea what I'll do with (maybe 1875, 1830s, or 1850s):
P1020408
P1020407
Home Fabrics also has a bargain wall at the back of the main floor. The deal with that is that you buy whatever is left on the roll for $2 per yard. Angela scored some awesome deals there that we were squee-ing over.

About 3 or 4 doors to the right of Home Fabrics is a place called Memo Fabric. It looks like it sells rugs and drapery rods, but do not be fooled; there is silk to be had there, in the back right corner of the store. The first quoted price is pretty on par with the prices in other places, but the great thing about Memo is that they will bargain with you and you can get a sweet deal. I got this lavender taffeta for $12 per yard:
P1020411
It was the only thing that I was determined to get and is going to become a super froofy early bustle dress. If I hadn't been so stupid, I would also have bought the roll of 6 yards of shot silk taffeta that the guy was trying to sell me. First he said he'd do $12/yard if I bought the roll, then he said he'd give me the 6 yards for the price of 4. Eventually he said he'd sell me the 6 yards for $40. That is a stunning deal. And, idiot that I am, I didn't buy it because it was the wrong colour. DYE! If I hadn't been exhausted and sweating and barely functioning, I would have realized that I could dye it the right colour, that, even though I was scared of dyeing silk because I'd ruined my fabric last time, I'd have to dye my other yellow silk that I already have at home, so I'd be dyeing silk anyways. So yeah, I'm stupid. Anyways, go there, bargain, get a great deal on silk and then enjoy it!

The last place I bought fabric was Tex Carmel. They didn't have any great bargains, but they do have a large selection of linen (as well as some silk and cotton). I bought some pretty pale pink for $8.99 to make some new 18th century stays with. It doesn't look like much in the picture, but it's cute.
P1020414

After the exhausting shopping, we went for a lovely dinner at Lala's Argentine Grill. There was tasty chimichurri and I had some yummy zucchini quiche and a breaded skirt steak topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese with salad and mashed potatoes. Then I was stuffed. The evening was spent hanging out with the ladies from Texas who were roomies with [livejournal.com profile] m_of_disguise. I learned all sorts of things about silk from Catherine, like it makes a huge stink when you burn test it. ;p We had lots of fun and lots of laughs, which was a lovely way to end such a fantastic weekend. The next day was all travel and I was so tired I slept during both plane rides home.

Last picture! These were some of my other purchases. I got French valenciennes lace from the Marketplace at CoCo (90% cotton, 10% nylon). The stunning ribbon is from [livejournal.com profile] jubilima. The earrings are the ones I bought from [livejournal.com profile] tayloropolis and they beautifully match my lavender silk and the plaid. The comb was a gift from my dear roomie, along with some See's chocolates, which I just finished eating yesterday.
P1020415
mala_14: (1882 Little Mermaid)
I had planned on getting to the breakfast, probably late, but instead I accidentally slept in and got up at 8:45. And I had a 9:00 class!!! It was [livejournal.com profile] llyrafantasyfae's multi-coloured death head buttons class, which I was really looking forward to. So I rushed and got ready as quickly as I could and accidentally went to the wrong floor before finally getting to class only 5 min. late. :) This class was so much fun because we got to make useful and pretty things and Amy Lee is a great teacher. Her instructions were so clear and she was very patient. I made this:

The tension probably needs to be a little bit tighter in the middle, but not too shabby for a first try! (Amy Lee's pictures of historical buttons were inspiring and when I got home I figured out how to do a 6 spoke button. You make 6 anchors instead of 4 and then wrap around 1-3, 6-2, 5-1, 4-6, 3-5, 2-4, and continue until you fill up the button. Fun!)

After class I ran into some beautifully dressed Regency ladies, at least one of whom had cannibalistic tendencies. ;p


I decided it was my turn to wear Regency so I headed back up to the room to get dressed in my Lost Hope fairy costume. Melissa and I both wanted to go to the Mantua-making class put on by some Colonial Williamsburg folks so we rushed to that. It was a really popular class that included one shining classhole. But it was really informative and inspiring, because they showed us how to cut and drape a polonaise in like no time flat! I need one now!

I also attended [livejournal.com profile] demode's 1780's hat class. It made me want a silly hat terribly, maybe to wear with my hypothetical polonaise? After class, we Lost Hope folks got together for some pictures. (I believe there was also a Lost Hope photo session earlier, which I missed out on.) I liked how this outfit turned out. My quick 'n' dirty stays totally did their job and the dress was pretty fun to wear.

Afterward there was some more poolside socializing, at which time my turban decided to be difficult and my costume started slowly coming off. There was a second trunk show with [livejournal.com profile] tayloropolis's jewelry, [livejournal.com profile] jubilima's ribbons, and Kendra's book. Since I had already bought one of the first, I ended up buying from the latter two. Now I have pretty things!

Dinner was spent with a bunch of lovely people at P.F. Chang's where I figured I should get the lobster fried rice because I was buy the ocean. Angela and I had some more socializing time with the crew from Texas as well as people at the hottub, before heading to a room to play Exclusive Bitches Against Humanity with some wagons. ;) Fun and hilarity ensued.
mala_14: (iris)
I had to get up bright and early on Saturday so that I could dress in my Little House ensemble and go to [livejournal.com profile] ashamanja_babu's dance class. It was so much fun and Elizabeth is incredibly graceful and a great teacher. I think I may have 2 left feet though and certainly my too-long skirt didn't help. A dress up to my neck and a corset also made dancing hot and difficult for deep breathing (I feared an asthma attack), so I sat most of the class out, but joined in again at the end. [livejournal.com profile] jenthompson got a fabulous pic of me with my bodice unbuttoned and my skirt hiked up to my knees to cool down. Scandalous!

Afterward, our Little House group got together for pictures. Elizabeth wins the award for "most Little House authentic" for having a book of Tennyson AND having knit lace for this ensemble. Classic Laura stuff. :)

We all get points for historical wedgies though! ;p

After pictures, I was a slacker and took off my costume and didn't go to any more classes, but hung out with friends by the pool. I wore a t-shirt and jeans and had my entire head in curlers. I didn't get any pictures of that, but there are some floating around...

I needed lots of curls for the Gala. I was very pleased with how my Gala Little Mermaid gown turned out. I hadn't actually tried everything on together, so it was nice seeing it all come together just like I envisioned. The only problem was that, because I made my train's waistband too small, I had to waist rather tightly to get it to fasten. You could have seen me in the bathroom at one point with my bodice undone so that I could loosen my stays because they were really digging into my ribs. :p

Aside from having to put my hair in curlers and then later take them out, my hair was super easy. It's just 2 pony tails, 1 higher than the other. The flower ornament is shaped like an upsidedown U and it covers the elastics and is just pinned in. You can see sort of similar hairstyles on my Pinterest board, especially this plate.

There were SO MANY gorgeous ladies at the Gala! I loved [livejournal.com profile] girliegirl32786's big butt and billowy skirt:

Jen and [livejournal.com profile] nuranar made an awesome Grandma Wolf and Little Red:

These early bustle dresses by Elizabeth and a lady I met named Christine were so ruffly bustly wonderful! I now need an early bustle dress even more than I needed before! Conveniently I made a Garment District purchase that will help with this. ;) (You can also catch a glimpse of half of [livejournal.com profile] the_aristocat in her 1880s court gown in the back right of the picture. Needless to say, she looked stunning!)

[livejournal.com profile] llyrafantasyfae and [livejournal.com profile] gilded_garb made incredibly clever, cool, and sexy burlesque Captain America and Winter Soldier costumes. I made them have a showdown so I could take a pic:

We had lots of laughs and danced up a storm. There was a small midnight photography session before heading to bed. Good stuff!
mala_14: (iris)
Wednesday
I arrived a day early so I have a bit more to recap than just the weekend. I got in late Wednesday afternoon. I really enjoyed the shuttle ride to the hotel. It was a way of seeing more of LA than just the hotel. And honestly, I've never seen a place that looked so much like it appears on TV and the movies. I was also totally into the plant-life, much of which looked rather prehistoric to me, plus palm trees! At the hotel, I was greeted by one of my roomies, [livejournal.com profile] starlightmasque (Angela), and [livejournal.com profile] m_of_disguise (Megan). Angela had already set up our hotel room so everything was all nice. She is a super awesome roommate, as is her sister-in-law [livejournal.com profile] cavaliermom (Bethany). If you ever get the opportunity to room with them, seriously, go for it! Angela and I met up with [livejournal.com profile] llyrafantasyfae (Amy Lee) and [livejournal.com profile] koshka_the_cat (Katherine) for dinner and we went to a hole-in-the-wall Indian place that had some tasty food.

Thursday
I joined Amy Lee, Katherine, and [livejournal.com profile] missmalexander (Melissa) for a day at the beach. It's my first time in California; how could I pass it up? I think we went to a beach in Mailbu. I don't know, but it was so much my idea of California. I wanted a surfboard and blonde hair so badly! Instead, I made due with some curly hair (ALL of which fell out from the ocean winds) and my 1942 green linen dress.

Katherine was also in 1940s (a playsuit) and Amy Lee had an awesome Victorian bathing suit. Melissa was wearing modern clothes, but looked super cute... And continued to look super cute the entire time at CoCo.



Something I learned about Katherine: She is amazing at modelling her costumes! Seriously, she looked like a fashion model for 1940s Vogue or something at the beach. Just awesome!

After the beach, we headed to a hippie vegetarian restaurant and had some delicious food. One of my favourite meals the entire trip, for sure! (And that has nothing to do with the fact that I ate very little because I was so busy the whole time.) I had gazpacho and tamales. Avocadoes in California are a far cry from the ones we get here. YUM! We also made a stop at the grocery store and I picked up some fruit and snacks.

I met some fabulous ladies in the afternoon. Finally got to meet [livejournal.com profile] bauhausfrau, and also made the acquaintance of [livejournal.com profile] lindseyerin37, [livejournal.com profile] jubilima, and [livejournal.com profile] love3angle.


In the evening I took forever to get ready because I had to figure out something to do with my hair (I ended up rolling it all up and leaving the combs in) and so missed all of the Frock Flicks podcast. So sad. :( I also seem to have not taken many pictures. Stupid me. But I met [livejournal.com profile] jenthompson, [livejournal.com profile] girliegirl32786, [livejournal.com profile] ashamanja_babu, [livejournal.com profile] the_aristocat, and [livejournal.com profile] jennylafleur, which was awesome.

The pool party was sort of overwhelming, so I was glad to escape to [livejournal.com profile] tayloropolis's trunk show and meet Taylor as well as [livejournal.com profile] fancyfrocks and [livejournal.com profile] nuranar. Her Etsy shop, Dames a la Mode, is on vacation at the moment, but should be up again soon. I hung out there for the rest of the time. So many pretties! I bought some lovely lavender earrings. :)

I think that's all for the first 2 days. I had to get to bed early so that I'd be ready for class the next day! I'll post the other days one at a time.

Back home

Aug. 4th, 2015 11:47 pm
mala_14: (iris)
Just a quick check-in. I'll recap throughout the week. So many pictures! It's been a whirlwind week, but incredibly wonderful and enjoyable. It was amazing for so much of my Friendslist to come to life and out of my computer! It's a super surreal feeling to have met all these people in the flesh. I was ridiculously sleep-deprived the entire time, but did my best to socialize as much as possible. I also took some great classes. But, after all that excitement, it's really nice to be back home with my family. :)
mala_14: (iris)
I stayed up late and finished off my Little Mermaid stuff. I now have a massive corsage to wear and a pretty little flowery hair ornament. It'd be nice if I had time to try out hair stuff, but no dice. Just a couple last things to do today: mend the small spot on my 1942 green linen dress where the stitches broke and cut out the stuff for a reticule that I can sew on the plane. I'm giving up on my embroidered one for now and just going to go with a plain black one, but same design.

I finalized my costume line-up too. Here it is:
Thursday: 1942 green linen dress (beach day and pool party)
Friday day: 1960s pink confetti dress
Friday night: Game of Thrones Margaery dress
Saturday day: 1882 Little House print polonaise
Saturday night: 1882 Little Mermaid evening gown
Sunday: Lost Hope fairy
mala_14: (iris)
I finished my Lost Hope fairy yesterday! *throws confetti* I don't really have any cool accessories, but I have a dress, I have a long piece of fabric for a wrapped turban (which I tried out yesterday and was actually able to put on), I have stockings, and I have shoes. Good enough!

Today is all about finishing off my Little Mermaid outfit. This means boning the bodice, fray-checking the flounce, and putting together my corsage and hair ornament. I'd feel more sure about getting this all done if I didn't also have a softball game this evening. And I have work all day tomorrow. AAHHHHHH!!!! And still need to pack! Not enough time!!!
mala_14: (iris)
I am trying desperately to finish everything before leaving for CoCo on Wednesday morning. I really want to power through and finish up Lost Hope fairy today, including figuring out the wrapped turban. The dress just needs closures (2 hooks and eyes) and hemming the sleeves and skirt, since I just finished sewing the drawstring casing/neckline bias.

I also painted the flowers I want to use to make my corsage and hair ornament for the Gala. The store didn't have many peach flowers, so I bought white, but they were just too white. I used fabric paint, very watered down, and painted them so that they are pale blush with a slightly darker edge to the petals.

What's left:

  • finish off Lost Hope fairy (closures, hem, wrapped turban)

  • Little Mermaid (boning, corsage, hair ornament)

  • fix waist seam on 1942 green linen dress

  • reticule (finish embroidery, assemble)

The reticule will likely be my "hand-sewing on the plane and in the hotel room" project. Since so many of my costumes have pockets, I won't actually need it until Saturday night. Ok, back to work!

Back!

Jul. 18th, 2015 12:16 pm
mala_14: (iris)
I'm back home! It's always so nice to come home. My dad and I got all the important furniture for my apartment. It's a pretty nice place that has just been renovated, so all the bathroom and kitchen stuff is all new and the floors are refinished. It's also really close to the historic downtown and only a 10 minute walk to campus. Good stuff!

Problem is that it put a bit of a damper on my sewing. I got most of the binding on my Regency stays sewn during the trip. I couldn't sew it all because when I was trying them on before I left for this trip, I realized that the left strap was too tight and I need to loosen that strap just a touch. It dug into my shoulder hard enough to leave a red mark; not good. Plan for today is to fix the strap and finish off the binding. Hopefully I can also get the gown patterned and maybe even partially cut out.

I also did a bit of tambour embroidery on my reticule. It's slow going though. I think to be more efficient, I need a real tambour hoop.

So, what's left to do for CoCo?

  • binding Regency stays

  • Lost Hope Fairy: pattern gown, paint fabric, cut out and sew gown

  • finish Gala stuff: boning bodice, making corsage and hair ornament

  • reticule: finish embroidery and sew together

  • practice hair

  • bonus: 1950s play suit (this looks highly unlikely)

mala_14: (iris)
Everyone else seems to be doing it lately and I think I finally almost sort-of have my plans figured out. So here goes:

Thursday night/Pool Party: 1960s confetti cotton dress

Friday classes: 1920s/Gatsby or Little House dress group

Friday night/Ice Cream Social: sounds like this might be the Game of Thrones group time

Saturday classes: 1920s/Gatsby or Little House dress group

Saturday night/Gala: Little Mermaid bustle gown (link to Pinterest board)

(Sunday breakfast: Regency cotton dress or spencer and petticoat)

Sunday classes: Regency Lost Hope Fairy

The 1960s and GoT dresses are already done so I don't need to worry about those. My essential costumes that I NEED to make are my 2 bustle dresses (Little House and Little Mermaid). Then, if I have time I want to make a 1920s and Lost Hope Fairy. If I don't have time, then my 1790s striped chemise gown is my back-up for Sunday and my 1942 green linen dress for day on Fri. or Sat. The second Regency is absolutely bottom of the list, but I got some pretty blush spotted voile that would make a lovely Regency dress and lots of fabrics around that would make good spencers since I have to make a strapped petticoat anyways.

For the 1920s I have 1.5m of black linen-rayon blend that I can trim with white sateen. I thought the black and white combo would be nice for Art Deco styling. Maybe I could also figure out a fun hat. Mostly, I thought 1920s would be less labour-intensive and something I could get done quickly.

For the Lost Hope Fairy, I kept thinking about what I had in the stash and would make sense for the theme. I remembered some shot black and purply-blue synthetic shantung I had sitting around. I also have some black synthetic chiffon. So I decided on a dress the colour of night, with a dress of the shantung and a tunic of the chiffon, dotted with little gold spots I could paint on for stars and maybe some silly tassels. Maybe also a turban with a crescent moon decorating it? My Pinterest board for this one.

Disclaimer: All plans subject to change! ;)
mala_14: (iris)
I got my chemise cut out. Planning on sewing the seams today, seeing how it fits and maybe doing the rolled hems on the neckline and armholes. Then I'll need to sew on the lace, probably by whipstitching. I'm still hoping I will get it done before the end of the year and then you will see it as part of the 2014 round-up. I'm looking forward to getting that together. :)

Little House group looks like it's coming together. [livejournal.com profile] ashamanja_babu is in and [livejournal.com profile] jenthompson is also possibly in!

Any thoughts on when people are wearing Game of Thrones? I'm slowly trying to figure out what to wear when and to sort out any resulting holes.
mala_14: (iris)
Because the theme is literary characters and I already wanted to do a bustle dress for the Gala, I decided I'd do a cotton print bustle dress a la Little House since I already had the fabric. I think I've finally settled on a design, a polonaise like this, but with a falling collar and cuffs trimmed with a small cotton lace:

And the fabric:
P1010775

I'm not sure when I'll wear it, but thinking Friday or Saturday during the day. Anybody else want to join in and do a Little House dress group? The time period is pretty open: anything from 1865-1890 would work, since that is pretty much when the books are set (if you count Farmer Boy and The First Four Years). And there's a wide range of fabrics, from silk to calico to wool to cashmere to lawn, so you don't have to break the bank on this one if you don't want to. Let me know if you're interested! I know there are a lot of Little House fans out there besides me! :)
mala_14: (iris)
I bought my Costume College ticket the other day! And a ticket for the Gala! Yay! I can't believe that it's really happening. All I need to do is make a bunch of things to wear now... It looks to me like there are about 4-5 opportunities for costume wearing (not including vintage stuff that can be worn whenever, like it in classes). So here's what I have on the docket, but very little idea on which days to wear what:

  1. 1880s Little House on the Prairie cotton print bustle dress

  2. GoT Tyrell costume

  3. 1882 Little Mermaid gown for the Gala (Hm... just noticed that both of my bustle dresses have "Little" as the theme)

  4. Regency, either something new if I finish my stays or my 1790s white striped dress for the Breakfast with the Bennets (which needs a sash and petticoat, also need to figure out some sort of hair)

Also, hair stuff! I've got to figure this one out. I'm thinking a braided bun of some sort will be nicely versatile for lots of the above.

Other things that I am thinking of bringing, mostly vintage-y stuff for day wear

  1. 1960s pink cotton confetti print dress, has super handy pockets and is very comfy

  2. 1942 green linen dress, need to repair a seam, concerned with the fact that it's linen and wrinkles like a MoFo

Other things that I am thinking of making, but won't really care if I don't get around to it

  1. 1920s 1-hour dress, Gatsby theme

  2. Some other random vintage dress so I can make some use of my fabric stash and patterns that I have

  3. 1890s something, totally a pipe dream, I think 1890s might be my post-CoCo era

Whew! So many plans and thoughts! Anyone else bought their ticket yet? What do you think you're bringing or wearing to what (even though it's still months and months away and all plans are subject to lots and lots of change)?
mala_14: (iris)
As I said before, it looks like I will be able to go to Costume College next year (barring any wrenches in the works, like not being able to get a membership). This is influencing my sewing plans for the coming year. The theme for next year's CoCo is literary characters and I have several ideas for things I'd like to make or will be making. So here they are:

1. Game of Thrones costume. While I'd love to jump on the wonderful bandwagon that is King's Landing style dresses, unless I'm able to find the right fabric at the right price, such a project will have to remain a pipe dream for the foreseeable future. However, my Margaery Tyrell gown also fits the bill and it will be fun to get even more wear out of it, especially considering the amount of time I've invested in it.

2. Jane Austen themed outfit. Once I finish my stays (which I plan to get done this month) I'll be free to make up a Regency gown. At the moment I am leaning toward a striped pelisse/morning gown c.1815 like these examples from the Kyoto Costume Institute and the Met. I have some sateen with white and yellow stripes that I think would work well for this.


3. Little House on the Prairie dress, c.1883. This is something I would need to pretty much start from the foundations up. I'll need a corset, chemise, a couple of petticoats, and a dress. Conveniently, I already made a suitable bustle pad this year. I have the supplies to make the corset, but I think I want to dye my coutil salmon having seen this corset on Pinterest:

I still need a bunch of plain white cotton for the chemise and petticoats, but my recent excursion to the fabric store resulted in some narrow beading lace to use on the chemise. I also have several metres of a floral cotton print, it's an orange and olive print on ivory. I'm not entirely sure on what the dress will look like, but maybe a 3-piece outfit with plain bodice, underskirt (with a flounce or several), and a bustled overskirt.

4. 1882 Snow Queen dress. This one would be for the Gala. I'm following [livejournal.com profile] jenthompson's lead with the historical fairy tale theme. I want something like this Worth gown in the Met and this other picture I found online.

For this I have the pale silk I bought in London that I want to dye a pale ice blue. I also want to get a ton of white silk gauze to drape over it. (Looking at the Met website, there actually seem to have been a lot of dresses in the white and aqua combo.) Instead of just flowers, I'll do snowflakes and icicles and maybe some white flowers and frosty looking ribbon bows, depending on what I'm able to find.

5. An Edwardian something, c.1909. No real thoughts on the literariness of this one, but I already have the corset and a chemise. I'd just need a petticoat. I want to make a cotton net blouse and then use my green silk-cotton to make a sort of jumper dress that would go over it. That way I could use the blouse for multiple gowns. Something like this, with pintucked sleeves and the slightly raised waist of the transitional styles of 1908-1910, which I love.

This outfit may also demand a ridiculously large hat. Maybe I can throw some flowers on the hat and call it a Secret Garden outfit?

Other thoughts include a 1790s riding habit (for which I have all the fabrics, but none of the notions, which could be expensive to acquire), an 1877 pink and white striped polonaise, and a 1950s playsuit. None of these are really literary themed either, but things that I want. Any other sewing I do will probably be more every day clothing, like pants and jackets and dresses.

What do you think? What are your dream sewing plans for the coming year?

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