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I did actually sew stuff this year, but not much of what I was expecting. So here goes:

Green stays (finally, it only took like five years... and I don't like the fit lol)
Scarf for my grandmother (knitting counts!)
Bridesmaid dress for my friend
Pink and chocolate cotton dress
18th c. style Halloween costume for my friend (Unfinished bodice Front, Back, and Side)
Ancient Roman Halloween costume (Front, Back, Fabric that I pleated)
Red satin skirt
Teal dupioni dress for my mom

Plum 1790 stays (currently whip-stitching the pieces together)
1860 corset (working on the mock-up, which has begun to co-operate, version 2 was much improved)
Chocolate knitted mitt (making up the pattern as I go, which is actually working surprisingly well so far)

For 2010:
Finish plum 1790 stays
1860 corset
Some kind of shift or chemise
Gold striped petticoat
Red brocade jacket
Red cotton dress
Finish chocolate knitted mitts

So, what I've learned is that I get more sewing done if: a) It's for someone else, 2) there's a deadline, and c) it doesn't take long to put together. Almost all the stuff I made for myself only took a day or two. And making things for other people forces me to finish because they need it. And while it's not always fun, it is when the person just trusts you to do what you think is best. I was going to do pictures today, but I got up way to late and now the sunlight is all gone. However, I just downloaded some old pictures. So the Halloween ones are new. And here's a bit of summer for you. Pictures of my rose garden. :)Pretties this way )


Apr. 11th, 2009 12:40 am
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I finished my green stays!!! *does happy dance* They'd be great if I had cut the armholes a little lower and the front bust a little wider, but aside from that they're OK. Besides, they're done. So, here are the pictures of the finished product. Along with some pictures of the scarf that I made for my grandmother. She really liked it. :)They're all behind the cut :) )
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I am almost completely done my stays. Just one more eyelet in a strap. Then they'll be done. I just did the other one yesterday and put in a white ribbon to tie the strap. It looks really pretty. So excited! Too bad I have so much homework to do.
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In the interest of procrastinating on my homework (which actually needs to be done soon and still has a fair chunk of work to go, but I really, REALLY, don't feel like doing it) I worked on my stays. Yes, I know, it's shocking. I'll give you a moment to sit down. ;p The binding is now completed and all that's left is three eyelets to hold the straps in place. I just finished an eyelet and realized that I had forgotten how hard it is on the fingers to do eyelets through all that thick fabric. So maybe they'll be done this month. I wouldn't hold my breath, but it's possible. It's only taken me, what, four or five years? And now that they're near completion, I'm not totally happy with them. But they're usable, just small in the front bust. I can fix that on the next pair I make. Which, of course, won't be for another five years or so. ;)


Jun. 17th, 2008 11:48 am
mala_14: (zone fronts)
I *heart* my tambour hook. Doing tambour embroidery is so much fun! It goes by so quickly. I have a pic of a little sample of tambour with drawn thread, but I'm too lazy to put it up. I assure you, many pictures will be forthcoming of my current embroidery projects. Just not right now. They have decided to be slightly secret for the moment. :)

In green stays news, I am over half done the back side of the binding at the bottom. Just to finish all the tabs on that side.


Jun. 10th, 2008 06:14 pm
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After spending my day getting stuff done doing things like sewing and planting tomatoes (I vacuumed and did laundry yesterday), I started to feel tired and kind of blah. So I hopped onto the computer and what did it tell me? That my book was in the city. So I go out the front door and, lo and behold, there is a parcel in the mailbox. Whoopee! It's Nineteenth Century Fashion in Detail! Now, off to drool. :)

P.S. Binding is coming along well. I am almost half done the wrong side at the bottom. :)


Jun. 2nd, 2008 11:59 am
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Well, I finished school on Wednesday. So that's fantastic. And I just had an awesome mail day. Four books that I ordered last week just showed up. They are:
Catharine and Other Writings by Jane Austen (I own all the novels already. This is other stuff like manuscripts, juvenilia, etc.)
Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
A Room With a View by E. M. Forster
Silver Metal Lover by Tanith Lee
Can you tell that I was somewhat influenced by this season's Masterpiece Theatre? I haven't been reading anything for the past two days. It's been incredibly boring. I was waiting for these books to come in. But I am being good and am off to sew on my stays. I am finishing the outside bottom binding. Not too much more to go.
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I just put in my order to Dharma Trading. And while the shipping is a bit pricey, I am very excited. I got a yard each of the Combed Cotton Lawn, Cotton Voile, Bleached Harem Fabric, and Cotton Sateen. The first three are for my embroidery experiments. The last is for a possible future corset.

No other sewing news. I've been so busy lately, taking a class at school during spring session. It's Mon.-Fri. until the 28th. We go through a chapter a day, so I have to try to keep up with the reading and assignments. And the text isn't exactly what I would call fascinating. Although, the class is quite enjoyable. It's International Marketing, and the prof. is nice. Unfortunately our first test is on Monday. I'm hoping to adjust to the swing of  things soon, then I can get on with more sewing. After all, I'm over half done the outside binding of the bottom of my green stays. :)
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Has anybody used the combed cotton lawn from Dharma Trading? Or the cotton lawn from Silk Connection? I'm looking to make some whitework embroidered engageantes and want something that is very sheer and light. A lot of things I've read say "muslin sleeve ruffles" and talk about using lawn. I am going to be working this weekend and will have a little extra cash to spare, so I'm looking for help in spending it. :) (After all, I should only need a yard.) Looking for something like this. Any advice? Any other fabric suggestions for this? (Preferably nothing too pricey, and hopefully shipping doesn't cost an arm and a leg either.) Thanks!

Oh also, finished binding the top of the green stays. Woot!
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I just finished watching the new A Room With a View on YouTube (they didn't play Masterpiece this weekend, for no reason that I can tell *grr...*) on one of my numerous study breaks, and I have to say, it was really enjoyable. Now I want to read the book and see the 1985 Merchant Ivory version. *adds it to the extremely, ridiculously extensive list of books to read/movies to watch*

A little bit more progress on the stays binding. I've reached the second strap, so it's just around the strap and the back part then the binding on top is done! :) Then it's on to the bottom. With tabs. :( But then 4 eyelets and it'll be all done! :D


Apr. 15th, 2008 01:37 pm
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Word to the wise: It is a bad idea to make doodles of your costume ideas when you're in class on your notes. Why? Because once the term is done it's pretty much impossible to find them again. (Hmm... Maybe if I spent less time doodling I would have done better in my Finance classes. ;p) Well, I searched through three sets of notes and couldn't find the sketch I was looking for. I found a good many of 18th century shoes, a few chemise dresses, two robe a la francaises, and some Tudor gowns, but not the embroidery ideas I had.

Embroidery ideas, you say? Yes. Why? Because last night I ordered a tambour hook as part of my birthday present from my dad! (Yes, my birthday is February. But it's nice to get a birthday present in April, as I can't expect any more presents until December.) So I am on a bit of an embroidery kick and I had two nice ideas I doodled on some notes. Now I remember one, but I think the other one was better and I can't remember it. Darnnit! Oh well.

In stays land, I am almost done binding the top. I've been studying for finals, so doing some sewing is a nice study break. I just had a final last night worth 100% of my grade. I am glad that one's over. I think I did alright on it. My next one is on Saturday. And then I'm done! And one of my friends gets back on Thursday from a really long trip he took to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, so we'll probably hang out on the weekend. Sweet!
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Well, this is the last day of Spring Break. That means it's back to school tomorrow. And I managed to get sick today. I have a sore throat/cough. And I feel all yucky. It's not pleasant. I tried to get some work done on my stays and sewed on some more binding. But then I got a headache, so I figured I would stop. Not much else to report. I've been doing reading as I got 4 new books recently. So I have read: Alis by Naomi Rich (alright, but nothing to write home about), The Door in the Hedge by Robin McKinley (I read this in high school and have always wanted to get my own copy. I good fantasy read), and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon (VERY good, and I really recommend it. It starts out quite entertaining and just gets better and deeper as the story goes on). I am currently reading The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. It is also very good, but it makes me feel a bit sad. I believe it is somewhat of a classic. It certainly is if one is considering Canadian authors. Even though I haven't finished it yet, I recommend it as well. I suppose I will just take some time and relax right now, before the last part of Pride and Prejudice starts. Jane Austen! Yay!
mala_14: (zone fronts)
Straps are on with seam allowances sewn down. That was done yesterday. Today I started binding. And I was binding and it was going well. I'm using a white poly ribbon. (If I haven't said it before, I'm saying it now: These stays are like practice. They will be wearable, but I am definitely making new ones later this year. New and better ones. From a different pattern. That fit better. More reasoning for this ahead.) And I was binding the straps when I realized, "Hey genius, you haven't measured how long the straps need to be". So, I had to get the contraption on and figure it out. In trying the thing on I realize (once again) that the front is not wide enough, and it affects the fit of the whole thing. Bah! So the straps fit kinda wonky in the shoulder area, and I'm rather squished in front from lacing the stays so that the shoulder blade area fits alright. The only fix for this would be opening up the front area and binding that (the fashion fabric was cut with the front in one piece, but the lining is in two pieces. Maybe I was on something while making this decision?) and making more eyelets. No thank you. I am willing to settle on these as they are my first try and all. So once I decided that, there was still strap length to decide. And I realize that I have bound past the point of ideal strap length. This results in taking out my nice whipstitches and then cutting the straps to the right length. Which somehow resulted in my cutting off the nice tail of thread I left so that I could continue whipstitching. Which resulted in having to take out even MORE stitches and then ending that thread. Phooey! Umm yeah, but one day there will be pictures. And it will actually be done. I promise. ;)

Of course, after all this I decided I needed a break. I think I will put Persuasion (which I got from the library) in the DVD player and make some chocolate chip cookies. Mmmm... cookies.
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Okay, maybe two. But all that's left on the stays is to do the binding. And the last four eyelets for the straps. When I was listing off the things left to do yesterday I completely forgot about still having to attach the straps and sew down their seam allowances. They're sneaky that way. ;p

It occurred to me today that sewing and accomplishing sewing is just so much fun. I don't know why I don't do it more often. I usually go on a sewing spree and get stuff steadily done for several weeks and then take a few weeks off. So I'm rather behind on my schedule now, but I can still get caught up I think! :)


Feb. 20th, 2008 10:36 pm
mala_14: (zone fronts)
Okay, it's been a while. But in all honesty, I really haven't been doing much. It's Spring Break, so I've just been relaxing and cooking supper for my family so my mom doesn't have to. It hasn't really been a great past few weeks for me. And I think the cold, dark weather is starting to get oppressive. I've been getting headaches. Not bad ones, just annoying. There's also some other "personal life" stuff, that I don't feel like talking/typing? about. Nothing horrific, just not great. But things are getting better, and I'm just trying to keep busy and get on track with sewing.

Speaking of which, I finally finished sewing down the seam allowances in my green stays. Next up is to melt the ends of the cable ties. Then it's on to binding. So close to being done. Hurrah! I have also been watching Pride and Prejudice on Masterpiece. It is fantastic. I managed to rent the 1998 Great Expectations and watched that today. It was alright, but nothing spectacular. And right now I'm trolling the 'net looking out for stuff for my dad's present to me for my b-day last week. This means that I will soon be getting a tambour hook and some silk embroidery threads. Yay! I plan on ordering the tambour hook from Hedgehog Handworks and the floss from Eterna Silks. Any comments or stuff I should know?
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So you can see what I've been sewing the past little while...
mala_14: (Default)
Firstly, HAPPY BIRTHDAY [profile] tailordrews!!!

As far as sewing goes, I have begun the very boring and uneventful part of sewing on my stays called sewing down seam allowances. Not terribly fun or anything, but the results are pretty. Not much sewing going on though. I'm adjusting to being back in school and having to read texts, and balancing this with reading actual fun stuff. This leaves rather less time for sewing at the moment, but it should improve. Today I was having a very fascinating read about the formation of our Constitution that put me to sleep about 5 times. Not nearly as exciting as reading fiction about an enterprising, female natural philosopher determined to abolish witchhunting in the early 1700s. (That would be The Last Witchfinder by James Morrow.)

Okay, I should get back to homework though. And really, truly I will eventually replace the batteries in my camera and get some pics up.


Jan. 5th, 2008 05:19 pm
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I finished all the eyelets. Finally! So I tried it on and took pictures. But my camera needs new batteries, so I haven't uploaded them yet. I will do that in the not too distant future. The fabric looks very pretty. And I really love handbound eyelets. I'm not too fond of how these have turned out though. I started them too long ago, and I've found out a few things since then. There are a ton of things I'd change. The boning pattern is really odd. And the centre front piece should be wider. I took out too much width in the front trying to make them fit me when the width should have been taken out in the back and sides. After all, 18th century stays usually have a really wide front. That would probably fix the whole look of "almost falling out even though I'm really not" that I have going on in these. Oh well, now I know for next time. Because of course there's going to be a next time. ;p You can never have too many stays!
mala_14: (zone fronts)
I only have 3 eyelets to go on the back! Then I believe I will post some pics. Unfortunately, with this cold, I find it hard to do much work on them. I get really tired and headache-y after about 2 eyelets. But today I got 4 done, 3 of which whilst watching Persuasion for the second time. Persuasion is going back to the library tomorrow though. I'm considering taping all the Jane Austens on Masterpiece Theatre so that can have something to watch while sewing later.

I also made out my list/schedule and have found that I should probably be able to have my list mostly done by October. *fingers crossed* That means I could add another project or two. Hmmm... Also something new to do this year is add tags to my posts. So getting right on that.


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