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Happy Canadian Thanksgiving, friends!!!
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It's been over a month! I need to get this recap wrapped up.

Saturday was mostly a socialize with friends day. I wore my old 1883 print polonaise during part of the day. Not very exciting, thus no pictures. Several of us had lunch in the hotel restaurant. I had a pretty tasty tomato and white bean soup. Then I was SO ready to get out of my corset. The only class I took was Cynthia Settje's (RedThreaded) "Measure of a (Wo)Man" class. I was in a group with[personal profile] quincy134 and Christine (who I had met the last time I was at Costume College, but, silly me, I didn't realize it was her until the evening!) and we took a very thorough set of measurements. I did mine with my corset on, so I'll be able to adjust some of my patterns to fit better. Very useful! And you really do need someone else taking your measurements. How else are you going to measure the length of your arm while its bent or across your back from armscye to armscye?

Then it was time to get ready for the Gala. I was feeling pretty bored with my 1871 lavender silk gown, just because I'd finished it so much earlier, but it was really fun to wear and I loved it. There were lots of other early bustle gals, which added to the fun. I was ready pretty early because the hairpiece made doing my hair SO easy. I just put my own hair into a braid and pinned it into a loop. Then I stuck the curly hairpiece just behind the braid and then curled my bangs. Done! I also remembered all my accessories, like my silk neck ribbon, white gloves, and Dames a la Mode earrings. I headed down to[personal profile] koshka_the_cat and[personal profile] llyrafantasyfae 's room to bug them about taking photos. ;) They were still getting ready and I was able to help them out with a few things. Then I wandered down into the lobby to see all the people in the line for the red carpet. A picture of me with Christine and her husband in their incredible embroidered suits (once I finally realized who she was):

[personal profile] bauhausfrau looking awesome in her Fox habit inspired by The Duchess with bonus Alyxx in the background.

And Taylor and Jenny-Rose looking fabulous, as always!

Taking pictures outside meant that we didn't end up doing the red carpet, which I was fine with. I got some good pictures of my dress, a couple of Katherine in her beautiful hand-beaded dress, and Amy Lee in her Captain America. We had fun!

Also, I thought it was funny to take a picture of them both looking at pictures:

Even more pictures taken of people after dinner, including a couple of Empresses, other bustles (with butt bows like mine!), a couple takes on Captain America, and beautiful friends in creative and wonderful costumes:

I somehow missed all the dancing. A bunch of us were lounging around outside the room and chatting. And afterwards there was another quiet hangout in a hotel room. With delicious cheese and crackers and olives! Fun times with friends. :D

I took a lot more pictures, but they're kind of awkward because they're more "documenting people's costumes" and having them stand alone and pose in a hallway with bad lighting than actual good photos. I need to try and get more pictures of people in pairs/threes next time. As always, please let me know if you prefer to have a picture of you taken down. :)

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Before I forget everything, I better finish my recap.

Friday I dressed in my white striped Regency dress. I had a red ribbon in my hair (the one from Snow White) but managed to lose it by the time I got downstairs. My hair is just too slippery! I attended Trystan's "Suffragette Fashions" lecture and Abby Cox's "Finishing Your 18th C. Look" lecture and I took a great muff workshop by the Lady Detalle (even though I had to leave early due to extreme hunger). Buuuut mostly I just hung out and socialized with people. :)

I wasn't the only one in Regency that day. We discovered we all colour coordinated too!

Needless to say, after this I wanted more Regency stuff, like new dresses and more accessories! What you can't see very well in this picture is that I picked up my new necklace from Dames a la Mode and am happily wearing it here. It's olive green and so shiny and sparkly. Love it!

I got ready for the Social pretty early and wandered around looking for people. Ran into a big hat twin! This is Breanna (sp?), whom I met last time. We were both ready to support the campaign for women's suffrage! (Although, we kind of look more ready to go to a women's suffrage garden party or something...)

The rest of the day and the Social behind the cut )

After the social was the Pink Princess Party and the alternate quiet party. I spent time at both and enjoyed myself. I had some drinks and wore a tiara and hung out on people's beds and didn't take any pictures. It was great!

(Note: Once again, please let me know if you would like me to take down any of my pictures of you. I am totally happy to do so.)

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I really just want to go on and on about all my potential plans for upcoming sewing, but I was determined to get started on recapping today. So here goes...

Wednesday I got up at (what felt like) the crack of dawn to catch a flight down to LA. It went smoothly. Mostly I just slept. However, my shuttle took forever and a day to show up. Apparently there was a conference going on and that was using all the shuttles. Whatever. There's no way I should have had to wait for over an hour. I met some nice Australian people who were also waiting. Finally reached the hotel and immediately saw friends. Yay! [personal profile] starlightmasque , [personal profile] cavalierlady ,[personal profile] fleurdelysa , [personal profile] quincy134 , and Cindy (RedThreaded) were the people I first encountered. It was so great meeting some of these people after having known them so long online and great seeing old friends again. First up was a trip to Whole Foods for food. Then bed. Not very exciting.

Thursday was our epic trip to the Fashion District. (Picture courtesy of Angela)

Our first stop was Home Fabrics because duh! $6 silks! It was super overwhelming. There were also $10 silks. I wanted EVERYTHING. I didn't buy everything. I had to make decisions. I think I made good ones? It was all a blur. We also went to Memo because I didn't find what I was looking for at Home Fabrics. [personal profile] helenwinfield got an amazing deal on some gorgeous blue silk. I got the things that I wanted. Solid silk taffetas for $10! When I was there 2 years ago, they were $12. (It's where I got the lavender silk for my 1871 Gala gown.) Overall, I checked off almost everything on the list I had made before going (the list I neglected to bring along with me). I think Memo might be my favourite place for solid taffeta; I always find exactly what I want there. The haul (the mauve/taupe stripe on the bottom left is for a local friend, but the rest is ALL MINE):

I had a scary moment in the Fashion District. I was in a trim shop browsing and when I turned around everyone was gone! It wouldn't have been so bad, except that my phone was having severe issues in downtown LA. It kept losing its signal and shutting itself off. Seriously, every time it got its signal back it would get a text and then when I tried to look at it it would die again. Not impressed. So for a little while I was wandering around, I couldn't connect with anyone, it was hot, I had no idea where I was, and it smelled like urine. Um, not pleasant. However, I eventually I was able to see a text that said they were heading back to the car, which I figured I could find because we were in the lot directly across from Home Fabrics. We ran into each other en route and it was all good.

We went to a British Pub for an early dinner, where I got to eat a fresh artichoke for the first time (instead of ordering British food, it seemed appropriate for California). It was delish! (Picture courtesy of Angela)

The evening was the Pool Party. I dressed up in my old Snow White costume. It was fun because there were 3 other different kinds of Snow White. [personal profile] theladyrebecca  was Designer Disney Snow White and two other ladies were a 1950s and a 1920s Snow White.

It was awesome to see other friends again! The 60s bad girls were a riot. I didn't get a lot of pictures. Too busy socializing. :) Needless to say there were a ton of wonderful costumes and fabulous people.

Next recap will be about Friday and the Social!

Note: If there are any pictures of you that you don't like, please let me know. I'm happy to take them down.

Hat so far

Jul. 22nd, 2017 02:22 pm
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This is the straw hat after being shaped. Still needs lining and trim. I think I like it, but I'm quite certain I'll like it more with a bunch of crap stuck all over it.


Jul. 12th, 2017 11:23 pm
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I ran a bunch of errands today. I had to do stuff to get ready for CoCo like get American currency (the exchange rate right now isn't terrible, yay!), buy a hair donut as well as other weird stuff to put on my head, and get a new phone. I now have a brand new flip phone! I really loved my old one and want it to work, but it was from 2006 and on an EVDO network, so it was starting to not work and the battery was pretty much done. And I am still rebelling against smartphones. So I got to surprise the lady at the store by getting a new flip. My last couple of errands that I need to get done for CoCo that aren't sewing related are: get a long-distance text package and book the shuttle to and from the airport.

I also sewed all the snaps on the lace overdress and all it needs now is some hooks and eyes and a hem. First 2 pictures here without flash, the last one with flash. The lace and net are actually white, so the colours are truer in the last photo.

I spent the other day assembling my Regency petticoat, so now the front and back panels are sewn together, have pocket slits, and a CB slit for the closure. It still needs to be gathered to a waistband, have straps attached, and a hook and eye closure done. Hoping to get both of these items done this week.

Oh, and also, on Sunday, I had an event with local friends and have pictures of our picnic in the park, but no time at the moment for posting them.

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It just needs a hem. Yesterday I put Aliens in the DVD player, had a delicious dinner of beet and goat cheese ravioli followed by pie, and finished up the final two snaps and tried the thing on. Good times. And it's looking pretty good other than the facts that the CF skirt seam needs ironing and I clearly need to wear a different petticoat with it. I do have a 1910 petticoat of sorts, but this bustle one was more easily accessible, thus the flounce sticking out at the back. Pictures!

I may get to cutting out the net and lace today, since the hem is just getting machined. Machine sewing, very few pattern pieces, and no trim make this so much quicker to put together than other recent projects. I took a picture of the lace fabric I'm using too:

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I just have the hooks and eyes to sew onto the waistband and then the Gala gown can be officially done! So here are some very badly lit pictures I took the other day when I was trying it on to find out where I needed to put the hooks and eyes. I was lazy so I'm not wearing any petticoats. Also, please forgive the wrinkles on the silk skirt (which is also bustled up in these pictures because I got tired of picking dog hair off the underside of the train). It will get ironed one of these days.

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The overskirt is now attached to the belt, along with the sash ends and the big bow. Next up, basting it to the bodice and adding closures. Then I'll be done!

A question: How does one keep silk knots knotted? I unraveled the ends of my sash to make a fringe and have it knotted, but the slippery silk keeps wanting to become un-knotted. I am considering fray-checking the knots. Any other suggestions?
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I forgot that I had pictures. I took another picture and now here they are. The finished bodice, with closures:

I wore it around for a while after that, so I snapped a pic of it on:

It could definitely stand being about an inch longer in the waist. I am hoping that making a somewhat wide belt will be enough to cover the gap and skirt waistband without the bodice pulling out. If not, Plan B is to baste the belt to the bodice.

Overskirt as it is so far, with the ruffle and silk header attached. I did this by layer the ruffle and overskirt wrong sides together with the silk header right and ruffle right sides together. Machine sewed them all, then flipped the header up and attached it by hand at the top. This kept everything nice and neat with all the seam allowances encased.

I really like the way the net looks over the silk. It looks kind of coarse in pictures and really isn't particularly fine net, but from a distance it looks lovely and airy and sheer. Also, have I mentioned, NO hemming!? [personal profile] elizabeth_mn told me that early bustle should make you look like a little cake. I think lace trimmed ruffled net totally qualifies.

I was super lazy yesterday and only managed to try everything on and swan around in it for a bit. Today I'm going to cut out the belt/sash/butt bow. Tomorrow will probably not involve much sewing because I'm going on the train in costume with friends (like last year)! Hopefully no dastardly train robbers are about! ;p


Jun. 2nd, 2017 03:10 pm
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Sitting around wearing my just-finished ballgown bodice! :) I don't feel like doing anything today, but I got motivated enough to sew the 3 buttons on this thing. I think I'll do a load of laundry and lie on the couch. Maybe I'll nap. Whatever. Lazy day today! Also, Wonder Woman this evening! Yay!

I took a couple of pictures, but am way to lazy to post them today. Maybe tomorrow. We'll see.
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Yay! I passed my exam! Now I can take a week off of enforced reading before I have to start getting ready for the next one. The oral exam part was challenging and there were definitely some questions that I could have answered better, but overall it went pretty well. So glad that's over. I came home and took a nap. I have a pork roast smoking on the bbq and I am about to eat some ice cream.

I'm also going to treat myself to some fabric paints and reed so I have some 18th century supplies on hand after I've finished my CoCo sewing. I still really want a 1780s painted dress, as per my Pinterest board, but I need more paint to do what I want. I think I also have a general design figured out of linear scrolling vines and bouquets with bows. But it won't be for a while yet, so I have plenty of time to really refine and solidify the idea.

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Got through the written portion of my exam on Friday. I think it went alright. I don't think I had brilliant answers, but I do think they were good enough to get the pass. (It's a pass/fail exam.) I was dead tired afterwards. Getting up 2 hours earlier than normal and writing a 4-hour exam is exhausting. I was able to join in on the tail end of a Google hangout with sewing buddies though, which was good. I was in no condition for sewing though and just hung out instead. My profs told me to not even look at my exam answers that day and just relax. I ended up taking a nap, going out to dinner with my parents, and then seeing Alien: Covenant with my dad. Good times! The 1-hr oral portion of my exam is on Monday, so now I'm reviewing my answers and preparing for that.

I think I may have actually settled on a plan for my suffragette dress. I know I keep saying that, but I hope it's true this time because I bought supplies. I'm still going to use the Tub Frock from Cut of Women's Clothes as a base pattern. But my green fabric is too light and sheer to use as a single layer. Instead, I'm going to use the green silk-cotton as an underdress with a sheer cotton and lace overdress/lingerie dress. I have some lace fabric in my stash from when my aunt let me take whatever from her stash after she decided to retire, so that saved some money. I also have a few yards of some other lace trims in the stash that I can use for a bit extra. Today, I bought a couple of metres of cotton voile and a bunch of hooks and eyes and snaps for closures.

The plan is to use wide chunks of the lace fabric for the top of the bodice, near the bottom of the skirt, and for most of the elbow-length sleeves. The rest will be the voile, with a little of the lace trim at the neckline and some vertical lines on the skirt and bodice. Inspiration from these gowns from Abiti Antichi, Museum of New Zealand, Adored Vintage, and an unknown Pinterest source, respectively:

Life stuff

May. 25th, 2017 11:40 am
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The 4-hour written part of my big exam is tomorrow. Looking forward to getting that done. I've done a couple of practice essay questions and sent the answers to my advisor who said that I was doing just fine. (It's a pass/fail exam, so I don't need to be fantastic or anything, just good enough. :p) The 1-hour oral part of the exam is on Monday, which shouldn't be a big deal. Mostly it's about clarifying and going into more detail on your written answers and basically having a scholarly conversation about the stuff that you've read. I'm SO tired of reading 19th century literature. It's my favourite era, but damn, reading all that in 4-5 months is a slog. If you're interested in 19th century lit, I really recommend reading some of these lesser-known works that don't get as much attention as they could and probably should:
  • Walter Scott: Heart of Midlothian
  • Margaret Oliphant: Miss Marjoribanks
  • Charlotte Bronte: Villette
  • Catherine Parr Traill: Canadian Crusoes
I had a really weird and kind of funny dream last night. I was Elsa from Frozen and I'd run away from my kingdom and there was some sort of disease/plague running rampant, but I was immune to it because I was Elsa and have special powers. Hans (who was actually Kristoff, but looked like Hans) was helping Anna run things and they had realized that you could treat, but not cure, the disease using Olaf's snow melted into water. So somehow Olaf was multiplying into big giant snowmen who were being melted down and then the water was being splashed over the townsfolk in some sort of big waterpark/waterslide thingie. It was intense and sort of half live-action half computer animation.

I also dreamed I was at a house party or something and [personal profile] jenthompson and I think [personal profile] sarahbellem were there. And Jen had blogged about some cool suffragette event that she went to, but I didn't get a chance to read her blog post because, duh, house party, and I was going to read it the next day. I'm kinda bummed that I didn't get to dream read the blog post. It looked really cool from the brief glance I had at it.


May. 22nd, 2017 09:13 pm
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This month has been almost a complete wash in terms of sewing. I've been reading pretty much all the time that I'm not eating, sleeping, or out of the house. However, my exam is this Friday, so I will finally get some sewing time after that (well, after the follow-up oral exam on Monday). Things I am going to do the week after I finish this exam (ie. the time before I have to get into reading for the next one):
  • read something for fun, a friend published a post-apocalyptic novella recently that I am looking forward to reading
  • finish up my silk ballgown, which includes adding the last bit of lace and putting in closures and making the overskirt+sash
  • cook delicious food, I want to make pasta and smoke some brisket or something (I watch a lot of Food Network)
After that, I'll have to get started on my suffragette outfit. I think I may have actually finally settled on a plan? I may do the 1910-1911 Tub Frock in Waugh's Cut of Women's Clothes:

The waist measurement is pretty close to mine and the rest isn't fitted, so theoretically I could just whip it up without having to do a mock-up or a lot of fitting. It has an interesting cut, which would add visual interest for my plain solid green fabric. And I could have a violet bow at the neck with a white lace collar to do the suffragette colours. I want it to be a quick project because I really want to get to work on something else...

Namely, 18th century stays! Because I want to do that. I have ideas and plans and that is where my brain is right now. I want to use the pattern in the Kyoto Fashion book for these stays:

This got a little picture heavy )
Thoughts/questions that I am pondering and would be happy to hear from you about if you are so inclined:
  • Can I get away with not doing a mock-up of my suffragette dress?
  • Should I use canvas for a strength layer of my stays? I can get it here and not break the bank
  • What should I use for the lacing/cording in the front top half of the stays?
OK, back to studying. Gotta review some poetry. Ugh.
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Today was our big educational annual event where we set up stations and school groups come and learn about how things were done c.1815. We have a lot of people in the group who have farms. This means that today I showed up and there were:
  • 2 ducks
  • 3 chickens, one of which was about 5 weeks old
  • a big, furry 5 month old puppy, named Roy! (half Great Pyrenees, which is why he was so big)
  • a little black LAMB-Y!!! OMG SO adorable!
So I had to work and stuff doing demonstrations on kids' clothing and dressing up volunteer kids in shirts and shortgowns and such. But during lulls and afterwards I spent a LOT of time petting the puppy and the lamby. :D


Apr. 27th, 2017 02:23 pm
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Got all my neckline trim pleated and pinned. Whew! That took a long time, but I'm quite pleased with how it's looking. It's a tube of taffeta ironed flat with the lace sewn on one side and a line of stitching to fake a tiny hem on the other side. I was going to ruche the thing, but it ended up being a bit too stiff so I went with pleats instead, copied from this gown in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Here you can see the lace that was giving me so many fits. It's just slightly more ivory than the net. I'm totally over it now, though. I decided it looks fine and I was being silly.

Now I have to decide if I want to stitch down the pleats with one line of stitching down the middle or two parallel lines. What do you think?


Apr. 22nd, 2017 01:53 pm
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It snowed this morning! Ack! And not like just a few flakes that melted. The ground is well-dusted and it's cold enough that it'll be sticking around for a little while. Apparently it is expected that we will get some more snow too. I suppose I should be glad that it's just snow in April, rather than snow in May, which happens sometimes. I hope my seeds are OK. The peas should be fine, but I'm not so sure about the basil.
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I sewed on the silk piece in the middle today. I still need to add a frill of the silk under the net strips to finish off the neckline trim, but here are some pictures of the bodice so far. Plus, the dime buttons!

The net parts that look like they're pleated are actually strips that I've folded in half and sewn down by hand. It would have been faster to sew them by machine, but I had them all prepped before going out, so I took it with me to do handsewing while watching The Expanse with some friends. The top strips are narrower than the bottom one because a lot of the bottom one will be covered by the silk frill.

The inside. The strips are sewn down with a running stitch and all the seam allowances have been overcast by hand. The top and bottom edges were finished with a bias strip that I machined on then sewed down by hand on the inside.

And the buttons are dimes covered with a tiny circle of batting, a dime-sized circle of batting, a larger circle of Star Wars flannel, and, finally, an even larger circle of taffeta. The taffeta raw edge is turned under and a running stitch around the circumference gathers in the edge. Then I overcast all over the back of the button to pull the fabric really tightly over the dime and knotted off the thread at the back. I'll probably attach the buttons with a bit of a thread shank.

That's all for now! I decided to upload my pictures and post instead of cutting out the frill.

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My ballgown bodice is actually progressing, slowly but surely, with few hitches (so far *fingers crossed*). After dealing with the mock-up and it's misfortunes, I was able to get the silk taffeta layer and muslin lining cut out Saturday night. Sunday morning I sewed the pieces together and, heading off to a living history sewing day gathering, overcast the seam allowances. Today, I attached facings to the fronts, sewed the inner sleeve together (again taffeta lined with muslin, the outer sleeve will be gathered net), and cut out and attached the bias facings by machine. Tomorrow (or possibly tonight if I get lots of reading done in the evening), my plan is to cut out and assemble the net sleeve, gather it and attach it to the taffeta sleeve, machine sew the binding on the bottom edge, and attach the sleeve to the bodice. Tomorrow evening I'm heading over to a friend's to watch some episodes of a TV show (The Expanse season 2, if you're curious) and I can get the hand-sewing done on the, front facings, the bias facings, and the sleeve binding. After that, all that's left of bodice is the trim, the closures, and the tucker. I'm still waffling on what I want to do with the trim. I am considering box-pleated net with a bias band of taffeta in the centre on the sleeve bands and something like this (from the Museo del Traje) on the neckline, with the pleated net and some sort of flounce:

But I'm trying to decide if I want a little flounce with a bias strip, or to trim the flounce with lace, or to do a ruching, or what. I'm also thinking shoulder bows. I still have a few days before I need to decide, though.


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