So anyway, despite it being tech week, I had a little bit of time over the weekend to figure out the dimensions/pattern for the underskirt for the stripey bustle dress, and on Monday, I had enough time to cut out four of the pieces. I should be able to cut out the other three today, and start assembling them. I will cut out the ruffles once that's done - I'm hoping that maybe I'll be able to use selvage for the ruffle hems, but I'm not sure I have enough fabric for that. But I am loving the silk satin so far! I've never worked with silk satin before, and it is so soft and lovely, and it even smells good! I wish Home Fabrics had had some better colors, because I would have bought so much more of it.
Also, I am soooo looking forward to next week, when the show will be open and I will have free weeknights. I have free time for most of the following week, too, and then I start rehearsals for my next show, Annie, in which I will be playing Miss Hannigan. So in the meantime, I need to take advantage of my freedom, clean up the house (it's a disaster right now), sew, and actually relax!
Unlike normally, though, I'm really excited to get back into sewing! I have to make a quick skirt for an order, which I will do as soon as I get home today, and then I think I will jump into my next historical project.
I did lots of brainstorming and plotting while at CoCo, and while my plans are not all finalized yet, this is where I'm heading:
This is first up on my list. I got that mauve/burgundy striped silk from one of the Fabric Mart sales earlier this year, and found a matching mauve silk satin at Home Fabrics for the skirt.
Next will be Rose's yellow deck dress from Titanic. For anyone that wants to join, we are doing Titanic movie costumes for the Friday Social at CoCo next year. I found butter yellow silk taffeta at Home Fabrics. It's probably supposed to be a less stiff silk, but I will have to make do.
I also found a great mulitcolor plaid silk at Home Fabrics. It's not as great as the plaid in my inspiration, but I want to do an 1830s dress similar to this:
I've also fallen in love with this dress. I wound up with a bunch of navy wool at the CoCo Bargain Basement, so now I just need to find copious yards of velvet ribbon. I also want to make an s-bend corset before I make this.
And lastly, my gala dress for next year. I'm still trying to make my mind up on what exactly I'm doing. I had decided on the first dress below from when people were talking about historical Belle dresses. But then with the whole Royalty theme, I really want to make a dress that was actually worn by a royal (and the jewelry to match!) But of course, I bought fabric while still thinking of Belle. I have 12 yards of butter yellow silk taffeta (minus what the Titanic dress will use), and 7 yards of a golden silk taffeta (when I went to Home Fabrics on the Thurs before CoCo, they didn't have the goldenrod, which was what I really wanted, so I settled on the butter. Then they had the goldenrod on Monday, so naturally I had to get that). And I still want to do an 1890s dress like my original choice, so these are what I'm trying to choose from:
My original choice, and then Lady Beatrice Pole Carew, who is wearing a gown closest to my original choice. But it's awfully plain, and she's not wearing any bling!
I love this photo of Queen Marie of Romania, or the two of Queen Mary:
I also love the wedding dress of Princess Alexandra, and could do it in butter yellow, or (if I can figure out all the details) I also love this gown worn by Empress Alexandra Feodrovna
I'm just having such a hard time on the gala gown deliberation! I'd love any opinions on it that you all might have.
I also made the stupid mistake of leaving an uncapped highlighter on my sewing table last night, and it spent the night touching one of the ties on the vintage apron I'm wearing for Belle. I tried bleaching it this morning, which lightened it, but did not make it go away. I'm going to try oxyclean when I get home.
And I still need to pack some of my regular outfit stuff, for Disney, Thurs, and next Monday. Then the very last stuff I won't be able to pack till tomorrow morning. But I did most of it over the weekend, including driving over an hour to Everett, so that my roommate could bring down the bigger and less packable things for me. So glad she drives down!
My goal for this afternoon is to assemble the entire dress except the zipper (since I'm not going to Joanns till tomorrow). Hopefully I'll even do the hem. And I want to cut out all the organdy pieces for class. I'm thinking that if I cut all that out, I'll be better able to figure out how much muslin I need for all the class pieces, too. I don't think I have much (if any) muslin in the stash, so that will have to wait till after I hit Joanns as well. Then I can cut out the rest of the pieces on Saturday. And pack. And drop off all the stuff that's too big to pack to my roommate, who is driving down and luckily only lives a little over an hour away from me.
I tried on the turquoise gala gown with everything (except jewelry) yesterday for the first time, and I am so in love with it. Like, I was so happy, I felt like I could cry. I'm pretty sure that's what brides feel like. And somehow, it fit even better than when I wore it in Port Townsend. So anyway, I marked where the hooks and eyes on the train waist needed to go, and how the sash needed to go together. I think I may need to pin the sash to my dress at the shoulder so that I don't adjust it all the time, but at least it looks right. And I took a couple of pictures, which was very difficult since I don't at all fit in the mirror.
Once I took it off, I finished the waistband and the sash, which means all my CoCo sewing is done! That said, I also spent a little time last night figuring out what pattern I wanted to use (and what alterations I wanted to make to the pattern) for a new Belle-inspired dress made of Beauty and the Beast stained glass cotton to wear to Disney. So hopefully I will have time to throw that together. It should be relatively easy (famous last words).
I also finished my handout for the class I'm teaching. I still have to cut out all the pieces I'm providing, and buy the supplies I need for the classes I'm taking, too, which will hopefully happen tomorrow.
In the picture, the top one is the Order of the Starry Cross, which started as a cabochon backing for a pendant, an the bottom is the Order of Charles III, which was a blank gold medal.
I was hoping to be able to try on all the gala stuff, so that I could figure out the sash length and get the hooks and eyes on the train waist, but I ran out of time before rehearsal, so that will have to wait till Tuesday.
I also dug out my extant 1890s bodice with the huge sleeves, which I will be bringing to show my class, and washed the organdy so that I can cut out all the pieces for the students.
So here's a couple questions for the hivemind -
1) We're making an 1890s sleeve as part of my class. There are tons of 1890s sleeve shapes out there - should I do an 1890s upper sleeve puff, which would work either for an evening sleeve or paired with a lower sleeve, or should I do a leg-of-mutton sleeve? I'm leaning towards the former because they require less fabric.
2) Also, because there are so many sleeve shapes out there, I was thinking of providing drawings of a couple shapes in my handout, and not providing a huge paper pattern (especially since I will be doing all the fabric cutting ahead of time). Is this fairly normal for classes? I can't remember.
Elizabeth Swann is completely done. Unfortunately, I found out that no one else in the Keira Knopely group actually managed to make anything, so I'm bummed about that, and I guess I'll just be completely random at the Social. I'll probably also use it for my Halloween costume, though, and I am happy with how it turned out, so I guess not all is lost.
Anyway, I started making the chemise for it yesterday afternoon, using McCalls 6817 as a base, but narrowing the skirt by about 28" at the hem. I had to piece the shoulder strap, because I was literally 1.5" short of fabric. (Of course, after I put it on, I realized it was 1.5" too long at the hem. And I lived dangerously, and didn't make a mockup. I wound up taking it in quite a bit at the side seam, and a little at the CB, and I changed the shape of the princess seams over the bust, since I am wearing it over my stays. But other than that, it went together quite smoothly. I'm not doing sleeves (at least, not yet), because I don't want the extra heat, so I have left the armseyes unfinished for now. I added a drawstring at the neckline, and the front spiral laces with eyelets going down to just above the hip.
I also finished the hook and eye at the waist of the skirt, and yesterday, I finished all the frogs/buttons/pickups on the overgown. And last night, I did one coat on my shoes, then I did the other coat and the finisher today, and put in the buckles.
But that wasn't all I did today! I also made my earrings for the gala gown, and the headpiece. For the headpiece, I took a circle of millinery wire, wrapped it in white velvet ribbon, and then dyed it turquoise. Then I added a huge triple bow of the turquoise ribbon, and a lace bow with hanging tails. It needed more, though, and many of those headpieces seem to have a piece that runs across the top of the bun or curls, so I took the leftover pleated ribbon from the train, and it fit perfectly! I also dyed some ribbon millinery flowers, which I will either fix onto combs or barrettes, or I will just twist into my hair, since they are on wires.
Oh, and I tried on Mary Poppins, and despite the weight loss, I don't need to move any hooks and eyes. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing... I'm thinking about possibly wearing my skating bustle on Friday to teach, though, and doing Mary Poppins and the pelisse on Sat or Sun. I still haven't decided what to wear when, but I should probably get on that.
So at this point, I think this is what is left:
-Make order sash and paint order medals for gala gown
-Try on gala gown so that I can put hooks and eyes at waist of train
-Prep class materials for my class
-Buy supplies for the classes I'm taking
-Make a skirt or dress for Disney, if time
I think that's it, but I'm sure I'll find other things that need doing. However, I'm definitely feeling more relaxed now.
I don't have rehearsal tomorrow night, so I should be able to come home from work and go straight into the chemise. I'm free Friday, too, so maybe there's a chance I could do it all by Friday night? That would be nice!
I brought it to work with me again today, so maybe there's a chance I can finish the other half during lunch. I have a little over an hour between work and rehearsal tonight, so I'm hoping I can press the hem then, and bring it with me to hem at rehearsal, since I don't think I'll be doing too much while I'm there tonight. Of course, I also still have to finish mowing the front lawn, but I guess that will have to wait till Wed.
Anyway, the Elizabeth Swann gown is nearing completion. It's been going much slower than I hoped, because I forgot just how much hand-sewing is required of 17th century bodices. Anyway, at this point, I have to finish attaching the cartridge-pleated skirt to the bodice, and then I have to hem the skirt and the underskirt. When the frogs I ordered get here, those and a few decorative buttons will be added to the bodice as well.
Until they arrive, though, I'll be moving on to the chemise. I'm not worried about doing this one accurately to the movie, since a) I am wearing it over my stays and a regular chemise, since I didn't feel like boning the whole bodice, and b) the only parts of it that are going to show are possibly the neckline, a tiny strip of the bodice front that can be seen through the bodice h&e closure, and the skirt, since the other skirts are open down the front. So actually, I think I may save myself some time and some heat, and just make it sleeveless! I can always add the sleeves in later if I decide to.
That's the last full thing I have to make for CoCo. So for my own sanity, this is my CoCo To-do List over the next two weeks:
Elizabeth Swann - attach skirt to bodice, hem skirt and underskirt, make chemise, add frogs/buttons
Turquoise Gala Gown - try it on and add h&e to waist of train, make order sash and medals, figure out hair accessories, make earrings
Mary Poppins - try on and possibly move h&e at waist on waist cincher and skirt.
If I have time, I'd also like to make a new skirt or dress for Disneyland. And today, I have to make a skirt for an etsy order.
Then I realized I had no black lace, which I also needed for a bodice front layer, since the inside of the front part that hangs open appears to be the burgundy with lace over it. Luckily, Joanns was open today, so I headed off to my nearer Joanns, and then the farther Joanns as well, for black lace and the various trims I need for the bodice and skirt. Unfortunately, they didn't have any frogs that looked right, but I think I will be able to make those on my embroidery machine, since they don't really have to be functional.
Once I got home, I started assembling all the bodice pieces, and when they were all together, I moved on to trimming. At this point, the bodice needs the bias binding around the bottom to be turned and handsewn, and it needs sleeves. Once the sleeves are on, I can finish doing the trim that goes over the shoulder, and I can add the frogs (after I make them). Then it will be on to the skirt.
I have no idea if I'm called for rehearsal tomorrow or Thurs. I'm really hoping I'm not, because I'd love to at least knock the sleeves out this week.
Oh, and on Sunday, I went to an estate sale, and managed to snag nearly 6.5 yds of navy with red and white plaid worsted wool fabric. I got that, two wooden folding chairs for picnics, a large vintage hatbox, and some flowers to put on hats, all for about $12.50. I'm excited for the wool - I think it's going to be made into a bustle dress.
Yesterday, I tried on my first 17th c gown, which I made for my first CoCo gala in 2011, since I still have the pattern from it, and I'm hoping it will work as a base for Elizabeth Swann. It was a little large, but I think by taking in the bodice 2" and tweaking the neckline so that it's not to off-the-shoulder, the pattern will work. I haven't been able to work on it this weekend, because I was bitten by a ton of mosquitos on Friday night, and my foot has been hugely swollen, so I've been spending all my time at home icing it. Also, it's been insanely hot (today it got up to 99), and there is no ac anywhere here (including in my car), so other than the costuming event yesterday (which I will write about later) and my performances this weekend, I've been trying to do nothing.
Then today, I added the lace over the pressed hem, so that I would only have to sew it once. And my silk organza arrived, so I started on the box pleating for the neckline. I finished one row of box pleating, and it is pinned in place, waiting to be handsewn onto the bodice, which I hope to be able to accomplish tomorrow, in the hour I have between work and rehearsal (probably overambitious on that one, but I'm going to work on it at lunch at work, too). Then if I have enough energy when I get home from rehearsal, maybe I can convince myself to pleat up the other strip of organza, which goes between the top of the bertha and the bodice neckline. That way I can hopefully get that sewn on with the bertha on Friday, and this project will finally be finished!
Or at least, mostly finished, since I still have to finish the sash and orders. That's going to wait until after I get a good chunk of Elizabeth Swann done, though. Unfortunately, I doubt I'll really have time to start it this weekend. I have plans Friday afternoon as well as a performance in the evening, and on Saturday I'm hosting a costume event, which will end in time for me to get to that evening's performance. Then Sunday is our final show, and I think I'm called to rehearsal in the evening.
I was aiming to have the berthe go all the way to the edge of the bodice, and either meet edge to edge or overlap a tiny bit. But instead, it's basically going until just before the lacing. I have seen that on extant bodices, but it's not my favorite. But at the bottom of the CB of the berthe, it's about 4-5" too short to reach the edge. I doubt that releasing the excess in the front and pulling it to the back will really work (though it would certainly be nice if it did!).
So anyway, I'm going to attempt to lace myself into the bodice this evening, and see what the bertha looks like when the bodice is actually on me, and not on a dress form that it totally doesn't fit. I think if it doesn't fit, I'm going to open up the shoulder seams of the bertha and add additional sections in there, because I feel like adding them at the back would make it obvious I was too short.
In any case, this is clearly making this project take way longer than I wanted it to. Sigh.
Friday, I slept in, and decided instead of the bodice (because I wanted to go to Joanns and look at lace options), I would work on the Snow White cape. So I patterned the cape (because I'm incapable of making anything simple), and cut it out. Each of the two back pieces took up the entire open space on the bedroom floor. Then I sat down at my serger to put red thread on it, and discovered I didn't own red serger thread. Sigh. So I showered and got all ready for the day and headed to Joanns to look at lace and pick up the serger thread. Unfortunately, that meant that by the time I got back, I had just enough time to serge the four pieces before I had to head out to my performance, and when I got back, I was too tired to sew.
Saturday, I put the cape together and hemmed all the edges, since I wasn't lining it. I'm going to pin it closed with a sparkly brooch, so that meant the cape was done! So then I turned to repairing Mary Poppins - I cut new bones for the two open channels on the waist cincher, and spent the next hour or so reattaching all the applique edges that were peeling on the skirt, and attempting to get the weird dirt lines off the back (to no avail).
Then I turned to the ballgown bodice. I used the ruffler foot to gather up two organza strips for the sleeves, and sewed them on over the seam between the two sleeve poufs, and put a piece of the embroidered lace on top of that. I made the strips the same length all the way around, but I'm debating about shortening the length as it goes under the arm, since that part of the sleeve is shorter. Playing around with the bertha, I realized that I needed to make some sort of a base for the gathered sections to go on, so I draped the organza over the bodice on the form, and cut base pieces out of the organza. So far, I have taken three of these pieces and put the gathered/pressed organza sections on top of them. I'm basting them in place for now, and will finish the edges once I put the bertha pieces together.
At rehearsal tonight, I ripped off the old lace I had put around the neckline, sewed on bows to the sleeves, and hand-whipped closed the two broken channels on the Mary Poppins waist cincher. So Mary Poppins is officially done! I actually won't be able to finish the bodice right away anyway, because I realized that I wanted box pleated white silk organza around the neckline, instead of lace, and naturally, I've run out. Hopefully it will be here within a few days.
So anyway, I'm hoping to finish the last bertha panel tomorrow before rehearsal. Once those are together, and I make sure they are fitting right on the bodice, I can hem that and add the lace to the bottom, and whip the bertha on. Then all that will be left is the silk organza at the neckline! If I finish the bertha before the organza gets here, I'm moving on to Keira Knopely, which might actually happen, since I don't think I'm called to rehearsal every day this week.
But excuses aside, I did pleat the train to the waistband, and the waistband is close to completion. I'm going to flip it to the inside of the train and stitch it in place, and it needs hooks and eyes, but otherwise it's done. I also now have more than half of the box pleated trim sewn on, and all of it is pinned into place. I also had to whip the edges of where I pieced parts of the underside of the train. And last night (because I'm terrible at going to bed on time), after I posted, I stayed up and did some of the base painting of the details on the medals.
I'm not allowing myself to do any more tonight, since I got less than 6 hours of sleep last night, so I seriously better get a lot done tomorrow evening. What's the chance that I can finish the train and get a good chunk of the bodice trim done? (I'd say slim-to-none.)
On the sewing front, I did manage to dye the velvet ribbon - however, I had to pat it dry because rinsing it wanted to wash most of the color out. Since this train will hopefully never be around water anyway, it didn't seem like a big deal to me, so I went with it. I sewed down the ribbon to the box pleat ribbon, and started sewing that on. I have a little under a yard of it already sewn down at this point, and I have another few yards pinned into place (as much as I could do before running out of silk pins). It looks really great so far, but I have a feeling it may want to flip when I'm actually wearing the train down, which means I have to run a line of stitching towards the other side of the ribbon as well. Sigh. So much hand-sewing!
I also dyed more organza for the berthe, and painted the rest of my ribbon. I went with the actual Order of Charles III, which is one white stripe down the middle of the light blue moire ribbon, but part of me wishes I had copied the artist's artistic license in the portrait, where he made a middle stripe plus some narrow outer stripes. The thing is, I could find no evidence that those smaller stripes have ever been present on the Order of Charles III ribbon, so I should probably leave it as is, even though it's not as pretty.
Tomorrow I really hope I can get all the pleated ribbon sewn on, and the waistband added, or else I'm going to be even more behind.