theladyrebecca: (Default)
I spent all day today sewing - in fact, it's the first day I haven't had to leave the house in a really long time, which was wonderful. I worked on the trimming of the ballgown skirt all day, and naturally, it took way longer than I thought. But it's basically done - the only thing it's lacking is narrow velvet ribbon going down the center of the ruched net trim. I clearly didn't think that one out ahead of time, but it is now on order, and should be here by next Monday. I also probably ought to sew together all the joins in my organza and my lace, since I haven't done that yet. 

It's trimmed with three rows of 5" wide gathered strips of dyed turquoise silk organza, layered with embroidered net lace from Joanns, and above that is a row of gathered net (very soft Casa collection stuff from Joanns). The net lace definitely looks bolder than I'd like (and looks even bolder in the pictures than in real life), but I'm sure once everything else has trim, it won't feel so garish. I have to admit, there's a little bit of regret adding the trim, since it was such an eye-catching color just plain. But I'm determined to replicate the portrait. 

Anyway, I thought it would be simple, but 1) my ruffler foot broke, and I spent an hour calling around to see if anyone local sold them (no), and then trying to fix it (which I did!); then 2) I didn't have enough organza already dyed and cut into strips, so I had to cut two additional strips, which then didn't have a selvage edge like the others, dye them, put a tiny narrow hem on them, and then repeat all the steps I had already already done with gathering and attaching all the rest of the organza; and 3) I likewise prepped 5 strips of the ruched net, and wound up needing six.

So I'm pretty sure I worked from about noon-10:45, with many two 1-hour breaks... My back is really sore from all that sewing now, but then again, I won't have another chance to sew till Friday, so I guess it makes up for it. 

Here's a couple pics:

During one of my breaks, I also was playing around with what to wear when at CoCo. If I'm able to finish all this trimming by mid-June, then I think will actually have time for my burgundy Elizabeth Swann PotC dress for Keira Knopely. And assuming that I do make that one, this is my line-up:
Thursday Pool Party - Designer Disney Snow White (still need to make the cape)
Friday Day - Mary Poppins, since it will be easy to teach in and to attend a dance class (need to fix boning in the waist cincher, and possibly some skirt appliques)
Friday Night - Keira Knopely (haven't even bought the fabric yet)
Saturday Day - Either the pelisse or the skating bustle
Saturday Gala - Giant turquoise ballgown of doom (needs train, bodice trimming, and Order-type accessories)
Sunday - Either the pelisse or the skating bustle 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
 I was determined to finish the pelisse last night. I only had about an hour to work on it during the day, but when I came home from seeing Sister Act last night, I went straight into the sewing room to finish. 

I did a machined hem, with the cotton batting inside the bottom inch. I did two rows of stitching higher on the hem, too, to represent where a second padded row should be, but since it's not actually padded, it doesn't really show up. Maybe that's something I'll change in the future, but I doubt it. I also added my tassel/button trim at the CB, inspired by the extant one.

And here it is:

theladyrebecca: (Default)
I got out of rehearsal early tonight, so I was able to finish all the closures on the pelisse. This means I just have the hem, buttons/buttonholes on the wrist straps, and sewing a few tassels onto the back of the belt. I'm hopeful that I can get at least a little of that done tomorrow, though I do have to work and go grocery shopping (finally), and I'm seeing a show tomorrow evening. 

The reason why I haven't had a chance to start the hem yet (besides work and rehearsal) is that I want to pad it like I've done the CF edge, the collar, and the sleeve bands. So I need to have the time to cut out the batting. There is a possibility, though, that in doing the padded hem, I might be able to just do the whole thing by machine, which would obviously be a total timesaver. I guess I'll find out tomorrow. 

I really want to be able to move on to trimming the turquoise gown this weekend. I have rehearsal in the morning/early afternoon, and then I'm ushering a show in the evening, but I should have a few hours later in the afternoon, and I have all of Sunday to sew. No sewing is going to happen Mon-Thurs, though, because I have tech rehearsals. 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I got about 3/4 of the hooks and eyes attached, of those that I already had. And I stitched closed the lower front of the pelisse. But unfortunately, that was all I had time for today. 

I'm hoping to be able to swing through Joanns on my way home tomorrow, but since I also have to go to the grocery store, that likely won't leave time for sewing. It's tempting to put both errands off till Friday, and come home and do my hem instead, since that's the last "big" part of the pelisse left. I just want to finish it and move on to trimming the turquoise gown!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Welp. Didn't finish the pelisse. I only had a few hours of sewing time today, and at least two of that was spent just on the belt, since I had to make all the piping for it as well. I did get all the facings tacked down as well, and I figured out where I want the hem. 

I also decided that I will sew the pelisse closed until just below the hip, and then use hooks and eyes for the top of the skirt and the bodice. I only have half as many as I need right now, so Wed, I'll be running to Joanns for the rest of those and for the buttons for the wrist straps, but hopefully I'll be able to sew the nine that I do have tomorrow. I also plan to close up the bottom front tomorrow. I doubt I'll get to the hem, since I only have about 45 mins between work and rehearsal tomorrow afternoon. 

Does anyone have any tips for getting old stitch lines out of silk taffeta, by the way? I had to redo my darts, since they came up way too high, and now I have stitch marks on the most prominent place on the pelisse. 

I don't have time to mess with Dreamwidth's images right now, but here's a link to a picture of it from yesterday on my instagram:

theladyrebecca: (Default)
The pelisse is nearing completion. I've worked on it a ton this weekend, and at this point, all I have left is the hem (or hem treatment, since I haven't decided if I'm going to do the puffed rows that are on my inspiration), stitching or tacking down the facings, making the belt, and finishing off the wrist bands with buttons and buttonholes. Hopefully I'll be able to do all that tomorrow, though I do also have to mow the lawn and hopefully take Lion to get his nails trimmed. 

Oh, and I also need to do the closures down the front, but I'm not quite sure what to do there. Were pelisses ever worn without a dress underneath? I'd really love to wear this with just a petticoat, since that is a) less to pack for CoCo, and b) less heat in Socal. Obviously, that means I would need closures all the way down the front. However, my inspiration pelisse has no visible closures. Would they have used hooks and eyes, and is there a good way to do that down the front of the skirt, where there won't be any tension? Or are there any other closure options anyone recommends?

Thanks for your advice!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I got my CoCo Limited classes last week, and now I'm trying to figure out if I really want to do all of them. I actually got four, plus the fabric district tour (which I always do, because it's easier to shop on Monday and head directly to LAX). 

I got Tailor's Canvas and Reticulous Circular Handbags, both of which I know I want to do. But I also got the 18th c Riding Habit class on Thurs, and the Combination Underwear class on Sun, both of which I'm not sure about. 

The Riding Habit class is really expensive ($60!). It would mean I'd have to rush up from Anaheim (the class is at 1pm) and not do any museums or shopping on the way. I'm not in love with the comfort of my 18th c stays, so fitting anything to them seems counter-productive. I also haven't done much 18th c lately, since I've found I love Victorian way more, and I'm not totally in love with the shape of that pattern (it looks a little boring to me). So basically, I think I'm not going to do it, unless anyone here thinks it's one I shouldn't miss?

The combinations class is a little less expensive ($40), but it is six hours long on Sunday. That means missing Cathy and Cynthia's corset binding class, though I think that's the only one I was really interested in during that period. However, it would also mean missing Sunday socializing! And I also hate wearing split-crotch drawers, so it seems like, why would I want to make combinations, anyway? So again, I think I might skip that, unless there's some reason I shouldn't... 

Any opinions?
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I used most of my brief time at home today quite wisely, and was able to cut out the mockup pieces for the bodice of the pelisse and sew them together. Mostly because I didn't actually have time to go grocery shopping, so that's been pushed to tomorrow. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that I'm not called to rehearsal tomorrow, but I likely won't find out till the morning. If I'm not, I should be able to try the pelisse on, and see if I have to make any adjustments. If it fits right, then I may do a mockup of the lower sleeve, mostly just to check length. And then I can cut it all out in my silk!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I wanted to start on the pelisse in the 1.5 hrs I had between work and rehearsal today, but first I had to put several hooks and eyes on skirts laying on my sewing table, then clear off the rest of the sewing table. Which naturally meant that after ironing the mockup fabric, I ran out of time. I have to go grocery shopping tomorrow afternoon, so there likely won't be time then either. But there's a possibility that I won't be called for rehearsal on Wed, which would be awesome, because then I could see a show a bunch of friends are in, and have a little time beforehand to sew. And this weekend I'll have a four-day weekend, so my goal is to sew for pretty much the entire time, and finish the whole pelisse. If I do, I think there's a chance I might get to the Elizabeth Swann dress before CoCo. 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I had an adventure in self-timed photography this morning, trying to get pictures of my new Snow White outfit, but I think I had a few that came out okay:

Now it's on to make a pattern-test pelisse, which I'm doing out of stash taffeta. Here's hoping it doesn't take too long!

theladyrebecca: (Default)
I got to sew today! This is the first weekday evening I've had free in over a month, and I was good and sewed for about 5 or so hours. So now my petticoat and skirt are basically done (I worked on the petticoat for a little last Friday, too). I still need to hem both of them, and add hooks and eyes at the waist, but that's hopefully it. Unless of course I need to add more oomph to the petticoat, which is entirely possible. It's all been a bit difficult to work on, because both my dog and my roommates cat have decided that they absolutely love petticoat netting. The cat in particular likes to crawl under the skirts on the dressform, and then I wind up finding rips in the netting. Grr. Anyway, here are some pictures, both of Snow White so far, and of my sewing buddies:

Now the real question is, since Joanns has for some reason decided to discontinue red matte satin, what am I going to do about the cape?!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
 I actually sewed today! I had a little time between work and rehearsal, so I patterned out my Snow White skirt. I was hoping to make it a circle skirt, but I didn't buy enough fabric for that, since it wasn't my original plan for some reason. So it's a 3/4 circle skirt instead. I serged all the edges, and sewed it together after rehearsal, then pinned it on the form and tried to figure out what shape of petticoat it needed. 

So far, nothing looks right - I tried hoops, and I tried a couple different configurations of the net petticoat and net ruffles I had already made, and it just wasn't working. So I think instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, I'm just going to combine two petticoats in a pattern I already own (views B and C on Simplicity 2006). The only problem is, I last made this pattern years ago, and I've lost all but the first page of the pattern directions. I know it should be relatively straight-forward (gather one tier to the next tier etc), but if someone has the pattern directions laying around, is there any chance you can send me a picture of View C's instructions, so I know in what order the layers go together?  

In any case, on Friday, I'm going to pick apart the ruffles and such that I had already made for the petticoat, and start making them to this pattern instead. I hope it works! I really want this project done. 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
 I totally fell off the posting bandwagon. I've been in tech all week for My Fair Lady, and have had no time for anything besides that and work until last night. But of course, yesterday we had a huge storm and Comcast was knocked out till late morning today. 

But anyway, because of tech I hadn't been sewing most of the time anyway. Last weekend, I cut out and assembled a second mockup of Snow White, which then also became the lining of the actual Snow White bodice, since it only needed very minor tweaks. I finished up the zipper and neckline and sleeve finishing today, so the Snow White bodice is done!

I don't know that I'll have any other sewing time this weekend, but I really need to get back to the petticoat, so that I can finally make the skirt, too. 

I'm definitely nervous about getting everything done for CoCo this year. Monday I start rehearsals for my next show after My Fair Lady, and I'm waiting to hear back about one that would fill in the time between that second show and CoCo. Usually, I don't have any shows after May, so this definitely makes things tight!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
My Snow White wig arrived! It's not as full as I was hoping, since the Designer Disney Snow White hair is very full, but I think it will work okay. 

Also, I realized I forgot to post about this weekend - I took part in a fashion show on Saturday afternoon, with some of the other ladies from the Puget Sound Historical Costumers Guild. It was entertainment during a tea hosted by the Kent Historical Society, so we were representing the years around the time when the house it was held in was built. I wore my old 1903 dress, and it made me realize that I really want to make an s-bend corset and a new outfit to go over it. You can definitely tell this is one of my older outfits (I made it in summer 2011, I think just before my first CoCo, and it is lot's of poly chiffon and obviously serged edges). 

theladyrebecca: (Default)
The mockup pretty much needed the changes I expected. I'm cutting a whole chunk out of the neckline, and bringing down the front sleeve seam about 4". I also made the sleeves too long, and too wide around the bicep, and I need to bring up the length of the midriff seam under the arm, since right now it's cutting me at my widest point. And I need to lengthen the midriff and back by about 5", since it's hitting exactly at my waist right now, and I need length to tuck it into the skirt. I think the back is fitting ok, but it's going to be really hard to tell until I put in a zipper. 

So anyway, pretty much every piece needs recutting, which I likely won't have time to do until Saturday afternoon, since I work every day this week, and have things (mostly rehearsal) every evening. Fingers crossed I can do it with only one more mockup!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
 I think I'm done with yardwork for at least a little while. I finally got the rest of the gutter guards put up around the back of the house, which should definitely help prevent them from getting clogged. I might do the front and sides eventually, but the giant tree in the back yard doesn't tend to blow it's leaves that far. I also finally raked up the leaves on my back patio, and broke up most of the sticks that had fallen in the yard from the last wind, so now my patio looks pretty! And after doing a whole bunch of weeding earlier in the week, I've decided to give up on curbing the dandelion population. It just feels completely pointless when my neighbor's yard across the street is covered in them. 

I also cut out my first mockup of the Snow White bodice. Even before putting it together, I'm fairly certain I'm going to have to change the seamline of the front sleeve piece and the bust - I think there's a good bit of fabric in the bust piece which should be part of the sleeve instead. I'm still going to put this one together anyway, though, since I'm sure there's other things that need tweaking, too. 

I was hoping to get the skirt started, too, but that definitely didn't happen. Hopefully I'll get some sewing done tomorrow evening, since it's the only evening I have free this week. 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Of course, in my head, Snow White was supposed to be a simple project. I had a few patterns that all had the basic bodice look I wanted, so I could just mock up one of those, make my alterations, and be done, right?


The main problem is, those patterns are all meant for halter-style bodices. Not only do I not want that, but I decided somewhere in my fiddling around with patterns process yesterday that I would be far more comfortable with sleeves, instead of sleeveless like the original. I still want to keep that great sweetheart neckline, though, so it seems like raglan sleeves would best do that.

But then the problem is, how do I connect raglan sleeves to a gathered-side-and-CF bust section? So that's where I am right now. I've taken pattern pieces from at least four different patterns and pinned them together on my dress form. I'm trying to combine three bust pieces right now, in the hopes of melding them all together and redrawing to give me the shape I want. Something tells me this is going to require a whole bunch of mockups...

Also, wow, this is a ridiculous amount of hoops to jump through to post pics. If Dreamwidth doesn't figure out something better soon, I'm sticking to LJ. 

theladyrebecca: (Default)
Port Townsend was lovely. I got up there about 3:30 on Friday, and met up with Val at the hotel. We went out to the antique stores in our muggle-wear, and though I was tempted by a ton, I was good and only bought a $5 vintage white eyelet apron. Then I changed into my skating dress, and we joined Mara for dinner.

Saturday, I wore my green wool winter dress. Val and I joined [ profile] vanessa_lynne and her husband to walk around town for a bit before tea, meeting up with Mara partway through. After tea, I visited the Jefferson County Museum, and then took part in the fashion show along with the other ladies (and a few gents). I changed for the ball, and we all went out to a tasty dinner before heading to the ball. The dancing was fun, and Mara made a good partner. We also met a couple other local ladies in beautiful dresses who we have hopefully now recruited to come to our events. It's always nice to meet well-dressed people!

On Sunday, I wore my skating outfit again, and Val and I took a tour of some of the historic buildings downtown. Honestly, visiting the Hastings building may have been the highlight of the weekend. It was built in 1889 as an office building, and was used for housing during WWII. Since then, the upper floors have been mostly vacant, though the owners are hoping to eventually open it as a hotel. It was absolutely fascinating to see. I've included a couple pictures here, but most can be found in my facebook album.

theladyrebecca: (Default)
I wore the giant turquoise ballgown on Saturday night for the Victorian Festival ball in Port Townsend. Overall, it was a success, but it definitely wasn't perfect.

For one thing, I'm really glad I made a modesty panel - I don't know if my corset was not laced down enough or what, but I had about .5" gap in most of the lacing. And then the weirdest thing is that from the waist down, it couldn't lace closed at all. I think there was a good 2" open at the very bottom. I'm not sure why that is - I took the pattern from my old ballgown, which is worn over the same cage crinoline (though I was wearing it with one less petticoat). Anyway, I don't really think there's any way to fix that, even for version 2, but if anyone has any suggestions, please send them my way!

The only other weird thing was that the top of the bodice kept trying to ride down in front. I know it wasn't the waist shifting, and I had bones in the CF that went up to the bottom of the bust, but above that, the bodice wanted to scrunch down, which showed my chemise a little on top. Again, not sure how to fix that. The scrunching will be hidden by the bertha, and I do plan to add more bones in the seam allowances, but I don't think that will solve it riding down.

Other than that, though, I loved it. It was very comfortable, and despite the small sweep in back, it was just fine to dance in. I'm excited to see what all version 2 will hold, though I'm probably going to take a small break, and make Designer Disney Snow White before I go back to it.

Here's pics!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I got the turquoise dress to a wearable state (well, except that I just remembered that the skirt doesn't have hooks and eyes yet). I did most of it yesterday - I finished fixing the back, bound the bottom, and made sleeves. Then today I finished binding the top and added lace around the neckline, which should help to hide my chemise.

I have tried the bodice on (without the skirt), and it seems to work. And I've tried the skirt on (without the hoop). So honestly, the thing I'm most nervous about is a) the hem will be too long in front, or b) it will rain going to or from the ball, and I will not fit under an umbrella.

I'm packing in the morning before heading out to Port Townsend, so I should probably get to sleep.... I'm not sure I've ever felt this unprepared for an event before...

Teaser pick from yesterday, before the neckline was done:

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