theladyrebecca: (Default)
My 2016 Goals changed a few times over the course of the year, but this is what they were:

Navy blue swiss dot Regency - Done!
Black silk taffeta bustle ballgown - Done!
Child's Victorian Gown - Done!
Daniel Deronda Riding Habit - Still hasn't happened, and is no longer on my specific upcoming goals list.
1860s Fully Handsewn dress - Didn't even pick this up all year. Maybe someday, but probably not anytime soon.
Turquoise Silk Mid-19th c  Giant Ballgown - I kind of knew this was going to be a 2017 project, and sure enough, it will be.
Fur-trimmed bustle-era skating outfit - Coming up next; I've already started cutting pieces out.
Winter bustle gown - Almost done!
Super-secret Disney-related project - No longer super secret. This is the Snow White Designer Disney dress, and will be made for the CoCo pool party this year.

In June, I added an Elizabethan kirtle and Mary Poppins Jolly Holiday to the list, both of which I have since completed.


And here's picture proof of everything I made!

Click here for pictures )


I think that's everything. Overall, not a bad sewing year, though being unemployed for the first eight months of the year certainly helped in that, and as you can tell by my posts, my sewing has definitely slowed down since I started working in September! 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I had my limited class with Luca first thing on Saturday, The Boned Seams of Bodices. Such an informative class! I wish we had had more time, to fully finish our samples, but I think I got enough to be able to implement it all on my own. And I can't wait to order German plastic boning and actually start boning my bodices. I almost never do! And actually, the only other class I went to on Saturday was Luca's lecture on creating a Worth ballgown. I decided I wanted a break instead.

I wore my 1890s walking dress during the day. It's already very much feeling like a "this old thing" since I made it last Aug, and have already worn it a few times. I didn't even think to take a picture, but Vivien did! I hated my hair, though - I'm honestly not sure what happened there...


I also "this old thing"ed it for the gala, pulling out my black silk bustle gown I made earlier this year, though this time, I let down the train for a while, since CoCo'ers are the only people I trust around a train. :) And hey, it's nice knowing that a gown is going to fit, and not have any issues with hair etc, because I've done it before!



There was a great group of around 25 of us who walked over to Maggianos, and though the service was a little slower than normal this year, it is still a billion times better than eating the overpriced stuff they serve at the gala. We also had plenty of time to brainstorm what we wanted to do as a group project for next year! (Fair warning, I'm probably going to spam post about our Keira Knopely group a fair amount this year.) When we came back, we peeked in on the dancing and stuff, but mostly I just chatted, since as usual, I didn't like the music. Some year I'd really love to hear legit ball music, and have Regency dancing or waltzing or something for the majority of the dances. Pop music just doesn't make sense.

Anyway, my pics from dinner are all dark and blurry because my phone camera sucks, so instead of posting them here, feel free to follow this link to see them: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.954427004153&type=1&l=7e02c68062

There were so many gorgeous gowns this year! As I think I said before, though, I was really bad about taking pictures this year, so I only got a few of them. But I really feel like there's starting to be so many gorgeous costumes that I almost stop seeing half of them, because all the goregousness blends in together!

Anyway, we couldn't stay at the gala for too long, because we had to scoot out to the midnight release of the new Harry Potter play! It made for a very late night, but everyone at Barnes and Noble seemed to enjoy our costumes, and we did get our books!


theladyrebecca: (Default)
My bf and I went to the SITU Black and White ball on Saturday afternoon. It was... interesting. The dancing was almost nonexistant, which was quite disappointing, and the food was definitely lackluster. Still it was nice to dress up and see friends, like [livejournal.com profile] vanessa_lynne. I got lots of complements on my dress. I did my hair at home, which fit nicely in the car, and then got dressed at the ball.

Here are a few pictures! It doesn't look like a garbage bag anymore!





I'm really looking forward to wearing this in Port Townsend next month, when I actually get to dance!

It's done!

Feb. 16th, 2016 12:45 am
theladyrebecca: (Default)
The black silk ballgown is completely done! I'm quite pleased with it (except the aforementioned hem issue, but maybe I'll just wear flats). Yesterday, I added the trim to the shoulders, sewed the edges of the bertha back down inside the bodice, redid the hooks and eyes over the bust, re-bound the hem where I had taken in the darts, and made three more buttons. I sewed on one of the buttons this morning, moved the bars on the skirt waistband 1" tighter, and added black and white flowers to the side of the skirt (they're just pinned on, in case I change my mind later). I also decided to test out my hair for Saturday. I think I figured it out, since I like what I came up with.

The real issue now is going to be figuring out how to fit in my car. I'm honestly not sure it's going to work, and I think I might have to find out if I can get dressed at the event. I'm thinking without my corset on, I can hopefully at least fit my hair in the car, but I don't know how to fit that huge of a bustle and skirt in, especially combined with the hair. Plus, I have to drop my mom off at the airport on my way there, and I don't really want to get out and do goodbye hugs in that dress.

And with no further ado, some super crappy phone pics of everything! Don't worry, I'll make sure to get good ones at the ball on Saturday. It's so nice to get my gala dress out of the way early. ;)

theladyrebecca: (Default)
I decided I don't want lace on the bodice neckline. Still undecided about the flowers, but at this point, I don't have time to order any additional ones before the ball next weekend. I also realized I had some major issues with the bertha when I tried everything on on Friday. It was riding up, and I was trying to figure out why, and I realized that the middle of the bertha (lengthwise) was shorter around than the bodice, probaby by a good 1" on each side. So I had to rip out three of my hooks and eyes at the top, plus the stitches that held the ends of the bertha down on the inside of the bodice. That was on top of the fact that the bodice wound up somehow being too large around from under the bust to the hem, so I had to take in my darts farther. (The skirt is also somehow about .5-1" shorter than I'd prefer in the front, but there's nothing that can be done about that.) Then I ran out of time to do anything else this weekend, since I've had performances, an audition, and tax stuff to do. I also realized much of tomorrow is going to be spent cleaning my house, since my mom gets here on Tuesday. But at the same time, I also need to finish the bodice tomorrow, because I don't want to worry about having to work on it while my mom is here.

Oh, and I finally heard back from the seller of my missing tiara. She figures it got lost in transit. :( So I guess I won't be able to wear my new matching set for this ball. She's going to try resending it, so hopefully it will make it in time for the Victorian Festival in March, at least. 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I tried dyeing my vintage lace black today. At first it went purple, like the organza, so I added more dye and waited longer. Eventually it looked black! But by the time I rinsed it and dryed it, it was totally brown. *Sigh* So I went to Joanns to find actual black lace, and black flowers for the sides of the gown. Neither of which they had. :( I found a gathered 1.5" lace that didn't look totally modern (I was looking for 1" non-gathered), and no black flowers. I'm going to try everything on tomorrow and decide if I actually like the idea of the flowers or the lace (I found some flowers online that would get here in time, in case I need to order them). I did find grosgrain, though, which is good, since I've decided to add a waist stay. I'll do that first thing tomorrow. I did also sew on all my hooks and bars this morning. So basically, if I decide I don't want flowers or lace, it's pretty much done!

Oh, and we open Company tomorrow night! If you happen to be in the Seattle area, you should come see it: https://www.facebook.com/events/767774826699938/
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I'm pretty close to finishing the bodice. I added the rest of the fringe today, including in the back, and sewed down all the organza on top of the edges. I also sewed on all the buttons. I didn't get to test dyeing the lace, but will do that tomorrow. I also have 5 hooks/bars to add to the top of the bodice opening, under the bertha area. I'm debating about adding a couple bands of trim over the organza near the shoulders, to keep it in place. (Right now it's attached top and bottom, but nothing is really keeping the pleats in place.) I also might add a few pieces of boning in the CF and CB, depending on how it lays when I try it on again. I'm kind of hoping to finish it tomorrow. That would still give me a few days before my mom arrives next week to paint kitchen drawers, since I still haven't done that.

Oh, and also, it was brought to my attention that the script of the new Harry Potter play is going to be released as a book while we're at CoCo. Clearly, this means we all need to go get it at midnight, which I think is going to be after the gala (it says midnight July 31st, but I'm not sure if that means 30/31st or 31/1st). So the big question is, who has a car that will fit a ton of HP loving costumers? ;) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/what-to-read/jk-rowling-to-publish-new-harry-potter-book-with-the-cursed-chil/
theladyrebecca: (Default)
My bodice has two sleeves! Strangely, I wound up having to take in the inner sleeve on this one an inch as well. Clearly, something is happening in my outer-sleeve-sewing-process that is causing the outer sleeve to shrink (I have a feeling it's cinching in a bit when I zig-zag the trim onto it). But in any case, both sleeves are now attached to the bodice. I also finished making my covered buttons, did all my buttonholes, and marked my button placements. My goal tomorrow is to sew the fringe on, and attach all the buttons. And if I get time, to whip the organza down over the fringe as well.

I'm currently trying to decide whether to add fringe under the organza in the back of the bodice, too. The fashion plate has it, but I'm wondering if it really will just wind up being too much. Likewise, the fashion plate has flowers all over, too, but I'm not sure if I want them. And lace at the neckline, also. I think tomorrow I'm going to dye some weirdly stained vintage lace I have, and see how I feel about it once it's black. I haven't liked it so far, just holding the ivory up to the bodice, but maybe I'll change my mind.

I'm also getting really nervous, because the tiara that I bought last month still hasn't arrived, and is now past its delivery estimate. And of course, not only has the tracking never worked, but the seller is away till the 16th, and I'm supposed to be wearing it on the 20th! I have a different tiara, but not any in gold, and I got this in green and gold so that it and my new necklace (which arrived ages ago, naturally) would match.

Since I know how much you all love those terrible in-progress pictures I've been posting, here's another! ;)
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I haven't started on the other sleeve yet (because procrastination), but I have worked on a fair bit more of the bodice. I finished basting the bertha to the top of the bodice, and bound the neckline with the silk bias. I also sewed the fringe onto the left bodice front (since that's the one that already has the sleeve), and sewed the bottom of the bertha down to cover the top of the fringe. I'll have to wait to sew the rest of the fringe on until I put the sleeve in, because that fringe is pesky, and would just wind up catching itself in all my sleeve seams. But hopefully I'll get that sleeve done tomorrow. I also started making covered buttons for the front closure.

It's amazing how quickly my time disappears in the day, even though I'm not working right now. I spend an hour practicing clarinet, probably about an hour on chores/cleaning, sometimes (like today) a couple hours running errands, and 5-6 hrs (now that we're in tech) at rehearsal. I try not to spend too long on the computer, but I still feel like I never have enough time to sew. :(
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I finished the first sleeve, but I've otherwise been mostly working on the organza part, and doing the finishing on the bodice. I bound the lower edge of the bodice, and whipped the front edges back. I'm still trying to decide if I want to go with hooks and eyes all the way up and down the front with false buttons on top (other than under the bertha), or do actual functional buttons below the bertha. I also hand-hemmed the lower edge of the organza bertha. I took two pieces, cut the backs on an angle, sewed them together, hemmed them, gathered the edges/CB and pressed it all (so that it would get the sort of crinkly pleated look) and wrapped the excess in the front around to the inside of the bodice. Half of it has been sewn to the top of the bodice, and the other half is pinned. I also made bias tape from the silk, which I will be using tomorrow to bind the neckline. I'd also like to get the other sleeve done tomorrow, though I'm not looking forward to doing all that pleating again!

Sleevils

Feb. 6th, 2016 01:59 pm
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I started working on the sleeves for the ballgown yesterday, but now I have the sleevils. I have the outer sleeve of the silk, which will be gathered to the armseye, and is pleated around the bicep, with trim over where the pleats are sewn down (there's 1.5" of pleated flare at the bottom, because I cut it on the selvage). I cut cotton sateen fitted liner pieces to attach the outer sleeve to, but somehow, even though I constantly compared the pleats to the hem of the inner sleeve as I was pleating it, now that it's all sewn up and trimmed, it's 1" smaller than the inner sleeve hem. Gah! So now I have to figure out if a) my arm will fit in that smaller sleeve, and b) how I have to go back and take in the inner sleeve now that it's all hemmed. :( As if the pleating wasn't hard enough!

And on the other front, I think I figured out how I want to trim the bodice. I tried pleating the organza to soften it, and it looks sooo much better! (thanks [livejournal.com profile] chocolatepot and [livejournal.com profile] nuranar for your help!) I also cut down a sample of the fringe to 2" wide, and layered it under the bottom edge of the organza (which I will have to hem), and I like the look. I was trying to add additional trim below or above the organza, but I'm not sure I like the idea. I might try dyeing some vintage lace to go around the neckline, though, but I think I will need to bind the neckline before I make that decision. I'm trying to decide if I can/should bind the top of the organza into the binding of the neckline, since otherwise i'm not sure how to attach it. And I wanted to make binding out of the silk, but I'm not sure I have enough left that I can really get bias strips out of it. My pieces aren't very wide anymore! I might at least try to use the silk for the neckline - I'm not sure it's so important for the hem of the bodice.

So anyway, I'm going to have to try all this on again to figure out the sleeves. I wish I could put all the buttonholes in before I do that, but I also have to figure out how to handle the buttons/buttonholes in the bust area, with the organza on top. Part of me is almost tempted to do hooks and eyes with fake buttons, or for that area, no buttons at all, but I'm not sure they actually did that sort of thing for evening gowns...

Here's a weirdly crappy picture of my bodice trim layout:
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I finished cutting out all the bodice pieces last night, and I serged and sewed them all together today (though I still have to pin and sew the darts in one of the front pieces). I also dyed some of my silk organza, christening my new laundry sink. It took sooo much dye! I read that dyeing something black takes twice as much, but I think I went through about half a bottle for 30" of silk organza, and it wound up needing to soak for over an hour. I did get a nice black in the end, though.

Now I just have to figure out how to use the organza on the bodice. I had thought that a lot of those ruched bodice bust pieces were made of organza, but after playing with mine, I wonder if they were actually more commonly made out of silk netting? The organza seems so poofy. Any suggestions (since I'm not going to go out and spend money on silk net)? I'm still going back and forth about adding fringe, too. It's in the fashion plate, but it's practically under her bust (under whatever gathered part goes across the bust), and I feel like that's going to look weird. Plus my last bustle ballgown bodice has fringe, too. I think I'm going to need to spend a long time playing with trims tomorrow.

Oh, and the shoes I found on ebay for this dress arrived today. They're in terrible condition, which the seller negelected to disclose or put in her pictures in the listing. So now I have to attempt to get my money back. *Sigh* I don't think I want to try for other shoes, so it looks like I'll either be wearing my boots (which I either need to get resoled or purchase new ones), or my character shoes. 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I haven't gotten much sewing done yet today. I ripped apart the bodice mockup, and traced 6 of the 8 pieces onto the silk, using a very judicious layout. I want as much fabric as possible left to do the trimmings, though I think I'll actually have plenty at this point. I also went to Joanns and bought black cotton twill for the lining, and black dye. One of my trim ideas is to have ruched black organza over the bust, but I only have white in the stash, so I'm going to attempt to dye some black. I feel like this is going to get really messy really fast, but I guess I'll find that out tomorrow. I'm hoping to get all the bodice pieces cut out tonight before I go to bed, so I really better get off the computer, since I only have an hour till I should be doing that.

But first, a picture of the mockup, and of my cutting layout. :)

theladyrebecca: (Default)
My boyfriend was home from work today, so he agreed to take lots of pictures of me in my new Regency stuff! Unfortunately, the sun was really coming from the wrong angle for good shots with nothing modern in the background (we did them all in my backyard), but we managed to get a few good ones!

A bunch of pictures under the cut! )

My bf was also good enough to help me fit the back of my bustle gown bodice mockup. I took in several seams, but I only had to recut the side back pieces - everything else fit! So now I have a working pattern with no changes that need to be made. I just hope that the final fits as well as this one. I'll start with cutting that one out tomorrow. 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Not much sewing accomplished today, though I did cut out a mockup for the bustle gown bodice. I'm kicking myself for not making a pattern off the cream and green one when I was making it. And I honestly have no idea why I didn't - I have one of the mockups from it, but there were still pins in it, plus other markings to increase in various places (mostly neckline and armseye). I'm changing the neckline and the back/peplum in this one, but it still would have been good to have a starting point that I knew fit right! I guess I'll find out tomorrow just how far I was off. It definitely looks super crappy on Antoinette, but then again, pretty much all bodices do. 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I think I'm going to stick with the shape of bonnet that I posted yesterday, but it looks like the project is going to be on hold anyway. I'm sick of working with the crappy Joanns buckram, and really want to buy actual buckram for this and future hats. However, there are apparently no local sources for buckram, meaning I have to order it. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] madamekat, I found a place that sells it quite cheaply, but the shipping costs as much as the buckram, so 5 yds would still come to $50. Hats by Leko, which a lot of people recommended, has a $60 minimum, so that's out. I'm waiting to hear back from Judith M Millinery about what the shipping charge will be, though their buckram is twice as expensive as the first place, so I doubt I'll go with it. I also found buckram on voguefabrics that seems promising (esp since they have $6 flat rate shipping), but there's no way to tell how heavy it is... So I feel kind of stuck. Without money coming in right now, I can't just go drop $50 on a hat. And it's either that or make do with the stupid Joanns stuff that crumples even if you put two layers together. *Sigh*

So it looks like I have no choice but to work on the ballgown bodice. It's honestly what I should be doing right now anyway, but I had been kind of looking forward to making a quick and pretty hat to finish off the Regency dress. I'm hoping to mostly use the same pattern as my cream and green bustle bodice I made in the fall. Part of me wants a button front, because that will make the two a little more different, but it seems pretty rare on ballgowns. So I might do a lace-up front again, since I don't want to have to mess with a back closure. I'm also hoping to make the neckline a little more off the shoulder, though of course, that means I have to deal with chemise showing, and less arm movement when dancing. Plus, the smaller sleeves would show more of my upper arms, which is definitely an area I prefer to have covered up. So who knows - maybe it will wind up being almost exactly the same. One thing I'm fairly sure on though, is that I don't want a pleated tail in back like that bodice has - I just want it to go to a nice sharp point, like on the fashion plate. I wish I could see the front of the dress in the plate, though. Then I wouldn't have to make all the rest of this up!

Anyway, that will have to wait till at least tomorrow afternoon. I had rehearsal tonight, and tomorrow morning I'm doing another costume portrait session, wearing my plaid 1890s this time.

Oh, and if anyone else has any buckram recommendations, please let me know! 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
The bustle skirt is done! Today, I added the trim (thank you all for your unanimous votes!), tacked down all the interior pleats at the hem (hopefully I removed all those hiding pins), and added six ties inside the skirt for bustling it. I have to admit, though - it looks soooo much better unbustled. I wish people knew how to not step on trains.

But in any case, I'm pleased with how it looks in person, if not in pictures. Nevertheless, here are a few pictures for you!

This is what it looks like bustled.


The front - with flash, and without


I also did a little prepping for the Port Townsend Victorian Festival today. I'll be participating in the fashion show this year, and have decided to wear the green and cream bustle gown, showing the day bodice first, then changing into the evening bodice. And I booked our hotel. I'll probably wear 1890s on Sunday, especially if we plan on visiting the fort again, since it's quite a sturdy dress. Not sure what I'll wear on Friday night yet. But I'm excited for it. And it's only two months away!

Now to decide what to make next. I need to do some studying for a possible commission, but other that that, I could either make the bodice for this skirt (deadline Feb 20th), or make the Regency navy swiss dot I've been planning for a while (deadline Feb 28th). Right now I'm leaning towards the Regency.
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I got all the fringe on. I used a zig-zag stitch, which you can see if you look closely. I haven't decided if it bothers me yet. That said, should I cover up the tops of my fringe with more of the velvet/braid trim that I have around the tabs in back?

Here's some pictures, both with and without flash, since the pictures suck so much. I'd love everyone's opinion!


The whole skirt


Close-up of what the trim would look like vs. a row without trim.
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I haven't sewn on the fringe yet, but my bf did hang up my hatbox shelves today, so I wanted to share. I'm so thankful for him! Now I'm able to get all my hatboxes out of all the closets, and I've even put a couple other things, like my violin, up there. Plus there's still room for more! We put them on 2 walls of the sewing room - over the Viking/serger table, and over the cutting table, about 9.5" down from the ceiling, so that it fits over the window and the doors. They're 15.75" deep, so there's plenty of room for my hatboxes! He also put up the TV the other day. We picked up a cable box for it yesterday, but we still need to actually run the cable over from the opposite wall. Besides that, all that's left is hanging the light fixture over the cutting table!

Here's a pic:



Also, this is that really bad pic I was talking about in my last post, of the other row of pleats I added to the front of the bustle skirt. And I realized I won't actually be done once the fringe is on. I still have to figure out how to bustle it up so that the train doesn't get in the way for dancing (and doesn't get stepped on my people who don't understand trains). I'll need it pulled up the first two times I wear it (for the SITU Black and White Ball and for the Port Townsend Victorian Festival), but I want to have it down for CoCo. Any tips?

theladyrebecca: (Default)
I did all my pleating of the 2nd row for the front of the skirt on Friday night, and attached it to the skirt. I didn't have to alter it too much to fit it to the curve, which was nice. Yesterday, I didn't have much time to work, and I spent what time I did have attempting to figure out the placement for my three rows of fringe. After giving up and going to bed early, because I couldn't focus, I finally figured it out this morning. Now, my bf is hanging the shelves up in the sewing room, and I'm waiting to get back in there to sew the fringe on. No (good) pics at this point, and I probably won't be able to sew it on till tonight. That's my goal! And once that's on, I think the skirt is finished!

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