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)
Thank you all for your advice! I've decided to treat the two layers as one. But what does that mean for the CF and CB pieces? I think I have to make a facing for these pieces, but do I make the facing out of the strength layer? That is what makes the most sense to me, but I don't want to accidentally make those pieces more bulky in the process.


Anyway, I started serging the corset pieces - I got the gussets done, but that's it. However, I did find the right blue cotton at my other Joanns for Princess Anna, so I made the tiny Anna dress today. I also worked on a Disney map puzzle that my bf and I got at Disneyland. It's hard to focus on sewing when I want to work on the puzzle!


theladyrebecca: (Default)
I spent tonight trying to catch up on all the LJ posts for the last several days while trying not to scream/vomit/cry because of this stupid election. I refuse to accept that Trump appears to have won. I doubt I'm going to be able to sleep, but if I can, I want to wake up and have it all be a terrible nightmare.

But I digress. I did actually do some sewing at the end of last week. I fixed my Mary Poppins skirt appliques, put together the mockup for my corset, (which I still need to try on), and I also did my commission for Princess Anna's winter hat. Tada!

Obviously, the second picture is unfinished, but it was the only one I took that showed the painting I did on the back.


Anyway, then I ran off to Disneyland for the weekend for Dapper Day. I don't have most of my pictures yet, (my phone is so terrible that for Sunday we mostly used my friend's phone to take pictures), so here's a teaser pic from when I met Mary Poppins:
I got to meet Mary Poppins today! #dapperday #marypoppins #marypoppinsmonday #disneybound #disneyinspired #disneyland #dapperday2016

I'll do a full post on Disney as soon as I get the pics, but seeing everyone all dressed up for Dapper Day was amazing. It was a lot of fun just people watching, and trying to guess some of the disney bounds I saw.

But now I'm back, and I really need to try on the corset mockup and get on all the stuff for my caroling group, so that I can go back to working on the corset, and eventually, the green bustle gown! Eventually, I'll need to go back and fix Mary Poppins, too, since I had two bones work their way out of the swiss waist while I was wearing it, and more appliques need to be sewn on in more places, but that can wait till early summer. Because I have so much sewing to do right now...
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I'm way behind on where I wanted to be in my sewing... Mostly because when I came home from running errands after work yesterday, I found myself with no energy, and did absolutely no sewing. This morning, I finished the last Anna motif, and then did all the connecting of the satin stitches. Then I had to make sure I removed all the stabilizer, basting threads, ends of threads, and markings, attempted to take some pictures (except my phone kept randomly shutting itself off, so I only got a few), and wound up being able to run it off to the post office right before it closed. So Anna is officially done and out of my hands!




I ushered for a show at a theatre tonight, so I had to head there after shipping off the skirt, but I did do a little sewing when I got home. The Mary Poppins swiss waist is about half assembled, and I made lots (hopefully all) of the piping I'll need for it. Attaching piping in satin seams is annoying. :(

Anyway, I'm determined to finish the swiss waist tomorrow, and then I'd like to gather the skirt layers, and possibly do a mockup for the bodice. I think I'm going to write up a daily schedule to try to stick to, since I'm quickly running out of time! 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I stitched out the second-to-last Anna motif! Just one more for tomorrow night, and then I'll probably save all the connecting bits for Friday, and ship it off on Saturday. I have to run satin stitches that connect the embroidered satin stitch sections for a ribbon-like effect that goes around the entire skirt, so that will probably take a fair bit of time.

I also put together my Mary Poppins swiss waist mockup. The first one was quite close, but needed a little taking in around the top, and needed a much more defined point in the front, and higher points on the top at the sides of the waist. I fixed those in my second mockup, which was great, and was able to use the second one as my pattern. I've cut out all my satin and my canvas pieces, so I'm hoping I'll make significant progress on it tomorrow. I still have to cut out and make all my piping, and do all my boning channels, so I doubt I'll finish tomorrow, but hopefully by Friday. 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I saw Miss Peregrine this evening, and was sorely disappointed. If you haven't read the books, you'll probably like it. If you have read the books, you'll become thoroughly distracted partway through because of the completely random veering off from the plot that the movie does. Like literally, there is 0% of the plot from the books starting a good 30 mins to the end of the movie. Probably the worst book to movie translation I've seen. It makes Goblet of Fire look like a word-for-word translation.

When I got home, I was good, and went right into the sewing room. I had picked up more yellow and blue embroidery thread on my way home from work today, so I was able to do another motif of Princess Anna (only two left!) While that was going, I painted another coat on the white shoes (and when that dried, I used the matte finisher), and I patterned and cut out the mockup for the Mary Poppins swiss waist. I'll put that together tomorrow. I really hope my math works and it fits! If it does, I don't think I should have a problem finishing it by Friday night, which would definitely be nice! 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I finished another motif today. Eight more to go!

I also got a custom Etsy order for a Nightmare Before Christmas skirt, so I went to Joanns and picked up that fabric (and buttons for my Jolly Holiday spats, and embroidery bobbin thread for Anna), cut out my pieces, and serged all the edges. I don't know if I'll have time to sew it up tomorrow, since I work and have a show, but if not then I'll finish it on Friday morning and send it out then.

And I painted my shoes for Jolly Holiday. I did two coats already, but I have a feeling I'm going to need to do a third, since the tan is still showing through the white paint a little bit.

I'm really hoping to be super productive on Friday. I want to start crossing things off my Jolly Holiday list! 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I'm feeling a bit better about my sewing progress now! Yesterday, I cut out the rest of the bodice interlining and silk bodice pieces, and assembled the whole bodice. Then I made a mockup of the bertha, and since it seemed fine when I pinned it on, I went ahead and cut it out of the silk. Of course, as I was cutting it out, I had an "oh crap" moment, when I realized that I hadn't taken into account the facing for the bertha, and there was no way I had enough of the ivory silk left for it.

Luckily, I have a dark cream shantung, that, while it is a few shades darker, should be fine for the facing unless my bertha flips way up. So I cut it out, and pinned the two in place, and started marking my triangle seam lines, and I found an amazingly easy way to measure them! I don't know if this is just something I had never learned, or if it's some new thing I stumbled upon, but I realized that if I took my 3" wide plastic quilting ruler, and positioned it so that the 2.5" mark was on my CF dot (which was .5" up from the edge of the bertha), and put both 3" marks on the edge of the fabric, I could go around the whole rounded bertha piece, always using a 2.5" mark as a placement, and getting perfectly measured 90-degree spaces between each triangle! It made it soooo much easier!

So anyway, I sewed and turned all my triangles, and serged the top edge, which means the bertha is ready for trimming. I'm going to sleep early tonight, so none will get done now, but I'm really hoping that by the time I get home, I can finish the two rows of trim on the bertha, the 5th row on the skirt, and the last overskirt tab. Because then I'll feel sooo relieved. Especially because I just signed up to take a 4-day, 6 hrs per day class on draping a Victorian bodice the week before I leave for CoCo. Maybe not the best decision, but the class signed up super fast last time, and it's only $15. I couldn't pass it up!

I also shipped off Anna today. I'll get the skirt back in a couple weeks, and finish working on it after CoCo. But here's a picture of everything altogether, since I won't be getting the top pieces back:
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Today, we went to the Pioneer Farm Museum in Eatonville. It was really cute! I think it would have been more fun if I was a kid, because it's very hands-on for kids - they get to dress up, and do all sorts of pioneer activities, like kneading dough, washing clothes, etc. They even can have their hair curled with antique curling irons! It was still a neat museum, and we got to see several old cabins dating from around the 1880s, and meet all the animals that live on the farm.

I did manage to get to a little sewing/crafting tonight, though. I painted my Fugawees to match the Victorian child dress. I rubbed them down with acetone, then did three coats of each color so that there would be minimal streaks, and then used a matte finish on top. Getting the exact shade of pink was challenging, but I made it in the end! (it required mixing a tiny bit of mauve with equal parts red and salmon, I think).




While I was doing that, my mom fixed (at least for now!) the tiara I ordered recently. She reglued sooo many rhinestones, but it still seems like every time it's touched, more fall out. So basically, it's pretty, but I highly doubt it will last. Still waiting for my refund to go through...

I also did another embroidery repeat on Anna, and came close to finishing the binding on that last overskirt tab. Ideally, I'd like to finish the tab, do another Anna repeat, and make a bodice mockup tomorrow, but since my mom is still here, I also have to make sure she's not sitting around bored while I'm sewing. Definitely feeling the crunch!

theladyrebecca: (Default)
I didn't get that much done today, since my mom and I went out exploring for most of the day. But I did manage to get another embroidery repeat done on the Anna skirt, and I'm nearly halfway done with the binding on the last overskirt tab. I also stretched out my Fugawees, though I might have to do a little more on the left boot, since it still feels significantly smaller. And I added a few items to my etsy shop.

Tomorrow we're going out to brunch, and then we're going to go visit the Pioneer Farm museum, but hopefully I'll have a good chunk of time to sew afterwards, so that I can maybe start the bodice mockup. Or I might put that off till Sunday and paint my boots instead. 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I'm starting to feel really stressed out about sewing time. I know I'll have 9 or 10 days after I get home from Tahoe to finish everything up before leaving for CoCo, but I still haven't even done a mockup for the bodice, and all this handwork is going sooo slowly.

For one thing, no sewing happened in the car on the way back up to WA. In some ways, it may have been for the best, because I realized tonight that somehow my math was way off when I created the overskirt tabs, and even 6 of them is a little over my waist size, let alone seven, which is what I had planned to make. Unfortunately, I already cut out the final tab, so that is a waist of the cream silk. I think I can reuse the pleated section, and possibly incorporate it into the bertha pleats, which would be good. Or I can attempt to iron it out, and possibly use it to make the butt bow? In any case, at least I didn't do the handwork on all seven. I did finish the fifth one tonight, but I guess now that means only one left to go!

I'm still slightly undecided on the butt bow, though I have definitely decided to make the waistband out of the cream colored silk and not the pink - the pink just breaks everything up way too much. I think I'll probably leave the butt bow to last, and see if I have enough fabric, and then if I do, I can decide if I like the way it looks. I'm also basically leaving the fifth row of zig zags around the hem of the skirt for last (or at least, last hand-sewing to do on the Tahoe trip). The only problem with leaving it to last is that the proportion of the length of the overskirt tabs looks a little off when I make the length to scale. Which of course makes me hesitant to make a waistband that joins the two. I am still debating on whether I want them on separat waistbands, though I realized I might have to do them separately if the skirt opening doesn't line up with a space between the tabs on the overskirt.

It is looking really cute, though, at least. But I really need to start on the bodice so that I feel a little less freaked about time. (everything is just pinned onto the form right now)



Speaking of time, I am also working on the embroidery for the Anna Frozen Fever skirt, now that I'm home. I'm almost done with the second repeat right now. The first one was a nightmare - halfway through the 33 minutes of yellow, when I was in the other room not paying attention, my bobbin decided to come out of the tension, and I had to unpick 13 of 20 petals, plus a satin stitch area. Ugh. But I did, and restitched, and now it is better. That came after the part where, during the same motif stitchout, my machine randomly turned itself off in the middle of embroidering, and I had to figure out exactly where I had positioned the design. Machines this fancy should not pull stunts like that. Positioning the second repeat sucked, but so far at least the stitching has gone much more smoothly! *knocks on wood* I'm hoping to get a minimum of four motifs done by the 5th - my client would like to use the skirt as is, and then send it back to me to finish later, but it would be pretty odd looking if I only had two motifs done!


My Fugawees arrived, too, but I realized that I must have used up all my leather preparer/deglazer on my last pair. It looks like I can use rubbing alcohol, or if that doesn't work, acetone (though apparently acetone is a fair bit harsher) to prep my shoes instead. Has anyone ever tried either of these? I don't want to pay more shipping to dharma trading, since I just purchased the paints from them.

Sorry, that was really long. I guess that's what happens when I don't post for a few days! 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I got a fair amount done today. I shipped off two etsy orders, basically selling out of all my Harry Potter fabric, then went to Joanns for more stabilizer and fabric to make into bias for Anna's hem. And my Joanns had just gotten in more (albeit different) Harry Potter fabric! So I bought all of one of them, and 5 yds of the other, both of which I'll put in my etsy shop when I'm back from CA.

When I got home, I went to work on my bows, and I finished all 14 of them. There's just something so happy about an army of bows. That said, I now only have 27" left, out of which I have to somehow get my bertha pleating and a large butt bow. And I'd love it if I could get two small bows for the sleeves, but I kind of think that's not going to happen. Oh, and in interesting Victorian child dress news, I wrote to the Boston MFA last night, asking if they had any images of the back of the dress, and got a super fast response back saying they don't, but the next time she's in the storage facility, she'll take pictures of it for me! She said it could be a few weeks, though, so hopefully it happens before I finish.



I also did a little more on the fourth row of the skirt.

And I hemmed Anna with the bias I made, and marked all the spots for the embroidery, which will hopefully make it much easier when I actually go to embroider next week!



My handsewing is now all packed and ready for the airport tomorrow. With any luck, I'll manage to finish it all before I make it back to Seattle next week. *Fingers crossed!*
theladyrebecca: (Default)
This was a busy weekend! On Friday, I spent a while dyeing the Anna skirt. I think I had it in the dye pot for over 1.25 hrs, but it did actually wind up taking enough dye, and it even stuck around after I rinsed it! (Thank goodness, since I used 1.5 bottles, and I was only dyeing the bottom 14" of the skirt!) I also did the first test motif of the embroidery - it worked! That said, I did wind up tweaking it a bit before I stitched another test out again today - I realized I didn't have a way to make up for the fact that it needed to be wider at the bottom than the top, because of the flare of the skirt. So to fix it, I angled the tulip, swinging the bottom out .5". The math appears to be working!

Here's my first test:


Then yesterday, I spent all day working at All's Faire. I wore my Tudor doublet gown, and felt a bit overdressed. I don't think anyone else there was wearing anything more than tunics or wenchy bodices. Good thing I was playing a noble! I brought a little handsewing to work on in between my scenes, and I wound up finishing the binding on one of my victorian child overskirt tabs, and starting the second row of zig zags. Today, I finished that second row, worked a little on the fourth row of zig zags on the skirt, and started on the bows. There are 14 bows total, two each of slightly different sizes in between every overskirt tab. So far I have two assembled, six partially assembled, and eight more to cut out. I am sooo nervous that I'm going to run out of fabric! I hope I have enough left for the butt bow!

I draped and pinned my progress so far onto Antoinette, and I'm pretty pleased with how it's looking!



Tomorrow I need to finish my bows (since they're machine sewn), go to Joanns for binding for the Anna skirt and more interfacing, hem Anna, and possibly start on an Anna embroidery or two. Oh, and ship another etsy sale, and pack for my trip. I just hope I have enough hand-sewing for the next week!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I pleated all the sections for my overskirt tabs, and stitched them in place. But instead of sewing them to the tabs, I decided it would be better to bind all the tab sections first, and then hand-sew the pleats in place afterwards. I did about 3/4 of one as practice. ;)

I also patterned and cut out my Anna skirt pieces. I was really hoping to make it a circle skirt, but even with 18 embroidery motifs, it only gives me about 130" around the skirt (or at least, 130" 9" up from the hem). So instead, it's in four gored pieces. I just hope the embroidery works! I finished digitizing it, but I'm just not positive if it's going to line up right as it goes around the curved hem. I think I'm going to have to do a large test piece with at least two motifs, which sucks, since each motif takes two hours to do and requires two hoopings. 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Whoops! I fell asleep early last night and forgot to post the Anna pictures. So here they are! (In the last pic you can also see the Elsa skirt hanging in the top right. Still not pleased with the dye job, but at least you can see it did make a little difference.)

I used a decorative stitch for the front opening and sleeves of the blouse, satin at the collar base, and my trust satin with the overlock foot for around the top of the collar. I learned that trick with the regular Anna! The neck opening closes with three small hooks and eyes.



Yesterday, I digitized half of the skirt motif. They're so large that I unfortunately can't fit the sunflower in one hoop (about 13.75"), so I have to do sunflower heads, and then the stem/tulip area separately. And there's 16 of each!

And because I fell asleep so early (11:30, which is about 3.5 hrs early for me, and my prime work time!) I also didn't get any of my pleats done. So the goal for today is to finish digitizing Anna, cut and assemble the skirt, so I can let the circle hang, and get all my overskirt pleats done and attached. We're coming in to vacation crunch time, and I need to prep for handsewing! 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I got really excited thinking I had finished the Anna blouse tonight, and then I realized I still need to sew on a few hooks and eyes at the neckline. But it's almost done! I'll finish that tomorrow morning, and then post some pictures.

I also finished the Elsa skirt. Still not in love with the dye job, but I think it's as good as this fabric is ever going to get.

Tomorrow I also hope to finish all my Victorian child overskirt pleats and attach them, and cut and iron my trim strips so that I have plenty of handsewing to do while I'm in CA next week. If I can get a bodice mockup made up, then even better! 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I shipped my etsy order, bought a giant pot for boil-dyeing at Walmart, bought fabric, zipper, and dye at Joanns for Anna and Elsa, went to the library, bank, and Walgreens, and finished the Anna bodice. I also redyed the skirt. I waited til it was fully dry before I rinsed it, and it seemed like not much dye ran off. It's drying now, so I won't know till the morning if it was actually a real success or not.

Once I finished the bodice, I also prepped my pleat strips for the Victorian child overskirt, and pleated up two of the seven tab sections. They're still pinned at this point, but I think I'm only going to be able to do one or two more sections before I'll have to sew them in place, so that I have enough pins to pleat the rest! Most of my silk pins are currently in the zigzags of the skirt - it's amazing how many pins this project requires.

Tomorrow I'm finishing the waistband on the Elsa skirt, and starting the Anna blouse. What's the chance it will go so smoothly that I could finish it tomorrow, too?

And some pictures, of course:


theladyrebecca: (Default)
Whoops, forgot to post yesterday!

I finished the vest yesterday! I also cut all my bodice pieces, and redid the embroidery for the front of the bodice. It's so much better now!



Today, I serged, assembled, and boned the bodice, and I sewed the binding on one side, and pinned the zipper in place. All I need to do is stitch the zipper in, and flip and sew the binding into place. So I should have it done by mid-day tomorrow, and then on to the blouse.



I also tried another attempt at dyeing the Elsa skirt today. It took dye better than it has before, but either it wasn't in the dye long enough, or it wasn't enough dye, or both, because although it looked pretty great when it was wet, it dried so much lighter. I'm going to try picking up two more bottles of dye tomorrow, and give it one last go. Otherwise my customer and I have just decided to call it good. At least I'm only hitting Joanns every other day? I also have to drop some fabric off at the post office tomorrow, since someone bought some of my Harry Potter fabric. Yay for more etsy sales!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I did a ton of embroidery today. I finished all of the vest embroidery, and it turned out amazing. My machine played nicely, everything lined up great, and the stitches were all digitized perfectly, too. I cut out the vest pieces, and serged them, but I have yet to actually assemble them.

The back, which consists of the big center piece, plus two side pieces (which lined up perfectly!)


The front, and how it looks from the side. Once it is assembled, I'll be connecting the yellow satin stitching over the seam, and adding more of the satin stitching up and around the back of the neckline.


I decided to do the bodice embroidery too, while i had my machine set up, instead of moving on to the vest assembly. Unfortunately, the stitch angle of two of the elements just didn't look right, so I re-digitized it to a prettier satin stitch. In doing so, though, it apparently changed the size of the elements just slightly, so when I tried to re-embroider them over the existing elements, despite lining everything up right, you could see some of the previous stitching. And not all of it wants to come out. So I think I'm going to re-embroider the bodice tomorrow. First, though, I want to make sure I have enough fabric, so I'm going to cut out all the rest of the bodice pieces before I make my final decision. If I picked the rest of the old stitches out from the lower right element, I don't think most people would even notice the problems, but I do, and I'm not in love. (The other one that I redid was the center of the butterfly.)

theladyrebecca: (Default)
Today was quite a day! I had an audition at 11:45 in Seattle, and a dentist appt also in Seattle at 2pm. Since I live almost an hour away, I decided to go to Starbucks and work on my Anna digitizing (I smartly brought my laptop). And by the time I left for the dentist, I had finished as much of the digitizing as I could do without my printer!

Then, of course, my dentist appt went super quickly, and I had a rehearsal at 7 in West Seattle. Since I had also brought my hand sewing with me, I decided to just hang out for 4.5 hours in West Seattle, instead of fight traffic both ways. So I worked on my skirt, and I think I wound up getting about 1/4 of the fourth row done.

When I finally got home after rehearsal, I finished all the digitizing. I'm really happy with how it looks, though I've realized I'm going to have to do this the old-fashioned way, and embroider on the fabric before cutting the pieces out, like an 18th c waistcoat. Otherwise it's going to be sooo hard to perfectly position the pieces in the hoop, even with my machine's camera. Each piece is almost 8x12, which is the size of my largest hoop, and it's going to require five hoopings total to complete the vest (and a 6th for the bodice). I just hope it all works out - the vest is 61481 stitches, and that doesn't include the parts that I'm just going to satin stitch with the sewing machine.

Here's a rough picture of my print-outs:

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