theladyrebecca: (Default)
Apparently, I've been sewing and not posting. Whoops. 

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. 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I made a lot of progress on my Elizabeth Swann bodice today. I hadn't had a chance to try on the mockup before I went away for the weekend, so this morning I tried it on, made a few minor tweak (mostly to the straps), and took it apart to use as a pattern. And my tweaks were so minor, I was able to use my mockup for flatlining! So anyway, I cut out all the pieces in the faux dupioni, including two layers of it for the front, and I also cut the front out of the underskirt fabric (which meant that first, I had to check an approximate hem, and hack off the extra length so that I'd have fabric to cut it out of!). 

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. 


theladyrebecca: (Default)
Other than performances, work, and rehearsals, I've been mostly resting my swollen foot for the last few days, but I have managed to get a little sewing done. The Elizabeth Swann underskirt is complete except for the hem, and today, I cut and sewed together my first mockup for the bodice. Hopefully, I'll have time to try it on before rehearsal tomorrow. Fingers crossed that it works!

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. 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
 I finished attaching the bertha to the bodice on Friday morning. Initially, i thought I was done, but I realized I need to add some hooks and eyes where the bertha overlaps, and then I'll be done.

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. 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Little by little, I'm getting closer to finishing this bodice. Yesterday, I fixed the bertha by adding in two small pieces over the shoulders. I tried it on afterwards with the bertha pinned in place, and it seems to work. I also pressed the hem up yesterday, so that it would be easy to sew today. 

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. 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I finished the last bertha panel yesterday, sewed the four panels together, and pinned them along my neckline just to make sure everything was working. Except, it wasn't. I already knew that the bottom of the bertha at the CF was poufing out too much, so I pinned about 5" out of it. But then, of course, the bottom of the CB is way too small. Actually the CB even at the top is a little too short.

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. 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I completely finished the train on Thursday. I felt like I was working on it forever! So much hand-sewing. It took even longer than I had anticipated because I totally forgot about the eight bows that had to go on the train, too, so I made those and hand-sewed them all on as well. 



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. 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Another day of not meeting my goals. Besides the fact that I'm a slow hand-sewer anyway, I had to spend 1.5 hrs on the phone with Comcast, health and dental insurance people, and a couple dentists, so that certainly didn't help. And I should have known not to try to sew to a Tom Hanks movie I'd never seen. There were definitely parts of Sully where I was too caught up in the movie to sew. 

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.)
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Ugh. Didn't get nearly as much done today as I wanted to, mostly because it wound up not raining, so I mowed the front and back lawns and did some weeding. At least my yard looks better, and my mower lasted through almost all of both lawns before the battery died. And since my backyard is huge, and most of it was 2ft tall, I call that a success!

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. 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I added the narrow gathered net to the train today, and I put the velvet ribbon over the gathered net on the skirt. I realized that I don't want the velvet ribbon on top of the net on the train, because it makes too bold a stripe, and while that looks good on the skirt, it doesn't look right on the train. 

I also tried to test dyeing the ribbon, but I didn't feel like heating up my giant pot for a one inch piece of ribbon. So basically, the ribbon made it to light blue, but not turquoise. I guess I'll have to actually heat up the dye tomorrow to see if that helps - otherwise, the pleated ribbon isn't going to get the velvet ribbon addition, either. 

Besides that, I did a test painting section on the order ribbon - I painted about 20" of it. I'm not loving it so far, but I don't know how else to make the order ribbon, since I wasn't able to find striped moire ribbon anywhere. Maybe I'll like it more once the paint sets. Oh, and I silver-polished the medal I'm using as my faux Order of Charles III. It's not quite the right shape, since it doesn't have the middle section, so I'm debating about just leaving it silver, and not adding any of the detail that's in the actual medal. 

I also went grocery shopping and bought a lawn mower, which I tested out as soon as the battery made it to halfway. If it doesn't rain tomorrow, I'll hopefully be able to do the rest of the lawn (I ran out of battery cutting my 2ft long lawn), but so far I love it! It's the 40amp Kobalt cordless electric model, and it is really lightweight, and actually made it through my crazy long lawn! I have to admit, I'm actually a little excited to cut the rest of it!

Anyway, other than mowing the lawn, my goal for tomorrow is to get all the box pleated trim on the train and attach the train to some sort of waistband. Because then the train will be done!

theladyrebecca: (Default)
I did so much work on train trimming this weekend. Friday night I got home from opening night and stayed up till 1am so that I could finish the box pleated trim. Then Saturday I sewed from about 11am-4pm, and managed to get all of my net trim cut into strips and then either gathered or ruched, depending on the trim, and I gathered my other ribbon trim before heading off to another performance. When I got home, I sewed down half of the wide net trim. Luckily, I was able to binge-watch Orange is the New Black through all of this. 

Then today after the matinee, I came home and sewed the other half of the ruched net, then started putting the rest of the trims on. I got the wide lace added, and managed to sew down both sides of the ruched ribbon on top of the net. Unfortunately, I realized that the box pleated trim will have to be sewn on by hand, so that's going to be a huge time suck, but luckily, everything else is by machine. 

I'm hoping that tomorrow after work and grocery shopping, I'll be able to sew on the rest of the machine sewn trims (gathered net with narrow velvet ribbon on top), as well as sewing the velvet ribbon on the skirt. I also want to see if the velvet ribbon will take dye, because if so, I'm also going to add it down the center of the box pleat trim before I stitch that on. I would love to completely finish the train by the time I go to sleep on Tues, because that gives me the rest of the week to do the bodice trimming, make the Snow White cape, and maybe even make the orders that go on the turquoise dress. I want it done!

Anyway, here's a picture of the train as it looks now:



By the way, does a train from this era (I believe 1866) just get pleated up to a full waistband that goes underneath the bodice?

theladyrebecca: (Default)
I wound up having today off instead of tomorrow, but unfortunately, I had almost no time to sew. I was able to finish the body of the train between work and rehearsal the other day, so I spent today's sewing time pleating up the ribbon for the train trimming. At first, I started doing knife pleats, because I had tested box pleats and they didn't seem to give me what I wanted. But after 20+ finished inches of knife pleats, those weren't right either. So I fiddled around more, and realized that what I needed was very tiny box pleats, with about .25" pleated on each side of the box. Naturally, this means that I am feeding the ribbon into the sewing machine three stitches at a time - I have to make little estimated pinches and feed it under my foot, because I can't press it or it will ruin the effect. And since I need about 7.5-8 finished yards of this, this is going to take absolutely forever, which is not good. I managed to make 40" of it today. 

The rest of the day was spent finally getting my dog's nails trimmed, running to the library and Joanns (about $25 and one hour later, I walked out of there with 30 cards of buttons I probably didn't need - I should not be trusted around clearance sales), and then we had an invited dress for my show tonight. I'll probably have about 30 mins to sew tomorrow between work and opening night, so maybe I can get a bit more pleating done. Or at least rip out the part I pleated wrong! 

Oh, and my velvet ribbon came - it's a tiny bit narrower than I was hoping, but it will work fine. And I ordered my fabrics for the Elizabeth Swann dress and the Snow White cape. Now I just need to finish all the turquoise gala trimming in the next week, so that I can move on to the remaining projects... 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I spent the 30 mins I had free between work and rehearsal sewing! I didn't accomplish much, but I got the two taffeta panels for the train assembled, serged the top and bottom, and did the two side seams  to attach the organza to the taffeta. There won't be time to sew tomorrow, but maybe I'll have another 30 mins on Wed?


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: www.instagram.com/p/BUrIanxHKTN/

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?

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