I wasn't feeling the sewing part right when I got home, though, so I sort of vegged for the first 30-45 minutes of embroidering. But then I decided to work on the Anna bodice. It's now fully boned and flatlined, with the front assembled and the back pinned, ready to be sewn. Then it's just side & shoulder seams, zipper, and binding. I doubt I'll have it finished before Sunday, though, since I don't think I'll have any time to sew till then. I also really want to get a chunk of the blouse started on Sunday evening, and hopefully another 3-4 embroidery motifs.
Here's a pic of the current state of the skirt. By the way, each of those flowers is about 16" tall to the top of the light blue dot.
Luckily, what I've done so far amounts to about .35 of the total embroidery time, and since I have three other working chunks left, I'm not feeling quite as worried as I was. Of course, even after I finish the actual stitch-outs, I will have to connect the yellow swirl between each of the flowers. And if I remember correctly, the blouse has some embellishment stitches that need to be done on the embroidery machine, so I have to remember to leave time for that as well. (and now I'm worried again)
While I was embroidering last night, I also walked my dog, ate dinner, finished the second skirt for the etsy order and packed it up, and started in on the bodice. I'm not sure what I'm doing on the bodice is going to work. I'm cutting out the canvas lining pieces, adding some boning channels for German plastic boning, inserting the bones, and then flatlining that to the faux suede outer pieces. So far I've done the front and front-side pieces, and I have one of those seams pinned and ready to be sewn. I'm sure that putting the boning in there at this point is silly (and hopefully it's all in the right place!) but I didn't want any of the boning stitch lines to be on the suede fabric.
My next chunk of time for sewing isn't until Sunday evening, so don't expect any more updates from me until Monday!
Anyway, we had tech all last week, so there wasn't any time for me to sew until Friday, when I had about 3 hours before our opening night. And in those three hours, I remade the Anna skirt out of the new luxe cotton sateen stuff from Joanns. It's lovely fabric, and even after washing, it maintained its sheen (after ironing, of course). I was a bit surprised about how prone to fraying it is, though. Hopefully the side seams will hold up after serging. I know that the curves on the hem would not hold up even with serging. By the time I got the binding on the hem on Sunday morning, it had frayed almost to the stitch line of the serging. So if you use this fabric, please keep that in mind!
I had originally hoped to accomplish much more than just remaking the skirt on Friday, but our rehearsal ran very late the night before (I got home at 1am), and I decided sleep was more important. Of course, that did mean that all weekend I was kind of disappointed, thinking that there was no way that I would be able to finish the whole project by Halloween/Dapper Day.
Sunday morning before our matinee I woke up early enough to finish the hem binding, mark four embroidery placements on the skirt, and do the stem/leaf embroidery section of one motif. After the matinee on Sunday, I came straight home and walked right into the sewing room to start the next stem section. And I realized that I had meant to buy embroidery bobbin thread on the way home, because I had wound my last one that morning. Shoot! So I left my machine going and ran out to Joanns (and to get gas) with my fingers crossed. I made it back about 25 mins later, and it had gotten about 19 minutes through a 21 minute stitch-out before shredding the thread and stopping. So I call that a success. And it's good that I bought the thread, because I ran out of bobbin thread during the 3rd or 4th stem section.
By the end of the night yesterday, I had managed to do four stem/leaf sections (about 30 minutes per hooping), and two flower sections (about 60 minutes per hooping). That equals to about 1/6 of the total amount of embroidery, since there are 16 motifs total. By doing that much last night, I am now thinking that it may actually be possible for me to finish it by Halloween. I have this evening free, plus next Sunday evening, the evening of the 24th, and the daytime on the 26th. Plus maybe a stolen hour here or there between work and rehearsal if I can manage it, but everything else is taken up with Music Man performances, White Christmas rehearsals, and work. Please keep your fingers crossed for me!
Here's a pic of last night's progress:
While I was embroidering last night, I also walked my dog, ate dinner, and made a skirt for an etsy order. Today I will make a second skirt for that etsy order, and hopefully move back to the Anna bodice. I would really love to get that cut out and assembled tonight. Beyond that, I still have to do the Anna blouse, and I would like to do a blouse to go with the jumper and a tam to go with Dapper Merida. Not sure I'll achieve all that in the tiny amount of time I have left this month, though.
The Anna vest is completely done. I completed the "in-between" embroideries (connecting that yellow swirly line on the sides of the vest and around the back of the neck), cut out the lining, assembled everything, and bound all the edges yesterday.
I also fixed all my Anna bodice mockup issues, but when I went to cut it out on Saturday, I realized that a) I didn't have enough of the preferable fabric left over from the 2016 bodice, and b) the backup corduroy fabric I bought was stretch corduroy. So yesterday I ran out to the big Joanns, returned the corduroy, and found more of the original fabric (it's a faux-suede from the Home Dec dept, which is why I hadn't been able to find it at the smaller Joanns). Last night, I cut out the bodice front piece and completed the embroidery, but I still have to cut out the rest of the bodice and the lining. Assembly should hopefully be relatively easy, but I probably won't have time to do that till Friday because it's tech week.
I also bought some of that new cotton sateen (or whatever they're calling it) that Joanns recently started stocking, and I might completely rebuild the skirt. The reason I've been holding off on the embroidery is that I'm still not in love with the length I had to cut it to, and when I found out that I didn't make the original a circle skirt because it was too big around for the embroidery, that gave me a lot of pause, too! I'm hoping that I can figure out the embroidery math on Friday, and rebuild the skirt if necessary, using this new fabric. I'm swiftly running out of time to do the actual embroidery - it takes about 32 hours, all of my weekends are booked with Music Man performances, I'm working at least 1-2 of the three Fridays between now and Halloween, and because I am jumping right into my next show, I think I only have two weekday evenings free between now and Halloween. Also, now that I did the actual math on that, I might be screaming inside right now... Not sure how I'm going to get this done. Plus the Anna shirt and a blouse for the jumper.
By the way, I did wear the Disney jumper on Thursday. I got lots of complements, but didn't take very good pictures of it. I might add a bone in the right side seam, since that one seemed to want to slip a bit. The left was fine, probably because the zipper provided enough structure.
Unfortunately, this means I'm out of hand-sewing to do, and I won't have time to do any machine sewing till Friday. That's too bad, since we're running the show now, which means I actually do have time for some hand sewing while at rehearsal. Hopefully over the weekend I can produce more hand-sewing so that I can keep myself busy during tech rehearsals next week. Though to be honest, I don't know that I really have much other hand-sewing left to do on any of these projects!
Hopefully on Friday I will get the fit of the Anna bodice mockup right, and be able to cut that out and to the embroidery, plus maybe even assemble it. I'd also like to assemble the Anna vest. Then it's on to embroidering the Anna skirt and starting on the Anna blouse and the white vintage-style blouse to wear with the jumper. And make a plaid tam for Merida. That's everything that I have to do by Halloween and Dapper Day, so I have exactly four weeks left to finish all that!
Saturday, I decided to work on two projects at once. I had the embroidery going for the Anna vest, starting with the CB and working outwards from there, and while that was embroidering, I cut out all the taffeta pieces for my jumper and flat-lined and assembled all the skirt pieces. By the end of the day, the skirt was fully assembled (minus the straps, hem, and sewing down the binding at the waist), and all five hoopings of the vest embroidery were complete.
Sunday, I finished the straps and waist binding of the jumper and pressed and pinned the hem. I also patterned and mocked up the Anna bodice, but there's a whole bunch of alterations I will need to make before I can get that right. The main issue I'm facing right now is trying to get the bodice neckline not to gap above the bust point without having a CF seam, because there will be embroidery over the bust on the CF. I also managed to mow the front and back lawns, get probably about 60% of my outdoor Halloween decorations up, buy more embroidery thread (I was amazed I had enough of the ice blue to finish the vest embroidery), return shoes, go to rehearsal, return books to the library, get gas, and go to Walmart.
Anyway, today I am hoping to complete the hem on the Disney jumper and add a hook & eye at the waist, though I also want to go to the gym after work, and I have rehearsal tonight, so I'm not sure what all will actually get done. The other next steps will be to cut out the lining for the vest, assemble it, and bind the edges, and to work on the bodice mockup more so that I can start the embroidery on that. And then start on the blouse to wear with the Disney jumper, though I can work on that while doing embroidery.
It is really hard to sew (or eat dinner) with a kitten! In the past, I've had to watch Lion a bit when I'm cutting out sewing patterns, and Casper will sometimes try to jump onto my cutting table repeatedly, but Nymphadora runs all over the place! She's tried to climb on my sewing machines and both sergers, she's walked through pins in front of my sewing machine (which worries me, because I don't trust her around them), and has climbed over everything else on the sewing table as well. (Dinner involved her constantly trying to climb over my lap and stick her head in my food, mixed with standing on the back of the couch behind my head and attacking my earring.)
I'm hoping I can take a look at the pattern today and make any alterations it might need, and start cutting out the fabric. I'm also for sure doing laundry tonight, but I don't know how much actual sewing work I'll get done, since I have a short-ish rehearsal tonight and I have to give Lion a bath.
I am determined to complete a few alterations I'm doing for someone today, plus cut out at least the pattern (and hopefully the fabric) for the Disney-print jumper, and wash the replacement fabric for the Anna skirt hem binding this evening. Famous last words, though - I've been getting almost nothing done off my to-do list each day. I also need to stop at Joanns, pick up a prescription, and go to the gym. I'm very tempted to cancel my gym membership, though. I have gained weight, not lost it, it's almost impossible for me to go more than 3x per week (and I think I usually tend to go 2x, now that I have rehearsals), my next show will involve a lot more dancing, so I'll be getting my exercise in there, and the reason I picked this gym over the way cheaper one (besides the fact that it's 2 mins from my house) was for the pool and classes, both of which I rarely use.
Anyway, yesterday, instead of sewing, I decided to go help paint at the historic theatre that the theatre group I do a ton with (ManeStage) is moving into in a couple weeks. I painted pretty much the whole sink room of the ladies bathroom, though it did take me two hours to do it. The theatre is going to look so pretty!
My roommate and I adopted a kitten on Friday, so most of my weekend home time was spent with her. Her name is Nymphadora Tonks (Dora for short), and she is a bundle of energy. Casper, my roommate's 3-yr old male cat, took to her almost immediately, and I think he really enjoys his cat uncle role. Lion is not so sure about her. I think he's quite jealous, and also that her tinyness and energy scare him a little. Half the time, he's fine around her, but at other times, he growls when she comes near. Hopefully he'll settle down soon.
Anyway, I did manage to do some sewing yesterday. I had to clean the whole sewing room first, though, and make sure there were no pins on the floor. Casper and Lion are smart enough not to eat a pin, but I don't trust Nymphadora with them. After I cleaned, I finished the cuffs on Merida - I got too tired the other night, and figured it was better to leave them till when I was more alert. Then I was going to cut out the bias strips for Anna's skirt hem, until I realized there were weird streaks and spots all over the fabric! I will hopefully be able to exchange it after work, but that means I have to wash the new piece, so that might not happen tonight. Instead, I switched to Merida's hem, which wound up being an absolute pain to mark and pin. I did finally manage it, but by that time I ran out of the time to actually sew it. So now that's on today's to-do list, along with possibly cutting out the Disney print jumper. Otherwise, Merida is done, though I may make a tam to wear out of the plaid fabric.
I cut out the new sleeves (saving the pattern so I can use it later, of course), and they are now attached. They still need cuffs, but I just wanted to get them set in last night, so I'll save the cuffs for today. I decided to use the solid green bodice fabric for the cuffs - I was thinking about using the plaid of the skirt fabric, but I think it breaks up the line.
In all of my fitting from earlier, I also realized that the bodice was about 1.5" too long all the way around. So I removed that, and attached the skirt to the bodice (I did that before the final sleeve mockup, because I noticed that the weight of the skirt was affecting how the bodice was fitting). It turns out that still wasn't enough length removed, because once I attached them, it still seemed too low, so I did another seam 3/8" from the original 5/8" seam allowance. I think it's much better now.
While I was doing all that, I also dyed the Anna skirt (twice). The first time, I forgot to wet the skirt first, so when it dried, it had a terrible line at the top of the dye (it was dip-dyed). So I rinsed that all out, wet the fabric, and started again. I think it's just dark enough at the bottom now.
Today, I'm going to set the side zipper into Merida and do the cuffs. Then I'm going to cut out and make all the bias for the Anna hem and attach that. If there's time after that, I plan to start on the Anna embroidery and let the machine do that while I hand-hem the Merida skirt, which is the last thing I need to do on Merida. Not sure I'll manage all of that today, but here's hoping!
Tonight, I plan to dip dye the Anna skirt, and *hopefully* finish the sleeves on Merida. I have the evening free tonight, so I just need to keep focused and stay on track, and finish everything!
Here's an in-progress of Merida. I posted all the fitting issues pictures on Facebook, if you want to weigh in. I do have some suggestions to try already.
Because of the annoying sleevils, on Sunday night, I decided to switch to Anna instead. I got the skirt cut out, but that was another struggle. Joanns only had 3 yards of the only fabric that was at least close in color to what I was looking for, when I knew I needed more like 3.5-4. So unfortunately, I had to shorten it by about 3". It should still work, but it's not ideal. Luckily, it's still just barely long enough that it will cover the awesome Malco Modes petticoat I found on Sunday at Goodwill. And also luckily, the hem on this is bound, with double-fold bias, not turned up, so I don't lose any additional length there. The next step is to put the the zipper and waistband in, and then I can dip-dye the hem and add the bias. Then on to embroidery!
I believe I have Wed-Fri evenings free this week, plus most of Sunday, so I'm really hoping to get the skirt to the point of embroidery, and to finish Merida by the end of the weekend. Then I can move on to the Disney print jumper dress while the machine is embroidering on Anna.
That turned out to be good, since it meant I could start getting ready for the gala. And for once, I wasn't running late! I wore my new yellow silk 1890s gown for the gala. I'm mostly pleased with how it turned out, but there's something about the fit and/or plainness of the back of the bodice that bothers me. I also styled my hair with all the tiny curls on the top of my head, since that's how you always see ladies of that era, but it was such an unflattering look on me! I wish I hadn't done my hair like that, because I'm not a big fan of how my pictures came out. We made the super-long trek to Maggianos for dinner, probably for the last time, since you can no longer walk through the mall, which made it a very long and hot walk. I ubered back, and unfortunately lost one of my shoe rosettes somewhere between Maggianos and the Marriott lobby, which is a bummer. I'll have to remake it for the next time I want to wear my Titanic deck dress. After we got back, we just hung out in the CoCo lobby area, chatting with people and taking pictures. We got a fun picture of (almost) everyone who was wearing yellow, which was a lot of people!
Eventually, we went to sleep, but definitely not early enough! I think I wound up getting about 4.5 hours of sleep before waking up for breakfast and the Bargain Basement on Sunday. I didn't get that much this year, but boy, they wanted to charge me an arm and a leg. Those estimators are ridiculous. I did talk them down significantly, but still paid more than I should have at "bargain" prices. The one thing I was really happy that I got was an extant 1860s bodice, so that was really cool. But no fabrics this year, which was unusual. I did manage to snag a few Truly Victorian type patterns, though, and a couple trims/laces.
For breakfast, the Bargain Basement, and my first class, I didn't have time/energy to wear the bustle dress I had planned for Sunday, but luckily, I made a Victorian-ish dressing gown, so I wore that over my corset/bloomers/petticoat all morning, then changed into the dress after my class. It was a great class! It was making and setting Elizabethan ruffs, and the two teachers each had a different great method for setting them, so it was really nice to learn both. I was so inspired by the class that I had hoped to be able to make one as soon as I got home from CoCo, but didn't wind up having time before the Ren Faire the next weekend, so that is on hold. But at least I have the linen and the know-how now.
After class ended, I changed, had lunch, and spent some time socializing before taking my final class, which was Soutache: Mastering the Tangle. It was a really good class, but I doubt I'll really ever have the patience to apply it on a garment. It's really challenging. I did wind up going to the marketplace a few times over the weekend, too. I bought a whole ton of ribbon from the new ribbon vendor (such great prices!), a gorgeous early 1870s huge fashion plate in a frame (only $10!), and a busk, but totally forgot to go back to Richard the Thread the second day for millinery wire (they had run out by the time I got there the first day). So now I'll have to order that online. We ended the day at the pool (which is what we did Thursday night as well). It was so nice to get to spend so much time socializing this year!
As you've read about previously on here, Monday's shopping trip was really a let-down, and I purchased almost nothing. Luckily, I did make up for that by the trip down there last weekend, so hopefully I will be mostly set for the year now. And I think I might start selling the silks I'm not as happy with anymore. In any case, I need to start making everything so that I'll be ready for next year's CoCo!
So here's part one of a brief wrap-up, assuming I can remember everything.
I arrived Wednesday into Long Beach, met up with a few other ladies (Sarah, Britta, and Patricia), and we drove (in our super fancy Infiniti rental SUV) to the Queen Mary. We changed into our Titanic-era clothing, and spent a few hours there. We dined in the restaurant, then did a self-guided tour all around the ship, taking a ton of pictures as we went (so many pictures, that by the end of it, my phone had died!). It was awesome. We got a lot of stares and complements, of course, and our pictures turned out sooo good! I would love to do something like this again. Here are some pictures:
We changed out of our costumes and left Long Beach around 8:30, I think, stopping for groceries on our way up to Woodland Hills. The next day, DodiRose, Sarah, Britta, and I went off to Burbank to check out the vintage-ish shops in the area. We went to Unique Vintage and Besame, among others, before heading back to Woodland Hills to change for the checking in and the pool party. That evening, I wore my burgundy silk Regency dress. I was pleased with the dress, but I wish I had styled my hair differently, as I don't think the pictures of me look very flattering.
Friday morning, I took a limited class that they should not have allowed me to sign up for. I signed up for Hand Stitches in Millinery during mid-registration, but it overlapped by 30 mins with the class I was teaching (which I didn't notice until like 2 days before CoCo). Combined with the fact that that class was running waaay behind schedule, I learned about 2-3 stitches. It was a good class otherwise, though. I ran behind in the Making Royal Orders class I taught, too, because I forgot to factor in the time it would take to distribute materials (which was like 20 mins). That said, I saw a bunch of my students wearing their royal orders for the gala, and I got lots of good feedback on it, so I think it was still a success. I watched some of Jennifer's Dressing the Silhouette class before going to grab some lunch, before my shoot with quincy134 (it was so nice that she did that!) and I finished off the class portion of the day with Jenny-Rose and Abby's Pomatum or Hairspray class, which was really cool to watch. During the day, I wore my 1890s Ice Cream Parlour shirtwaist and wool skirt.
Friday evening was when our Titanic group decided to wear all of our costumes. I loved the turnout on this! All my past costume groups tended to fizzle out, but we had nearly 20 people in this group, and everyone looked wonderful. It did make it really difficult to round everyone up for photos, though, and I know we missed at least one or two people in the big group photo, which is really too bad. Some of us made movie reproductions, others opted for costumes of the era, and we even had one person dress as the iceberg! Naturally, we took a bunch of pictures. After a quick tour of the marketplace, several of us gathered for champagne, cupcakes, and chatter in our room - it was nice to host a small room party!
I'll do the rest of CoCo in another post, since this is already really picture heavy.
I probably won't have time to work on it tonight or tomorrow, but I should hopefully have a little time this weekend. I also want to get the Anna skirt cut out and assembled, though, because if I set my big machine up for embroidery, I can work on the embroidery at the same time as sewing Merida on the little machine.
I really want to get to sewing. This weekend, I was down in LA visiting my Grandpa for his 93rd birthday, so naturally, I also went to the fabric district. I was able to get some fabrics for historical sewing this year - two for a bustle-era gala gown (still trying to decide between natural form or earlier 1870s), and one for an exact reproduction of a natural form walking dress, though I'm not sure I'll have time to make it this year. Unfortunately, the prices have gone up even higher than they were in July. There is nothing in Home Fabrics now under $14.95/yd. Luxury has a few narrow stripes for $6 (one of which I purchased), a few others for around $10.25/yd (purchased one of those, too), and pretty much everything else is $12.95 yd. I sure hope the prices come down by next year!
These were two of the ones I purchased (for the gala gown). I was in a room with terrible lighting when I took the pics, but it is a brighter mauvy pink solid taffeta, along with the spring green/mauve satin/taffeta stripe. I was really tempted by some matching spring green solid silk satin, but that was $12.95/yd, so I skipped on that for now. If I have leftover of the bright pink left by next year, though, I'll probably get a bunch of the satin and do another outfit.
I actually got to do some touristy things in LA, too, which is unusual for trips to see family. We went to Angels Flight (a historic funicular railway), Philippe's (to get some historic french dip sandwiches), and Salt & Straw (because I'd heard it was the thing to do in LA). So that was all quite nice.
Here's a pic:
The main reason I worked on that on Saturday was because I couldn't start any of the Dapper stuff till after Sunday. I knew Joanns was having 60% off coupons and pattern sales on Sunday/Monday (though it turned out to be the wrong pattern company than what I needed), so I didn't want to buy my Merida fabric till then. So Sunday I bought my Merida fabrics and tossed them in the wash, and after cutting out the skirt pieces in flannel, I realized they needed way more body. So on Monday, I went back to Joanns, and bought poly taffeta to flatline the skirt with (which hopefully won't wind up being too heavy), and most of the fabrics I need for Anna Frozen Fever, which I've decided will be my Halloween costume/Sat of Dapper Day disneybound.
Or at least, I hope I bought most of them. I wanted 4 yards of turquoise matte satin to comfortably cut out the Anna circle skirt, but the closest they had was 3 yards of aqua matte satin. I'm hoping I can eek it out of that, because I'd really like to get started on all that embroidery. (Come to think of it, I should probably check to make sure I still have stabilizer!) Unfortunately, Joanns has literally no light or bright green casa fabrics, so I'm not sure what I'm going to do about the vest. They also had none of the fabrics that I need for the regular Anna-inspired bustle dress I'm making for the Disney bustle group for CoCo next year.
Anyway, I cut out and flat-lined 5 of the 6 Merida skirt panels, and sewed the front three together. I'm hoping I might have time to cut out the pockets and the last panel today and sew them up, but with having to match plaids, it's going much slower than a normal skirt!
So that leaves Friday and Saturday. I know I'm going to make a cotton print dress. I found a Villains print, but I also really like the print with the vintage Disney movie posters... And I'm not sure yet what style I want the print dress to be. I find that the allover villains print I already have is hard to wear on a regular basis because the print is just a lot. Whereas my Beauty and the Beast jumper dress is easier to wear. So I'm thinking maybe a high-waisted suspender skirt? Or maybe use it as a wide border and accent print on an otherwise solid dress?
For Saturday, I'm debating about wearing the 1890s ice cream parlour blouse with a dark and solid calf-length skirt and Victorian boots. The thing is, if it's warm, that high collar is probably going to bug the heck out of me... So my other thought is to do a princess Anna disneybound. And if I do Anna, I might do it double duty - for Dapper Day, do the full embroidered skirt (either regular or Frozen Fever), but pair it with a more representative top, and then use the skirt with the repro bodice/blouse/etc for Halloween. Because otherwise I'm not sure I can make all of this plus a Halloween costume by then!