theladyrebecca: (Default)
I got a fair amount of sewing done over the weekend. At this point, the corset just needs its twill-tape boning channels put in, the bones cut and inserted, and the binding done. I swear, this corset looks so much messier than the one I made a few months ago, and I have no idea why. I think most of it is that for some reason, I really struggled with the gussets on this. I could not wrap my mind around how I did them before - I was using the method that [ profile] the_aristocat posted about a while ago from (I believe) De Graciuese, where the edges fold and are inclosed in the double seams, which is what I used for the 1870s corset, but this wound up being totally different somehow. Maybe I forgot how big a seam allowance I should have had? No idea...

So that took a lot longer than it probably should, but I did try it on, and it fits. I'm getting terrible wrinkles right now, and the bust gussets seem a little funky, but I'm hoping that's because I don't have the bones in yet.

I also worked on the skirt. I cut out all the panels in the silk, and got the back panels cut out in the organdy and flatlined. I'm hoping that on Wed between work and rehearsal, I can get the other panels flatlined, since I think that there may be some possibility that I'll finish or come close to finishing the corset at rehearsal tomorrow night. I was given permisison to bring my machine and work when I'm backstage, and today I finished doing the second seam on all the gussets, even though having to redo my hair a few times sucked up a bunch of my sewing time.

Ideally, by Friday night (which is opening for Anne Frank), I would like to have the corset finished and the base skirt finished, so that I can start on the bodice. I'm probably going to wait to put the trim on the skirt until I get the base of the bodice done, because even if they're unadorned, if I have base pieces, I can wear them to the Victorian festival ball on April 1st. 1.5 weeks!

I sewed!

Feb. 22nd, 2017 10:00 pm
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Though to be honest, it was only one seam. I dyed the organza for the underside of my train the other day, cut it yesterday, and sewed the two pieces together today. And I started to press it (I'm doing a flat-felled seam). But then I had to go to dance class and rehearsal. So yeah, things are moving super slowly around here. And my parents are coming tomorrow through Monday, so I highly doubt I'll be doing any sewing while they're here, though at the same time, I really want to get to a point where I have hand-sewing to do at rehearsal, because I have so much downtime playing Miep.

I have just about finished collecting all the supplies, though! I found a nice soft tulle for all the ruching, and I found a waayyy better lace than the one I originally had to settle on. Joanns is carrying a new lace that is just a touch ivory, and is embroidered lace on a mesh background, gathered, and 3.5" wide. I've picked up 20 yards already, so I think I only need about three more. Naturally, it's way more expensive than the cheap-looking lace, even after a 60% off coupon, but I know it's going to be worth it. Other than those three yards, I think all I need left is the corset busk and turquoise serger thread for some rolled hems. Oh, and to actually get to work!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
My organdy finally arrived today, so I can get back to cutting out the skirt tomorrow, which is good. And my ribbon arrived today, too, in the perfect shade of turquoise!

I take it no one had any ideas as to whether silk organza would work for the underside of my train, though?
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Oh, silk organza, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

1. You rip on the grain in both directions.
2. You dye to the perfect color in about 10 seconds.
3. You are crisp and beautiful
4. You wash easily and dry fast.
5. You are silk, but you are inexpensive!

Basically, other than fraying and attempting to cut anything other than straight lines, you might be my favorite.

So anyway, the three gathered tiers on my skirt are going to be silk organza. I have already dyed it, and I had just about enough yardage to be able to use selvage edges for all my hems. I might roll-hem the gathered side that I'm attaching to my skirt - I haven't decided yet if just putting the edge underneath the ruffle will protect it enough or not.

The problem, though, is that I can't get the ruched look I want with roll-hemmed (or probably any hem) organza. So I think maybe I need to use tulle? I need something very light, airy, and sheer, which can be significantly gathered, and doesn't need to be hemmed. This part does not need to be dyed, so that may make that part easier. Any suggestions?

But back to the silk organza. Does anyone have any idea if it will work for the underside of my train? Honestly, the only place I'll be able to let it down will probably be the CoCo red carpet. Because otherwise trains are just asking for a disaster.

Look how perfectly this dyed! Yep, that's why you can hardly see it!

Also, I blew up the corset pattern that [ profile] mala_14 shared to my post the other day, and printed it at a 3 pg x 3 pg scale, and I think it might work really close to perfectly. The bust gussets are enormous, and I'm a little worried it might be short waisted as it goes around the side of the body, but otherwise the measurements seem pretty darn good. So I'm planning to create a mockup with no alterations except the bust gussets, and see how that works. It's weird, but I'm actually kind of excited to make another corset now.


Feb. 12th, 2017 11:11 pm
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I'm so frustrated! The idye totally didn't work. I used two packets of dye. First, I tried dyeing it in the sink, and it was in there for probably a good 45 mins, but every time I tried to rinse off a corner, the color changed drastically. So I transferred the water from the sink to my large pot and added even more salt, and once the water got hot enough, the fabric was in there for another 30 mins or so, until it seemed like it was going darker than what I wanted. I could tell it was still rinsing out some, though, so I left it soaking in the sink for another 20+ mins with about 1.5-2 cups of vinegar mixed in. And when I rinsed it out, it seemed to keep the color! I didn't rinse it out 100%, but enough where it wasn't crazy running dye all over the place.

I didn't want to rinse it in the washing machine yet, so I just threw it straight into the dryer to see how it fared. And yet for some reason, it is now totally light again, even though the wet fabric was the color I wanted. Like, it's probably hardly darker than it was after the dylon. I seriously don't know what's going on with this fabric, but unless someone has some miracle idea that I could do with the pot of dye I saved from today, I'm done dyeing it. It's sooooo frustrating. Not only did I waste the $25-30 on the sateen, but I have now spent probably a good $20 on dye. This is ridiculous! I've never had this much trouble dyeing something - not even polyester! So I guess now I'm going to have to spend another $25 on plain cotton. At this rate, I could have splurged for silk for what I'm winding up spending on stupid cotton.

It also doesn't photograph well, since the cotton net is definitely not really this blue - it's actually just half a shade darker than the sateen. The sateen is to the left, and you can tell how pale it is compared to the silk, which is on the right.

Also, my ribbon order has been stuck in MD since at least Friday due to weather, and my organdy, which was supposed to arrive Saturday, has had no additional tracking information since Thursday in Chicago. I'm also not in love with the cotton net, which so far looks quite coarse. So maybe I should just scrap the idea of cotton entirely, and go with silk organza for the underside of the train and for all the things I was going to use the net for. Except then I have to figure out how to make ruching look nice, even with a rolled hem. Basically, this project hasn't even started, and it's already seeming like an expensive disaster...

Edited: I decided I wouldn't be able to go to sleep until I tested the silk organza in the now-only-lukewarm-dye-pot. I dipped in a test sample , swirled it around for about 10 seconds, rinsed it completely, and toweled it dry. It's perfect. The exact shade of turquoise I've been looking for the entire time. So I guess that's what I'm going to have to use. Because honestly, I tried ruching up a sample of the cotton net, and it looks horrible. It's so white and thick looking. I'm just going to have to figure out what to do for hems on the ruched part. Mostly, how much will the silk organza hate me if I don't hem it at all?

Oh, and is anyone interested in buying 6 yards of white and 4 yards of turquoise cotton net off me? 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I haven't been posting, because I haven't been sewing. But I certainly have been purchasing! I bought the 10 yards of organdy to line my skirt and use for the petticoat, 5 yards of cotton sateen for the underside of the train, most of the 23 or so yards of lace for the train and skirt (the first Joanns I went to didn't have quite enough, so I think I have about 8 yards more to pick up at another Joanns), 10 yds cotton net from ebay (thanks for the source, [ profile] mala_14!), and 60 yards of turquoise ribbon for all that stupid train trimming.

Have I mentioned that this is a ballgown of doom? It's certainly feeling that way on my wallet! Hopefully, other than figuring out my order medallions and brooch, this will be all I'll have to buy for this dress.

Speaking of which, does anyone have a good source for inexpensive reproduction order medals? I am looking to spend $20 or less on each, and I need one Order of Charles III, and one Order of the Starry Cross. Or, does anyone have any tips on making them somehow?

Anyway, I did attempt to dye the sateen for the train today, but unfortunately 1.5 bottles of dye, which looked fine before I washed the fabric, seemed to come right out. So I'm going to need to try that again, or I'll have to buy 5 yards of the turquoise kona cotton instead, which just doesn't look right, since it's not shiny.

In other news, my boyfriend and I broke up on Saturday, so I also haven't been wanting to sew, even though I could have all day today, since we had a snow day. But I've kind of just been wanting to clean the house (I have a potential roommate coming tomorrow), and mope around watching movies. On the plus side, between the breakup and tech week/opening, I have had almost no appetite at all, and I've lost about 3lbs since last Tuesday. Oh, and we had a fantastic opening weekend. It's such a fun show!

So anyway, that's my life right now, and I probably won't be doing much sewing or posting until some of those purchases arrive. Though I am looking for patterns for the 1860s corset, so maybe I'll actually decide to mock that up first instead.

And to reward you for actually reading all this jabbering, here's some snow pictures!


Feb. 3rd, 2017 12:20 pm
theladyrebecca: (Default)
This is the first day I've had to sew this week, so I started cutting out the skirt and train for the ballgown. I knew I was going to have to buy sateen for the train lining, which isn't a problem, since that's from Joanns. But then I went to go look for my organdy for the skirt lining, and I have almost none left. I thought I bought some this fall, but apparently I just looked at it, and never placed the order. *Sigh*

So now I'm going to have to wait until the organdy arrives to assemble the skirt. Frustrating. Unless, would it make sense to flatline the skirt with something else? I had thought to use the organdy because it's so lightweight, and will provide nice body, but on the other hand, it wrinkles like nobody's business, so maybe I shouldn't use it? And if not, what should I use? I worry that sateen is going to be too heavy. Any recommendations?
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I worked on some costuming stuff for my show over the weekend. My bf and I distressed six lab coats, attacking them with scissors, an exacto, a belt sander, coffee, eyeshadow, and mascara until they looked appropriately grimy. I also made 14 cotton shoe bows, turned a pair of old leggings into bike shorts, and made red sequin bows to pair with my crazy 1830s hairpiece, since I'll be using it for the show.

I'm still trying to figure out what to do with my hair in act 1. I bought some new braids to try out that match my current haircolor, but I can't decide whether I want two hanging loops, two braided buns with the rest of my hair down, or a crown braid, or a high braided bun, or some combination of those. It's supposed to be a casual hairstyle worn with pajamas, but also possibly a tiara. The baroness is a bit crazy, after all.

I'm also finally starting the giant turquoise ballgown of doom. I think I can get both the skirt and the train out of about 12.5 yds of the 39.5" wide silk, which leaves 2.5 yards left for the bodice, so that's plenty. However, I don't think that's enough to cut all the ribbon trim out of the actual fabric, which means I have to find turquoise ribbon to match. This is my first time doing a court train, too, and while I'm lining the skirt with cotton organdy, I have no idea what to line the train with. I don't have enough fabric to line the train with more of the silk, but I feel like cotton isn't nice enough. I don't suppose turquoise silk organza would work as a liner, right? I want whatever I use to also give the train a lot of body. And let's be honest - probably the only time this train will be allowed to touch the ground is for the CoCo red carpet and pictures. After all, it's about a yard of trailing on the ground. (and is that even enough?)

Just as a reminder, this is the dress:

2016 Goals

Jan. 1st, 2016 11:38 am
theladyrebecca: (Default)
So unfortunately, my goals really haven't changed much since the last time I wrote them down. I guess that's what happens when I sew basically nothing for the last 2+ months?

Navy blue swiss dot Regency (mid Feb possible deadline) - I already have the fabric, and had origainlly intended to make this for an event this weekend. Clearly, that didn't happen, and I'm not going to the event anyway, so I guess that works out. At this point, I'd like to have it finished by the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies movie event that [ profile] vanessa_lynne is hosting in Feb. This is my inspiration plate, and I'll be pairing it with the chemisette I made this summer. Hopefully the dress itself will be fairly simple.

Black silk taffeta bustle ballgown (mid March deadline) - I might make a day bodice too, if there's enough fabric. If I finish it in time, I'll be wearing this to the ball in Port Townsend in March. I had hoped to make a new corset before making this, but I think at this point, I'm out of time to do that, too. I'm basing it off of the turquoise dress in this plate:

Child's Victorian Gown (CoCo Meetup for next year. Care to join us?) I have the fabrics, and I'll be working on this one probably in late spring.

Daniel Deronda Riding Habit - I never got to this one last year, but I still have the fabric, and I'd still love to finish it for CoCo.

1860s Fully Handsewn dress - From the class I took in CoCo 2014. Maybe I'll actually finish it this year?

Turquoise Silk Mid-19th c  Giant Ballgown - I'm really excited to make this, even though it wouldn't be worn any earlier than March 2017. This will be my CoCo 2017 gala gown, and I already have 15 yds of silk!

Fur-trimmed bustle-era skating outfit -For the Little House party in Jan 2017.

Winter bustle gown - for Little House party in Jan 2017. Something along the lines of the one on the right:

Super-secret Disney-related project
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Okay, I know this is ridiculous early, but I think I have found my 2017 CoCo Gala gown. It's a painting of Isabel de Borbon y Borbon, by Vincente Palmaroli, from 1866.

Isn't it gorgeous?! I'll definitely need at least one additional ruffly petticoat to go over my cage, because that is a huge skirt. And that's got to be a 5 ft train, at least. I may be insane. I think besides the lace and the pleated ribbon (or is it pleated silk?) there is trim made out of gathered white organza with white ribbon over the center. I believe there is tightly gathered white organza underneath the blue pleated ribbon as well? (Otherwise it's white fur, but this dress seems a bit too springy for that.) And it looks like each of the lace ruffles on the skirt have a ruffle of turquoise organza underneath. The bertha seems so gauzy, but I think that may just be the painting style, because I don't feel like I've seen a lot of chiffon on berthas of this period. (Please let me know if you have!)

Here's a close-up detail of the bodice:

I wish there was a picture/painting out there of her with the train down - she's hiding so many details! Of course, I think the real question is, how many bazillion yards of silk taffeta am I going to need for this dress? Good think I'm planning two years in advance!

Edit: Yikes, after the world's quickest estimation, I think I need 13+ yards of fabric for this gown. If it's 60" wide, I think I could get away with 11 yds. And that's not including if I make all the pleated trim out of the actual fabric. 

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