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My house projects are temporarily on hold, because I can't find the paint for the cabinets. Also, I got a signed contract for a commission, so I have to be working on that. 

Naturally, though, all I really want to work on right now is my CoCo gala dress, because I figured out my design! I'm really excited about it. I'm going to do a natural form 1879 dress based off a fashion plate I've been eyeing for a while. I'm fairly certain I'm going to make it a princess dress, since that's what I originally thought the plate was, though [personal profile] sewtimely noticed there is actually a waist seam. In between the commission work, I'm going to play around with some patterning, and see what I like better. I have to find some long pieces I can use for mockup fabric, but I already have the green/pink satin/taffeta stripe, and the pink taffeta, both of which I bought in September at Luxury Fabrics in LA. I'm hoping to find some nice wide lace online, and I'm also trying to figure out what I might have to do for the understructure. 

Anyway, here is my version and the original plate:

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Port Townsend was lovely! I didn't wind up finishing 100%, but I got about 98.5% done, so I was still happy. I didn't make the belt, for example, but I made the bow that goes on the belt, so I just pinned that onto my skirt waistband. And I pinned my petticoat closed instead of having hooks and eyes, and wound up sewing on the buttons to the plaid dress in my hotel room on Saturday night. But everything else was done, and I even had bonnets/hats for both new looks! I'm also super pleased with how the Fairy Godmother dress came out, and I can't wait to wear it again. 

Here's a few bonus pictures. I'm still working on editing all the pictures, but they'll be up on Facebook eventually. 

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After my gig yesterday evening, I managed to come home and sew for the rest of the night. Actually, I stayed up way too late, and am regretting that today, but I wanted to get to a good stopping point, and apparently that meant sewing until midnight (and I wake up at 6:25). 

Anyway, I managed to knock off a fair amount of my list. I started with the day bodice sleeve trim. At this point, it's almost entirely done. One sleeve is 100% done. The other sleeve just needs the lace ruffle sewn in (it's already pinned in place). I also sewed down the lace trim at the back of the neckline. That means all I have left on the day bodice is the lace sleeve ruffle and making and attaching two bows! 

Then I moved on to the evening bodice. I added the rest of the hooks onto the front closure, so I just need to do bars there. And I figured out my trimming! I took the fine net that is over the sleeves and added a 4" wide ruched section to the bodice front, and then over that is a 2" wide strip that is heavily gathered down the middle. This strip goes all the way around the neckline, curving around to be over the 4" wide net at the bust. This has all been pinned in place, and I started sewing down the 4" strip this morning, though I still have a long way to go on it. Naturally, all of it has to be handsewn. Once that is all done, this bodice just needs a bow at the CF. 

Go to my instagram for a pic of the evening bodice. 

So here's my to-do list now, in the order that I plan to do it. I hope to accomplish at least the first four items today: 

  • Stitch down two layers of net trims to FG evening bodice
  • Stitch the lace to the one sleeve end in FG day bodice
  • Put 10 bars on the FG evening bodice closure
  • Finish the other 12 or so pleat edges on the FG skirt trim
  • Make and attach the 7 bows that go on FG. Plus two for my shoes if time and fabric allows
  • Bustle tapes for FG overskirt
  • Make a belt for FG
  • Add decorative buttons to the front of the plaid skirt
  • Decorate a hat to wear with the plaid bustle outfit
  • Re-decorate my old candy bustle hat to wear with FG day bodice
  • Try everything on and pack!

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Oof. This sleeve trim is so fiddly and time-consuming! It's not that it's hard, it's just that it takes forever. I got all the trim (minus the lace ruffle) completely sewn down on one sleeve. I also prepped all the rest of the half bows for the other sleeve, plus prepped, pleated, and pinned on the pleated section, and prepped (but not pinned) the ruffled part of the other sleeve. There are a total of 62 half bows on this dress, by the way, between the day bodice neckline, sleeves, and the front of the skirt. And each one is sewed down (by machine) inside the pleat, and then has the pleat hand-sewn in place over the half-bow. Have I mentioned I'm terribly slow at hand-sewing?

So anyway, my to-do list today is not much smaller than yesterday: 
  • Finish prepping and pinning the sleeve trim on the other sleeve, and stitch it all down
  • Add lace to sleeve ends
  • Finish the last 5 mins of stitching the lace on the FG day bodice neckline (already pinned in place)
  • Net trim around the neckline of the FG evening bodice
  • Finish the other 5 hooks and 10 bars on the FG evening bodice closure
  • Finish the other 12 or so pleat edges on the FG skirt trim
  • Bustle tapes for FG overskirt
  • Make a belt for FG
  • Make and attach the 7 bows that go on FG. Plus two for my shoes if time and fabric allows.
  • Make a hat to wear with the FG day bodice
  • Add decorative buttons to the front of the plaid skirt. And probably make a hat for that as well, come to think of it. 
  • Pray that the rain currently forecast for Friday, and especially for Saturday, goes away. FG is too big to fit under an umbrella! (It worked - the forecast is now predicting dry weather all weekend! *knock on wood*)
I have a gig tonight, which will eat out a couple hours of my sewing time, but I still hope to complete all the sleeve trim (including the lace), finish sewing the pleats on the skirt, and finish stitching the neckline lace on the day bodice tonight. 

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I've started in on all the hand-sewing I have to do on Fairy Godmother. So far, on the day bodice, I've sewn on all the neckline trim except the lace, plus I did all the hooks and bars. And I finished the sleeve binding on the evening bodice.

So here's my current to-do list for Port Townsend:
  • Sleeve trim on FG day bodice
  • Lace at neckline on FG day bodice
  • Net trim around neckline of FG evening bodice
  • Hooks and bars for closure of FG evening bodice
  • Stitch down pleat edges on FG skirt trim
  • Bustle tapes for FG overskirt
  • Bows! I need one for day bodice back, one fo day bodice front, three for the skirt, and one for the evening bodice front. 
  • Make a hat to go with the FG day bodice
  • Add decorative buttons to the front of the plaid skirt (redoing the front panel will have to wait, since I'm running out of time)

I also have to fix or remake my hairpiece for Anna Frozen Fever for Emerald City Comicon tomorrow, because I'm pretty sure my hair is lighter than that hairpiece right now, despite using the same hair dye. I also need to press my skirt. And Rupert Grint was supposed to be at the con tomorrow, but his panel has been moved to Sunday, so I may attend Sunday as well (for just his panel and possibly a photoshoot). If I do, I'm thinking about wearing Mary Poppins, but that needs a few repairs. Or I might do Elizabeth Swann, since that's ready to go - it's just a harder costume to wear and less recognizable. 
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I had a busy weekend, but a lot of that busy-ness was caused by sewing! Yay! 

My Thursday and Friday gigs went well. I think I am mostly over the bug from last week, but my throat still feels a little swollen, so hopefully today's gig will go well, too. 

I sewed a little bit before the show I went to on Thursday night, sewed some more on Friday before and after my gig, and sewed a tiny bit Saturday morning. Then I attended an 18th c Outlander themed ball! I wore my old courtgown, and it was much fun. I already have a few pictures up on instagram, but will do a ball post on here in the next couple days as well. I'm still editing all the pictures, and want to post them to facebook first, though. 

Then Sunday, I got to stay home all day! A lot of it was spent sewing, though I did also spend a couple hours on yard work. I now have most of the giant shrub gone, which I'm super proud of. I think 1-2 more yard waste bins will take care of what's left, other than the trunk/thick branches, which are too thick for me to get out on my own. 

I managed a little sewing after work, a callback, and an audition yesterday, too. 

So, what all did I do, sewing-wise? Well, for one thing, I figured out how to mostly put the pleats and half-bows on by machine! I sewed across each pleat, but under the fold of the pleat, so that the machine sewing is all hidden by the fold and the bow. Then I stitched the end of the half-bow down, again under the pleat fold. Now, I'm sewing just the fold of the pleat to the top of the half-bow by hand. All of the skirt and neckline machine sewing is complete, and I already did half the hand-sewing on the neckline pleats. So for now, that means 34 to go, plus however many are on the sleeves. I have not yet started the sleeve decoration on the day bodice at all. 

To be honest, that's most of what I did. I also cut/sewed/attached the sleeves on the evening bodice. They just need the other side of the sleeve hem binding hand-sewn. My hooks and bars finally arrived yesterday, so I need to put those on, too. So much hand-sewing! And I have to add the lace to the day bodice neckline, and some net trim to the neckline of the evening bodice. And put some bustle tapes inside the back skirt drape, so I don't pick up all the dirt in Port Townsend with my skirt. 

So basically, I'm getting close, but I have so much fiddly stuff left to do! There's pics on my instagram - I'm too lazy to put them into the post here. 

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Well, once again, I made it to bed on time, but not early. Oh well. Hopefully today's gig will go okay!

I pleated up the lower tier for the skirt, and I made all the little half-bows that go into each pleat.

So now I just need to figure out how to attach it. I'd really rather do it by machine, but obviously then there will be visible stitching, so I may have to do it by hand. :(  I also sewed the two layers of the top tier together, but have not yet turned/pressed/pleated it. I did get the bias on the ballgown neckline, though.

I don't think I'll really have sewing time tonight, because I'm seeing several friends in a show, but I'm hoping that I might have a little time tomorrow. I'd really love to have time to actually put my corset on and try out the sleeve mockup on the evening bodice. And probably redo it a whole bunch of times, as is so apt to happen when dealing with sleeve mockups. VicFest is only two weeks from tomorrow, and I'm really starting to feel the crunch!
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 I had a little bit of time Monday evening for sewing, and managed to machine sew the one side of the binding to both bodice hems, plus the day bodice neckline and and sleeves. I also hand-sewed some of the binding down - I honestly can't remember what all I did. I know I did the day bodice neckline, and I think I finished the day bodice hem and started the evening bodice hem? I guess I'll find out when I go to sew more today. I also picked up lace that I think will work for around the neckline and sleeves of the day bodice. Once all the binding it done, I'll be able to start on the pleated trim, and then add all the pleated bits and the lace, and it will be dandy! Ideally, I'd love to finish all the finishing and the trimming on at least the day bodice by the end of this weekend, though I may be getting ahead of myself on that... 

I also decided I'm sick of spending way too much money on buying hooks and bars from Joanns, so I ordered a great gross of silver size 2 hooksfrom Richard the Thread. I have four gross spoken for already, but if anyone wants to buy a gross from me, I'm selling them for about $10 + shipping. I'll know the exact price once I get the final invoice from Richard the Thread. Let me know if you want a gross or two from me. 

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Apparently, I never posted here about the really stupid mistake I made in my plaid bustle, which I naturally only found out about after it was all 99.9% finished. You've heard this story if you saw it on Facebook or Instagram, but for those who didn't see it, I realized when I went to go put the buttons on my skirt that I made the bodice entirely in reverse of the fashion plate. Of course, the bodice is 100% finished, so there's no way I'm redoing it. The skirt is 100% finished other than those decorative buttons, but I could still potentially rip out the front asymmetrical panel and the waistband, flip the panel (since the fabric is double sided), and redo the waistband.

This is what it looks like currently. The wrinkles are just because I tried it on over the 1860s corset I was wearing for Fairy Godmother fittings:

But, since I have the whole Fairy Godmother project still in progress, and I'm hoping to make the Daniel Deronda riding habit by VicFest as well, I'm back-burnering the plaid dress until I finish the others. If it comes down to it, I will put the skirt buttons on the opposite side from where they should meet the bodice buttons. I tried it on, and while I don't like it as much, and it's not to the plate, I don't hate it. 

In the meantime, I didn't work as much on the Fairy Godmother as I wanted this last week, but I at least got some done. I now have both the evening and day bodices assembled. The day bodice has sleeves that I'm about 85-90% happy with (which is as good as it's going to get with my level of patience), and both bodices have the front edges finished, though without closures. I need to pick up bias tape for the neckline and hems, since I don't have enough fabric to do self-bias. And I have a sleeve mockup for the evening bodice that I need to try out. Then it will be on to trimming and closures. 
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My buttons finally arrived! I put the two I needed for the bodice on already, and I'm hoping to get all the skirt ones done today, too. Because then my plaid bustle will finally be done. 

I had about an hour for sewing yesterday, and decided to spend that on fitting my sleeve on the Fairy Godmother bodice. What I finally came up with is such a weird shape. I don't know if my armseye is a strange shape, or if I just don't understand fitted sleeves, or what. I think I'm actually going to test it one more time, now that I've cut off the excess, and make sure it still fits right. That's my other goal for today - finish the sleeve mockup, and get the actual sleeves cut out and set. And go to the gym, since I haven't done that in a couple weeks. And do laundry. If I manage all that, then maybe I can start on bodice finishing, too, since I don't have anything else going on tonight. 
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The plaid bodice is still in its almost-finished stage. I bought the bars and put them on (while sitting in the Joanns parking lot) on Thursday, but the buttons that were supposed to arrive Friday have still not arrived. Supposedly they will now arrive today. 

In the meantime, I started working on the Fairy Godmother bodice. I started with my standard Victorian bodice block, which has a six-piece back, and altered it to have three pieces, because the seam lines on the extant bodice are really obvious. And miraculously, I altered it correctly into the mock-up, and it fit perfectly! I also dropped the armseye about .5" since this is 1870. And I opened the neckline a little bit. It was nice that it fit so well. I'm going to use the same pattern for the evening bodice, just with the evening neckline, even though the extant one only has one dart on each side in the front (and there's no pictures of the back). 

So anyway, I cut out the silk for the day bodice, flatlined it with the mockup pieces, and assembled it. Yesterday, I mocked up the sleeve, attempting to turn my two-piece into a one-piece, and naturally, re-inventing the wheel in the process. I'm sure I could have just started with any old one-piece sleeve instead. I have yet to set the mockup, but that will be my next step. I also cut out the twill layer for the evening bodice, but have yet to cut the silk yet. Once I cut out the day sleeves, I'll cut the silk for the evening bodice. 
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We had more snow on Friday into Saturday, and on Sunday into Monday, which both helped and thwarted my sewing. On one hand, being house-bound meant that I had a lot of sewing time, but it also meant that I couldn't go pick up supplies! I ran to Joanns in the lull on Sunday and got the eyelet trim I needed for the sleeves and neckline, but then found out Sunday night that I was out of bars for the closure. I probably could have made it to Joanns yesterday, but didn't realize that until it was getting dark. So I'm going today instead. 

But because I did have so much sewing time, the plaid bustle dress is entirely finished other than the missing bars and the buttons, which should arrive Friday. I realized that although Joanns no longer carries the buttons I wanted, the manufacturer still had them in stock! So now I have 18 buttons coming my way!

I can't remember the order of how I did everything over the weekend, but it involved fitting sleeve mockups (not too much trouble there, thankfully, though in retrospect they're a little on the tight side), piecing together enough fabric for a non-ruffled tier at the bottom of the skirt (I had just enough for a flat tier; there was no way I could get a ruffle out of it!), hand sewing that tier to the skirt, hand-hemming that tier, making and attaching the sleeves to the bodice, and finishing the bottom edge of the bodice. Then the run to Joanns came in, and figuring out which eyelet to use - naturally, it was the one that required me to pleat the whole thing. But it was worth it! I pleated the collar section, attached it to the neckline, and finished the edge with bias. Then I put all the closures (that I had) on the bodice - I think it's something like 21 hooks and eyes total, because it closes down the center and down the asymmetrical piece. Then back to pleating for the sleeves, and attaching the trim and hemming the sleeve ends. Then hooks and eyes on the waistband and attaching the four buttons I already had on hand. 

Once I get the bars today, I will try to get them on before tonight. And then I might try the whole thing on, since I haven't done that since I was doing the sleeve mockup. I sure hope it works!

I don't think I'll have much time for sewing the rest of this week, since everything that has been put off in the last week is now getting rescheduled. But next on my list is the Fairy Godmother day bodice. 

In the meantime, here's some snow pictures:

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I worked a little on the bodice yesterday. I got all the pieces flatlined and assembled, and cut out and assembled a sleeve mockup. Today, I plan to set the sleeve and try it on. Hopefully it will work - I hate sleevils! And assuming it does, I can cut out the actual sleeves, and then finish the bodice and do the skirt ruffle. I still haven't decided on buttons, but I'm guessing that once I see everything together, I will.

I'll probably have to wait to fully finish the outfit, though, since I need lace for the collar and sleeves. I doubt I have anything in the stash that will work, and we're supposed to be snowed in all weekend, so that will have to wait till the roads clear. 
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We had snow overnight Sunday into Monday, and since that is a rare occurrence in the Seattle area, and we have many hills (less for me now that I live in Auburn, though), it meant that everything has been closed for the last two days. And snow days mean sewing time! 

Over the weekend, my organdy order arrived, and I made a petticoat to go with the Fairy Godmother dress. I didn't have anything big enough/the right shape to go over my cobbled-together crinolette, so I used the Truly Victorian bustle petticoat pattern as a base. I used the three main pieces relatively as is, lengthening them by 3" and widening the back pieces by about 3" each as well. I added three tiers of ruffles on top of the back sections to add more oomph. And then I decided to rip strips of the organdy and use my ruffle foot for the two additional tiers of the petticoat (in addition to the ruffles on the higher back sections), so I don't know exactly what the math worked out to, compared to the actual pattern. And I'm still not sure it's entirely done, mainly because it is shaped to go over a bustle, not a crinolette, so mine is pretty high off the ground in back, and I may add another ruffle to the bottom of the back that tapers off to nothing at the sides. But it's done for now!

After I finished the petticoat, I pleated up the skirt and put it and the overskirt on the same waistband. Once I finished it and pinned up the hem, I realized that the overskirt was not coming far enough around on the sides. So I undid that section of waistband, undid a pleat on the overskirt, and moved it about 2.75" farther along on either side. Then I tried on the skirt, and realized that it was 1 7/8" too big around the waist, and I couldn't just have a bigger overlap because of the overskirt. Gah! So then I undid the CB of the waistband, made a CB seam in it, removing that extra length in the waistband, and increasing the back pleats. But because I kept having to redo the waistband, I'm sure I wasted a good 2 hours. Really frustrating!

Anyway, it's done now, and I stayed up late on Monday night to finish hemming the whole thing. Yesterday, I marked where the pleated tiers go on the front of the skirt, did the math, and found out that I don't have enough fabric. Ugh. I need 51" length x the entire width of fabric, because the front is wider than I had estimated originally. And I'm almost 100% certain that there's no way that I can get the bodice and those tiers out of the fabric I have left, let alone the bodice trimming (or the evening bodice I was also thinking about making), since I have about 2yds left. Val has said that she can check the fabric district for me when she goes in a couple weeks, but in the meantime, I'm going to make the day bodice first, so that I know exactly how much is needed. 

But before I start that, I decided that I should really finish cutting out/fitting the mockup for the plaid 1880s bustle bodice, whose skirt has been hanging there mostly finished since the end of December. So that's what I did yesterday evening. I only had a few small tweaks that needed to be made to the pattern, so now I just have to take it apart, transfer those tweaks to my original pattern, and cut out the plaid fabric. And I can use my mockup as the flat-lining, which is nice. Hopefully I'll be able to finish that bodice this week. I'm going to try to use much of the same base bodice pattern for the Fairy Godmother, too, though I'm going to attempt to turn it into a two piece back instead of a three piece, since that's really obvious in the extant one. 

But anyway, work reopened today, so the next few days will probably be quite busy between work, gigs, rehearsals, and auditions. That said, we're expecting more snow on Friday night, so who knows what might happen?

Here's some cats in the snow pics. For some reason, the ones of Lion and my yard are refusing to upload to Flickr, but you can see more on my facebook if you want. 

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I feel like I may as well just post the link to my post-CoCo goals post for this, since I have made literally nothing on that list (and yes, I just used "post" three times in one sentence). So click here for that. 

That said, my goals are not exactly the same as what I was thinking in the end of July - just really similar. A lot of that stems from the fact that 5 months have gone by, and I haven't made any of those, so I'm trying to be realistic. Plus I made a couple other things that can fill in gaps at CoCo. And I just can't bring myself to make 18th c stays anytime soon, which means the 18th c outfit from the last post is getting put on a back-burner, despite actually having all the fabrics for that one already. 

So here's my new list:

Finish the plaid 1883 walking dress. If I actually buckle down and work on this, I think I can finish this in 2-3 weeks, and it should only take me that long because I'll be in NYC for five of those days. 

Find pink silk or break down and go with pink poly, and make the Fairy Godmother early bustle dress. I can't get this dress out of my head, so even though I thought for a while that I was going to switch to Anna for the Disney bustle dress, I've come back around to this one. 

Daniel Deronda riding habit. Really, I should make this before the fairy godmother one, because it would be a really functional dress to wear to the Victorian Festival in late March. But I'm more interested in the other one, first. 

Natural form gala gown. I still have no concrete plans of what I want it to look like. I should probably play around with the fabrics I have available, and sketch things out, and see what sticks. This would be another good one to make before the Victorian Festival, since I could wear it to the ball. But if I don't make it by then (which I probably won't), then I guess I'll just wear the yellow 1890s from last year. This is one of my favorite natural form dresses, so maybe an evening version of this, except in pink and green, since I'm using the blue fabric I was going to use for this for the fairy godmother. 

Just those four would give me enough that, if I also wear Anna Frozen Fever and the 1910s white cotton and lace dress I made in August, I would have enough for every event of CoCo. But I would still really like to make an 1840s dress, too. I don't think I'd need any extra underwear for it, which is always a plus, and I probably have a bodice pattern I can tweak to add a fan front. Of course, I don't have the fabric for this one, but I really just think I want a relatively plain patterned cotton dress, and a bonnet to go with it. 

That said, if I wind up finding the perfect fabrics for this (the red and white), all the other projects are getting pushed back. I have this hanging on the wall in my bedroom, and every time I see it, I decide I love it even more. This will be a next year project if it needs to be, but if I come across the fabrics before then, I'm bumping it up. 

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I really don't feel like I made that much this year. I'm not sure if that's because I just started sewing for the first time in two months, or if it's actually true, though. So here's what I made:

1830s plaid silk dress and yellow bonnet, made for wearing in Oliver, plus the Victorian Festival and Costume College

Blue wool coat, which I basically wear every day

Burgundy and mauve striped silk bustle dress, for the Victorian Festival and Costume College

Burgundy silk Regency dress, as a pattern test for Laughing Moon

Ripaway mermaid tail and Cinderella costume (and some other bits) as costumes for Disenchanted, for which I was Costume Coordinator

1890s Plaid "ice cream parlour" shirtwaist and navy walking skirt for Costume College, but also worn in The Music Man

Yellow 1890s Gala Gown for Costume College, including choker, royal order, bracelet, and petticoat with detachable train

A white cotton Victorian-style robe, which turned out to be the most practical thing I made for Costume College

Elephant dress for my friend's new baby

1910s white cotton and lace dress, worn to Snoqualmie Railroad Days

3 skirts and 3 playdresses through my etsy shop

Dapper Merida for Dapper Day; Also worn in White Christmas and to Christmas tea

Disney-print 1950s jumper dress

Princess Anna Frozen Fever

A bodice and skirt combo for the Silverbells Carolers, plus a few alterations for them

A "Totes Ma Goats" totebag as a secret Santa project

A skirt for my mom

A Marauders Map Fleece Blanket for my dad

The beginnings of an 1883 walking skirt (not finished, though I started cutting out a bodice mockup yesterday)

I guess that's a decent amount of stuff after all. But if I'm going to be on track for CoCo this year, I can't just take a two month break from sewing again!
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Yikes. I didn't realize it had been two whole weeks since I posted... 

I did do a little bit of sewing leading up to Christmas - I made my dad a Marauders Map fleece blanket, and I made my mom a skirt out of some fabric she picked out in September. And naturally, I took no pictures of either of those. 

My parents came up on Dec 20th for Christmas, and were up here through the 26th. We went to a lovely Christmas tea last Friday, and I wore a Christmasized version of my Merida dress. We did some other Christmassy things, too, like hosting a holiday party, going to see a Panto, seeing movies (Mary Poppins and The Favourite), going to lovely brunches, making a wonderful Christmas eve dinner, driving around looking at Christmas lights, playing board games, and watching Christmas movies. It was a nice relaxed time with them. 

Here's pictures from the tea and of my Mary Poppins Disneybound:

While they were here, though, I started itching to sew again, which is good, since I've done so little of it recently. Of course, the first project I wanted to do is one that I don't have all the fabric for yet - the early bustle Fairy Godmother project that I had fallen in love with and then abandoned when I couldn't find the right shade of pink silk last summer. So that is now back on the table, because I really think I need that dress. If all else fails, I will use poly for the pink, even though that rather hurts my soul. But it's mostly lining/backing/trim anyway, so maybe it won't matter. 

But anyway, the evening that they left, I went through my stash and pinterest, to see if I had anything that matched up and struck my fancy. I didn't feel like working on the Daniel Deronda riding habit yet, even though I do have everything for that, but I found this interesting plaid 1883 fashion plate, and 5 yds of a plaid unknown-fiber-content-with-a-nice-drape fabric that I've had in my stash for ages, so it was a perfect match!

On Wednesday night, I draped out the whole skirt, and last night, I sewed most of the skirt together (including pockets!). I have to set it on the waistband, and do the seam where the faux-wrap is. I'm guessing that I may have to do that seam by hand, which is why I left it so far. I also plan to add the inner layer around the hem, but I'm leaving that till after I cut out the whole bodice, since fabric is so tight on this, and I'll piece that if I need to. 

Here's the inspiration plate, and a picture of the skirt draped on the form:

My goal is to finish the skirt, minus the ruffle, today, and maybe start on the bodice. Now that I'm not dancing all the time, though (and because I gained a few pounds over Christmas), I'm back to trying to go to the gym on most days, so I'll be splitting my sewing time with gym time a bit. 

theladyrebecca: (Default)
Saturday of Costume College, I wore my 1830s plaid silk dress (with the bonnet that was so big that I had to carry it on the plane), because I was wearing it for Jennifer Rosbrugh's Dressing the Plus Size Silhouette Class. I thought I remembered taking something earlier in the day than that, but maybe all I did was socialize, because I can't find anything on the schedule that looks familiar! After her class, I had signed up to take a class on Patterning from an Extant Garment, but it turned out they meant existing, not extant, and it wasn't suitable for fragile extant garments, so I left that class within the first 10-15 mins.

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!

theladyrebecca: (Default)
For the bonnet, I wound up going with the light yellow silk that I used for Titanic and am almost definitely using for my CoCo gala gown. So that is really going to be my color of the year this year at CoCo! The bonnet is coming along, though somehow between the paper pattern and the buckram, the crown seemed to lose at least an inch of circumference. But by the time you join the brim with the crown (which is when I realized it), I had basically done everything, so there was no way I was redoing any of that. So unfortunately, it's a bit off of what I would like it to be. I'm also trying to figure out how to decorate it. I have wide green-embroidery-on-net lace that goes around the brim, and a matching green velvet ribbon at the base of the crown, but that's all I've decided on so far. Right now I'm a little over halfway done with binding the brim edge, and I still have to put the crown lining in, but otherwise it just needs some more decorations on it. I think it will work. 

I decided yesterday that I was at a point with the bonnet where I could focus on other things (because all that handwork and gluing I can do at rehearsal on Wed or Thurs), so I moved back to work on the stripey bustle dress. I highly doubt that I will be able to finish it by the time I head to the Victorian Festival, but I figured why not work on it as much as I can this week. 

If you remember, I made most of the skirt (except the ruffly bits at the bottom of the inspiration plate) last fall, but when those ruffly bits wouldn't play nicely, it went in the naughty pile. I've known since then that the two main problems were A) there wasn't enough fabric in the skirt, and B) double-faced silk satin just does not drape the way whatever fabric was originally intended does. So yesterday, I picked out (and attempted to press out) the old hem, undid the back of the waistband, and opened up the back seams of the skirt so that I could add in another back panel. Then I pleated the back sections instead of gathering (which is what I had done before), redid the waistband, and pinned the hem so that it would be as long as I could make it. (It was originally a shorter hem so that the ruffles could go underneath.) So now I just have to sew the new hem, and the underskirt is at least wearable. I may add a ruffle to the hem, but it won't be in the style of the plate, since I can't figure out how to make that work. 

Then I moved on to the overskirt. The back section is all pleated to fit, and I draped the front section, which is on the bias. I just have to hem the edges, put the two pieces together, and put them on a waistband, which I'm hoping I may be able to get to between work and rehearsal today. That said, I still don't think I can make the bodice wearable by Friday, because it still needs sleeves, closures, hems, decorations, etc, and I basically have tomorrow after work, and maybe a couple hours on Wed to do all that. But at least I'll have a lot more of it done already for CoCo!

Here's a pic of what it looks like so far:

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! 

April 2019

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