theladyrebecca: (Default)
2011 was a pretty productive year for me, especially in the first few months.

January: Pre-Raphaelite-inspired linen dress and bodice (which I still haven't worn for anything)
             Chemise a la Reine, with short-sleeve shift, and matching sash and petticoat
           
February: Fully boned stays, which had been a ufo before this because I had never finished the binding
               My 1660s Restoration gown, with accompanying 17th c chemise
               Two pairs of crocheted mitts
               18th c floral striped petticoat
               Refurbished 17th c shoes

March: The beginnings of a hand-quilted petticoat, which I never really worked on again after that month. Maybe someday.
           Petal-shaped bum pad
           16th c escoffion
           Chemise-dress (faire-wear) commision
           I think I also made my short-sleeve chemise blouse in March, but since I never blogged about it, I can't remember.

Nothing in April, since I was busy moving across the country.

May: Floral robe a l'anglaise, with matching floral petticoat, and belt

June: Burgundy 18th c petticoat for the robe a l'anglaise,
        18th c hat (from scratch!)
        18th c cap, fichu, and pockets
      
July: Finally finished the 1950s Jean Desses cocktail dress, with matching shrug
        1940s romper suit w/ skirt
        Jacques Doucet-inspired early Edwardian chiffon and lace gown

August: Late Victorian walking skirt for my mom, w/ shirtwaist blouse
            Huge Edwardian hat
            Laughing Moon corset, started in the class at CosCol
            Short bustle, for Jane costume

September: Petticoat and skirt for Jane
                  Commissioned fish doublet and collar, with matching pants
                  Spats for Jane

October: Jane bodice, with detachable collar and tie
              Dyed the umbrella for Jane, and stitched eyelet lace to the edges
              Refurbished Regency-style shoes
              One black velvet muff and one white furry muff

November: 1860s black lace and ribbon cap

December: Pagoda-sleeved bodice for my mom for Dickens, with matching ruffle and trim added to her skirt from last year


Overall, not too shabby. Tomorrow, I'll post my list of everything I want to make for 2012. Happy New Year!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
*crossposted from my blog*


After two to three days of furious accessory making, I went to the Norcal Pirate Fest in Vallejo yesterday. While there, I met up with the fabulous American Duchess, and we took a two hour sail down the Vallejo Straights on a two-masted schooner. It was so much fun! And as an added bonus for a wonderful Father's day for my dad, the captain of the schooner let him steer for nearly the entire two hour trip!





The only finished accessories you get to see in this post are the hat and belt, and a bit of the fichu. I didn't get a chance to take pictures of the pockets (from the Janet Arnold pattern), the cap (my own pattern), or my necklace before I headed out of town this morning, so I'll show more detailed pictures of them all in a later post. I also finished the burgundy petticoat a few days before the festival, and I like it so much better than the floral one I had made. So now I have options! I'm also in love with my pockets. They're sooo much bigger than my old ones. It makes me wish we still wore them nowadays, so I could stop carrying my huge purse around everywhere.

Also, while my hair behaved wonderfully, and let me style it into a wonderfully huge pompadour with only a minute or so's worth of teasing, I was stupid and did not take a picture of it before I set my hat on my head. And naturally, after wearing a hat for about 6 hours, particularly when the hat is tied tightly underneath one's chin for two of those hours, the hair that begins as around 3+ inches high, winds up a measly .5 or so inches post-hat. But still, I'm proud of myself (and my hair for behaving), and now I know that hair at Costume College should be a cinch. I might not even have to bring my wig!

theladyrebecca: (Default)
The burgundy petticoat just needs a hem and to have the ruffle sewn on. I still need to figure out how to make a closure on my ribbon belt. I also have an idea of how I want to decorate my hat, and how I want to do my hair.



For my hair, I had spent a few hours at the beach yesterday, which seemed to help in the wild poufyness of my hair to begin with. But then all I did was section it off into three sections (plus the two curls at the bottom). The top section I sort of tucked under to get the pouf. The second section I pretty much just piled on top of my head and stuck a couple bobby pins in. And the third section I pinned up in pieces. Hopefully I will be able to recreate this or better on Sunday. For the trials, though, I didn't even do any teasing or spraying.


I also still need to make a cap, and if I have time, I'd like to make some new pockets, a reticule, and a better fichu. Not too bad, and I think it will be all doable in time for the festival on Sunday.

And a little Edwardian progress - the skirt is finished except the hem. The waistband is definitely not the best, but no one will be able to see it anyway, since I'm going to have the velvet sash over it. And I've developed such a huge hatred for chiffon that I kind of just want to get through this project as quickly as possible. (Please ignore the storebought corset)

theladyrebecca: (Default)
I finally got a chance to finish up the pleated trim on the sleeves today, so here's a picture of that, as well as a close-up of the ruffle on the bottom of the petticoat.

                

I've also already started to move on to Edwardian land. I ordered The Voice of Fashion book (though it won't be here for a good week, so I'm debating about starting without it), and I went to Joanns and picked up a bunch of muslin for the lining, and chiffon for the outer fabric (not silk, though, unfortunately - can't afford that until I actually have a job). I have some lace in my stash that I'm planning to use for all the flat lace that runs vertically, but I'm thinking about this for the bottom of the skirt, and this for the sleeves. I figure most of the lace I get, I'm going to have to try to tea stain, since I'm going with ivory overall, instead of white. Likewise, does anyone know of a cheap place for cotton velvet or velveteen? The cheapest I've seen is about $10.75-$11 from Dharma Trading or Fabric.com, both of which I would have to dye (I've decided to go for the same blue accents as in my inspiration dress). Tomorrow, I'm headed to Fabrics R Us in San Jose, to see if maybe they would have anything I can use for lace or velvet. Fingers crossed!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
The floral polonaise is almost done! All it needs is a hem on the bottom of the gown and on the sleeves, and a hook and eye at the top of the bodice and on the belt. I've also decided to add a little scalloped box pleated trim at the cuff of the sleeve, and I need to make a real fichu. At this point, I'm planning on wearing it to the opening ice cream social at Costume College. But since it looks pretty much done, I decided to have a photo shoot today! So here are some of my favorite pictures of the floral polonaise, the 17th c gown, and the chemise a la reine, under the cut.



Floral polonaise )

17th c gown )

Chemise a la Reine )
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Here's all the pictures I owe, from my last few posts.

First, the before and after pictures of the feather dyeing.


The petticoat (minus the ruffle that will hopefully happen), the velvet ribbon belt, and a detail of the polonaise ribbon and button.


And even more pictures, where you can also see my latest sleeve mockup. I think it's pretty much right now. The white one is my mockup based on the Janet Arnold pattern, whereas my blue one is the standard sleeve pattern I developed from the Chemise a la Reine.


theladyrebecca: (Default)
I HATE SLEEVES!!


But really, I'm trying to do the mockup for these sleeves (it's the 1770-80 en fourreau gown in Janet Arnold), and they are just 100% completely wrong. They are entirely too poofy at the top, with those three pleats in the pattern. And then I assume that the weird triangle that has been cut out of the hem of the sleeve is supposed to be sewn together like a dart, but it's winding up on a weird part of my arm, not by my elbow, which would make more sense to me. I'm very frustrated trying to do these 18th c sleeves, since sleeves are always my kryptonite anyway. I feel like I'm about ready to just use my standard sleeve pattern and give up on any accuracy... :(
theladyrebecca: (Default)

The petticoat is done, except for the ruffle at the bottom. I want to do a foot long ruffle, just so it adds a little visual interest and breaks up the huge amount of floral that is this gown. However, I'm really worried I don't have enough fabric! I still have to make my sleeves (I'll probably be doing the mockup later tonight if I don't go see Pirates), but at this point, I have one 34"x54" section, two long (I think around 50") triangles with a max width of around 30", and two smaller pieces about 15"x15". I don't know what to do! But I have a feeling it will involve a huge amount of piecing, and trying to hide the fact that swirly flower stems may be facing in different directions...

Oy. And here I thought 10 yds would leave me with a couple left over! Clearly, this means I'm going to have to rethink my plans for the blue silk taffeta, since I only have 7 yds. I think instead of the blue one that I love from Kyoto, I will use it for the other one I posted before. That said, can someone help me with the proper name for this gown? I thought it was like a levite, but it's much more fitted. Is it just an anglaise with funky sleeves?


 



Oh, and I just got my laptop back from GeekSquad, so I can go back to posting pics again. It's way harder to do it on my old computer. So I will try to remember to edit this post with them later!

theladyrebecca: (Default)
I'm filled with glee right now, because I just heard back about my Costume College classes! I got the Victorian corset workshop one that I really really wanted, as well as Eveningwear for your Hair, and the Fabric District tour. And I got waitlisted for the Gibson hair one, though I'll be fine if I don't get it. I'm so excited!

And now that I've done pretty much all the sewing work I've had to do for the opera company I'm working with right now, I can get back to working on my polonaise. All the hooks and eyes are down the front of the bodice, and the lining is in the middle of being sewn in (though it's being a pain, and I had to rip out all the stitches I did last night because it wasn't laying right). I'm free for the rest of the day, so I really hope to get back to the petticoat, and finish that up. We'll see. I feel like this one is coming along so slowly! I forgot how many more commitments arise when you're living with your parents as opposed to on your own.
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I was able to do the bulk of the gown yesterday. All it needs now is for everything to be pressed, and to add the sleeves. And I'm in the middle of putting in 12 hooks and eyes down the front of the bodice. I've also started pleating the petticoat, but I have to do actual sewing "work" tomorrow, so I probably won't get any of my personal stuff done.

So here's some pics!


I stitched down the en fourreau pleats by hand, which took about 6 hours (feels like as long as it took to make this post cooperate), but the rest I did by machine, so it went together pretty quickly.
theladyrebecca: (Default)
So somehow, doing all my careful math in enlarging the pattern didn't quite work, but it came close!

Here's toile #1:


But luckily, it was a pretty quick fix to raise up the hem, increase the front at the side, and scooch over the armseye curves, so with a little tweaking, I moved on to toile #2. And huzzah - it fits! I'm debating about adding a half inch about halfway down the center back seam, since the back seems like it might be pulling, but I worry since it does feel like it fits fine. I had also thought about adding a half inch to the shoulder straps, but then I think they might fall off the shoulder. So I'll probably just keep them tight as they are. What I probably will do is make the curve into the back point a little more graceful over the hips, since I think it's a smidge high. But I think that's everything.



Also, since I've never made a gown out of cotton before, do I need to line it with more than muslin? I know I've heard it's best to put a piece of boning at the center back, but do I need it elsewhere as well?

And here is the fabric I am using:
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Has anyone used the Janet Arnold Polonaise En Fourreau pattern? I'm having problems comprehending the difference between the lining bodice pieces and the outer bodice pieces. To me, it looks like the front outer bodice piece is a little over an inch wider at the top, so it encompasses the entire dip for the armseye. Also, the side seam is straight instead of curved. What I'm not getting is that the back outer and lining pieces have the exact same curve for the side seam, even though the side seam is different on the front pieces.

Also, the seam where the shoulder strap piece joins into the outer back piece is a completely different shape than the lining back piece's seam. And the curve in the bottom of the back lining piece is much shallower and shorter than the outer piece.

I haven't even gotten to tracing out the "en fourreau" part, but the rest of the differences are really throwing me off. Help!

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