2015 Recap

Dec. 31st, 2015 08:36 pm
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Hmm, just off the top of my head, I certainly haven't done much since CoCo. Maybe going through everything, I'll realize I was actually productive this year?

These were my goals:
1. 1831 Archery dress Done!
2. 1829 Orange ballgown Done!
3. Corded petticoat to go with both of the above dresses Done!
4. 1830s bathing suit Done!
5. Professor Trelawney artistic reform gown for the CosCol Ice Cream Social This got switched to the green and cream bustle gown
6. Daniel Deronda riding habit (already have the fabric) Still have the fabric. Maybe I'll actually make it this year?
7. Little Red costume from Into the Woods Done!
8. Striped silk bustle gown. (Or maybe a sack-back. I found silk at Hancocks today for $8/yd, and I'm determined to not let it sit in the stash.) Yeah... That silk is sitting in the stash...
9. Handsewn 1860s gown. At this point, I'm still determined to do this fully handsewn, so who knows when/if I'll ever finish it. If I let myself do it by machine, I'm sure I would have finished it months ago... Still on the list. I just haven't had the time/patience for that much hand-sewing.

And this was what I accomplished. )

So overall, I guess that wasn't too bad. I definitely need to start sewing again soon if I'm going to be at all on track for CoCo though!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I had been looking forward to [livejournal.com profile] ashamanja_babu's dance class on Saturday morning since she first started talking about it, and it did not disappoint! I purposely wore Little Red on Saturday, hoping that it would be my coolest one for dancing. And although it probably was, I was still sooo overheated! Also, my calves are still sore, and it is now four days later. Although this makes me feel like a wimp, it certainly doesn't make me regret taking the class! My favorite dance was the last one we did - not only was it fun to begin with, but our little dance group was hilarious. [livejournal.com profile] jubilima in particular made me double over with laughter, when we got to a point where she just sort of scurried away with a terrified look on her face.

Of course, by the time I'd cooled down and cleaned up after class, the portrait studio was closed, so I'll have to make do with the faux studio pics for this costume. I did like how it turned out, but this is probably one of the least flattering things I've made in quite some time. And although everyone guessed at Little Red, no one knew I was from the Into the Woods movie.

The only other class I had on Saturday was the Regency chemisette class. I feel like mine is a little rough, and I also ran out of lace, so I haven't (yet) put any on the shoulders. I am intending to wear mine on the outside of a navy blue swiss dot long-sleeve regency I will be making sometime in the next couple months. I didn't finish in class, but I did finish on the bus this morning! It has three layers of lace ruffles at the neck, and is made out of a striped cotton batiste. When I find a similar lace, I will likely finish the shoulders, but the only fine lace in my stash is ivory, so that will happen sometime later. I haven't tried it on yet, but here's a picture taken this morning at my desk!

And then it was time for the gala! A group of about 10 of us bypassed the disaster that was the red carpet this year, went to the portrait studio, and made our customary jaunt over to Maggianos through the mall. I'm surprised there was even anyone left to eat at the gala! There had to be at least 50 costumers at Maggianos, if not more. We got back to the gala with about 10 mins to spare before they opened the doors, and then wandered around the room awkwardly for a while, taking pictures of people on the edges. Once the music started up I headed out to the hall to socialize in quieter climes. Everyone looked so wonderful! Again, crappy camera, but here's a few:

[livejournal.com profile] fairegoddess, [livejournal.com profile] sakon76, [livejournal.com profile] hharris, her husband, Samantha, Amanda, Sarah, Emily, DodiRose, and I comprised our dinner group.

Katherine and I rocked the 1830s!                             [livejournal.com profile] jubilima's absolutely beautiful beatle-wing gown

[livejournal.com profile] ashamanja_babu and [livejournal.com profile] the_aristocat looking fabulous as always. And I don't know this gentleman, but he looked wonderful!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Since it's totally done now, here's a bunch of pics of Little Red! I did wind up changing my mind on one thing, which was to scallop the center back panel of the cape instead of hem it. I tried to hem it, and it looked sooo sloppy, so I took it out, fray-checked it, and scalloped it to match all the other edges. I think a total of 3.5 bottles of fray check went into this project. I'm quite happy with how it turned out, though I am going to look huge in this tent!

So close!

Jul. 13th, 2015 08:48 am
theladyrebecca: (Default)
If I could only have gone in to work 30 mins later today, I would have finished the Little Red cloak.

I did finish the Little Red dress this weekend, though, even though I had to redo the entire collar after I thought I had finished it. The poufy problem I mentioned last time was not solved by binding the collar, so I had to undo most of it, take a dart in the CF of the bodice under the collar, and take .5" out of the CF of the collar as well. Lovely time suck, but at least it lays a lot better now.

Once I finished the dress, it was on to the cloak. My bf brought the fabric over on Saturday morning, and I started cutting it out that night. Yesterday, I finished all but the detailing at the hem, because I didn't have time last night to wait for the fray check to dry. I wound up not using the punch I had bought - although it worked fine on my test strip, it was not working when I tried it this weekend. So instead, I've just been folding and cutting little flowers into the hem, which looks much more like the original than the punch would have, anyway. I've scalloped the edge of the hem with my new scallop rotary cutter, which I am absolutely loving. It's making me want to make 18th c trim. :) I worked a little more on it this morning, before I had to catch the bus for work, and finished about half of the hem detailing. I estimate that I have about 20-25 mins left on this cape, and then Little Red is done!

Here's a pic of the dress, with the beginnings of the cape draped on the back:

I do have one question, though - I did not prewash the fabric, because it is that faux-suede stuff (microsuede?), which I did not know how it would handle in the wash, and also, I don't plan to ever have to wash this cape. However, I have noticed that there is red dye that rubbed off onto my sewing machine, so now I'm a little worried that red dye will rub off onto my light blue dress, too. Does anyone know what I can do to prevent this? I highly doubt it can be thrown in the wash now - even if I removed all the ribbons, I'd be far too worried about the hem detailing falling apart. Help!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
The only color of bias tape I didn't have was the one I needed.

That said, the zipper is in, the collar is on, and now the edge of the collar is waiting to be bound, once I get the bias tape. I really hope the binding solves the problem I'm currently having with it. I don't know if it's smocking-related, or if I somehow shaped the neckline weirdly, but the whole neckline/collar is wanting to pouf up away from my neck/collarbone. I was hoping to bind it last night so that I could see if it went away, but there's Murphy for you.

My goal today is sleeves, plus maybe picking up the bias and finishing the collar. If I can get all of that done, then the Little Red dress is done!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I didn't try on the bustle gown bodice yesterday, but I did get some work done on Little Red. I made ties for the waist, took in the CB, attached the skirt to the bodice, and cut out the collar pieces. I have an appt tonight after work, but I'm hoping I might still have time to finish/attach the collar and insert the zipper, if not to draft the sleeve pattern. I'd love to be done with this by Friday night, because I'll probably get the cape fabric on Saturday (my lovely bf picked it up for me yesterday).

Not to mention, it's only 3 weeks till CosCol, and I need to get moving! 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
It's so nice to finally be able to sew for myself again, and I'm rather enjoying my CADD. On Monday, I patterned the bodice for the bustle gown. I've yet to try it on, but if it's cool enough tonight, that's the plan.

I also cut out the bodice pieces for Little Red, and sewed the front ones together. I don't know what McCalls was thinking, but that thing had the weirdest front princess seams. No ones boobs are shaped like that. So I resewed it into an actual human shape. Then yesterday, I sewed the smocking onto the front, and sewed the back pieces together as well. I'm a little worried that the smocking is going to pull the bodice weirdly on me, and that it will be completely unflattering. I also hadn't factored in that the smocking adds at least .5", which makes me look a bit poofy... Hopefully it will balance out once I attach the skirt and add the sleeves. I tried to go pick up the cape fabric last night at Joanns, but they didn't have enough, so I put it on hold at another store, and hopefully I'll have it by the weekend.

Here's a couple pics. Antoinette is also suffering from my CADD, which is why the Little Red skirt is currently pinned on, over the bustle gown skirts.
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I finished Belle on Friday morning and shipped her off. Thank goodness! Here's a couple pics - I'll have better ones from my customer eventually. I just hope it fits!

My parents have been in town since last weekend, so I've been spending most of the rest of the time with them, and not sewing, but last night, I did pattern the bodice for Little Red. Hopefully tonight I'll be able to cut it out and maybe even sew it together and get most of that out of the way. Of course, I do still have to make the cape - I haven't even bought the fabric yet - but I'm trying to get the easiest stuff out of the way first, since that bustle gown bodice is going to be no picnic to pattern. 

CADD Again

Apr. 27th, 2015 09:27 am
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I'm working on three projects right now! Which is kind of nice, to be honest.

Bustle gown:
I worked on the ruched ruffle layer of the bustle skirt this weekend. It's hemmed on both sides, and I've sewn all the gathering threads, but I haven't pulled them all up yet. I did do one section, just so I can see how it looks, and I like it. I left a little ruffle on the bottom, too, which will go underneath the other ruffle section, and hopefully help to pouf it out even more. I also purchased ivory cotton sateen for the bodice, and I got my fringe trim, too, which means I (hopefully) have everything I need for this one now, except maybe the lavendar ribbon. Here's a pic of my ruched section:

I haven't fiddled any more with the dye yet, but I think I'm going to. Actually, Rit, after hearing the lack of results I had with the color remover, offered to fix it for me, but it would take 2-3 weeks, and I'm hoping to have this done by the end of May. So I'm going to try one more time, and then I'll either send it to Rit, or just buy new fabric and keep this in the stash for some other project down the road. But I did do a stamping test! Before I tore apart the fancy new stamp, I tested it with a random stamp I had with my art supplies - it stamped really well, but the stamp bled red onto the fabric. Because it stamped out nicely, I tore apart the fancy rose stamp, and tested that one out, too, and it didn't bleed, so hopefully that means it just won't bleed ever! It looks really cool, though! Here's a pic:

Little Red:
Still working away on the smocking. I'm pretty much only doing it while I'm either on the bus, or waiting for the bus, so it's proceeding somewhat slowly, but it's a nice hand project to keep me occupied. And a pic of that:
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Bustle gowns take sooooo much fabric.

I think I had previously purchased somewhere between 5 and 7 yds of the green cotton for Trelawney. As it turns out, I need at least 5-6 yds more. And that's just for the skirt/sleeves/trimming! I also need to get 4-5 yds of whatever I'm using for the cream. Plus I need fringe. So much for this being a stash project!

That said, The skirt is done except for the ruffles. It even has a hem!

Oh, and I'm more than halfway done with my Little Red smocking.

And my rose stamp arrived for the Belle fabric today, so I think I'm going to touch up the color a bit, and start testing out my embossing skills!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Gah! I started working on Belle last night by dyeing the silk/rayon velvet. But apparently, silk/rayon velvet absorbs dye like crazy, because literally all I did was dip it in and immediately pull it back out, and it turned old-Belle yellow (aka bright) instead of new-Belle yellow (aka butter). So I guess I'll have to pick up some dye remover and try to lighten it to the right shade, or at least a light enough color that I can redye (with apparently only a drop of dye in the water!). I might test-heat-stamp a corner anyway, just to see if it works at all. The stamp I ordered hasn't arrived yet, but I found a random rubber stamp at home.

I have also been working more on smocking. I smocked while waiting for the bus after work yesterday, and smocked on the bus to work this morning. I think I'm a little over halfway done. And I cut out the pattern for the rest of the bodice yesterday. 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I've been doing lots of planning/collecting for the first Belle commission this weekend. Yesterday, I went to Joanns and picked up most of the rest of the fabric for Belle, and today I worked out my labor estimate, and searched for more supplies online. I'm kind of excited about embossing velvet. I'm sure I won't be so excited after working at it for a few hours, but it's something I've never tried before, so it will be cool to add a new skill. I just hope it works!

I also did a little more smocking on Little Red. However, now I've closed my show, so I don't have downtime backstage or an hour long bus ride to the theatre in which I could potentially work. This means I have to be better at time management, and maybe fit it in during my shorter bus rides to/from work, or *gasp* evening tv time. And at some point, maybe I'll even finish the smocking, so I can actually cut out the bodice piece! Not that I can't cut out the rest of the bodice pieces now...

Oh, and my bf and I went to a fun event today, hosted by SITU. I didn't really take any pictures, because I'd already worn the costume, but I'm sure some will surface from other attendees that I can share. It was a docent-led tour of the Museum of Flight, with a 1930s/40s theme. I wore my Miss Pettigrew outfit, naturally. And I learned a lot about early commercial air travel! 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
So, Costume College is about 3.5 months away, and normally at this time of year, I'm planning out just how much time I can devote to each project that I want to make for CosCol. But despite the fact that I really didn't sew for myself last fall, I'm finding myself almost too comfortable with what I need to get done. This is a problem. This may be leading to two potentially very large commissions (which luckily happen to be basically the same dress, so maybe it's not so bad).

At this point, I'm about 1/3 done with Little Red, have most of Trelawney to go, and have all the 1830s bathing suit to sew (including finding that elusive white with black windowpane fabric!). I'm a little worried that my brain is playing tricks on me, though - just because these aren't huge elaborate Victorian or 18th c gowns doesn't mean they won't take time! Clearly smocking is taking me a while (though I suppose if I could just sit down and do it in one chunk, it would be fine), and I am planning quite a lot of smocking for the Trelawney dress, too. I think another part of the problem is that I've lost my enthusiam for Trelawney, but since it's a group project, I know I have to go through with it! Maybe I should give up the idea of Artistic Reform, which I am much less likely to use in the future, and go back to a bustle dress for her, even though it's against character (and I already have all sorts of plain green cotton waiting for the reform dress).

I'm also feeling a bit like I don't have many exciting costumes this year - just my 1830s ones, which I love, but will have worn multiple times (at least for the archery dress) by the time CosCol rolls around.

So anyway, hopefully my current complacency won't turn into some desperate mad rush to finish things, especially since I have another show between now and then, and hopefully will be house-hunting in July as well (not to mention working full time!). And hopefully I'll be able to find that blasted windowpane fabric!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I've done a little more smocking. I think I'm on the fourth row now, and I have somewhere between 6-8 to go, depending on how long it winds up needing to be. I figured I wouldn't be completely boring, and at least share a pic of what it looks like.

Oh, and I take it no one knows anything about punching shapes into faux suede? Because if you do, please see my last post for questions!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I worked more on the smocking this weekend. I finished the first row across, and did a second row. It goes relatively quickly, when I actually sit down to work on it. I did the whole second row during tech rehearsal yesterday.

I also have a question, which I hope I haven't already asked previously -- Do any of you have experience punching shapes into fabric? I'm going to start working on the Little Red cape soon, and it has flower shapes punched all along the edges. I was hoping to use some sort of punch, because cutting out all those shapes would be an absolute nightmare. I've read that it helps to heavily starch the fabric before you punch it, and that you can sharpen the punches with aluminum foil. I'm using a faux suede, though, and I'm not really sure how much starch will affect that sort of fabric (or conversly, if starch will damage the faux suede).

I have to say, it makes me wish I still had access to the Scan & Cut, because I probably could have done a lot of it at my old job, if I could have figured out how to get the fabric into the machine. But that's water under the bridge, and I'm not going to spend $400 on being able to punch these shapes out!


Apr. 8th, 2015 08:23 am
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I worked on my Little Red smocking on the bus and at rehearsal yesterday, and I've now finished about 8x3." I used this tutorial, and it's worked quite well. It's easy to do, and doesn't feel tedious (yet), and it comes out looking quite pretty. I'm working with my dots spaced 1" apart, and I think it will give me the right look of the decorative front of her bodice. Of course, I have a long way to go!

Here's a pic:
theladyrebecca: (Default)
The skirt portion of the Little Red dress is done. It has eight tucks at the bottom, getting smaller and closer together as they go up, and is gathered at the waist. I wound up having to chop about 4" off the top before I gathered it, because it was still way too long. Hopefully it won't be too short now!

I've also decided to do honeycomb smocking on the front of the bodice, even though I think the original has some sort of macrame overlayer to get the texture. I spent about an hour tonight marking up a piece of fabric with all the dots for the smocking. I figure once I have the piece smocked, I'll figure out what shape I actually need to cut it into.

Here's a pic of the skirt!

We're going into daily rehearsals now, until we open next weekend, so there will likely be no more sewing happening for a while, unless I learn how to smock well enough that I can take it on the bus. This weekend was super nice, though! Not only did I get a bit of sewing done, but I went to a super fun Passover seder, and co-hosted an adults-only Easter Egg Hunt/Brunch today. All the food was sooo good! I made farfel pancakes, which I've done a ton, and also made matzo toffee for the first time. I used this recipe, and it was delicious!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I haven't been posting because I haven't been doing much sewing. But I did do some!

I purchased the rest of the fabric for Trelawney, so I should be set to go on that. However, I'm feeling uninspired on that one now, so instead, I'm working on Little Red. I cut out the skirt panels, sewed them together, hemmed them, and have done 3 out of 8 tucks. I had intended to do all 8 today, but after a) doing one wrong and needing to rip it out and redo it, and b) just getting distracted, I clearly didn't accomplish that goal. Which is kind of disappointing, since I start me new job tomorrow, and I have rehearsals the next two nights, so I won't even have awake time at home, let alone sewing time. Maybe I'll finish them on Friday night.

What I did do this weekend, though, was go to the Tulip Festival, so instead of sewing pictures, I leave you with some pretty flowers. :)

theladyrebecca: (Default)
Last week, before I went into "make all the things" mode for Port Townsend, I did actually start sewing on Trelawney. All I did was the side seams of the robe, though, before pushing it aside. Figuring that enough time had passed since I bought the cotton for the dress from Joanns, I went back yesterday to see if they had gotten any more in. Nope! They did say that another store has it, but it's about 35 mins away, up by my bf's house, so I'll wait till I go visit him this weekend to pick some up.

Of course, all that means I needed to start on another project. Since I still haven't found my white with black windowpane for my 1830s bathing suit, I'm starting on my Little Red from Into the Woods movie repro. I love her costume! I realized, when I went to buy the fabric for the cloak yesterday, that I really need to wait for my boots to get here, so that I can make sure the fabric matches. So I bought the blue cotton for her dress. In the super-close-up movie stills, it looks like there is a layer of organza over the cotton, which is then incorporated into the tucks on her skirt. But all of that sounds like a total nightmare, so I am forgoing the organza.

One thing I'm trying to figure out, though, is how to punch fabric. The edges of her cloak have a floral design punched out, but I don't think paper punches would work on fabric. I'm almost certainly going with a microsuede for the fabric, either the home dec or garment variety. Does microsuede fray?

I also realized that oddly enough, I feel like I don't have that much to make before Costume College. Assuming that I wear both 1830s dresses and Miss Pettigrew, that really only leaves me time to wear three other things, which apparently are Little Red, Trelawney, and the 1830s bathing suit. But it also makes me feel like I'm not bringing much that's big and fancy, except the 1830s. I had kind of been thinking I was making the Daniel Deronda riding habit for CosCol, too, but then I don't know when I could wear it! And naturally, the only one I'm not liking so far is Trelawney, but that's for a group costuming thing, so it's the only one I can't scrap. Sigh.

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