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)
I wore my new orange gown on Saturday night for the ball in Port Townsend, and Gina of Beauty4Ashes took a bunch of pictures for me! The third picture is an attempt to recreate the fashion plate.

And an attempt at a hair selfie. :)
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I finished my reticule and 1830s hairpiece!

Here's the reticule. This morning, I added trim to the seams, attached the tassel, bound the top with ribbon, and slid ribbon ties through the casing. By the way, for future reference, a three-sided reticule is not good at holding large phones. As soon as I stick my phone in it, it looks all wonky.

And here's the hairpiece. I redid what I had pinned together yesterday, keeping only the loops. I unbraided the super thick braid base, and made it half the width. Then I took what was left over, and made it into three additional braids. The one visible in the center front has a wire running through it, and I have stabilized the back braid loop and the tall ribbon on the top by sewing them to the wired braid. The ribbon is two widths sewn together, like what I did on the dress, and the ribbons and hair pieces are all sewn together into the two base braids. It's hollow in the middle, so that it can fit around a bun of my own hair, and should be easy to pin in place (I'm just holding it in the picture). The front section of my hair will be curled.

I think all that's left now is to hem my boyfriend's pants and pack. 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I made a packing list yesterday for PortTownsend, and realized there were still several small things I needed to make! And when I came home after dinner last night, I got into a "make all the things" mode, and worked until after 1am on a bunch of different projects.

First, I tried to figure out what I would do with my hair for the Seaside Bustle gown. I hated what I did with my hair at CosCol, but still didn't want to do my fallback curl pieces that I use for Ravenclaw. Yesterday afternoon, I went out and bought two regular braids and a wavy braid at the hair store, to use for the orange gown and the seaside bustle, so luckily, I had a lot to work with. What I've decided on is a really long braid circling the crown of my head, and making another circle as a loose bun, and then the wavy piece (which I also braided) is in a loop coming from the center of the loose bun. I think it works.

After that, I put together/altered four bracelets for the orange gown, because I realized when looking at the fashion plate yesterday that she's wearing a ton of bracelets. The ones I made are pretty terrible, but they'll do. I didn't have thick enough wire for the clasps, so hopefully the ones I made won't get too out of shape while I'm wearing them. I just need them to last one night! Here's a pic: The one on the right was a longer bracelet to begin with, so I remade it - the other three were chains I had in the stash, and I just altered the length and put the clasps on.

When those were done, I switched to 1830s hair. Before I started the bustle hair, I had made four loops to use out of one of the braids. I sort of used Kendra's buckle method, with some alterations. I couldn't find any wax paper, so I wrapped an aerosol hairspray can in aluminum foil, coated one side of an 11-12" piece of hair with the jewel-it glue, wrapped it around the bottle and bobby pinned the ends together, and then coated the other side of the hair. When the glue dried, I slid the foil off the bottle and carefully detached the hair from the foil. Then I put them under a piece of the cardboard hair package, and laid one of the bustle braids across it, so that they would squish into the teardrop shape I wanted. They stayed there for probably an hour (in which time, I glued the feathers on my archery dress hat). After that, I took the remainder of that package of hair, braided the part I hadn't cut chunks off of, and made it into a base for the loops. I've bobby pinned the loops to the braid and to each other, and now they look like this! I will be adding large ribbon loops to it today to make it look like the fashion plate.

But the night wasn't over yet. I also realized that I had no reticule to match the orange gown, so with the tiny scraps I had left, I cut out three pieces for a small reticule. I sewed up the silk outer, and a cotton liner, and then finally called it a night. I'm going to trim it and finish it up today.
theladyrebecca: (Default)
When I was at Joanns today, I picked up another pack of hooks and eyes, so I was able to put the last two bars on the orange gala gown when I got home. Which means it's now completely done!!! I also attached the ribbon ties to my shoes, so they're all set, too. I think I might go visit a hair shop tomorrow, and pick up a couple braids to try making them into crazy apollo knot-type loops. Because right now, I have no idea what I'm doing with my hair on Saturday.

Oh, and I tried starching my petticoats. I bought liquid starch. Which I now know must not work! My solution was 4 parts water to 1 part starch, because that was the bare minimum I could do and still submerge the whole petticoat. Then I rang them out by tumbling them in the washing machine (with no rinse). They've been hanging in the shower under the heat lamp for about 5-6 hours now. The regular petticoat is pretty much dry, and while it feels slightly stiffer, it certainly can't stand up on its own. The corded petticoat is still quite damp, so maybe it's too early to tell on that one, but it really doesn't feel any stiffer. In fact, it may still be how wet it is, but if anything, it feels less stiff! Does starching petticoats only work with actual corn starch?
theladyrebecca: (Default)
The orange dress is done! (Ok, to be honest, I still need to buy two more bars to sew on the back closure) No pics yet, namely because it looks almost the same as the last pic I posted. In fact, I probably won't post pics till Port Townsend next weekend, but I'll make sure we take a lot!

Right now I'm trying to decide whether it's worth it to starch my corded petticoat. I know it makes a nice shape, but it seems like a lot of work, and I'm worried about it drying in time. If I starch it tomorrow afternoon/evening (Sunday), and am unable to hang it anywhere except somehow in the shower (because I live in an apartment and it's supposed to rain pretty much every day this week), will it be dry by Thursday? And will it get a decent shape if all I can do is hang it in the shower?
theladyrebecca: (Default)
The hem is done, and I'm almost 1/3 done with the cording near the hem, but it's going very slowly! It's really hard for me to keep it from wanting to roll and twist while I'm sewing it on. I'm hoping to maybe finish it tomorrow, but for sure by Sunday night.

My bf's jacket may have bested me, though. I tried resetting the one sleeve I had ripped apart, and I can't figure out how to get it back in without it gathering somewhat. I suppose I could rip the entire sleeve off and take it in under the arm, but it just makes me feel like this project is going to get bigger and bigger.

Luckily, I had a break from the sewing earlier today, while I was out running errands. I stopped at Value Village, and found a couple vintage pieces. One is not so old, it's an 80s dress with a pretty awesome collar for $10. But the other one was a real steal - I found a vintage hat, somewhat crumpled, that they clearly had no idea what it was. It looks 40's to me (though if someone can tell me for sure, that would be great!), and I'm about 95% positive that it's trimmed with real fur. Oh yeah, and it was $2.99. All I did to freshen it was lint roll it, and pin it to the head form. It's unmarked inside, and the petersham band has basically disintegrated in the back of the hat (as has the tag - there's just a few strands in the seam to know where it was). Here's a few really terrible pictures:

theladyrebecca: (Default)
It doesn't look very different from yesterday, but today things are actually sewn instead of just pinned! All the bodice needs are hooks and eyes up the back. The skirt still needs a hem and cording, but that's it. Almost done!

I'm also attempting to alter my BF's frock coat for next weekend. We purchased one off of ebay, but it's too long (both width and length) in the shoulders, so I'm trying to take it in an inch or so. Except I had no idea how many layers are in a man's suit jacket up there! I've taken one shoulder apart, and I've already taken it up, but I need to figure out how much to take in the top of the sleeve so that I can refit it. Not to mention figuring out how to put all the padding layers back in up there, and making sure I do the exact same thing to the other sleeve. 

A picture!

Mar. 12th, 2015 01:22 am
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I promised a picture. So although it's still far from finished, here you go! Right now, the sleeves need binding at the bottom (and to be attached to the bodice), and they're each missing a large bow on the side. The ruffles are just pinned on to the bodice right now, so once the sleeves are on, I can attach them. The bodice needs to be attached to the skirt, too, and the skirt still needs a hem, and the cording trim near the bottom. By the way, that cording is so annoying! The binding at the neckline was almost impossible, and after breaking my needle trying to get it into the seam on the sleeve, I realize I'm going to have to sew the bottom of the seam by hand. It's so thick, and I have to dab superglue on it wherever I want to cut it, so that it doesn't start unraveling.

I'm still not sure how I feel about the eyes, but at this point, it's far too late to change them.
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I have been sewing, but I haven't been taking pictures, which is why I haven't been posting. I've done quite a bit on the orange dress, though. The skirt at this point is almost done. I'm in the middle of re-pinning the hem, because I think the length was actually too long. Then I need to figure out how to put the cording on the bottom of the skirt. There's no place to tuck the cording backing into, so I think I'm going to wind up cutting the backing off, then just whipping around the cording to stitch it into place. But the skirt does have all the ruffles on, plus the bow, and it is attached to the waistband. I'm actually going to attach the skirt directly to the bodice, though, and have not done that.

I was going to put the ruffles on the bodice yesterday, but I realized I need to bind the neckline first, and a) I have no fabric left to make self-binding, and b) I have no bias tape in anything close to the right color. So I'm off in a little bit to go pick up some bias. I will post pictures soon, though!

I also have to go check out Elsa skirt fabrics, since I will be having another commission coming up in a couple weeks. Still nothing on the actual job front yet, though. Last week's commission filled in the days I wasn't working quite nicely, but I have a feeling I won't even have anything temporary coming up until at least after Port Townsend next weekend.

In other news, we had auditions/callbacks for 1776 this weekend, and we are almost done casting. I'm so freaking excited! So much so that I may or may not have already finished choreographing Cool Considerate Men. Also, my BF and I practiced more archery last week, and somehow, he's already as good as I am! (He had never even shot an arrow before I got my bow). Oh well. I guess I better practice more. :)
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I haven't been posting, but I have been sewing (and painting). My commission was picked up on Saturday, and then I went back to working on orange dress ruffles. The ruffles are allnow completed, including fixing the bodice ruffles to look more like the skirt ruffles. Now what I have to figure out is how to attach the bottom row of skirt ruffles, because I'm out of dress fabric, and the organza that hangs below the cording is not long enough to hang the ruffle from. Whatever fabric I use to attach it won't actually be seen, so most likely, I'm going to wind up picking up some orange quilting cotton, though that's kind of annoying, since the whole rest of the dress is silk.

I also picked up a new commission, re-making a ren-fair style skirt to be attached to an existing bodice. It's a rush commission, to be finished on Friday, which fits nicely in the not-having-a-job-the-rest-of-the-week schedule I'm on, since my temp ended yesterday afternoon. I had two interviews earlier this week, though, so fingers crossed that maybe something will come through for next week. In the mean time, besides the other commission, I'm working on putting together some of the last minute details for 1776 auditions this weekend. I'm so excited to be on the other side of the table for once.
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I worked on the ruffle today. I got two more panels embroidered, plus I've painted about 1/3 of it. I also went to Joanns and bought the wrong twill tape for the commission. :( But I did find a good braid for the archery bodice! I think I may switch to the archery bodice once I finish painting this section. If I somehow finish it before next Sunday, there's a SITU event I could wear it to. That said, though, it's kind of a long shot, since I haven't started on the sleeves or trimming the bodice. I still have to paint my shoes, too! (Does fabric paint work on elastic, btw? I know [livejournal.com profile] jenthompson had recommended sharpie-ing the elastic, but I couldn't find one that matched.) I also won't have time to make my hat, and the feathers I ordered for it won't even be here by next week. Hmm. It still might be fun, though. :)

In theatre news, we've posted our auditions for 1776, and have a batch of people already scheduled for slots. We also secured a really good venue. I'm so excited! This is really happening!!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I got my bow in the mail on Friday! It's so beautiful. This is the original listing, and it looks even prettier in person. Yesterday, I took it to an archery shop, and got a string put on it, and I ordered 5 wooden arrows to be made with fletching kind of similar to my dress. I picked up the arrows today, along with a bow stringer, since wooden bows can't be stored strung. It works really nicely! When I tested the bow yesterday with the aluminum arrows, I hit the bullseye (though granted, the test target is not very far away), and today with all my arrows, I hit within the smallest ring. I think I'm going to bring it all over to my BF's house next week, and we'll set up some sort of target in his backyard. I also found out about an outdoor range nearby, so I think I'm going to see about hosting a costumed archery event this summer.

I also sewed a decent amount this weekend. I got two panels embroidered and painted for the 2nd ruffle - just four panels left to go! I also worked on the commission - all the patterning that I had to do for it is done, and all the pieces are cut out and just need to be assembled. I'm thinking I can maybe even finish it before the end of this week! Just so you all have an idea of what I'm doing with the "eyes" now, this was the new method I came up with. I haven't changed up the bodice ruffle eyes yet (I got orange paint to add in the separation, and the black dots are much larger), but here's a skirt ruffle:

In other costume-related news, I booked our room for the Port Townsend Victorian festival! Is anyone else going? I also went to an estate sale yesterday, and found these lovely pieces!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I'm failing my goals so far this week! It seems I just don't have enough time after work to sew on the commission and my own stuff. That said, I have done work on the commission! And since I worked so much on the orange gown last weekend, I'm not technically behind. Yesterday, I did gather the finished ruffle, so that's ready to be pinned on to the skirt, and I serged the panels for the other ruffle. Today, I basted two panels of the other ruffle to the stabilizer, but that's it. However, I assembled a good portion of my commission today, so it was nice to knock that out.

I have a production meeting for 1776 tomorrow, though, so there will likely be no sewing happening. 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I'm ahead of schedule! Which is good, since I just took on another commission. My goal on the orange gala gown had been one panel, either embroidered or painted, per night. Well yesterday, I embroidered three panels, and today, I painted three panels. But I don't want to rest on my laurels. Once the paint is dry, I'll be able to gather the one tier, and attach it to the skirt. Or at least, pin it to see how it looks. And then I'll start on tier two. It's definitely tedious when I do multiple days' worth at once, but it's not so bad once it's broken up. No picrures, because if I took pictures of every single panel, you'd just be bored. Heck, you're probably bored already.

I've also already started on the commission. It shouldn't be too terribly much work, which is good, since I have a beginning of March deadline on it. I've already finished one piece of it, which was just an alteration. I was hoping to get to cutting out fabric pieces for it tonight, but alas - it's bedtime.

No work on the archery dress, but I did win a vintage bow in good condition on ebay! I know it's silly to purchase it, since it won't even fit in my luggage for Coscol, but I figure if I can finish the dress before the Port Townsend Victorian weekend in March, then I'll bring it with me. And maybe I'll have to organize an archery costuming event - anyone know if it's legal to practice archery in a public park? ;)

In theatre news, we have all our staff for 1776, and are having our first official production meeting this week. We're hoping to do auditions by the end of the month. I'm so excited! I've also been cast in a play which will start rehearsals mid-March. It's a new work, and a straight play. Other than a short play in college, I've never done a new work before, and I haven't been in a straight play since 2011, so I'm glad I'm finally getting a chance to do another. Though I am relieved that it doesn't start rehearsals until after my commission is due.
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I painted one panel of the skirt ruffle today! I'm hoping maybe tomorrow I can catch up from yesterday - my goal is to do one panel, either painted or embroidered, per day. The disgusting thing is that still means 24 days total for the skirt ruffles! I didn't get to do anything yesterday, which is why I need to catch up.

But yesterday's cabaret was such a success!!! We filled up the house, and had to add more seats, and I think we raised over $550 dollars through the cabaret. Amazing. Our indigogo is up to $500, too! I'm so excited about this show! I've never produced anything before, and though it's already been a ton of planning and strategizing, it's really been quite fun so far. I'll try not to post this too many times, but again, if you want to help support our production, please visit our indigogo
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I spent most of today rehearsing for my cabaret tomorrow, so I didn't get too much sewing done. All I managed was the embroidery stitches on one panel of the skirt ruffle (out of 12 panels total).

I probably won't be able to sew anything tomorrow, either, because I'm performing in a cabaret after work. The cabaret is a fund-raiser to launch the money-raising campaign for the all-female production of 1776 I am co-producing this summer. Our goal is to raise at least $4100 by March 23rd to make our production a reality. If anyone would like to help, here's a link to our indigogo: http://igg.me/at/allfemale1776/x/9600526 We would really appreciate it!

Also, I think I may have figured out an idea to help with the trimming. I'm going to make the black circles a little bigger, as (I believe) [livejournal.com profile] nuranar suggested, and I'm also going to allow some orange space between each of the eyes. For the ones I haven't painted yet, I'm just going to leave some of the background showing at the scallop points. If that's not enough (since the scallop stitch will still be there, I will paint over the scallop points with orange paint. I also plan to use orange paint for the bodice ones that I've already done. Though, of course, that means I need to go buy orange paint, and I won't have a chance till at least Tuesday night. I also need to try to remember to get a nice rubber-tipped stilleto. It's really hard to keep my finger along the edge of the foot, in order to stop the fabric from pulling underneath the satin stitches.
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Now that there's two, I'm starting to think I might be okay with it. You know, that, and trying to come up with any other option and getting nothing that would actually work. The only thing I can think of is to rub a little orange paint over the other colors in the "eyes." I tried it on one test eye, and really, I think it just made it look like the color had seeped into the fabric, but it dim the paint. However, the embroidery stitches are still the same light colors as the paint, so it didn't really do as much as I would have hoped.

Here's the updated pictures. Has it improved any?

First, with flash.

And without:
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I did 1/10th of the ruffles today, and pinned it in place. But now I'm worried it looks to clownish! Does it? Or am I just being crazy? And just fyi, the cording is just pinned on top right now, so the ruffle will actually be about .5" shorter when it's really sewn on. And of course, I'll have a real sleeve instead of a scrap of fabric. :)

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