theladyrebecca: (Default)
Today, we went to the Pioneer Farm Museum in Eatonville. It was really cute! I think it would have been more fun if I was a kid, because it's very hands-on for kids - they get to dress up, and do all sorts of pioneer activities, like kneading dough, washing clothes, etc. They even can have their hair curled with antique curling irons! It was still a neat museum, and we got to see several old cabins dating from around the 1880s, and meet all the animals that live on the farm.

I did manage to get to a little sewing/crafting tonight, though. I painted my Fugawees to match the Victorian child dress. I rubbed them down with acetone, then did three coats of each color so that there would be minimal streaks, and then used a matte finish on top. Getting the exact shade of pink was challenging, but I made it in the end! (it required mixing a tiny bit of mauve with equal parts red and salmon, I think).

While I was doing that, my mom fixed (at least for now!) the tiara I ordered recently. She reglued sooo many rhinestones, but it still seems like every time it's touched, more fall out. So basically, it's pretty, but I highly doubt it will last. Still waiting for my refund to go through...

I also did another embroidery repeat on Anna, and came close to finishing the binding on that last overskirt tab. Ideally, I'd like to finish the tab, do another Anna repeat, and make a bodice mockup tomorrow, but since my mom is still here, I also have to make sure she's not sitting around bored while I'm sewing. Definitely feeling the crunch!

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 have done almost no sewing since my last post. In fact, I wound up with a massive headache yesterday after work, and fell asleep at about 9:30, which for me is insane. I figured I would probably just wake up early and sew this morning, but I actually managed to sleep for nine hours! I guess I needed it. I did have enough time this morning to serge two of the Rapunzel skirt panels, but that's it. (Have I mentioned before how much I hate poly satin on the bias?)

My cedar balls also arrived yesterday, so I took the boots out of the freezer, vacuumed all the moth poop out of them, and put a few cedar balls inside, as well as the slipper socks that were keeping the non-moth-eaten one upright (maybe moths don't like slipper socks?) They are now back on top of my bookshelf. My guess is that my moth traps will arrive today, so I'll put one of those up there too, and I'll be monitoring both the traps and the boots very closely over the next several days. Fingers crossed!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
No, seriously. These are the biggest sleeves I've ever made. They are 30" tall, and 36" across. All of that fabric will be from my elbow to my shoulder. Right now, all I've done is cut them out, but they are going to be ginormous. Just in case you don't believe me, here's a picture of the piece, with my 18" ruler for scale:

The upper sleeve will consist of the outer layer, which is a tea-dyed embroidered stripe cotton, organdy interlining, a gathered strip of crinoline that has been doubled over in order to be 6" wide, and a fitted muslin lining. Somehow I'm going to have to gather the 55" sleeve head into my 18.5" armseye. I hope this works!

I took a look at my 1890s extant bodice to see how those crazy sleeves are constructed. It is a later bodice, I think, since while it does have large sleeves, they're nothing like this. It has a smaller lining and a larger outer sleeve (the outer having weird squared corners that are tacked down to the body of the sleeve), but the crinoline in the sleeve is not between the two layers. It's below the liner layer, which seems like it would be very itchy and uncomfortable!

Anyway, I had to run all sort of errands yesterday, so all I had time for was cutting out. I'm hoping tonight to at least make the whole upper sleeves, and I think I may be able to finish the entire sleeve. Then it's just filling in the neckline/collar and making the belt!

I realized, too, that I will have at least one event coming up that I can actually wear this to! Port Gamble, the cute little Victorian factory town across the water, is having a Steampunk faire in a couple weeks. I think this will be perfect to wear for that. I also may go to Steamposium, which is a Steampunk con in Seattle in late Sept. Not sure on that one yet, though, since it's quite expensive and they haven't released any scheduling details yet.

On the moth front, I vacuumed the top of the bookshelf this morning. Lots more moth poop underneath where the carriage boots were. I moved all the other boots up there to clean the whole thing, and I found a live moth hiding between the ivory Funtasmas and my vintage Mickey marionette (who I had already checked for moths on Sunday). Naturally, the Funtasmas became a weapon of death, but it was disconcerting to see a live one. I hope they're not hiding out anywhere else. Do they eat books? I still have to vacuum the floor by the bookshelf, but that will have to happen tonight. The boots are still in the freezer. 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I got a fair amount done on Rapunzel this weekend. I mocked up the pattern, which was a nearly perfect fit. The only thing I had to change was the angle of the straps, so I only had to recut one of the pieces, and everything else from the mockup will be my interlining. I serged all the interlinings to the outer pieces, and sewed them all together. I'm pretty sure my Rapunzel pattern has more pieces than any other bodice I've made. There are 17 pieces, and two layers in each piece. But it always has turned out really nice before, so I hope this is no exception.

I've decided to go with flat steels for the boning. I just don't feel like spiral steels are going to have enough hold, and I've never worked with them before, so I guess it makes me nervous. I don't think it will wind up too terribly stiff. There will be a piece of boning on each seam, (stopping under the bust in the front), and the front lacing will have boning on either side that goes from bottom to top. I would like to figure out the measurements today, but at the same time, I'm wondering right now if I have it going too far over the hips. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be able to make that call until I start the skirt and see them both together. So the boning may have to wait. Luckily, there's a local lady who sells pre-cut boning, so I can order from her and just pick it up, which means no waiting for shipping!

Speaking of shipping, my Vogue fabrics order should be arriving today, which means I'm going to put Rapunzel aside for a day or two, and hopefully finish off the 1890s outfit. It shouldn't need much, and I find that giant gathered sleeves are always easier than fitted ones. I think I may do a fitted liner inside the pouf to keep the pouf in place, but it doesn't have to be pretty!

In other news, I went to the Ren Faire on Saturday. It was way better than when I went a couple years ago, probably due mostly to the perfect weather this time. We only stayed for a few hours, but my bf found pants that I think he can use for Flynn, and he got to try on the boots that he's ordering online. I didn't feel in the mood for hoops and velvet, so I wore my maiden outfit, which is basically my Ren corset, a peasant blouse, a couple of 18th c petticoats, and lots of flowers. It was comfy at least!

And a follow-up to my last post. It sounds like my boots somehow got moths. :( They're in the freezer right now, so hopefully all the moths will die. I checked all my other antiques, including the Victorian clothing and the vintage furs, and there's no sign of the moths in any of them. It definitely makes me nervous, though - how did they get in? I've had these boots for two years, and this could only have happened (at least I'm pretty sure) in the last several months. 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I'm really worried about my carriage boots. I've had them for about two years, I think, and in that time, I've kept them on display on top of my bookshelf, along with my Victorian repro boots. They're quilted silk with rabbit fur trim, and they had only a few tears/imperfections when I bought them on ebay. However, when I pulled my Fugawees down for CoCo, I noticed there was a tiny bit of the rabbit fur on the side of one boot, where it had been touching one of the carriage boots. I thought nothing of it - fur always sheds a little, right?

Today, though, I went to go dust the boots, and all I did was blow on them, and fur started flying off in small clumps. I took them down and examined them further. The left boot, which had been touching the Fugawee boot, is losing a ton of fur. (See first picture) The right boot, on the other hand, has had almost no fur loss. I can't understand why one is being so affected, and the other is not, but naturally, I'm really concerned. The only differences I can think of is that for the last 5-6 months, the left boot has been touching the Fugawee, which is leather with paint on top, whereas the right boot has been touching a poly-lace/PVC Funtasma boot. Also, the left boot had the plastic insert from a Gingher box keeping it upright, whereas the right boot had three slipper socks stuffed inside to keep it upright,.

The left boot seems like maybe it's silk is deteriorating too? There are tiny black specs that have gotten all over the inside (which is white silk, so that seems peculiar), and were coming off the outside with a slightly damp cloth. The other thing I noticed is that the left boot also seemed to have little greyish things on/in it, maybe 1cm long, and about as thick as two pencil leads. I thought at first they were dead bugs, which really scared me, but they don't appear to be. No sign of legs or antennae, and they didn't crunch when I was cleaning them off the boot. I saw one on the right boot, and few very black specs.

So basically, I'm at a loss, and I'm feeling horrendously guilty that these lovely boots, which have lasted probably over 100 years before coming to me, are all of a sudden falling apart in my care. But what do I do? I doubt there is any way to reattach the fur that has come off, but is there a way to stop it from happening even more? For now, I have put the left boot in a ziplock bag, and put them both on a shelf in the closet instead of on my bookshelf. However, I did buy them to display them, so I'd like to be able to put them back... Help!

There's a bunch of pictures under the cut, so you know what I'm talking about. )
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I feel like I worked forever today on the archery dress, and I don't feel like I'm too much farther along. I made piping, or at least some piping. (I think I'm going to have to make more, but I only had about 90" of cording.) I did wind up taking apart the sleeves to insert the piping and lace above the elbow, because I think it would have looked messy if I just sewed it on top. I also decided on which lace to use for the shoulders, and cut and gathered that.

I tried on the bodice again when working on trim placement, realized that a) I needed to take up part of the shoulder seam, and b) I think I'm going to have to pad my bust, which is really weird to me. I'm getting a weird line in my center bust because of the busk of my corset - not sure how they managed to mask this in the early 1830s, when they wore corsets with big wooden busks in them. I know the Victorians padded - maybe they padded in the 30s, too? I did get my trim placement figured out, stitched together the trim layers, and stitched all that on, too. The whole day, I was just waiting for the moment when I would run out of my ivory and my dusty blue thread, both of which I had almost none of at the top of the day. Somehow, though, through a very vigilant use of various bobbin threads, I managed to make it the whole day with just enough thread (that said, I will definitely have to stop at Joanns after work tomorrow).

I'm going to pipe the CF opening, as well as the shoulder seams. And I think I'll be using hooks and eyes to close it, because I have no idea what else would make sense. I also have to figure out what I'm going to use for the ruff around the neck. I don't know that I have enough organdy left, and then I would have to tea-dye it to make it ivory. But otherwise, I would have to use lace, because using the silk left from the skirt doesn't seem like it makes sense. Plus, I have no idea which lace I would use - there are so many already in this bodice. If you can believe it from looking at the pictures, the lace on the bodice front and at the elbow is actually the same - it started out as 5-6" wide lace with scallops on both edges, and it is left over from my chiffon and lace Edwardian gown from a few years ago (as is the lace at the shoulders). On the bodice, I stitched down the middle so that the scallops would just peek around the braiding I layered on top. The lace on the sleeve puffs is a vintage lace I picked up at some estate sale.

And here's the pictures!

I also painted my boots today. The color looked totally right as I was mixing it, but now I'm worried that the blue is really way too turquoise. Maybe I'll wind up brushing some sand color over the light blue before sealing them.

theladyrebecca: (Default)
No progress to report. Yesterday, I was too busy to sew after work, and today I didn't feel well. I have sewn four buttons on my 1860s bodice, but one was with the wrong color thread, so I will have to redo it.

I did have a good mail day today, though! My stabilizer came for the colored ruffles on the gala gown, and my Fugawees came back in a width that actually fits! Here's a picture:

It did dawn on me, though, since I plan to paint these, that there's a giant elastic gusset. How do I paint a giant elastic gusset? 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Apparently I went crazy, so I decided to finish the corded petticoat today. 49 rows of cording in all. I had to add a 7.5" wide top piece for length, since the cording shortened it so much! And naturally, I got to what I thought were my last two rows, and ran out of cording, so I had to make a mad dash to Joanns. (Though I then wound up doing four more rows of cording.) I like how it looks, though! I haven't starched it yet. That, and adding the hooks and eyes at the waist will wait till a bit closer to when I'm actually wearing it, which probably won't be for quite a while.

And that wasn't the only thing I got done today, too! I had a good mail day, and my dyeable flats for the gala gown arrived, as did my new Fugawees. Unfortunately, I had to exchange the Fugawees for a wider size, so those have already begun their journey back to FL. But I did dye the flats! They're very orange. Hopefully not too orange, since the shoes in the original fashion plate were much brighter than the dress as well. I also bought ribbons to match.

I also started on the archery dress skirt. The two panels are cut out, the side seams are sewn, and I have pinned all the pleats, so they're ready to be sewn. I think I might have the whole thing finished tomorrow, minus the hem (which will have to wait until I make another petticoat, plus I want my Fugawees back before I hem). Not sure, though, since I'm really hoping my BF and I will finally go see The Imitation Game. Plus, my parents' gift to me of Ticket to Ride arrived today, too, so I think a round of that is in order. 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I finally took those pictures of the riding habit that I promised you guys! It's wrinkling weirdly, and I don't know why, and I have no clue how to fix it, but otherwise I think I like it. I wore it with my American Duchess Kensingtons, which I painted red and paired with my vintage shoe buckles. (And yes, that's my fichu pretending to be a waistcoat).

Since taking the pictures this morning, I've finished stitching the lining to the front of the bodice on one side, and added buttonholes to the front. I still have the other side of the lining to stitch down, a little tacking on the cuffs, and tacking so that the collar doesn't roll over, plus all the buttons. And if I ever find fur, the hem of the jacket will be trimmed with fur.

I'm still thinking I might be able to wear this for my portrait sitting on Friday morning. If so, my plan is to make a false waistcoat front to wear with it, since there is definitely no time to make a real one before then. I would also need to make the matching hat. If I can't finish all that, then I'll just wear the robe a la turque.

In other news, I am once again hating my big feet. This time, it's because I bought these beautiful antique carriage boots from ebay, knowing they were going to be too small to wear, but not knowing that I would soooo badly want to wear them because they're in such beautiful condition! I think I'm going to have to try to reproduce them. I also bought a gorgeous vintage fur muff!

I also realized I never actually posted those 50s lipstick tutorial pictures I did a couple weeks ago. So here's a few of those:

theladyrebecca: (Default)
I don't feel like I was all that productive this year, probably since the early candy bustle wound up taking up soooo much of my time, but I did make a fair bit leading up to CosCol.

Pictures under the cut. )

My goals for 2012 were:
-a black knee length skirt. I didn't make one, but I bought one!
-the 1869 Pink Candy Striped Early Bustle Gown. Completed!
-Titanic gown. I started one, but I never finished it. The skirt is done, and the bodice is partially done. Now it's languishing as a ufo.
-Teens-era corset. Completed!
-Ballgown bodice for my black and gold plaid Dickens dress. Completed!
-Late Victorian jacket for my mom. She decided she wanted an Edwardian one instead. I've fitted the mockup to her, but haven't actually started the final jacket.
-Late Victorian bathing suit. Completed!
-18th c Robe a la Turque. Not for 2012, but I've finally started it!
-18th c quilted petticoat. Completed!
-1780s-style red wool Riding Habit. Started, but not yet finished.
-18th c red wool cloak. Nope, not yet.
-a Victorian waistcoat for my dad for Dickens. Nope, but I'll do it this year!
-18th c mitts. Nope.
-Regency corset. I didn't get into the CosCol class last year. We'll see if I can manage one on my own before this year's CosCol.
-Regency day dress. Nope.
-Regency overgown. Nope.

Overall, not too bad.
theladyrebecca: (Default)
My silk habotai came yesterday for the riding habit lining, so I went back to working on it. Yesterday, I cut out the pieces for the habit skirts and mock-pleated them on to the bodice, to figure out if I wanted it more habit-like or caraco-like. Habit won out. :) And then today, I cut out the silk for the all the linings (minus the sleeves), and attached most of the lining to the skirts (that silk is slippery!). I just have to hand-sew the lining down to the sides of the skirts, and then that can be pleated back up and attached to the bodice. I'm part-way through serging the bodice lining now, and then that will be sewn together and put in the bodice. I really appreciate the nice red color - it's almost like another Christmas decoration! (We finished that up this weekend, too.)

While I was procrastinating on some actual sewing today, too, I also painted my new American Duchess shoes. I'm saving one pair for later, but I knew I wanted one pair to be red, so I pre-treated the leather, and painted on about 2.5 coats of Angelus leather paint - first, just plain red, and then I mixed the red with a touch of black acrylic paint, since the first color was coming out way too bright. I like the way they look now, so when I next have a little time, I can do the finisher, and they'll be done!

I also pre-washed the wool for the waistcoat, so I can get started on that next. Or sleeves. I haven't decided which yet. And I cut out the pieces for my mom's Edwardian jacket. She thankfully agreed to a mock-up for Christmas, instead of the full thing, so it shouldn't be too big of a deal to redraft the Butterick pattern to her measurements and specifications. I have to do it soon, though, since I leave for home a week from Thursday, and I work every single day till then.


Nov. 27th, 2012 12:05 am
theladyrebecca: (Default)
The binding is done!!! I still need to do some eyelets for the shoulder straps, but otherwise the stays are done. I tried them on today when I finished the binding, and took some pictures of both the stays and the quilted petticoat, so those will be posted soon.

I must say, though, I hadn't realized just how high these stays go in the back! I tried on my floral robe a l'anglaise with them, to see if I could fairly easily alter the pattern for those to get the bodice patterns for my riding habit and robe a la turque, and the back of the dress is about 4" lower than the back of the new stays. I'm slightly disconcerted, but I think with at least both of these two projects, the back of the jacket/gown will be quite high, so hopefully the stays won't present a problem.

As far as shoes go, I wound up buying two pairs of imperfect Kensingtons. One of them I plan to paint red, using the angelus leather paints. And the other will probably stay ivory until I come up with a design I really like. I also bought a pair of red stockings from Sock Dreams, and I'll just have to live without clocks in my stockings.
theladyrebecca: (Default)
So American Duchess will no longer be making shoes in size 12. That sucks. Especially since I've had a gift card that I've been saving specially for the Tavistock boots, ever since I first heard her mention that they would be in the works some time in the far distant future. So now I'm left with a $100 gift card, which I may as well use during this weekend's black Friday sale.

The question is, what should I get?

I know I want to get a pair of Kensingtons. I really want the red, but alas, they are too pricey. Instead, I will definitely get one pair of ivory imperfect Kensingtons, which I will probably paint red. But what should I do with the remaining $40? I was thinking, maybe Georgianas? But I don't know if the silk is that practical... Or I could get another pair of imperfect Kensingtons, though that is slightly more expensive. Or I could try the stockings, though I think she said they don't stretch to fit larger legs...

Any opinions? And I mean opinions different than, "this sucks." Since frankly, that's how I'm already feeling.
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Today was our Tea and Titanic event, and while I didn't get any good pictures of me by myself, I did take a couple pics of my new "Princess Slip" before I left. And my Edwardian shoes complete with shoe clips.

theladyrebecca: (Default)
I finally painted my American Duchess Devonshire shoes this week! I based them off of this pair from the Bata Shoe Museum. I used the Angelus leather preparer, paints, and matte finisher from Dharma Trading. They are also shown here with the American Duchess Fleur buckles. I did the painting completely freehand, though in retrospect, I probably should have used some sort of measuring/straight edge, since my pattern is not at all uniform. I also painted on the "binding," since it worked well for my Regency shoes (though I might put actual binding on eventually). I wore them for the first time today at the San Jose Fantasy Faire, and they were very comfortable! I think I might put a small pad in the ball of the foot, but they were still more comfortable than any other heels I own.

I also finished my teens-era "Princess Slip" (which wound up not being Princess seamed, but I don't know what else to call it). It's soo cute! Pictures to come, I promise. For the first time ever, I didn't base it off of a pattern, or even a picture of a pattern, I just made the whole thing up. And I did my first-ever pintucks, which turned out really nice. The slip took way longer than I expected, since I added so much lace, but I think it was worth it. :)


Feb. 26th, 2012 12:57 am
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I just got back today from a week-long trip to Seattle. I went up there for an audition, and to scope out the various neighborhoods of the city, so that I'll better know where I want to live when I move up there in a couple months. And while I was away, my new shoes arrived!

The Bordello boots arrived before I left, but I'm returning them since they're pretty uncomfortable, especially for the price (and that way I save more money for whenever American Duchess releases her button boots). But before I left, I ordered these pumps in ivory. They arrived while I was gone, and they are perfect! They look even more Edwardian than they do on the website, and they're super comfy and very pretty. And because I found an online coupon, and bought the ivory colored ones, they were only $14.99! I kind of wish I had them in more than one color...

In other news, I''m super excited for the Oscars tomorrow! I guess I've run out of time to watch stuff, but I think the only movies (nominated for more than one award) that I haven't seen are Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Okay, so it's not quite done yet, but it almost is! I cut the top 5 steels shorter, to make it like the TV pattern, and the shape is sooo much better. Right now, I'm waiting on grommet tape to arrive from ebay, which I'm going to use as the tapes that hang down to attach to the edges of the top five steels. That way, I can lace around the back through the grommets, so it should look nice and neat. Once that arrives, I can sew the edges of the steels to the tape. In the meantime, the only thing I have left to do on it is to sew in the small bustle pad, and to stitch the tapes to the waistband. I also ordered two buckles from the same seller, for the waistband closures of both this, and the bustle I made last fall (which I wore pinned closed at the time).

I'm also working on a pair of Edwardian shoes, which are being made out of an old, very beat up pair of Leo's tan t-strap character shoes. So far, I have cut off the t-strap and resewn the edges, stripped off the peeling coating on the outer layer, and painted a black base coat. I haven't decided if I want to keep them black, or paint them with purple, red, or gold to match the sari my teens dress will be made out of. I also will be "beading" them (meaning I will be using either a beaded applique if I can find one I like, or else gluing seed beads to the shoe) over the toe, and for the straps, which I have yet to make.

And I ordered a pair of black "Bordello" boots (the ones with all the buttoned straps), which I've been wanting for a while.
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I think it just goes to show how lax I've been on pictures lately, but I took this on Nov 4th. And it's the only picture I've taken of any sewing work I've done since Jane.

This is the mid-Victorian lace cap I made based on the new Butterick pattern.

I also realized I never posted pics of my Devonshires from American Duchess. I haven't gotten to wear them for anything yet, but I tried them on when they arrived, using some vintage tension buckles I bought on ebay earlier this year.

Now I really really want the new Fleur Buckles she is offering! Maybe I'll get them for myself for Christmas. :)
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I tried on Jane last night, to make sure it fit alright. Good thing I did! The skirt waistband is a little bit gappy, but not enough that I think I want to move the bars smaller, at least at this point. The over-bustle waistband, however, was almost 3" too big, so I have to fix that. And another button broke, so I had to fix it. I hope to never have to use these buttons again. I also still have to do a little bit of pressing, and turn up the ends of the sleeves (I decided I like the length, so I won't be cuffing them up). I also still need to finish three more sides of the parasol trim. But anyway, here's some pictures!

I also finished up my shoes for the Queen of Naples ball on Saturday.

I decided I'm going to wear my chemise a la reine, except without stays on, and I'm going to belt the sash twice around a bit higher on the waist, as shown in the picture. And I'm doing my hair in a regency style, as opposed to hedgehog.

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