theladyrebecca: (Default)
Today, I worked from 9:30am-6pm, returned a bunch of stuff to Target, went grocery shopping, came home and unpacked everything, rode my bike to the Ballard Locks and back again (meeting a large family of Canada geese en route), made dinner (I never cook - but I made fish, for the second time ever!), finished my Regency corset, uploaded pictures to facebook, and watched a movie. I don't know when the last time was that I felt like I did so much!

And so as a reward, here are some pictures! I haven't done a photoshoot of the finished corset on me, but here's a couple on Antoinette. When I take some with me wearing it, I'll do my HSF entry, since this is my "white" project.

And a couple pictures of my new bike! I'm really liking having a bike, but geez - even the shallow hills are tough (especially on my knees)! Please ignore the disaster-zone of a living room.

And because that wasn't enough, some wildlife friends for you. First, one of the goslings I met today (I'm naming him Ryan), and second, my Squirrel friend from the Ballard Locks park a couple weeks ago.
theladyrebecca: (Default)
The binding is done! No new pictures yet, though. And I've decided to look through some of the stitches on the machines at work, so the decorative stitches should be done by tomorrow evening. And then all I'd have to do are the eyelets on the straps. Maybe it will even convince me to do the eyelets on the 1780s stays straps too!

In any case, it's very wearable. Now I have to figure out what to do next - 50s Cinderella, 17th c orange gown, curtain-along (which I still haven't decided if I want to do a caraco or a pierrot!)? Or do something I don't necessarily have to do right now, and make a Regency dress (and petticoat) to go with my stays. It's probably a bad sign that I'm leaning towards Regency, since I'm not even planning on wearing it to CosCol!

And on an unrelated note, my new bike arrived today!! I haven't really ridden a bike since... I was maybe 13 or 14? But I'm excited! Of course, I rode it home from the shop, and everything was going just fine until I entered my neighborhood. Even the shallower slope to get to my street felt huge. And by the time I walked it up the road to get to my driveway/my driveway, I was absolutely exhausted (I think it's like a 19% grade?). But I'm looking forward to improving my stamina. And the bike is so pretty! I haven't taken pictures of my actual bike yet, but if anyone wants to see what it looks like, you can go here (it's the teal one). Now I need to don a 50s/60s beach dress and do a photoshoot!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Skipping yesterday's photo in favor of the ones I took today! At this point, the binding is about 1/3 done on the top (and not at all on the bottom), but that's pretty much all that's left to do. I also am putting decorative stitches in the gaps in the cording on the front, but I haven't decided on what stitch (I might do it on one of the machines at work). I also need to do eyelets to connect the straps to the front. But then again, I "finished" my 1780s stays (and have worn them multiple times), and there are still no strap eyelets on those either.

But here's some photos. After I had finished all the cording, boning, and eyelets, I put it on, and found that I could close it all the way in back. So I took a 1" pinch down each side, and while it still closes all the way at the very top, the rest has a gap. (All my corsets close at the CB top. I must have a very narrow upper back.) Oh, and I'm pretty sure all the wrinkling is just because I hadn't finished off the ends of the boning channels yet.

The back before I took out the extra 2", and after.

And a close-up of the cording. I wound up using 100% cotton yarn, doubled in each channel. I fed it through by poking open a tiny hole with an awl, and then using my turner-thing-a-ma-jig (that you use to turn tubes) to thread the yarn through.
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Maybe the picture will work today? Of course, this is yesterday's picture, and I have since done all the boning channels (and got my boning!), and done a little over 1/3 of the cording channels. Next, I'm going to insert the cording on the channels I have finished, to make sure everything works, before doing the rest of the channels. And the eyelets. And the binding. But it's coming along!

So here's yesterday's pic:

Now the question is, do I do my eyelets H/A, and have them spiral lace, or do the crossing laces, which are way easier for me to do up by myself...?
theladyrebecca: (Default)

All my pieces are together, so I took a fuzzy phone pic! Still needs cording, bones, eyelets, binding, etc, but I'm liking it so far. I did find a local source for boning, so I'll hopefully be picking that up by Monday. And I tested the yarn-as-cording today, and I like it! Thanks everyone!

Ok, the pic is not working. I'll try again tomorrow.

theladyrebecca: (Default)

This is the second time I've tried to buy boning from Pacific Fabrics, and the second time they haven't had the lengths I needed. I have one other local place I could call tomorrow in the hopes that they carry boning. But if they don't, I might have to use cable ties again. But ugh! I really want to use steel boning!


Most of the pieces are put together. I just have to put the four bust gussets in one of the front panel layers, and attach that panel. The rest of the panels and gussets are already together. And I bought some slightly stiff-ish cotton yarn today, so I'm going to try some cording with it tomorrow.

theladyrebecca: (Default)
I went all over looking for cording for the Regency stays today. I was hoping to find some 1/8" hemp cording, like in [ profile] jennylafleur's tutorial. I found 1/8" poly cording, but nothing else in that size (everything else, in both cotton and hemp was either very thin beading cording, or about 1/4" thick, including what I've found online). I wound up buying some jute cording, and playing around with it, but I'm worried it's going to be too thick. Here's a picture, with my sanded down busk ruler and fingers for scale.

Has anyone used jute before? And/or, if you've made Regency stays, what kind of cording did you use (and where did you find it!)?

Because I was messing with finding (or trying to find) cording today, all I managed to do was cut out the rest of the pieces. Though I did also run a bunch of other errands. And I bought a bike! I'm so excited for it to arrive. The bike shop said I should have it by next Tuesday.
theladyrebecca: (Default)
On Saturday, I finished up my paper mock-up of my Regency Stays, so yesterday, I cut it all out in my mockup fabric. Today, I sewed it together, and it fit almost perfectly. I think I'm going to put the placement of the bust gussets slightly closer to the CF, like in the original pattern, but that's the only change I need to make. And of course, now that I ordered the 18" ruler, it looks like all I need is a 15" busk anyway.

I started cutting out my cotton twill today, and hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to finish my cutting and sew it all together! Of course, I still have to buy boning and cording, so I'm definitely not finishing this anytime soon!

In other news, either Weebly fixed their upload settings, or my internet is running faster (knock on wood), because I was able to upload some new (read, from like 2 yrs ago through now) pictures to my website! I haven't had time to do descriptions yet, but I've uploaded new pictures to my 17th and 18th c pages.
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)
Here's some pictures of my almost-completed stays, and the top of the quilted petticoat!


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)

I chained myself to a chair today. Okay, not literally, but I really did attempt to spend as little time as possible on the computer, so that I could get a lot of tabs done. And I did! I only have 3.5 left, to just whipstitch the back of the bias down, and then I'm done! Or at least, I'm done with the tabs. I still have to do the eyelets to tie the straps to the front of the stays. But then that's it.


I also bought bias tape to do the waistband of the quilted petticoat, and my plan is to have both if these projects finished by the time I go black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving. And maybe by then I'll have even started the regency stays or my mom's jacket. That said, I probably won't be able to sew anything tomorrow, since it's off to work and then to see a show. But it's nice that these last two days off have actually been mildly productive!


theladyrebecca: (Default)
If you've been following my LJ for a while, you may remember that in March or so of 2011, I attempted to start hand-quilting a quilted petticoat. And then I got to about 19" square and gave up. A couple months later, I bought some pre-quilted matelasse fabric in Joanns' home dec area. So finally, nearly a year and a half later, I'm actually getting around to making it into a quilted petticoat! I washed it last week and started draping the pleats on Antoinette, but today I finally figured out the pleating arrangement, and stitched them all up. I also leveled the hem by adjusting at the waist, which I hadn't done on my previous petticoats. The only thing is that I want the ability to wear it over pocket hoops at some point, so I don't know whether or not to actually hem it at this point. All that's left now, though, is to sew the waistband tapes on. But that means I need to make another trip to Joanns first. Luckily, I'm off two more days this week!

Now I just need to talk myself into doing more binding on the stays. I swear, I just need someone to chain me to a chair in the middle of a room with nothing but the stays and a needle and thread. And then maybe, just maybe, I'd actually finish the binding.
theladyrebecca: (Default)

I did something productive today! I think part of my disinclination to sew lately had been my frustration with Antoinette. For quite some time she has been completely unable to wear any of my bodices/corsets, so I have had to fit everything directly on me every time. Considering my new stays are back lacing, there was just no way I'd be able to put them on every single time I wanted to do anything with the riding habit or robe a la turque. So today, I gave Antoinette another mastectomy. And some general liposuction. I think now (once I go buy more batting tomorrow), I should be able to fit my bodices and stays on her,  and she'll squeeze just like I would. I'm going to try Lauren's trick with the squishy lentils in nylons for the bust, too. I'm excited to see if it all works.


That said, I do admit to actually working on some of the binding a couple days ago, too (while watching The Duel, which was a very pretty costume drama I had never heard of before). But I haven't even started on the tabs yet... :(

theladyrebecca: (Default)
All this curtain-along talk is seriously tempting me. But I already have so many things on my plate (and a definite lack of funds) that I know I shouldn't jump in. If I ever finish the stays, the first thing up will be my red wool 1780s riding habit, which is based on this portrait of Baroness Crussol. Somewhere before Thanksgiving, I also need to finish a mockup of a late Victorian/early Edwardian jacket for my mom (the final will be her Christmas present). And I was still thinking I might want to throw together a Victorian fancy dress costume for Halloween. Plus, this year I'm finally going to make the robe a la turque that I bought fabric for over a year ago. And I bought a ton of fabric in the fabric district to finally start making some Regency things. But I think not having any events to wear this stuff to is really hindering any potential progress. I miss being in the Bay Area, where there was always some sort of upcoming event! And I'm jealous of all you east-coasters, who at the very least have a bunch of reenactments you can visit...

So I don't know - should I be weak and jump on the bandwagon? (I tend to have a rule that I never pay more than $7/yd for fabric, unless it's silk.) Or should I be strong, and just actually work on the projects already on my plate.

And as far as the stays go, I did actually start on the binding. But I still have a long road ahead of me.


Sep. 6th, 2012 02:26 pm
theladyrebecca: (Default)
The good news ---> It fits!

The bad news ---> How the heck do people do back spiral lacing by themselves?! I decided to be at least partially historically accurate and go for spiral lacing instead of the criss-cross kind. I laced it up before I put it on, anchoring one end at the bottom, and managed to squeeze into the stays (popping the ribbon out of the top few eyelets in the process). But trying to tighten up the stays was terrible. Spiral lacing seems to like to lock with every row, so I can't just pull out every few laces to tighten up the whole thing. And the only way I was able to tighten up the bottom at all was to undo my anchor point and tighten the bottom entirely separately. At that point I had both the top and the bottom of the ribbon loose (not to mention the ribbon wasn't even through the top few eyelets).

So how is this supposed to be done? Besides having a lady's maid, that is... Because there's no way I can go through all that hassle (it probably took me at least 10 minutes to put on) every time I need to do a fitting for the riding habit and robe a la turque.

As far as the fit goes, I think it's in a good place. The only thing I didn't like was that the top of the horizontal boning (the small piece at the bottom of each strap) was really digging into my armpits. Any suggestions on ways to get around that? I like the smoothing it provides, but at this point my only idea is to remove that piece entirely.

So now other than figuring out those two problems, I just have to do the eyelets on the straps, and all the binding. I may or may not make a lining (frankly, probably not). And I want to do the narrow binding pieces on the outside of the seams, because I really like that look. And I really want to find a way to decrease the size of my ribcage, but that's a personal problem...

Anyway, here's some progress pics:
theladyrebecca: (Default)
So back when I was without internet (about 1.5 weeks ago?), I did actually wind up finishing that fairytale toile dress. I just neglected to tell you all about it. And it does still need the crino-slip I plan to make for it. Eventually. If you remember, this started out as a quick and easy project that I would finish within a day or so, and just be a modern sundress using McCalls 5094. But then I started adding random elements that had nothing to do with the original pattern. For example, I added two side panels to the skirt, and knife pleated the skirt at the waist as if it was an 18th c petticoat. I also added a ruffle around the bottom, with dagged and scalloped edges, done with my pinking sheers. And there's a band of pink just above that, because I didn't have enough fabric to make the nice long ruffle like I wanted. I also added small puffed cap sleeves. And I changed the zipper from a standard back zip to an invisible side zip, and made it a gathered neckline in the front, bound with matching bias tape. The finishing touch is the attached pink "sash" with big butt bow.

I really like how it came out, and I'm super proud of that zipper, though I think I made it so well "hidden" that it's a bid hard to zip up. Please ignore my really awkward facial expression. And yes, that is the Weasley Clock behind me. :)

In other news, I've been working on my stays for the last week or so. Thanks for your advice from my last post, because taking in the back at a diagonal and rotating the grain to form a new straight edge seemed to improve my lack of gap at the top. And since then I've cut out my actual pieces, plus redrafted the front a tiny bit (which I didn't put in a new mockup, so I hope it works). And I sewed all my boning channels (or almost all, since I'm going to sew the tops of the vertical channels, where the bones run up behind the horizontals by hand) and cut all my boning down to size, and did my eyelets. So once I finish the tops of those channels, I'll be able to sew the pieces together (and make sure it still fits!). I'm really excited. Hopefully I'll do that tomorrow. 

I also promise that now that all the official CosCol pics are up, I'll start to do my "what I wore" recaps.
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I finally have internet back!

And on that note, I have a question for all of you knowledgable people - I'm making new stays, and I have a problem - my back curves in a ton between my shoulder blades and neck (like at least a good 3-4"). Usually, I combat this by curving all of my back seams, which is fine for Victorian, but doesn't seem to make much sense in 18th c stays. Right now, my mockup has straight edges in the back, and my stays close all the way at the top, and have a 4" gap in the bottom. I'm hoping to continue losing weight, so I want the 4" gap. How do I get the gap all the way up, without curving the back seams?
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I'm thinking about creating some business postcards, since I would like to really get into creating costumes to sell to other people, but I don't really know what I should put on them. Thus, if anyone an help me, I'm going to post pictures of what I think are my best projects, and if you can all vote on what should go on there, that would be really helpful. Unfortunately, I don't have about half the costumes with me right now, so I'm not able to retake pictures of any but the 17th c gown, the medieval, the navy ren gown, and the chemise a la reine (and it would involve finding someone to take the pictures, since I know the bathroom mirror ones aren't particularly professional).


Feb. 9th, 2011 12:00 am
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I feel accomplished! I finished doing all the binding on my stays today, which means they are officially done! I will probably make straps for them before I do something 18th c, which means I would have four more eyelets to bind at that time, but they are done for now! And it's only taken me what - since June 09 to finish them? So it makes me very happy. And though time consuming and painful to my finger, the binding really wasn't that hard.

I also did my other sleeve for the 17th c bodice today, which means that the bodice is structurally done (except the hem, but that's because I'm attaching the skirt to half of it. Next step is to add all the trim, and the hook and eye closures in front. And I won't be using the trim I posted in the pictures last time, since there just wasn't enough, so I went to Joanns today and found a similar, though slightly cheaper looking trim. I bought 7 yards, which is probably (hopefully) overkill, but we'll see. It's still a lace with pearls combo.

And all that today, while having an eight hour rehearsal for the show I'm doing right now - Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type (it's theatre for young audiences). I'm having a blast!

No pics, since it's too late for me to try stuff on tonight, but I hope to have pics fairly soon.

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