So in lieu of sewing content, here's a few pictures of the deck dress that I took the other day.
So in lieu of sewing content, here's a few pictures of the deck dress that I took the other day.
I was playing around with my hair yesterday to try to get the right look (I swear that simple-looking Edwardian hair is somehow one of the hardest hairstyles for me to achieve), and decided to take some pictures while wearing the full outfit. Of course, at that point, I still hadn't finished all of the closures, and I have since also tweaked the pickup in the back in the attempt to get a little more hem length, so these pictures are not ideal. They're also not edited yet, so while I will be posting them soon, I'm really just teasing them now. If you want to see the pictures I've already shared, you can click the link above for my instagram.
But in any case, I plan to put it all on again today and somehow figure out where I need to mark the hem length in the back so that I can get the whole thing finished tonight. I also have an etsy order for a tiny Cinderella dress, so that needs to be done tonight, too. After that, I have a Victorian commission I'll be starting work on as soon as I get the contract back, and that will likely be followed by another commission, so I'm not sure when exactly I'll be getting back to the bustle gown. Still, the commissions are good, since they will help me pay for Europe next year!
Then I hooped up the sleeve ends and the collar for embroidery, and set about putting together my embroidery patterns to the right fit and look. I was really hoping to get both cuffs in at once, but my hoop was about 1" of width short, so I had to do two hoopings. I left the first one (one sleeve and collar) going while I went to sleep, since it was a 63 minute stitch-out, and then this morning I flipped the design over and had the machine do the other cuff while I got ready for work. So now the embroidery is all done for this project!
I do have rehearsal tonight, but I'm hoping to maybe have a little time to work on it between work and rehearsal. I'd like to get the collar attached to the kimono sleeve portion and start on binding all the edges of that. It's getting close, though. I should almost certainly have the whole project done by Friday night.
Oh, and also, my satin shoes arrived (the parisxox ones that everyone has been buying on etsy). They're definitely tight in the toes, to the point where you can kind of see the shape of my foot in the shoe. (That said, in the pictures of Kate Winslet, you can see the shape of her foot in the shoes as well). Also, the weird diagonal side seam makes my foot look crazy wide. So I don't know if I'm going to keep them. I think I'm going to try wearing them around the house for a little bit and see if they stretch out. Otherwise, I'll have to find alternatives somewhere, and so far I'm coming up empty, since the only other dyeable pumps I've found are pretty clunky looking, and $55-60.
So far no luck on finding the appropriate buckle, though. If anyone has any leads to a 2.5" tall (interior measurement) oval buckle, either antique gold colored and textured or not (since I can always paint/add texture), please let me know! I've been all over ebay and aliexpress with no luck.
I'm in the middle of embroidering the white kimono sleeve portion right now - I finished the part across the shoulders and the back of the neck. Next up is the ends of the sleeves. Then I have to do a test of the collar, embroider the collar and attach it to the bodice, then bind the edges, add lace, and attach the yellow to the kimono sleeve part (luckily, I've already marked where that goes, so it shouldn't be too bad.
I still have the entire underblouse to do, though, including a mockup. I hope to knock out the mockup today, while finishing the kimono sleeve embroidery.
Here are some pictures. The first two were from before I figured out the fit of the bodice, and the second two were from afterwards. I tried to match pleats at the waist of the bodice to the pleats in the skirt, but it was wrinkling totally wrong. So I wound up doing no pleats in the back of the bodice, and taking a dart at where the side seam would be, and that fixed the fit issue.
Like seriously, I'm not even sure how that skirt works with the only seam being the center front, but that's just what it was. I still haven't concluded if the original was one piece from the top of the yellow to the hem. I'm leaning towards it having been two pieces, because it's a dogleg closure up the front, and that seems like it would be easier to do if the bodice was a separate piece from the skirt.
So anyway, my version is going to have a seam at the waist, as well as a curved seam up either side, because my fabric is 55" including the selvage. Then again, I suppose I shouldn't be stressing, since although the dress appears as a butter yellow on screen, it is actually a gold fabric with a leaf spray pattern. And mine is taffeta instead of satin. I did, however, find that I have an embroidery pattern that will be pretty darn close to the embroidery on the kimono sleeves. I just have to figure out what fabric to make the sleeves out of, and I'm really not sure what it's supposed to be... (any ideas?)
The next day, we went to Disneyland, which was not nearly as good! Disneyland seemed to be plagued with technical problems that day - first, we were evacuated from Haunted Mansion when we were about 20 people from the front of the line, then, Mickey's float stalled in front of us during the day parade (though to be honest, this was one of the highlights - I had no idea what would happen when a float fully stalled, and apparently, the answer is that all the dancers keep dancing for ten minutes, while they go find a heavy duty golf cart to hook up to the float to tow it the rest of the route. I loved Mickey's reaction to the whole ordeal, and we got to see inside the control panel of the float!), and then what really bummed me out was that the fireworks show froze halfway through, and we didn't get to see the end. :( Also, we checked at one point during the day, and Haunted Mansion, Thunder Mountain, and Space Mountain were all closed at the same time. Clearly, Disney was just having an off day.
I realized later that Ginger and I didn't get any pictures together, except for this hilarious snap from Hyperspace Mountain!
Thursday, reine_de_coudre met us for Denny's and kindly drove us up to CoCo. On the way, we stopped for a little bit in the fabric district, and to see the Reigning Men exhibit at LACMA. Seeing all that 18th c embroidery up close was really stunning! We got to CoCo just in time to get ready for check-in and the pool party. I wore my Titanic dinner dress, which I'm still not in love with, and I actually felt a bit out of place at the pool party, too, since everyone looked so fun and awesome in their 60s wear! I have to say, between the pool party and the Friday night social, I don't think I've ever seen so many people dress to the theme! It was also so nice to finally meet sadievale and quincy134!
I didn't take any pictures at all at the pool party, but luckily, rebecca817 snapped a couple!
The rest of the weekend is coming soon!
These were my goals:
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?
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!
I was pretty proud of how huge I got my hair, though it definitely got messier as the night progressed. They also gave us a goodie bag afterwards, with all this stuff, plus they gave out books called the Wit and Witticism of Downton Abbey.
Six caroling gigs later, I finally sat down to sew it on Sunday night. I sewed down both the sleeves, and was confused how she marked the back, since one side of the sleeve/back piece went past the edge of the bodice. So my bf helped me put it on. I then realized that I must have had the bodice on crooked when we pinned in the sleeves, because they were totally off center. Also, the top of the back in particular was still really tight, even if I laced my corset all the way closed. I ripped the one sleeve off of the bodice, and figured I would try to move the piece of h&e tape over to the edge of the CB silk flap I had made. Luckily, underneath the h&e tape, I found that the twill interlining had been folded, and could be extended out as far as the silk flap, so I could get an extra .5"+ in the CB. I pinned everything back in place, so that I could machine sew the h&e tape back down in the morning before I left for work, and therefore be able to do the handsewing on the bus and at lunch.
Yesterday morning, I did my machine sewing, grabbed my kit, and headed out the door. I sewed the other edge down on the bus ride to work, and went to go reattach the trim at the top of the bodice. But when I went to line it up with the other side, they didn't match at all. In fact, the bottom and the trim line were both about .5" off between the pieces. Somehow, I had pinned my h&e tape totally wrong. So before I started work, I ripped both lines of stitching back out, and re-pinned it in place. Luckily, I had brought some bias binding with me, because by moving the twill tape, it wasn't long enough to cover the piece of boning underneath. So I wound up hand-sewing a small piece of bias binding to each end of the h&e tape, to act as the endcaps for the boning.
At lunch, I handsewed the h&e tape back to the bodice, using a backstitch, and then on the bus ride home, I turned it and whipped it into place, inserting the boning before I did so. When I got home, I reaffixed the trim (which now matched on each side - yay!), and sewed the sleeve piece back in. I did a narrow hem on the center backs of the sleeve pieces, and then pressed and hemmed the satin layer of the skirt. Then I got less than 6 hrs of sleep, because I stayed up way too late doing this.
At this point, I need to put the h&e on the skirt waistband, and at least 2-3 h&e on the top of the cb bodice closure. I also realized I never pressed the skirt seams, and the skirt itself is quite wrinkly, so I'd like to press that, too. I have at least an hour or so in which I can do all that tonight, so here's to hoping. But seriously, this project has been such a headache! And I really need to start (and finish) the Elsa skirt. And pack, because I haven't packed a box since I found this ufo fabric...
So I went and tried on my kimono sleeve pattern, altered it, tried it on, and altered it again I wanted a v-neck into the rest of the bodice in the front, and a much higher v in the back, so it took a little fiddling. Then I cut it out in my mauveish chiffon. I played around with which fabric I wanted to line it with, and unfortunately, the only one that worked (the gold from the skirt) didn't have any pieces wide enough to cut the sleeve. But I realized - a cotton lining would be way more comfortably than poly satin anyway, so I cut it out in muslin, and dyed the muslin pieces a pale goldish color. I think I had originally intended to line the kimono sleeve with pale gold chiffon, since I had a ton of that left, but I don't want to have to worry about straps showing, so I figured I should stay away from the sheer lining (plus, that's two less pieces of chiffon to worry about). I stayed up way too late doing all of this.
Tonight, I have a caroling gig till 8pm, and the Elsa fabrics should be here, but I'm going to try to knock this kimono sleeve out. My plan is to flatline the chiffon with the muslin, and turn a narrow machine hem (if the fabric will let me) on the neckline and sleeve hem. Then I somehow have to mark where it hits the bodice, and stitch it in. It will probably also need a few hooks in the CB closure. Not sure how I'm going to manage the CB marking by myself... I guess we'll see when I get there. Once the bodice is done, though, all I need to do is put a waistband on the skirt, and hem the gold satin layer. I'm going to leave the chiffon layer and chiffon belt with their serged rolled hems, because there's just not time to worry about it right now.
This weekend is going to be interesting though - in addition to the gig tonight, I also have three tomorrow, from about 2-9pm, and three on Sunday, from 9:30am-5:30pm. And I have to pack. And make an Elsa skirt.
I'm also figuring out how to make a banquette for the dining room. This is fun!
On the sewing side of things, while I did all the hand-finishing on the Titanic bodice, it looks like the project itself is doomed to remain a ufo forever. I can't find any chiffon in the right color to make the kimono sleeves. *Sigh* I guess I should have finished this years ago...
Except, I have no idea where/if I have any more of the purple chiffon. I looked in as many places as I could think of, and nothing. The extra bit of gold chiffon that I had originally found last week turns out to be the sash, not the fabric for the sleeves.
So... yeah... I don't think this costume is happening. Which is annoying, because it means it will remain a ufo forever! Maybe I'll find it while I'm packing? Or of course, it could still be in CA. Because I have made two moves since I last worked on this. Not a good sign.
In other sewing news, we've decided to use my Ravenclaw bustle for my caroling costume, sans bustle. So tonight, I took up the skirt towards the top, so that the seam won't show from underneath the apron drape. I just did a giant tuck with a 3.5 stitch length, so it will be easy to take down later. I think I took it up about 7.5" in the cb! I guess that's what a bustle will do for you.
( 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.
I've also finally decided how to decorate my American Duchess shoes! I placed an order for the Angleus leather paints from Dharma Trading today, and I'm hoping I can paint them before the San Jose Fantasy Festival on Saturday. I've decided to wear 18th c for the Fantasy Fest, since there's pretty much no 18th c opportunities on the west coast. (Unfortunately, while losing weight is great for my modern clothes, it's not so nice on my costumes, so it looks like I'll be pinning shut my robe a l'anglaise and hopefully no one will notice the weird gaping in it now...)
But speaking of the west coast, my plans are being made for my move up to Seattle! I'm planning to move up there around May 1st, and I'll probably fly up for a few days later this month to find an apartment. So stressful, but it was time to bite the bullet.
Also, in completely other news, I have had such a great response for the Tea and Titanic event! We're fully booked, with a whopping 17 tea guests for our 2:30pm April 15th tea. If there's anyone who meant to get a seat and has been slacking, we might be able to squeeze one more person in, and anyone is welcome to join us for the 4:05 movie afterwards. I'm planning to wear my linen corselet skirt and Old Navy blouse, but I still have to make a princess slip for it.
I also found this top at OldNavy.com, which perfectly reminded me of a corset cover. I can't wait till it gets here. I hope it works, since I really don't feel like making one.
We have five more performances next week (Wed morning, Thurs-Sat nights, and Sun matinee, if anyone wants to come) so I don't know how much more sewing I'm going to get done. I also might not be able to go to the PEERS Titanic dance, which would suck, since I have no where else until CosCol that I could wear my gown... :(
I've also started on the bodice for the evening gown. For lack of other patterns, I'm using the Janet Arnold Maude bodice as my base, and elaborating from there. Mockup #1 needed a surprising amount of fiddling (mostly, waaay too big in the bust/upper back, and way too low in the back). But I've repatterned the three side and back pieces, so hopefully this one will work. I'll find out tomorrow when I put it back together. I'm going to be making the fitted lining part of the bodice out of a heavy cotton (I think Joanns called it a bottomweight, but I really don't know what that means.) I'm still debating at this point whether I want to take the sari fabric and do the sort of ruched or pleated look that the pattern calls for, or to make it more fitted. I'm leaning towards the first option, so I don't have to mess with the sari border. I also bought some prom dress-style gold taffeta for the under layer of the skirt. I still need to go out and buy a darker gold chiffon, but otherwise I think I have all my fabrics. Luckily, I won't need that one until I get to the sash, since next week is tech week for Pirates, and I will probably have no time. It's also my birthday next Thursday! Which I will be celebrating by working, having our final dress rehearsal, and going to the midnight premiere of Hunger Games. :)
I also managed to cut down the 15" busk I bought years ago and never used. I was hoping to cut it to 12", but that would have put it basically in the middle of one of the hooks, so I went with 13". I hope it will work, since it is definitely longer than I originally wanted. I filed it down a little, and then dipped the ends in several layers of nail polish, so hopefully it won't tear through the fabric.
Today, I went to the White Elephant Sale in Oakland. Everyone that I've met in the last year has told me how wonderful it is, but frankly, I found most things to be pretty overpriced (yes, I know it's for a good cause, but I'm on a super tight budget). I did, however, find a nice (and huge!) jewelry box for $10, and 5 pearly buttons for 25c, plus a couple board games.
I also threw my sari and some chiffon I had bought in anticipation of the sari's arrival onto Antoinette so I could get a very loose idea of the gown. Clearly, I bought the wrong gold chiffon, so I'll be headed back to Fabrics R Us at some point to get a more muted gold. The sari border will go around the top of the bodice and the hem of the overskirt. I plan to buy a gold liner fabric to be seen underneath the chiffon.
The plain purple body of the sari will be the overgown, and a light purple chiffon will be the layer underneath that, which shows at the bottom, as well as at the sleeves/neckline. I'm hoping to be able to use the embroidered/beaded part of the sari as the layer underneath the chiffon towards the bottom of the skirt, but if not, I will probably just line it with gold (maybe satin?). The gold satin will also show underneath the purple chiffon on the shoulders. The sash is gold chiffon. The top of the bodice will be edged in gold and red beaded embroidery from the sari.