theladyrebecca: (Default)
My 2016 Goals changed a few times over the course of the year, but this is what they were:

Navy blue swiss dot Regency - Done!
Black silk taffeta bustle ballgown - Done!
Child's Victorian Gown - Done!
Daniel Deronda Riding Habit - Still hasn't happened, and is no longer on my specific upcoming goals list.
1860s Fully Handsewn dress - Didn't even pick this up all year. Maybe someday, but probably not anytime soon.
Turquoise Silk Mid-19th c  Giant Ballgown - I kind of knew this was going to be a 2017 project, and sure enough, it will be.
Fur-trimmed bustle-era skating outfit - Coming up next; I've already started cutting pieces out.
Winter bustle gown - Almost done!
Super-secret Disney-related project - No longer super secret. This is the Snow White Designer Disney dress, and will be made for the CoCo pool party this year.

In June, I added an Elizabethan kirtle and Mary Poppins Jolly Holiday to the list, both of which I have since completed.

And here's picture proof of everything I made!

Click here for pictures )

I think that's everything. Overall, not a bad sewing year, though being unemployed for the first eight months of the year certainly helped in that, and as you can tell by my posts, my sewing has definitely slowed down since I started working in September! 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I'm Posty McPostalot today! But I realized I had never done a post on this dress, and I knew I needed to remedy that, since it really deserves it's own finished post.

I think this is one of my favorite things I've ever made. Which is good, since it's definitely the most labor-intensive by far.  Certainly, it was tons of fun to wear! I felt adorable and silly, and I'm surprised I didn't spend the whole night talking in my "annoying British child" voice, since I think this outfit deserves it. (I probably would have if my voice hadn't already been completely shot.) I need to find a way to wear this again, for sure.

Anyway, the only thing I need to change on this is that once again, while wearing it, another covered button broke (I think I mentioned two broke after the first full try-on/photo shoot). Luckily, it was the button that was fully inside the bertha, so it didn't show at all.

Oh, and I didn't wind up using the huge hairbow, but I did wear both of the smaller ones and both ribbon-style bows. And my teddy reticule almost worked perfectly. I had to take the otterbox off my phone so that it would (still just barely) fit, and my fan really didn't fit at all. But he was super cute!

On to pictures!

theladyrebecca: (Default)
I better do these recaps before I forget all the details!

There weren't too many classes I wanted to take on Friday, but I did have my limited, which was how to make a Regency tiara. It was a great class! We used lamp banding, wire, and a variety of beads and pearls to make our tiaras. I'm pretty happy with how mine came out, though I kind of wish that I had had a larger version of the smaller coral for the points of the tiara - I think the ones I wound up using look a little fakey.

Naturally, because I was taking a Regency tiara class, I had to wear my navy swiss dot Regency! It was nice and comfy, and I got lots of complements on my hat (and surprisingly, I don't think I even got any requests to take it off in classes!)

I did also take a couple lectures - [ profile] reine_de_coudre's "Because Few Taylors," which was really fascinating, and the lecture on 18th-early 20th c riding habits. It was nice being able to see the habit shirts, and some of the antique habits close up!

I didn't really take many pictures (this is kind of the story of this whole CoCo, it seems), but I'm so glad I caught the Star Wars group! You guys looked amazing!

Then on to the Social! I honestly think this was my favorite part of this year's CoCo. They sooo stepped it up from the disappointment that was last year. I loved the snacks, the photo background/props, and especially the games! It was nice that there was a performance aspect, too, but contortionists freak me out, so I didn't actually watch. Also, somehow I lucked out, because [ profile] fairegoddess was late coming down, and so we other children went off to find her and conveniently missed all the annoying speeches while we were gone! Being dressed as Victorian children was SO MUCH FUN. Seriously. We skipped around the room, played all the games, munched on cupcakes, and had fun in the photo studio (with our cupcakes, of course!). We even played Ring Around the Rosie. I was super happy with how my dress turned out, and I think the four of us looked adorable!

Here's a bunch of pictures, but I'm doing a separate post for my dress. ;)

And if the pictures weren't enough, here's a video of our Ring Around the Rosie:
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I went to Goodwill today, and found a teddy bear to perform my reticule-making experiment on, and it worked! I opened up the center back seam on the body of the bear, took the stuffing out of his torso, and then sewed little caps made out of two layers of cotton quilt batting over the openings to his head, arms, and legs, so that the stuffing wouldn't try to escape. Then I made a lining out of tan cotton, and made his bow tie and wristlet strap out of my leftover pink silk. His back closes with two sets of snaps, and he's plenty large enough to hold hotel key, bobby pins, compact, money, etc (I think his compartment is about 7"x5" at the largest point). I'm pretty pleased!

I also tried on the whole outfit this morning. In doing so, two of the covered buttons broke, so I'll have to go buy more tomorrow to remake them, and there's one spot around the buttons on the CB of the bertha that I want to tack in place. It turned out that my pantalettes, which I thought were quite long, weren't showing under the skirt as much as I would have liked, so I took out one tuck, and made them 1" longer. I also realized that I made the skirt waistband 2" too big, and because of the overskirt tabs, it meant I had to reset the waistband, moving them each about 3/8" closer together. But I did it, and I added all the hooks and bars on both the skirt and petticoat waistbands. Other than the two buttons tomorrow, I just have to touch up the paint on the one button on the boots, and then all my CoCo projects are done. Is it weird that I actually look forward to packing?
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I finished my hoopskirt! It actually turned out to be a super easy project. I don't know why I haven't made more hoops in the past! (cage crinolines aside, of course) I'm hoping to be able to try everything on tomorrow, since I'd rather try it on before I put the waist hooks/bars in, and I also still have the one button to repaint on the boots. And have to figure out the reticule/purse/pocket option.

I was also gifted an (I think) early 1890s silk suit by one of my classmates today, since it was given to her and she didn't know what to do with it. It's relatively plain, but has some really interesting features (like pockets!). I'll hopefully get some pictures of it this weekend to share with you all. 


Jul. 21st, 2016 11:51 pm
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Or, I guess, kind of? I still need to do the hooks and eyes at the waist on the skirt and the petticoat.

Also, I decided, heck, it's only Thursday and I have four days left before I leave. I think I'll remake the hoopskirt!

I bought these hoops on ebay, and they were full length, so I already knew when I purchased them that I would need to chop off the bottom two hoops and re-hem. But when it arrived, it turned out they were made out of nylon fabric, with a weird elastic waistband. And the hoops were slightly off-balance, and it was too long before the first hoop, so I had pulled up about 3.5" in the CF, and a little less in the back, and safety pinned them. But when I took my skirts off the form today so that I could do my hem, the whole thing was just waaaay too jenky. So I'm remaking them. I took the seams apart so that I could just take the pattern from the existing hoops (once I had fixed the shape, of course).

I'm making them from a white-on-ivory printed cotton, because apparently I am completely out of white cotton. So far I've just cut out the pieces on the cotton, but I'm hoping I can make up pretty much all of it tomorrow night. I know the hardest part will be running the channels in the right places, but I want this done fast so that I can actually put all this on!

As far as the rest of the dress, I finished all the handsewing on the train on the way to class. Then when I got home, I got down to making more bows - I made one more of the smaller sleeve-size bows, and attached the two to the sleeve. I also stitched the pieces of my last large bow together, in case I want it for my hair, made two even smaller bows for my hair, and also made two narrow tubes that hopefully look like ribbon. That way I can play around with how I want my hair to look, since I haven't decided on anything except lots of curls. :)


Of course, because I did all this tonight, I didn't dye my hair yet... And I still need to repaint that one button on my boots. I should probably also make a reticule for this (though part of me wants it to be a teddy bear or doll with a secret compartment). 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I went to go sew on the bus on the way to class today, and found I had forgotten my thread at home. :( So needless to say, I didn't get as much done as I had hoped. However, I did manage to get 3/4 of the striping done on the second sleeve, and I finished the pleating for the bertha, and am most of the way through attaching it. And I'm about 90% sure that I'm going to add the smaller bows on the sleeves. That means I need to make one more small bow (or remake one large bow into a small one, though that's probably more time consuming). But basically, at this point, I think I have about 1-1.5 hours left on this dress! My thread is already in my bag for tomorrow's commute, so hopefully I'll finish everything except the bows by the time I even get home tomorrow evening. That's good, since I also have to dye my hair tomorrow. It's way too faded right now to be able to match my hairpieces.

I can't wait for CoCo! 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
My class is going well so far, but I really don't know if I'll be able to apply any of it to my regular sewing. I think my dress form is just too different from me to be able to drape on it. But the bodice I draped in class today is looking good at this point.

I managed to sew a bit on the train to and from the class. I worked on the sleeve trim, and one sleeve is now complete (minus the possible bow). I also put together my pleating strips, and started pleating tonight. I'm about 1/4 of the way done right now. I'm hoping I'll have a little more time to work on it tomorrow after my class. Maybe I can finish all the pleating? That would be nice. I want to be done!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I got all my skirt bows sewn on! I also did all my buttonholes and buttons, bought more Harry Potter fabric for my etsy shop, and shipped off another etsy order. And I started on the strips for my bertha pleating, but they still need to be sewn together and actually pleated. I figured I really ought to do the bertha pleats before I do extra things like sleeve decorations, just in case I start to run out of time. My time is much more limited for the next four days, because I'm taking a class on 19th c bodice draping, which is 6 hrs/day. I'm feeling pretty comfortable still, though, and I actually somehow have plenty of pink fabric left, too, just in case something goes wrong!

I also spent a good chunk of today designing new business cards, since I'm almost out of my old ones. Tada!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Costuming friends are the best. I went over to Alise's house today, and she helped me fit the back of my bodice. I wound up having to take in up to 3/4" off the back of the side-back pieces, since they were just curving out way too much into the waist. So I took it in, and miraculously, it's working! I've marked my buttonholes, and once I buy more covered button kits tomorrow, I'll be able to sew them in.

I also attached my sleeves, and posed a poll to fb to figure out how to trim said sleeves (stripes and bow won over just stripes, with just bow way below the two). And I finished the last little bit of trim on the bertha that I had run out on during my vacation, and attached the bertha to the bodice, whipping down the binding on the inside.

My goal for tomorrow is to sew all the bows on the overskirt, trim the sleeves, and do buttons/buttonholes. And if I can finish all that, then I'd love to start on the bertha pleats (I figured out how long I wanted them to be today), which I believe are actually the last piece of this outfit! Oh, except for skirt hooks and serging the bottom of the hoopskirt. It feels so close!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
We got back home yesterday, so it was back to sewing!

I attached the bertha to the bodice, but it wasn't laying right, and the bodice was gapping in the front, so I took in the bodice, and now it really seems like it doesn't want to lay right, but it's also almost impossible to tell because it's a back closing bodice and my boyfriend can only do so much. I'm hoping to meet with a costuming friend tomorrow, so she can help me mark the back so I can at least put in my buttons and buttonholes (my boyfriend can handle those!). But anyway, I can't really perfect the bertha attachment until the bodice is fitted correctly, and I can't tell how long I want the bertha pleats to be until I get the bertha attached. So the bodice is kind of at a standstill. The other thing I realized is that I made one end of the bertha slightly wider of a point in the CB, because I wanted one to overlap the other, but then I realized that if I tiny narrow point overlaps a wide point, the wide one will show! Whoops. So I have to correct that once the bertha is attached.

I did start on the sleeves yesterday, too, though. I did a mockup, decided they were just slightly too full, so I cut ones that were a little smaller out of the silk (lined with muslin). It's good they were smaller, too, or I don't think I would have had enough fabric. They're now waiting for the cuffs to be added, and to be attached to the armseye, which I'll probably do first thing tomorrow. I'm still debating how to trim the cuffs - I had initially thought of doing two bands of the pink, like on everything else, but now I'm thinking I might leave the cuffs white, and just add a bow on each one. I'll figure that out tomorrow, probably.

Today, I got the skirt and overskirt tabs attached to the waistband, and I pinned all the bows in place. Hopefully I'll be able to start hand-stitching them to the skirt tomorrow.

Here's a picture of all the ridiculous girliness so far!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I was a very bad girl today. I went to Lauren's new American Duchess premises in Reno (which are huge and lovely, by the way!), and while I was there, I tried on some shoes. I haven't purchased any shoes from her since she discontinued the size 12s in (I think) early 2013-ish? And I've been seeing you all get your lovely shoes and wishing I could have some too (though also partially thankful because my wallet really can't afford them).

Well... my wallet took a hit today. It turns out some of her shoes run a little larger (namely, the Highbury, Tavistock, and Carriage Boots), and while I could resist the Highburys, I wasn't able to resist the allure of the other two (or a pair of red stockings). So basically, I spent a crap ton of money, and have already cashed in my Christmas present from my boyfriend. But they're soooo pretty! And those carriage boots are also some of the most comfortable shoes ever. I even wore them all evening once I got home, even though it was 85 degrees out. I'm going to scotch-guard them and have rubber soles put on, and will probably not take them off all fall/winter. And this means I finally have my gorgeous button boots! But still, while I was broke before, I am now very very very broke. :(

On the plus side, I have finished absolutely all of the handsewing I had prepped! I finished the last third of fifth row on the skirt, and did the second row on the final overskirt tab. So that means tomorrow, which is our last day here, will get to be spent completely relaxing. Then when I get home, I'll get to move right into pleating for the bertha and assembling everything!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I finished the second third of the fifth row of skirt trimming (am I breaking this down into small enough pieces? ;) ). I also pinned the third third into place, and I think I'm going to start sewing on it a little bit tonight, since I still have some energy left. That's good, really, since tomorrow we're driving to Reno to go see the Lauren's new American Duchess premises! I'm excited. :)

Oh, and earlier today, I actually stood up on a paddleboard! Granted, it was only for less than a minute, and then I went back to my knees. It's very difficult!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Finished the bertha! (Or at least, as much as I can do without having the last few inches of binding I need - I think I have 1.5 triangles left to add the trimming to.) But I'm very excited, because it was supposed to take three days, and it only took two. And considering I have three days of handsewing left, and four days to do it in now, that makes me feel pretty good!

Tomorrow should be another relaxing day. We put off going to Virginia City till later this week, and we spent most of today just hanging around the house. I did go kayaking, though! Just a short jaunt, since the swells were still pretty big. Tomorrow is supposed to be calmer and warmer, so I'm thinking I might try stand-up paddleboarding. But other than that, I plan to just sew. :)

Well darn.

Jul. 10th, 2016 12:11 am
theladyrebecca: (Default)
So apparently, I didn't prep enough of my double fold binding for my Victorian child dress. I am literally about 4" short of having enough for binding my bertha.... I figured I would have to make more for the sleeve cuffs, too, but this will put me a little behind once I get home, since obviously I can't finish the bertha yet! I have most of the bertha bound now, and I will probably finish the last few triangles (what I can do, at least!) before I go to bed tonight. Luckily (?) it was really windy and pretty cold today, so I pretty much just stayed inside sewing. Hopefully I'll manage to get somewhere near as much done tomorrow, though we are going to Virginia City tomorrow, so it's unlikely.

Also, the internet here majorly sucks, so assuming this post even works, I will probably be posting pretty intermittently...
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I'm feeling a bit better about my sewing progress now! Yesterday, I cut out the rest of the bodice interlining and silk bodice pieces, and assembled the whole bodice. Then I made a mockup of the bertha, and since it seemed fine when I pinned it on, I went ahead and cut it out of the silk. Of course, as I was cutting it out, I had an "oh crap" moment, when I realized that I hadn't taken into account the facing for the bertha, and there was no way I had enough of the ivory silk left for it.

Luckily, I have a dark cream shantung, that, while it is a few shades darker, should be fine for the facing unless my bertha flips way up. So I cut it out, and pinned the two in place, and started marking my triangle seam lines, and I found an amazingly easy way to measure them! I don't know if this is just something I had never learned, or if it's some new thing I stumbled upon, but I realized that if I took my 3" wide plastic quilting ruler, and positioned it so that the 2.5" mark was on my CF dot (which was .5" up from the edge of the bertha), and put both 3" marks on the edge of the fabric, I could go around the whole rounded bertha piece, always using a 2.5" mark as a placement, and getting perfectly measured 90-degree spaces between each triangle! It made it soooo much easier!

So anyway, I sewed and turned all my triangles, and serged the top edge, which means the bertha is ready for trimming. I'm going to sleep early tonight, so none will get done now, but I'm really hoping that by the time I get home, I can finish the two rows of trim on the bertha, the 5th row on the skirt, and the last overskirt tab. Because then I'll feel sooo relieved. Especially because I just signed up to take a 4-day, 6 hrs per day class on draping a Victorian bodice the week before I leave for CoCo. Maybe not the best decision, but the class signed up super fast last time, and it's only $15. I couldn't pass it up!

I also shipped off Anna today. I'll get the skirt back in a couple weeks, and finish working on it after CoCo. But here's a picture of everything altogether, since I won't be getting the top pieces back:
theladyrebecca: (Default)
This picture both amuses and terrifies me:

That is the extent of my ivory silk. On top, you can see the bodice mockup pieces, and bertha and sleeve patterns. Not shown is a waistband I still have to cut out as well. The top area above the sleeve pattern is only one layer, which certainly isn't helping. To the right, you can see the one extra overskirt tab I had started to make. Thankfully, it happens to be the exact right size to get my sleeve bands and bodice side pieces out of - otherwise I'd really be screwed.

I still have to make a mockup of the bertha, which I patterned tonight, and of the sleeve, which is just an old sleeve from a TV pattern. I really hope they either a) work as is, or b) aren't any bigger than this! Right now, it's pretty much a perfect fit. I think I can just squeak out the waistband with all this. The bodice pieces, at least, are all solidified. I started with the bodice from my black silk bustle gown, majorly tweaked the neckline, opened up the armseyes a tiny bit, and switched it from a front opening to back opening. It was really challenging to figure out the neckline on this dress, since it looks so boatlike and almost off the shoulder in the picture. But I couldn't find any fashion plates showing girls wearing necklines like that, and if I did it too low or too off the shoulder, it just wound up looking like a woman's evening gown, which I didn't want. Luckily, my mom was here, and helped me draw on neckline possibilities, which was nice. And I managed it after just reassembling the original pattern, and then making one additional mockup (which I can use for my interlining!).

Unfortunately, unless I can get the bodice assembled and a mockup of the bertha made tomorrow, it looks like I won't be able to bring the bertha to Tahoe, which really sucks, since it's probably a good 3 days of handsewing. I did get two repeats of the Anna skirt done today, so I'm going to call it for now and not do any more tomorrow, in the hopes that I can work more on the Victorian child bodice/bertha. I have no idea what we have planned for festivities, though, but I really hope they allow me time to sew! 
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!

theladyrebecca: (Default)
I didn't get that much done today, since my mom and I went out exploring for most of the day. But I did manage to get another embroidery repeat done on the Anna skirt, and I'm nearly halfway done with the binding on the last overskirt tab. I also stretched out my Fugawees, though I might have to do a little more on the left boot, since it still feels significantly smaller. And I added a few items to my etsy shop.

Tomorrow we're going out to brunch, and then we're going to go visit the Pioneer Farm museum, but hopefully I'll have a good chunk of time to sew afterwards, so that I can maybe start the bodice mockup. Or I might put that off till Sunday and paint my boots instead. 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I'm starting to feel really stressed out about sewing time. I know I'll have 9 or 10 days after I get home from Tahoe to finish everything up before leaving for CoCo, but I still haven't even done a mockup for the bodice, and all this handwork is going sooo slowly.

For one thing, no sewing happened in the car on the way back up to WA. In some ways, it may have been for the best, because I realized tonight that somehow my math was way off when I created the overskirt tabs, and even 6 of them is a little over my waist size, let alone seven, which is what I had planned to make. Unfortunately, I already cut out the final tab, so that is a waist of the cream silk. I think I can reuse the pleated section, and possibly incorporate it into the bertha pleats, which would be good. Or I can attempt to iron it out, and possibly use it to make the butt bow? In any case, at least I didn't do the handwork on all seven. I did finish the fifth one tonight, but I guess now that means only one left to go!

I'm still slightly undecided on the butt bow, though I have definitely decided to make the waistband out of the cream colored silk and not the pink - the pink just breaks everything up way too much. I think I'll probably leave the butt bow to last, and see if I have enough fabric, and then if I do, I can decide if I like the way it looks. I'm also basically leaving the fifth row of zig zags around the hem of the skirt for last (or at least, last hand-sewing to do on the Tahoe trip). The only problem with leaving it to last is that the proportion of the length of the overskirt tabs looks a little off when I make the length to scale. Which of course makes me hesitant to make a waistband that joins the two. I am still debating on whether I want them on separat waistbands, though I realized I might have to do them separately if the skirt opening doesn't line up with a space between the tabs on the overskirt.

It is looking really cute, though, at least. But I really need to start on the bodice so that I feel a little less freaked about time. (everything is just pinned onto the form right now)

Speaking of time, I am also working on the embroidery for the Anna Frozen Fever skirt, now that I'm home. I'm almost done with the second repeat right now. The first one was a nightmare - halfway through the 33 minutes of yellow, when I was in the other room not paying attention, my bobbin decided to come out of the tension, and I had to unpick 13 of 20 petals, plus a satin stitch area. Ugh. But I did, and restitched, and now it is better. That came after the part where, during the same motif stitchout, my machine randomly turned itself off in the middle of embroidering, and I had to figure out exactly where I had positioned the design. Machines this fancy should not pull stunts like that. Positioning the second repeat sucked, but so far at least the stitching has gone much more smoothly! *knocks on wood* I'm hoping to get a minimum of four motifs done by the 5th - my client would like to use the skirt as is, and then send it back to me to finish later, but it would be pretty odd looking if I only had two motifs done!

My Fugawees arrived, too, but I realized that I must have used up all my leather preparer/deglazer on my last pair. It looks like I can use rubbing alcohol, or if that doesn't work, acetone (though apparently acetone is a fair bit harsher) to prep my shoes instead. Has anyone ever tried either of these? I don't want to pay more shipping to dharma trading, since I just purchased the paints from them.

Sorry, that was really long. I guess that's what happens when I don't post for a few days! 

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