theladyrebecca: (Default)
Saturday of Costume College, I wore my 1830s plaid silk dress (with the bonnet that was so big that I had to carry it on the plane), because I was wearing it for Jennifer Rosbrugh's Dressing the Plus Size Silhouette Class. I thought I remembered taking something earlier in the day than that, but maybe all I did was socialize, because I can't find anything on the schedule that looks familiar! After her class, I had signed up to take a class on Patterning from an Extant Garment, but it turned out they meant existing, not extant, and it wasn't suitable for fragile extant garments, so I left that class within the first 10-15 mins.

That turned out to be good, since it meant I could start getting ready for the gala. And for once, I wasn't running late! I wore my new yellow silk 1890s gown for the gala. I'm mostly pleased with how it turned out, but there's something about the fit and/or plainness of the back of the bodice that bothers me. I also styled my hair with all the tiny curls on the top of my head, since that's how you always see ladies of that era, but it was such an unflattering look on me! I wish I hadn't done my hair like that, because I'm not a big fan of how my pictures came out. We made the super-long trek to Maggianos for dinner, probably for the last time, since you can no longer walk through the mall, which made it a very long and hot walk. I ubered back, and unfortunately lost one of my shoe rosettes somewhere between Maggianos and the Marriott lobby, which is a bummer. I'll have to remake it for the next time I want to wear my Titanic deck dress. After we got back, we just hung out in the CoCo lobby area, chatting with people and taking pictures. We got a fun picture of (almost) everyone who was wearing yellow, which was a lot of people!

Eventually, we went to sleep, but definitely not early enough! I think I wound up getting about 4.5 hours of sleep before waking up for breakfast and the Bargain Basement on Sunday. I didn't get that much this year, but boy, they wanted to charge me an arm and a leg. Those estimators are ridiculous. I did talk them down significantly, but still paid more than I should have at "bargain" prices. The one thing I was really happy that I got was an extant 1860s bodice, so that was really cool. But no fabrics this year, which was unusual. I did manage to snag a few Truly Victorian type patterns, though, and a couple trims/laces. 

For breakfast, the Bargain Basement, and my first class, I didn't have time/energy to wear the bustle dress I had planned for Sunday, but luckily, I made a Victorian-ish dressing gown, so I wore that over my corset/bloomers/petticoat all morning, then changed into the dress after my class. It was a great class! It was making and setting Elizabethan ruffs, and the two teachers each had a different great method for setting them, so it was really nice to learn both. I was so inspired by the class that I had hoped to be able to make one as soon as I got home from CoCo, but didn't wind up having time before the Ren Faire the next weekend, so that is on hold. But at least I have the linen and the know-how now. 

After class ended, I changed, had lunch, and spent some time socializing before taking my final class, which was Soutache: Mastering the Tangle. It was a really good class, but I doubt I'll really ever have the patience to apply it on a garment. It's really challenging. I did wind up going to the marketplace a few times over the weekend, too. I bought a whole ton of ribbon from the new ribbon vendor (such great prices!), a gorgeous early 1870s huge fashion plate in a frame (only $10!), and a busk, but totally forgot to go back to Richard the Thread the second day for millinery wire (they had run out by the time I got there the first day). So now I'll have to order that online. We ended the day at the pool (which is what we did Thursday night as well). It was so nice to get to spend so much time socializing this year!


As you've read about previously on here, Monday's shopping trip was really a let-down, and I purchased almost nothing. Luckily, I did make up for that by the trip down there last weekend, so hopefully I will be mostly set for the year now. And I think I might start selling the silks I'm not as happy with anymore. In any case, I need to start making everything so that I'll be ready for next year's CoCo!


Jul. 24th, 2018 09:16 am
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I made my choker and bracelet yesterday, put everything on, took a couple quick pics, and determined how I needed to fix the sash (a large dart at the shoulder), and if I should add more boning (I added one bone in the CB). I made all the adjustments, plus added the ribbons to my dressing gown and 1830s shoes, and thread marked where my train will attach to my 1890s petticoat (I realized hand-sewing it on on Friday night is going to be easier than making a ton of buttons and button-holes), which means that all my CoCo sewing is done! I packed almost everything last night, too. Pretty much all I have left is doing a load of laundry of my muggle clothes, so that I can throw my clothes for Thurs in the suitcase. The nice thing is, that even means I can go see a movie with my friend for her birthday today. I'm super excited!

Oh, and here's a quick pic of my gala gown:

theladyrebecca: (Default)

I'm almost done with everything for Costume College! I need to try on the gala gown again to a) see if the one piece of boning I put in the CF is enough, or if I should go ahead and add it to most or all of the seams, and b) figure out how to alter my royal order sash from last year. It turns out that in the 1890s, it was more common for the sashes to go into the bodice at the neckline, because the sleeves are otherwise too poufy for them. I only realized this on Friday, though, so there wasn't enough time to order new ribbon to make a brand new sash, so I need to alter last year's. I'll probably just have to make a new one if I want to wear it again with my turquoise ballgown. 

I also realized I don't have the jewelry findings I need to make the choker and bracelet I want to wear with the gala gown, so I'll pick those up tomorrow and do those tomorrow evening. 

If I don't have to add more boning to the gala bodice, I probably actually have time to do the trim on the Regency dress, but I don't think I'm going to. I'm going to start packing tonight, finish up the jewelry, and figure out how I'm doing my hair for the gala. And maybe I'll even have a bit of time to relax, go to the gym, or go see Mamma Mia 2 before leaving on Wed morning. After stressing and sewing all weekend, it's a nice feeling. 

I'm too tired to post a pic right now, but I have been posting to instagram, so you can check them out there

As far as this weekend's sewing goes, Thursday evening, I made the gala gown sleeves, trimmed one of them, and sewed the pearl mesh in place on the bodice. Friday, I spent the entire day sewing all the appliques down the front of the skirt, and trimmed the other sleeve. Saturday, I switched to machine sewing and made the bloomers I had cut out, plus made a Victorian-style dressing gown from start to finish. I actually used a Hogwarts robe pattern as the base, which means that unfortunately it's not as full as I'd like, but it will work. I want to get different ribbon for the sash tomorrow, because I don't like the ribbon color I grabbed from Joanns last night. Today, I attached the balayeuse to the gala skirt, put hooks and eyes on the three skirt waistbands that needed it, fixed the tie on my 1830s sleeve poufs, fixed the button on my bustle bodice, added the piece of boning to the gala bodice, and made a royal order. It's been a very busy weekend!


Jul. 19th, 2018 08:48 am
theladyrebecca: (Default)
The gala gown is coming along sooooo slowly. It's really frustrating. Yesterday, I spent over two hours mocking up the taffeta oversleeve that goes on top of the pouf. It just wouldn't lay right. And it wound up being the simplest shape, so I don't know how it took me two hours to figure out. All I got done yesterday was mocking up/making up the oversleeves, cutting out and sewing the inner fitted sleeves, putting on more hooks and bars on the bodice (till I ran out of bars), and doing one side of the binding on both neckline and hem. 

I also spent a good hour trying to figure out the trim placement on the bodice. Nothing was thrilling me or looking right at all. I really wanted to find a way to incorporate the skirt appliques into the bodice, but I just couldn't figure it out. So at this point, my plan is just to take the pearled mesh that I'm using for the sleeve poufs, and ruche that over the bust, plus take some ruched mesh left over from last year's gala gown train, and put that over the shoulders. I will also probably add a pearl-embellished trim on the edge of the oversleeves, because otherwise they're looking very plain. It's not at all what I was originally intending, but honestly, once I put a royal order sash and all the jewelry on the form with the bodice, you can hardly tell that it will have almost no trim. You can also hardly tell (I hope!) that all my accents are a mixture of white and pale ivory. I don't know if last year's sash will fit with this bodice, but luckily, I sewed it instead of gluing it, so I could always probably alter where it connects at the hip. 

Here's a pic of all the ridiculous jewelry on top of the trim I pinned on:

I have to run to Joanns after work for a bunch of stuff, but today's goal is to finish the darn sleeves, sew down the bias edging, finish the hooks and eyes on the bodice closure, and sew down the ruched pearl mesh. Though with the speed this dress is going, that's probably far too overeager. That said, if I finish that, all I'll have to do is sew down all my pinned trim on the skirt and probably add one piece of boning in the CF of the bodice in order to make it wearable, so at least that's good.
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Gah! I feel like I'm making no progress! Granted, I knew I didn't have much time for sewing yesterday, but all I managed to do was finish sewing on the hem trim, half of the hooks/bars on the bodice, and the tiniest bit of sewing on the right front skirt appliques. 

I'm going to the gym after work today, but I think this might be my last gym day before CoCo, unless I actually finish everything before Monday or Tuesday. It just sucks up too much of my sewing time. Unless it's grossly hot in my house when I get home today, I'm going to switch gears and work on the bodice sleeves and neckline/hem binding. I think I'll feel much more comfortable when those are done, because at least at that point it will be wearable, even if it's not done. If I can manage to finish those today, I can use tomorrow after work to maybe add some trim to the bodice and make the spare pair of bloomers, and/or add a detachable train ruffle to my petticoat or maybe start on the dressing gown. I want to try to do everything that requires an iron before Saturday, because it's supposed to get back to disgustingly hot this weekend, and stay that way till I leave. And hand-sewing on trim or the balayeuse ruffle shouldn't require an iron. 

No new pictures till something actually looks different! 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Well, I didn't manage to cross anything off my list yesterday. But I did get most of the hem trim sewn on. I think I'm missing about 30" in the front of the skirt right now, and that's it. I also pinned on all the trim on the other side of the front of the skirt, so that's ready to be sewn on, too. I don't have much sewing time today, but my goal is to finish the hem trim, start on the front skirt trim, and maybe get a few hooks and eyes done on the back of the bodice, since I also prepped the bodice enough to put those on (aka, I removed the sleeve mockup and pressed the bodice edges). 

Here's a pic that shows the rest of the front trim pinned on. It is unfortunately impossible to get the two sides matched exactly, since all the applique motifs lean in the same direction. I did some cutting and fiddling to get it to be close-ish, though. I really hope this doesn't come out super tacky!

theladyrebecca: (Default)
Costume College is soooo close, and I feel like I'm making no progress! On one hand, I'm totally panicky, but when I slow down and actually think about it, I'm probably doing okay. This is what I have to get done:
  • Finish gala sleeves. I have already mocked up the fitted and poufy part, but I still need to mock up the petal part that goes over the pouf. All pouf pieces are cut out, and one poufy part is assembled. 
  • Finish edges of gala bodice
  • Hooks and eyes on gala bodice
  • Trim for bodice. There will likely be lace over the stomach, plus a ruched or pleated band around the hem, and maybe some sort of band over the bust like in my inspiration. Also possibly lace over the shoulder straps. Obviously I haven't really figured any of this out yet. 
  • Finish hand-sewing trim on gala skirt. I got one side of the front all sewn on yesterday. I have to pin the other side in place and sew that all on. The hem trim is all pinned in place, and I've sewn about 16" of it down. 
  • Add balayeuse to gala skirt. If I run out of time, this may be pre-gathered lace or eyelet ruffle. 
  • Hooks and eyes and waist of gala skirt, 1890s petticoat, and 1890s walking skirt
  • Fix button on burgundy stripe bustle gown (and make a few extra in case they break again)
  • Gala jewelry. I want to make at least one choker, one necklace, one bracelet, and 1-2 royal orders. 

If there's time, I also want to do the following:
  • Make a spare pair of bloomers. These are cut out, just need assembly. 
  • Make a robe/dressing gown
  • Add trim to red silk Regency dress hem
Hopefully that's everything. 

By my estimation, I have about 5.5 hrs to sew today, 2 hrs tomorrow, 5.5 Wed, 4 Thurs, 5-6 Friday, 8 or so on Sat, and 10+ on Sunday. I want to finish everything except the optional stuff and maybe the gala gown jewelry by then, because that will leave Monday and Tuesday for packing and any little things I've forgotten.

Today, like yesterday, is supposed to be stupidly hot. I realized yesterday morning right after I turned on the iron, that it was too hot to have the iron on, so I spent all yesterday hand-sewing trim on the skirt. I got all of one side of the front appliques done, plus the little bit of the hem. Today, I'm hoping that I can finish the hem, and if time, start on the appliques on the other side of the front. Tomorrow is only a couple degrees cooler, so if I'm still on hand-sewing, it's not a big deal, but then Wed I will really need to kick into gear on the sleeves and such. 

Here's a couple pics of the trim so far:

theladyrebecca: (Default)
I didn't wind up with as much sewing time as I had thought yesterday, because I forgot to factor in eating dinner. Whoops. So after running errands after work, walking Lion, and eating dinner, and before I had to go off to another audition, I managed enough time to cut out all the silk pieces for the gala bodice, pin them to their lining pieces, and cut out bloomer pieces (two legs for show bloomers, and two that I will use for bloomers for me - luckily, the actress and I are about the same size, so I was able to cut them all at once). 

When I got home from the audition, I assembled the show bloomers, which only took about an hour. I forgot to get bias tape for the knee elastic channels, so had to make those out of tucks in the fabric, which took a tiny bit longer, but seem to work fine. I'll pick up more tape before I make mine. 

This morning before work, I also wound up with a few extra minutes, so I flatlined the two back pieces of the gala bodice. I'll get back to doing the rest of it on Friday. 

After work, I'm heading straight to the theatre, where I need to 1) make a pair of fake legs to sit on top of the flying carpet, 2) figure out how to add ankle straps to two pairs of shoes, 3) sew together the apron waists/skirts/straps and put whopper poppers on them, and 4) finish decorating the carpet. And of course, whatever else might come up, but that's in order of priority of when they'll be needed in the show. I'm getting there about two hours before they start the run, so I'm hoping to at least get steps 1 and 2 done before they start. 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Like usual, I didn't get nearly as much done this weekend as I had intended to. I hemmed my gala gown skirt, figured out the trim placement for the skirt, and did a mockup of the bodice. Luckily, I started with my bustle-era bodice block, and then just had to alter neckline, armseyes, and hemline, so that wasn't too bad. I've ripped apart the mockup so that I can use it to cut out the silk, but I needed to switch gears and do some of the theatre sewing, too, since they go into tech this week. 

Unfortunately, I didn't leave quite as much time as I needed for the theatre sewing. I needed to make an apron neck strap, plus three faux-waist cinchers (the waistbands of the aprons), and one pair of bloomers. One of the cinchers is done, and the other two are started, but one needs 6 eyelets on it, and the other will hopefully have trim added to it. I'm putting them on the actors today before I add the whopper poppers, and I'll also need to go out and get more, since I only have three left. I didn't get to the bloomers at all. 

I have to be at tech rehearsal tonight, but I'm bringing my sewing machine, so other than the whopper poppers that I don't have, I'm hoping to completely finish the aprons tonight. I don't have to be at rehearsal tomorrow, so I'm making the bloomers then, and I hope to cut out, flatline, and assemble the gala bodice as well. 

For those of you who voted on my trim placement, this is the one I've chosen! Adding the marabou to the bottom would be a) more time consuming to sew, b) impossible to keep clean, and c) probably wouldn't last long. Plus I would need to go out and buy the marabou. So no marabou is a much better option. 

theladyrebecca: (Default)
I finished all the theatre sewing I could yesterday. I don't have the fabric yet for the faux waist cinchers that make up the waistbands of the aprons, but the aprons are basically done (one of them needs trim hand-sewn on, which I hope to do today). I also altered the sleeve poufs for Cinderella, added clear straps for Cindy's bodice, and made arm poufs for Mermaid.

And I finished my sleeves for the Regency dress. They took way longer than I had anticipated, because it took me a while to wrap my brain around the fitted inner sleeve. I don't know why. I think maybe because it's been a while since I made a one-piece fitted short sleeve? No idea... But anyway, they're done, including all the binding on the scallop parts, and I used two layers of the silk organza for the poufs, which I think is the perfect level of opacity. I think they came out really cute!

I took a break from the Regency dress to do all the theatre sewing, and to allow friends to weigh in on whether the Regency dress needed the embellishments around the skirt. Naturally, everyone told me it did. Gah! I don't have time for this. And I possibly don't have the fabric. So instead of diving right into that, I'm going to hem the skirt as is (hopefully tonight, after a fitting for the show and getting groceries). Then if I have time for the embellishments after finishing my gala gown, I'll go back to the Regency. But at least it will be done for now. 

I also think I picked how I want to embellish my gala gown. It uses a little of the elements of my inspiration dress, but makes them a bit easier (I hope), and less prone to looking tacky (fingers crossed). This is my new inspiration image, though I will probably also pull from some other looks, possibly including my original inspiration:

theladyrebecca: (Default)
Yes, I actually worked on my gala gown! I spent much of Friday and Monday working on it, though considering I spent quite a bit of time on it, I don't feel like I have much to show for it. That said, I had no idea how complicated the interior structure of an 1890s skirt is. I was working with the pattern of the 1893 skirt in Patterns of Fashion, plus lots of tips from Kelsey Patton on the internal structure, and this is what I wound up doing:
  • The exterior of the skirt is butter yellow silk taffeta from Home Fabrics. The skirt back pieces are so wide that I had to piece in the lower corners that make up the CB of the train. 
  • The interior layers begin with a base of upholstery cotton sateen, which I managed to find at one of the big Joanns in the area (they didn't have it at either of the smaller stores I normally shop at). This also was pieced, though I saved some fabric and didn't worry about the piecing matching up like I did on the taffeta. 
  • On the sateen was a layer of hair canvas, which I got from Hair canvas is 23" wide, but I did mine so that it basically reaches to about 18" up from the floor. That means that by the CB of the train, the hair canvas was actually about 35" deep (aka more piecing). 
  • Because the hair canvas is grey, it would have shown through if I had sandwiched it between the sateen and the silk layers, so it is actually on the inside of the sateen. 
  • Over the hair canvas, I have another layer. Because a) I was out of sateen, and b) I wanted it to be yellow like the outside, I made this layer out of yellow poly matte satin, leftover from the Designer Disney Snow White skirt from last year. On one of the back pieces, I managed to cover all the hair canvas with only two pieces of the matte satin. The other one has like 7, because all of my pieces were weird triangles. Not ideal, but oh well. 
  • Once I had all the layers mounted on the sateen, I flatlined that with the serger to the taffeta layer. If you were to look at the layers from the outside in, you would find silk taffeta, cotton sateen, hair canvas, poly matte satin. 
After all the structure was completed, I made up the placket and the pocket bag pieces, and sewed everything together. I ran out of time before doing the darts/gathering into the waistband, but should be able to do that this week, though I do have at least one alteration, plus possibly theatre sewing to do first. Once that is done, I'll be able to start on all the embellishments. I'm a little worried, to be honest, because the skirt is already really heavy!

Please ignore the super messy sewing room in the first photo. In the second photo, you can kind of see the process of mounting the interior facing over the hair canvas. 

I sewed!

May. 8th, 2018 11:30 am
theladyrebecca: (Default)
And then I unsewed. And then I sewed again. 

I had pulled out TV 121 because I liked the detachable train, and it said it would work as a petticoat for the 1890s, even though it's supposed to be natural form. Except it totally doesn't work for 1890s. And naturally, I realized this after cutting out all the skirt pieces and a couple of the ruffle pieces, and sewing together the front panels of the skirt. 

So then I was left with, how do I take what I have already cut out, and translate it into something that actually works. Luckily, I also had TV 170 on hand, and view 4 says it's for the 1890s. Maybe this time it will be true? Anyway, I am doing a modified version of the 170 pattern now, since I was trying to use what I had on hand, at least a little. I completely recut the center front piece (luckily, I got a whole bunch of the Pimatex for this), and cut the side fronts out of the four front panels of the 121 pattern. For the back, I cut the top layer of the 121 back in half, and added in the bottom layer in the center. It's pretty much exactly the back width of the 170 piece now at the waist, and it flares out wider to the hem, which I think will be better for me anyway. I have just the side seams to go, then all of those will be together, and then I have to figure out how I want the ruffles. I do still want to do a detachable train, too, since the skirt will have a big train. I am a little tempted to start on the skirt, though, so that I can see just what shape I need the petticoat to be, and then winging it from there.

I don't know why I thought this would be as easy as grabbing a pattern off the shelf. I'm incapable of making things easy. 

And of course, now that I'm back in the mood to sew, I need to stop and spend all my free time cleaning the house, because my mom comes to visit on Thursday night. 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I feel like having unsuccessful mockups makes me have really bad CADD. So naturally, I haven't touched the Regency dress in about a week at this point, because sleeve mockup #1 didn't work. Instead, I've been planning and plotting for the 1890s gala gown. At this point, I'm still in the gathering materials phase. I've had the yellow silk since last year, but I needed lining materials, and everything for the embellishments. Because I have no patience (and it's hard to find), I'm not using princess lace tape. Instead, I'm going to be cutting up embroidered and pre-embellished bridal trim. Or at least, that's the plan. I found one I liked and ordered it from aliexpress, so I guess I'll find out in a month if it will actually work. And if the 9m I ordered is enough! I also went to one of the giant Joanns yesterday to buy sateen for the skirt lining, and the matte satin for the cutaway sections of the skirt. I still need to get hair canvas for the hem, and I need to get fabric for the petticoat, but I hope to order both of those this afternoon. Of course, I want to work on the skirt right away, but first I at least need to make the petticoat, and I should make the corset as well. And I really need to finish the Regency dress and get that out of the way. I'm ordering the fabric for the long sleeve part, but otherwise, I want it done. 

Also, I know I have posted this a bunch of different places, but what is the best fabric for an 1890s trained petticoat? I'm using TV 121, though hopefully modifying it to be more like TV 125 if I can figure out how. 

By the way, I'm really concerned this is going to turn out super tacky, with the feathered hem. Ack!
theladyrebecca: (Default)
I got a ton of work done on the Regency dress on Friday, which was surprising, since I didn't even start on it till about 5pm. I put all the bodice pieces together, including the piping, assembled the skirts, made a piped waistband (instead of doing a separate belt, like in the pattern), and sewed the sections together. I totally changed the gathering pattern that was suggested by the pattern - I thought it made for a much earlier Regency-era look (all the gathers tightly done in the CB). I spread them out, and gathered the front a little too (after taking in the bodice so much, I had some excess skirt width). 

Saturday, I went to a Regency costume event wearing my navy blue swiss dot from 2016 because I didn't want to risk my silk pelisse in the rain. When I came home, I decided to try on the new dress, since I was already wearing all the right undergarments. It turns out that, even though I made the lowest neckline option offered in the pattern, it was way too high. I cut it down by about 1 5/8" in the front, probably about 1.25" or so in the back, and about .5-.75" over the shoulders. Then I piped the neckline. 

I also marked the hem length, and I have enough excess length to either take three 5/8" tucks around the bottom of the skirt, or to cut off the excess and use it for ruched trim. I haven't decided yet what to do, since it will depend on how much fabric I wind up with for trim after I do the sleeves. At minimum, I want one row of ruching, and then I'll either do the tucks or another row of ruching, and I haven't decided which yet.

Last night, I sewed down the neckline piping and mocked up the sleeve in the pattern. I'm not doing any of the sleeve embellishment options that are in the pattern, and the sleeve seemed way too small for what I was trying to do. So I think I'm going to make one more mockup with a much larger sleeve, and see if that works, or if I should just give up on my idea and do something simpler/smaller. I have rehearsal today through Wed, though, so I probably won't have much progress in the next few days. 

I also had a case of CADD this weekend, and did a test of things for my gala dress. First, I tested whether I should use satin fabric with a grid pattern of metallic silver thread, vs actually weaving strips of ribbon together. The satin fabric won out, so hopefully I'll be able to pick up some this week. I tested it on a heavy satin twill from Joanns, which looked nice, though seems awfully expensive for poly! I also tried dyeing one of my feather boas with tea to make it ivory, and it worked! So I dyed all 7 boas. I blow-dryed them for a while, but I need to spend a little more time fluffing them with the blow dryer, which I will probably do once I finish the Regency dress. 
theladyrebecca: (Default)
Despite the fact that it's tech week this week, I actually did sew something. Though really, that's just because it was an etsy order, and I needed to send it out by today. I brought my sewing machine to the theatre and everything. (I'm backstage for most of this show, and have a lot of time on my hands!)

Now that that's done, though, I really want to jump back into historical sewing. I think I'm going to start with an s-bend corset. I know it's not accurate, but I'm still toying with the idea of using it with my 1890s gala dress, since it makes such a nice shape. So I'm probably going to mock that up first, to the point where I know what size of busk and metal boning I need. That way, I can place that order and move on to the skirt of the gala gown while I wait. 

Of course, I also still don't know exactly what I want to do for the gala gown, either. I've been planning a yellow 1890s dress since last year, but now there's a couple people doing super gorgeously decorated yellow 1890s dresses, so I feel like I need to step up my game. So I'm thinking about going back to my initial idea of the dress from the Hermitage. The only thing is, the feathers I have are just not as nice as those feathers (obviously) and a feathered hem seems like it's just asking for trouble. And something tells me they wouldn't survive even a single wearing. But the cutaways on that dress seem decorative enough that it would be a bit more impactful than a plain dress. Or I could go in a completely different direction, and go with the golden yellow silk I bought, and hope that the color would speak for me. Ugh. I really need to figure this out! 

This was my initial idea:

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