Monday, April 21, 2014

Liebster Blog Award

I've been nominated!

Which makes me feel very guilty for not updating more often. It's been a very busy few weeks. That feels like a very lame excuse when I see so many people with lots of amazing costumes and updated blogs who I know have just as busy a life as I do.

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you. A big thank you to In the Long Run for this nomination!

2. Nominate 10 other bloggers, and notify them of their award.

I'm going to have to break this rule. I checked and the blogs I would like to nominate, and all have already been so (I'm even newer to blogging than I am to sewing, and my circle of blogs is small). If there's a blog out there you think I should check out, link me! I could really use blogs that have a lot of instructional photos and tips. While I do love looking at the pretty pretty, learning how to make the pretty is usually more useful.

3. Come up with 10 questions you want your nominees to answer.
I haven't nominated anyone, so I can't directly ask anyone these questions. But the following are what I usually ask when I meet someone new. And what I think would be useful for people to tell in their blogs from time to time.
(1) How long have you been sewing?
(2) Are you self taught, or did you go to school for a costuming related field?
(3) What got you interested in costuming?
(4) What is your favorite part about dress up?
(5) Least favorite?
(6) Strangest thing anyone has ever said to you while in costume?
(7) What was your funniest in costume moment?
(8) What is your favorite event to go to?
(9) How many garments a year do you make?
(10) What advice would you give to someone just starting to get interested in costuming?

4. And lastly: Answer the questions you received from the one who nominated you.

I was asked about the story behind my favorite garment that I have made. At first I thought "luckily for me there weren't 10 questions to answer!" Then I thought "crap, I don't have a favorite."

I  do have outfits I like less than others. I was not a fan of my 1860s ballgown. The 1860s was entirely new to me. With time and money as factors, I randomly picked a fabric and made a fairly basic dress. I was not happy. It didn't look bad or incorrect, but I didn't feel comfortable (mentally) in it. I'm not sure if I'll ever go to an 1860s ball again. The ball itself was fun. I might take this as a challenge to try a different dress and see if I can't change my mind. I did like my 1857 day dress, so I don't think that era is entirely on the outs, I just haven't found the right ball gown look for me.

 I don't really have an era or style that I would call "mine." I haven't put something on and thought "" That might be why I can't pick a favorite. I'm not sure if it's because I still consider myself new to the whole world of costuming, or if I haven't found the look that speaks most to me. Maybe it's not a sudden realization but years of being drawn to a specific style. 

Each time I have made something, I have learned something new. It's all probably fairly basic, boring skills most people learn early on. But that first "AH HA!" moment of fabric matching, to understanding why the thread of the machine is doing what it's doing, to finally learning why grain lines are important to pay attention to; things like that always show up on a project. And just when I think I've mastered a skill, something new presents itself for me to learn. Once I get the bustle skirt down, I think "what's stopping me from making the bustle cage?" and so on.

Monday, February 10, 2014

worn out!

I haven't really be able to post, because I haven't had much time. I have actually been sewing (!). But the more I think I have a handle on how much time something will take me, I am proven wrong.

February may be a little late to do a costume in review post of my 2013 sewing. The only outfit I did finsieh that I haven't posted a photo of is a Regency evening dress made from burgundy saris complete with matching turban.

2013 complete projects are:
robe a la Francaise
husband's velvet 18th century suit
polonaise (with bum roll)
18th century officer costume for the husband
Mey Rein Costume (for a friend)
The Burton Dress
hoop skirt
1860's ball gown
1857 day dress
and finally the Regency dress with turban

So 11 projects in 12 months! No too shabby.

So far this year I have made a Dr. Girlfriend costume, a regency bibb front dress, and a pelisse (that I have not finished trimming).

The 3rd Annual Francaise Dinner Party is less than 3 weeks away and I still haven't started that yet (eeek!!!!). Luckily a friend is going to help. I've picked out pink and green as my colors this year. I am going to be a watermelon! My goal for the dinner: at least 1 good photo of myself in my dress.

I have a few goals for this year:
a nice Regency costume for the husband (something less costumey than the officer outfit)
teens era corset
teens era picnic outfit (for when a group of us visit the costume exhibit)
new 18th century stays
a medieval outfit (part of a costume challenge)
17th cenury dress (part of the same costume challenge)
polka dot Victorian dress.

Which is also 11 projects total for 2014 if I don't add anything... weird.

But I probably will.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Simplicity 3727

This pattern is out of print, unfortunately. But with a little digging around you can snag one for a good price. The major pro of this particular pattern was the directions were AMAZING. I understood exactly what I was being told to do the first time every time. The major con was there was a lot of hand sewing. A LOT. Far more than I expected, and depending on how you trim, a lot that could have been avoided.

My absolute favorite part of this dress is actually the back. It makes me think of later Victorian styles.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Simplicity 9764

I started my sewing for the 150th Anniversary of Remembrance Day by sewing my very own hoop. I decided to make the hoop myself for a couple of reasons. One of the main reasons was because of all the "lamp shade" skirt warnings that many people said came with the purchased hoop skirts. And my OCD being what it is, I thought it was less trouble to make the skirt than the overwhelming paranoia I would suffer if I purchased one.

I used Simplicity 9764. It seems to be out of print, but it's still fairly recent enough that you can find fairly priced copies on ebay or etsy. I only made view A, which is the actual hoop. I didn't have time to make the petticoat.

 Here's what mine looks like:


Monday, November 25, 2013

why I haven't seen sunlight in weeks

I've (just barely) finished three dresses, and some supporting undergarments all in time for their various events. I'll do write ups later for each outfit, but I figured I would share the photos of the gowns before they are packed away in the closet.

The Burton Dress:
The orange and black could be limiting the time of year I'd wear this. But it won't. Some amazingly odd things happened as I worked this dress (such as shrinking cotton fabric and the ruffles that refused to be made) but it was finished in time. And I've gotten to wear it twice!

 The Mega Hoop:
I took up far more space in these than anything I've ever worn before. I found 1/2 steel for the bones. There were no issues with the hoop opening, but that steel did make it a very heavy garment to wear.

The 1857 Day Dress:
My first ever dress of this era. Deceptively simply looking. Took much longer than anticipated and way more hand sewing than I would have imagined.

And finally, the 1860's Ball Gown:
No lie, I felt like a cake topper the whole time. I was assured the look was period correct.

Monday, October 14, 2013

fitting issues

I've decided to go with TV405 for my bodice. I've made this one before, but having been told it was too long in the waist for me, I've gone about attempting to move the waist up.

My natural waist looked to be about two inches above the waist that was marked on the pattern. For most of the pattern pieces, I was able to redraw the waist line and then just fold the pattern piece to the new spot. However, the back piece presented an issue, since the natural waist was below the fold of the flapy dodads. Asking around, a friend was able to illustrate for me where I needed to remove.

Once I removed that portion, I lined up the curved portion to have the nice smooth curve return.

Now I am working with terror because I changed the pattern. Somehow my lining that I cut out was much shorter than my fashion fabric. I cut out the lining first, so I have no idea how that happened (since the pattern pieces were taped). 

After recutting the lining, I flatlined the pieces together. This time they were the same sizes, but it's somehow like I have air bubbles between the two pieces. I take it to mean that the fabric moved or something when they were attached to one another. Ot that they are somehow slightly different sizes again. I'm tempted to use some sort of iron on adhesive the next time I have to flatline. Maybe cut out the fashion fabric, iron it to the lining fabric, and then cut around to make sure they stay together? Any have any good suggestions?

Anway, time is a factor (I need this done enough for this Saturday). I've started putting the bodice together. And it seems a little big.

It's a little tricky to get a photo of one's own back, but here it is. A better eye than mine told me it looks a little big, so I'm going to try and see if taking in the seams just a but helps (which I will do by basting, to make sure before I have to rip out a bunch of little stitches).

I'm not too sure what to do about this shoulder issue. I think if I remove the seam where it is and take in more fron the front it'll fit more snugly... maybe?

I think life will be a lot easier if I make a duct tape dress form of myself.

I do this for fun, right?

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Burton Dress

I've begun my Halloween party dress. The theme for this year is "black and orange". Joann's had this fun stripe in the quilting fabric section, and I could not pass it up.

The striped fabric does not want to cooperate with the ruffle foot, and somehow the black ruffles ended just a few inches to short, but the striped ruffles had so much extra. But I am make steady progress and I'm enjoying the look so far.

I've got more ruffles to make/add. I need to sew the bustle parts into place. And the entire bodice to do.The skirt has a train which I will be pinning up for the party (being stepped on does get annoying) but will eventually make a dust ruffle to walk about with.

I've started calling it the Burton Dress. It seems fitting.