Friday, March 28, 2014

What's In Miss Wilde's Sewing Basket?

Also known as: What sewing projects are on my living floor / couch / ironing board right now?

1. I started a 50s style dress for Easter.
I'm making the green one, option C, with a white collar, probably out of batiste.

2. I've been working on my black and gold corset and vest combination for my airship 'uniform'

3. And I decided that I needed my Edwardian corset and drawers for SES as well
I'm using the corset from Festive Attyre. I had issues enlarging it on a copy machine (it lost all detail) so I bought a yard of quilter's grid and enlarged it myself. I felt quite accomplished!

In other news, I just ordered a whole bunch of sewing supplies! I am now the proud owner of nine yards of cotton plaid for a Civil War dress, one yard of cotton (maybe - gonna do a burn test) for a Civil War corset it if is indeed cotton or a work skirt if it's not, a boxful of corset and hoop making supplies, and a boxful of Truly Victorian patterns! I got the polonaise, the 1870s and the 1880s underskirts, the Victorian petticoats, the Civil War darted bodice and the ballgown bodice, and a hoop cage pattern. I think that's everything...

 And I attended the Regency Exhibition Ball last weekend, with a friend from the Archon. I'll post more about it next week. :)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Update on HSF Planning

#1: Make Do & Mend – due Wed 15 Jan. Regency spencer using fabric from another, unfinished project. Status: partially completed, needs lining, closures, hemmed, etc. UPDATE This honestly  might never be finished... 

#2: Innovation - due Sat 1 Feb. Did not complete. 

#3: Pink - due Sat 15 Feb.  Coral pink 18th century stays. DONE! 

#4: Under it All – due Sat 1 March. Regency underthings. Chemise, strapped petticoat and short stays. DONE! 

#5: Bodice - due Sat 15 March. Regency sleeveless spencer out of teal silk, hopefully handstitched....yeah that didn't happen. Maybe for a later challenge? I did start a steampunk black and gold corset and vest combination thing.  

#6: Fairytale – due Tue 1 April: Regency Cinderella. UPDATE Well underway! 

#7: Tops & Toes – due Tue 15 April.  Bergere hat for my planned 18th century outfit. I need to buy a hat and decorate it.

#8: UFOs & PHDs – due Thur 1 May.  Use this opportunity to finish off something that’s never quite gotten done, or stalled halfway through.  Check out the post from last year for more information on how to interpret this challenge. This might be finishing the Regency spencer. Or any of the other above challenges. Or my green sari asymmetrical overskirt that's been laying around for months.UPDATE I think this is going to be the black and gold airship corset, since I need it for SES at the end of April. 

#9: Black and White – due Thur 15 May.  Draw on the opposite ends of the shade spectrum to create something in black and white, or black or white. Black linen 18th century petticoat. Maybe the matching jacket, if I can. 

#10: Art – due Sun 1 June.  Make your own masterpiece based on a work of art. Edwardian undergarments based on a painting. 

#11: The Politics of Fashion – due Sun 15 June.  World affairs have both affected, and been affected by, fashions.  Craft something that demonstrates the interactions between dress and political history. Still no idea here. Maybe something related to the Civil War? 

#12: Shape & Support – due Tue 1 July.  Make a garment that changes the silhouette of the human form through shaping and support. I'm sticking with Civil War undergarments, a corset, or hoop, or both. 

#13: Under $10 – due Tue 14 July.  Whip up a fabulous item for under $10 (we’ll use US$ as the de-facto standard) I just bought tatting supplies, so hopefully a little tatted collar. Or some tatted lace for trim somewhere. 

#14: Paisley & Plaid – due Fri 1 August.  Plaid is the most universal pattern, found in the textiles of almost all cultures and periods.  Paisley is more unique and recent, but has had a lasting impact on design.  Make something that utilises one or both of these patterns. Still not sure. Definitely still eyeing that lovely plaid taffeta (but it's polyester!). And leaning towards a plaid overskirt for my bustle era wardrobe.  

#15: The Great Outdoors – due Fri 15 August.  Get out into the weather and dirt with an item for outdoor pursuits. Nothing firm, but swimwear or Regency outerwear are a possiblity. Maybe finish the spencer I started?

 #16: Terminology – due Mon 1 September.  Explore the etymology of fashion by make something defined in the Great Historical Fashion & Textile Glossary (new terminology posts and items will be added throughout the year). No real plan, but some ideas: balmoral petticoat, corselet / swiss waist, chemisette, pierrot jacket...leaning towards either a Swiss waist for Civil War dress or a pierrot jacket since a similar jacket is already on my to do list and it'd just be a matter of altering the pattern a little. UPDATE leaning towards the pierrot idea, but the issue is that I need it for an event in July so the due date is an issue...Maybe I will go with a Swiss waist... 

#17: Yellow - due Mon 15 September.  Embrace the sunny side with something in any shade of yellow. No real idea, but maybe something for the Civil War...

 #18: Poetry in Motion - due Wed 1 October  Find inspiration for a garment in poetry and song.   No idea. 

#19: HSF Inspiration - due Wed 15 October.  One of the best things about the HSF is seeing what everyone else creates, and using it to spark your own creativity.  Be inspired by one of the challengers item from HSF ’13 or HSF challenges 1-18 to make your own fabulous item. There's already been SO much to inspire me! We'll see what I end up deciding on. 

#20: Alternative Universe – due Sat 1 November.  Create a garment from an alternative universe: fantasy, steampunk, dieselpunk, etc.  Your item can be perfectly historically accurate within our own universe as well. A steampunk outfit, of course. Or maybe rococopunk. 

#21: Re-do – due Sat 15 November.  Pick any previous challenge and re-do it (or do it for the first time).  It could be one that you didn’t finish, one that you wish you’d had more time for, or any time for, or one where you loved the theme so much you want to do it again. UPDATE Originally, I thought more underthings, but I've got most of that already on here other places so...I don't know. 

#22: Fort-nightliers Choice – due Mon 1 December.  This one is up to you!  In June I’ll ask for suggestions for a theme, and we’ll vote to pick the one you most want to do as our 22nd Challenge of the year. Obviously, planning for this one will have to wait until we pick the challenge! 

#23: Modern History – due Mon 15 December.  Make something historical or historically inspired that is wearable in an everyday context. UPDATE I found the perfect thing for this challenge! Eva Dress has a hooded blouse pattern! I mean, it's hooded and a blouse, what else do I  need in my life?! Plus it comes with high waisted slacks too, both of which I would wear the heck out of. 

#24: All that Glitters – due Thur 1 January.  Celebrate your completion of HSF ’14, and the New Year, with a glittery, glitzy, sparkly, shiny, something. Still leaning towards the Civil War ballgown. There's a CW ball here in January, usually.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Advice to Awesome not to Share!

From Jennifer at Historical Sewing:

"...make detailed lists of steps you need to do to complete a project. Do this for the next two or three pieces you want or need to make. Then schedule your sewing time to accomplish items from one list. For your sewing sessions, focus on just one item or one step of a garment."

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

February 2014 - Project Update

Okay, so I'm a few days late...I'm trying! :)

So here's what I've been up to:

I finished the aprons for my father and brother.  Papa will wear his, my brother probably won't, sadly.

Finished Clifford the Big Red Dog apron!
 I started my new leggings, but haven't finished them yet.

As for my Regency underthings, I did purchase bust enhancers but they didn't fix the stays issue.  They were too big, so I took them in (now they dig in on my ribs) and now they fit much better, and put things where they belong! I'm totally still using the enhancers for a little extra oomph though :)  And it took a bit, but I finally just made myself finish the petticoat. I think it's too short, so I'm not 100% happy with it, but hopefully it'll look okay under the ballgown I'm working on.

Finished Regency underthings - chemise, short stays and petticoat with straps. HSF Under It All challenge.

Speaking of my ballgown...I took my measurements over the Regency undergarments, ironed the fabric (which sucked!) and got everything cut out the week before my friend visited from out of state. The past week has been working on it a little pretty much every day.  Right now, the bodice is complete (except for the sleeve hems) and the skirts are put together (I cheated and finished the skirt seams by machine, I was out of patience for hand finishing), so tonight will be attaching the two together! Once the dress is finished, it'll be time to make a pattern for my open robe. I am definitely NOT cutting into my sari until I test out my ideas first!

Ballgown ticket! I'm going to the ball!

While I was still in the mood to not sew Regency things, I got the muslin for my airship corset cut out. I have an awesome idea, fingers crossed it all works out!

The 18th century stays along with the Regency underthings have been posted in the HSF sewing group, but as you see, I haven't gotten around to blogging about them yet.  It's on my to do list, I promise!

Finished 18th century stays - HSF Pink challenge

Monday, February 17, 2014

Just a few pictures...

Almost finished 18th c petticoat

My sari came!

My date for Valentine's Day

Sometimes You Just Need a Break

Dear readers,

Have you ever just needed some time off from sewing? I rarely do, but this weekend was not a good weekend.

First of all, I was supposed to go Friday night, wearing my new 18th c stays with a cream linen petticoat over a bum pad and matching little shrug I made last minute. But it was snowy and I didn't have a ride, so I stayed home. But I was halfway dressed when I made the decision to stay home, and it wasn't very pretty. The stays don't quite fit correctly, the straps cut in at the shoulders. Part of it may be that they weren't laced properly so fingers crossed that fixes the problem. Also, the bum pad's ties leave an unsightly bulge on my stomach when the petticoat is on and tied. Needless to say, I was okay not going when nothing seemed to fit right!

Secondly, since I already had on my Regency chemise, I decided to try on my short stays and almost finished petticoat, so I could (1) get the strap length for the petticoat straps and (2) measure myself so I could cut out the proper size for my ballgown. And I couldn't get the stays to work. I'm not very well endowed and instead of lifting, the stays just seem to flatten everything.

After TWO bad experiences, I decided to take the weekend off from historical sewing, even with my ballgown / open robe deadline looming over me. So I quilted and I brainstormed the corset I need to make for Symposium to go with my airship uniform (the black and gold natural form-esque outfit) and I finished my cousin's pj pants. I meant to finish my father and brother's aprons and make a pair of leggings (cut out last week), but spent almost the entire weekend with a close friend, bc it was her birthday.

So, this week's goals:
1. Finish the aprons
2. Put together the leggings
3. Buy some bust enhancers for the Regency stays (I'm going to cheat!)
4. Take measurements over Regency undergarments
5. Iron fabric and cut out ballgown
6. Cut out a muslin for the airship corset (gonna have to basically make my own pattern)
7. Take pictures and write a blog post about my stays for HSF

And this weekend will be pretty sewing free because my friend Laura is visiting! :)

Oh, I also went fabric shopping on Friday! I got black linen for an 18th c petticoat, blue taffeta for an Edwardian corset, black denim and white denim for corset interlinging, and cream linen and cream lace for a shrug and mask that ended up not being worn Friday since I stayed home. I also picked up a few notions for projects. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

January 2014 - Project Update with Pictures!

I've decided to (try and) post an update at the end of each month about what I've been working on and (hopefully) what I've finished. So, here's the first one: January 2014!

  1. I started a Regency spencer for HSF #1 Make Do and Mend but never finished it. The pattern I used to base it off of was a very poor choice, and the spencer ended up with several pleats instead of being smooth to fit right. And I don't have enough fabric to recut all the pieces so...
  2. I made a pair of Regency short stays to go with my previously finished Regency chemise. I used Sense and Sensibility's Regency Underthings pattern and they came out pretty good I think. They'll be for HSF #4 Under It All, along with the chemise and the last piece, a petticoat with straps (which I have cut out but not started construction on).
Pretty hand stitched bust gussets
I hand quilted the short stays, with just a little boning because I don't really need that much support.
Finished short stays!

  1. I worked on a pair of 18th century stays, started forever ago (it feels like). I think they're coming along reasonably well, I'm up to the binding portion. In case you've ever wondered, binding the tabs on stays SUCKS. It's a horrid, but necessary, stage of construction. However, once I'm done with the binding, all I have to do is put eyelets at the shoulders and pick up some ribbon to tie the shoulder straps in place. I splurged a little bit (and used a coupon) on a 1/2 yard of cream silk for the binding. Totally put in metal eyelets though, cuz I am NOT dealing with handworked ones.
Stays, after I was finished with the boning.
Stays, in the midst of lining
Stays, while putting in the metal eyelets.
Stays, the top edge while binding.
Stays, approaching the end of the binding.

  1. I started an 18th century bum pad, just looked at a couple other seamstresses versions and drew up a pattern. I need to sew the two sides together so I have sections, then stuff it, close it up and put ties on it so it's wearable.
  2. OH! And I had a last minute Ohayocon commission for a friend -- a bolero jacket for her Elizabeth from Bioshock cosplay. Definitely put that one on the DONE list. Finished it on January 24th.
  3. Also in the works are two aprons for my dad and brother (I really should finish those...) and pajama pants for my cousin (which I also should finish...)
Apron fabric, because my father and brother are both named Clifford. I couldn't resist!
I've been brainstorming and planning and shopping for several other projects as well.
  1. I picked up 3 yards of cream cotton linen blend linen for an 18th century petticoat. Originally I was going to try to dye it pink to match the stays for the HSF #3 Pink challenge, but I'm terrified of ruining a not very inexpensive fabric purchase by attempting to dye it so....the stays will be for the pink challenge and the petticoat will be cream, which will coordinate with the stays.
  2. I also bought fabric for my Regency ballgown which'll be for HSF #6 Fairytale. It's a super lightweight cotton shirting white on white with a silver metallic pinstripe. I got an amazing deal on that fabric by the way, I only hope that there's enough for the dress! It's 50 inches wide so I *think* I can eck it out, I just really wanted elbow length sleeves. So we'll see. 
Regency ballgown fabric. A steal at $2.50 a yard!
  1. I've been 'window' shopping for fabric for the Regency open robe that'll go over the ballgown, but haven't purchased anything yet.