Sunday, February 28, 2010

Time Traveler Entry #8 and an outfit to wear out tonight

Hand stitched the bias around the arm holes to finish them and put in the zipper. Cut some bias from dark purple brocade to use for ruffles on the bodice. Got them stitched together but didn't feel like ruffling them.

I took a piece of stiff netting that was about 3 yards long and maybe a couple feet wide, folded it in half, stitched a channel at the top, fed through elastic (using a large safety pin) then fit the elastic to my waist / hip area. Next I knotted the elastic and sewed the netting together. Pretty simple little tutu / petticoat. Might have to try that technique again sometime. Also made a pink satin skirt to wear underneath. Took about a yard of fabric, cut it in half, sewed the pieces together selvage to selvage, made a quick elastic casing at the top, threaded elastic through and knotted it.

EDIT - Here's a picture of the outfit I made to wear to Outland. I call it "gothic ballerina" -

The bodice I'm wearing is a corset I made years ago. It's reversible, the other side is pink linen that I dyed myself. And it laces up both sides with satin cording. I personally really liked how the peplum at the bottom just sat on top of the skirt.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Time Traveler Entry #7

Hello my dear readers,

I got a lot done today. I started by cutting out the interlining, pinned it to the bodice pieces, then looked at the directions and realized the interlining gets sewn to the lining not the outer fabric so I had to take apart the lining (which was only basted together anyway) then pin and sew the interlining to the lining pieces.

The directions call for you to trim the front of the bodice before stitching it together, so I pulled out my green ribbon and white lace but when I laid them on top of the bodice front, it didn't thrill me. I'll probably either leave it untrimmed or I will add the trim later if I decide I do like it but the lace and ribbon has been set aside for the time being.

I put together the lining and the bodice - darted the front, sewed the back to the side back and then the front to the back at the shoulders - and decided to forgo the boning. Then I stitched the lining to the bodice along the neck line, clipped the curves, turned it and basted all the raw edges together.

Next, I cut my own bias strips from the clock fabric to use in place of the packaged bias that the pattern calls for. My main reasoning for this was because while I have several shades of packaged bias, none went with my fabric. Making my own seemed like the best move. This is my technique for using bias on this project - pin along one side right sides together, machine stitch, fold the edge over, encase the raw edge and hand stitch into place.

One piece of bias was used to finish the front edge of the bodice. Then I made the peplum and attached it to the back of the bodice, finishing the raw edge where it attached with more bias. Next, the front and the back of the bodice were sewn together at the side seams and still more bias was used to encase the raw edges. My final task of the day was to use bias to finish the armholes of the bodice. One side was machine stitched on but the other is just pinned because my fingers hurt from hand sewing the rest of the bias on. All that is left on the bodice is to put the zipper in and then trim it.

Until next time,

Miss Leah J. Wilde

EDIT: photos added

The bodice while I was putting it together

The bias

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Time Traveler Entry #6

Hello my dears,

I finished putting back together my jacket and I must say that it fits much better now. Amazing what difference a tiny change can make. Also put together the lining for the jacket and pinned it in place. It'll need to be hand stitched in. I plan to take it to build day on Sunday to work on the hand sewing.

I also altered the bodice of the dress a little bit - made it about an inch lower cut in the front and altered the neckline of the back as well to scoop a little bit. My reason for changing the back was that I have a zipper I can use but it was too short so I altered the bodice to fit the zipper. Seems a rather strange I know but I am trying to make this without spending any money on the project so...

A bientot!

Miss Leah J. Wilde

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Time Traveler Entry #5

Hello dear readers,

I've finished cutting out the outside fabric for my costume. Now on to the interlining and lining and the trims...

A bientot!

Miss Leah J. Wilde

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Time Traveler Entry #4

Hello my dears,

Yesterday I took apart most of the jacket. It was rather snug so I thought I'd change the seams from 5/8 to 3/8 to give me just a little more room. I still need to restitch the sleeves and put them back on the jacket, then check the fit. I'm contemplating making the sleeves shorter. I actually like it sleeveless but that really would not look right with my dress.

Speaking of the dress, I started cutting out the fabric yesterday. The bodice is cut out. Still have the apron and bustle to cut out. And then of course the lining and the interlining and then the sewing begins...

Oh and I searched through all of my fabric to see if I could find anything coordinating for trims. I found some green ribbon, lilac satin, and dark purple brocade. I found several pieces of pale pink that would work with the clock fabric but not with the underskirt or the jacket since they are bright pink. I already have white satin and white cotton in my project bag, along with white lace, pink ribbon and several other things.

I do think that everything is coming together rather nicely indeed.

A bientot!

Miss Leah J. Wilde

Friday, February 12, 2010

Time Traveler Entry #3

Hello darlings,

Today I removed the ruffle from my jacket (it just was not working), cut it into 8 similarly sized pieces and turned those pieces into fabric flowers. The original idea was to put them on one or both sides of the front of the shrug but I pinned them there and didn't like it very much. Then I tried pinning them to the edge of the hood and again it failed to impress me. So the flowers went into my bag of supplies, I'm sure I'll use them somewhere else on the outfit. In fact I just had an idea - I could use them on the underskirt to emphasize some trim along the hem OR I could use them on the apron and or the bustle... As you can see, my mind never stops and the possibilities are endless. However I think I need at least 4 more so I'll have 12 flowers or I may just go for 24 flowers...

I also stitched together the five panels of the underskirt. It still needs the waistband and hemmed but at least I started it. I'm actually about to go stitch together the lining for the bodice so that I can see how the shape of the bodice will work under the jacket.

A bientot mes amis!

Miss Leah J. Wilde

PS If any of my readers would like to own one of my fabulous costumes (or something simple lol) I am always willing to sew for others! Just contact me!

EDIT: Photos added

The underskirt

The shrug worn over the bodice lining

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Time Traveler Entry #2

Hello my darlings,

Just a little update: I had to make some changes to my shrug today. The hood was not working out so I had to take off the ruffle, take off the hood, put a gathering stitch in the hood and reattach it to the jacket. Now the hood works perfectly but I don't know if I'm going to have enough ruffle to go around because the alteration increased the number of inches that need trimmed. So I might have to give up the ruffle, which is a little sad because I like ruffles, but I think it'll turn out just fine without the ruffle. I plan to play with the ruffle more tomorrow to see if I can get it to work and I also hope to start the underskirt.

Au revoir,

Miss Leah J. Wilde

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Time Traveler Entry #1

Hello darlings,

Yesterday I cut out pieces for a shrug jacket and the underskirt for my new costume. Both out of pink satin. Today I started putting the jacket together. It was a little strange because I'm somehow missing the instructions. But I just matched up the notches and stitched it. I think it turned out fine. I added a hood and a small ruffle to trim it out. I have plans to line it, but its done for the moment once I finish stitching the ruffle on. I would post photos, but I can't seem to find my camera cord. Hopefully it turns up soon so I can actually illustrate this blog.

Au revoir!

Miss Leah J. Wilde

EDIT: Photos added

The pink satin, pre cutting.

Pink satin shrug w ruffle

Intro and some photos

Hello my darlings,

My roommate - the dear Miss Melora Dashwood - suggested that I begin a sewing blog and I decided to take her up on her suggestion. So this is where I will describe my sewing adventures as the Airship Archon's steam-stress. Most of my sewing is steampunk costuming, but occasionally something else might appear. For now, here are a few pictures of past projects.

1880s bustled gown. The bodice, apron and bustle are out of black and silver plaid taffeta. The underskirt is out of leopard print flocked chiffon. There is also a bustle pillow and petticoat out of white poly cotton broadcloth. The bustle is edged w a narrow ruffle of the plaid. Lace was handstitched to the velvet ribbon down the center of the bodice front which was then handstitched onto the bodice and silver clock buttons were handsewn on. The neckline, bottom of the bodice and the bottom of the apron are trimmed in white lacey ribbon and handstitched black braiding. The sleeves are trimmed in black lace and more handstitched black braid. The seams of the underskirt are flat-felled and the hem was finished with black satin ribbon, handstitched on to conceal the polyester horsehair braid used to stiffen the hem. There's also a matching plaid hat band with a small flower made by ruffling a leftover piece of the plaid material.

This outfit uses the same underskirt seen above. There's a burgundy satin corset bodice, boned and lined with hook and eye tape used for closure down the front. The bustle is a one piece with the apron attached - the two pieces are sewn together on one side and fasten with hooks and eyes on the other. The bustle is made from a flat top piece, a ruffle of black lace and a ruffle of burgundy satin. Down each side of the bustle are 6 or 7 mother of pearl buttons - handsewn. The jacket is made out of floral corduroy and the lining was handstitched in. The hat is store bought but I decorated it myself with some ribbon, lace and a button. There is also a lace veil attached. Photo taken by my friend Lindsay.

Here we have a front view of the bodice and jacket described above. They are worn with a black pencil skirt with burgundy ribbon stitched down one side in a racing stripe. The hat is made from the same burgundy satin and trimmed with black satin ribbon, handsewn on of course. The utility belt was made using a waistband pattern (I think) - its two layers of cotton, stitched through to reinforce it and several pockets were made to fit certain items (a knife, a glass bottle, etc). The large pocket closes with a bit of elastic cord wrapped around the two buttons. The belt also has a bit of chain and some keys. Photo by the dear Miss Dashwood.

Alright, I think that's enough for now.

Au revoir!

Miss Leah J. Wilde