Friday, December 30, 2011

2012 Sewing Goals

"2012 Sewing Goals"...sounds kind of pretentious doesn't it? But it was a better option than "2012 Sewing To Do List" Ah me and my to do lists. I know they're over the top, but they keep me sane, especially during convention season.

First up, a blog goal -- more photos! I want them, you want them, I just need to find my missing camera and actually document my sewing.

Now for the sewing goals -- costuming.
  1. Finish my gypsy steampunk ensemble. Ideally, I'd like this for the Steampunk Empire Symposium in April. Progress: I have five of the six skirt gores pieced and the corset about halfway completed. First stage is to piece gore number six and finish the corset. Then I need to discuss the embroidery with my mother to see how much she would like me to do. Second stage is embroidering all six panels, then putting them together in a skirt. I already have a blouse, so the third stage is the accessories: the headscarf trimmed in lace and ribbons and the black tiered petticoat to wear underneath the skirt.
  2. 1875 Square Overskirt (Truly Victorian) in black and silver plaid. I'm going to trim it in silver lace over black ribbon and maybe some additional ruching or ruffles in silver. The back poufs will probably be black or silver because I am almost positive that I don't have enough plaid. Currently, I'm planning the tails in black or silver trimmed in plaid binding.
  3. Pink and black steampunk ensemble. I'm planning to use two of my new Truly Victorian patterns to make a new bodice and overskirt for my black underskirt. The bodice is the 1872 vest basque: bright pink satin with a black vest front and trimmed in black lace. The vest front will probably be left over underskirt material. The overskirt is going to be the 1886 asymmetrical overskirt. It is meant for bordered fabrics, and as you know I originally planned to make it in a sari brocade, but I have YARDS of bright pink satin to use so I decided to just make my own bordered fabric. I'm going to hem the pink satin and trim it out in something black, maybe just some strips of underskirt fabric, maybe some decorative stitching, maybe something more elaborate, I haven't decided yet. I'm also seeing some chains draped across the skirt...and the bodice will have a watch pocket because I have an antique pocket watch and watch fob to carry! Eventually and if there's enough satin left over, I may make an underskirt as well.
  4. An underbust corset out of left over key print flannel to wear with my Keeper of the Keys skirt and a blouse for steam casual events
  5. 1884 Wash Overskirt. My last Truly Victorian pattern, but I haven't decided exactly what I'm going to do with it yet...
  6. I do want to do a sari inspired head to toe Victorian ensemble. Probably with the 1886 asymmetrical overskirt and a couple new patterns so the outfit is more historically accurate. Probably the 1885 four gore underskirt and the 1885 cuirass bodice, although the 1884 French vest is also tempting.
  7. Female Joker. This would be a 'maybe' project. Its something I want to do, I just don't know if I want to do it in 2012. Maybe this is what I could use the wash overskirt for, out of lilac linen...
  8. I'd love to a natural form Victorian costume. Probably the fantail skirt, Hermione overskirt and dinner bodice, all from Truly Victorian. Maybe this could be my femme Joker...
  9. I'd still like to do an 18th century costume. Not necessarily a 2012 project.
  10. And I also have a desire to do a French Huguenot costume. A branch of my family were Huguenots that fled the persecution in France, first for the Channel Islands and then on to America. Again not necessarily a 2012 project.
  11. A Victorian bathing suit. They're having a swimsuit competition at Steampunk Empire Symposium. I just need to figure out how to frankenpattern it, because I'm not paying what a pattern for an old fashioned bathing costume costs.

Other sewing goals:

  1. My two retro sundresses from my free patterns. I have no idea on fabric choice, but I really want a cupcake printed sundress for some reason.
  2. I'd still like to make a playsuit with removable skirt, the project that never happened last summer.
  3. I have a throw I made from concert tshirts that I'd like to enlarge.
  4. I have some flannel I'd like to make into a quilt.
  5. I have some Spiderman flannel that wants to be pajama pants.
  6. And some nativity printed cotton that wants to be a dress.
  7. A circle skirt out of Halloween pin up fabric.
  8. A high waisted skirt from my retro jumper pattern.

That's all I can think of for now.

Have a happy, steamy New Year everyone!!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 Completed Projects

Since its unlikely that I'll make anything else this year, here's the list of completed projects in 2011.


  1. Kermit the Frog pajama pants
  2. Imperial Officer uniform
  3. Catwoman for Miss Dashwood
  4. Harem pants for Lady of the Ottoman Empire
  5. Pin Up Skirt
  6. Star Wars quilt top for my beau
  1. Purple Knit Tunic
  2. Think Pink Skirt
  3. Valentine's Nightie
  4. City Bluescape Skirt
  5. Imperial Officer pants
  1. Bob's corset
  2. Ruffle added to HQ petticoat.
  3. Cage bustle petticoat.
  1. Corset for Rachel.
  2. Steamnun costume for Miss Dashwood.
  1. Imperial Officer toga for my beau.
  2. Asian inspired jacket for Miss Von Stoup.
  3. Persian steampunk.
  4. Vest for my beau.
  1. Pink silk dupioni corset.
  1. Sleep shorts
  2. Scarlet Spider body suit and hood for a fellow Archonite.
  1. Embroidered Ottoman vest.
  2. For Miss Von Stoup: Asian print circle skirt. Post apoc jacket. Confederate steampunk jacket.
  3. Confederate steampunk uniform for myself.
  4. A Star Wars kilt for Beau.
  5. Time Traveler hat.
  6. Sirwal using Miss Kagashi's tutorial.
  7. Also stitched together a couple scarves to make a bustle for the Lady of the Ottoman Empire.
  8. Mystery costume aks Watermelon Girl.
  1. Nothing because I was in the process of moving.
  1. A tutu for my own version of Harley Quinn.
  1. My beau's Star Wars quilt that I started about a year ago.
  2. My mother's Christmas present - a wall hanging from applique squares my grandmother made
  3. Keeper of the Keys skirt
  4. Sewed trim onto Diamonds Are Forever (steampunk Harley Quinn) to improve it.
  5. Elf punk bustle
  6. Pink pinstriped retro jumper
  7. Navy slim skirt retro jumper
  8. Pillowcase for Beau for Christmas
  9. Christmas stockings for Beau and myself
  1. Elf punk hat. - Stash fabric and elastic, purchased flowers and feathers.
  2. Toaster cover for my father for Christmas - purchased fabric, stash thread, no pattern used
  3. New, more accurate cuffs and collar for comic book Harley Quinn - purchased trim, stash fabric, closures and pom poms

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Truly Victorian Pattern Sewing Plans

1886 Bordered Asymmetrical Overskirt: This needs to be done in a bordered fabric. I'm thinking of using a sari-esque brocade. If I can find one that coordinates with some stash fabric, then I could make the vest basque to match. This is going to be an expensive undertaking, because most brocades are around $10 a yard, and I'll need 4.5 yards just for the overskirt, more if I use some as part of a matching bodice.

1884 Wash Overskirt: I have a few ideas for this one. I could do pink satin trimmed in black to go with my plans for the vest basque. Or I could use up some other stash fabric like a white and black floral or the purple linen.

1875 Square Overskirt: I really want to use up some stash materials on this. I want to make it out of my black and silver plaid, trimmed in silver lace laid over black ribbon so it doesn't disappear against the plaid. If I don't have enough plaid, I could do the back poufs in a coordinating fabric, like black or silver satin or even black flocked chiffon like the underskirt I'll wear this with.

1872 Vest Basque: Again, I have several ideas. Pink satin trimmed in black. Or if I can find a sari brocade to coordinate, maybe use my purple linen here.

Of course, all of these plans depend on how much yardage I have of everything, because I have no idea.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Weekend Sewing

One -- the Harley Quinn cuffs are finished. Beau disapproves of my snaps, and wants me to have a back up of velcro and elastic underneath. I may take his suggestion, but it would have been nice to have said suggestion BEFORE I messed with the snaps.

Two -- I washed all the materials for my gypsy steampunk scarf: black bandanna, several kinds of black lace and two colors of ribbon. Should be fun to put together.

Three -- I finished panel number FIVE of my crazy quilt skirt.

Four -- I went through my new patterns (Beau gave me two more for Christmas! The wash overskirt and the asymmetrical overskirt) and thought about what I wanted to do with them. I have some plans percolating in my mind.

Of course, I'm rather tempted to abandon the gypsy steampunk for the time being and move on to the new patterns. All I really want to get done at this point is the last gore for my crazy quilt skirt and probably the corset. The scarf is an accessory and can wait, the petticoat can also wait. After all, there's little reason to finish everything when the skirt is going to take weeks, if not months, for mother to embroider. So if I at least finish the skirt gores, I'll feel like moving on. But I probably should finish the corset before I start tackling the complicated patterns.

I also sewed a loose button back on my brother's coat. He shows up for Christmas., hugs me, tells me he loves me, then asks if I can fix his button. lol

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Harley Quinn and Thoughts on Tracing Patterns

First up, I sewed the pom poms onto my Harley Quinn collar. So all that's left to do is hook and eyes on each side to fasten it on. Or sewing one side together and hook and eye on the other side, either way will work I'm sure.

Secondly, I've been thinking about working with my Truly Victorian patterns. I know they'll need to be traced, and so my first thought was tracing wheel and tracing paper. But then I thought about it some more and I already have a huge roll of interfacing-ish material that is FOR making patterns, so now I'm thinking laying that over my pattern and tracing with a pen or marker might be the best bet.

We'll be going to my parents' house for Christmas this year. Packing list: Harley Quinn collar and cuffs along with white thread, hooks and eyes and snaps. My crazy quilt skirt. The corset is staying behind because there's nothing I can do at this moment on it. And, of course, my new patterns and tracing supplies. My parents do after all have lovely hardwood floors perfect for tracing. EDIT - Everything's packed, but I decided to leave the tracing supplies behind (the patterns are still going for oohing and aahing purposes however). And I packed supplies for my gypsy scarf -- a plain black bandana I found in my supplies along with some black lace and turquoise and purple ribbon.

A bientot, mes amis! Et Joyeux Noel!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Corset Progress and Other Things

I did finally make that freaking toaster cover! Easiest Christmas gift ever by the way, I just hope my papa likes it.

I've been working on my gypsy corset vest. I finished stitching the eyelet pleather trim to the brown binding and have stitched most of the layered trim on. I picked out buckles but they only had one so I need to get another. The buckle I purchased is attached, so one side of the corset is pretty much done!

What I still need to do: Purchase and attach the second buckle. Put a zipper in the front. Stitch the lining to the outside at the center back and at the shoulders. Make boning channels along the center back and insert bones into all the channels. Make the binding and bind the remaining edges. Put in eyelets in the back (and Beau found a set of eyelet pliers at the house!)

I've also been working on my comic book Harley Quinn improvements: The collar is put together and just needs hooks and eyes to hold it on and the pom poms attached. It's not perfect, but its the best I'm gonna be able to do for now. I put together the cuffs -- white taffeta base and five rows of pleated trim -- so all I need are closures of some sort. I'm thinking snaps.

There has been no progress on the crazy quilt skirt.

So my to do list:
1. Finish the corset.
2. Finish the Harley Quinn collar and cuffs.
3. Make a Santa coat sleeve for Beau.
4. Finish the last two gores of the crazy quilt skirt.

And once all that's done, I can start working on the patterns Beau got me for my birthday. He got me two Truly Victorian patterns I asked for: the vest basque and the square overskirt. Current plans are to make them out of bright pink satin trimmed in black to wear with my black underskirt. However, rumor has it I have more patterns on the way, so those plans may change. I really really really wanna start on them, but I know that the other projects come first which is why I spent time working on them this weekend. :)

Beau bought me the square overskirt

and the vest basque patterns.

Aren't they just beautiful?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Gypsy Steampunk: The Corset (and a few other little things)

This week I wanted to:
1. Trim pulled fringe on elf punk bustle and assemble the outfit for Sunday's tea.
2. Find embroidery thread for my mother.
3. Finish skirt panel number four.
4. Make a toaster cover for a Christmas present.
5. Work on the gypsy steampunk corset.

What I accomplished:
1. I trimmed the pulled fringe on elf punk bustle and assemble the outfit for Sunday's tea. Unfortunately, I cannot find the red bodice I wanted to wear so it looks like I'll have to make due with the burgundy one.
2. It took some searching but I did indeed find the embroidery thread for my mother. I cannot however find my eyelet pliers...
3. I finished skirt panel number four.
4. Make a toaster cover for a Christmas present. -- Yeah this isn't going to get done this week.
5. And I worked on the gypsy steampunk corset.

Corset: I decided to layer the black pleather with eyelets over some brown trim (I'm using left over quilt binding since I have it). I'm doing this for two reasons: (1) to incorporate brown so I can bind the edges in brown faux silk and (2) the eyelet trim alone is really too narrow, it needs more heft to look right. I started sewing the trim onto the binding. I also took about and inch and a half off each side of the center back and basted the edges together. Then I stitched boning channels at the center front and side front seams.

What I need to do to finish the corset: Finish stitching the trim to the binding. Stitch the layered trim on. Figure out what buckles I'm using and attach those. Stitch the lining to the outside at the center back and at the shoulders. Make boning channels along the center back and insert bones into all the channels. Make the binding and bind the remaining edges. Put in eyelets in the back (will probably do this at the captain's because he has a set of eyelet pliers). Put a zipper in the front.

Since I work doubles today and tomorrow and since I'm then heading south to Cincinnati for much of the weekend (my cousin is getting married Saturday), my to do list for next week:
1. Make that damn toaster cover.
2. Finish my corset, except for the eyelets since those will have to wait until I can go to the captain's quarters.
If those get done, (3) work on my crazy quilt skirt.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

New Patterns (and they were FREE!)

So a couple months ago, I won the monthly pattern giveaway on Diary of a Renaissance Seamstress. These are the patterns I picked out. Guess who's gonna be making pretty retro sundresses for the summer? Oh wait, it's Miss Wilde!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Gypsy Steampunk: The Skirt

Just finished panel number four!

December To Do List

If you remember, my basic to do list to finish by December 31 was:
  • fall/winter sewing
  • elf punk
  • sewing for Miss Von Stoup
  • Harley Quinn revamp
  • patchwork skirt for gypsy-punk
  • stash sewing: cream and black satin, black and silver plaid, purple linen, bright pink satin
  • corsets
Since it is now a few days into December, I figured an update was in order.

First up, I finished the fall / winter sewing: Keeper of the Keys skirt out of white and black key printed flannel. Two retro jumpers, one with a full skirt out of pink and grey pinstriped shirting, one slim skirted out of blue wide wale corduroy.

Next, my elf punk ensemble which is now DONE. I turned an old Christmas table cloth into a bustle and apron and made a matching hat. I plan to wear it with my black underskirt, a white blouse and either a burgundy or red bodice. I do need to trim some pulled fringe though.

I've been working on my Harley Quinn revamp: Diamonds are Forever is now trimmed in tiny white pom pom fringe. I started the collar for my comic book version, but its too small so I need to recut it slightly larger. And I purchased the ruffled trim to make the new comic book cuffs.

The patchwork skirt for my gypsy steampunk is well underway as is the corset. Three panels are at my mother's for embroidery and a fourth is almost finished. The corset needs some fitting issues corrected before I put it together and I've purchased trim for that as well.

What is unlikely to happen within the next month: Sewing for Miss Von Stoup. Sewing for myself from the stash.

December 31, 2011 To Do List:
1. Finish Christmas presents.
2. Finish crazy quilt skirt panels.
3. Finish gypsy steampunk corset.
4. Finish Harley Quinn bodysuit revamp - new collar and cuffs.
5. If all that gets done, work on my gypsy steampunk tiered petticoat.

This week:
1. Trim pulled fringe on elf punk bustle and assemble the outfit for Sunday's tea.
2. Find embroidery thread for my mother.
3. Finish skirt panel number four.
4. Make a toaster cover for a Christmas present.
5. Work on the gypsy steampunk corset.

Completed Projects List for 2011 as of the end of November


  1. Kermit the Frog pajama pants
  2. Imperial Officer uniform
  3. Catwoman for Miss Dashwood
  4. Harem pants for Lady of the Ottoman Empire
  5. Pin Up Skirt
  6. Joker jacket
  7. Star Wars quilt top for my beau
  1. Purple Knit Tunic
  2. Think Pink Skirt
  3. Valentine's Nightie
  4. City Bluescape Skirt
  5. Imperial Officer pants
  1. Bob's corset
  2. Ruffle added to HQ petticoat.
  3. Cage bustle petticoat.
  1. Corset for Rachel.
  2. Steamnun costume for Miss Dashwood.
  1. Imperial Officer toga for my beau.
  2. Asian inspired jacket for Miss Von Stoup.
  3. Persian steampunk.
  4. Vest for my beau.
  1. Pink silk dupioni corset.
  1. Sleep shorts
  2. Scarlet Spider body suit and hood for a fellow Archonite.
  1. Embroidered Ottoman vest.
  2. For Miss Von Stoup: Asian print circle skirt. Post apoc jacket. Confederate steampunk jacket.
  3. Confederate steampunk uniform for myself.
  4. A Star Wars kilt for Beau.
  5. Time Traveler hat.
  6. Sirwal using Miss Kagashi's tutorial.
  7. Also stitched together a couple scarves to make a bustle for the Lady of the Ottoman Empire.
  8. Mystery costume aks Watermelon Girl.
  1. Nothing because I was in the process of moving.
  1. A tutu for my own version of Harley Quinn.
  1. My beau's Star Wars quilt that I started about a year ago. - Fabric from my stash, bought a sheet for the backing and purchased binding and batting.
  2. My mother's Christmas present - A wall hanging from appliqued squares my grandmother made. All I had to buy was the binding.
  3. Keeper of the Keys skirt - Vogue dress pattern where I just used the skirt, thread, zipper all from the stash and purchased fabric.
  4. Sewed trim onto Diamonds Are Forever (steampunk Harley Quinn) to improve it. - Purchased trim.
  5. Elf punk bustle using a Christmas tablecloth, fabric, thread and snaps from the stash.
  6. Pink pinstriped retro jumper - purchased fabric and pattern, stash thread and zipper.
  7. Navy slim skirt retro jumper - stash fabric thread and zipper, purchased pattern
  8. Pillowcase for Beau for Christmas - purchased fabric and stash fabric, no pattern used, stash thread
  9. Christmas stockings for Beau and myself - no pattern used, stash fabric and thread

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Weekend Sewing and What I'd Like to Get Done this Week

This weekend: I worked on panel number four of my crazy quilt skirt and it is almost finished. I also worked on my corset - I basted the front seam of the lining for fitting and fitted the corset. It is much to large. I'm going to have to take several inches out of the center back seam.

A trip to Joanns yielded two yards of black pleather ribbon with eyelets for my corset straps, two yards of white ruffled grosgrain ribbon for my Harley Quinn cuffs, and a few things for my elf punk fascinator hat. I tried to find something brown for my corset, but didn't find anything I liked.

I made my elf punk hat -- I started with an old CD and cut two pieces of padding, one for each side. Then I cut two circles of the bustle fabric a little larger than the CD size and stitched them down to cover the padding. Next, I added two white taffeta flowers, a large red poinsetta, red tulle and green feathers. I tried to add some white and or gold beads, but I couldn't figure out where to put them or how to attach them. The final step was to add some white elastic cord to hold it onto my head. I'm planning to wear it tilted on my head.

Elf punk hat, sitting flat but will be worn tilted.

I finished my Christmas stocking and hung both it and Beau's stocking up.

To Do List for December 4, 2011:
1. Toaster cover for my father's Christmas present
2. Find the embroidery thread for my mother
3. Finish panel number four of my crazy quilt skirt
4. Take in the corset to fit

It's a conservative list, but with my work schedule and with going home next weekend, that's all I can probably manage over the next week. If possible, I'd love to work more on the corset, the skirt and maybe even start my Harley Quinn cuffs and collar.

A bientot!

Friday, December 2, 2011

To Do List Update - Gypsy Steampunk and Christmas

Steampunk Gypsy:

Three of the six crazy quilt skirt panels are finished and at my mother's house for embroidery. I need to find some of my embroidery threads to take to her for her to use on them. Panel number four is well underway.

As for the corset, I've reached the construction point. After hand basting the cotton interlining to the silk for support and stability and also hand basting the broadcloth lining to the denim interlining, I started sewing everything together. Both sides of the silk outer layer and lining / denim inner layer have been stitched together. I need to baste together the front for fitting purposes, probably take it in some, and then move on to sewing the layers together. I'm planning for this to be lightly boned, probably just at the center front, side front, side and center back with no boning on the curved side back seam. I'm also only planning one bone per seam as opposed to the usual two bones per seam that I usually follow.

The back will fasten with lacing and eyelets (I'm contemplating stitching over the eyelets to give them a prettier look, but haven't decided for sure) while the front will likely close with a separating zipper. I want to have straps of some sort that go up the front to the buckles at the shoulders, my mother suggested brown would look pretty with the teal. I agree but wonder about how that will look with the planned black petticoats. I also need to find buckles. Brown pleather straps would be rather lovely though, and I have some brown faux silk that may work for the binding...

I'm also planning to make a tiered black petticoat to wear underneath the crazy quilt.

Christmas presents:

I started my other Christmas sewing. I made a pillowcase for Beau and used the left over fabric to trim the stocking I made him from left over red taffeta from Diamonds are Forever. My stocking is the same base fabric and will be trimmed in some University of Cincinnati cotton I have in my stash. Other than finishing my stocking, the only other thing I have to sew is the toaster cover for my father's gift.

Harley Quinn body suit improvements:

I know how I'm going to do the cuffs, but I haven't started them yet. I did cut out the collar but its too small and needs to be recut at a slightly larger size.

Elf punk hat:

I'm thinking of some sort of fascinator style hat, covered with clip on Christmas decorations, fabric flowers, red tulle, and some gold beads.

Stash sewing:

If I don't get any commissions, this will probably be the next project tackled. I'm planning something vaguely 18th out of a cream and black flocked taffeta (if there's enough fabric); and a new skirt for my black plaid outfit that is more plaid, probably a shorter skirt with a wide plaid ruffle or pleated ruffle at the hem leaving little of the actual skirt exposed.

Speaking of commissions, I am taking them again. I've had some interest from a few people but nothing firm yet.

Friday, November 25, 2011

What I Did Over Thanksgiving

I cut out the collar for Harley Quinn, but I may have gotten the dimensions wrong...I need to sew it together and see if its going to work.

I cut out the black broadcloth (left over from the crazy quilt skirt base) to use for my corset lining. EDIT 11/27/2011: I hand basted the lining to the denim interlining and pinned everything together to start corset construction tomorrow.

And I finished panel number three for my crazy quilt skirt. I left all three completed panels at my mother's house for her to work on embroidering. I have some fancy embroidery threads that I need to hunt down and take to her the next time I visit.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pink Jumper Pictures and Crazy Quilt Skirt News!

First up, some pictures of my new pink jumper that I wore yesterday:

As full length of a photo as I could get and I do apologize for the obligatory bathroom cell phone picture, I figured it was better than nothing.

Close up of the hem, where I used polyester horsehair braid to give it some body.

Close up of the neckline with hand done decorative topstitching in gray thread to match the pinstripes.

Now I just need a gray blouse...

In other news, I finished ANOTHER panel of my crazy quilt skirt:

And it's nowhere near as purple as it looks in this picture...Stupid lighting.

Besides finishing panel #2 last night, I also worked on my corset. All the pieces (except the lining) are cut out. I decided that what I used for the pattern was not sturdy enough for the lining. It is going to become interlining for the silk, then I'll have a layer of denim then black broadcloth as the corset lining.

What's in Miss Wilde's Sewing Basket for the weekend? (aka my weekend to do list)
1. Pattern, fabric and pompoms for Harley Quinn collar.
2. Teal silk corset, including broadcloth to cut out for the lining.
3. Crazy quilt skirt.
4. I also packed some little bits (such as fake coins) that will be used on my gypsy steampunk costume somewhere.

A bientot mes amis and Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

More To Do List Progress - Fall / Winter Sewing and Gypsy Steampunk

The navy jumper is DONE. The zipper went in well, the jumper fit pretty perfectly, and while the neckline / armholes / hem took a while, it went fine as well. I plan on wearing it tomorrow and I'm wearing the pink jumper today!

I didn't work on the Harley Quinn collar. I decided I'd rather pack it for the trip to my parents' this weekend. Also packed will be the corset and the crazy quilt skirt.

I actually started on the corset last night. I combined three patterns: McCalls 6097 for the back (which I then cut in two to give me a side back seam), a modified underbust version of McCalls 4107 for the center front, and Simplicity 3618 for the side front. I trimmed pieces as needed to fit together more smoothly and clipped the front strap of the side front in half to give me a spot for it to buckle / snap. I then took apart the pattern which will likely become the lining of the new corset and double checked to see that I had enough silk (which I do) and I also found some denim to use as the interlining. It's not as heavy as I'd like, but it will do.

With me today is the corset to cut out and the crazy quilt skirt, I started panel number two last evening after working on the corset.

I feel like I'm making good progress on my December 31 to do list.
  • My fall / winter sewing is DONE.
  • The gypsy steampunk crazy quilt skirt and corset are well underway.
  • The Harley Quinn collar and cuffs are in the planning stages.
  • I'd like to make a hat of some sort for my elf-punk dress, but its wearable as is.
  • And I've sorted out a lot of fabric for some stash sewing.
  • Also I have fabric for a couple Christmas presents that I need to work on, but neither will take much time.
A bientot!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Progress on Fall / Winter Sewing To Do List

As you all know, my Keeper of the Keys skirt is finished.

And today I worked on both jumpers (which were already cut out). The pink pinstriped full skirted version is DONE. I just finished hand sewing the bodice lining in place and put a little decorative top-stitching around the neckline.

The navy jumper is to the hand sewing point. First I need to put the zipper in, then do a fitting to make sure I like how it fits. Then comes doing the hem, neckline and armholes by hand. There is no way I'm going to stitch any of that on a machine with that wide wale corduroy. It would look awful I'm sure.

And as I posted yesterday, panel one of the crazy quilt skirt is complete.

I pulled out the blouse for the gypsy steampunk outfit and the teal silk I wanted to use for a corset and I think it is going to work. The color is good and I have one yard of the silk which should be plenty. First step of that project is making the pattern. I'll probably base it off of several corset and bodice patterns and combine the different pieces to get what I want.

Tomorrow I'll finish the navy jumper and hopefully work on the Harley Quinn collar and maybe even the crazy quilt skirt. I need to decide what I'm packing for my trip home and get that packed no later than Monday (work a double Tuesday and leave Wednesday right after work).

That's it for now my dearest friends! A bientot!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Crazy Quilt Skirt Progress!

Panel one is complete! I will be taking this to my mother next week for her to embroider.

To Do List to Complete by December 31, 2011

I think December 31 will make a lovely due date, don't you? Since I have no events to count down to until January.

My basic to do list:
  • fall/winter sewing
  • elf punk
  • sewing for Miss Von Stoup
  • Harley Quinn revamp
  • patchwork skirt for gypsy-punk
  • stash sewing: cream and black satin, black and silver plaid, purple linen, bright pink satin
  • corsets
Progress so far and plans:

First up, Harley Quinn revamp in two parts:
  • Comic book version: Made a pattern for the new collar. I need to make the new collar and make the cuffs.
  • Steampunk version: Finished sewing trim around the jacket edges and to the skirt hem. I may need to purchase a little more trim.
Next, fall/winter sewing:
  • I have two jumpers cut out and started pinning them.
  • And I finished the Keeper of the Keys skirt.
As for my Christmas sewing...
  • I finished the elf punk bustle.
  • I'd like to make a hat for the elf punk ensemble.
And my gypsy punk costume is coming along.
  • Patchwork crazy quilt skirt is started.
  • And I'm thinking of doing a teal silk high backed corset vest if (1) I have enough fabric and (2) the silk coordinates well with the blouse.
I've made no progress on Miss Von Stoup's sewing. Nor have I started any of my planned stash sewing, although I did set aside a couple things -- the cream and black flocked satin is sitting with the pattern I plan to use and I bundled some black and silver plaid with the leftover flocked chiffon from the underskirt. I have more plaid somewhere.

Oh and I need to make a toaster cover for a Christmas present. But I forgot to measure the toaster...

What I'd like to get done this weekend:
  • Pink full skirted jumper.
  • Navy slim skirt jumper.
  • Harley Quinn collar.
  • Work on crazy quilt skirt.

Updated Completed Projects List for 2011 EDITED November 22, 2011


  1. Kermit the Frog pajama pants
  2. Imperial Officer uniform
  3. Catwoman for Miss Dashwood
  4. Harem pants for Lady of the Ottoman Empire
  5. Pin Up Skirt
  6. Joker jacket
  7. Star Wars quilt top for my beau
  1. Purple Knit Tunic
  2. Think Pink Skirt
  3. Valentine's Nightie
  4. City Bluescape Skirt
  5. Imperial Officer pants
  1. Bob's corset
  2. Ruffle added to HQ petticoat.
  3. Cage bustle petticoat.
  1. Corset for Rachel.
  2. Steamnun costume for Miss Dashwood.
  1. Imperial Officer toga for my beau.
  2. Asian inspired jacket for Miss Von Stoup.
  3. Persian steampunk.
  4. Vest for my beau.
  1. Pink silk dupioni corset.
  1. Sleep shorts
  2. Scarlet Spider body suit and hood for a fellow Archonite. - Stash pattern, fabric thread and zipper purchased via Professor Watt
  1. Embroidered Ottoman vest. - Added decoration to already made vest (that I think was made from stash fabric and pattern). Purchased embroidery supplies.
  2. For Miss Von Stoup: Asian print circle skirt. Post apoc jacket. Confederate steampunk jacket. - Supplies purchased via Miss Von Stoup.
  3. Confederate steampunk uniform for myself. - Stash pattern for jacket, no pattern for skirt. Supplies purchased via Miss Von Stoup.
  4. A Star Wars kilt for Beau. - Stash pattern. Top sheet to sheet set that he never used and stash fabric for sporran and lining. Purchased D rings.
  5. Time Traveler hat. - Stash hat, fabric and trimmings. Inherited watches.
  6. Sirwal using Miss Kagashi's tutorial. - Purchased muslin and pink satin, elastic and closures from the stash. This were made for my Persian-punk outfit.
  7. Also stitched together a couple scarves to make a bustle for the Lady of the Ottoman Empire. - Scarves and thread from my stash.
  8. Mystery costume aks Watermelon Girl. Made a jacket, a skirt, a blouse and decorated a hat to go with my pink silk underbust corset. Some stash fabric, some purchased fabric. I don't think I purchased any notions.
  1. Nothing because I was in the process of moving.
  1. A tutu for my own version of Harley Quinn. Purchased tulle, elastic and thread from the stash.
  1. My beau's Star Wars quilt that I started about a year ago. - Fabric from my stash, bought a sheet for the backing and purchased binding and batting.
  2. My mother's Christmas present - A wall hanging from appliqued squares my grandmother made. All I had to buy was the binding.
  3. Keeper of the Keys skirt - Vogue dress pattern where I just used the skirt, thread, zipper all from the stash and purchased fabric.
  4. Sewed trim onto Diamonds Are Forever (steampunk Harley Quinn) to improve it. - Purchased trim.
  5. Elf punk bustle using a Christmas tablecloth, fabric, thread and snaps from the stash.
  6. Pink pinstriped retro jumper - purchased fabric and pattern, stash thread and zipper.
  7. Navy slim skirt retro jumper - stash fabric thread and zipper, purchased pattern

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Crazy Quilt Progress and A New Skirt!

First up, some photos of my crazy quilt skirt progress. The first three are of some fabrics I'm using, the last is of the current progress.

Red crushed velvet, brown corduroy, blue brocade, navy wide wale corduroy

Red faux velvet from the Christmas fabrics, brown faux silk, purple pinstriped linen, orange crush velvet, red iridescent taffeta

Gold lace, silver brocade, green faux velvet from the Christmas fabrics, teal crepe, gold faux silk

First panel of my crazy quilt skirt so far.

Secondly, I put together my Keeper of the Keys skirt last night. It took about an hour, waistband, hem, zipper and all. It's a little big, sits on the hips instead of the waist, but I don't know if I want to take it in or not. Also the flannel clings to my tights when I walk, so I may wear it with a petticoat of some sort the next time.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Progress on my Fall / Winter Sewing To Do List

This weekend, I trimmed my Diamonds are Forever jacket with the tiny white pompoms. I also pinned the darts for both jumpers and pinned together the Keeper of the Keys skirt. And went shopping with my mother and bought fabric for the gypsy steampunk crazy quilt skirt as well as a couple other projects.

Today, I finished the elf punk bustle (snaps and a waistband) and trimmed the Diamonds are Forever skirt (I had extra trim!). I ran a few inches short on the skirt, I'm hoping it doesn't show because of the bustle but if it does, I'll have to buy more trim.

Gypsy Steampunk skirt: I cut out the base fabric, using my walkaway skirt pattern, out of black broadcloth. Then I cut it into six gores, roughly the same size. I started a collection of fabrics to use -- teal crepe, silver brocade, deep orange crushed velvet, burgundy velveteen, gold lace, green velveteen, brown faux silk, purple linen with pinstripes, teal paisley brocade, gold faux silk and black / burgundy iridescent taffeta. My mother said she would help with the embroidery, which is why I went with gores. I can finish one, take it to her and she can embroider it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A little progress, A little more planning

First of all, I just sat at my desk at work and made a pattern for the Harley Quinn collar. All I did was pull up a picture of Harley and draw until it looked right. Yeah for progress!! I may even take the white taffeta home with me this weekend to work on.

Also in my sewing box for the weekend: Elf Punk bustle. Pink jumper. Navy jumper. Keeper of the Keys skirt. I won't really be able to sew any of it except the bustle, but I can at least start pinning all those freaking darts. I think there's twelve total on each jumper.

I did a little shopping today, mainly notions (needles, elastic and hook and eye closures, you know the necessities) but I also bought six yards of white tiny pompom trim for the Diamonds are Forever jacket and a pattern for my homage to the 18th century.

I purchased Simplicity 4092. Now I know its not really very accurate, but I'm just not much for historical accuracy: that's why I do steampunk. And I think some of the construction details can be altered to make it more accurate, like taking away the back zipper and putting buttons down the front. It was also the closest I could find to this dress (that Beau likes), from Sleepy Hollow. I might make it in the cream and black flocked satin for the bodice with a black petticoat, perhaps trimmed in cream.

Photo from Maggie's Costume Wardrobe.

As for the gypsy steampunk skirt, I've decided to go the crazy quilt route. This is going to be a labor of love my friends. I plan to buy about 4 yards of broadcloth to use as the base fabric and I'm going with a circle skirt style, probably based on the skirt of Butterick 4790. I need to sort through my scraps and even my fabric, picking out the best fabrics (I'm thinking deep rich colors, colors that coordinate with the blouse, and fabrics on the richer end of the spectrum). Once the skirt is put together, I'll start on the embroidery and maybe even the beading. I told you it'd be a labor of love. I'm also contemplating the high backed corset vest out of teal silk dupioni that I have in my stash. If I have enough and if its a good color with the blouse.

I may even take my steampunk Harley Quinn jacket home this weekend so I can start on the trim, thus giving me time over Thanksgiving to devote to the crazy quilt skirt.

A bientot!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Musings on Sewing I'd Like to Do Over the Next Year

After finishing my current fall / winter wardrobe sewing (two skirts and two jumpers and maybe something in plaid...high waisted skirt for work / play perhaps...) and after finishing my elf-punk ensemble (I still need to sew some snaps or hooks on to attach the bustle to the apron as well as make a hat), I need to start thinking about next year's convention schedule and what I want to make.

First up is sewing for Miss Von Stoup. I know she wants something out of a black and silver fabric we purchased on our summer shopping trip, but I need to sit down with her to discuss it.

Current convention plans for next year:
  1. Ohayocon in January. Primarily an anime convention, but there is always a steampunk presence.
  2. Steampunk Empire Symposium in April. I'll be staying at my parents' house to cut costs so I'll have to really think about each outfit I take and its drive-ability.
  3. World Steam Expo in May.
  4. DragonCon in September.
At least one of the steampunk conventions (and maybe even DragonCon) will be done with only taking things that will go with my black underskirt. It's an effort to 'pack light' but a lot of my wardrobe could go over that skirt. And I may just make more that will go with it as well.

For Ohayocon, I want to revamp both of my Harley Quinn outfits. (1) The comic book body suit needs a new collar and cuffs. I already have some white taffeta I can use for the collar, I just need to make the pattern and then add the fluffy balls (which I may have in my stash). The cuffs I plan to make out of trim from Joanns -- it's white pleated ribbon. I think two or three rows of it will give the perfect look. I'd like to make both the collar and the cuffs removable. If possible, I'd also like to make shoe covers and purchase a pair of red gloves. I'm striving for a more accurate costume. (2) I want to add white braid along the jacket edges of my steampunk version and maybe also at the skirt hem, so it flows. This will take some time, because it has to be sewn on by hand. Maybe I'll purchase some braid this weekend with my extra discount so I can work on it over Thanksgiving...I need to measure how much I'll need first.

Other projects in the planning stages:
  • I still really want to make an 18th century costume, either a robe a l'anglaise or a petticoat and jacket combination. This will be a lengthy proposition though, as I need to start from the skin out with stays and pocket hoops or a bumroll.
  • I also really want to do a steampunk gypsy costume. I spent time yesterday pouring over Miss Kagashi's post on "The Roving Roma" ( and developing plans.
  • And I want to look through all of my fabric and see what I can find to make new costumes. And probably new corsets, maybe even to sell.
  • I'd love to make some new corsets. I have tons of ideas, I just need to sit down and execute them.
Steampunk Gypsy plans: I already have a white peasant blouse with embroidery. I want to have layered skirts, I'm thinking of using a two tiered white eyelet skirt as the bottom layer and a tiered patchwork skirt over top. I have an entire bin full of fabric scraps for the patchwork skirt project -- I've been planning it for months. Inspiration: I may do a crazy quilt version a la Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

I might incorporate my pink shawls from my Ottoman steampunk: one as the bustle, the other as a drape or headscarf. If I don't wear the shawl over my hair, I'll wear some sort of scarf or bandanna that coordinates with my outfit. I plan to wear a lot of jewelry: a steampunk necklace a friend gave me, a watch locket from my grandmother, a purple and black necklace of plastic jewels bought from a street vendor in Amsterdam, and maybe my black beaded choker as well. Along with lots of bangles, hoop earrings and probably some rings as well. I have a coin belt that I'll likely wear and I have some coin jewelry charms that I'd like to use as trim somewhere or to make a necklace. Corset wise, I could wear the pink one, my black and silver waist cincher or I could make a new one.

Crazy quilt skirt from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I just love Howard Keel, don't you?

Stash sewing ideas: I know I have some cream and black flocked satin that might make a nice polanaise if I have enough OR it could work for an 18th century jacket then all I'd need would be a black petticoat...I also have a length of black and silver plaid left from my black and silver costume, maybe I could make a new skirt so I could be plaid head to toe. Oh I really like that idea. It would probably have to be a shortened skirt because I know there's not enough for a full length version. Although there is always the possibility of a shortened black underskirt trimmed in deep black and silver plaid ruffles. I know I have some purple linen as well...And a ton of other stuff. I really need to go through all my bins. Oh and there's a ton of bright pink satin, maybe that should go towards my 18th century outfit.

How to make an 18th century petticoat links: (btw I follow this blog and recommend it highly)

I'm actually rather tempted to adapt patterns in my stash or that are easily purchase-able patterns to make something vaguely 18th century but not 100% accurate. After all, I am a steampunk. Can I steampunk the 18th century?

Corset Ideas:

A ribbon corset. This is a corset made of ribbon instead of fabric. I'm thinking I could adapt my underbust corset pattern to make one of these quite easily. Now do I have any ribbon in my stash...

A ribbon corset from an awesome corsetry blog, Bridges on the Body.

A corset based on Dr. Warner's Sanitary Corset from the late 1870s. It just looks so very steampunk-able to me.

The front buttons...

And the back has elastic. (Photos from the Antique Corset Gallery)

A corset based on the Kabo Girdle 801. This is a wrap around corset which is so unusual and amazing.

Front view

Back view. (Photos from the Antique Corset Gallery).

And now for my newest corset obsession, the corset with shoulder braces. I want to make a high backed, underbust corset with straps that fasten over the shoulders. I've been collecting some denim that might work well with this...or maybe I should do it for my gypsy costume...

From Ageless Patterns

  • fall/winter sewing
  • elf punk
  • sewing for Miss Von Stoup
  • Harley Quinn revamp
  • patchwork skirt for gypsy-punk
  • stash sewing: cream and black satin, black and silver plaid, purple linen, bright pink satin
  • corsets
I have a lot of plans don't I?

A bientot!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fall/Winter Wardrobe sewing

I cut out the pink jumper yesterday and started to pin the darts but got tired of it. There are A LOT of darts in that pattern. I also sorted out zippers for my sewing, none of which are perfect matches but if its using a purple 22" zipper in a navy jumper instead of spending the money on a new zipper, then I'm okay with it. The pink jumper is getting a white zipper and the Keeper of the Keys has a white zipper but its actually a separating one.

I brought my elf-punk bustle with me to work so I can sew on the closures (snaps).

I work both jobs today so no sewing after work. Tomorrow, Beau wants to work on fixing one of his costumes. Hopefully, we can get that out of the way fairly quickly and I can work on my sewing.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Elf-Punk and Fall/Winter Wardrobe sewing

Christmas Steampunk Bustle aka "Elf-Punk"
: For those of you who are uninformed, I love Chirstmas. As in I am obsessed with Christmas. My usual modus operandi is to decorate on November 1st because in my mind once Halloween is over, it's Christmas time. So when the Airship Archon started planning a holiday tea for December (which I may not be able to make it too because of family obligations *sad face*) and I found an old Christmas tablecloth in my Christmas things that was pretty unusable as a tablecloth because it had been ruined in one spot by children with paint (yes, it was me and my brother, the Luke to my Leia, the Jacen to my Jaina...okay I'm done with the Star Wars twin references lol), I knew that I had to do a Christmas steampunk outfit.

The tablecloth: White background. Trimmed in white fringe. Border pattern of poinsettas, bows and leaves in greens, reds, and burgundies.

I started off by cutting the tablecloth in half. Then I cut out the middle of one half to have a half circle to use as the apron:

Apron: Stage One

I created the top of the bustle with a half circle of white taffeta cut to roughly match the top of my bustle pillow. I edged it in white lace then started building the bustle. I removed the damaged portion of the center-less tablecloth half, finished the ends, ran a gathering stitch along the top edge and gathered it to fit the top of the bustle.

Bustle: Stage One

Next, I took the complete tablecloth half, found its center and the bustle top center, pinned the centers together then pinned along the bustle top. The remaining edge was finished as I stitched the two together.

Bustle: Stage Two

Now I went back to the apron. I used my trusty Simplicity 5457 (OOP) to make the apron back which I cut out of black cotton. I finished the lower edge of the apron with lace to match the bustle lace and a bit of fringe taken from the damaged section of tablecloth. Then I finished the top edge and sewed the apron back to the ends.

All that's left to do is sew on some closures. I plan to wear the bustle and apron with my black underskirt, a white blouse and either my burgundy bodice or a red corduroy bodice that I have never worn. I also plan to make or decorate a hat to match, probably with some poinsettas and maybe some other Christmas-y decorations.

With my elf-punk out of the way for the time being, I moved on to cutting out some patterns for my fall / winter wardrobe sewing. I need new work clothes!

First up, the keeper of the keys skirt. I used Vogue 2429, a sundress pattern that I love. I just cut out the skirt for view I. I think I have a self drafted waistband somewhere to use. There was about a half yard of fabric left over, I'm thinking I may need to make a waist cincher for when I wear the skirt for play and not work.

Vogue 2429, I used the skirt from View I, the green plaid

Keeper of the Keys fabric: the light makes it look yellow but in reality it's a white background with black keys.

Next, I cut Simplicity 3673 (retro jumper) out of dark blue wide wale corduroy. I went with View A (the blue one on the right) but I'm not making the belt. Since it's a jumper, I cut the largest size on my pattern, just to be on the safe side.

Simplicity 3673, the staple of my winter wardrobe.

I'm planning to cut view C (the full skirted center option) out of pink and grey pinstriped shirting tonight after work.

Adventures in Quilting - The Final Post and What's Next for Miss Wilde

I finished my mother's wall hanging and Beau's quilt yesterday. The binding of the quilt seemed like it took forever due to the size. But its DONE and he's happy and I'm sure mother will be as well. I passed on putting on a hanger, because I don't know what kind of hanger to put on there. I may add it sometime between now and Christmas, when I can talk to her about it.

I went shopping yesterday. What I bought: white flannel with black keys on it for a skirt (suitable for work and steampunk), pink with a grey pinstripe shirting for a jumper (Simplicity retro pattern mentioned in previous posts), the binding for both abovementioned projects, some white blizzard fleece for Beau to use in a costume, and some comic printed fabric for something for Beau for Christmas. Currently I'm thinking a Christmas stocking with matching pajama pants trimmed in the leftovers (there's not enough for pajama pants, maybe for boxers but I don't know if he'd wear those and I've been thinking about making us stockings so I think that's the best route).

I also started the bustle for my Christmas steampunk outfit (I'm calling it "elf-punk") -- I cut the tablecloth I'm using in half and started assembling the bustle with the aid of my dressmaker's dummy. I fastened the bustle pillow on her butt and went to town. Once the bustle's done, I'm planning to make a fabulous Christmas-y hat / fascinator to go with it. I just need to figure out what to use as the base to pile on flowers and other fun stuff.

After the elf-punk dress is finished, I will move on to the normal work clothes: Finishing a skirt that's already cut out. The keeper of the keys skirt. The retro pink jumper. And retro out of some wide wale blue corduroy, either a jumper or a skirt. And then of course the Christmas stockings. I think I may need to pick up some Tinkerbell fabric for my stocking / pajama pants combo. EDIT I also have some UC Bearcats fabric left over from a remnant I bought earlier this year (I made myself a bandana). If I have enough, I might use this for my combo instead.

As for other Christmas presents, my father has no idea what he wants me to get him and my brother and sister in law have told me that they cannot afford presents this year and so don't want me to spend any money on them.

Okay, I'm going to get dressed (still in my robe and slippers! lol) and head down to the sewing room for a little elf-punk fun.

A bientot!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Project Update!

Beau's Quilt: It's been lengthened. Up next is basting the edges and binding it, neither of which is likely to happen at the moment because I'm going to have to rearrange my sewing area (move a couple things off the sewing table and move the sewing table out from the wall so there's room to work on the quilt).

Christmas: I put the backing of my mother's wall hanging together and pinned everything together. The batting is pieced: one big piece in the middle with a narrower piece at each end (left over from trimming Beau's quilt). After pinning, I started to quilt it. I'm quilting it with a dark orange thread, I think it coordinates well with the fall palette of the applique. After the quilting's finished (which it may be this evening actually), I'll baste the edges and then move on to binding it.

Wall hanging in progress.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Quilting, Christmas and Halloween

Quilt: I redid the small section of black ties with red. Then I let out the top of the sheet I used as backing and repinned it, trimming off the excess. I also trimmed the excess from one side of the quilt so I could use that at the bottom for lengthening purposes. That is pinned and just needs sewn. I was going to trim the length of the quilt top but then realized that it would ruin the corners which are pillow squares.

So I need to sew the new section of backing to the bottom of the quilt, then I'm planning to baste around all the edges before binding. I haven't heard back from my friend about borrowing her strip cutter, so I may just go buy binding. I calculated that I'll need four packages which'll cost about $12. Making my own would be less than half that, but if that's not an option then its not an option.

As for Christmas, I still need to fix the back of my mother's wall hanging before I start the quilting on it. And then I need to find fabric for my father's curtains.

As for Halloween, I did end up making a quick little tutu for my own version of Harley Quinn. I purchased a spool of red tulle, sewed two lengths together, made a quick elastic casing, slid elastic in and then sewed the back seam. Quick and easy.

I think this is a pretty good (and true) version of Harley: it's not slutty and the blouse gives it a jester / clown feel. The mismatched thigh highs are a good touch. My only wish is that there was more red.

I'll probably be wearing this or something similar if we go out tonight as has been discussed.

A bientot!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mid Ohio Con 2011

I spent most of the weekend in my Imperial Officer's uniform representing the 501st Legion. Thankfully, I was allowed to wear my skirt. However the skirt is just a smidgen too short and shows one of my leg tattoos.

Photo by Matthew Wells. Even though I spent most of the weekend in this costume, I have very few pictures of it. Oh well.

I spent a few hours Saturday as steampunk Harley Quinn, hanging out with my friend Nin Ja (aka Jesse) who cosplays as Joker.

A solo shot of Steampunk Harley by my friend Corielle Riddell.

With Nin Ja (as steampunk Joker) from his camera, taken by a nice con attendee. (I asked her to take our picture by complimenting her Star Wars tshirt. lol)

Another with Nin Ja, taken by the same con attendee. I seriously love this photo by the way. I look just a touch devious, which I think is appropriate for such a Victorian Harley Quinn.

Sadly, you can't see my awesome stockings in any of these photos. They are the Harlequin and Heart Thigh Highs from Sock Dreams (best website EVER by the way). I could NOT resist mismatched red black and white thigh highs especially when harlequin diamonds were involved.

And the sewing has FINALLY resumed!!

First up -- Finishing that quilt I started about a year ago for my beau.

Good news: All of the tying is complete! Except for a small section that needs redone: I started tying using black yarn and the black yarn went missing, so I asked if it was okay if I used red instead when I found some red. The beau said it was okay, but now he doesn't like the way it looks so I have to redo about a dozed or so squares (each corner is tied so its a lot of ties to redo). On the bright side, it IS a small section in relation to the rest of the quilt.

I also trimmed off most of the extraneous batting. I'm going to have to get creative with the backing -- It is too short on the ends and too long on the sides. On the top I'm going to take out the hem (its a sheet, so there's lots of extra there) to give myself more fabric. On the bottom, I'm just going to have to sew on a strip to lengthen it. I'm tempted to shorten the quilt instead. I could just take off the bottom row of squares...of course that would negate that row of tying...But I don't know if I want to hassle with adding fabric to the back of an already quilted quilt.

Once the back is fixed, I need to tackle the binding. I either need to buy binding (easier) or make my own (cheaper). If I can borrow a friend's strip cutter, I'll probably go with making my own, but if that doesn't work out, I'll just buy it.

A shot of the quilt

A close up of the quilt. I'm thinking of using that Jedi blue for the binding...

Next comes Christmas presents!

First: A wall hanging for my mother. It's made from the pieces of an applique quilt my grandmother started years (maybe decades) ago. I've already pieced it together, adding pieces of coordinating fabric where needed, and I've started putting the back together. The back needs some more work before it's ready. Once the back's done, I'll pin everything together and start machine quilting it. Then of course comes the binding. I need to ask if she wants me to put some sort of hanger on the back or if she's going to take care of that.

Second: Probably some curtains for my father for his den. Mother gave me the idea.

I have no idea what I'm making / giving my brother or his wife for Christmas this year. Nor do I know what I'm making / giving my beau either. I set the bar kind of high last year when I made him a scrapbook of himself in Star Wars costumes. Damn me for that awesome present.

In other news...

Several things I wanted to make for Halloween haven't happened. I wanted to make a circle skirt out of some Halloween fabric I have to wear to work ON Halloween, but haven't had a chance. And since Halloween is Monday, I don't see it happening. I also wanted to make a tutu for my planned Halloween costume, but again, I haven't had a chance. And since I doubt anyone at the party we'll probably attend would 'get' who I was supposed to be, I don't know if I even want to bother with it. I'm not even really in the mood for Halloween this year, it just kind of appeared out of nowhere and nothing's ready, nor do I really know what the plans are this weekend. So...

I also have some 'normal' sewing I want to work on (work clothes mainly). I may try to improve my Harley Quinn bodysuit for Ohayocon in February. And there's sewing for Miss Von Stoup to do, as usual.

But first the quilt and the Christmas presents. And maybe the tutu for this weekend. Maybe.

A beintot!!

Monday, October 17, 2011


The move is done and the unpacking has begun so hopefully the sewing will begin again soon.

First up, some 'normal' clothes for work and sewing for Miss Von Stoup. And maybe a tutu for my Halloween costume...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Apology for the Lack of Posts

As mentioned in previous posts, I am moving from the Companion's Shuttle to my beau's quarters. As one can imagine, this is quite the undertaking and leaves me little free time. I plan to be moved by October 15, so hopefully I can start sewing once again after that.

Of course, after the moving comes the unpacking...and finding room for everything in his quarters...I'm supposed to have a sewing space set up in the lower level of his quarters but I don't know if that will be happening or not. Or more accurately, how soon that will be happening, because it will be set up that way eventually, but it may take time. In the meantime, I may just set up my machine in the spare room where all my clothes are going, IF there's space that is.

Current moving status: almost everything I own is in boxes at the Shuttle or in his quarters. All that's left is last minute items and furniture (most of which is small). Even though this has been a gradual moving process, I still abhor moving.

If I have time and space for sewing machine set up, I do have a couple projects separated out for me to work on.

Hopefully I'll be sewing again in a couple weeks!!

A bientot!

PS I have been working on my beau's quilt. The tie quilting is almost completed, then comes the binding! I contacted my friend and she said I was welcome to borrow her bias strip cutter, so that'll be a little easier.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Photos from the Archon Picnic

A shot of my Persian Steampunk outfit. I wore it with a long sleeved blouse instead of the usual bodice because it was a little chilly. I also wore my Persian pants.

Photo by Cassadi Thomas.

Steampunks on the swing set! The Persian pants were perfect for swinging, by the way.

Photo by Donnette Carney.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Weekend Quilting

Post Dragon-Con and in the midst of moving plans and with my beau constantly mentioning it, I have decided that the first order of business should be finishing his quilt.

If you follow faithfully, you will realize that I have been working on this quilt for a long time. The first post concerning it was made last December. Hmmm, I think less than a year turn around for quilt is more than sufficient, don't you?

The quilt top has been put together. The batting and backing were pinned together with the top. I started the quilting a while ago, I'm going with tie-quilting based on the size of the quilt. After this weekend, I am happy to say that the quilt is more than halfway quilted. A large rectangular portion is finished, there are a little over two rows to finish from that portion to the right edge of the quilt and then a lower portion across the entirety of the quilt that is four rows deep left to quilt.

After the quilting comes the binding. At least a portion of that will be done on the machine, if not all of it. I haven't decided on color yet, or if I'm going to use pre-made binding or make my own. I lean towards the latter (less expensive) but pre-made would look neater. Although I do have a friend that has a binding machine...Perhaps I should send her a letter...

I plan to start organizing and packing my sewing room this evening. I may also pull out a UFO or two to work on, we'll see.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fall / Winter Sewing Plans

Now that Dragon*Con has come and gone, it is time to start planning my fall and winter sewing.

First of all, I recently received the news that I will be leaving the Companion's Shuttle and moving to other quarters aboard the airship (perhaps into my beau's?). Obviously, I will not be starting or working on any projects until this move is completed.

There are four things I'd like to focus on over the next several months: 'normal' sewing for my wardrobe; working on an 18th century costume; working on a Mara Jade costume; and finally sewing for Miss Von Stoup.

(1) Wardrobe sewing: I'd like some new, professional but fun, clothes for work. I definitely want to make Simplicity 3673, which is already in my pattern stash. I'm thinking a cute plaid that would coordinate with a few of my blouses. I'm also tempted to use the same pattern to do a high waisted skirt with suspenders, a skirt that could be worn to work or as part of a steampunk costume. There's a cute little retro dress pattern (New Look 6000) that I really love and would like to make, maybe out of a nice suiting. And I have a skirt I start several months ago that I'd like to finish. Also, I'm sure I have several UFOs (unfinished objects) that I could finish as well. I may actually work on some of the UFOs over the next few weeks before I move. EDIT I remembered that I have some wide wale corduroy in a teal blue color. I'm thinking it would work for the jumper or for the high waisted skirt.

(2) 18th century costume: I am dying to make and wear a robe a l'anglaise. Of course, the first thing I need to do is make a pair of stays. Thankfully, Butterick has a pattern that is rumored to be fairly accurate so I can at least get one inexpensive pattern. I know I can make a petticoat without a pattern, and probably the chemise as well. Once the underwear is done, I'll move on to making the actual robe a l'anglaise. No idea what I'm going to use to make any of this, by the way.

(3) Sewing for Miss Von Stoup: I still have several lengths of fabric to use to make her some new costumes. Black and silver damask for a polonaise (probably), some more of the Asian print and of the cream,...that may be it.

(4) Mara Jade: I really need to buckle down and just make this costume, I just dread sewing with stretch material as well as doing the quilting and piping.

PS This may sound strange but I really want to make a Christmas steampunk outfit. Elf-punk? I have an old Christmas table cloth that I'm dying to make into a bustle. Its all white and red and green and has this awesome fringe on it. And I already have a red corset I could wear with it...

Musings on my First Dragon*Con

The convention was a lot of ups and downs for me. And I still haven't decided if I had a good time or not.

Ups: A random girl in the bathroom getting my Watermelon Girl costume aka the mystery costume. Meeting my friend Jillian in person. Officially meeting Jeni Hellum (of Multiculturalism in Steampunk aka The Steamer's Trunk an awesome blog) and having her squee over my costume and my turban (made using her tutorial). Meeting John Strangeway aka Steampunk Boba Fett and getting a picture with him in his helmet. I got my 501st nickname and met the people that run Megacon. The costumes. Seeing friends like Leanna and Emilie. Finally seeing Abney Park. And my beau buying me some Harley Quinn pretties for my collection.

Downs: Waiting over two hours in the registration line. No Miss Dashwood. Having an allergic reaction to the Harley Quinn face paint. The crowds. Not seeing all of the Abney Park concert. The drive there and back. The breakdowns of several people and the fighting. And not doing everything I wanted to do, of course. Not seeing John in his Boba Fett costume and Jeni not seeing me in my Persian costume. A button on my Persian vest broke.

I met up with the Archon, but didn't get to see Frenchy and the Punk.

Skipped the Pern 101 panel but went to the Steampunk Persona and Airship Crew Spectacular. Also went to the Boondock Saints panel with Taylor, a member of the Archon. Went to wrestling with the Captain (we're both fans) then joined Miss Van Eycke and Taylor for a panel on Elegant Gothic Lolita.

Marched in the Parade as the Time Traveler with several Archon members. Went to the Kiltmaking panel. I went to a party with the beau wearing a little bit of nothing and the sash that matched the kilt he wore. I tried to go to Abney Park but there was a huge line so I went back to the party and managed to catch a few songs later. I didn't go to any of the other panels I was interested in.

I went to a couple panels in the morning, including one on steampunk costuming that the Captain was giving. And I walked through the Steampunk Exhibition. I missed Carrie Fisher because I was with my beau, shopping. I also skipped the Steampunk World Record Attempt and I'm glad I did because they turned away anyone without 'gadgets'. Ridiculous.

I did make it to Things That Go Bump in the Timeline: Supernatural Alternative History and got to spend some time with Leanna afterwards. But I missed the pattern making panel because we were leaving.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

DragonCon Schedule

Those that know me well, know that I over-plan conventions. And DragonCon is no different. My schedule is organized into three categories: Musts, Hopefullys and If I can, cool; If I can't, that's fine too. I won't be posting my entire schedule because there is way too much on there.

I'd like to see Frenchy and the Punk if possible, but I have dinner and party plans that evening so I'm not sure if that'll happen. And they have another show later in the weekend as well.

Pern 101 at 1 pm in Hyatt, Vinings. It's part of the Anne McCaffrey Worlds track and I'd like to go mainly as a costumer -- I want to do a Dragonrider costume and I'd like to see what everyone else is wearing.

Steampunk Persona and Airship Crew Spectacular at 7 pm in Westin - International BC. I know three of the panelists, including my dear Captain LaGrange. Plus it sounds like an interesting panel.

There's lots of other things on my schedule for Friday, but not anything that I feel I really want to see. Miss Von Stoup has requested we attend 1632 - Chocoholics in 1632 Withdrawal or Not at 4 pm that afternoon however.

There's the parade in the morning at 10 am. I will be marching with the Alternative History track, most likely in the Time Traveler.

At 7 pm, the Costuming track is giving a panel on Kilt Making, which I am super excited about. (Unfortunately, at the same time is Steampunk and Orientalism which I'd also like to attend. C'est la vie.)

The only other thing that is a must on Saturday is the Abney Park concert at midnight.

Some maybes: Time Lord Ethics: The Doctor as a Meddler; Interview with Sherrilyn Kenyon (she's one of my favorite authors); Crypto the Basics and Beyond and an alternative history panel on Highland Scots, conveniently scheduled right after the kilt making panel.

There is a two and a half hour long Steampunk Exhibition that starts at 1 pm. I figured it would be interesting (and a good place for ideas!) Same thing goes for the Fashion Show that the Costuming track is hosting at 2 pm.

My must see panel is Carrie Fisher - Honestly at 4 pm in Centennial II-III. I mean, its Carrie Fisher, need I say more?

I'd also like to be a part of the Steampunk World Record Attempt which is at 7 pm.

Maybes: Bad Girls, Bad Dragons (another Pern panel) or 1632 Points East (alt history) both are at 10 am. Romani Trail and Silk Road or Costumes of History at 1130 am (leaning towards the Romani one, because I'm interested in doing a steampunk gypsy costume). There's a corset making panel that evening and Steampunk Themes in Doctor Who later on.

Things That Go Bump in the Timeline: Supernatural Alternative History at 1130 am in International BC. I really want to go to this panel because (1) my friend Leanna is a panelist and (2) its something I'm interested in.

And the Costuming track is giving a panel on Pattern Making: Designing and Frankensteining at 230 pm in Marriott M103-105, which I'm excited about.

There's a few other panels on my list but nothing else I'm really super interested in.

Usually, I even plan out what costumes I'm wearing when during a convention. I'm not bothering for DragonCon. I'll just wear what I want to wear when I want to wear it.

What I'm taking: the Time Traveler; Both versions of Harley Quinn (Diamonds are Forever and Comic Book); Gorg; Imperial Office; the mystery costume; Confederate Vivandiere; Persian steampunk (which I've started calling Persian-punk); Lady of the Ottoman Empire and Victorian Underwear (I don't know if the last really counts as a costume necessarily...). Along with an assortment of geeky tshirts to be worn with jeans, leggings or a skirt, plus a SW drape to be worn with a mini and tank top for parties wherein my beau is wearing his new kilt.

See you there!!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Pics of Finished Ottoman Vest

The front of the finished vest:

The back of the finished vest:

Ideally, this will be an ongoing project. The next step would be finishing the rest of the border and then filling in all the open spaces. However I do not know if this will ever actually come to be. It might stay this way.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ottoman Vest Embroidery... FINISHED!

Pictures to follow. Probably tomorrow, after I (attempt) to iron it so it looks all pretty and properly shaped. The couched embroidery deformed it some.

In other news, I'm almost ready for DragonCon. Just a little more packing to do, and charging of batteries and my Ipod. I also need to decide which purse to use that my parents brought me. Overall, I'm almost ready. Almost.

In three days, I'll probably be napping before we leave for Atlanta.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Twas the Week Before DragonCon...

As of August 22:

1. Miss Von Stoup's post apoc skirt didn't work out -- issues with the hoop skirt. So we decided to use some of the Asian fabric to make a quick skirt to go with her jacket. We used the circle skirt tutorial I used on my mystery costume and offset the center so it was shorter in the front than in the back. And instead of a waistband and zipper / closure combination, we went with an elastic waist. She took it home un-hemmed because she's hoping to trim it. So my part is DONE.

2. I haven't touched the vest and won't work on it today.

3. And the new kilt is DONE. I made two wide belt loops to fit the D rings we bought yesterday and sewed them on with the D rings.

As of August 24:

Current state of my Ottoman vest. All I have to do is finish filling in the left side (which you can see has already been started) and then go back through and add more pink so it stands out more. I may add either pink embroidery or pink ribbon to the edge of the border so it looks more finished.

As of August 25:

Worked on the vest a bit more last night. The top little triangle of black that you can see in the above picture has been filled in and I started on the next section down.

I also worked on my packing and it is almost finished. All I need to do is buy hair dye and dye my hair this weekend as well as pick up some white face makeup for Harley Quinn. I plan to take care of that tomorrow. My parents are meeting me on Sunday to bring me two bags that I think will work wonderfully for DragonCon. I read an article about the convention and it recommended taking a large bag that would hold everything you need. And since I have a couple large travel purses at my parents' house, they were nice enough to find them and offered to bring them to me. Plus I get dinner out of the deal.

As of August 26:

The excitement is really starting to set in! I packed up the food and my garment bag to take over to the beau's today at his request -- he wants to have as much there as possible. The suitcase had to be left behind for two reasons: (1) Its not ready because last minute things will have to go in and (2) There simply wasn't room in my car's trunk because I have laundry to do this weekend. So the suitcase will have to wait.

I finished another section on my vest yesterday so all I have left is the very front of the left side, maybe about 6 inches or so.

And because I think I forgot to upload it earlier, a photograph of my Time Traveler hat: