Monday, January 31, 2011

Ohayocon Photos!

I believe this is the only photograph taken of me wearing my wig. It did not make it to the end of the day due to its absolute refusal to stay on my head. Pic by the boyfriend of one of my friends.

Steampunk Gotham City Sirens. Miss Dashwood as Catwoman (with her modded hat and turtleneck and the utility bustle I made her), Miss Von Stoup as Poison Ivy and myself as Harley Quinn. By the way, we won the group category of the Clockwork Crescendo (the steampunk competition) at Ohayocon. Granted we were the only entry but it still counts!

I'm sure this will be updated once more photographs are published.

A bientot!

Miss Leah J Wilde

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Okay I think I'm ready for Ohayocon now....

For Ohayocon -

I handstitched some cream lace onto the cuffs of my polonaise.

I put a hook and eye closure on my black petticoat.

I helped Miss Fletcher with her own Ohayocon preparations.

I finally wrapped the handle for my Harley Quinn mask. I was unable to find the mask I just made, so I attached the handle to a red mask I made last year for another event. I also made a little tassel out of black ribbon and attached it using a little bit of red trim.

For myself -

I exchanged my knit tunic pattern for the right size.

I put elastic in the casing of my Kermit pajama pants and stitched the casing closed. So that's one normal clothing item for me DONE

So all that's left is finishing my packing (including a bag with work clothes for Monday to leave at my beau's tomorrow) and I'll be all set!

A bientot!

Miss Leah J Wilde

Projects Completed in 2011 - Ongoing and Frequently Updated Post UPDATED 2/13/2011

I plan to periodically update this post but here's what I've completed so far in 2011, along with details of whether it was a stash project or not.


Kermit the Frog pajama pants - used pattern, flannel, thread and elastic all from my stash

Imperial Officer uniform - purchased pattern, black target and snap tape, black thread and snaps from my stash

Catwoman for Miss Dashwood - utility bustle from black target with snap pockets and D rings, put a zipper into a turtleneck and added ears to a purchased hat. Everything was purchased by Miss Dashwood except I used black thread from my stash. No patterns were used in the making of this costume.

Harem pants for Lady of the Ottoman Empire (steampunk middle eastern ensemble) - pattern, black jet set, thread and elastic from my stash.

Pin Up Skirt - started a few years ago, finished in 2011

Joker jacket - thread, purple corduroy and purple and orange cotton from my stash. Purchased pattern.

Star Wars quilt top for my beau - made from stash fabric. no pattern used.

February -

Purple Knit Tunic - Purchased pattern (on sale) and fabric (also on sale), thread from my stash.

Think Pink Skirt - fabric and pattern from my stash, purchased thread and zipper

So My Updated 2011 Sewing List...
For myself,
1. Corduroy skirt - Vogue 2029 View E
2. White and blue cotton skirt - no pattern
And then back to sewing for others...
4. Alterations for the Captain, Heather and Bobbie - February
5. Drag show commission - February / March
6. Maybe a commission for one of my beau's friends for a Bill the Butcher costume
7. Finish my beau's Joker costume
For myself,
8. I'd like to finally get ANH Princess Leia finished - whenever
9. Steampunk Confederate Vivandiere for Marcon. - probably April / May
10. Simi costume for DragonCon - sometime in the summer
11. Pink and white steampunk outfit I meant to do in 2010
12. Black corduroy skirt that I started years ago but now is too short for me to wear anywhere except clubbing. I could add a ruffle at the bottom, maybe out of black floral corduroy to match the jacket I have...

Imperial Officer Uniform Photos

My dear readers, I bring you photographs!

I'm hoping to add more pictures at some point, but I at least have one I can post now. This was taken by one of the photographers at the event. I'm dancing so its not the best photo, but at least its something.

The hat, belt and rank bar were all provided by my beau. All that I made was the skirt and jacket. By the way, the uniform is definitely not made for dancing.

I'm also contemplating shortening the skirt. Right now it hits below the knee, which is a rather awkward length.

A bientot!

Miss Leah J Wilde

EDIT -- Here is the photograph that Miss Dashwood took at her birthday celebration:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Last Minute Ohayocon Prep 2 and Normal Clothes for ME!

The Imperial Officer was a success last night at Last Night on Alderaan. Miss Dashwood snapped a picture before I left her birthday celebration so hopefully I can update this entry later with it. Before I wore it, I did fix the hem.

I fixed my beau's gloves -- it was a pretty simple repair. They have elastic straps that wrap around the wrist and velcro in place and the straps needed replaced. It was easy and quick to take the old ones off and put new ones on.

Then I put a waistband on my black petticoat. I took a piece of black knit left over from other projects, trimmed it so it was more square on the ends, cut it in two lengthwise and sewed the ends together to form a long piece. I stitched it onto the waist of my petticoat, about an inch or a little more from the top (this was so that the tears and holes in the petticoat would be covered), then stitched again to hold the waistband in place before turning the edges under and stitching it down. I also used narrower strips of the knit along the back opening to finish those edges as well. All it needs now is some sort of closure, probably a hook and eye which I don't have with me.

I also cut out my Kermit pajama pants, put them together, hemmed them and made an elastic casing. They would be finished, IF I had remembered to pack elastic. Also its a good thing that they're just for me -- I accidentally cut out one leg upside down.

Yesterday I purchased a pattern to make a knit tunic and some purple knit (clearance!) for it. Prewashed the fabric today and I noticed I bought the wrong size of pattern. So now I'm trying to decide if I should exchange it or just make it and take it in to fit. I'm sort of leaning towards the latter, but I know I should probably exchange it. Well, I do work tomorrow so it won't be difficult.

I still need to finish my Harley Quinn mask. I really should do that as soon as possible. If not tomorrow, then Tuesday.

A bientot!

Miss Leah J Wilde

Friday, January 21, 2011

Update on Imperial Officer and Last Minute Ohayocon Prep

Imperial Officer

What I've done -- I stitched the collar and facing into place by hand. I also finished some edges by hand. I purchased snap tape and used that along the overlap -- hand stitched on the top overlap and machine stitched on the underneath since it won't show. I hand stitched a couple snaps on the underneath so it fastens to the shoulder. I hemmed the jacket and the sleeves by machine. At some point, I'll need to redo the hem as the overlap ended up a little longer than the underneath, but I'm not worrying about that at this moment in time.

What I have left to do -- I need to stitch a snap to the overlap shoulder to hold it in place better. I also need to stitch a modesty panel on the collar. Somehow the collar ended up too short and I don't feel like re-doing it at this moment in time, so I'm just going to fix the issue with a modesty panel, stitched on one side, likely snapped on the other. I may also stitch a snap or hook to the underneath overlap to hold it to the side seam.

Almost there.

EDIT My Imperial Officer is as done as its gonna be for the moment. So - Imperial Officer DONE

As for Ohayocon...

I think I've figured out my costumes. I still feel like I'm taking too many and may leave one at home, but I don't know. There are only so many hours in the day after all, and really what's the point of wearing a costume for only a couple hours before I have to change for a competition or a photoshoot? Part of me is tempted to leave Time Traveler behind, just based on the volume the dress takes up...but its one of my favorites and its so pretty. And much more likely to garner a response than the Airship Stewardess. One decision I did make was to wear Lady of the Ottoman Empire on Sunday -- its persona heavy and comfortable, so just what I need for that day.

Okay, now for what I need to do.
1. I still haven't finished my Harley Quinn mask so I really need to do that. I would really like to have the Victorian style mask and not just the one I wear with the comic Harley Quinn.
2. A task for my beau - replacing bands on a pair of gloves.
3. I'd like to add some cream lace to my Airship Stewardess, at least at the polonaise cuffs and probably on the pettidress as well. This will likely be my handsewing task for next week while at work.
4. My black petticoat needs a waistband. I've been wearing it and just safety pinning it closed but that habit has torn it in a couple places so I really should add a waistband.

In other news, I still haven't started my sewing for me! I am quite sad about this. Hopefully I can get some of this done or at least started while finishing my last minute Ohayocon preparations. After all, its almost February, when I'm supposed to start commissions again! Maybe I can do a commission, sew something for me, do a commission, sew something for me...Might be the only way to keep everyone happy.

Today I would like to
1. Finish my Imperial Officer (kinda have to since its for tomorrow!)
2. Finish my HQ mask for Ohayocon. Need to wrap the handle with ribbon and attach it to the mask, so hopefully it shouldn't take long.
3. Cut out my Kermit pajama pants.

I think that's reasonable. EDIT All that got done was finishing my Imperial Officer. Seamstress fail.

A bientot!

Miss Leah J Wilde

PS Just had a brilliant idea for Lady of the Ottoman Empire! I'm going to pin my sundial pin (birthday gift from my grandma) to it as decoration. It has definite steamy vibe to it, its silver so it matches and most importantly it's sparkly! Must remember to pack this!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Current Costume Plans for Ohayocon - now with Reader's Poll!

I always over pack for conventions, but I'm trying to cut back. Mainly because I'll have to pack light for Dragon*Con in September, so I might as well learn how to do it now.

I'm trying to decide what to take and what not to take to Ohayocon. So far I'm thinking:

1. Steampunk Harley Quinn aka Diamonds are Forever (definite)
2. Comic / Cartoon Harley Quinn
3. Middle Eastern Steampunk aka Lady of the Ottoman Empire (definite)
4. Probably my Imperial Officer uniform
5. Time Traveler
6. Airship Stewardess

I'm debating taking both the Time Traveler and the Airship Stewardess. I'll need a persona heavy costume for Sunday's panel on personas and either will do. However, I don't know if I'd like to wear either all day at the con and I won't have much of a chance to change after we check out of our hotel room. I want to wear the Time Traveler (I feel like it makes more of an impact), but the Airship Stewardess would be slightly more comfortable. And of course, people like both costumes -- Miss Dashwood loves the Time Traveler and my beau prefers the Airship Stewardess. Perhaps I can wear the Airship Stewardess when we first arrive on Friday for a few hours and then wear the Time Traveler on Sunday. If I can't handle it all day, I can always change into jeans in a hotel bathroom. And I could probably leave the comic version of Harley Quinn at home, but I feel like taking it is necessary.

Other costumes I have that are also possibilities, but only if something else stays home:
1. Black and silver plaid bustled gown (no name for this one yet) - This has been submitted to be displayed in the gallery but I have not had confirmation yet
2. Black and burgundy bustled gown aka Burgundy at Midnight
3. Queen Gorgo from 300
4. Steampunk Tinkerbell

So many decisions to make. Anyone have any opinions?

A bientot!

Miss Leah J Wilde

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Update on my Imperial Officers Uniform

The jacket is mostly finished and passed my beau's inspection. You've all seen the basic pattern, military style jacket with a front overlap.

Changes I made
1. Length. The original pattern gives a waist length (too short) and a knee length (too long) so I held the pattern up to myself and cut it off at about hip length.
2. Code cylinder pockets. This was pretty easy. I just cut the side front pieces about halfway down the armhole, separated them by about 7 inches and cut out the pieces. Then I folded the piece so it was back to the original size, but now with pockets. Stitched the pockets together and down so the piece functioned as one and moved on.
3. Front. I cut the center front on the fold because the original only went to the shoulder on one side and I needed it to go to the shoulder on both sides. I also cut three of them out -- the left, the right and the facing.
4. Overlap. The original laps right over left, the standard in female garments. But the IO uniform laps left over right (the masculine standard), so my uniform had to lap left over right.

What I have left to do
1. Stitch the facings in place
2. Hem the jacket and the sleeves
3. Sew in hooks and eyes on the collar to hold it closed
4. Sew in snaps to hold the right and left fronts in place

I should be able to finish it this week. I can do hand sewing (which most of this will be) while at work if I don't have any actual work to do and I have Tuesday evening and Friday evening free to work on it. I do not foresee any reason that this will not be done by Saturday.

Also, a word to the wise, Burda pattern instructions make little to no sense. One of my fellow Archonites also experienced this issue on another Burda pattern so I know its not just me. I honestly ceased to follow them when I could not decipher what they were telling me to do. By now, I know enough that I don't really need the instructions anyways. However, understandable instructions are always nice to turn to if you have issues.

A bientot!

Miss Leah J Wilde

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Quickie Update

1. I started on my Quebec scrapbook yesterday! Its coming along quite nicely, I think. I just loaded my things into a bag and carted them to work! lol

2. I also worked on my embroidery. I've almost finished another block. I think all that's left is the border. And I'm going to need floss soon -- I'm almost out of pink, which makes up all the flowers and the entire border of each block.

3. And I'm adding these to my sewing list: I'm thinking mini bloomer pattern with ruffles. I do like the side tie, but that'll be easy to replicate. Soooo pretty.

4. I started my Imperial Officer uniform last night and finished the skirt. Its an easy pattern -- darts in the front and back, center back seam with zipper, side seams, waist facing and hem. I had to take it in A LOT which surprised me. This afternoon, I'll start on the jacket. Hopefully, I can get it mostly finished today and tomorrow.

That is all.

A bientot!

Miss Leah J Wilde

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ohayocon Prep 29 and an embroidery project

Catwoman is finished! Yesterday I basted the top of the bustle pouch closed and did a bit of hand sewing on the shirt (tacked down the zipper ends at the top, fixed a couple spots that escaped stitching the first time, etc). So it is DONE.

I was going to move buttons on the cuffs for my Middle Eastern outfit so that they'd be a little bit more loose, but decided yesterday that I didn't feel like going to the trouble.

So the next thing on my list is my IO uniform, which I may start sewing tonight if I get out of work early enough, or tomorrow at the latest. I pretty much only have this weekend to work on it. The SW themed party is next weekend, and I work three evenings next week at my part time job. Which I am NOT happy about but considering that I'm taking off five days for Ohayocon, I figured I should work them. Money is money after all. Whatever doesn't get done this weekend, I'll have to finish up either Tuesday or Friday evenings when I'm off. I'll probably be sewing snaps on while I'm at work next week.

Last night at the Captain's, Miss Dashwood and I both took projects to work on during the parlor concert. She worked on crocheting me a new pair of mitts (white ones! If they're finished on time, I'll be wearing them to Ohayocon with HQ) while I worked on an embroidery project that I've been working on for the last few years. For my birthday a couple years ago, my mother bought me enough squares to make an embroidered quilt. I'm about halfway done. Then comes assembling the quilt, adding the border and of course, the quilting which I will do by hand. Its this design from Fairway Needlecraft - How can I not love a southern belle design? There's even pillowcases that coordinate. I have this in my sewing bag today to work on while at work.

Updated Sewing To Do List OR What I'd like to accomplish in the next month
1. Sew ears onto Miss Dashwood's hat - DONE
2. Make Miss Dashwood's utility bustle after she obtains a belt - DONE
3. Finish my HQ mask - still need to do this, or I just go without the mask but I'd prefer to be masked (by Ohayocon)
4. Finish my steampunk Middle Eastern outfit - DONE
5. Make my Imperial Officer's uniform - cut out, ready for sewing (by the 22nd, or Ohayocon)
6. Kermit pj pants (asap)
7. Wrap around skirt (asap)
8. Pencil skirt with ruffle (asap)
9. Blue and white skirt (asap)

I'd also like to work on my Quebec scrapbook. If I can figure out a way to bring it to work with me, that would be fabulous. I'll have to work on that.

And once all that's done, I have alterations to start on for several people in February. The Captain reminded me of it last night and I told him he was on my list.

A bientot!

Miss Leah J Wilde

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dragon Con Costuming Plans

Yes, I'm already starting to plan. I have two costumes I'm planning to make before Dragon*Con this September.

1 -- Simi from Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunters series. Her outfit in Infinity is: black hair streaked with red in pigtails, red eyes and black eyeliner, studded leather choker and matching corset, bright red lips and fingernails, really short black and red skirt, purple leggings, red Doc Martens. The Simi doll: plaid miniskirt and bustier with mesh overlay, Long gloves and cuff bracelets, Red and black leggings and heeled knee-high boots, Removable wings, Black hair with red streak and horns, A coordinating coffin purse that opens and closes, Simi's iconic accessories: Black AMEX – Simi loves to shop! and BBQ sauce – it makes anything taste good. She also does purple and black combos. I'm basically thinking goth girl with horns and wings. Probably mostly with things I already have, but we'll see.

2 -- Since Shatner and Nimoy are going to be there, I'd really like to do a Star Trek costume. Probably one from the new movie. In blue because its my best color. As well as Spock's department.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ohayocon Prep 28

1. I finished sewing the second ear onto the hat, so that is DONE.
2. Miss Dashwood approved her shirt so all I have to do is some tacking by hand and a bit of clean up.
3. Tonight I put together the bustle for her utility bustle, the pockets and the D rings. I even put snaps on the pockets using a snap tool and a hammer -- that was a new experience. All I need to do is baste the bustle closed. Eventually it'll be a zipping pouch, but for now its just going to be basted closed.

Imperial Officer

I cut out the jacket and the skirt this evening. I'm hoping that everything goes together like I think it will. I cut the front overlap piece on the fold so that it will come up on both sides of the collar instead of just one. I shortened the pattern then felt that I shortened it too much and added a couple inches to each piece when I cut them out. I also did an adjustment to the side front piece that creates the code cylinder pockets. Basically, all you need to do is cut the pattern piece about halfway down the sleeve opening, and separate the pattern pieces about 7.5 inches. Then you cut out the fabric and theoretically fold it so that a pocket is created and the piece is the same size as the original pattern piece. I got the directions from a couple tutorials on the Imperial Officer's message board, so hopefully it'll work out as planned. I didn't cut out the facing, I'll probably have to draft a custom piece to match my front, or just cut another front out and use that as the facing.

The skirt will probably be the first piece I sew. It's a pattern I've used before and it's relatively simple. I also feel that its best to get the easy part out of the way so my full concentration can be on the complexity of the jacket.

In other news, no progress has been made on normal clothes or the Joker. I may work on the pants for the Joker soon, but I don't know. I think I'd rather get my sewing for me done first, so more than likely, the Kermit pants will be next.

Well, I should get some rest. Work and then a gathering in the Captain's Quarters tomorrow evening. And then I'll be visiting my beau.

A bientot

Miss Leah J Wilde

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ohayocon Prep 28

First of all, IO uniform fabric is pre washed, dried and at my apartment for when I get a chance to work on it.

Secondly, Miss Dashwood obtained a belt today so I was able to start on her utility bustle. The idea is that the bustle and the pockets attach to the belt with loops. I worked on the bustle this evening - cut out three flattened half circles for the ruffles, and two half circles for the backing (it will eventually be a pocket) and a band for the loop that holds the bustle onto the belt. I narrow hemmed each ruffle and started gathering and attaching them to the first half circle. While attaching the first one, I realized that I had made the ruffles too long. So I finished attaching the first ruffle, then attached another. At this point, I visiting Miss Dashwood's chamber and asked what she would think if I made the top ruffle shorter. She agreed that this was a good plan and I shortened the last ruffle before attaching it. I took the bustle to Miss Dashwood for her approval and upon obtaining it, finished off the top edge, using the piece I had removed from the last ruffle as the binding. Earlier, I had sewn the loop -- finished the edges and sewn it together into a long tube. Now I attempted to attach it to the second half circle, but ran out of bobbin thread. I took it as a sign to stop sewing and retired to my chamber. Also, Miss Dashwood tried on her turtleneck and approved. It just needs some hand sewing. And I sewed one ear to her aviator hat during work today.

This evening I also worked on my Middle Eastern outfit, which is now going to be called an Ottoman outfit. Miss Dashwood told me I looked Turkish. Top to bottom, I will be wearing -- a turban using one of the pink and silver scarves, a white blouse, a short black vest, my black and silver waist cincher and matching cuffs, a bustle made out of a brown scarf and the second pink and silver one, the bustle is partially held up with black and silver skirt lifters, metal and brown leather belt with keys and a knife attached, black harem / Turkish trousers and black lace up boots. I'm not sure which boots I'll be wearing yet, but I know I will not be wearing the brown flats. I wanted to try my black utility belt, but mislaid it during the trying on process. I have since found it, but alas, I found it long after I had taken the costume off. All in all, Miss Dashwood and I agree that I managed to look both Ottoman and steampunk. Mission accomplished.

In my basket for tomorrow -- Miss Dashwood's turtleneck and hat and my cuffs (they fit a bit too snug).

Not a bad evening of work.

A bientot!

Miss Leah J Wilde

Update on Sewing Projects

Well it looks like my normal clothes will have to be set aside for the time being in favor of the Imperial Officer uniform. If I do the skirt and the jacket, I don't think it'll be too difficult. I should be able to have it completed by the 22nd. I'll just be very busy that day -- Miss Dashwood's birthday celebration then the SW party!

I procured the hat from my beau this morning and took it straight to the fabric store to match the fabric. Unfortunately, the fabric is target, not a very forgiving fabric. Its rather stiff, I'm hoping that pre-washing will help, otherwise the uniform won't be very comfortable to wear. I preferred the weight and feel of suiting, but although it was similar, target was a much better match. I purchased six yards, which will hopefully be enough for the jacket, skirt and pants. Pants are more accurate but a skirt is more my style. And since I am not planning to join the 501st, I'll probably wear the skirt more often than not. The pants will just be an option for more formal events (if I ever do any). The skirt will probably get made first, as it'll be the easy part -- its just a basic pencil skirt. The jacket will need to be converted from a right over left to a left over right overlap, and I need to add code cylinder pockets which will mean lengthening the side front pieces. Fingers crossed that it all goes well!

Updated Sewing To Do List - aka What I'd like to accomplish in the next month
1. Sew ears onto Miss Dashwood's hat (in my basket)
2. Make Miss Dashwood's utility bustle after she obtains a belt
3. Finish my HQ mask
4. Finish my steampunk Middle Eastern outfit
5. Make my Imperial Officer's uniform
6. Kermit pj pants
7. Wrap around skirt
8. Pencil skirt with ruffle
9. Blue and white skirt

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Ohayocon Prep 27 and a Preview of Normal Clothes Sewing

Progress on Catwoman

Miss Dashwood tried on her aviator hat and declared it acceptable. The hat is in my sewing basket to be worked on Monday while I am at work.

This evening, I had her put on her turtleneck so I could pin the zipper to it. Then I cut the turtleneck along the zipper, took the zipper off, turned the edges back and repinned the zipper into place. I stitched it but had issues with the actual turtleneck portion -- since its a knit, it kept shifting so the edges didn't align on each side of the zipper. I took the stitching out once (just along the neck and a little below) and restitched it. It's better, but still not perfect. I'm going to have her take a look at it tomorrow to see what she thinks. After all, the seamstress frequently notices mistakes in her own work that no one else will see unless they are pointed out to them.

Miss Dashwood has not been able to secure a belt as of this moment, so I have been unable to work on her utility bustle.

Normal Sewing Preview

Also in my sewing basket are the first two normal clothing items I'd like to complete for myself -- the Kermit pajama pants and the corduroy wrap around skirt. I may find time to cut them out tomorrow while visiting my beau and perhaps even begin the sewing. After all, the pajama pants will be terribly easy to complete.

In other news...

My beau has once more expressed interest in dressing as the Joker for our Steampunk Rogue's Gallery. So I suppose it is quite the good thing that I finished his coat. Although I am sure that he will insist on buttons and be quite put out at the lack of interior pockets, which may lead to me having to re-do the lining. C'est la vie.

With the change in the status of the Joker, this also means that I am once more responsible for making myself an Imperial Officer uniform. It is not that I am opposed to the idea, I just do not feel like I have adequate time to complete the uniform as it should be (the party it is for is on the 22, so in two weeks). Actually, I don't know if I have the desire to complete it to Legion standards. Although there's no rule saying that I can't have a Star Wars costume that is not acceptable to their costuming organizations. So I may just do my best -- whether I do it now or later -- and not worry overly much about the specifications.

Fingers crossed that everything gets finished for the event it needs to be done for.

A bientot!

Miss Leah J. Wilde
Steam-stress of the Airship Archon

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ohayocon Prep 26 - updated

I worked on Miss Dashwood's Catwoman hat yesterday. She tried on the aviator cap and we figured out where the cat ears needed to go, then I constructed the ears. They are buckram ear shapes that I then covered in the black twill we purchased for the outfit. I need to stitch the two pieces together, then stitch them to the hat. I should have done it today, but didn't really feel like sewing honestly. I'll try to get it done tomorrow. EDIT I just sewed the ears together and pinned them to the hat. I'm holding off on sewing them down until I get Miss Dashwood's approval however. I'd rather wait than have to resew!

I made progress on my Middle Eastern steampunk outfit -- I came home last night and made the pants. I used left over material from my brother's Christmas pajama pants. I laid out my normal pajama pant pattern and decided to cut it as one piece instead of two (basically just laid the pieces with the side seams next to each other). I had to piece the back of the leg because the fabric was just a touch too short, but I doubt it'll be noticeable. I also cut the pants extra long for blouse-ing ability. I sewed the crotch seam then the center seam, put elastic in the waist and ankles and the pants were DONE.

So I try on the outfit. With the scarf just draped on my head, I look like a gypsy. So I wrap it similar to a hijab and while its better, Miss Dashwood says that people will likely just think that I am Muslim and not realize what I'm trying to do. So we tried to come up with ways to make it more steampunk. I consulted the internet and now I'm thinking of -- (1) adding something to the vest, maybe appliques so it looks more Turkish (2) adding my black and silver waist cincher and my black utility belt (3) doing a turban or a hat instead of a head scarf and (4) using the second pink scarf in the bustle. Any opinions?

And a little Civil War steampunk update -- my daddy's going to let me borrow some of his Civil War books on the uniforms. I am quite pleased.

A bientot!

Miss Leah J. Wilde

PS I have decided to leave the Pin Up Skirt as is and not trim it with lace. I pinned some on and it did not thrill me. So that's one project DONE. :)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Costume Ideas

First of all is the steampunk Confederate vivandiere that will be for Marcon. When I discussed this outfit with Miss Von Stoup she expressed interest in joining me and perhaps even dressed her Doctor as a zouave. I just sketched the costume and I think my ideas will work just swimmingly - Burda 7458 cropped to the waist (in gray of course), a Civil War style gathered knee length skirt (also in gray), and harem style trousers underneath, either tucked into knee high and ankle boots. I want to use authentic insignia and such for accuracy. I may actually do gray trousers and a colored skirt, with the color based on what division I want to be. Artilliary, medical, etc. This is assuming of course that we go army and not navy...that'll change insignia and such.

Secondly, I've been researching and planning a Middle Eastern inspired steampunk costume. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a good resource for nineteenth century Islamic clothing, so I'm leaning more towards the Turkish style. This idea has been rolling around in my head for a few months and this morning I sat down at my desk and thought - I could probably put this together for Ohayocon. My original plan was to use scarves I already have for a hijab and bustle so that's already taken care of. I'd really like to do a Turkish style jacket (square front, elaborate embroidery) but don't know if I'll have time for that before Ohayo, so I was thinking and I have a short black corduroy vest that I made a while ago and have never worn. So that could definitely work. I'll probably look into adding some appliqued embroidery or beading but may just leave it plain. I have a white Victorian style blouse that I can wear. So all I need are the trousers. I don't know if I'll go with the full 'Turkish' style trousers yet, I have some black knit that I think would make comfortable bloomers but there's not enough for actual Turkish trousers.

So for Ohayocon I'm thinking - white blouse, black vest, maybe a waist cincher, black harem style trouser tucked into boots, bright pink scarf as a bustle, with another bright pink scarf over my head. Probably not a full pinned in place hijab, but at least draped. All I have to make is the trousers which should be super easy and maybe a cincher if I decide I want one. I have a metal belt that I might wear, but it has brown leather on it so it may not work. Although I am sort of tempted to see if the pants I'm wearing right now would work in a pinch - black striped and full so if I tucked them into boots they'd blouse...might be worth trying.

Future plans - Actual Turkish jacket and trousers and probably some other accoutrement.

I'm rather excited right now -- upcoming steampunk Confederate plans for Marcon and putting together this costume for Ohayocon (after Miss Dashwood's Catwoman is complete of course). By the way, the blog Multiculturalism in Steampunk has been a huge inspiration.

A bientot!

Miss Leah J Wilde
Steam-stress of the Airship Archon

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A little Ohayocon, a little sewing for me and a little quilting

I didn't get a chance to work on Catwoman sadly. Hopefully I can do that soon.

I did sew a hook onto my Harley Quinn jacket. Its meant for my mask when I'm tired of carrying it, but I may just hook some old keys on there. We'll see.

I finished sewing together the rows of my beau's quilt which means.....I finished my first quilt top! I am quite excited. Now of course comes the actual quilting....

The Joker jacket is almost finished. I sewed in most of the lining today, until I hit a snag -- the lining was just a touch short around one sleeve. So I brought it home, sewed in a little more fabric and pinned it. Its in my sewing basket to finish sewing tomorrow. I also hemmed the sleeves. Before sewing in the lining, I basted the lapels into place so that it would be easier to sew the lining to the lapels. I took the basting out when the lining was stitched into place. EDIT I just finished sewing the lining into place on the second sleeve. Even though it'll need buttons at some point, it's wearable as is and so I am considering it DONE. (Jan. 5, 2011) It took me one day under two weeks to finish. Not bad, not bad at all.

I worked on my pin up skirt. First of all, let me describe the skirt. Its a circle skirt style (one of my favorites) done in two layers -- the pin up fabric is the top layer and the 'petticoat' layer is cream cotton with a polka dot ruffle. I basted the zipper into place on the pin up fabric. Then I sewed the ruffle into place and hemmed it. Next I sewed the two layers together along the top with a basting stitch and sewed the zipper into place in the lining layer. Then I sewed the waistband (which is polka dotted on the outside, cream on the inside) to the top of the skirt then pinned it into place so that it covers the stitching at the top of the skirt. Its in my sewing basket to hand stitch down tomorrow. I also put some cream lace in there, as I am quite tempted to trim one if not both layers in lace.

I decided which pattern to use for my corduroy skirt. I'm going with the long version of the wrap skirt, probably the plaid one in the bottom row. I need to get some interesting closures for it. I'm hoping that I'll actually wear it. I usually wear a lot of circle skirts, which means I don't really have anything else in my wardrobe so something different would be nice. I think I'll just have to force myself to wear it the first few times, until I get used to the new-ness.

I also decided what to do with my pink suedecloth. I'm going to make the Vogue skirt on the left, the one with the flared bottom. At least I hope I am, I think it'll be cutting it close fabric wise. But the flared skirt is the plan, if not, I'll probably go with the Vogue on the right, with the godets as it uses less fabric.

All in all, I think I had a rather successful day. Tomorrow I would like to finish the Joker jacket and the Pin Up Skirt. I may also have time to either work on Miss Dashwood's costume or cut out one of my skirts, probably the corduroy will be first. It'll give me a winter-y skirt to wear.

My new year's resolution is to name each item I make myself. It'll be more entertaining that way.

A bientot!

Miss Leah J Wilde
Steam-stress of the Airship Archon

Monday, January 3, 2011

Upcoming Projects

First, my actual current to do list

1. Bustle / belt - we changed the concept, but I don't think it'll be too big of a deal. On hold for now til Miss Dashwood purchases a belt to which I can add a bustle and pockets.
2. Hat - ears need to be added to her current aviator hat
3. Shirt - zipper needs to be added to her turtleneck

Harley Quinn
1. Finishing the mask
2. Sewing hook onto jacket (in my sewing basket)

Beau's Quilt
1. Finish sewing the rows together to form a quilt top

Joker - after talking to Miss Dashwood, I've decided to at least finish the jacket (since its mainly done) and I may also do the trousers
1. Sew the lining into the body of the jacket (in my sewing basket)
2. Hem the sleeves
3. Maybe do buttons
4. Maybe put together the trousers

Now for what I want to work on during my break from sewing for anyone besides myself. By the by, all of the below projects are fabric and patterns from my stash.

1. Quebec scrapbook - I'd like to start this soon. I'm excited to scrapbook again.

2. Finish a skirt I started a while back (like years) (in my sewing basket) - its coordinating prints, a Michael Miller pin up print and coordinating polka dots.

3. Corduroy skirt

Not sure which pattern to use for this, but I have a couple options --

Option 1: View I, either as just a skirt or somehow make it into a jumper.

Option 2: This unusual wrap skirt, don't know which view though.

4. Pink suedecloth skirt -- not sure if I want to go with a simple basic pencil skirt or one that has a flare or some godets...

5. White and blue cotton skirt

6. Kermit pajama pants -- I've had this flannel in my stash for YEARS, high time I use it don't you agree?

And for my vivandiere, I'm thinking the Burda jacket pattern (probably shortened, but maybe not) with a very full knee length skirt and I'm torn between doing the harem / zouave style trousers underneath or wearing tights / leggings and a petticoat so my skirt is more poofy. Decisions, decisions. Good thing I have plenty of time to think about it, Marcon's not til May.

Updated 2011 Sewing List
In the next couple weeks...
1. Steampunk Catwoman for Miss Dashwood
2. Finishing Steampunk Joker - at least the jacket, maybe the pants
3. Finishing my quilt top
Then, in no particular order, the above sewing for ME in January / February
4. Finish a skirt I started a while back (like years)
5. Corduroy skirt
6. Pink suedecloth skirt
7. White and blue cotton skirt
8. Kermit pajama pants
And then back to sewing for others...
9. Alterations for the Captain, Heather and Bobbie - February
10. Drag show commission - February / March
11. Maybe a commission for one of my beau's friends for a Bill the Butcher costume
For myself,
12. I'd like to finally get ANH Princess Leia finished - whenever
13. Steampunk Confederate Vivandiere for Marcon. - probably April / May
14. Simi costume for DragonCon - sometime in the summer
15. Pink and white steampunk outfit I meant to do in 2010
16. Black corduroy skirt that I started years ago but now is too short for me to wear anywhere except clubbing. I could add a ruffle at the bottom, maybe out of black floral corduroy to match the jacket I have...

A bientot!

Miss Leah J Wilde
Steam-stress of the Airship Archon

Changes in My Sewing Plans

Well readers, as of now (of course this could change), the Joker is no more. I'm quite upset about this, as you can imagine considering that the tailcoat is about half done and the pants have already been cut out, rendering that fabric pretty much unusable for another project. At least I haven't cut out the vest yet, but I doubt I'll use that fabric for anything else anyways. The trouser fabric and the jacket fabric actually I might have used for another project but oh well. C'est la vie, right?

This project has come to an end basically because my beau decided that he did not want to wear the costume. It was something he was doing for me anyways, and he just decided against it. I rather wish that he had made this decision before I got so into the costume, but again - c'est la vie.

Our agreement was that if he did Joker, I'd make an Imperial Officer, so that is also off the table. At least all I've done is purchase one pattern which I rather like anyways. I think it'd make a lovely steamy military jacket or coat. Don't you agree? EDIT I just had an idea -- I'm planning (hoping) to do a Steampunk Confederate Vivandière outfit. I think this jacket will suit that costume perfectly: it has the Civil War-esque, military styling that I'd like, and it'll be a lot easier than altering a man's Civil War pattern (I have one from McCalls) to fit me. I just need to add a shortened Civil War era skirt and trousers underneath.

My current plans are to finish Miss Dashwood's Catwoman costume, finish my beau's quilt and finish the mask for my Harley Quinn. I had a set back on that yesterday actually -- the painted handle broke. I'm going to see about just ribbon wrapping one and seeing how that turns out. Hopefully I can do it without it breaking. If not, I may have to re-evaluate my mask plan.

Then I think I'll take some time for myself until I start sewing for other people again. I've got a few things lined up, but I've been very clear that I'm not available until February, so I'll have some free time. I'm thinking I may actually set sewing completely aside for a bit. I have a scrapbook that I've been wanting to do (and my beau's Christmas gift really made me anxious for it) -- I went to Quebec in May of 2009 and haven't scrapbooked it yet. I have all sorts of memorabilia and photographs and I've even already purchased a scrapbook so all I need is some more scrapbook paper and maybe some embellishments.

However, I do want some new clothes. Normal clothes. For myself. I still haven't made that corduroy skirt so I'd like to do that. And I have some flannel for pajama pants that I could make. I'll have to go through my stash and see what I can find.

So I'll finish my current projects, then scrapbook and make myself some things before I start sewing for others again.

Mourning the death of the Joker...

A bientot!

Miss Leah J Wilde
Steam-stress of the Airship Archon

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ohayocon Prep 25

First of all, it looks like there's going to be some changes in my sewing plans over the next few weeks. Miss Dashwood's Catwoman costume is still on (details below) but my beau has decided that he would prefer that I make my Imperial Officer costume instead of finishing his Joker. However, the party that the IO uniform would be for is on the same day as Miss Dashwood's birthday celebration so honestly at this moment, I am unaware of what exactly I will be working on between now and Ohayocon (which is 26 days away, by the way).

Last night, Miss Stoup and I had a sewing night while our respective significant others watched movies. I helped her with understanding the directions for her costume and she got the bodice mainly constructed. I worked on Miss Dashwood's bustle belt. I cut out the belt, adding a seam allowance to the pattern that I made last week, and sewed the two pieces together along the scalloped bottom. Then I clipped all the points and corners, turned the belt and then pinned the top edge under and sewed the belt together along that edge as well. Next was top stitching the scallops and the ends so everything is consistent. Unable to work on pockets or the front closure without Miss Dashwood's input, I started on the bustle portion. The bottom ruffle went on first -- 24" (twice the width of the scallop opening the bustle covers) x 6" (long enough to come below the bottom of the belt). I finished the edges, then put a gathering stitch along the top and gathered the ruffle down to cover the scallop. That ruffle was stitched down and then I started on the next ruffle. It was about 18" long, but I guessed the width and never measured it. It's probably around 4" wide. Again the edges were finished, the top was gathered and the ruffle was stitched down. Unfortuneately, I accidentally put the gathering thread (which is gold) on the top of the ruffle so I need to remove it before I stitch on the last ruffle, which is about 12" by 3". I finished the edges and plan to gather it and stitch it down today. EDIT I took out the stitching on ruffle #2, then gathered and stitched down ruffle #3. I really can't do anything else without Miss Dashwood (the next step I want to do is the snaps on the front, which I need her for). I have some of the fabric with me so I may cut out pockets either tonight or tomorrow during work.

At a stopping point on Miss Dashwood's costume, I pulled out my beau's quilt and finished stitching the blocks into rows. Next up is ironing before I stitch the rows together into a quilt top.
EDIT I ironed all seven rows and sewed the top two together. They're in my bag to take to my beau's this evening so I may work on them there.

I haven't worked on my HQ mask yet, but that is next on my list to do today. EDIT - I shortened the dowel rod I purchased for the mask's handle and painted it red. The paint dried a little spotty so I'm going to wrap it in ribbon. At least with the paint underneath no wood will show. I also tried on the costume and it looks fantastic. I'll definitely need help with getting into it - I don't like the way I bustled it so I'll need help with that. I need to sew a hook onto my costume for the mask when I don't want to carry it. That'll probably go on the side of the jacket near the bottom. Its in my bag to do at work tomorrow.

What I'd like to do today -
1. Finish my HQ mask - EDIT worked on it
2. Do everything I can on Catwoman without Miss Dashwood's input (she's visiting her beau this weekend) - EDIT pretty much did this
3. Iron and sew the rows into a quilt top - EDIT ironed and started sewing the rows together

A bientot

Miss Leah J Wilde
Steam-stress of the Airship Archon