Monday, June 27, 2011

DragonCon Mystery Costume - The Jewelry and The Skirt

While cleaning out my parents' basement, I found some awesome jewelry, including this stunning bracelet. I figured it would be perfect for the mystery costume since its green and pink.

As planned, I worked on rearranging my room last evening and unloaded most of my car. I still have two boxes I need to find space for.

I also worked on the mystery costume's skirt. I cut out three layers, messed up the first, and did the other two correctly. I think I can save the messed up layer. I also pinned the hems on the two layers that I cut correctly. One is the green metallic mesh from the fabric post last week and the other will be white cotton trimmed in lace. If the messed up layer is salvageable its going to be white cotton trimmed in pink and white striped ruffles.

In other news, I compiled a master list of all my costumes today. I made a spreadsheet of every item I need for each costume. My aim is to make packing for conventions easier.

UPDATE Worked on the skirt tonight. Hemmed layers one and two; cut, sewed together and hemmed the pink striped ruffle; also did a gathering stitch along the unhemmed edge. Its in my bag for me to work on at work tomorrow if I have time.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Updated Completed 2011 Project List

I realized the other day that I hadn't updated this list in months. So here you go, a look at all the sewing I've done this year (or at least most of it).


  1. Kermit the Frog pajama pants - stash fabric, thread and pattern
  2. Imperial Officer uniform - purchased fabric and one pattern, stash thread and one pattern
  3. Catwoman for Miss Dashwood
  4. Harem pants for Lady of the Ottoman Empire (steampunk middle eastern ensemble) - stash fabric, pattern and thread
  5. Pin Up Skirt - completed unfinished project
  6. Joker jacket - purchased pattern, stash fabric and thread
  7. Star Wars quilt top for my beau - stash fabric and thread
  1. Purple Knit Tunic - purchased fabric and pattern, stash thread
  2. Think Pink Skirt - stash fabric and pattern, purchased thread and zipper
  3. Valentine's Nightie - stash fabric, pattern, thread and ribbon
  4. City Bluescape Skirt - stash fabric, elastic and thread, purchased fabric for border
  5. Imperial Officer pants - purchased fabric, stash pattern, thread and zipper
  1. Bob's corset - purchased supplies via Bob
  2. Ruffle added to HQ petticoat. - stash fabric
  3. Cage bustle petticoat. - purchased fabric, stash pattern, boning and quilt binding
  1. Corset for Rachel. - purchased fabric and pattern via Rachel, stash boning and thread
  2. Steamnun costume for Miss Dashwood. - purchased fabric and pattern via Miss Dashwood
  1. Imperial Officer toga for my beau. - no pattern used, beau purchased fabric
  2. Asian inspired jacket for Miss Von Stoup. - stash pattern, Miss Von Stoup purchased fabric
  3. Persian steampunk. - purchased pattern, stash fabric, thread and buttons
  4. Vest for my beau. - stash fabric and purchased pattern
  1. Pink silk dupioni corset. - purchased fabric (remnants!), stash fabric, thread and eyelets, free downloaded pattern from BurdaStyle
  1. Sleep shorts - free downloaded pattern from Colette patterns, stash fabric, thread and elastic

DragonCon Mystery Costume - The Corset II

When last we spoke, the corset needed the binding and eyelets done before it was finished. I worked on it while in the office a couple days this week and finished it during a drive yesterday to our family reunion.

Since it was done, I decided to wear it to Origins today to the panels that a few Airship Archon members put on. Originally, my idea was to wear it with my black bustle skirt, but the corset comes down too far in the back for that to work. So I pulled out my black tiered cotton 'gypsy' skirt and paired with a black tank and my lace blouse. I wore pink tights and my black granny boots and topped off the pink and black ensemble with my black straw hat, newly decorated with a pink hatband made from a scrap of the silk last night.

Taken by me on my phone so obviously not the best photo, but at least it gives you an idea.

I do need to stiffen the front edges of the corset, both top and bottom as they are rather floppy (as you can see). I also need to get longer laces. As of now, I have to put it on and lace it completely, the laces are not long enough for me to loosen and slide the corset on before tightening it to fit.

I may get around to working on the skirt a bit this evening, but my plans are to tidy and rearrange my room before unloading my car. My mother asked me to get some of my things out of her basement, so my trunk is currently full of boxes and there's a bookcase in the backseat.

Edit: Here's a full length photo of the Origins Archon panelists - the Captain, Sally Van Eycke, myself and Miss Dashwood in her steamnun. Photo was taken by a panelist attendee on Miss Dashwood's camera.

Friday, June 24, 2011

DragonCon Mystery Costume - The Fabric

Here's a little sneak peek at fabrics I'm planning to use in my mystery costume. From left to right - white and pink striped cotton blend (although after washing, its more of a dark pink / pale pink stripe), green sheer metallic mesh and the pink silk.

These were pulled from my stash, I have a couple I need to buy. I'm also probably going to be using some white and black cottons, maybe something fancier. Haven't decided yet.

Stay tuned for more hints! Any guesses yet? (from those not in the know, obviously)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

DragonCon Mystery Costume - The Corset

First of all, please go check out the article that Columbus Alive just did about the Airship Archon:

I'm wearing my black and plaid outfit, but I left the long sleeved bodice at home in favor of a sleeveless jacket and a black and silver striped unboned corset, worn over a red tank. I really like the splash of color the tank gives it, don't you? And Miss Dashwood wore the bustle and bloomers from her conductrix outfit and looked just lovely.

Now for the important thing: My pink silk corset, which is almost finished after I put in a couple hours on it last night.

I started by finishing basting the silk to the denim interlining. Then I stitched the silk / denim pieces together, taking it in further on two seams. Next, I pinned the seam allowances back on both the lining and the silk / denim and stitched the seam allowances down to form boning channels (a few of which ended up a little small and gave me some issues). With the channels done, I started working on the boning (cable ties, about 3/8 inch wide) - cutting it to length and trimming the ends before sliding them into the channels. A total of fourteen bones went into this corset - two on each seam and one on each side of the back.

Here's what the corset looks like right now:

All that's left to do is bind it (I'm going to make my own from the taffeta I lined it with, saves money that way) and put in the eyelets. The binding will likely take a while as I plan to do it by hand.

The silk was a joy to work with, and turned out beautifully. Since all this little corset took was the smaller remnant, I have another one left to work with. It'll probably be incorporated into the rest of the costume somewhere. Or I'll save it for something else special.

A note on the corset pattern - it was labeled as a size 4/6 but I'd say its more of a 6/8. I used smaller seam allowances than allowed for by the corset and still had to take it in more. This is the pattern I used:

Last night I also made a few repairs and sewed labels into several items that I've made and don't wear. I'm planning to take them to The Alley, a new vintage / costume shop that just opened in town -

Ending note: always be super careful when cutting boning - I scraped my knuckle last night with the scissors:

Corset UPDATE - I worked on the binding today at work. Cut the binding out of the taffeta and started sewing it to the back side with plans to fold it over and whip stitch it to the front. It's almost all stitched on and I've been folding and pinning it to the front as I go. I'm pretty sure this thing is going to be done by this weekend. I might even wear it to Origins! As long as I can figure out something to wear it with that is. :) I'm a little worried about setting the eyelets though - I don't think my eyelet tool is long enough to put the eyelets where they need to go. I may have to see if someone has an awl I can borrow.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Updated DragonCon To Do List

First of all, I'm feeling very overwhelmed at the moment. I have a feeling that everything is NOT going to get done for Dragon*Con, which is a mere 71 days away. So its time to prioritize.

Things that NEED to get done, in the order I plan to work on them:
  • Our Confederate vivandiere uniforms. Mine is to the point of trying it on with my skirt, but Miss Von Stoup's is not. I need to add the collar and facings, topstitch and set in the sleeves. Then will come a fitting to determine jacket length and what to do with the sleeves. Next will be finishing the jackets and then of course adding the trim and buttons. I'm hoping to have her jacket to fitting stage by the end of next week.
  • Then the next project I'll be tackling is Prof. Watt's Scarlet Spider. I'm hoping to get the fabric in the next couple weeks so we can start on this after the Confederate uniforms are to the hand sewing stage.
  • Fixing my beau's kilt so it has pockets and or a pouch.
  • Post apocalyptic costume for Miss Von Stoup
Sewing that will be interspersed between projects:
  • Embroidering my Ottoman vest and fixing the bustle.
  • The Confederate uniforms once they're to the hand sewing point.
  • Beau's quilt
  • I started a pink silk corset for myself. I'm hoping to make a costume to go with it in between working on other projects. I'm still rolling ideas around in my head so I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with it. Current corset status - lining has been sewn together, fitted and taken in; silk has been cut out; in the process of cutting out the denim interlining and basting it to the silk. I'm going to sew it with black thread and bind it with black bias tape. The eyelets will be silver and the lacing will likely be black since I can easily purchase black boot laces.
Projects I'd like to finish:
  • Pants for my Persian costume.
  • Steampunk Rosetta costume for Miss Von Stoup to go with my steampunk Tinkerbell
  • Time Machine Purse.
  • Adding diamonds to my Harley Quinn bodysuit.
  • And a couple more costumes for Miss Von Stoup -- a polanaise out of a black and silver damask print and maybe something more out of the blue Chinese print we used for her Asian inspired jacket.
Things that probably won't get finished:
  • The Joker costume.
  • The playsuit combo is a bust I think. Unfortunately.
  • Simi and Star Trek
I also have a new cosplay that I'm putting together that I'm excited about - Cover Girl from GI Joe to go with my beau's Shipwreck costume. Thankfully, I should be able to buy most if not all of what I need, and hopefully it'll be fairly inexpensive.

I'm going home this weekend, but probably won't have much time to sew. I'll probably only take my embroidery to work on. And maybe the Ottoman bustle.

Okay, I feel a little bit better now that I've organized my list better.

I have a lot to do in the next 71 days, don't I?

A bientot!

Miss Leah J Wilde

Monday, June 20, 2011

Origins: Steampunk Panels

This weekend is the Origins Game Fair here in Columbus. The Airship Archon will be presenting a few panels in the writer's track, as arranged by Miss Dashwood. We will both be in attendance along with the captain and Miss Van Eycke. Please come and learn!

Our schedule is as follows:
  • Sunday 10am Room 226 “Gathering Steam: Writing in the Steampunk Genre
  • Sunday 11am Room 226 “International Steampunk: Beyond Victoriana”
  • Sunday 12pm Room 226 “Steampunk Personas: A Character for your Costume”
Hope to see you there!

Miss Leah J Wilde

DragonCon 2

I worked on Miss Von Stoup's Confederate jacket this weekend. I finished taking it in (which I thought I'd already done, oops), put the facings together and pinned the collar on. I'm hoping to work on it this evening, maybe get the facings in and the collar on, so we can have another fitting.

I also worked on a little project for myself - an underbust corset. I found two remnants of bright pink silk dupioni on Saturday and could not resist them. I also picked up a remnant of white denim to use for the interlining. The lining is going to be black moire taffeta left over from Diamonds and from my beau's vest. The pattern is a free one I found on BurdaStyle, so we'll see how it goes together. I cut out the pattern and cut out and pinned together the lining to see how it fits. The pattern calls for a busk, which I'm omitting so I cut the front on the fold instead of in two pieces. It also calls for spiral and flat steel boning, but I'm just going to use cable ties. Honestly, readers, I'm thin enough that I have no need for steel boning, plastic cable ties should be sufficient.

Then of course the question becomes what in the world do I wear with this bright pink underbust corset...

I'm slowly but surely making progress on my sewing list.

A bientot!

Miss Leah J Wilde

Saturday, June 18, 2011

DragonCon: Confederate Progress 1

I actually worked on my uniform last night! After trying it on again, I decided that the sleeves were just fine (and confirmed it with Miss Dashwood), so I set about topstitching along the collar and front edges. I need to handstitch the facings in place, hem and put on the snap closures. Then of course comes the braid and buttons...

And there's a bit of an issue - the sleeves are too short. Which leaves two remedies: (1) shortening the sleeves to 3/4 length, which then means we probably can't do any braid on them or (2) adding cuffs to lengthen the sleeves. Honestly, I don't like either option so I have no idea what to do at this moment.

In other news, I think I've decided to make an 18th century robe a l'anglais for myself when I get the chance. I was planning on a natural form Victorian gown, but I think I need a break from Victorian. The only major downside (besides needing YARDS of fabric and expensive patterns) is that I'll need proper undergarments -- a chemise, stays and pocket hoops. The chemise and pocket hoops I believe can be made via internet instructions, the stays will need a pattern. Fortunately, Butterick has a stays pattern so I'll probably just pick that up next time they're on sale and perhaps start on them in between other projects.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

What I did this weekend

Confederate uniforms: These haven't been touched so far. I just really don't feel like working on them.

Ottoman vest: I've been working on the embroidery. The goal is to get the border done this summer for Dragon Con.

Persian pants: Turns out I didn't buy enough fabric to make them ankle length, unless I make them not very poofy. S0 I'm either gonna have to make them not poofy or buy more fabric. Leaning towards option number two there.

Joker costume: Decided to leave at home. And talked to the beau about it, he probably won't have his portion of the costume gathered by DragonCon so it's being put to the side. Again.

I forgot the kilt pattern. Ooops.

I figured out how much fabric we need for the Scarlet Spider.

I also figured out how much fabric I need for my playsuit / skirt combo. The skirt alone needs three and a half yards! Circle skirts definitely take a lot of fabric, but they look so awesome. I'll need about two yards for the playsuit itself, as well as thread (might just use what I have), a zipper for the playsuit and probably some buttons for the skirt.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer / Dragon*Con To Do List

Yes, I am thinking of Dragon*Con already. My dear mother thinks its foolish, I on the other hand know that there are less than 90 days til Dragon*Con and I have a lot to do. Let the planning begin! This is going to be in some semblance of order. I think.

First up? Projects that need finished and or improved.

  • Our Confederate vivandiere uniforms. The sleeves need set into both jackets. All the hems need finished. And then we need to add the trim and buttons.
  • I need to finish the embroidery (at least the border) on my Ottoman vest so I can wear that costume again. I have been working on it.
  • I also need to finish fixing the bustle for my Ottoman costume.
  • I need to make the pants for my Persian costume. I may take some of the green silk faille from the skirt hem to make the cuffs and waistband. Or see if I can find fabric the same color to use.
  • I'd like to finish the Time Machine Purse for my Time Traveler.
  • And I also want to add diamonds to my Harley Quinn comic costume so its more accurate.
  • I need to finish my beau's Joker costume. The pants need hemmed. The jacket needs buttons and buttonholes. And I'm probably going to have to take everything in.
  • And I need to put pockets on my beau's kilt or make him a pouch to go with it.

Okay, now for new projects that need completed:

  • My playsuit combo. I think I'm going to change the bodice pattern. Adapting the walkaway dress bodice isn't going to work.
  • Scarlet Spider costume for Prof. Watt
  • Post apocalyptic costume for Miss Von Stoup
  • Steampunk Rosetta costume for Miss Von Stoup to go with my steampunk Tinkerbell
  • And a couple more costumes for Miss Von Stoup -- a polanaise out of a black and silver damask print and maybe something more out of the blue Chinese print we used for her Asian inspired jacket.
  • I may try to make a Simi costume or a Star Trek costume for myself but doubt it'll happen.

And what I'm taking to the beau's for the weekend:

  • Confederate uniforms.
  • Ottoman vest
  • Persian pants
  • Joker costume
  • Patterns for the Scarlet Spider, kilt and playsuit to think about what I need to purchase for each project

I realize everything won't get finished this weekend, but at least I'll have plenty to work on.

I've also been thinking about what costumes to take to Dragon*Con. And haven't been able to decide anything. As usual.

So much to do. And only 83 days left to do it in.


A bientot!

Miss Leah J Wilde

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Summer Sewing Projects

Now that MARCon is over, I can start thinking about what I'd like to work on over the summer.

First up, I need pants to go with my Persian outfit for the Santa Maria event on June 11. I'm trying to decide between sirwal and wrap around pants.

I also want to get my playsuit combo done soon.

Then comes the Scarlet Spider for a friend. I need to see if we can get the spandex from Joanns or if we'll need to order it.

And there's finishing the Confederate uniforms.

I need to finish the Ottoman improvements I started this winter.

And hopefully finishing my beau's Joker costume (finally).

And I have several projects to work on for Miss Von Stoup.

Looks like I'll be busy, huh? Well, you know what they say -- no rest for the wicked.

A bientot!

Miss Leah J Wilde