Friday, March 30, 2012

Truly Victorian Wish List...

...comes to $70. Without shipping.


Well closer to $60 really, because I'm not completely sold on the one bodice pattern I have on there right now...But still, that's rather a lot.

What I would like to buy:
  • Victorian petticoats. It comes with four petticoats - early bustle, natural form, late bustle and belle epoch. Definitely a good investment.
  • 1870s Underskirt. I need this to go under my square overskirt. I'll make it in the pretty grey taffeta I got for a steal.
  • 1885 Four Gore Underskirt. Eventually I would like to make this to go with my asymmetrical overskirt, probably in pink satin.
  • 1873 Polanaise. Not a good investment, doesn't go with anything I already have but I WANT it. It is so freaking pretty.
  • The only bodice I have is the 1884 French vest and I'm not completely sold on it. So that can definitely wait.
I think the most important are probably the petticoat pattern and the underskirt patterns. Even though I really REALLY want the polanaise, I have plans for the others that go with costumes currently in my wardrobe or under construction. So I can justify (somewhat) the underskirt patterns, and the petticoats, but I could wait for the latter if necessary.

And now, it's bedtime. Bonne nuit!

Costume Porn! aka Crazy Quilt Skirt pictures

The waistband. I couldn't find black quilt binding, so I used purple. And then I found the black. Oh well, the purple was already there.

I'm using flat white lace as hem tape to hem the skirt.

The skirt, all put together.

Another shot of the skirt. It's rather large, and very heavy.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Update - March 27 2012

I finished embroidering the last skirt gore that my mother had, and started putting the skirt together. All the gores are together, and the waistband is halfway finished. I started pinning lace along the hem as hem tape -- I can't find my horsehair braid and I don't want to shorten the skirt more than necessary.

So I need to hand stitch the waistband in place, put on a closure, maybe tack down the sides of the back opening, and finish the hem.

As for the petticoat, I finished the waistband and pinned the hem, and finished two of the inside seams with bias. The third I want to finish with wider bias so I have something to sew the black ruffle onto. Oh and my papa graciously washed the lace for me to get rid of the bleach smell.

I need to - sew on a closure, put wide bias on the bottom ruffle, hem it, add the lace, add the bottom ruffle.

I didn't touch the basque or the playsuit.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Week of March 19 ....

I didn't get too much done, honestly.

I did rinse and dry my bleached lace, but it really needs washed to remove the bleach smell. And it hasn't been applied to the petticoat yet, petticoat hem is about halfway done so once that's finished and the lace is washed, it can be put on.

I did put the waistband on, but it needs the hand work (folded over and attached) as well as the hook and eye closure.

As of this moment, I'm probably going to leave the headscarf untrimmed. If everything else gets finished, I'll trim it in some black lace.

I have not started putting the basque bodice together. Or checked my button stash for buttons for the basque.

But I did cut out the lining for my playsuit. But I didn't check to see if the playsuit does in fact match my clockwork skirt. However I know that I do not have a zipper, but I didn't get a chance to look for thread, I probably have something close enough that I can use. I obviously didn't start putting it together.

Weekend to do list:

  • I'm going home to my parents, so first up is finishing the crazy quilt gore my mother has so that the crazy quilt skirt is ready to put together.
  • Work on the petticoat - at least get the waistband finished and the hem pinned. I'd also like to finish the inside with some bias to prevent fraying.
  • Start pinning the basque bodice together.
  • Wash the petticoat lace.
  • Start pinning the playsuit together, or at least read over the instructions

Monday, March 19, 2012

March / April To Do List:
  • Gyspy steampunk by April 27th for Steampunk Empire Symposium
  • Paris steampunk by April 27th for Steampunk Empire Symposium
  • Playsuit / skirt combo by May 3rd for Florida trip

Current progress:

Gypsy Steampunk:

  • My skirt gores are embroidered and two are basted together. Mother has two skirt gores done. I'll be getting them from her no later than Easter.
  • The petticoat is mainly done. Three tiers have been gathered and stitched to a yoke.
  • The headscarf is wearable unless I decide to trim it.

Paris Steampunk:

  • The bodice is mainly cut out.
  • The overskirt is finished.


  • The outer fabric is cut out.
  • And I'm thinking it'll match a skirt in my wardrobe, so no need to purchase more fabric.

What I still need to do:

Gypsy Steampunk:

  • Skirt: Put all the gores together, add a waistband and a closure (probably a hook and eye, center back closure). Hem it with polyester horsehair braid.
  • Petticoat: Rinse and dry bleached lace, then apply to tier #3. Add a waistband and side seam closure. Add the last (black) tier and hem it.
  • Headscarf: Trim the black lace triangle with black lace trim if necessary. Otherwise, it's currently usable.

Paris Steampunk:

  • Finish cutting out the bodice lining.
  • Put the bodice together.
  • Check my button stash for buttons.
  • I'm probably going to need to purchase a few things, maybe buttons or snap tape...


  • Cut out the lining. I'm going to use white cotton, since it's already in my stash.
  • Check to see if it does in fact match my clockwork skirt like I think it will.
  • See if I have a zipper and thread that I can use, purchase them if I don't

Week of March 19, 2012 To Do List:

  • Rinse and dry bleached lace, then apply to tier #3 of the petticoat.
  • Add a waistband and side seam closure to the petticoat.
  • Decide if I'm trimming the lace headscarf or not.
  • Start putting the basque bodice together.
  • Check my button stash for buttons for the basque.
  • Cut out the lining for my playsuit.
  • Check to see if the playsuit does in fact match my clockwork skirt like I think it will.
  • See if I have a zipper and thread that I can use for the playsuit
  • If I can, start putting the playsuit together

No rest for the wicked!

    Sunday, March 18, 2012

    Progress Update - March 19 2012

    Cut out the rest of the bodice: I did what I could. I cut the cuffs and collar out of the Paris print, and cut what I could out of black broadcloth for the lining. Beau is borrowing another piece of black broadcloth I have next weekend, so once I have that back and wash it, I can cut out the rest of the lining.

    Finish gathering tier 3 of the petticoat and sew it onto tier 2: Done! I checked the length by pinning the petticoat to my dress form and then pinning two gores (basted together) over it to see how everything looked. Which is so far, so good. Right now, the petticoat is a couple inches longer than the skirt. My current thinking is that I sew lace to the bottom of the petticoat, and then add the black ruffle (attaching it to the seam where tier 3 is attached) so that it comes to the top of my boots. Another idea: I add a narrow ruffle of eyelet and attach it as well as the black ruffle to to tier 3...

    Petticoat on my dress form.

    Skirt pinned over the petticoat, I'm thinking I'll need to wear a net petticoat underneath for more fullness...

    Length of skirt versus petticoat.

    Of course, I don't have 10 yards of white lace in my stash but I did have a massive amount of a cream lace. So it's currently in a water and bleach bath in an attempt to lighten it. We'll see how that turns out.

    Check the lilac linen: DONE! Not only did I have enough linen, but I washed (light), dried (low and only for 40 minutes) and ironed (linen setting, sprayed with water as I went along) it! Then I cut out the pattern.

    Laying out the playsuit pattern...

    I didn't start putting the bodice together, mainly because I really didn't feel like it.

    Saturday, March 17, 2012

    Progress and Update - Saturday March 17

    Happy Saint Patrick's Day my dearest friends!! I'm wearing a green tshirt in the spirit of the day. (It's an All American Rejects shirt lol)

    I finished basting the interlining, but haven't worked on the bodice otherwise.

    I have worked on the petticoat! Tier 1 and 2 are gathered and sewn together. Tier 3 is half gathered. I stopped, because I got tired of the gathering -- Tier 3 is afterall 360 inches long.

    I also went through my fabric stash. I have some things that I'm offering to friends, probably for a small payment. I also threw out a bunch of fabric scraps. As well as reorganized the stash so it makes a little more sense, including separating out a few things that will work if my brother's spawn is female.

    And I figured out how the skirt gores go together. They're pinned, haven't decided if I want to stitch them now or not though.

    What I'd like to do tomorrow: Cut out the rest of the bodice. Finish gathering tier 3 of the petticoat and sew it onto tier 2. Check the lilac linen. If all that's done, start putting the bodice together.

    Final note: I found a triangular piece of black lace that I think will work much better for my gypsy steampunk. I may need to edge it in some black lace trim...

    Friday, March 16, 2012

    Weekend to Do List - for St Patty's Day

    What I've done this week: Finished my portion of the embroidery for the crazy quilt skirt. Realized I messed up my gathering stitch on the petticoat so it'll have to be redone. Worked on basting the interlining and satin for my basque bodice.

    This weekend I'd like to: Finish basting the interlining and cut out the rest of the bodice. Work on the petticoat. See if the lilac linen is possible for the playsuit. Start putting together the bodice. Go through my fabric stash and weed it. See how the skirt gores go together and stitch them.

    Tuesday, March 13, 2012

    Gypsy Steampunk: Crazy Quilt Skirt Progress -- Almost there!

    I finished my last gore last night! And my mother finished her second! That means that the skirt embroidery is 5/6th of the way finished!

    My third skirt gore.

    Mother's second gore.

    Only one more to go! I'm planning to baste my gores together to see how they're going to look.

    Monday, March 12, 2012

    What Miss Wilde Did This Weekend...And this week's to do list

    Some sewing for Beau: Replaced a zipper in Beau's vest. Sewed Velcro onto some patches. And helped him put grommets in a banner.

    Worked on my projects:
    • Worked on my crazy quilt skirt. I now have a mere 5 seams standing between me and my last gore being finished.
    • Started the petticoat. I used a petticoat pattern from Simplicity for the yoke and cut it from some white broadcloth. I laundered the muslin and cut it into strips: two 45" pieces for the first layer, two 90" pieces for the second, and one 90" plus six 45" pieces for the third. The first layer is a little narrower than the other two. I also pulled, washed and deconstructed my eyelet skirt, but I haven't cut it up yet.
    • Worked on my basque. I laundered the interlining fabric, re-did the pattern pieces in a larger size, and cut out the satin and the interlining. I also pinned the interlining to the appropriate satin pieces because it's going to have to be hand basted.
    • I looked for fabric for the playsuit / skirt combo, but failed. I might try to squeeze the playsuit out of a piece of lilac linen I have, I'm only 1/4 yard short...

    Week of March 12, 2012 To Do List:

    • Finish my embroidery. EDIT -- I finished my third gore and my mother finished her second. Pictures tomorrow!
    • Work on the petticoat. EDIT -- This is probably on hold til the weekend. The 'gathering' thread I used doesn't want to pull through and gather. I'm going to have to re-do it.
    • Baste the interlining to the satin for my basque bodice. EDIT -- Started the hand basting tonight. I have two pieces finished.
    • Finish cutting out the basque bodice (I still need to do the contrast cuffs and collar as well as the lining)
    • See if I can use the lilac linen for my playsuit.

    Friday, March 9, 2012

    Gypsy Steampunk: Crazy Quilt Skirt Progress -- Halfway DONE!

    Picture time!!!

    First up, my mom sewed a crocheted flower onto the gore she's working on right now. She thinks its from a doily one of her grandmothers made.

    Next, I just finished my second gore! That means the skirt is halfway done!

    And last but not least some detail shots:

    I stitched down a little flower applique to cover up the knot at the end of cording I couched down along another seam. From left to right, the blue / green is a double herringbone, the green is a Russian chain stitch (I think), the pale blue (looks white) is a braided chain stitch, the orange is a cretan stitch, the gold is a blanket stitch. And in the lower corner, is some green feather stitching.

    This is a new stitch for me and I really liked it. The pale green (once again it looks white) is a fly stitch. Above that is the basque stitch and in the lower corner you can see some blue feather stitching.

    I'm feeling really good about this project right now. We have three of the six gores embroidered. I've been working on calculating fabric requirements and dimensions for the petticoat.

    Speaking of the petticoat, my original idea was to make each tier twice as long as the one above it. Yes, I want a FULL petti for this costume. But...when I went through all the calculations, I came out with needing 12 yards of fabric for the bottom ruffle.

    Um...12 yards for ONE ruffle? I don't think so.

    So I went back and re-calculated at around one and a half times the size of the ruffle above. Not as full as I like, but Miss Wilde is frugal. I'm still going to need about 5 or 6 yards of 45" fabric for the bottom ruffle. But I'm a little more comfortable with that than with 12 yards.

    Brewing Ideas...And a Progress Report / Weekend To Do List

    I have a ton of ideas brewing in my head (yes I know, shocking). And I wanted to get them all down somewhere I won't lose them, so here you go! lol

    1. A diagonal seamed corset. The obsession started a few days ago when I saw this on Bridges on the Body. Then I found this post today on a new blog, The Laced Angel, and she had a link to an article on Foundations Revealed that tells you how to make a diagonal seamed corset. So now I know HOW to make a pattern I have into a diagonal seamed corset. I really want one, probably an underbust since that's my favorite. I kinda want one that's longer, like an Edwardian corset...
    2. I still want to make an 18th century outfit.
    3. And I've been having these Regency cravings lately. I even bought a Simplicity Regency gown pattern! I want a gown with a spencer soooo badly. Not that I have any idea where I would wear it...

    Progress Report:

    • Mom's second gore is almost finished for the crazy quilt skirt.
    • I have five seams to go on my second gore.
    • I'm going to do another mock up of my vest basque this weekend. Heather from TV thinks I have my bust measurement wrong, so I'm going to try a new size for the front only and see how that works before I re do all the pieces.
    • And I think I've figured out the fabric combinations for the bodice. I was going to do the vest in the contrast Paris print, but didn't know how to do the collar and cuffs. I just saw a version w the vest matching the rest of the bodice and the collar / cuffs in a contrast. I think I'm going to go that route.
    • Playsuit / skirt ideas: if I have enough of both, I'm thinking green patterned cotton playsuit w a lilac skirt. If I don't maybe do the playsuit in the lilac and get a contrast print for the skirt. Yardage estimate: 2 yards for the playsuit, 3 yards for the skirt.

    Weekend to do list:

    1. Replace a zipper in Beau's vest.
    2. Embroider on my skirt, at least finishing the current gore. EDIT -- Since the current gore is DONE, I might just try to get my last one done this weekend. :)
    3. Start on the gyspy petticoat. Launder the muslin and start cutting it into strips, after I decide how wide said strips need to be. Cut out the yoke. Pull out my white eyelet skirt for cannibalization, wash it as well, but don't cut into strips until necessary.
    4. Also launder the interlining fabric for my basque so it loses some stiffness.
    5. Re-trace the front basque pieces in a larger size, cut new muslin pieces and re do the front of my bodice for another fitting.
    6. Once the fitting issues are figured out, start cutting out the bodice fabric if I can.

    Thursday, March 8, 2012

    Progress Update - March 8 2012

    Gyspy steampunk by April 27th for Steampunk Empire Symposium

    • Skirt gore #1 is already embroidered, thanks to my mother
    • I just finished skirt gore #2 so...we're 1/3 of the way done!!!! EDIT gore #3 is about 1/2 way finished.
    • And I bought some more muslin for the petticoat yesterday (it was a remnant, too good to pass up)
    • Plans: Work on the embroidery and probably start the petticoat this weekend. I can wash the fabric and at least start cutting the tiers, if not gathering. I can't do the length, but I can work on the upper sections.

    Skirt gore #2, completed!

    Paris steampunk by April 27th for Steampunk Empire Symposium

    • We fit my bodice yesterday and it's too small: The front doesn't close at all and then Edwina noticed it was pulling pretty much everywhere. We're thinking I should go up a size to account for the lining, interlining and boning. So I get to re-trace the pattern.
    • Plans: Retrace a larger size of my basque pattern and start working on it, hopefully this weekend.

    Playsuit / skirt combo by May 3rd for Florida trip

    • Bought Simplicity 2401 yesterday but didn't find any fabric I loved.
    • Plans: Start by checking my stash and seeing if I have anything I can use. Maybe that lilac linen would work for the playsuit or the skirt and then all I need is a coordinating fabric for the other.

    I also need to put a new zipper on a vest for Beau this weekend, but that shouldn't take long.

    Wednesday, March 7, 2012

    Adding to my immediate sewing list...

    The first weekend of May, my mother and I are taking a trip to see our family in Florida. My beloved grandmother (the one I'm named after and who taught me to sew), moved down there earlier this year. As you can probably imagine, I've been thinking of what to pack because yes, I do plan ahead that much.

    Today, I randomly wondered via Twitter if I should sew something, like a new sundress. A friend commented that I should and we discussed our mutual love of retro fashion. And inspiration struck: I should make that playsuit / skirt combination that has been on my to do list for a year. So I start thinking about combining patterns, like was my original plan, and I do some Google-ing. Low and behold, Simplicity has a decent playsuit pattern. It's not perfect, and it'll need some modification, but it'll be easier and quicker than franken-patterning my own.

    Planned alterations: A shorter length, the legs of the playsuit look a little long. Maybe a different neckline, more like this one from one of the retro sundress patterns I got from Diary of a Renaissance Seamstress a while ago. And I'm probably going to change the zipper to a back zipper and get rid of the way that back looks, I think it has elastic in it.

    Or maybe I should just franken-pattern it, if I'm going to be making all these alterations anyways...Actually I think altering the playsuit pattern will probably end up easier, because its already meant to fit a certain way, whereas I'd probably run into fitting issues if I tried to combine a bodice from a dress pattern with a shorts pattern.

    So I need to pick up Simplicity 2401 asap, and about 5 yards of a nice cotton. I may have something in my stash, but I'm not sure. I'll check clearance today, but if I don't find something it'll be okay -- I've got some time.

    New sewing list:
    • Gyspy steampunk by April 27th for Steampunk Empire Symposium
    • Paris steampunk by April 27th for Steampunk Empire Symposium
    • Playsuit / skirt combo by May 3rd for Florida trip

    God, I'm a glutton for punishment...

    Gypsy Steampunk: Crazy Quilt Skirt Progress

    Gore #1 is finished with the embroidery, courtesy of my mother! And I'm almost done with the gore I've been embroidering, so hopefully by the end of this evening, I'll have it finished and we'll be one third of the way there! Each of us are doing three of the six gores, and have plenty of supplies. We're mainly embroidering the seams, with some trim and applique application. I told Mother that I'm taking whatever she has done when I'm home for Easter. If I have to finish some of her work, that's fine, but that's the last chance I'll have to get it from her before the Symposium.

    I'm getting most of my embroidery from this website. Good directions and step by step diagrams. A lot of other how to websites I found just gave you word directions with no diagrams, and were basically useless.

    Picture time!

    The gore my mother embroidered. Yes, she totally sent me a photo, without prompting!

    Part of the gore I've been working on. You can see some feather stitching in the orange thread, and there's a herringbone done in two shades near the bottom.

    Another part of my gore. The white in the upper corner is a buttonhole stitch, the blue / purple is called a basque stitch and then there's a double line of herringbone in a blue pearle cotton.

    What I need to do to finish my gyspy steampunk costume:

    • Embroider my three gores
    • Assemble the gores into a skirt, attach a waistband and closure (current thinking: hook and eye closure on a side seam), hem with polyester horsehair braid and maybe attach lace to the bottom
    • Make a petticoat: I'm seriously leaning towards a gathered tiered style because I feel like the skirt is heavy and is going to need some support. I'm going to make it out of white broadcloth and muslin and may cannibalize a white eyelet skirt I have for more fabric (I rarely wear the skirt). For maximum fullness, I'll probably cut the tiers a little on the narrow side. I'm also going to try a new gathering technique: zig zag stitch over cording. The bottom one or two ruffles will be black broadcloth. I'm also planning on a yoke instead of an elastic waistband to reduce bulk.
    • Finish decorating the head scarf.
    • Gather lots of jewelry to wear.

    In other Symposium news, I'm stopping by Edwina's quarters this evening for a fitting of my Paris bodice. I really feel like the gypsy costume is doable for the Symposium, and hopefully the Paris outfit as well. *fingers crossed*

    EDIT On my lunch, I stitched down a piece of lace trim along one of the few seams I had left to cover. I now only have two long seams and one short one, the latter I plan to use a little applique on.

    Monday, March 5, 2012

    March 2012 To Do List

    First up, a look at February (although most of this was done in March...):
    • Sew D rings onto the gypsy corset: DONE
    • Started stage two of the crazy quilt skirt!
    • Paris overskirt: DONE
    March 2012 To Do List: This is mainly preparation for the Steampunk Empire Symposium next month.
    • Gyspy Steampunk: I'd really like to get the skirt finished this month (or early next), but a lot of that depends on my mother. I'm planning to give her a deadline on getting her three gores done. I did enough yesterday that I feel I could embroider a gore in around a week, so I think the end of the month, or early next month is doable. Once the skirt's done, I'll start on the petticoat. I may actually start on this sooner, because I could get the length from my three gores if I sew them together once they're embroidered. I'm currently trying to decide on what style of petticoat I want to make: plain with ruffles at the bottom v. a tiered gathered petticoat, probably with a yoke at the top. I also need to finish the headscarf. Deadline: End of April for the Steampunk Empire Symposium.
    • Paris Ensemble: The overskirt is finished and the mock up of the bodice is put together. Next comes fitting the mock up, then starting the actual bodice, which is going to be quite the undertaking. Deadline: End of April for the Steampunk Empire Symposium.
    • I may also try to get my Keeper of the Keys cincher finished as well as fixing the skirt (the zipper is broken and it needs taken in).
    Things that have been taken off the 'immediate' list:
    • Concert tshirts throw
    • Make Beau a bag for his closet to keep his unmentionables in.
    • Make Beau Star Wars pajama pants if he wants them.
    • New fleece coat for Beau's Snowtrooper.

    EDIT -- My mother can't find my embroidery book, so I saved some tutorials on my flash drive and printed a couple out in case I can't open the document on my laptop at home. Internet, I would be lost without you. I found some really cool complicated stitches too. Oh yeah, I'm gonna embroider the heck out of this skirt.

    What Miss Wilde Did This Weekend...

    First of all, I had a rather lovely outing Friday evening with some Archonites. I wore all store bought items though -- black gypsy skirt and my purple and black steel boned corset.

    Secondly, I sewed. A lot. Okay, a lot of it was more prep work for sewing...

    On Saturday, Beau and I went to a friend's house so said friend could help Beau with a few projects. I of course packed up my sewing basket: pattern making material, my basque bodice pattern, my measurements (Edwina was nice enough to take them last week), markers to trace with, a waist cincher I wanted to copy, muslin to cut out for the basque mock up, and material to use for the new cincher.

    I traced the cincher I wanted to copy (my black and silver one that I wear with Lady of the Ottoman Empire) onto pattern paper and cut it out of the key flannel. This is going to be the cincher to wear with my Keeper of the Keys skirt. I'm trying to decide construction details, such as laced or non laced, front closure, etc. I'm planning to bone it with cable ties though.

    Next up, I used my measurements and Heather's lovely directions to figure out what size to cut for my basque bodice. For the back pattern pieces, I traced size E based on my back width. For the front, I went with size A. Which technically was too big according to the sizing directions, but it was the smallest available. I also used size A for the sleeves. After tracing the pattern, I cut out my muslin for the mock up.

    On Sunday, I ironed all the muslin mock up pieces and put together the pattern. I kind of wish she had simplified instructions for just making a mock up, because it was hard to decide what directions to follow and what to ignore.

    Once the mock up was together, I looked around for other things to do. I took my new overskirt, tried it on my dressmaker's dummy with the bustle pillow to decide how it looked and where to put a closure, then I sewed a hook and eye closure on. I think the drape is going to be a bit odd, but not in a bad way. I hope.

    Next up, I pulled out my gypsy steampunk corset and finally put on the D ring decoration I made forever ago. I sewed it to the front right hand side along the trim line, then I sewed another plain D ring to the back, inside the corset. My plan is to be able to drape chains or hang things from my D rings.

    Then I turned to the crazy quilt skirt. When the subject first came up, I thought my mother was going to do most if not all of the embroidery, so I took her all of my embroidery supplies and most of the gores. However, I was mistaken, so I was left with gore #6 and no supplies. Then I remembered I had some silk thread, so I pulled that out and started some embroidery. Then I decided to run to the store and pick up some more supplies. I got blue, purple and a variegated orange / pink pearle cotton, green and white regular embroidery floss, and orange / pink and silver beads. I used coupons and only spent around $5(!) so I felt no guilt. I spent the rest of my evening embroidering in the few stitches I know or could easily look up via the internet on my phone (which isn't the easiest thing to do).

    I'm having dinner with my parents today and mother is bringing me two more gores and some supplies. And an embroidery book. There was a moment of panic yesterday when my mother told me she only had two gores, instead of the five I thought (knew) she had. Thankfully, she found the missing gores.

    I just might get the gypsy costume done for the Steampunk Empire Symposium after all...As long as Mother actually does the promised embroidery. I have the feeling I may have to...encourage her over the next month.