Thursday, March 2, 2017

HSM Challenge 2 - Remake, Reuse - Lisa

skirt over large false rump
18th Century skirt based on the American Duchess Simplicity pattern 8161.  I say based because I didn't actually use the pattern.  I just measured how big the rectangles were that comprised the skirt.
I bought a skirt at the SF Opera Sale (years ago) that was distinctly too small around the waist but had a ton of fabric in a very nice weathered brown wool.  It's been sitting in a box ever since.

The Challenge is Re-make, Re-use, Re-fashion.  I took the waistband off the skirt and un-pleated it to discover 3 panels of 60" wool.  I only needed 2 for the 18c skirt.  I ripped the side seams down about 10 inches and re-pleated each panel to fit my waist.  The I needed to hang it over my false rump and raise the front panel to make the hem level.  Seriously, that was the hardest part.  Then, simply finish the waist with some spare cotton in the ugliest gold ever seen and add ties.  I can wear the ugly picket underneath and giggle softly to myself while I wear it.

If I ever have someplace to wear it.

front panel raised for a level hem

I'm back for reals, with pictures - Lisa

 Its been a very long 6 months.  We had an exciting adventure to China and Mongolia.  We photographed eagle hunters (yes, just like the movie).  We both got hurt.  Robin jacked her knee hiking on the Great Wall of China.  It was a shockingly hard hike for us.  After we were safely home, I slipped on fabric on my hardwood floor.  Shattered my femur.  This happened on 10-22.  Today is the first day I've been able to sit in my desk chair for longer than 20 minutes.  During the 3 months that I was required to lay around in bed, I did a lot of knitting and tried some embroidery.

Here are fun pictures since I've been away for, well, forever:
Eagle and Eagle Hunter, phone pics only so resolution is meh...

My leg both broken and bolted together.

The dreaded peri-prosthetic fracture.

In sympathy, my cat broke his femur head and had to have it removed.

I am confident I will set off alarms in every airport, everywhere.

And now, back to business.  I said I knitted and made many things.  Most of them twice due to mistakes.  I made a shawl from cashmere, camel and yak yarn that I got in Mongolia.  I also embroidered an 18c pocket.  I had lots of bright colors that belonged to my grandmother and I used them all.  I call it the 'clown vomit pocket'.  I got to the end of Netflix.
In no particular order:
shawl and mitts from Mongol yarn

Hat from leftovers

cowl from 10 year old yarn

large throw that the cats LOVE

The mitts were a big hit.  I made a pair for Robin and for my niece. And did my first knit-a-long.
The Tess D'Ubervilles shawl or Sontag, inspired by Outlander.  I added a knitted lace edge because why not?  Its not like I was going anywhere.

had to use short rows
my walker is showing!

And finally, the clown vomit pocket plus BONUS TIARA.  Exactly what you buy online when you're laying around taking oxycontin and knitting.

no words describe the horror

giant tiara modeled by Ed the cat

That's all for this post.  I'll be back, literally, in about 10 minutes with my first garment for the HSM.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Costume College Corset Class

I love taking corset classes because every time I do, I learn something.  Everyone has a different method or a new insight or, sometimes, just a plain easier way to do something.   This is the corset that I made at Costume College.  It is only one layer of coutil and does not have the quantity of bones that I have seen used in previous corset classes.  This class was given by Barbara Muran. She had a couple of amazing corsets on display and walked us through this hands on class.

Next up - the 3-in-1 petticoat.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

1840s Cap or Why Do They Wear Diapers on Their Heads???

I want to make an 1840s day dress - nothing fancy, just a plain everyday dress to wear at Dickens Faire or some of the other Gold Rush Era events in my area. However, I am many pounds heavier than I'd like to be and want to get back to the size of my other costumes (because I am lazy and don't want to remake them!).  I have the fabric, I have the pattern.  What to do?  Sew all the accessories first! That's the ticket!
Here is the pattern I'm using. After making a paper mock up, I thought it was a bit too small so I added an inch to the crown (I have a lot of hair) and an inch to the face framing part.  That was a mistake because I failed to account for the flounces.  Oh, well, I'll make it work.

I started by thinking I was going to hand sew the entire thing.  After embroidering the designs (I don't know how to embroider by hand, so this is my first try), I decided to screw the hand sewing.  Hey, I'm looking at miles of little flounces.  Of course I'm using a machine.  If I ever become a docent somewhere, I'll redo the sucker by hand, but in the meantime.....

I made a few mistakes.  I forgot to add the side casings and had to put them on after the cap was finished.  More hand sewing. All in all, it looks OK, but I'm not a fan of the "droopy" look of the 1840s, the demure Victorian.  Droopy hair, droopy shoulders and, now, a droopy cap.
I must say, this is the dumbest looking thing I've ever stuck on my head. That said...
Stay tuned as I plan to create that Oh-So-Fashionable Coal Scuttle Bonnet, the one that was was caricatured vehemently during the Victorian times - You know, the one that makes it impossible to see anything coming at you from the side, the one that makes it impossible to hear that horse drawn carriage careening at you in the street, the ever-demur Coal Scuttle Bonnet!

Fairy Costume for Costume College - Robin

I haven't been inspired for a long time, but CoCo was coming up and I had nothing to re-wear.  I wanted a quick-and-dirty fairy costume but ended up with this.  The underdress is stretch satin.  Well and good.  The overdress is full of glitter that shed everywhere.  It was as if I had my own fairy dust machine. I'm supposed to be Moth from Midsummer Night's Dream, but I didn't like any North American Moths.  I loved the South American Moths, brightly colored and iridescent. Yes, I had traveled to Brazil last November and saw these moths in person. Many bad cellphone shots later, I decided to just look them up online.

Here is a back shot of the wings.  I had the most fun/annoying time making those suckers.  I didn't want any sharp points to avoid poking other guests but I do have the habit of "Go Big or Go Home".  You have to go through a door sideways while wearing these things. There are many fairy wing tutorials on the web. I used fabric, glue and wire. Oh, and glitter.  Lots and lots of glitter.
I'm also wearing a cut little hand jewel that I bought at Costume College and promptly lost!  Oh, well.
Nothing to add about construction, it was just a straight up build of a commercial pattern. This costume must live in a bag for the rest of its life.  I am STILL vacuuming up glitter from my house. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

we are still alive!!!

I can post from my phone, but not add pictures!  My computer, she is nearly dead.  My hard drive is slowly fragmenting.  But I've been busy and having fun.
Made corded stays that failed.  Badly.
Made a 30's blouse that is pictured on Wearing History blog somewhere in the Costume College pictures.
I've been doing a lot of therapeutic knitting.
I made a Cobweb costume for CoCo.
I helped with costuming for MacBeth in out local community theater.
I made jeans from Smooth Sailing pattern and I love them them more than anything.
Robin made some giant amazing wings.
And we are leaving for 3 weeks in China and Mongolia very soon.

My computer should be fixed when I get back and I promise to start posting, and posting pictures again.  And in the mean time, I'm knitting the Clapotis.  Because everyone knits the Clapotis sooner or later.

BRB, Lisa

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Everyday vintage - L

Hadn't sewed in ages when I suddenly got the urge.  Sadly, the urge ran out before I finished.  I did make 3 things, though and I've worn 'em all.  I have a 30's blouse pattern from Wearing History that is all ready to modify.  And I have some beautiful fabric to make it up.  I've had the fabric for a few years and no longer remember why I bought it meaning it is fair game for the fabric stash burn-down.   

The picture is rushed and not so great.  I will SAY Im going to add a better one, but it's not that likely.  Maybe I'll snap a picture at Costume College.

First - Decades of Style Girl Friday blouse
I've made this before in a print, and I love it.  In addition to the shoulder dart and the under bust pleats, I added a side dart.  And this time I made it in plain white muslin and did the color embroidery around the collar and sleeves.  Or rather the 'not sleeves'.  While the embroidery itself wasn't fast, the rest of it goes together quickly and it's very comfortable.  Other mods - I used snaps at the side opening instead of a zipper and I added ties sewn into the outside front pleat.  I can tie it in the back for a slimmer fit.  Snaps at the side have a softer look than a zipper.  I added a 3/4 inch placket on each side of the opening, then put a hook and thread loop at the center, and two snaps at either side.  I added shoulder pads.  The other 'slow' thing I chose to do was to add the bias tape to finish the neck by hand.
For me, the embroidery is really hard.  It's my kryptonite.  I fret if it isn't perfect.  Well, it isn't, but I love it anyway. I used charcoal grey and two shades of pink.  I never wear pink BUT there is method in this madness.

collar is a pain, but looks pretty cool
hand tacking bias binding

Border print skirt - I got this big, like 4 yards, length of fabric in Morocco.  It's meant to wrap around the body and over the head.  I paid $8 for it.  It has a few stains and is worn in a couple places.  It's also very thin and sheer.  But it's this great turquoise with pink and orange and a black border.
I backed it with white cotton lawn which was hellish since both fabrics were so wiggly and the cats decided to romp over it while I was working.  Cut off the border on one side, pleated it into a waistband and done!  Border print skirt with complimenting blouse!  I came out a little longer than I expected so I may replace the waistband and take some off the top.  I don't normally wear bright colors and worry that I look like a clown.  But I wore it anyway.

Grey 40's wide leg trousers - Smooth Sailing from Wearing history
I made up this pattern again, this time with front pockets and a fly front zipper.  I had 3 yards of the smooth grey wool that I used for my anteater dress.  I kept meaning to make a skirt until I realized that I don't actual WANT another skirt.  I get much more use from vintage trousers.  I had already altered this pattern for fit so it was pretty quick.  Except I really wanted a fly front and pockets.

fly front without backing flap
backing flap is SO much better

Fly front isn't so hard, but like a welt pocket it doesn't make a lot of sense until you've don't it.  I followed the tutorial on the Threads website.  It works beautifully except for one thing.  In a real fly front there is a flap under the edge of the zipper.  So you don't catch your belly in it while zipping.  That is not included in the Threads tutorial.  I added it by sewing a folded and interfaced piece of fabric to the flap that the zipper attaches to (seam is hidden under the zipper).

tiny, baby kitten is now huge and loves rolling on fabric

The pattern pieces and template to add pockets

The front pockets are done exactly per the Anerican Duchess tutorial.  I cut paper pattern pieces so I can duplicate them every time I make the pattern. The only thing I added was bias tape along the curve of the pocket so it holds its shape better.  The pants cam out a little to broad across the beam.  I may take them in, but not now.  Now I'm just going to enjoy them.

Added some bias tape to the pocket edge

Pockets and fly front zipper
 More cosplay sewing this weekend, after 4 straight days of recording wildlife for the marine sanctuary.  'Recording wildlife' sounds much more glamourous than counting seals and seagulls thru binoculars.