Friday, August 5, 2011

Victorian petticoat waiting for waistband and hem -Robin

Pleated the waistband and pinned/pressed the hem.  I'm leaving it for now until we have our sewing fest in late August to make sure the length is ok (and hoping I can lose some of these pounds I've packed on in the last 3 months!) i used the pattern for the bottom of the skirt that I'll be making for my Vic outfit, except i gathered the bottom instead of artfully pleating it in corners.  You'll see how the real one turns out later, but this was good practice. I also practiced French seams and boy, was I rusty! Note to self:  white on white is really hard to see.  Do I detect a pattern here?
Everything takes longer to do in reality than it does in my mind.  Oh, well...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I made a back, and drew first blood - Lisa

After all the prep, it was time to cut.  I hurried home from work yesterday afternoon and laid out my fabric, interlining and lining.  I carefully pinned the folded fabric to itself to help me keep my plaid as aligned as possible, and re-read the cutting instructions.  I was ready to go.  I cut out the pieces for the back along with the interlining and lining.  I looked at the clock and realized I was almost late for Pilates.  I only mention this because I was so excited and distracted by finally cutting the fabric that I wore my workout pants inside out. 

The instructions tell me to put together the back and trim it before I go on to the next step.  I took this quite literally and didn't even bother to cut the rest of the pattern.  Possibly a bit self-indulgent on my part.  In trimming seam allowances and clipping curves, I forgot to move my finger.  I sort of clipped that curve too.  It's a match for the burn from ironing lace.  And I 'blooded' my lining.  But it was all worth it.  Here is the back before trim, with a corner folded back to show the lining, and fully trimmed:

Monday, August 1, 2011

Saturday's sound and fury - signifying less than we hoped - Lisa

This ruffled petticoat is 100% done.  It came out really well and I love it, which is good because I'm so sick of hemming and gathering ruffles, I may not ever do another one.  I'll post a proper picture soon.  So tired.....

We didn't take as many pictures as we planned because we were busy.  We started at about 9.30 am. First, Robin pinned two hems for me.  Then she went to work on her crinoline while I stitched gathers.  What started off all sunshine and unicorns, quickly turned to the dark side.  Stitching up the bag required her to balance the hoops on her head while sewing (or, ya know, just ask me for help).  Then she pinned the channels, and re-pinned, and re-pinned yet again.  And then she strapped it on and I re-pinned for length.  It swayed like a drunken sailor every time she breathed.  And then....  well, I'll let her tell you (see prior post).  In the mean time, I was gathering and pinning and sewing ruffles.  Petticoat has a 4.24 yard hem.  Do the math (although most of the ruffles are only in the back).  And then, when the crinoline was still not working out, we looked at the clock and it was 4 pm.  We agreed to stop and eat, and despite reservations, drink a glass of wine.  While we did that we looked over some of the trim ideas I had for my polonaise.  I needed to decide what worked best and if I needed to buy anymore ribbon.  After that we got the crinoline to work.  Even hem, smooth curve on the sides, and every bone in the proper channel. 

Back into my corset, and into the muslin for the polonaise.  Happily, only the darts and the arm hole needed work.  I cut one arm hole and Robin drew the other.  I want to compare it before I cut it to make sure it's roughly the same.  The pattern is really flattering and relatively easy except for fitting.  And in my case, the fitting is very much a personal issue.  My torso can be squished and stretched in some truly amazing ways.  Also, it would have been impossible without Robin.  She did all the pinning and drawing around the arm and then sent me off to the mirror for approval.  I'm going to start cutting this week.

Finally, at 7pm we went over some trim options she was looking at.  Her fabric and trim are lovely.  Despite all the talk about lavender and violet, she will bear no resemblance to Violet Beauregard (yes I went straight to Willy Wonka).  At that point, even the offer of delicious food could not keep me from my car and my hour drive home.  And she promises to post pictures tomorrow!!!

The Big Sewing Saturday or The Many Levels of Dante's Inferno We Didn't Know Existed - Robin

We had plans, big big plans. The material exchange was the only thing that went off without a hitch. Lisa and my beau were trying to convince me to use duct tape to secure the hoops, but I was having none of that until.... my frustration level grew to such a pitch that I caved and used translucent duct tape to secure them. But the damage was done.  Frustration is evil, because, once there, it imbues itself into everything you do.In making the cage crin, I found that, although all my measurements were exact according to the pattern, nothing was right, but as Lisa kept telling me all day "It's only underwear",  I finally just left it NOT PERFECT. I really hate that and am bumping up against my need to "have-to-be-perfect" vs. the need to "get-it-done" in order to get to the actual outfit. I threaded the encased hoop wire through the slots incorrectly three times before I got it right and then, VoilĂ ! I had a cage crinoline. It was a beautiful sight.

Lisa had her own form of hell that day:  miles and miles of gathering for multiple layers of ruffles, a particular level of Dante's Inferno never mentioned in the book.  She survived.

We also managed to hem her brown skirt and petticoat and fit the muslin for her Polonaise.  Progress! I put on my first corset from Steampunk and Lisa measured me and I whined and whimpered. The numbers made me cringe and vow to get back on my road bike post- haste.

We shared our trim and material choices with each other.  Lisa got to see my Vic trim and fabrics, I got to see her crochet lace and trim choices for the Polonaise and I finally got to see what the heck she was talking about for her Ren outfit.  It all worked.
Lisa's skirt hemmed.

Miles of gathering ruffles


Lisa's polonaise trim choices

Robin goes to the dark side of duct tape
Why does "boning the hoop" makes us laugh?
 Then we finally got to uncork the wine bottle!