Monday, January 14, 2008

Costuming Update

So I actually had a pretty good weekend. All things considered. Saturday heralded the Lifeline bookfest. I got some stuff that I was after (completed a couple of collections) but I didn’t really have that much of a look around. I think next year I will go in by myself and my brother can head home when he is ready. That way I don’t get the annoying phone calls from him about where I am and how long am I going to be. But at least I got some novels, and the next one is only a few more months away. I think I should be able to hold out until then. I somehow managed to kill the rest of the day. I think between watching my new DVDs (Rome season 1) and a bit of computer gaming I killed the rest of the day.

Come Sunday I headed over to spotlight where I ran into Cat and Cherie. Talk about the place to be on a Sunday. Impromptu guild meetings in the middle of spotlight. I picked up a tonne of fabric. Polycotton was on sale so I picked up quite a bit. I have the skirts for my chi costume, the fabric for out ancient tales (surprise) costume, and a few other pieces as lining fabric. I even found a gorgeous piece of printed cotton for a lolita skirt. And I could not go past the dupion silk that was on sale. I got a fabulous piece of indigo. Only enough for a corset, but it will look fabulous. Have not decided which style or how I will make it but that will come later. I am thinking it will be an external wear corset though. The fabric is just to pretty to hide underneath another garment.

But I got home and I just could not take the whole not sewing concept. It has been 3 weeks since I have used the sewing machine and I was going into withdrawal. So I got stuck in and finished my Alice petticoat. The relatives were out so there was no one in there to hassle me. The only problem was that I had to pick something that did not need overlocking because they have all their crap over the table for the overlocker. Thankfully they go home on Wednesday. But at least I got my petticoat done. And the best bit is that it fits nicely and it has enough poof on its own that I don’t need another one under the dress to go with it. I am so thrilled that it is finished. My alice costume is now done and ready to go come april and supernova. I can’t wait to wear it properly. I mean the petticoat is ready, the apron is fixed, I have the right wig, the boots and even a knife to go with it all. The photos better be good because I am dying to get some. So come this weekend it will be total sewing. I may just have to leave early on Friday to get started early. Extend my sewing weekend to the maximum.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Pinstripe outfit

And this is the other outfit that I roped my father into taking photos of for me. I have mentioned this one before in my post about the corset. But I have finally completed the whole outfit. Originally I decided on the whole set because I saw a photo of a similar outfit. I thought it was a fabulous combination so I set out to do something for myself. Though, now I think about it, the original was quite different. The only similarities are that I used black lace over flesh colour on the corset and I chose pinstripe fabric for the skirt and jacket.

But on to how I put it all together. The fishtail skirt is from a Vogue pattern that I loved and picked up cheap. I used this last year as a natural form Victorian skirt on our ACG train ride. It’s not really true to the time, but it was something that I wanted to complete when the occasion arose. It is basically two skirts sewn together at the waist. The bottom one has a built in train so that it trails along the floor nicely after me. And the top skirt is about knee length and gathers up at the back with two ribbons. Giving a bit of emphasis to the arse area. Thankfully I have enough of a booty to fill it out without needing an extra padding.

The bolero jacket was the next piece that I put together. It is from a jacket pattern that I had stashed away somewhere. I had previously made the jacket out of satin shantung, but it just looked terrible and was uncomfortable. Plus I was not really happy with how the lining was sitting. This time it turned out so well. I used polycotton for the lining. Mostly for comforts sake as well as ease when sewing. I also added some piping along the edges of the jacket and sleeve. And I changed the sewing a bit when I put it together. The instructions direct you to basically make two complete jackets (lining and exterior) and sew them together. I found this really awkward and hard to follow the last time I made it. So this time, I instead added the sleeves on last. Sewing the bodice lining to the bodice and the sleeve lining to the sleeve and then adding the sleeve in last. This did give me a little bit more bulk at the sleeve head, but I actually really like the shape and it complements my broad shoulders nicely. It’s not really as neat on the inside, in that you can see the sleeve seam, but really when do you see the sleeve seam when it is worn? The only other addition I made was that I added 3 large fabric covered hook and eyes down the front to hold the jacket closed when worn.

And the final piece to complete the outfit was the corset. But I have already mentioned that, and all the cursing and swearing that went with it. So while I love how the black lace looks over the nude background, I will never do it again. The lacey stuff is a curse to sew with. The only other thing I noticed is that I may need to adjust my corset pattern. In that it closes a bit too close at the centre back lacing. Either that or sew some bigger seams. And I am thinking that maybe I need to nip it in at the waist a bit more so that it gives me a bit more of a Victorian cinched waist look. I don’t think the pattern has enough allowance for my hips and ribs in comparison to my waist. But that should not be too hard to adjust. As it is, I already have my next corset cut out. This one also has a bit of an outfit that goes with it too. I just need to get stuck in and make it.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Chobits - Chi

I have finally decided on what costume I am going to make for my Chobits outfit for Brisnova this year. I already have the wig (I picked that up while it was available on e-bay) and the ear pieces. I just needed to decide which of the many costumes I wanted to make. Obviously I did not want to go with anything too skimpy which is what many of the outfits are. So I hunted around a bit and found this one.

It will be pretty simple to put together too, which I like and I have the patterns already. For the top I am thinking of my Edwardian leg of mutton blouse, with a very full skirt over the top (white of course) and then the overskirt out of a dusty pink colour. I will probably just draft up the pattern for that myself. Basically attaching another skirt to a waist piece. So I really do not have to do too much trouble for that. And I will make another petticoat for underneath, but I am pretty sure that my Alice one will work with it. An I will add some bloomers for comfort underneath. What really grabbed me about this costume was that it is a lot more modest than other ones I have come across. And believe me that is a huge advantage in my case. Now all I need do is get the fabric which I intend to do this weekend, on another Spotlight excursion. The way I see it is that sooner that I get it done, the better.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

2008 Plans

Well, I am back at work again and my holidays are finished. But I have to say that I got quite a lot accomplished over my break. I really had sewing in mind as to what I was going to do. And the only days that I had a break from sewing were Christmas Day, Boxing Day and then New Year’s Eve and Day. But the latter is due to my relatives staying. And with the sewing room also being the spare bedroom, I cannot get in there to make anything. Which is really annoying, but I spent the last two days of my holidays cutting fabric and patterns to make up for it.

I also managed to get out to a couple of fabric shops and picked up a few things. Namely the fabric for one of my medieval dresses this year. I needed 9.5 metres of fabric and when you are after that much you would really like something rather cheap. So I was glad to find the fabric for $4 / metre and it is exactly what I had in my mind for what I wanted.

I did get a little slack with my blog and have not really posted about all the things I have been sewing so I will start to get onto that soon. But what I really need to do is decide which costumes that I want to make this year. So I am listing.

January – Steampunk
I have completed this. All that I really made specifically for the costume was the silk underbust corset. Mainly because I am using pieces from some of my other costumes that will work perfectly.

February – Vintage Swimwear.
Also finished. And rather proud of how this turned out. I went 1940s. But to see it, I guess you will just have to be there at the event. The other thing that I was originally going to get done for February were some 50s clothing for my mum’s birthday part on the 16th. But she has decided to make it uncostumed, which will make it a bit more comfortable for some of her friends. However I will probably pull together a dress for me. And if I can’t get a new one done, I already have at least one that would work.

March – Gods and Goddesses
This one is a surprise. I have it well in hand but and not going to say anything more about what exactly I am going to make. I have the patterns ready, I just need to get the fabric and get cracking.

April – Supanova Brisbane
My very first supernova. At this stage I am looking at going for all three days, but I would probably prefer to just do Friday night and Saturday. I will have to see. But at this stage I have some costumes under control. American McGee’s Alice is one of them. I originally wore this one at Halloween but it didn’t turn out exactly how I wanted it, so I have made the necessary adjustments. All I need to do now is finish the petticoat for underneath. (I stared making it but ran out of tulle about a third of the way around.) In my defence I was using the leftover tulle that I had from one of my other petticoats. Chi (Chobits) is another one that I would like to do. I just need to decide which outfit I want to make. I have the wig and headpiece prepared but that is it. I guess I will just have to watch it again and make my decision. Elizabeth Swan (POTC2 DMC) I bought the fabric for this a while ago and have been slowly progressing to get it done. And I only have one piece left to finish, so I may just wear it to Supernova.

May / June - Edwardian
I have this one all ready to go. Originally I was going to use it for Melbourne cup last year but decided that it would be too hot and I did not really want to put a hat with the outfit I chose. So it got made but is just sitting in the cupboard ready to wear. I will pull it out closer to the day and have another look at it. I may be able to jazz it up a bit more with some lace, but I really did like how it turned out at the time. I guess I could make a new corset to wear underneath. Maybe an Edwardian long lined style one.

July – Abbey Medieval Fair
I am definitely going again this year. And I think what I did last year was good, so I may just do that again. On Saturday we went to the Mask Ball (plenty of time to get ready in the day and finish incomplete sewing emergencies) and then on Sunday we went for the whole day. At least if I do that again, it will not completely eat up my weekend. But I will have to wait and see what we decide to do.

September – Regency
Big yes to this one. I have always longed to do a regency dress. And how nice that it falls in the month of my birthday. This one will require quite a bit of work. I have on order the pattern that I intend to use to make the dress. At this stage I am thinking lemon yellow with white and darker yellow trimmings. The corset I already have cut out. I had the fabric at home that was left over from another thing I made and thought why not just get started on it.

December – Wild West
Cannot wait. I have already done the whole cancan dress thing, so I might go a bit different on this one. At this stage it is too far away to plan, but who knows, something may just grab me in the mean time and say – make me.

And then there are all those other projects that I would just love to do. The ones that are not really necessary, but I am just too addicted to sewing. And anyway, there are always times when you can wear a fabulous costume. The people at work already think that I am nuts but that has never stopped me before. I mean you have the fabulous celebration days that are just asking for an outfit. St Patrick’s Day, Melbourne Cup, International Talk Like a Pirate Day, Halloween. I intend to have plans and outfits for them all this year. Even if I have to re-wear a few bits. But hey that is why I make piece costumes. The ones that I already have in the making on the side:

Padme Picnic Gown

Anna from Van Helsing (the riding outfit)


But I already know myself in that I will find heaps more to fill out my costumes journals and add to my wish list of the ones I want to make. I just need the occasion to wear them and I will make something fabulous. I mean, there is always an occasion for a corset or a wig. I just need to get some more photos of some of my outfits. I may just have to bribe my brother for some photo time. Hmmm, not too bad an idea.