Monday, February 25, 2008

Briney Sea

 Yesterday was our latest guild event. The Briny Sea. Basically our idea was to come dressed in anything relating to the big blue sea. Though most of us took this as to mean making vintage swimwear. We met up at Sutton’s Beach at 2pm on Sunday. And thankfully, unlike Saturday, it was actually pleasant weather. There was a nice breeze blowing for us and we managed to get a table under some shade for our afternoon tea. We had Kerry in Victorian swimwear and Donna in 1920s. Cat was Olive Oil, Bek was a character from Doctor Who and I had a 1940s playsuit. Cherie was also around, but in a photographic capacity. I think we all had a marvellous time, well I know I did and even better, I managed to avoid getting sunburnt. So, I have put up the best of my many photos.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Fashion Plate - 1876, 1877, 1878

These three lovely fashion plates are the latest addition to my collection. I don’t think I will end up getting many more at this stage, as it is I will have enough trouble finding a place to hang them once they are framed. I picked these three to bid on mostly because they are Victorian. And lovely. And a fabulous source of research for how a Victorian dress should look. Well a few of them anyway. I may just have to make some so that I have done them. Though it could be a bit challenging. I could always just take me inspiration from them. Anyway, they are from 1876, 1877 and 1878. So old and delicate. Will have to get the framed professionally so that they are not damaged any further than they already are. Hmmm, could get pricey.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Fashion Plate - 1836

My very first vintage fashion plate arrived. It is from 1836 and I love it. It came all the way from France and is in fact in French, so original. The only issue that I have is that the idiot who sold it to me is a smoker. So of course the thing reeks of cigarette smoke; which is for a start just plain gross and I have to air it out before I can store it. I am thinking that I will get it framed so that I can add it to the sewing room. Seems a rather appropriate place for it to go. I mean at the moment it will be my mothers’ sewing room, but once I get my own place it will definitely be headed for the sewing room. Along with the other items I have stashed away.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Underbust Corset

So very happy. Have finally got an underbust corset pattern that works for me. I think I mentioned it before, but I have cut down my Victorian corset pattern so that it is the correct length for underbust. And as it fits me so very well, it actually looks good on me. No more straight up and down shape, no siree. I have a waist with it. Which was the actual goal.

So, since I didn’t get around to posting just about my steampunk underbust, I thought I would do a bit of a comparison between the two patterns. While I love how this one turned out, I will have to be careful of what I wear it with. Because it gives me no waist it looks a bit silly just over a tight blouse or shirt. But it looks really great with my pirate shirt. Which works for me because that is why I made it. My favourite thing about this corset is the fabric. I used dupion silk. So right from the beginning I am pre-determined to like it, just on that fact. But the colour really works as well. I went for an earthy kind of natural tone because I wanted me whole outfit to be earthy. And I must say that the colour works for me. I may just have to have another corset out of the same coloured silk. And having worked with silk on a corset now, I know that I would like to use it in the future. It is so very nice to sew with and it works well for me. So I have added a couple of pictures. If you go back down to the steampunk photos, you can see how it looks with a billowy shirt. But the photo now, shows how it looks with a regular shirt. And you can really see how straight it looks. Which is rather strange for me considering that I have a really definite waist. I drew up the pattern from some instructions on line and thought that it would work, but it really does not have enough shaping. Or maybe I just measured me too wrong.

Anyway when I put it together I used 3 layers. Like I always do. The external silk, the shapewell interlining and the cotton lining. The cotton I used is some that I had on hand, leftovers from another project. But I like the inside contrast and how it looks against the boning casing. Speaking of, my casings are bias tape. I usually like to go for the pre-folded stuff that you get at spotlight. Mostly because I can get it quite a few colours and it is thick enough and has a good strength, as well as being wide enough for my use. And thankfully the colour that I get contrasts nicely with the silk colour and complimented the remainder of my outfit.

And now, onto my new underbust. This one really didn’t cost me much as I used leftover lining (the reason I keep scraps from other projects) and some leftover jacquard from a previous corset. Which I thought would work well for the very first trial. And I must say that I am really happy with how it turned out. Aside from the fact that I used hook and eye tape up the centre front, it fits me rather well. I usually prefer a zip, but I didn’t have one on hand and thought that the leftover tape I had lying around would work well. It does work, but it makes putting it on rather difficult, because you have to work on each individual hook, staring in the middle and do them up. And all this while having to look over the top of my boobs. Not an easy feat. But like I said, this was a trial and my next one will work wonders.

This one went together well, but what do you expect. I have used the pattern a number of times and it has turned out well each one. And I have adjusted it to the right size and shape for me. Also it has enough waist definition to flatter my shape and I can tight lace it. Or I will be able to with the next one as I will use a zip instead of the hook and eye tape.

My next corsetry ambitions are quite extensive, and will keep my busy for quite some time. I need to make a new undergarment Victorian corset. Now that my pattern is perfected, I would like to get one done as the foundation for my costumes. After that, I want to start work on my Edwardian one. I have ambition to get a true s-bend corset completed. This may take quite a bit of work as I am drafting it up from a pattern out of corsets and crinolines. But I really think that it will give my Edwardian outfit a nice silhouette and help to really emphasise that it is in fact Edwardian. After that, I need to get a set of regency stays done. I have been considering getting the mantua maker pattern to do this instead of drafting from corsets and crinolines. Mostly because for one it is the full length pattern (to give me a nicer line under my dress) and it means that I don’t have to draft it up myself. The only problem is that I am not sure if they sell just the pattern on its own or you have to buy the kit. Which is a bit expensive and I am sure that I could do it a lot cheaper with my own fabric and boning. After that I may attempt doing the Silverado corset. I do have the pattern for it, but I just haven’t gotten around to doing anything more that that. Especially considering that I am getting my simplicity corset pattern correct. I will have to see. By then I may need to take holidays and get stuck into some sewing. I really don’t mind doing that, at least I get the house to myself and I get really productive. Hmmm, not a bad idea.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Well, we had our second monthly guild meet up on Tuesday night. I actually really like to be able to catch up more often with everyone. It means we see each other more than just on our costuming outings, when we are in photo mode.

But a few things came up which are rather exciting. The first is that we are going to do a fashion show for the place that the Victorian tea was held. I wasn’t around at that stage, but I think it will be fun to still do it. Plus it means wearing my outfit. At this stage (and we are waiting for Cat to clarify) we are thinking that we will all be wearing one outfit and mingling with the guests. But that is just one understanding. We may actually get to do a fashion parade in which we actually wear multiple outfits. If we go with one, I will use my Edwardian one. Mostly because it is almost finished. The only parts that I need to make are the chemise, drawers, petticoat (I have fabric), corset cover and s-bend corset. Though if I do not get the corset done, I will just use my Victorian one. If we get to do multiple ones, I hope to have my bustle dress completed. I have the fabric and the patterns already. I just need to draft it off and make it up. Which will take a bit of work, but I can always take some holidays if I desperately need to take some time to finish everything.

The other thing that I would like to do soon is to make another Victorian corset. Mainly because all of mine are not really suitable for wearing as true undergarments. The first one (that I use all the time) has some extra darts in the bust because it really needed to be taken in to fit and it has hook and eye all down the front. The second one was made more for external wear and has lacing down the front. And my third one, also external wear, is not as strong as a corset should be. But the reasoning behind that is that it is not supposed to be tight laced. Which in truth is what I am really after. I think that I will try to get some nice fabric for it this time. Instead of being cotton. A silk would be lovely, but it needs to be a pastel or light colour so that it does not show through anything that I want to wear over it. At least a corset cover will take care of most of that, but it would be a nightmare to have say a red one under a white bodice. Maybe a nice pastel blue, or yellow, or pink. Maybe cream. I will have to see what I can get. And of course dupion silk would be fabulous, maybe with a nice cotton lining. Kind of like my steampunk underbust. I was so happy with how that come out. Will have to make a trip over to spotlight to see what I can get.

But moving on. The other thing we discussed was July. Originally we were going to go to the Abbey Medieval Ball, however heritage dangers (? I think) are having a ball on the same night. And the consensus pointed to going to that instead. Mostly because it is Victorian themed. So many of us are intending to do a full 1850s hoop style ball gown. And a few of us are considering bustle ball gowns. There was even talk of doing a workshop on making a cage crinoline. So after that, yesterday (off sick) I spent some time trawling the internet for ideas. For me it came down to a few options. Either I go with a bustle skirt or I do the full hoop. At this stage I am leaning towards the hoop, mainly because I think it would come in handy in other costumes. I really like the elliptical one, but I think that the standard round one would be a bit more useful at this stage. For example, I would love to someday do Belles’ gown from Beauty and the Beast. And that would require the standard round cage. But I am really undecided on what I should do. Either way, I need to be able to store the petticoat somewhere. And both the bustle and cage are complex shapes, but hopefully able to collapse for storage. I will have to wait and see how it all pans out. I think I really need to find a picture of a ball gown that I love and desperately want to make. Then I will have no trouble deciding what to do. Hey, if I get it finished early, I could even use it in the fashion parade if we decide to go that way. At least, I will have all the undergarments prepared for it. From chemise to drawers and corset, I will have Victorian ones.

Must make a note to get started on making them soon. The sooner I have then done the better. The only annoying thing about doing this ball is that now I don’t get to make my dresses that I had in mind for the medieval ball. And I have the most beautiful blue black cotton to make my dress out of. Maybe another occasion will pop up in that I can use it. But first things first, I need to finish a couple of things that I have on the go. My lolita dress needs a little work. I think a ruffle at the hem would work. I feel a little uncomfortable at the length of it. Then I can join Cat doing her Frilly Friday and wearing lolita to work. Hey, they already know that I am nuts. Aside from that I need to get started on my costume for out ancient tales event in March (it is a secret until the day). And I need to get cracking on finishing my Chobits dress for Supernova in April. Not to mention that I would like to get a lolita outfit done for St. Patrick’s day to wear to work. Which is also in March. Plus next weekend is my mum’s birthday party. Which I am planning, cooking and organising. And I still need to get her a birthday present too. And that is for Tuesday. Talk about pressure. Maybe I will need to take some time off after mum’s birthday but before my March events. Even if it is only a couple of days. It is amazing the extra things I can get done when I am home alone with my sewing machine. Hmmm, may just have to do quite a bit of sewing this weekend.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Steampunk Golden Compass

Well I am finally getting around to putting up some photos of our Golden Compass Steampunk outing. I am only one day behind so cut me some slack.

When we arrived in the city at 9.30, it was pouring rain. So we sloshed our way over to the mall (Thankfully wearing big boots at the time). We met up and grabbed a quick morning tea. Breakfast for some of us. And then headed up to the movies were we met up with everyone. After the movie we headed out to grab some lunch and take our photos. Which, thankfully it had stopped raining. Although the humidity was stifling, I think we got some great shots. Granted that I didn’t get any group ones, but I am sure they will turn up somewhere.
And now to my outfit. The main parts are actually pieces that I have made for my Elizabeth Swan POTC 2 costume. For example, the white pirate shirt (cotton voile), the knee breeches (very nice button fly and button knee) and the jacket. I could have done without the jacket but I could not resist wearing it as it took so bloody long to make. All the wretched braid to sew on and the buttons. I had had enough. The other pieces that I put together for my outfit was my underbust corset. My very first one that is made of silk. I love it. And I am desperate to get more silk in the same colour for a full length corset. My goggles I picked up on ebay, as are my shoes. I found the belts in a dodgy makeup and hair shop in Chermside and my gun is a plastic water pistol from crazy clarks spray painted silver. Overall, I am rather happy with how the whole outfit came together and how it all looked. I was really going for kind of a pirate inspired look and I think that I succeeded. Though, my next steampunk outfit might be a bit more girly.