Friday, May 30, 2008

Stella is back...

My sewing machine (Stella) has been returned to me. She really needed a service (pulling threads funny and what not) so I put her in last week. It was torture last weekend not being able to sew. I couldn’t even go in there to take up a hem or sew on a button. Saturday I had a wedding so that really killed most of my day. But I had had a red eye at night so I was up to the wee hours of the morning cutting fabric. My medieval is all cut out and ready to be put together. Including the embroidery section, so I really plan to make a start on it this weekend if I get enough time.

I also made some more progress on getting my Victorian ball gown together. I have cut the ruffled petticoat out that will sit as the first layer of my crinoline. I managed to find an image online of an elliptical ruffled petticoat, and I have bad news. Instead of about three large ruffles like on a round one, the elliptical is based on a gored skirt. The front section has no ruffles, but the back has ruffles going all the way up. And we are talking about little ruffles not big ones. I will do this and have the ruffles cut out and ready to go. It will take a while to get it all done, but I am determined. And the way I see it is that once it is done, that will be it and I will not have to make another one (just plain ones for over the top). I also really need to get my crinoline finished – that horrid hand-stitching. So I though that I would make a bit of a list of the things that I need to get done over the next few weeks.

Crinoline – finish
Ruffled petticoat
Plain petticoat – hemming
Bodice (have not got the fabric yet – or the trims for that matter).
Sash (I have been looking at drawings of dresses at the time and I really like the sash)

Dress (trimmed)
Cloak (more trimming)

And then there is the 1940s dress that I started a few weeks ago and the Lolita dresses that I have cut out. Thankfully next weekend is a long one. Saturday is bookfest so I will be going to that and Sunday we are making a trip out to the Fort for History Alive in Victorian. But aside from that I am taking Friday off on flex leave and we have Monday as a public holiday. I may also try to take a few days of holiday soon so that I can get some more work done. At this stage I am thinking some time in June would be good. Maybe towards the end.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Vintage Fashion Fair

Well, it turned out that Friday was a bit of a busy day for me. After work, Cherie and I hopped on over to West End to go to the Vintage Fashion Fair. And of course, we dressed up, and we ran into Rebecca, and Narelle and Paul. I wore my new blue dress. It is made from blue polycotton (I had 4 metres just sitting around waiting to be made up). It is from a vintage 1940s pattern that I bought on E-Bay a while ago. I am really happy with how it turned out. Though my hair was my favourite part. I pincurled the back and left it in all day at work (painful) but it turned out really well in that the front is nicely straight and just pinned above the curls at the back into a nice curly sort of bob. I fully intend to use this style again.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Miegunyah House Victorian

Sunday was the day for it. We did a trip to Miegunyah house in at Bowen Hills to be the entertainment for a historical week afternoon tea. The night before I slept on pin curls so that my hair would be naturally curly. It was painful but well worth it. Come 11am, I was pulling out the pins to see what they had done to my hair. Turns out that I got a really full head of curly hair. However what I had in mind, I was not able to do. Mainly because my hair is longer on top for a bob cut than all over length. So instead I pulled the bulk back into a chignon, (using lots of pins) added a wooden hair comb that I had picked up on etsy and some of the left over thin brown ribbon. It worked really well and would actually be a really go way to go about doing my hair for regency as well. I had one lady ask me if my hair style was modern. I guess people do not realise that people have been styling their hair for many years now and styles do actually come back as well as clothing. But a chignon is very classic sort of style.I was actually very pleased with how my outfit tuned out. It was a bit of hard tugging (thanks to Cat) to get my corset down to the right size to fit under my jacket (a tiny sewing mistake) but it was worth it. Everything went well together and it all sat very nicely. I even got some comments about my last minute bag and my 50s kid skin gloves. But to the photos...

I think overall we all had a fabulous time. It was a huge ego boost to have so many people admiring your outfit. And we were asked a lot of questions. I think the thing that most amazed people was that we had all made our own dresses. I am just desperate now to make another one. This time with a huge bustle out the back. Kerry, Rebecca, Nathan and I walked down to Newstead Park. We got a head of toots and even a yell. But I got a special picture of Rebecca on the way home...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I have been rather productive of late. My Victorian is now completely ready for this weekend. I just need to make the final decision on how I want to do my hair. I had yesterday off on flex leave, so I managed to have a day at home to get some sewing done. I finished my last bits on my Victorian and made a cute little bag to match out of some of the silk and velvet ribbon that I had left over from my bodice. And everything is now hanging all pressed in my closet ready to wear this Sunday. As for my hair, I am just not sure on exactly what I want to do. I am thinking I might put it into pin curls the night before so that I get a really nice tight curl. But as to what happens after I have done that I have no idea. I have seen some pictures of Marcel waves done, but they are different to the 20s style of Marcel waves (which I can do). I may need to do a bit of playing tonight to see what I can come up with. I think I will be doing some internet searching as well for some inspiration on hair. I guess it really does not help that my hair is short, but it will grow and I am determined to find something that will work.

I also managed to get my corset finished that I was making up. This one is the replacement to my cancan bodice. I made the one in the pattern which is just crap and looks dumb. This one, fits properly and I can tight lace. At this stage I am thinking that I may use it as the base for my outfit for our Wild West Christmas party. But I will jump over that bridge when I get to it.

On another note, I made up a new 40s dress yesterday. Once it was done and I had it on, I decided that it will be perfect for the Brisbane Zombie Walk. I am not sure who else is coming with me, but I know a girl from work will be going with her friends and I have talked my brother into coming along. Basically the dress is pastel blue and it very much reminds me (style wise) of a nurse outfit. So I am going to be a zombie nurse. I already have the hat. So all I need to do it smear it in blood (I buy the expensive stuff so that it washes out without staining), and do the zombie makeup. I am thinking that I will wear my white converse sneakers with it, so that at least I will be comfortable but I will still have the whole flat white shoes thing going for me.

At this stage, that weekend looks to be a long one. Friday night is the Vintage Fashion Thing at West End that I am going to go to. Hopefully I will be able to pick up some bargains, and I get to wear vintage to it, which will be fun. Then I am working on the Saturday and come Sunday afternoon, I will be a zombie. So the next two weekends are looking very busy costume wise for me. Not that I mind, I love dressing up. At least I still have this Saturday that I can get a bit of personal sewing done. And maybe even get started on some of my medieval outfit and my Victorian ball gown for July. I know that it sounds a while away, but it really feels like it is fast approaching.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sewing Desperation

So, my projects are coming along nicely. After the crinoline workshop on Sunday, I spent most of Monday in front of my sewing machine. And I am really pleased to say that my Victorian is almost finished. The jacket went together okay, though I really do not think I will be using this pattern again. And it is a smidge smaller than I intended but that is because I fitted the lining over my corset but forgot about the fact that the jacket itself is boned which means that it is a bit tighter. It is not really that big of an issue; mainly because I can get my corset tight laced in quite a lot more. I just need to get my mum to pull me in until the jacket fits. Last night I did the hand stitching on the armhole and at the pleat in the back. I really should not have used drill as my lining fabric, because it is a bit too stiff. A cotton lawn would have been much nicer. But you learn from your mistakes. So at least next time I will know to use a lighter cotton – the jacket itself is boned to hold shape and the silk fabric is flat lined with twill – so shape holding is not really an issue. A lighter fabric would also make it a bit cooler to wear. But like I said, I know for the next one that I make (this will not be in the very near future). I guess since I will have a Victorian that I can wear, I don’t really need to worry. I can just get another one done without worrying about a deadline. That should be so much more of a relief.
But back to about the jacket. All I need to do to finish it is the button holes and buttons (should not take long as my machine will do both). And then trim it. And this trimming will be a lot quicker than the skirt. For a start it is not as wide around and I am not doing 4 pieces with each side needing to sewn on. After I have completed those (hopefully this week) I will get stuck into decorating my hat. I am not really sure how I am going to decorate it, but I am thinking that I will use my leftover pieces of ribbon, some of the left over silk that I have and maybe some silk flowers. Though the other thing I must get done this weekend is the bum ruffle for under my skirt. I have decided that my natural form skirt needs a bit of filling out at the back. The petticoat is not really giving me enough shape, so I am going to make a bum ruffle. Basically all I am making is a semicircle of fabric on a waistband with a bunch of ruffles sewn on. This should give me enough poof, and it should really not take too long – relief. I just cannot wait to get home tonight and get some more done. I am desperate to have it all finished and ready to wear. And I am starting to get really excited about Miegunyah house on the 18th. I know it is not far away, but I am still excited, and desperate to wear my completed outfit. I have had this on my mind for so long that I just want it done and ready. I guess I am just really inspired to get it done. MUST ……GET …….HOME ……AND ……SEW!!!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Crinoline Workshop

Yesterday we had our crinoline workshop. I did not actually work on my crinoline (Kerry was the only one who did), but I did manage to get quite a bit done. I did work on my crinoline at home last night and it is almost done. I just have a lot of hand stitching to do, and I was happily going along when I pricked my finger and kept bleeding all over it. So I gave up for the night. But, back to the workshop, my natural form Victorian skirt is complete with trims (there will be photos of the complete outfit). I used pleated ribbon, silk strips and velvet ribbon. I am really happy with how it looks and cannot wait to wear the whole complete outfit. But that will have to wait until the bodice is complete. I have been working on it today and it is almost done. I just need to do the buttons, trims, a smidge of hand sewing and ironing. I took an age to do all the trims but it is finally done.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Rec Leave Accomplishments

So, I am back at work again today. I was actually back at work yesterday, but got so caught up that I really did not get time to myself. It is amazing how many emails you accumulate in one week. Who would have thought? But I did have a very productive week off. Apart from the expensive fabric shopping trips (East Coast and Make It) I managed to get quite a bit done.

My natural form petticoat is complete. I was surprised that it really did not take long to put together. And it is a pretty yellow colour too, just to make it nice. I am thinking that if I get enough time before our fashion show thingy, I will put together another petticoat for underneath. This time a white one. Because lets face it, they used to wear a lot of petticoats back in the day and there is enough room under my skirt for them.
My drawers are complete, but just need to be pressed. I made the ones that come with the Laughing Moon corset pattern out of white cotton voile. So they are nice and light. I was originally going to make them open drawers, but decided that I would be more comfortable if they were closed. Basically the difference is that you sew the crutch seam together instead of finishing each leg separately. So there is no difference in the pattern. It just makes them more comfortable for me to wear.

My natural form skirt is put together. It was very simple to make up and I was really happy that it did not take an age to make. The only thing I have to do now is trim it. But I am waiting until I have made the bodice first and trimmed it to see what fabric pieces that I have left over. I am hoping that I have enough of the bodice fabric to sew a strip onto the skirt at the hem as a thick matching border. I also have cream satin ribbon to pleat on and brown velvet ribbon for the jacket and skirt. At this stage my jacket bodice is partially cut out. I intend to get the rest of it done this weekend, as I would really like this all to be complete as soon as possible.

My elliptical cage crinoline is almost finished. I have put in most of the boning and all that I have left to do is a hell of a lot of hand-sewing. Which is basically the top five rows of boning to be sewn to the ribbon stings. I am really happy with the shape and think it will look fabulous on me. At the moment it is sitting on Polly (my mannequin). But as she has no arse, it sits a little funny. I am pretty sure that it will sit well on me, especially with the corset base to hang it off. The only thing that I am worried about is that the back is so much heavier than the front (goes with the shape) so I may have to weigh it down a bit at the front so that it balances.

I have also put together my first elliptical petticoat. And I just need to hem it but I am waiting until the crinoline is done and I can try it on to get the correct length.

My Edwardian S-bend corset is almost done. It is pieced together with the busk inserted and half has boning channels. It really should not take too long to finish. All I need to do is put in the rest of the channels, insert the eyelets, then the boning and add the bias tape hem. And then lace it on me. I am hoping that it fits well. But it may take a bit of tweaking to get the corset perfect for me. But I will be wearing this one in the fashion show.

And the rest of my week I spend cutting out fabric, and putting together some regular clothes. Namely track pants to keep me warm on the weekends, a Lolita dress, and a jacket that I have had cut out for ages. Overall, I think I was pretty productive. I probably would have liked to get more done, but I know how I work and if I keep going for too long, I will burn out and just get frustrated and make way too many mistakes. Now I just need to spend this weekend finishing things. Like my Natural Form outfit and my crinoline. Thankfully it is a long weekend and we have a workshop on. Hopefully I can get most of it done.