Tuesday, June 24, 2008

1836 Ball Gown - Part 1

So, I was chatting to Rebecca on the weekend (our lovely shopping expedition). And we were saying how for the colonial ball next year we were thinking of doing maybe 1830 – 40 gowns. Well, as a change of plans, I am going to do my 1836 gown this year instead. After our one dance lesson, I was a bit dissatisfied with my ensemble. The elliptical cage tends to swing around at the back when I move; mostly because all the bulk is pivoting from my butt. I am glad that I have made the cage, and I do intend to make a day gown for it. But for the ball I am going to do 30s. I have picked the style dress that I want and am getting prepared to make it. At least this way I will have enough fabric to make the bodice out of my fabric as well. I was worried that I did not buy enough at the time and was going to squeeze it out, but I should be good with the earlier style.

Of course, this means a whole new set of petticoats, but the way I figure is that if the worst comes to worst, I can always combine some of the petticoats that I already own. Like my cancan one and the ones that go under my Edwardian as well. As long as I get enough bulk. I made a lunch time trip up to Lincraft today and picked up some of my supplies. I am hoping that I can have at least one petticoat done for the dance rehearsal this weekend. But as it goes, I will be making quite a few. I have the fabric for a quilted petticoat, the top white petticoat and a two flounce petticoat. But I do intend to get a four flounce one put together as well as a corded petticoat. I also picked up some fabric for a bumpad to fill in the small of my back and kick the skirts out a bit more. And I intend to use some of my left-overs to make up a set of pockets to wear under my dress. That way, I will not have to make a little bag to carry as well. I guess it really is a goo thing that I have not yet cut my fabric. It also helps that I have next week off work to get it all done. Not to mention finishing my medieval.

I have never been so far behind in my sewing. Normally I am just putting the finishing touches on in the few weeks before. I am really looking forward to getting them all done on my week off. I also managed to pick up some fake hair to make some hairpieces for the ball. And today, I stopped by starkles and got some pearl tipped pins. At this stage I have it all planned out, I just need to get it all done. I think I am going to be a bit of a busy little beaver. Staying up late, keeping my family awake with my sewing to all hours and drinking way too much caffeine. Hmmm, here's hoping.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday morning.

It's been a while since I have posted, so I warn you now. This could be long…

We had our first dance practice for the colonial ball last weekend. I wore my crinoline and petticoats. I am really happy with the length that the skirt will sit (same as top petticoat). But I need to make a couple of changes to my petticoat. My dance partner (not naming anyone), trod on the hem of my skirt, so it ripped out the trim in a couple of places. To solve the problem, I will stitch the trim back on and add a couple of pin tucks above it to shorten it enough. We have another dance lesson coming up next weekend, so I will wear my skirts to that too. But I have to say it really is a workout. As for this weekend, I am not planning too much. I have holidays coming up and I intend to get the rest done then. And I am making a trip out to JJs at Redcliffe with Cherie and Bec this weekend. I am hoping to get some really cheap trims. But as the sewing list goes…

White petticoat – pintucks and trim
Bodice – cut fabric
Skirt – cut fabric
Sash – cut fabric
Cape – cut fabric.

As for my medieval, my chemise is done. So I need to get the dress and overcape done. As well as working on my brothers. Though, my biggest task for this weekend is going to be fixing my Lolita dresses and skirts. I have lost weight lately (YAY). This is a good thing, but it means that some of my clothes do not fit anymore.; especially if they are fitted at the waist. My natural waist is down 3", so everything fitted now hangs loosely at my waist. I am going to do a bit of work on them this weekend, and try to make them fit better. One thing that really bugs me though, is that it means another re-draft on my corset pattern. I have been considering taking it in a bit more though the waist, and this just really confirms it now. They look terrible because they just do not fit properly. So I will be doing "mending" this weekend.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Elliptical Ball Gown Undergarments

My crinoline petticoats are now finished. I am so very happy. And so very exhausted. If I never see another ruffle again it will be too soon. I just need to make a couple of adjustments on the length of the ties that go behind my butt, and it will be perfect. I am now all ready for our dance rehearsal next weekend. I have bled for this costume....

The base elliptical cage crinoline.

With the first petticoat - the ruffled one. ( My brother needs to check for flash)
And the plain top petticoat. (It is white- the no flash makes it look yellow too)
Now I just have to make the ballgown skirt, bodice, sash and cape.

History Alive

Well, yesterday was the day for History Alive out at Fort Lytton. It was muddy from the downpour on Saturday, but the sunshine held out. I am so glad that I went and cannot wait until next year. I did have a bit of a downside, in that I was ill all afternoon. Probably some stupid stomach bug. I am a lot better today, but still not 100%. We had a lovely lunch time picnic, and shared out some of our leftover sandwiches.

I wore my Victorian again (YAY) but this time I had my lovely little hat finished. I stayed up late Saturday night finishing it off, and am so glad that I did as it really finishes my outfit. And I managed to use up all my leftover ribbons from the dress (I overestimated the amount that I needed). It was rather funny watching my shaddow as we walked in the sun - Cat likened me to a Gollywog. But, at least I am happy with it, and the marcel waves in my hair took no time to do and look pretty nifty. And I know that next time it will not take to long to get ready. (No sleeping on pin curls).

And as it happens, I had my camera (the little one) with me, so I got some photos. Not a lot, but at least a few.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


And once again the weekend is rolling around. Thankfully, for me it starts tomorrow (YAY Flex Day). I am thinking at this stage I am going to make a trip over to spotlight first thing in the morning. They don’t open until 9.00, so it really is not as early as I am up (stupid natural wake up system), but at least I can get my chores out of the way in the morning and then progress to sewing all afternoon. I really need to get some silk flowers for my Victorian hat, which I intend to wear on Sunday to History Alive. I already tried lincraft in the city but was sorely disappointed in the range. They used to have a lot of different stuff, but not any longer. I am also going to try and get the rest of my fabric for my ballgown, and if I happen to see anything else there, well who am I to fight with fate. At least my important sewing list has diminished slightly from last week.
Ruffled Petticoat – attach ruffles
Skirt – Cut out
Bodice – Purchase Fabric and cut out
Cape – buy fabric, draw up pattern, cut out
Chemise – make up
Bilaut – make up and trim
Cloak – cut out
Spanish Inquisition (My brothers’) – attach hood, fix cape

Those are the most pressing bits that I need to get done. I did managed to finish my 40s dress last weekend and I got my new Lolita drawers made up (I would like another pair as my first pair are starting to look very worn). I still have quite a bit cut out like some more vintage dresses and a few lolita pieces that are just sitting in a bag ready to be put together. But I really need to focus on getting my ball gown and the medieval done. I feel like I really didn’t get that much done last weekend, but considering the trip to east coast fabrics and getting my crinoline finished (blood stains and all) I think I did accomplish quite a few things. Though, before I cut out my ball gown skirt fabric, I need to get my mum to measure the lengths with both petticoats on, as I want it to sit at the correct level. Hmm, could be interesting. I will stick it on my mannequin tonight and take some photos of how it looks. And to make sure that the petticoat is sitting correctly. I don’t really trust my mum when she says it look good, and of course when I am wearing it, I cannot see for myself.