Tuesday, July 29, 2008

July 29th Update

Well, my sewing projects are coming along nicely. Last weekend I managed to be very productive. I put together a pair of pants for work (I am sick of not having enough well fitting clothing) and I made a start on a few of my other projects. As I have said before, I want to spend some of my intermediate time getting some Lolita pieces together as well. Apart from buying a few bits online I am making up a few pieces so that my wardrobe is a bit more extensive. And last weekend I made really good in ways towards getting it done. I made a start on one my winter pieces but ran out of the right colour thread and had to stop. I am hoping to get it finished this weekend. But in the meantime, I am almost finished a blouse (it just needs a hem and buttons) and a dress, which needs hand sewing on the bodice and then the skirt and trims attached and a zip. All in all it should not take me too long. I am hoping to get the blouse done this week so that I can wear it come Friday. But I shall have to wait and see.

On the historical costuming front; I have a few patterns now traced off and ready to go. My regency dress is traced off so that this weekend I can cut both it and my corset. And I have finished the chemise. It was a little bit fiddley to out together (stupid undersleeve gusset) but it looks pretty good. Very plain but at least it will not show though my dress. And I have made progress on my elliptical cage day outfit. I have decided on my design and drawn up all my patterns, and I have pieced the skirt together. All it really needs is the waistband and hem (hand stitching) and then any trims. The trims will wait until I finish the bodice so that I can see what I need. As for the bodice section, I still need to get the fabric, but at least I know what I will be doing now. *Huge sigh of relief*.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Gored Skirt Pattern Construction

I was cleaning up my room the other day, and stumbled across one of my old pattern instructions from my TAFE years. So I thought I would be a helpful little person and put it up on my blog.

Construction 8 – 10 Gored Skirt Pattern

Required Measurements:
WAIST = Waist + ease (Divided by twice the amount of gores
HIP= Hip + ease (Divided by twice the amount of gores)
HIP DEPTH = waist to hip measurement

Example of measurements:
WAIST = (65+2) / 16 = 4.187
HIP = (90+2) / 16 = 5.937
Hip Depth = 20
Length of skirt = desired

Construction method:
1. Fold paper in half
2. Square a horizontal line from the fold to create waist level.
3. Measure down from waist level the hip depth and skirt length.
4. Square across at these levels.
5. Measure across at waist the calculated amount and curve up at end 0.5cm.
6. Measure across at hip level the calculated hip amount.
7. Rule from the 0.5cm point though the hip level to the hem. (This is the seam line). To create a flared skirt, rule outwards from the hip at an angle.
8. Measure the length of the skirt on the folded edge. Transfer this measurement onto the other side seam.
9. Curve the hem level from the point just marked to the folded edge at hem level. 10. Add SEAM and HEM allowance to the waistline, seam line, and hem.
11. Open fold, and you have your pattern piece. Cut the required amount of gores from fabric.

Monday, July 21, 2008

July Planning

Whew. It was really nice to finally have a costume stress free weekend. With the ball gone, all I had to do was wash the bits and pieces. Thankfully, the only things that needed washing were my drawers, chemise and stockings. My petticoats, dress and corset got a good airing and it is now all put away. So I figure, time to focus on getting some other things done.
I spent all of Saturday cutting out fabric so that I would have a few bits and pieces ready to be made up. I have been buying fabric for a while, but with the ball gown running late, I didn't have time to do anything with it all. It was actually nice to think about getting some other things done. For a start, I have been wanting some new Lolita dresses, and some Vintage dresses, and maybe a few pairs of pants for work. Though, when I start planning out all the costumes remaining for the year, the list starts to look a bit bigger than I intended. At least I can try to make an early start on some things.
19th International Talk Like A Pirate Day (all I really need to make are new pants and they are now cut out ready to be made up).
28th Regency (quite a bit to do; Chemise, Corset, dress, pelisse, bonnet. The chemise is cut out now and I have done the corset mock up. The size looks right, I just need to make it now. But I have to say that it was a lot harder than I thought. The instructions are like trying to read of foreign language. And I am glad I have had the practice now at inserting the gussets.)

Well, that is the list for September. I am not even going to look at the rest of the year for now. It can wait until I am up to date on the few pressing things. At least the only thing I have booked in for August is a Vintage Fashion Fair on the 2nd, and I already have vintage dresses that I wear to work every week that I can use. Thankfully the rest of July is also free, so I am hoping to get it all done early this time. And not be slaving my weeknights away while I try desperately to finish for the next event.

Hmmm, I will have to see how that turns out.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Abbey Medieval Fair

And after a late night on Saturday, I woke up Sunday morning, ready to head out to the Abbey Medieval Festival. Thankfully the sun stayed out for us, and it only started spitting after we had left for the day. The markets were neat, but smaller than last year, so I really didn't get anything. But the shows and event happening around the place were very neat. I got some really fabulous photos of the Romany Gypsy Dancers (really want to do a costume like that one year) and a few photos of some of the other great costumes around the place. Unfortunately I did not managed to get any shots of any of our guild, so I will have to get a copy of some of the others' photos. And even though something made me feel a little off, I still had a great time. I cannot wait until next year when I intend to go to the mask ball as well as on the Sunday. But onto the photos…

Monday, July 14, 2008

Colonial Heritage Ball - 1836 Gown

Well, it was an exhausting evening, but I had a very nice time. I was so very happy with my dress too. It looks very bright in the photos, but a bit different up close. And I am so happy with the length. Perfect for dancing. I did have one wardrobe mishap in that the ribbons on my shoes kept coming undone. Thankfully my mum was along as a spectator and was able to help us all out with our dresses. But, on to the photos. (Sorry about some of the smudges. My little camera picked up the dust in the hall on the photos).

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


It has been a while since I posted, but I have been busy getting ready for this weekend. Gee, it really sounds close when I put it like that. Especially considering that it is now Tuesday afternoon.

I managed to get to Gencon on Sunday, I don’t really have much to report about it. I had a great time and I got to wear my American McGee Alice costume again. Apart from that, in my opinion the stores were much better than Supernova. And the convention centre is a much more appropriate venue. My brother and I are hoping that it will be back next year. He is even thinking of going with his Magic card deck.

On the sewing front, things are coming along. I finished my brother's medieval on Saturday, and best of all it still fits him. Apart from that, mine are coming along nicely. My medieval had a set back. I was making up my dress, it turned out to be a disaster and was too big for me, as well as not flattering. So instead, I am making up the one that I had intended to wear to the medieval ball if we went. The fabric cost me a total of $12. $2/ metre for 6 metres. So to update, what I have left to complete…

Add gathering tapes to sleeves.
Attach sleeves to bodice
Hem sleeves.
And if I get time, I may do some machine embroidery.

Attach skirt to waistband (I had some gathering issues last night and need to unpick a section).
Hand stitch waistband on inside of dress.
Put in eyelets and hand stitch over them so that they are not showing metal.
Trim hem (on mannequin) and bind.

I also need to add some ribbons onto my shoes (jiffies) just to pretty them up. But that should be a pretty quick process. Thankfully everything will be done on time. It is strange that I am finishing off so late, because I am normally finished at least the weekend before. But I do have tomorrow off on a Flex day, so I am planning to get it all done then. Some of the hand sewing I can do at night time, so that I am not really worried about, it is getting all the machine bits done. I hope I have no set backs tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

1836 Ball Gown Part 3 - Bodice Mock Up

I have now done the mockup for my bodice to check that it fits me properly and that my pattern is corret. I just need to make a small adjustment on the sleeve pattern piece.

1836 Ball Gown Part 2 - Undergarments

I have finished the bulk of my undergarments. YAY. And believe me when I say I have been busy. I am using my Victorian corset, so at least that was already made up and not a problem. But the first piece that goes on Polly is the bum roll. It is only supposed to be small and it is, to fill in the space above my butt.
The next piece that goes on is the quilted petticoat. In the second one you can actually see that side on, the back is lifted a little, so that it will not sit against me. It is also fabulous for holding out my outer petticoats and skirts so that they do not get tangled around my legs when I dance. I stayed up late last Friday night so that it would be done for me to practice in the dance lesson last weekend. And I was so happy with it. I used a really thick quilting, so it was a lot of work to quilt it, but I was successful.

The next layer is the petticoat. It is basically three petticoats on one waistband. I did it, so that I could reduce the bulk at the waist as much as possible. The bottom one is two flounce. The middle one is four flounce and the top one is just plain so that it is all smoothed out under my skirt. And they are all starched so that it gives a good amount of stiffness.
My mum was a bit worried when she saw my quilted petticoat fabric that it would be too bright underneath, but it really is not a problem as you can see in the photos. I was going to make a corded petticoat, but now I really do not see the need for it. I have the correct bell shape that I am happy with.

Though, I may make it when next I have free time and use if as a base for an 1840s dress. But I will do that when it comes to it. At this stage, I am ready to go. Now I just have to make the pockets, and all my undergarments are ready.