Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Shinku, Rozen Maiden - Petticoats

For those of you who have never seen Rozen Maiden, the picture to the right is Shinku (in the red dress). And this is what I will be making to wear to supernova on the Friday night this year. So far, I have the wig from my chobits costume last year, I just need to put it into the hair style. I also have the shoes, as I will just be using my black lolita shoes and adding little flowers to them.

Apart from that, I still need to make quite a bit more progress. I have the dress partially cut out, and I am just waiting to free up some pins so that I can cut out the rest. Then comes the process of making it up.

And on that note, I have just finished the petticoat. It was a bit of a challenge to work out the right style petticoat to get the right shape of for the skirts. I obviously needed something, and my Lolita petticoats are way too short as this is supposed to hit me mid calf. And I really did not want too much bulk at the waist. Therefore, I went wiht a more a-line shape. I have the base petticoat pleated onto a 15cm yoke and it has two ruffles attached to it to give more fullness at the hem. This layer is also starched to hell and back and has a pretty trim sewn on one layer. Over that, I have two layers of bridal tulle gathered mid way up the yoke and bound over with bias tape. I am pretty happy with the shape that they give and am looking forward to having it all done up.

Friday, January 23, 2009

1870s Early Bustle Petticoat

My first bustle petticoat is now complete. I am quite pleased with it. I used the Truly Victorian petticoats pattern and was a little concerned that it would not fit correctly over my laughing moon bustle. But it does, and rather well too. Thankfully the petticoat turned out as a good length for me and does not touch the floor on Polly.

It also has some rather nice tucks sewing into the middle flounce to help hold out the petticoat. And I starched this to hell and back. Only this time, I starched everything before I attached the flounces. I learnt the hard way that it is very difficult to starch ruffles and flounces one they have been attached.

I do have every intention of making a second one just to give a bit more fullness at the hem and hold out my skirts well. The only difference is that I will not be sewing the tucks into it. They are rather time consuming and on one is enough.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thursday 22nd

With my car out of action for a couple of days, I dragged my mum out fabric shopping yesterday. I was trying to go over to Make It Fabrics to get some corset boning, but I get there and it is now a mattress shop. Damn. So now I am thinking that since my elliptical crinoline is made out of it completely, I will replace it with some irrigation tubing. It will be cheaper option and give me quite a bit of the plastic boning that I need for my corsets.
But I did drag her over to East Coast Fabrics after that, and I got quite a bit there. I now have fabric for the outer layer of my regency evening gown and the fabric for my regency day gown. I also picked up some blue cotton for my 1870s bustle gown and the fabric for my brand new...

1907 Day Gown.

After our guild meeting the other night, and Donna mentioned that I am the only one of us with Belle Epoch undergarments. In specific I have a s-bend corset. So I had a look through one of my pattern books and picked a simple but elegant afternoon gown to make up. As for fabric choice, I will be using a white cotton for the blouse underneath and an aqua green taffeta for the jumper dress. So this will be for the Miegunyah House book launch in April. Hmmm, best get started on tracing up that pattern.

I also need a new petticoat for underneath, but I already have the fabric for that. Another 25 metres of the $1.99 cotton. I have already used my 18 metre roll, but I do have quite a bit to get out of this one. I need a 1840s 3 flouce petticoat for my mum, my 1900s petticoat (maybe 2), a 1850s plain and full flounce petticoats and I would like another 1870s and 1880s petticoats (1 of each). I guess that I will see how much I can get out of it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Victorian Bustle

I have finished my very first bustle. It took a little while for me to complete, mainly because I have been working on some other things at the same time, as well as trying to trace off some of my patterns and get the fabric cut out.

I used the laughing moon bustle pattern and I have to say that I am really happy with it. I would really like to make some of the other bustle patterns inside. I will just have to get around to it. Maybe if I get some free time later this year. I am even considering making this same style in a larger size so that it is a bit fuller at the back.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Victorian Corset - Dore

My brand new Victorian corset. Since I have lost weight since this time last year and what weight I do have, has shifted around a bit, I decided that it was time for a new corset. Hopefully one that would actually pull in at my waist and not just flatten my tummy. And I have succeeded. This time I used the Dore corset from Laughing Moon. It is a fantastic shape and fit. The only pattern changes that I needed to make were to take out some measurements at the waist and add it to the bottom. Though this is just because I have a rather high waist.

And to make it pretty, I used some blue silk dupion that I had in a box in my sewing room. The binding is white silk that was leftover from my regency / 1830s bonnet that I made last year. One thing that did change from my last corset (Simplicity) is that I made it up as per the instructions given in the pattern. All my other Victorian corsets use binding sewn on over the seams for the binding casings. I think I prefer the older method and will use that from now on. But I am happy with how this turned out. And even better it gives me a 1 inch waist reduction without even really trying (pulling it in on my own). And as you can see in the side on photos, it still pulls in my tummy nicely. And now this means I can finally make a start on some of my new historical patterns for the year. Will keep you all updated with photos as I complete them.

Monday, January 19, 2009

18thC Pocket Hoops

See, my holidays so far have been productive. This is the very first of my proof. Photos of my completed 18th Century Hoops. I am rather pleased with how they turned out, but they are rather massive. I used Butterick 4484, but I wonder if they are the correct size. They do seem to sit rather horizontal on the mannequin and on me, but once I get a petticoat, underskirt and overdress on top, they might weight it down a bit.

The thing I like best about these is that they are complete pockets. You can see in the last picture that there is a hand split in the top, and there is a lot of room in there to put stuff. Makes it a rather handy place to put my phone, wallet, fan and hankie. I wouldn't put too much or too heavy stuff in there, but it will be useful. 

I have also mocked up my 1830s dress and fixed the pattern. All I need to do now is complete the pattern pieces and cut it all out. There are a few other things that I have made a start on, but I will put up photos of them once they are done. Oh well, back to the machine I go.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday 16th

And my holidays begin. I have just over one week off and every intention of doing heaps of sewing. The corset for my 1830s gown is done (see last post) and I have taken my measurements. I have even traced off and cut out my mock up. I am hoping that it will work. On top of that, I spent last night cutting out my new Victorian corset. It will be the first thing that I focus on getting done, and I am really hoping to do that this weekend. After that, I will start on my supernova costume plans and then progress onto making a start on my historical costumes for the year. I have already started my bustle, I just need to punch some eyelets before I progress any further. As for my supernova costumes:
Friday Lunchtime - God (Dogma)
Hand sewing. All I really need to do to finish this off is finish off my hand sewing. A while back I pulled off the old binding that I had on the bodice and cut it back a bit. It was sitting a bit too high and uncomfortably under my arms. I have already sewn on the new binding and now I just need to fix it up.

Friday evening - Shinku (Rozen Maiden)
Start from scratch. I have my chemise fabric - find pattern and cut out. I have my petticoats fabric - find pattern and cut out and I now have my dress and bonnet fabric - work up pattern and cut fabric. I guess the hardest part will be doing the half bonnet, though I do have a Lolita one that I plan to study and a couple of historical bonnet patterns that will come in handy.

Saturday - Mrs Lovett (Sweeny Todd)
My beach outfit. I have had the fabric for a little while for this one, I just cannot really make a start until I have my new Victorian corset done up. I will then have to draw up my patterns and go from there. I am not anticipating that this will be too hard to do. The only real difficulty I have at this stage is that I have not been able to find black and white striped stockings to wear with it. But I will succeed.

Sunday - Packing Padme (Star Wars Episode II)
Skirt is still good from last time, as well as petticoat (my can can one gives the perfect shape). Other than that I am also waiting on my new corset to be finished (though depending on shape I might decide to wear my old one with this). My vest pieces are put together, but I need to fit it last to my corset (stretchy). And today I picked up my fabric for the blouse underneath and my beads and floss for the embroidery.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

1800s - 1830s Long Corset

And here it is. The unveiling of my new Regency / Romantic Corset. I am rather pleased with how it has turned out. Like I mentioned before, I made sure that I cut everything on the straight grain (pattern says bias) so that they would not stretch out of shape funny. And I think for ally my success, the corset is a lot stronger than it was last time. I mean, it probably helps that I made it three layers instead of two this time, but still.

The only qualm I have is that it could do with a smidge more shaping. I think I could easily add in another gusset at the hip, which would help pull my waist in properly. On the plus side, I am really happy with the amount of boning I have in the corset this time. I find that it gives me a really nice shape. It holds firm well and pulls everything in comfortably without distorting the bones.

NOTE - Sorry about the bad photo. I normally get my mum to take them, but as she is currently on holidays, it makes it rather difficult.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday 9th

Phew. First week back after the holidays is gone. And it was a rather boring one for me as everyone in my section is away. But I did manage to catch up on some of my outstanding paperwork. I dropped my parents off to the airport on Thursday morning (5.30am thank-you very much for the early wake up), so this weekend I have the house pretty much to myself to get stuck into my sewing pile. And best of all, there is now a new down-light installed that points directly at my machine. Late night sewing, here I come.

Aside from all that, I do have a few sewing aspirations for the weekend. I am hoping to get my 1830s corset finished (bought the binding yesterday), and make a start on my new Victorian corset. At least that way I can make a start on drafting up my patterns. But until I have the new corset, I am at a bit of a standstill. I have also got a few other pieces of clothes that have just been sitting in my sewing room waiting to be made up, so I am hoping that I can get them finished this weekend as well. Mainly because as of next weekend I will be on leave for just over a week. I am planning petticoats, and supernova costumes to begin with, though I may need to make a trip over to spotlight sometime next week in anticipation of this sewing bonanza. Hmmm, well I shall leave you now and get stuck into it.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Victorian Drawers

See, I have been sort of productive. I spent yesterday tracing off some of my historical patterns that I intend to use. Mainly the ones for aprons, skirt and petticoats because I really need my new corsets made before I go tracing up the rest. In the meantime, I have made up a few cross-stitch pieces and I even managed to get into my sewing room today. And I made up my new pair of historical open drawers. I know they are pink, but every time I go into spotlight and look for white cotton voile, they are out. I am rather happy with them. Last time I made them closed seam, I think more so because I was a little uncomfortable doing open, whereas now I am all used to wearing them.

The other thing that I started working on today is my new 1830s / regency corset. After the disaster that was my last attempt, I am making a new set of stays. So far they have come together nicely and the seams match up well. I will definitely make sure to post photos of these once I get them up.

I have also made a couple of fabric shopping outings. On Wednesday morning, I made a trip over to Spotlight. I was actually hoping to get some good deals, especially as the catalogue mentioned some. But alas, I was very disappointed and I all I managed to get were my cottons and knits for my Mrs Lovett costume. It really is only a small thing at this time to get, but it is better than nothing.