Thursday, March 26, 2009

1907 Afternoon Gown - Part 1

So now that my Supernova stuff is complete, I am working on my next project. This one is for a book launch at Miegunyah House. Our aim is to portray a range of historical costumes from about the 1850s onwards. I have chosen to tackle early Edwardian and will be making an afternoon dress from 1907. So far, I have scaled up my pattern (from tiny drawings in a book) and I have the mock up cut out. I managed to sew together the petticoat mock up yesterday and I am happy with the pattern. So come this weekend, I will be making two Edwardian petticoats. Thankfully they are pretty simple to go together and all they involve are some seams, a waistband and a large flounce at about knee level. I am also hoping to get the blouse and dress mocked up, and then if they work properly, start making them up. I am rather excited about making this one up, I just need to get stuck into it. My deadline is 18th April. Thankfully between now and then we have Easter long weekend (and I am hoping to get some extra days off as well). It should all come together on time *cross fingers*.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Supanova 4 - Padme

Well, my supanova costumes are almost done. I just need to paint up my Padme Hairpieces. I made them up out of sculpy on the weekend, and they are just waiting to be finished. I would have had them done last night, but my cupcake commission took up my evening. As for the rest of the costume, we have pictures. I am really pleased with how the blouse turned out. I ended up using two layers for fabric to create the sleeves; on their own, the two layers are too thin and the colours wrong, but together I actually got something that works rather well. I am pleased with the vest this time too; which I basically just pulled it apart. I removed all the fusing and lining and turned it into a stretch vest which fits tightly over my corset. And then the embroidered / beaded panel (my poor pin pricked hands) get pinned in place.

On another note, I am going to swap my order of costumes. I was planning to wear my shinku costume on Friday night and my Mrs Lovett on Saturday, but now I am thinking that it might be more comfortable to swap them. And it will give me a bit more time to get into my Mrs Lovett costume. Not too mention that I can have my hair curling all day in readiness; after all I do have to be at work that day. And with supernova less than 2 weeks away I am glad I am ready and not going to be working my butt off this weekend trying to get it all finished. Instead I am making a start on my next project...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Vintage Fashion Fair

The vintage fashion fair was on today at the Souths Leagues Club in West End. So of course, I got dressed up in my new 1960s dress and dragged my mum along for some shopping. As for my hair, I went with a beehive with pig tails. Talk about lots of teasing and hairspray. I got quite a few compliments on my dress today. It probably helped that I was the only person around in vintage.

I did pick up some pretty cool things while I was at it too. I got a new brooch shaped like a parasol, a cream 1940s hat and my hat for my steampunk costume. Overall I had a very happy shopping experience.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday 20th

Things have been rather busy lately. I am still trying to get my supernova costumes finished; nasty embroidery. I am re-doing the front panel of my padme packing gown. Last time, I was pushed for time and instead just puff painted the design and tacked the panel in place. This time, I am hoping to have the embroidered version finished. It would be nice, but when it comes down to crunch time and if I am still not done, I will just use the old one. I hope that it turns out well in the end, but really, it will be a matter of wait and see.

As to my other projects coming along, I started drawing up my pattern pieces for my 1907 gown. I have about 4 pieces left to do. Then I just need to mock it up to see if it will actually fit me *cross fingers*. I am really glad that I managed to make an earlier start on this than I intended. I was banking on the Easter long weekend to get it all done, but the sooner I start the better. I hate leaving things to the last minute, so I would really like to get the pattern and mock up done as soon as possible. On the plus side, the hat that I will be using for the outfit arrived this week. It is just a basic straw boater hat. It did have a really ugly ribbon glued onto it, but I just pulled that off in preparation for my new purpose.

Oh and I have solved my dilemma over the cultural costume… I will be wearing an Indian sari. I picked one up the other day with the intention of using the fabric for a historical dress sometime in the future. Considering that you get 6.5 metres for about $40, it is a pretty good deal. So tonight I am hoping to get some henna done. Well, as long as it can be hidden under my vintage outfit tomorrow.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Supanova 3 - Mrs Lovett Part 1

Phew. The sewing is coming along. Slowly but surely. My Mrs Lovett costume is now finished too. YAY. Happy. I didn't take any photos of the pants mostly because they look really stupid unless they are on. But the bodice...

It fits a lot better once I am laced into my corset underneath it, but overall I am very pleased. And I really like how the pleats turned out. They drove me up the wall doing them, but at least they look good.

On the cultural costume front, I have hit a bit of a snag. My plans and pattern really did not work out very well at all. Now I am trying to scrape something else together. Unfortunately all my costumes are either character or historical. Which is not at all helpful. So I really am open to suggestions. Although, mum has made all the classic crap ones - roman toga, Hawaiian sarong... you get the gist. So I can guarantee that tomorrow is going to be a busy day getting something together.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Supernova 2 - Shinku Part 2

My Shinku costume is now complete. Well, apart from the wig. I still need to style that, but I think that I will wait until the night before I wear it. At the moment it is fine just sitting in the box. Anyway, I have photos of my completed half bonnet. I am rather happy with how it turned out, the brim is a good size and I put wire in it, so that it is bendable and I can shape it to how I like it. I would have liked silk for the bow part so that I could have a really puffy bow, but every shop I went into did not have the right colour. As for the rose pins, I ended up painting some cheap plastic earings and using them as a sort of button. Decorative and a hell of a lot easier than making my own out of clay.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thursday 12th

Progress is coming along nicely for my supernova costumes. My Shinku, Rozen maiden outfit is just waiting on hand sewing, as is my Mrs Lovett. I have a bit more than that to do on my packing padme, but at least I am progressing. Although, now I have a couple of more projects cropping up. Next Saturday 21st for one. I have the vintage fashion fair in the morning and of course I wanted a new dress. Thankfully I had one that just needed some hand sewing. It had been sitting in my room for all of 2 months waiting to be sewn. I got stuck into it the other night, and then realised that the skirts were already sewn together and hemmed and all I had to do was sew the skirt to the bodice and insert the zip. I am rather relieved that’s all I had to do. And while it is a 1950s design, I am going to make it more 1960s, as they still had the same style in the early 60s, but bigger and much cooler hair.

But then on the Saturday night, I am going to a friend’s housewarming party and it just so happens to be costumed. The theme is cultural costume (I guess because of harmony day on the 20th). I am going to make up an Egyptian outfit. Ancient Egyptian of course, because I love the makeup. So, tonight on my trip over to Spotlight, I picked up some bits and pieces of fabric. Mostly just to wrap around me in a fashion. But I think it is going to work. Either way it looks set to be done this weekend. Busy.

Oh and on the Steampunk front, I have changed my mind (yes again) as to what I will be doing. I wasn’t really happy with how my fabric was looking, I probably picked something that was just a little wrong. So instead, I am going to do a very oriental inspired outfit. My plans so far are to track down a hat (one of those traditional cone style ones), I am still going to have long hair, thought I am thinking braids, and maybe twisted up some way. Oh and I am still using the same jacket pattern that I had intended to use, but I will get a chinese brocade fabric for the vest part. And I am thinking black cotton or linen pants (really loose) and boots. Not sure what boots yet, I may just go for a sandal or ballet flat. But at least I am getting my preliminary designs set in my head. But that is all going to wait on hold until after I get my April costumes completed. I looks set to be a busy year.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Supernova 2 - Shinku Part 1

My Shinku dress and capette are now done. The first two photos are of the dress itself and the other two are with the capette. The colour in the photos is a little off (a bit too bright). In person it is closer to the colour that I want it to be. And of course, it is made from corduroy. I have to say that I really do hate sewing with the stuff. After making everything I feel like I have inhaled a roll of it as well. Ugh.

But I really am glad that it is mostly done. I am starting to feel very relieved that all my supernova costumes are coming together. And not in the last week before the event. Phew. I was worried for a while there, because I was so far behind. But everything is on track now. But back to the sewing. My next thing is to finish the half bonnet...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

International Women's Day - 1850s Pink Crinoline

Today is International Women's Day. And here in Brisbane, we participated in a 5km walk. And as we are member of the Australian Costumes Guild and it is 150 years since the separation of Queensland, we dressed in 1859 crinoline outfits.

This is my first round crinoline outfit, and I am rather happy with how it looks. Granted it is very bright and I am not really a fan of the crinloine era. But I had fun today. I am exhausted. I got home, showered, ate and slept for like 1.5 hours.

It was a bit hot today, so I was really thankful for my all cotton undergarments and dress. And the shortening of my dress really worked. Granted it was only 1 inch shorter today, I didn't end up tripping over my own dress. Phew. Oh and I should appologise for the dodgy photo, but it is the only one that I got. I am thinking that I will have to do a proper photoshoot with the dress sometime so that I can have some good photos and not gross sweaty ones.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Supernova 1 - God, Dogma

We have progress. I have been slowly working of getting my costumes ready for supernova. I will post more photos as I get everything done, but as of now, my God corset is fixed and ready to wear. The main change that I had to make was to cut it down around the neck and arm. Which meant pulling off all the old binding, and re-binding it. Only this time I actually did a good job. I think the only issue that I really have is that since I have lost weight since I last wore this, it is now lacing almost closed.And in more progress, I mentioned that I have been slowly working on getting my mum's 1840s undergarments made up. This is the outermost petticoat - and starched to the nth degree.

It has been mostly complete and just sitting around in my sewing room for quite some time, so I figured that I should just finish it and clear out some space for more of my current projects. Mum is happy with it, and rather pleased that she is getting more of her historical pieces together. To date, she has her corset, chemise and now this top petticoat.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday 6th

So, Wednesday evening, we met with the organisers of the Newstead House Q150 Garden Party. The meeting was to discuss both our ideas and their ideas as to what we would be doing and what we would be wearing. As the house was built in the 1840s, the outfit that I am making for my mum is entirely appropriate. Both my mum and dad will be attending, and they be members of Brisbane society. As for myself, I had not yet decided what I would be wearing.

Originally I was under the impression that they were after a bit of a "through the ages" sort of outfits and I was thinking that I would wear an 1870s early bustle dress. Now that it has all been cleared up, we will be wearing outfits from around 1859 and our other dresses may be placed on our mannequins within the rooms of the house. As to which outfit we will put on our mannequins; that will depend entirely on what they decide. For myself, I would not mind putting either my 1860s elliptical crinoline outfit on Polly or my 1907 gown that I am making for April. There is the idea that I could put a 1940s dress on her, which would be appropriate because she is actually a vintage 1940s mannequin (the pointy boobs and tiny waist kind of give this away).

For myself, I have decided what I am going to make. *grin*. As someone who is not really a fan of the round crinoline (don’t know why, it is just not my favourite), I have decided that I would like to dress up as a maid on her day off. As for undergarments, I will aim for 1840s style petticoats, hopefully getting that corded one done. And for my dress I am thinking that I will use a similar pattern to the one I will be using for my 1830s dress. But of course, it will be simpler; as in, a plain cotton fabric dress with ribbons as decoration, a straw bonnet and a tiny basket. I am going for the simple country maid sort of style. I have to say that I am really happy with my decision, now I just need to make a trip over to the fabric shop this weekend and pick up some fabric; (hello $4.50/metre quilters cotton) and of course while I am at it I will get some more petticoat fabric. So far this year I have gone through about 38 metres of the stuff. It’s getting ridiculous that number of petticoats that I have made or cut out, but at least they are all cotton and will starch well. And once I have them all done, I should never have to worry again about making up more petticoats for myself. Phew. Huge relief.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sunday 1st

Phew. And another busy day draws to a close. I made quite a bit of progress today. I caught up on my hand sewing and can now make a bit more progress on my Mrs Lovett costume. I also managed to finish my 1850s crinoline outfit. I don't have any photos, but it is done and just waiting to be ironed. Phew, huge relief that I do not have any last minute sewing before the big walk next weekend. My fingers are very tender from pushing needles through fabric all day.

I also progressed a little further on the rest of my supernova costumes. My shinku is now all cut out, and I used up the rest of my 20 metres of 150 wide cotton cutting out mum's petticoats. I am slowing working on them when I get the time. But I really do need to make some more effort into my supernova costumes. It is fast approaching; now only 1 month away. I can tell you now that my weeknights are going to be busy sewing like there is no tomorrow.

1850s Pink Crinoline Accessories

So, I have been half frantically working on my 1850s dress for next weekend and the International Women's Day Fun Run / Walk. But now they have asked a few of us to do a photoshoot as publicity in the courier mail, and now I need it all done and complete by Tuesday. My dress is almost complete. I just need to do the front closures, but I have to lace properly into my corset to work out where they go. Aside from that I have been hand sewing like there is no tomorrow. And I now have both my reticule and my headpiece done.

The first is my reticule. I used the same pink silk that I used for my waist sash mainly so that it will carry through the colours. And I even managed to squeeze the lining out of my dress fabric. (You can now understand what I mean when I say pink.) Other than using pretty fabric and satin ribbons, I didn't decorate my reticule, I really like that it is simple.

The second accomplishment is my head piece. Also out of the silk, but I used some pretty white cotton lace pleated around the back which will hang over the huge bun that I plan to have, and across the tops, hanging down the sides. I also added some of the ribbon that I will be using on my dress. And I needed something else, so I dug out my left over white velvet ribbon for some tiny bows.

It's rather annoying. I have spent most of my sitting in front of the TV hand sewing. I am making some more progress on my Mrs Lovett costume which is waiting on handsewing before I can progress. I am actually hoping to do some machine sewing tomorrow and even try to find some time to cut out my shinku costume. The main thing though, is that I get my dress finished. I just hope that more sore hand sewing fingers do not hurt anymore tomorrow. My fingers feel a bit tender from pushing the needle through thick fabrics. :( Ouch.