Friday, January 21, 2011

Slow going...

After more than a week of sickness, I am slowly starting to get better. Only now, my macbook laptop has decided to die. Talk about one thing after another. I had been using it pretty much straight all day and it had been fine, and then I closed the lid for a couple of hours, went to open it up and the screen is blank. It also decided to get searingly hot. And even with it the battery out and it on power only it is absurdly hot. Now I have to make the decision of getting a quote on what is wrong ($75) and then the repair cost or I can buy a new one (lighter for travel). I refuse to spend over a grand fixing a 3 year old computer when I can get a new one for not much more. *sigh*

At any rate, my sickness has bailed me up on getting any sewing done. I have made one decision though in regards to the apple green and white dress with the drapery. I mocked it up a couple weekends ago and I just couldn't get it right. To top it off, I wasn't happy with my interpretation and the fashion plate is so sketchy that it is difficult to tell what everything is doing. So I am going to scrap the idea and put the fabric away for another time and instead just wear my purple gown and diadem from last year (someone trod on the hem so I have to fix the tear).

This will actually give me a lot more time to work on getting my other JAFA dresses done and to work on my Supanova costumes a bit more. Speaking of which, I think a trip to Spotlight is in order for the weekend so that I can get the final pieces of fabric that I need.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Time flies

I know it has been a long time since my last post, but wow have things been going on.

Last Tuesday I left work at mid-day to make the trip home before the floods hit Brisbane. We had heard a rumour that my train line would soon be out of action and we thought it best to make the trip home before it wasn't possible. The flood hit on Wednesday, shutting the city down for the rest of the week. We had been told to return to work today (Monday), and we did. Unfortunately the basement, carpark and food court under our building had been flooded due to backed up drains, so it was completely shut down. And while the power is on in our building, the air-con is not working. Doesn't make for a nice work experience when you can't crack a window either, and all this in the middle of summer. Stinking hot.

And while the flood hit Wednesday, I though to get in a whole heap of sewing. And while I did on Wednesday, I have since been hit with a chest infection that has had me on the couch for the last four days. I'm still feeling a bit like death warmed up, but it is going to go away. Eventually.

At any rate, the progress that I did make was a start. I put together a new pair of regency drawers, and I finished my regency short stays.
They do actually give me quite a good shape and a lot of lift. And unlike my first pair, they aren't too big for me. Again I used the simplicity pattern - making the size 12 instead of 14. They are three layers, the inner-most layer being a pretty pattern cotton that I had leftover from a long-ago project. I also made some progress on the gowns that I had cut out, but they are nowhere near complete. Here's hoping that I will be better by the weekend for some hard-core sewing time.

The relatives have finally gone home from their Christmas stay, so I have my sewing room back. That is at least a start.

Friday, January 7, 2011

11. I must be insane

And now it comes down to the JAFA projects. I must be nuts because I want so to make so many new outfits to wear. I had long ago decided on my fabrics and fashion plates (there were a couple last minute changes going on), so I spent the Monday public holiday drawing up my patterns. I am intending to mock up the changed ones this weekend to make sure they are all working correctly. At any rate, lets go over what I have in mind...

1. Stays
There are going to be three new sets. A full set of full stays (my last ones are painfully worn out), a set of short stays (my current ones are too big) and a set of transitional stays (these are essentially my short stays made to waist length). They will all my boring old white, but it is necessary with the pale coloured dresses of the regency period.

2. Drawers
I would really like a couple more pairs before I go, so that I can be historically accurate, however these will be the last to get made, 'cause if I am running out of time, it really does not matter. Most likely I will get these out of the rolls of white voile that I have on hand.

3. Evening Gown #1

Remember my white and lemon silk ballgown from last year. It is going to get a spruce-up. I am planning a waist sash, some silk ribbon embroidery and some taffeta ribbons. 

4. Day Gown #1
A rewear - the white muslin gown that I made back in September. If I get time, I am going to whip up a new bonnet and sash for this out of some lovely silk I have on hand. As a matter of fact, I already have them cut out. 
5. Evening Gown #2
An 1795 gown made of white muslin or voile (I have voile, but cant' decide if I should be using muslin) with an over-draping of apple green silk chiffon. the pattern is mostly drawn up, but I will need to do the draping over the top. I just couldn't picture what the pattern pieces should look like. I am loving how soft it all looks though. I'm not sure about the headwrap in the fashion plate, but I think if I have enough of the silk chiffon that I will make a turban of some description. 
6. Day Gown #2
1795 Day gown. A white voile gown with long sleeves and a drop and tie front that I found in Fashion in Detail. The open robe over the top will be made of a red light-weight linen. I'm intending to draw up the pattern from Janet Arnold, but haven't quite tackled that yet. And of course I will be going with the matching red turban. I think the red linen is a little bit too light in colour so I may need to buy a packet of dye to give it a more crimson sort of colour. 
7. Evening Gown #3
The new ballgown. 1823, Fashion in Detail design. Pattern is ready to be mocked up. As for my fabric I have a lovely faux silk satin in purple and a spot black net for the outerlayer. I am even going to go so far as to stuff the hem of the underskirt. Not too sure about headwear as of yet, but I suspect there will be flowers and feathers involved. 
8. Day Gown #3
A new late Georgian made of forest green quilting cotton. I picked this stuff up when I saw it, because it really just screamed "Georgian!". The print will be used for a jacket bodice and the plain will be the skirt. I'll make the skirt the same way that you do petticoats, with the two ties, but I have butchered a couple of patterns together to get something resembling a jacket. Once I mock it up, we will see how this goes. For the hair I am thinking to use a hedgehog wig, but I would like a new one in a deeper brown colour and less poofy. I might organise a hat of some sort, but I haven't really thought that part through. 
9. Evening Gown #4
And for the last gown, I will just re-wear my late Georgian green gown that I wore last year. Complete with hedgehog wig. 
10. Cape
Yes, there are more. I've put the pattern together to do something similar to this picture of an extent late Georgian cape. For fabric I have some deep red crushed velvet. I do need to get something for the lining as of yet. 
11. Pelisse
Last one. I picked up a purple faux wool fabric to make a hooded pelisse. I've also got some pink/grey faux fur for the cuffs and hood. I think I still need to get a lining fabric for this one too. However I am not too worried about it. I would like to have this on hand for JAFA but I really am not that worried if I don't get it done, 'cause I will at least have a cape. I am aiming to have it ready for History Alive though. I am not going to freeze this year!
That's all I can think of at the moment. Aside from getting some reticules done that is, but they are strictly last minute items that get made if I have the time.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A decision made

With the lead up to April set to be superbly busy (between getting ready for JAFA and Supanova), I have decided to err on the side of caution for my final supernova costume. That being said, after looking through the options in my last post, I eliminated anything too time consuming or complex. In the end I have come down to the sister of the dark costume. It is basically just a heap of red fabric. A little generic perhaps, but neat none-the-less and it has weapons that I think are rather cool. I will keep you posted on the progress, but as for now, I guess I will need to make a shopping list of what fabric I need and head on out shopping.

I'm thinking that I might save the Khalan Season 2 (Legend of the Seeker) costume until the ACG Ball. Being that it does involve a leather / pleather corset that has quite a lot of work in it - not to mention all the detailing on the skirt and the full lacing on the bodice sleeves, I think I would like to dedicate a lot of time to it so that I can be proud of my accomplishment.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Supanova Planning 2011

And a new year has begun. This one looks set to be full of costuming endeavours as well, and I am already booked up for quite a few things this year. But first things first, Supanova. I know it isn't until April, but I really have to get things underway if I want it all to go smoothly. We are talking three costumes.

Friday afternoon / night:
I have a few options. There is Mrs Lovett- by the sea, The White Queen (bodice fitting issues now) or Tia Dalma. I haven't decided which way I will go, but at any rate, it doesn't require me to do any further sewing. 

Again, I am pretty much set. My brother and I will be wearing our Stargate Offworld Uniforms. I have it all sorted apart from a couple of the patches and velcro backing (I was going to order them last week but the on-line shop was shut). And I have yet to sort out our weapons (P90s), and my zat needs painting. 

This is where I run into problems. I just cannot decide what I want to be. I have narrowed it down to a few options, but I am having trouble making the final decision. 

From Disney there is Snow White or Belle, 
 from Legend of the Seeker there is Khalan (one of three outfits) or a Sister of the Dark 
 from Alice in Wonderland there is Alice's Tiny Gown 
 and then there is Star Wars - Padme and Dorme in particular. In some ways I would like to have another hash at Packing Padme, but there are others that I would like to do as well; 
 and as a final option there is Lord of the Rings - Eowyns Funeral Gown.

And of course I will most likely be picking one of these for to make for the ACG Ball in August. Please help me decide!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Mad Hatter's New Year's Eve Party

So, what have I been up to lately?

Christmas was nice. I got some lovely gifts, and cooked some lovely food, and we have had our family down. Unfortunately, due to the massive flooding in north Queensland, the road home to Mackay for them is cut off at Rockhampton, so it looks like they are set to stay for quite a while longer. At least until they can get through.

And then there was New Year. I planned a Mad Hatter's party, where the only condition of coming was to wear a hat. I went all out on the decorations, picking Alice in Wonderland theme items and foods. We had eat me and red queen cupcakes, macarons, lollipops and a cookie clock. For decorations I bought a whole heap of red and white paper lanterns, used bunches of flowers, cards, my white queen costume and "drink me" bottles.

It all turned out rather well, so I thought I would share some photos. I also dressed up for the occasion. I decided to be the White Rabbit. I attached ears to a top hat, made white bloomers and knee breeches and a vest with pockets. I was pleased that it came together so neatly. My cousin also took the opportunity to dress up in steampunk - so we have photos.