Thursday, November 29, 2007

Underwear Post

o, I guess this is going to be all about underwear...

First, we have the smock and drawers: (The embroidery on the drawers is on the left cheek. "baci questo" roughly translates to "kiss this", or so says Babelfish. This is my passive-aggressive way of telling off a couple of people who really ruffled my confidence a couple of years back.) There is somewhere an extant pair of ladies drawers that say something to the effect of "I need the heart" embroidered on them. Different sentiment, but same idea, I guess. I have a bunch of each cut out and ready to assemble so I have a change of "underwear" for every day at Estrella. Nothing special about the patterning for these. The drawers are basic 'pants' pattern, cut off about at the knee. The smock is drafted from a tank top with the straps angled out to the shoulder points.

Then there is the corset. Some day I might actually go through all the construction bits on how I made it, but here is the quick-and-dirty. Pattern is loosely based on the "Effigy" corset. There are 4 layers (seriously, it's not that bad); 2 inner layers of cotton duck, and 2 outside layers of cream silk leftover from my sisters wedding gown. It's boned with plastic zip ties (I love those things) and bound in leather. I may or may not be brave enough to post pics of me wearing it. Next corset I make I am defineately going to make it about 1-2" smaller.

Next comes the roped (corded?) petticoat and regular petticoat. The roped petticoat is knife pleated onto a yoke, and ends about 1/4 of the way up my shin and the regular petticoat is box pleated onto a waistband and ends about 2" above the ground. I used this pretty gold brocade in case it ever peeks out from the bottom. I'll be changing both waist treatments sometime in the future. The roped petticoat isn't balanced yet, but it still gives lots and lots of volume without all the bulk. I loves me my roped petticoat!

Ok, now comes the camacia. I'm torn as to whether I like it or not. I will try to get up the mental fortitude to finish it, but it's not looking likely at the moment. I've thrown it across the room a half a dozen times last weekend. You can't exactly tell from the pictures, but the neckline is square, the front is about 4x larger than the back (to get all the lovely gathers without all the bulk all the way around), and the sleeves are set in with large gussets. I have a condition that makes me twitch when there are exposed seams, which is half of why this camacia is not on my 'favs' list. I wish I had taken the time to french all the inside seams, but I thought I wouldn't care that much. But now that it's almost complete, it ends up that I *do* care that much. Oh well.

Ta-daa! I might post pics of me wearing stuff later. Maybe.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Happy Pretty Dresses!

I'm wearing my happy birthday to me dress (on the left), Suzie is in the middle, and Holly is wearing the OMG I can't believe I made that in a weekend dress (on the right). The shirt is old, old, old from her red satin venetian I made a few years ago, but thankfully it matched well enough I didn't have to make a new shirt. I will be posting more piccies in my Gallery shortly, if you wanna peeksee at 'em.

BTW, look at Holly's cool new zebbellini hanging from her belt! (Better pics in the Gallery...)

All jewelry for both of us and the zebeliini were made by the Super Fantastic Holly. (I am so jealous of her little guy...but she's making me one soon, so it's ok.) I'm so glad that we have complimenting artistic inclinations!

There were some shirt-gappage issues due to a missing pearl pin for my shirt, and the fabric is verysheer in the sunlight. I had no idea until after the pictures were taken! Also the lacing is a bit wonky from wearing the dress for a few hours and sloppy lacing on my part. The muff is a 'secret purse' which pattern I will be modifying before Estrella.

Oh yeah, and I am quite pleased with myself. The hems on both of our gowns were done with the sheer power of geometry alone! No trimming, no fitting (other than "ok, yeah it worked!", and it's good that it worked too...'cause I had already cartridge pelated the whole stupid thing), and the bottom edges of both are on the straight grain to get rid of that annoying "sag" bias stretch in front where the bodice dips. You do need math in real life! Who woulda thunk it! My mom would be so proud.

Oh yeah, the other reason I'm so chuffed with me? Those laces on my shirt? Yeah, I made those. The adorable tiny tassels on the ends? Yeah, those too! But I'm weird like that.**

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Manic Sewing Weekend

Wow, what a weekend. Holly came up, and we sewed nearly 24/7.

We were able to finish off the last touches to my baby-blue Venetian gown, and nearly all of her new bronze Venetian. All the pics that we took of the construction of her dress are on her camera, so when she emails them to me, I'll post a mini dress diary. It's pretty groovy. Since Holly and I are very close to the same size, I'll be stealing the pattern for my next dress.

For a while there on Saturday, it was a sweatshop; Holly, Val, Melia, and myself all frantically sewing in my living room. It was quite the disaster area. Still is a disaster area, come to think of it. I don't think I'll have the time to tidy up until after next weekend! *sigh* Val worked on her Tudor gown that we patterend a couple of years ago. (I hope it still fits!) Melia worked on her smock for her Tudor I made for her last 12th Night. I am SO proud of her, she's sewing stuff all by herself now! Next is to teach her how to pattern and drape....mwahahahaha.....

Here's the inspiration portrait for Holly's gown:

I doubt I'll get the sleeves done in time for next weekend, and the shoulder treatments are cut and sewn, but not tacked on. Next weekend it will be a very plain incarnation of this gown with no sleeves, no shoulder treatments, and no massive partlet-y dealio, but it will be super beautiful. We added a wide black velvet guard to echo the guards on the front of the bodice. The front closes with hook-and-eyes, a first for me. Holly has been hand sewing like mad to get the guards on the bodice finished. After that, the only thing to do is to attach the skirt to the bodice. I think there will be time for that. (I hope!!)

As for my gown, all I have to do is to attach the lace on my bodice and finish constructing the shirt. I gave up on the camacia/partlet idea since they were both giving me fits and I have limited time to finish them in. I started on my shirt this morning, and I had decided to just make it wearable and not worry about seams or machine sewing. So far, I've hand-sewn everything. Darn me and my allergy to exposed seams!!! At least this is a garment that I'm not experimenting with; I know it will work and I don't need to spend ages fiddling with the pattern as I've had to do with everything I've sewn in the last month.

The gown will be ready to be worn by next weekend, as long as I find my stupid smock, that is! I hope I can find it, since I doubt I'll have time to make another. *cross fingers*

Monday, January 1, 2007

Crazy Sewing Weekend

Holly came up this afternoon, a bit later than we had originally planned. We haven't done too much yet, so far her gown is only a drafted bodice. I made up a toile a couple of hours ago, and I am SO STOKED. It fit perfectly, and am looking forward to stealing it for a gown of my own a little later.

On other news, I purchased gold ballet flats much like the ones posted earlier. The only difference is that they are plain, not quilted. I kind of liked the quilted look, but PayLess didn't have the quilted ones in stock and the plain ones were on sale for $7. Not too shabby for something that will be rarely seen.

I completely forgot about the neckline treatment of my new gown, and thankfully I have Holly to do the hand sewing on that while I work on her gown. I will totally be jealous when it's done. She make a fantastically beautiful belt. We're not even planning on starting the gold netting over dealio tomorrow, but it will be done at some point.

I completely forgot to take pictures while I was fitting the toile, but hopefully I'll remember to click while I sew tomorrow.

First thing in the morning is lattes and shopping for the last bits and pieces that are needed for both of our gowns.

Tomorrow will be a loooooooong day. Wish me luck.