Friday, July 9, 2010

Decision = Made! Sewing = Started!

Holy mackrel, I not only made a decision (thanks to all your input), but I even started! I'm *SO* nervous I'll do something wrong, and I think I may already have. (But more on that in a minute.)

Here's the first and second front mockups, as well as the back (which I acutally didn't change much at all.) The armpits are *way* too high, but I'll address that when I get to futzing with the shoulder straps. Obviously, the biggest change from the first mockup is to raise the neckline over my stays.

I meant to do the stripeys pointing in the opposite direction, and of course, I didn't notice it until after I had cut it out. (With all the anal retentive stripe matching I did, how did I miss something so obvious?!!)

Opinions? Should I change it? Is it terrible? I'll only have to unpick the side back seams and cut out new fronts, but that still sounds a bit daunting.

I've already decided that if I ever make another en fourreau, I'm going to add a bunch more fullness to be pleated in the back. It looks kind of limp and weak right now, and I actually think it's making it harder having so little to work with. Forgive the pleating in the first picture, it is very slap-dash, and not at all what it actually going to end up being. (I was exhausted and wanted to make sure I had pictures to share today!) The second picture is much closer to what I'm going to be aiming for. Holy crap, trying to get the stripes look OK with the pleating is really making me insane! Hopefully I'll have better luck after a good night's sleep.

I kind of feel like the central (lining) panel is about 1 1/2 to 2" too wide - it didn't feel like it during the mock-up stage, however. Hm. Notes for next time, I guess!

Anyway, this'll be my project fer the weekend! Yay! It's going together so quickly, I actually have a little hope!


Purchase & attach combs in hat
Re-do waistband in petticoat (already torn off, no going back now)
Attach hooks to bustle, petticoat, and skirts
Find stockings

18th c:
Possibly re-do fronts
Handsew pleats
Attack shoulders and sleeves
Make petticoat
Make false bum
Figure out hair

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thank You!

Seriously, thank you for all your comments about the 18th c gown. Because of all your help, I've narrowed it down to three options:

1. Pink Stripes: I have actually seen this one before, and that's why I had bought the pink striped fabric to begin with! I had totally and utterly spaced this one off! Sheesh!!!

2. Lavender silk: Jannean reminded me of this tres awesome! I think whether I do it for CC this year or not, this will eventually be the inspiration for my lavender silk.

3. Gold striped silk: I can't tell how similar these two gowns actually are, but they sorta seem to be. At any rate, some sort of polonaised skirt for the stripes. Because it's awesome.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I am *SO* torn!

I'm really happy with my Vic and the way it came out. Dont get me wrong.


I really, really want to do an 18th c as well.

Reasons For:
-There's apparantly a themed Ice Cream Social on Friday. (I'm not seeing anything official on the website, so now I'm doubting myself)
-I really want an 18th c, and this is one of the only 'excuses' I'll have to make one until CC *NEXT* year.
-I'd have something cute to wear to Sunday Undies. I would wear my vic, but I didn't make the corset, and that would feel disingenuous.
-I have the makings of a half dozen gowns hanging out in my sewing room. No seriously. Fabric, patterns, stays, panniers....just no gown.

Reasons Against:
-Angst of making a new style for the first time ever (and scared of doin'it rong.)
-Tight deadline. Almost exactly one month from now.
-Indecision. I almost have *TOO* many options at my disposal.
-Limited time in which to sew.

What do you think?!

Help! I appeal to the collective!

Thanks to Jane, I'm thinking I may try to do something for the Ice Cream Social. HOWEVER - I've decided that if I don't decide on a direction by Friday afternoon, I'm not going to do it. So. Here's my problem. I know just about next to nothing about 18th c, and I'm really quite overwhelmed.

I do have a set of panniers my sister and I made 1+ years ago that are (I think) turned out quite nice. I also have my hand sewn effigy stays, though while not ideal, I think can at least approximate the look of the 18th century.

Here's where you all come in. I need help. Is there anything of the below that should just be struck from the list of possibilities? Is there anything that is just screaming to be "X"? If so, what?

1. Lavender silk dupioni. I would say 'taffeta', but there are just a very few minor slubs. The bonus with this fabric is I have a super awesome matching hat, all ready to go. I've been searching for portraits and fashion plates to base an entire outfit on, but I am coming up blank! I know the hat is only appropriate for certain styles of dress, but I can't for the life of me find examples! Argh! The fabric matches the hat so perfectly that I don't want to do a half-arsed job and mess it up.

2. Printed cotton. (lawn??) It is quite sheer and thin. When I first saw this fabric, I thought it screamed 18th century, but now I'm not so sure. Is the pattern too small? Just not 'right'? I dunno. I wish I could remember the movie/tv show that I saw a similar fabric used in a gown and it made me fall in love, but now I can't remember the show, or even what the gown looked like.

3. Pink striped cotton. Lots heavier than #2. Again, I thought it screamed 18th c, and now I'm doubting the possibility. The stripes seem a bit too narrow?

4. Striped gold taffeta. I'm more convinced that this could pass as an 18th c, even though I can't quite put my finger on why. I wouldn't know where in the world to start with this - what type of gown is it yearning to be?!

5. Icy rose silk taffeta. I so <3 this fabric, it makes my mouth water! This is another situation where I love the fabric so much, I don't want to half arse anything and mess it up. #'s 2-4 I honestly don't care as much about, even though they're OK fabrics.

BONUS: I have a larger bergère that *almost* matches both the striped and icy taffetas, although the two silks look absolutely wretched together. Probably would match the icy just slightly better.

Opinions, please?! My eternal gratitude and 1,004 internets to those who comment!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

My Victorian, Done. (And some lessons learned)

Lessons Learned:

1. Dritz fabric covered buttons suck. Did one button/unbutton, and the tops popped off of three buttons! Not even the fabric covered part, the shank came off the metal plate!!!

2. Don't start a project and drag it out for a year. It's a recipe for disaster.

3. Pay more attention to source material (This is also related to the skirt issue, which turned out really great.)

4. Pay more attention to stripes (this is also directly related to #3, and didn't turn out so great)

My least favorite things about the final product are the wrinkles across the bodice front, (I consistantly make waists to big and busts too small. wtf?!), the buttons (not the way they look, but the quality of the product), and the fit of the armscye (always the bane of my existance).

My favorite things about the final product are the epic badonkadonk, the hat, and the neckline.

All in all, I'm pretty pleased with my first attempt at anything remotely like a victorian gown.

Ok, not actually *DONE* done.

Still to do:

-attach hook to butt bow (for easy removal)
-attach combs to hat (for to keep snugly on head)
-attach closures for bustle and skirt
-suck it up and re-do the waistline of the petticoat
-clean boots from frantic journey through the empty lot next door to avoid the sprinkers that went off during the photoshoot
-find proper stockings

Monday, July 5, 2010

Weekend isn't even over yet, and I feel like I've accomplished a ton!

Besides a lovely bbq on Saturday with my Laurels household, and another one today at my sisters house, I've not only completely finished my vic, but I've started (and nearly finished) Janneans chapeau. Tomorrow will be filled with a visit to Holly and the bebe puppehs and a family bbq. My brother and his wife are in town, so I need to jump at the chance to visit them whenever I can!

But it's really all about the pictures, isn't it?
When we last left our intrepid seamstress....

I decided the bodice needed something *more*, so I added some darker gold velvet ribbon. Probably not what I would have chosen at the outset, but I'm still in my use-only-what-is-in-my-stash phase. So ribbon it is.

For some reason, it feels a little "Big Top" ish. Not what I was going for, but meh. Whatever. ;)

Some progression shots of the hat.,,,,,I only have to permanently attach all the bits. I still need to find some trim to cover the stitching on the bottom edge, but I think for the most part, we're done. Jannean, do you want more? Less?

I apologize for the poor contrast in the following pictures....I'll try to get some better pictures tomorrow, I'm just too tired right now! :D

I'm quite proud of these little roses, I think they're adorable.

And, bonus: Worried cookie!