Monday, March 30, 2009

Elizabethan gown 3

I cheated, and started on this dress before I started the concept art and then posted the concept art into here. But since there are no pictures taken, and I can only get so far without having everything [piping, trim buttons yadda] then I can show what I have. Which is the concept art.

Because I have been doing nothing with my day here at work, since the kids are on spring break. That isn't true, I hunted down some apartments too. Woo.
Anyhow. I am delving into another doublet style bodice this one not as retarded as the simplicity one. Seriously. That was really strange. Her
e is the concept art for one way I am going to wear it.

Resizing this was apparently a very bad idea. I forgot blogger resized things. Oh well. Anyhow. Here is the second style, then I will go into depth on fabrics.

Just added an over skirt. But it makes it look like a whole new dress!

Doublet and overskirt - Both are going to be made out of a deep russet colored upholstery velvet that is very heavy but absolutely stunning. So far it has been easy to work with, just somewhat heavy. The thing about the russet over skirt is that has to be worn either with small hoops or a quilted and corded petticoat to give it more of an a-line shape.

Sleeves and Underskirt/Hoopless skirt - These are going to be made out of a beautiful damask olive green with gold details, [not very well portrayed in the art]. Its much lighter and a dream to work with, not to mention beautiful with the drape. The under skirt is finished right now, and I just have to make the sleeves. I am a thrifty worker.

Trims and Piping - The bodice is going to be piped with a green upholstery piping, thin as i can find it (you know, that braided cord stuff that looks nifty.).The tabs will also be piped with it, on the shoulders and at the waist. I plan on going a double row of tabs at the waist, but depending on patience, time, and fabric it might just be one. The sleeves can be either one row of tabs, or tabs stuffed with a gold shoulder roll, or green if i have enough after the sleeves. The sleeves on the other hand, will be piped with a gold piping to offset the gold in the green fabric. The trim is going to be a gold silk braid running in chevron strips down the bodice, front and back. The sleeves will not be trimmed more than the piping as they are already busy. The outer skirt will have a single or double row of trim down the front, with possibly some beading.

The cool thing about this dress is that it can be worn to look high noble or upper class lower noble, or traveling clothes. Without the overskirt I will just have a couple of petticoats, one set corded the other just plain by themselves. The russet skirt WEIGHS A TON, the thing is heavy as hell, threeish yards of tiny pleats, it all adds up. So during most of the faires, I will be wearing just the green skirt, and during a couple cooler faires I will wear the over skirt.

Accessories will include an italian bonnet and flat cap, too bad I cant draw those.
Also, in the first picture, it is shown with frog closures, but I am thinking of not doing frogs, and sticking with just some pretty pearl or gold buttons, false front of course, as it will close with hooks and eyes.

Pictures of the progress so far will come soon.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The taco.

I've finally done it, I've tackled my first victorian hat. I made it so fast, I didn't really have time to think, oh my god im making one of the most intricate and decorated hats in history; A late 1800s 'taco hat' because I dont know the real name for it. It was actually incredibly easy!! The only thing I has problems with was figuring out how to decorate it, but the wise words of my partner in crime and mentor: let the hat decorate itself. Oh and it did, and I'm still not done.

So this is what I started with; a plain circle of needlepoint plastic, with some give to it, not hard. I then wrapped and whip stitched the hell out of some copper wire around the edges so that i could mold it into a specific shape.

Then I had the fun and kind of painful job of sewing the outer fabric and inner fabric overlapping one another. This was just the inside fabric.

Then came the fun part of deciding what shape. In this case, a taco seemed fitting, as I found many examples and they looked very nice, with an organized chaos of stuffings, feathers, birds, beads, flowers, anything you can think of.

With this hat I had to sew these lines in the front and back corner to hold the taco shape a little better, as it wasnt as tight as I wanted, and I couldnt keep it that way unless I had the stitches. After that was all in order, I began trimming it out. I decided to use the same braid hat is all over my jacket and was suprised I had just enough to go all the way around. After that was sewn on, I scrounged up some lace from my dickens dress bought originally for my blue and gold gown. Its amazing how things can get reused and reused and reused. I also found a little white bow used on my dickens gown, and threw that on the back, why not? It worked. I also threw a flowe on there but now it is really superfluous as one cannot see it anymore. It worked at the time.

The night before all of this was done, Lauren and I went on an adventure to Michaels on our bikes post nommy coffee time to get some hat mats, specifically feathers. After freezing our butts off and wearing ourselves down, we were successful. I also picked up a but little blueish bird that I feel I need to put on there, and an AMAZING little birdcage pendant...I really want to find a place for that but well not on this costume. It will find a use, probably for ren fair at the end of a chain. So, feather, and feathers, and feathers. Pre bunched, of course. Here was my selection for my hat.

I couldnt use all of them of course, so I ended up just sticking with these.

So after some hot glue, some patience, and some channeling my innter hat-maker, this is what i finally came out with! Behold!! The intense taco hat.

It's almost done, I only have a couple more things to do, like find and make the centerpiece to go on the front of the hat out of some watch and clock gears or something, sew or glue a couple of bobby pins to the bottom and do a couple of touch ups here and there, possibly have the bird as well, or more flowers. Opinions would be greatly appreciated!


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The finished Corset and what to do in the rain!!

WHEW! What a bunch of work that corset was, but all things considered it didnt take long. Perhaps a week? I surprised myself! So here are some pictures!!

This is when i started with the trim, part of me wishes i had just left it like it was..opinions? Whew I was also fully laced, eek so tight cept for the bust..sigh.

This is fully done, but not fully laced, I was in a hurry

I don't know...I almost like the simple one more? Tough tough tough.

So thats enough of that. Here is the funny st

What do you do when you have a nice beautiful brad new wool jacket you just made and its pouring down rain? This;

She is absolutely rocking that look.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Updating the corset/jacket steampunk ensemble, and the fun of a duct tape dress form

The corset it near to being finished! I have bound both top edges bound. Thats probably the hardest part of this whole thing, binding. After that, I have to add the trim, because nothing gets left untrimmed in my world, and I have issues.

"I will end you."

Its like looking at baby pictures!!

Super special sneak peak!!!! Apparently I can compress to 23 inches.

Alright now onto the good stuff. Recently I began moving away from commercial pattern using to draping patterns with my partner in crime's help. For that, its typically easier to have a Dress Form. Im a sorry broke ass loser, so we decided hey lets do that duct tape dress form idea!!! Hilarity ensued:

It wasnt this fun

Yes, I am doing the robot. No I have no idea why.

This part was funny. Ohhhh man. I assure you alot of giggling was to be had. The dress form never really took off as I had no chicken wire or a place to stand it up, so it collapsed after being moved without my knowing, and lauren and I kicked it around a bit. It was a good experiment to say the least.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

The actual part of Sewing area and Yours truly working.

I thought I should post a little personal side of moi, like me working and my sewing area. This is promised to make some seamstresses CRINGE and some laugh.
As mentioned before about the couch surfing for a little while, and just got myself an air mattress, a queen size. It takes up the entire living room floor.

It is now my sewing
space, and oh is it comfy.
[Yay puter= music]

The fun part, when I needed hard surface to cut anything out, I used the ironing board. Shown here. These were taken by Miss LR when we were hanging out.

Creative Win.

The corset; working areas; yours truly working.

Good morning and happy Saturday out there. I can tell you I'm greatful for it.
Anyhow, now on to the good
stuff. Like this sandwich...Mmmmm

So lately, I have been elbow deep in a new steampunk outfit for the upcoming PEERS dance, which this time is steampunk themed.
The outfit consists of a short spencer jacket military themed with a Atilla style brain pattern. Pictures of that will come soon, thats another post. However, to go underneath it, I decided to go headlong into my first corset. I need one anyhow for other costumes, so killing two birds with one stone.

I had some troubles at first with this one at first. More or less with the inside lining fabric. I made the mistake of using a fabric that is the same on both sides, so its hard to tell wrong/right side. There really isnt one..Damn green cotton.
Serious issues shown below;

These two peices are facing each other like they should, if i were to be wearing it. Now look cloesely at the right hand side; That side has the seam allowance on the outside, the left on the inside. Now see what I meant by mirror image? Fail. Epic.
By this time is was eleven thirty at night and I was fed up and didnt want to seam rip ALL OF THAT and re do it. So i said fuck it and went to be

Now for those of you who don;t know, Ive been couch surfing with some fri
ends for the last few months. Couches are not good to sleep on. [I promise, this is relevant to sewing]. I was at costco last night, and saw an air mattress for 30 dollars. BINGO. I bought it. I also needed sheets. Bought some of those. Now what else did they come with? Pillow cases!! I don't need THOSE!

Observe the fix of the green lining

Why tear out seams when you can just REDO it all?? Hurray!!! Not only does this fabric look nicer, it was a joy to sew on! Stiffer and a bit thicker than the green cotton. Now my entire corset is made from bed linens. Oh yes, even the outside brown fabric. Those were expensive sheets too. Remember that 18th century Robe a'la anglaise? That was made from those sheets. Im a recycler.
ANYHOW. Here are more pictures of the project as it is so far. [Yes, I ironed the bejesus out of it.]

The next step is going to be putting the busk and grommets in then trimming the outside and binding the edges. I have hopes that I can get this all done tomorrow, and there will be pictures of me IN my corset!! Yay!!

M. W.

Friday, March 20, 2009

On; Wow, I have a costume blog.

I finally took the dive, to make myself a costume blog. I've been meaning to do it, but kept selling myself stupid excuses dont have a camera, or a wacom tablet, or computer drawing skills. But i DO have a scanner, and a bunch of paper and pencils. Good enough. I can color them on paintshop pro second, because I roll old school.
Anyhow, since I started this a little late, instead of right when i started costuming, I will post pictures and link of the costumes that I have completed already.
Enjoy my blog! And please PLEASE feel free to comment to your hearts content!! In turn I will peruse your blog. Cause I'm a giver. These gowns are not in date order.

My first victorian gown, made for Dickens Christmas Fair of 2008. This gown was made on a SERIOUS budget. All of the fabric was purchased at walmart or scrapped from other dressed. The fashion fabric was a stripped cotton, and was actually very heavy. All in all, the gown was a wreck, and i couldn't stand it. It doesnt exist anymore. The only thing I loved were the pagoda sleeves, as the trimming came out very nice. Unfortunately, no pictures remain, but I will draw it.

My second ren gown that I ever tackled was a blue and gold brocade with gold on gold brocade accents. I included a pillbox hat with pearls around the crown. THAT was a nightmare. So were the sleeves, all in all; however, the gown came out quite nicely. I wore it two ways, full nobles for Folsom Faire 08 shown here;

[unfortunately I cannot get a picture picture.]

And for halloween I ventured to make a flatcap, and wore it without the sleeves and just my chemise underneath;

Full body;

My FIRST ren gown, and the FIRST thing I had ever sewn in my life was a beautiful red and gold and green nobles gown. This is the second time I had chance to wear it, at Faire Oaks Faire of 08. Unfortunately, these are also only links.

Best full body I could come up with. I wore this gown for one weekend of Valhalla, debuting my ren faire career, and in faire oaks. Yes. The hat is terrible. I made a new one. Now, when faire oaks faire rolled around, I had completed my blues and golds, and was very very proud of it, so i saw my reds....and sighed. They were not up to par!! So what do you do then?
OVERHAUL. This is now what my reds look like. Sorry, another link.

Completely changed the shoulder treatment, the sleeves, made a new hat. Its a totally different gown!!! You can't see it, but there is alot of extra hand beading, and there is a white pearl fabric hemguard, which got destroyed..but looked nice! And who is that next to me? Why that is My partner in crime!!! LR. Gotta love her. She is a LIFESAVER when it comes to costuming, and has had many a random late night HELP ME call.

Next we have The crisis that was my first 18th century gown. This is how it started. Draped a nice pattern. Made it tighter and double breasted. It looked very nicely liek this (the hoops were a stupid idea.)

Now, thats a very nice gown. Right?
I sure as hell didnt think so. So the night before I completely ripped apart the bodice. And made this train wreck.

Zone front gowns are hard. Note; Do not EVER redo a gown the night before. Fail.

That is what I have accomplished so far. Currently I am working on a steampunk outfit. Which all things considered is coming along rather nicely. Pictures of that for another post. Including concept drawing!!

M. W.