Saturday, May 30, 2009

Progress on Polonaise Squared

So in between stressful bouts of finishing faire stuff for next weekend, when I am burnt out of anything that starts with an E, and ends with bethan I've migrated onto the New polonaise.

It's actually going quite well.

I've sewn the lining to the outer fabric, as it doesnt need to be interlined It's heavy fabric. Instead of flat lining and doing facing, i just did it like I normally do, sew all the out then all the fabric and sandwich them together!

Nice view of the lining. I made it much larger this time, and brought everything nice and tight with the darts instead of the side seams. Im going to need to take the bust area up a little bit, unfortunately.

And a view of the back.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The new polonaise can finally be under way-s.

After much nail biting and anticipation and excitement, my new polonaise fabric arrived from yesterday.

And it is more glorious in person that I could ever have hoped for! Its a very interesting feeling fabric! I discovered just how interesting after rolling around in it;

Georgia smells good?

Up close of the fabric, the texture is so nifty around the flowers. I don't know if its period for the Polonaise, but if you want me to be honest I DON'T CARE. this isnt going to be worn for super stuffy costume people, its for the picnic and any victorian dance that comes up : ). Also it looks beautiful.

Its even more gold than I thought it was, its so beautiful and I AM SO EXCITED to dig into it tonight. Even for my lunch!!

Try two!


Monday, May 25, 2009

Underthings and Hats!

Quick picture post on some of the things Ive been working on.

The Italian Bonnet/Soft cap

This was super fun to make, For some reason I seem to love making hats!! Especially when they turn out so exciting!

I also made a corset from the Alter Years easy elizabethan corset pattern. It was...Interesting. Here now is the end to my first dickens gown.

The pattern called for all vertical boning, which seemed strange to me. Also look at how shallow that point is..right? Random.

I did put it on though, and it was suprisingly comfortable! It also gives the right shape I need and support.

Very exciting, now i have a nice sturdy base.



Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Elizabethan shirt done, with the upgraded doublet.

Quick update on pictures of my finished elizabethan shirt worn under my most recent ren outfit, sans sleeves [they still need work, as always.]

Bad pictures.

The flash is a bitch but at least its not blurry and you can kind of see sleeve and collar detail. Hooray pearls.

No flash but blurry as a mother.

Le sigh.

Anyhow, once I get everything done, hat sleeves hemmed overskirt all that jazz, I will make my room mate take real pictures.


Friday, May 15, 2009

There is SUNSHINE!!

Ok so after the depressing last update I have some fantastic news for you lot!

I have found on accident my new Polonaise fabric. Serendipitous, right? Har.

Ahhh isnt that lovely??

Reminds me of my inspiration polonaise.

Victorian Death-March

Last night I attempted to fix the little issues I was having with my polonaise, i.e. it being too small. I let out the side seams considerably, and attempted to repair the darts.

I put it back on to discover two heart wrenching facts.
1. It was still way too small and uncomfortable, and therefore causing horrible wrinkles in the front
2. The darts immediately started pulling out again no matter what I did.

Sadly, what this turned out to be was a very expensive mock-up. At least the fabric was only 8 dollars a yard.

Needless to say I'm really not that bummed, but it does suck. I was a fan of the stripes, but it just didn't seem to hold up to the strain.

Im thinking maybe a heavier weight of a bright sunshiney color. Yellow?? More stripes?? I guess we shall see when it comes to a fun hunt at Fabs r us this weekend.

Dun dun dun dun dunuh dun dun dun dun
[death march song, if you were wondering.]


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Elizabethan Shirt ; Blackwork is fun for the family

I totally slacked on getting any other posts about this, like starting from square one but I don't think its terribly interesting. Here I will give you a run through

2 squares same size, two smaller square that are the same size. Neck hole, gussets and fun. Ok I'm terrible I know, read the tudor tailor!!

This is about the exciting part, BLACK WORK! I'm finding it relaxing, much like my caul but at the same time a big complicated on little areas like collars and cuffs, but the end result is quite nice.

Honestly, I would have loved to do machine blackwork but I found out that my machine..doesn't do all of the stitches it advertises, that hunk of crap. So hand it is, cept for the box pleat which is a simple vine stitch from the machine.

Good view of the back of the collar. I interfaced it with that evil stuff since I didnt need to worry about pressing any seams. Its very call and stiff, and looks fantastic since i have a giraffe neck.

Cuffs before box pleat has been sewn into them. I made them relatively short for this shirt.

This is a really bad angle that makes it look REALLY BIG. well, it kind of is, the shoulder seams are very low, but im thinking once i get the cuffs sewn on and when its on under a doublet or dress it doesnt look bad.

Quick update for now, I will update when I have more pictures of it. Putting the polonaise down for a while and going back to elizabethan. Tahoe is creeping around the corner!!


Monday, May 11, 2009

Better photos of the polonaise and Maggie looking like a doosh.

Thank you to My partner in crime I have some real pictures of the polonaise, and it shows better all the serious issues its having, which can be fixed thankfully.

Yes, I am going to have a hat reasonably similar but bigger, shorter crown, and crazy decorations.

Im not 100 percent sure whats going on with my bustle in the back why its pulling, but i DO know that there is an epic parlor skirt structure fail.

Yes this picture was entirely needed here.

: D.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

I am a machine.

Whelp, here it is ladies and gentlemen, the underskirt, and polonaise are done to be wearable. there is still no trim and I have no petticoats but by golly I would wear this out tomorrow. These were taken before I had the boning in the bodice at all, down the front or the sides, so it looks a little off, I realize. I also need a better bustle pad. But it looks good!

I should have put my hat on.

Warning, bombardment of pictures ahead.

Only decent front view I could get. There is horrible pulling because I didnt have the boning in there anywhere yet.

Side and back view. Now I need trim, and to hem the underskirt. I have to figure out WHY it falls so horribly flat. Do I need corded petticoats AND another petticoat with a train?
[Also, the bustling took a little to figure out how to gather it up with the tapes, but after some futzing with pins, it all came together.]

Tips would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Sleebes and skirts.

Ok, So, I had this whole fucking funny shpeal about stuffing my face and what have you, then my computer crashed and all of this information got lost. So you all missed out because windows is sometimes a huge fucknut.
On to what actually matters.

I've obviously been working tirelessly on my Polonaise for the past three ish days and suprising myself with the mass amounts of work i have gotten done in such a short span of time. Last night it was sleeve time. I cut everything out, my fashion fabric and my lining, then sat back on my heels with an idea.
I partially got the idea from Kendra at and her 1860's summer day gown, diary parts here [I'm not a lurker, I swear.] Anyhow, I decided to rebel against the norm and made the sleeves out of the same light airy muslin that I am making the underskirt. It is supposed to be a summer day gown afterall, so why not make it light.

I realize there is that little pulling issue on the left sleeve, all it is is a little pleat that got caught in the shoulder seam, nothing bad.

Another thing about this sleeve pattern was it is a pleated bell sleeve. Tahts all fine and dandy, but this had you pleat it OUT which I think looked silly and a little messy, so I did the opposite. I like to rebel, what can I say? So instead I made a nice little box pleat that seemed to make sense to me.

It looks very nice with it on, and at the top all I need to do is smack a nice little striped fabric bow with cute tails, and then it ties it all in. [Especially with the white muslin bow that will be in the back.] I also plan on doing a little embroidery in that space of the pleat. I have issues.

The thing with this fabric, as most of you already know is that it's mostly sheer, and raw seams look bad. So Partner in crime lady taught me how to do finished seams, and I have been slaving over them on both my sleeves and my underskirt. MURDERRRR. It isn't as bad as I had first thought; however.

I also belive Ive burnt off all my fingers pads. Oh well, now I should go rob a store!

And now for something completely unrelated, I have an itch to make an 18th century gown based off of these new shoes my room mate bought for me.



Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hold onto your hats, Im doing the unthinkable!!


I'm just that cool. I've been working my ass off and have a nice large chunk of the polonaise done. Like the shell entirely. I know, right?! Win. Like Lauren put it, I really do churn out gowns like ford motors. Woo.

Anyhow. Here are some pictures that I will
explain under each one.

Its a monsterrrr!! No not really, it is just the back with the fronts sewn on at the shoulder. Fun part that was, trying to work with all of that flapping and flailing fabric.

This was an interesting pattern as ever open edge just called for a facing, which in most respects I kind of liked. so Here is around the neckline. Things are a little tight with this gown, but corseted I could seem to squeeze mah body in there. Thats how it said its supposed to be I guess!
Look at those pretty pressed seams. Oh irons.

Inside of the facing.

A nice clean hem on the front sides, i did a double hem where I folded it over then over again, this fabric is thin and likes to shred a little.

Please excuse the room mate in his underwear. I made him hold this. It's not going to be that little around the middle, i promise you that. I had it pinned closed. In truth its going to be edge to edge hook and eye cause its awfully tight as it is..ha.

I dont have editing software, IM SORRY FOR THE UNDERWEAR SHOT.
Back shot. I have to bustle the back tomorrow when I do the sleeves.

Back up close. Id say it looks rather smashing, the stripes and all.


Everything is going so well!

After the fiasco with the fusible interfacing and the warping and Maggie wanting to die a little on the inside, I tried again.

Got some thinner stuff, threw that on, then put a layer of canvas under that, then proceeded to do the EXACT SAME STEPS as before, in a frustrated manner.

It came out FANTASTIC. SO. FANTASTIC. Maggie is Happy. Very happy.

It might look wrinkly, but that is because I took these on my lunch and pretty much threw it on the ground and snapped some super hasty photos.

After that all worked out I proceeded to the fun part of the skirt back, where with simple little quirks, its magically started to take on a bustly form!

Some pleats on the sides and some on the back equals bustly beginning goodness!

No that is not a fish or mermaid on my floor, that is the back of a Polonaise! If you are not excited you should be. I also had a fun time working with twill tape. It was a wide hunk of fabric that needed to end up being a small hunk of fabric and we all know how exciting that can be.

You can't really see the pleats..but I tried. Now I have to get home and press some things.

Great success!! Now I jynxed it and ruined the whole gown. One of these days, I need to start on the parlor skirt or I am going to look funny.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Inspiration, my desktop

Keep on Keep on, I will finish this project.

It is not all bad. It will turn out fantastic. Motivation!! Here is the picture that inspired me to do this, and keep with this.

Wish I knew who to credit!

Polonaise Progress and Predicament.

Ha. Alliteration.

Anyway. So I have been working a b
it on my Polonaise lately, starting with the fusible interfacing. I'll talk more bout that shortly.

Now, this pattern is a Truly Victorian pattern and for the most part I love it! However, I have a feeling this pattern is not LINED! In other words, it does not have lining instructions, just interlining, i.e. canvas. So after fusible interfacing, I chose to flat line all the pieces. Not the nicest looking thing on the insides but the way the instructions were laid out I couldn't do the normal method..and still follow the instructions.

I found a use for all that gingham afterall.

Which actually this fabric was kind of a pain to work with on the outer fabric. It was super slippery and made me want to tear my hear out a bit.

It was a little time consuming but then went on to begin the fun part of sewing it all together. In the pattern it asks for 1/2 inch seams but I cheated and went a little bigger about 5/8ths since I am kind of in between the sizes. And didn't pay close attention and found out that all the seams were supposed to be 1/2 inch. WHOOPS.

So I sewed all the back parts together like it asked, clipped then went to press my seams and that is when everything EXPLODED. My fusible interfacing WARPED like it was nobody's business and now the back three parts of my polonaise look a little...pathetic.

As you can see it is wrinkled beyond oblivion. I was absolutely heartbroken. After these were taken I was able to flatten everything about a little bit more with some gentle tugging some water and some pleading and coaxing, but its still...sad. I decided that since I wanted a bow in the back like so;

But perhaps maybe not as LONG as that one, and more to the sides but a big bow none the less made out of the white muslin with some quick fun little embroidery on the tails. A. it hides the fuck up and B. I wanted it anyway because its nifty looking. Also I really like that yellow gown...>_>.

Really at this point the trial is going to be how to press my seams without causing more of that warping and wrinkling. Next time I use the stuff if I do again it will be thinner and out of a package not by the yard.