Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Living in the past: One ripped seam at a time.

Lately I have begun to do something so very Regency-eqsue; taking apart an old gown and making it up new.  Though, this time, instead of making it up new to follow fashions or pretty-ing it up, I did it because my skill and knowledge so drastically increased (compared to a couple years ago I feel).  The first thing to get taken apart was Ol' Faithful.  Y'all might remember Ol' Faithful as the gown I wore the first event I ever went to with The Doctor.

100 Years on the Ohio, 2010

Learning how to shoot a longbow, 100 yrs 2010 w/Mrs. Cooper

Preparing to mutilate cupid!

Shown here with the first Spencer I ever made, at Rock Castle

The gown itself wasn't BAD, and actually went through a first step transformation; at first the bodice had complete lining and a hanging skirt lining, which I cut out to more appropriately portray the sheer gowns worn with the proper under things, and changed the sleeves which were much too short in its first incarnation. It was also back closing with hooks and bars, and not the best at staying closed..

Not a great photo of the gown, but I am wearing it after I cut out the lining but before changing the sleeves.

With the new longer sleeves added here.  This was me, freezing my butt off and giving an Undressing talk at Muster on the Wabash.  Not ideal climes for getting naked.

Then, over the winter, I purchased the most wonderful book in the world, which has been my inevitable downfall: Costume in Detail.  If you do not already purchase this book, BUY IT NOW. GO. AND. BUY. IT. I poured over the pages like a hungry bum starved for inspiration and then I got thoughts...wonderful shiny thoughts about taking apart my white ball gown to scrap the fabric to remake Ol' Faithful, since they were both made out of the same wonderful 2 dollar a yard fabric.

Lets all have a moment of silence for the first ball gown I made for 1812. She did her job well. And continues to in another incarnation.

I finally settled on this gem.  

I unfortunately do not have any in progress photos, as it was made before I decided to start this blog again.  I spent FOUR. DAYS. hand rolling the double flounce at the hem, and I wanted to kill myself at the end.  I also cut down the train CONSIDERABLY, but it still has some length.  I have given though to shortening the train from the top back, as it doesn't really follow the fashion pertaining to the garment.  I also didn't do 4 draw-strings at the neckline, there was really no need to.  I ended up doing only one, for time's sake and sanity, and since I draped the pattern on Abigail I had to sort of wing it, my draping skills are not very good.

Some pictures RIGHT after she was re-made, close enough to "in progress" since you get details shots.

Full body with sleeve detail shown. Don't mind the unwashed hair.

View of the train, and sleeves.

Back detail, and yes I have since fixed that annoying back issue.

detail of the front.  See how sheer? Mmmm

Here are some pictures of it in action, Ol' Faithful re-vamped and looking stellar, if I may say so.  Also, shameless vanity stroking.

At Whickland Estate shown with my super amazing warm Pelisse.  More on it later.

At Kalamazoo with the amazing beautiful Samantha of Couture Courtesan

At Whickland Estate, photo taken by the amazing Mark Selter

As you can see, the sleeves don't get very much viewing..which is alright by me.  Stay tuned for another post about me remaking the olive green archer gown! (Still in progress, too!)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

I didn't set fire to anything, that is impressive, right?

So the breeches are finished.  I have maybe one or two bits of editing in the way of hand stitching but other than that, it is all done with.  Here, I have a picture dump for some finished shots with the Doctor in them.

Look at how dapper he is.

Yeah this is pretty much how I felt on completion.

Up next I get to tackle the frock coat. For now, though, he is set to give his talk at Historic Locust Grove on Sunday, April 22nd.  Hope to see some of you there!

S. Stitchery

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Is there such thing as Breechesbane? It's like Wolfsbane, but not.

Until the past few weeks, I have never made a pair of breeches in my life.  I had the ill-fated incident with the Jodhpurs, which made me vow to never sew for anyone again, especially pants.  But how can I say no to this?  
Lookit how good he looks.  Besides, he made my blog pretty.

He requested in his most winning manner if I could make him a royal navy uniform. Now, before this, I made him two 1812 waistcoats with very little fuss and bother – I like making those!  Be-crotched garments, on the other hand, not as much.  I had an inward battle with myself on whether or not to do it or to farm it out, but I was feeling cocky so guess where that landed me? Yep. Breeches town.

By now, I have gotten them drafted, mock up’d, fought with, put together with the unwavering help, patience, and humor of Mr. Ramsey, and am this week putting the finishing touches on them.  By that I mean buttons and button holes.  I hate button holes.  And no, I am not doing them by hand because unlike Mr. Ramsey, I do not have the amazing talent for hand-sewn ones.  So I opted for machine done.  One day I will make a new pair for the Doctor, and they will have hand done button holes.  Anyhow, back onto how evil button holes are. 
You are the devil.

Actually, let us go further back.  These breeches have been the complete BANE of my existence.  They have fought against being made more than anything else I have done.  It brings to mind this wonderful Mitch Hegberg joke about the one complicated payment in the four easy payments method.  This has been the complicated one.  Where everything has gone wrong.  Though no one got shot to death, and there was no wampum involved. 

So this is what I have had left to do; button holes on the knees, button holes on the waistband, button holes on the fall front, and then the eyelets in the back.  The Doctor is very good at sewing on buttons AND hand sewing eyelets, surprisingly.  So I make him do it whenever I can. 
The Doctor's black breeches, made by the amazing Lynn Graham, without them this would have been impossible.  Shown here displaying the extra at the bottom which goes under the knee band.
the sad extra tably bit. Technical term.
During the venture in the knee band area, I discovered after I cut off the first ones that the bottom did indeed need the extra tab under the band part, so that the band did not gap in a strange way and show off garter belt in stocking.  So I had the pleasure of throwing on some extra little pieces, that luckily are not seen at all unless you are playing around with the knee on the breeches.  And in that instance you better be my clone or ready to get your ass handed to you.  Or Mr. Ramsey, who at times has been very snug with the Doctor through this process.
Mr. Ramsey and the Doctor being cozy

I hope to get all the buttons I have sewn on tonight, and get some more cheapy ones from Joanne’s tomorrow to sew on the inside for his bracers.  I am so close I can taste it.  And I will never ever make another pair of breeches again.  Trousers?  Sure.  Breeches?  NO.

S. Stitchery.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

-Tap tap- Is this thing on? Check?

You kids know what this means! I'M BACK! Yes, cower in fear, or jump for joy, or whatever else it is you feel like doing in this news.  I have a lot of things to share and a lot of things to post, I have a giant wardrobe for 1812 that needs to be fleshed out, idea-ized (yes that is a thing) and posted about.

I have realized, and at the recent urging of a lot of my wonderful costume friends, that I need a platform in which to organize my costume ideas, styles, plates, and extant garments to which the giant stack of fabric beside my sewing table needs to be made into.

I look forward to re-documenting my adventures, blood, sweat, tears, and rage (have I mentioned rage) that goes along with the sewing.

Oh yeah, and I live in Nashville, have an amazing boyfriend here, and take off my clothes in front of complete strangers for money (in a socially acceptable manner, of course.)  I have four beautiful wonderful pseudo step-daughters, and live probably the most wonderful and amazing life, EVER.

Love always, Me.

p.s. I got you interested in the taking off clothes thing, didn't I?  Here, you dirty pervs.