Sunday, December 30, 2012

My adventures in welt pocket land

I found my NF straw bonnet from earlier this year hiding behind other sewing stuff, and I finally finished up the last few strips on it.  So that's done!  I'll probably use that for Pisces instead of making a new straw hat for it.

So I was a little bored Friday night, and I started reading some of the sewing books I got from the library.  One of them was a sewing guide reference book by Threads (awesome book by the way) and I stumbled across the section on welt pockets.  I've heard people complain about how difficult they are, saw May struggle to make practice pockets galore and still not get it right.  So I decided to try my hand at making one.

Two hours later...

Well, part of the reason it took two hours was because I hand sewed everything except for the stitching on the welts before sewing them on.  Part of the reason why I wanted to hand sew it was because I knew I could have more control on the very precise corners.  That and I ran out of thread on my bobbin and I was too lazy to wind another one.  That too.  Also, my hand sewing for this was more atrocious than usual.  Hints why some thread can be seen.  A bit counterproductive, but...

Verdict?  It's tedious.  No one can say it isn't.  Though there's a certain zen to it (perhaps I'm confusing that with all the hand sewing).  And they look impressive if done perfectly.  Mine wasn't too perfect (It's crooked on the right side!  Grr!), but hey, it was my first time making one.

I also got Period Costumes for Stage and Screen at the library.  A pity it was the 1500-1800 one.  Not my cup of tea time period wise, but I do plan on making working/middle class Renaissance garments eventually, so the chemise and partlet patterns could be useful.  I wonder if it will be more or less difficult jumping from time period to time period and having to figure out your body in comparison to the silhouette you need to have for that period.  Something to think about.

Well, the year will be winding down pretty soon.  Here's to another year of sewing!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It is intellectually challenged, not a dummy

I haven’t posted in over a month, so I might as well post…

Over the past couple of weeks for sewing class, we’ve been making duct tape dress forms.  Normally, if everything goes right, it would have only taken those two weeks.  But May and I each had some patch work to do on our forms.  We used the duct tape as a mold and filled it with batting and spray foam, then covering it with the usual jersey fabic.  During the drying process, my form decided to settle at the waist, compressing my poor breasts and squashing my midsection.  So, after we tried pulling at the duct tape to see if it will straighten on it’s own…we ended up cutting me in half.  I mean it in half.  Magic trick jokes ensued.

I’ve been very slow on my petti progress, partially because of Thanksgiving, mostly because of my wrist.  I’m not looking forward to gathering six widths of fabric.  Though I may leave it short for future shorter dress applications.  I know Pisces will need it.

Speaking of Pisces.  And Sagittarius.  I’ve been making plans for these dresses pretty much over the course of this year, when I got the idea to do it for Your Wardrobe Unlocked.  I won’t be able to obviously, but the idea still stuck.  The plans for the specifics keep chaning except that Pisces will be Natural Form and Sagittarius will be Late Bustle.  The former because of the fantail skirt, the latter should be pertty obvious.  Huge bustle.  Horse’s hindquarters metaphor.  You get the idea.

Fabric?  This is what I have planned to use for Pisces.  I also plan on using a complementary solid color as well. (This is a major close up, FYI.  The pattern's not this big).

The back of the fantail skirt will be cut in the shape of a fish tail.  I may gather it to that look, which was my original plan, or just cut the shape.  Either another layer and/or the balayeuse will be of the original pattern’s size.  Also, I plan on having the fabric of the left and right sides going in different directions, the same as most pictures of Pisces (glutton for punishment, I know, I know).  The rest of the design keeps changing, but I hope I have the final incarnation this time.
With Sagittarius I plan on using the gold version of the fabic I used for the dress I made last summer for the wedding, along with a plum sateen and the white sateen I used for my red and black dress.  I love the tailored look of Late Bustle dresses.  It’s really the only thing I’ve seen that feels like my personal aesthetic.  I’ll be using Truly Victorian’s Tail Bodice (guess why?) and altering the front of it.  I may make it like the red and black with different fronts for the vest and jacket, or I may just cut away the front and form the vest that way.  We’ll see what I feel like doing at that point.  What I'm more concerned about is fashioning my own archery equpiment since I can't use a real bow or real arrows if I want to wear this dess to conventions (and the dress doesn't make sense if the archery stuff isn't there).  So plan on some DIY fails learning curve with that.
Some more eye candy for you…this baby is the reason why I instantly decided to put off my military project.  From De Gracieuse, 1873:


Can’t you just imagine that in black wool and gold trim?  And the cords!  The I don’t know if I would use black or brown fur, but…come on.  I have to make this with that outfit.  No question. 

Oh, here's the site for the De Gracieuse.  Like you need another reason to look at pretty clothing all evening...
So yes.  Some things to think about when I can start up a project again.  I'm also picking away at the designs for other  zodiac dresses as well.  I'm excited about Scorpio the most, but it's also the most complex.  Trying to fashion a scorpion's tail out of a fantail skirt isn't easy and will require some major hardware back there.  Somehow.
Pictures to come when my dress form is complete, and I may hang some stuff on it to take more pictures of stuff I didn't get a chance to photograph.