Sunday, January 5, 2014

The blog lives! Also final Leo dress pictures!

It's been a while!  A combination of busyness and laziness is a good summation of my absence.  But I am happy to report that the Leo dress is done (was done quite a while ago, like the beginning of October...)

A few progress pictures though.  This is the polonaise after all but the facings and back were sewn together, from the back:

Not bad for pattern matching for the first time:

And I even matched up the buttons!  I had to cut into uncut fabric for some of those buttons...

And for the best parts of the outfit (in my opinion) the hat and the stole!  The pin for the stole I got from an antique shop in the St. Charles historic district.



And an above shot of the hat.  I thought I had some shots of the individual pieces being put on the hat, but you can sort of see most of the construction from the top.  The larger feathered area towards the back were just six of the smaller feather pieces bound together, and it's propped up a bit by a couple of net puffs.  There's a net puff in the front and a single feather gather on either side behind it to fill in space.  The fabric pieces were part of the pattern, which is the Lynn McMasters Bustle Hat pattern, View A, I believe.  The net puffs were from another hat version, but I don't think I followed the pattern piece, just the instructions for it.  I got the feathers from Joann's.

And this was the first incarnation of the dress worn at Archon.  I didn't have time to work on my hair switches or skirt trim, but at least the big elements were finished!  Alas, I did not make the gloves.  It was an ebay purchase.  In hindsight, I probably will not get leather that color again, since it's pretty close to my skin color and looks a bit odd if I think that's the skin on my hands...but it goes so well with the velvet stole...

I had a take two with hair switches.  These turned out much better than the original.  I kept them as switches instead of wrapping them around a piece of wire.  Then I sewed them to little wig clips and curled them using Magic Curlers, the mesh spiral curlers.  I just sectioned each switch into several pieces, used the curlers, and dipped them in a pot of hot water, then let them air dry.  No pictures since I was rushing at this point and I needed to get other things done.

Here is the second incarnation of the dress worn at Rural Heritage Day, without the stole but with skirt trim and my hair pieces curled and done.  Thanks to Mary for taking these.  I finally have some decent pictures, and of course since she's a seamstress, she knows where to take pictures to showcase awesomeness.  So here's some nice eye candy for you:

As for the riding habit, that was put on hold since I was having trouble finishing Leo at the time for Archon, and I haven't had a reason to start it up again.  But I had the jodhpurs and shirt done, the jacket partially done (I stopped during the lining stage, so I guess I just needed the collar and lining finished) and the vest still needed to be resized and made.  Maybe I'll have that done early next year.

Future plans?  Pisces is officially underway, and I finished the combination underwear just yesterday (no pictures, as I cannot find my battery charger for my camera...).  I have a petticoat cut out, which I should work on after this, and a mockup for the fantail skirt and polonaise made out of the Truly Victorian Tea Gown pattern.  Normally I wouldn't do a full mockup of a dress, but this one is very specific, so I want all the kinks worked out before I cut into my good fabric.  Speaking of fabric, it was such a pain to find fabric that worked for this project.  I was looking for fish scale/scalloped/fan-shaped patterned fabric in an aqua or turquoise color.  But the ones that I did find, for the longest time, just didn't work or were discontinued or the stores didn't have enough.  I finally found a suitable fabric by accident online, and at first it was a pain to find anything else that matched with it.  But the sewing powers that be finally shined on me, because not only did I find a solid fabric that worked but I also found lace, tulle, and beads as well...and with the exception of the original scaled fabric, which is on the left, I found the rest of it at Joann's, oddly enough.

This probably doesn't make up for almost a half year of lack of updates...but at least you had something pretty to look at, right?