sewinginshambles

my crazy life

Archive for the tag “costuming”

Embroidery

I’m sure by now it’s clear that I like to put at least a little bit of embroidery on everything that I make. You know, how in TV crime shows the villain always has a “signature”, that kind of thing I guess.

Well in any case, I’ve fallen in love with chain stitch embroidery. I’m total pants at a satin stitch and I haven’t the patience for most of the other stitches, so its either straight stitch/back stitch or chain stitch.

And now I’m trying to decide if I want to try tambour. It looks really amazing and seems easy, but I can’t seem to find any tambour needles/how to. Any suggestions?

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Merida Update Oct. 3

Monday night I decided that I would finally cut out the fabric for my Princess Merida, so I carefully laid everything out on the fabric I had so carefully dyed only to find out that I hadn’t dyed enough for the sleeves. This prompted a furious trip to the fabric store while chanting the mantra, “It’s just dye. It’s just dye.”

Creative cutting diagrams…

After spending a good hour dyeing more fabric for the sleeves, I go to cut out the rest of the dress and run into another conundrum. I STILL didn’t have enough fabric! So with a bit of creative layout and piecing, I found the best layout possible with my limited fabric.  I am planning to sew the inside seams by machine, but do all finishing by hand as it looks so much better in my opinion.

 

Now I am only left with the issue of how to attach the sleeves. I am making a departure from screen accuracy by making this as close to medieval period accurate as possible, but I would like to keep the sleeves pretty much the same. I’ve considered making small fabric loops at the shoulder as a way to attach them, but I’m not quite sure.

Truly Victorian Ballgown Bodice

Mock-up for my ballgown bodice.

I am making a ballgown for a masquerade put on by my friend on the 13th of October and I thought It would be a great opportunity to try out Truly Victorian’s patterns as I’ve heard wonderful things about them.  I am so so glad I did! Excluding a bit of adjustment on the shoulder seam, the pattern fits perfectly! I have NEVER had a pattern fit like that without adjustments. It doesn’t fit my dressform as well as it fits myself, I need to use American Duchess’s wonderful idea of making her a bit more endowed, might do that today actually.

 

Boning taped in with duct-tape.

I just taped the boning in to the mock-up and even as is, it’s a really good fit. I used Store House 24″ heavy duty cable ties sold at Harbor Freight and they are fantastic! So much better than the silly plastic boning sold at fabric stores.

 

I feel really productive this weekend, I’ve almost completely finished the underdress for Merida and my ballgown is nearly complete!

Merida Update: Sept 28

I finished the embroidery on the sleeve cuffs for my Princess Merida costume. Technically speaking there isn’t any embroidery as far as I can tell from movie stills, but since it is on the underdress and will never be seen, I feel alright making it super pretty.

I cannot take credit for the embroidery designs, I found the border design from The Blackwork Embroidery Archives.

And the Monogram, I found at NeedlenThread.

 

For the underdress and gown, I will be using the same pattern as my previous medieval styled gowns.The biggest difference will be the sleeves, and I hope to have enough time to make period accurate medieval shoes, but we will see.

Hoopskirt!

So, I have finally made a hoopskirt that was not a giant hassle to make, and it doesn’t engulf me in its massive girth. I used this pattern  by the Laced Angel . It was absolutely fantastic! Super easy and easy to understand.

Hoopskirt with purple linen petticoat over top. I used black thread on white fabric to make the skirt, so I couldn’t bring myself to show this on the interwebs.

 

What’s it made of?

  • A little over 2 yards of 45 inch wide muslin
  • Black thread (it was the only thing I had at hand, and I justified it by saying no one will ever see the hoop by itself)
  • Drawstring cord
  • Fish tape like this

I feel very accomplished as I started and completed the project in just under six hours time. It’s just big enough to be cumbersome when sitting, yet small enough to be seriously dwarfed by the Holy Batman Hoop I made earlier.

I’m trying to be better about updating more often, as I will be using this to track my progress when I finally start on the Cranach/Saxon gown I’m working on for a college research project. And since I have been honoured enough to be made Head of Registration for Utah’s only Steampunk convention, Salt City Steamfest and as such I will be attending other out of state conventions in order to do advertising, I will be making more steampunk ensembles as well as my more historical clothing, I feel like there should be plenty of sewing to be shared.

Labor Day Plans

Okay, Labor Day is tomorrow. And since it’s a day off from work and school, I’m going to get off my lazy rear and actually sew. Lots! I need to get a move on all the projects I’ve got piling up on me.

Sooo, first up: Commissions, I’ve got a couple and while they’re still on schedule, I’d really just like to get them finished right away.

Mock-up for a fantasy/steampunk Kurta

Mock-up for a fantasy/steampunk Kurta

Second: I really really really need to get a start on my Princess Merida dress. I was originally use medieval period sewing techniques and construction, but as October is rapidly rounding the corner, I shall be doing it in whatever way is fastest.

 

If I don’t at least make some kind of progress, someone needs to jump through my computer screen and kick me in the butt!

Waldo has been found! Or in this case, early 16th century German painters.

I’m going to warn you now, this post is image heavy, almost to the point of simply spamming you with images. But, it’s more for my benefit, so I know which images I have and which I need to find more of.

I found more German painters, courtesy of Barbra from It’s About Time and from there, I simply did a quick Google search.

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I put the images in a slideshow, so this post isn’t ten miles long. But long story short, I found other German painters from around the same time painting the same kind of dresses as the Cranach painters!

Micro Vests in the Making

Remember my micro shrugs?

Lab coat Micro Shrug

Well, for the Salt City Steamfest, I made a sleeveless rendition for the director of the con, who also happens to be a dear friend of mine.

Reversible micro vest. 1/4 yard of both vintage sari silk and gold taffeta

It was a very huge hit, and I got several people asking whether I do commissions, so I figured I better whip a couple of these up and place them up for sale on my Etsy page. (Which, to my embarrassment, has been pretty much abandoned for several months due to lack of items to sell.)

They’re pretty easy to make and take so little fabric. Plus they’re a joy to make!

Current fabrics for micro vest in the making

It’s also a great way for me to use up scraps from previous projects like the fabrics above. I always buy more than what I think I’ll need just in case I goof up!

 

Where in the world are Saxon painters from the first part of the 16th Century?

So…. 16th century painters from Saxony. Besides the Cranach painters. Have you seen them? The interwebs haven’t. I checked.

I’m seriously at my wits end here. All I want is several other painters from the same provenance to collaborate the theory that the Cranach gown was not just a fictional gown made up by some crazy old painter guy. . . I may be bald by the end of the week, I’m gonna rip my hair out.

 

ETA: Barbra from It’s About Time just posted a lovely series of images on Bianca Maira Sforza.

What do you know, some of the gowns she wears look rather similar don’t you think?

 

Quick question/help?

Okay, so I apologise for not starting off with pictures of the Salt City Steamfest. I will be posting pictures however there won’t be very many, as I was working atregistration all weekend. I did host one panel on Victorian costuming with extant costumes and fashion plates. It went well and afterwards, I had one very sweet lady who asked me if I knew anything about Victorian mourning crepe. I don’t honestly know anything but I told her I would research it and then send her an email. So my question and plea for help from you my dear readers, is if you know anything about mourning crepe would you please comment here or direct me to credible sources that could possibly help.

Thanks!

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