sewinginshambles

my crazy life

Archive for the tag “Sewing”

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!

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

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!

 

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!

Quick post!

Just a really quick post since I’m super busy with last minute projects for the steampunk convention happening this week. Salt City Steamfest  this Friday and Saturday in Salt Lake City Utah at the Red Lion Hotel. If you’re in Utah, you should come!
In any case, I’m super busy making last minute alterations and accessories for the convention. Currently I’ve got a ballgown with the blue and brown bustle skirt which is almost done. I just need to finish the bodice, a Scottish-ish steampunk outfit- literally thrown together with already existing items (I’ll post that later after the convention), and the fish corset outfit I finished in May.

I’ve also been working on a special thank you gift for the director of the Steamfest. She’s a dear friend and has put sooo much time and effort into creating a niche for those who love steampunk here in Utah. I will post up fabulous pictures of it later this week.
Sorry for a lack of pictures in this post, but I promise to make up for it with lots of pictures from the convention when I’m not helping with registration and panels and such. I’ll be so busy!

 

Cheers

Bustle Tutorial- Sort of

In a previous post, I showed a picture of the blue and brown bustle dress I’ve been working on. On my Facebook page, I had a couple friends ask how I managed to make it. Now I don’t profess to be an expert by any means, and there are millions of ways to drape a bustle, but this is how I did mine. (Coincidentally, it was easier to write this and make a second bustle than the first, 3o minutes versus about 9 hours of fussing)

So mini tutorial, ready set go!

Fabric, pins, scissors, measuring tape, thread, and of course your victim. Mine happens to be an American girl doll that was near my sewing table.

When I made the brown bustle, I used about 2 yards of 45 inch wide fabric. It is a synthetic taffeta, and since I didn’t want a hem weighing it down, I just singed the edges until they melted a bit. You can line your bustle if you would like, just bag line it or flat line it and finish the edges with bias tape, it’s all up to you really. For the doll’s bustle, I just took the dimensions of the brown bustle and shrunk them down using some questionable math techniques and ended up with a waist band of 2 inches by 12 inches and the bustle part of 14 inches by 20 inches. Disclaimer, I did not finish the edges on this bustle in the pictures, because I’m terribly lazy and this was just a mock-up to show how I made it.

So essentially two rectangles, super fancy I know. Also, forgive the super wrinkly fabric, this was just made from scraps

Mark the center back on the larger rectangle, and make tailor tacks or just mark about every three to five inches (I did about every eight-nine inches on the brown one. Again it’s up to you, depending on how many pleats you want and how deep you want them) I marked the measurements with an orange sharpie just to make sure it was clearly shown. I wouldn’t suggest it on your expensive fashion fabric.

Mark center back and where you want the bustle skirt to start on the waistband, I started mine near the sides, rather than in front.

Pleat the skirt onto the waistband, sew it together then flip the waistband down and slip stitch it together so there are no raw edges showing.

Yes my thread was green, just to make it easier to see what I was stitching to what. Now here’s the draping-ish part. With the first finger and thumb of your left hand, pinch the first mark you made on the skirt closest to the waistband.

Like so

With your first finger and thumb of your right hand, pinch the second mark you made on the skirt and bring together, transferring both pleats to your left hand so your right hand is free to grab the next pleat.

Continue this pattern with all of the markings, bring them all together and pin it while you prepare to stitch them together. Make sure you have each pleat lined up with the others, or you could skip a pleat without intending to while sewing.

I just whip stitched them together, but you could put loops on the inside of the skirt to allow the pleats to be pulled up or down.

Stitch that section to the center back of the waistband or you could attach a hook and eye to allow it to be pulled up or down.

Attach hooks and eyes to the waistband and you’re done!Well, what do you think? Are there any other inventive ways you’ve discovered to make a bustle without complicated instructions that make you want to scream?

 

Cheers!

Steampunk bustle skirt: Finished

image

So I finally finished the bustle skirt I’ve been working on. I don’t have the time or materials to make a *real* bustle but I made a psuedo bustle out of several yards of tulle. The seams are all finished with French seams since this fabric is lighter than the usual taffeta I work with. I used the pattern made by Cation Designs. Pattern and post found here. Though I did add more panels than she did. The hem was handsewn as I didn’t like the look of a machined hem.  (That alone took me neatly six hours.) But I’m quite happy with it. I do need to make a petticoat and a dust ruffle so the train doesn’t get dirty.

ETA: all of this steampunk madness is for the upcoming Salt City Steamfest at the end of July.

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