Wednesday, 29 May 2013

dyepot dramas

Hmm, it looked like it would be a lot darker, but after washing this is the result. It's darker than the season 1 & 2 dress, but nowhere near as dark as her new dress. What I think I'll do is sew the dress with a darker thread, (but don't yet hem) and then just dye the dress and see what happens.

in the mail: a book on everyday clothing in the 18th century

I can't resist a costume related book. Well, technically not quite true. There are some I can cos they are so spendy that I just can't justify it to myself. (Barbara Johnson's swatch book. Wants so badly but I won't pay crazymoney)

So today I was reading a blogpost about the Foundling Hospital exhibition Threads of Feeling (it has a FB page), and it mentioned that one of the pages is reproduced in the book "The Dress of the People: Everyday Fashion in 18th Century Europe" by John Styles.  So I went to bookdepository and realised they needed my money right there and then.

Especially as my re-enactment group are working class english (or english navy).  So an easy self justification, and can't wait for it to arrive.  I did wince at the price, but it includes airmail so that's OK.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

photo catchup - have them at last

ugh, the interwebs just ate my post as I went to post. Lets see what I can remember ...

Here's the blue fabric I'm going to make into a short gown for my 1806 female working class persona.  It's lightweight and the warp stripes are (by thread numbers): *2 white, 2 light blue, 1 dark blue, 2 light blue* repeat at about 8 per inch/2.5cm.  It's a greyer blue than this photo would suggest.

The hobbit bodice - it fitted reasonably well in the back, apart from the shoulder straps being 3.5-4cm too long (overall not just in the back shoulder strap). My torso is short between underarm and shoulder so I'm not all surprised by this. I was thinking of moving the shoulder seam towards the back as in historical clothing so marked a line on the toile, but decided against it as the screencaps of women's clothing don't have that.

With the front, the central panel seamline is drawn on the reverse so you can't see it in the mockup.  I'm going to see if taking half the underbust dart from that seamline and the other half from the side seam sits ok, but first I'm going to rotate the underarm dart to the underbust.

As I anticipate wearing this to the next couple of movies as well as this June's Supanova I want to do a reasonably good job of it.  I'll do a 2nd mockup to see if my changes work effectively, and I'll cut the back & side front pieces on the bias just to see how that works.

Oh and I nearly forgot that I got the dye for Catelyn tonight.  I guestimate that I'd need 2 bottles or 4 packets of RIT.  I'd checked my dye-stash on Sunday night and amongst them is a dark green and a grey but there wasn't a teal which I thought was in there.  So once I discovered the bottles would cost $38 for 2, well I balked at that.  So instead I got 1 bottle and a packet of dark blue - on the theory that dark blue+dark green+teal+grey would hopefully get me a dark teal

reverse stashbusting

Last night I  popped down to the laundry to grap a top for work today, & thought I'd have a quick squizz in the tub o' regency goodness for the piece of grey linen. It's not enough to make a short gown, as it's only 135cm wide (pesky beefy arms of mine).  Anyhoo, I thought it'd be good for a working class regency apron - trying to use stash this year as much as inhumanly possible.

Instead of finding the grey linen in there, I found the lightweight blue stripey crepe-ish wool that I thought had been carted to the charity shop last year. So freud was looking out for me. It's not scritchy and that extra width at 150cm makes it enough to squeak out a short gown.  I may even need to piece a sleeve, but I'll get it.  I'm thinking lightweight wool's a good enough idea as Winterfest and Redcoats & Convicts both happen in winter.

Concession needs to be made for the fact I'm a bit of a freak though.  Last Thursday I noticed that I was the only person at the bus stop (or indeed on the bus) who had bare legs, short sleeves, no scarf, cardigan, jacket or coat. And I wasn't cold. Not even crispy on the outside and toasty inside.  I was pleasantly comfortable. I still am this week and it's not warming up.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Catelyn gets a darker dress in Season 3

At the Popcorn taxi evening, Michelle Fairley said how happy she was to get a new dress for Season 3 ... she had the least amount of costume changes compared to the other women.

So if yesterday you hear a how in the wind, it was me seeing that her new dress is a dark teal or blue ... a colour that really suits me but is unlike my fabric.  And it looks to be the same style, thankfully. Hmm this one looks almost black & s probably the funeral/mourning clothes.  But I'm sure I saw her in dark teal, so that's what I'm going for.

Upshot is I aim to dye my minty green not a blue-green close to the photo I've previously posted, but a dark teal if I can figure it. I'm thinking 2x teal and 1x grey or black for the dyepot.  Seeing as it's 6.5m x 140cm I'll need more than one packet of dye to get a darker teal.

So yayyyy that the new dress colour suits me so much better, but not so yay that it'll be a challenge

looking at fabric sends me to a happy place

ooh, I'd love to buy some of this to make my working class regency short gown.  It's a light weight wool from FFC, and not on sale.  Plus international fee and postage and yes, I'll be smarter to avoid getting it.  Though if it's still around next time they have a sale and I have cashy money then all bets are off.

I intentionally wouldn't pick a pinstripe, but I'd like a stripe. and I also like this one, also not on sale, #17998

KK918 confusingly is listed as a grey/black worsed wool, but the description says 100% cotton.

fending off donation-remorse

About 13 years ago I got a couple of pieces of fabric from a charity shop near my workplace at North Sydney.   Last year I decided I couldn't justify keeping one of them as I didn't think I'd ever have a use for it.  So I think it went to the Fabric Cave in a huge bag of other stuff.

Today I thought, hmmm if I can't find the pink/green print, what else in my stash can be sacrificed to the working class regency. Oooh, goes my brain. That blue with white stripe lightweight wool. Winter is coming and both events are outdoors, so I'd be cosy if there's a cold wind.

Only to discover that in my spreadsheet it's tagged for donation. Huh, wonder if it really and truly did get sent.  My have to fossick for it.

If it did, I'm refusing to regret it. It's only blind chance that let me think of a use for it well over 6 months afterwards.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

one found and one lost

Alison has lent me her bag of Ikea things, which has their speshul hex keys.  Fingers crossed this works with the aneboda set cos the table on top of the drawers is just right without the set of drawers feet. Don't know if I'll get it done this week, as I'm a bit squiffy and shifting stuff increases motion sickness.  I ate too much cheese yesterday, pissed off my innards.

The bad is that I popped into the grotto tonight to find the fabric for my short gown ... so I could pre-shrink it this week.  However I simply couldn't find it. Which is crazy cos I saw it 2 weeks ago, and would have sworn I put it in the cupboard. 

Not there, BUT ta-dahhhh I found the sleeves for my nightie.  Wahoo. They were in with a couple of unfinished projects. So sorta, kinda in with like things. Alike in being unfinished projects, not-alike in they're historical clothing and this was sleepwear.  Though very much from on a T chemise pattern. (Finding the sleeves was the good)
So my dilemma now is what to use for the short gown. I'm hoping to wear it at the end of June, so either finding the fabric, picking another fabric, or not getting my working class regency done in time are my 3 options.

Ooh, and I got help fitting the hobbit bodice. Some dartage is inevitable, but it's worth having a well fitting bodice when you're a shetland pony in human form. Will show pics of the toile tomorrow.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

unfitted mockup of the hobbit bodice, and other small chores

Today at the sewing guild I took lots of little things in case the spare sewing machine wasn't available/working.

I seperated the chemise-blouse pattern pieces from the corset & pantalettes in the burda envelope, and cut out my size in the paper pattern. Leaving the fabric until the last minute this week (so I can hopefully including in a stashbusting comp).

I can tick off some zips that had to be unpicked from discarded skirts. I'd alreading cut a skirt margin around the zips as the skirts were stained or damaged.

My hobbit bodice pattern to trace and get the initial mockup done. I didn't cut the pattern out as it's on heavy paper, and I'd rather leave the multisizing intact. I'm using the Tailor's Guild pattern, cutting it off at waist level. I cut it out in midweight cotton twill using long stitches and putting an upside down zip on the front edge ... it's the waist that needs to be wider to get on, not the neckline.  When I make the real hobbit, I'll cut the front on the fold and have a 2" gap in the back that laces closed. I'm hoping to get help fitting this tomorrow.

I've just popped it over my speedy fish T to see how close it is, as it's going over a chemise-blouse not too far removed from a T. The fit is closer than I expected but longer shoulder straps (I'm short between shoulder and underarm. A bit loose below the bust of course. I'm going to bone between the base layers, with the "fashion" layer floating on top of them.  An incredibly poor quality photo, but meh, the past couple of days are saying "just keep moving forward" so I'm not going to have another go. You should see the photo attempts I deleted!

I took 6 pieces of fabric to give away, and only had to bring 2 of the smaller pieces home. I'll take them to the Fabric Cave next Sunday.  Plus some others I didn't take with me today.

3rd task i tackled was the UFO nightie I cut out last year and didn't get done. At the time I hadn't enough fabric to cut out the keyhole neck facing such as the one in this version I made *cough* years ago. So when I took El Pres fabric shopping a month ago on her flying visit from Adelaide I grabbed half a metre of the similar but smaller/bluer fabric in Marrickville. The same place I got my hobbit apron yardage. And yesterday got the Catelyn fabric.

So today I planned to cut out the keyhole facing. Except when I opened up the project bag there were no sleeves. None.  And for once I tossed the scraps. So I must have flicked the sleeves by mistake when I cut it out back in July or August - it was before my August holiday. The half yard of tiny print wasn't enough for both sleeves and the neck facing. And I was there YESTERDAY and they still had the fabric, but I just knew that if I cut a sleeve and neckband that when I got back there it would be all gone and I'd have to cut them again. So I grumped to anyone who'd listen.  Mainly cos the timing of it all.

The grumps put me off a little.

Next I got out the dress pattern for Catelyn & found the right pieces for the mockup, but was too grumpy to do an FBA on the bodice, so I packed up a tiny bit early and came home.

At least 2 of my extensive UFO list are scratched off it. I just wish the nightie was going to join them soon.
- replacement curtains for my main room, with block out lining - cut out
- Hobbit, 2 skirts cut out

Friday, 24 May 2013

dyeable linen/cotton for Catelyn

Phew it was an easy find at my fave Marrickville fabric shop. It's a linen/cotton blend, 140cm (56") wide and only $4.50m.  So I snagged 6m and will wash/preshrink it tonight, and get some dye for it. I may even use dylon as iDye is harder to find.

It's more of a minty green than my photo (flash bleaching it out) but as i'm dyeing it, that hardly matters. That it's a more textured weave is a bonus, given her dress isn't in a smooth tabby weave.

Edited to add: Did a burn test before I washed it, and yes it's a linen-cotton blend. Not a paper ash residue but a minimal ash residue

Thursday, 23 May 2013

wretched Ikea hex keys

Last night I gave myself three tasks I had to do before I could open a bottle of wine. It was a stressful day at work, and I've learned not to drink & stitch.

So first, laundry - ticked that off easily.

Second, rethread the overlocker with brown & do the skirt's panel seams - ticked off far too easily. Though the time procrastinating did let me mull over the 2 options.  I decided to overlock each side of the seam & press them open.

Third, raise the cutting table downstairs, and move the ikea drawers underneath.  This would mean taking off the feet [on the drawer set].  To do that you have to take the bottom drawer off the sliding rail it's screwed to.

So I lumbered around under the table chocking it up higher, and then getting under it to get the drawer out. When i got the giggles, cos I'd trapped myself underneath. With the drawer out I didn't have room to get past & out from under.  I found that the legs are attached with a hex topped screw. {sigh} Smaller than I expected, and I'd have to find my allen/hex keys.

So I managed to get out by moving the table away & off the risers.  Mumbled about getting it back onto them.  Once I got my hex keys, I found that none of them fit. They were reverse-Goldilocks - either too big or too small.  But as the 2nd set of drawers was arriving this morning I had to find a quick fix.  I raised the table even higher and shuffled the drawer set underneath. And struggled to reattach the drawer to the sliders.  Cos until I have a hex key that works I'm having it all in one piece with nothing loose to get lost.

This morning I filled waiting time by unpacking some costumes from a tub into the top drawer and was happy.  It feels like just maybe I'll get the grotto into a semblence of order. Even if it's done a little bit at a time. 

I've now got four 50litre tubs to give away, and two or three 40litre.  Plus a tub that was given to me with three half hides of leather.  I want to take these to the Fabric Cave but without a car it's not so simple. Taking a bus I can fill my nanna shopping trolley with stuff & carry 1 empty tub.  If it becomes too complicated I'll just take the empty tubs to my nearest charity shop. they're taking up room and the space will give me a little more peace fo mind.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

thinking about sewing - working class regency short gown

This morning I preshrank the hobbit blouse fabric, so I've done something today sewing related.  I got extra of this fabric so I could make a regency era fichu from it. There will be serious complaining about hand rolled hems.  I begrudgingly hand sew only when it cannot possibly be avoided.

Tonight I also put some thought into my regency short gown /jacket which I'll need in late June. The style I'm aiming for is similar to a bodice sold by Meg Andrews I could use the Lewis & Clarke era dress pattern & substantially shorten it, with less fabric in the back.

However I also thought of the Northern Society of Costumes & Textiles pattern of the 1793 Dress of the Revolution (French).

I could raise the waist, & add a "skirt" to the back.  It's similar to what was worn by working class at the time I'm looking at, a decade later than this pattern. I do want to use this pattern at some point in the nearish future but in the interests of expediency I may simply go with the Past Patterns that I know fits.  The NSCT jacket needs to be scaled to size, graded to fit, mocked up, etc.  

parcels and what Sesame Street calls "sometimes foods"

It's been a good parcel post this week.  I bought a selangor pewter jug and goblets on eBay, partly for more upper class regency reenactment and partly cos it reminded me of Game of Thrones.

It will get used, so it's not entirely impulsive and just for the pretties.  However another parcel that arrived the same day was Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding.  The co-incidental timing didn't escape me.  There's hoarding in the family, and I know I've a tendency to find it hard to let go of things.  This is to help me not get to the level of stuff that it becomes a problem for me. It started to while I was so sick if only because it had become disorganised, because you can't organise too much stuff.

Most of my stuff is sewing & costume related, but I can do an overall cull. I've done it in the past when I moved home a lot, however staying in the one place for so much longer has meant a build up of things.  Plus I can learn to think about objects differently.

The other thing that arrived was the costume patterns. I spent time this evening reading them and might even use the Tailor's Guide stays pattern as the base for my hobbit bodice.

I'm off my food today - there's a bug going around work and I came home at lunchtime yesterday and slept til 5.30pm.  I was ok enough to go to work today but didn't want brekkie.  I did get to eat a chicken quiche for lunch, and it was very chicken tasting. That is rather than faint hints of chicken I could see the pieces and taste it.  I'll buy it again, though it was fairly pricey, simply cos the filling was quality.  I got it at from the frozen section at an IGA on the way to work, and it's by a Queensland company Glutenfree Bakery.  I don't have a photo of it, cos it's in my tummy.  As it was frozen I heated it in the microwave at work, but if I was at home I'd take the time to heat it in an oven after defrosting. Last week I bought a twinpack of their Chicken Pies. YUM. This is something I've wanted repeatedly in the past 5 months and I finally found one I could eat.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Baby steps back to new clothing

I got the two front seams done tonight, and I'm trying to decide if I overlock them together, press to one side and then topstitch, or if I overlock them individually and then press open.

I wish I knew why this is photographing lighter than it is, but it's not important really. Getting it sewn & in rotation is.

Edited to add: no wonder I'm dithering on that decision. I just looked at my stash/usage spreadsheets and the last time I made a skirt that WASN'T a costume was in the first half of 2007.  Cos the skirt I half cut out January 2012 didn't actually get finished. Though now I've replaced the pattern I can get onto that.  Sheesh, no wonder my clothing is wearing out and I need a new real life clothing sewing habit.

I'm not going to throw myself into a frenzy of sewing, but get back to sewing 15-30 minutes a day. Getting something done every day is a habit I want to have again.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

ticking off the apron, the easy components are ready.

A teeny tiny amount of hand stitching on the back of the waistband and it's done. 

One thing I didn't mention in my skirts update is that on the underskirt the fullness is even around the skirt. On the upper plaid, as the fabric is bulkier and there's more of it I ptu 40% in the front and 60% in the back half of the waistband.

Just realised I'd better check the weather forecast as I need to preshrink the blouse/chemise fabric. I might have done it last year but simply can't remember. If in doubt, preshrink.

I was going to go the medieval fair a Blacktown today, but I woke up with swollen glands. Playing safe and stayed in my PJs all day.  Too many lurgies going through my work colleagues this week.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

great progress with my hobbit costume

Today I went to my other sewing guild group, and I got so much done. Thanks to Alison, who brought a spare sewing machine for me to use.  I found out from shifting boxes of fabric that I still can't lift that much weight around yet. (Silly gallbladder, you no longer exist so why did you hurt so much).  I knew it would be worth going simply cos I couldn't simply quit once I got fed up with a tedious task.  And I knew there were tedious tasks to come!   Seeing as Supanova is in Sydney in 5 weeks, well I just need to keep working on this and Catelyn once I have the fabric.

I'd stitched each skirt into a giant tube, but I needed to hem, gather & attach their waistbands.  I decided to not have both on 1 waistband, which maybe now I wonder if it'd be a good idea to reduce bulk. Though this way I can wear one on it's own if it's too hot.  The lighter weight underskirt has 2.7m of fabric around, and the plaid is about 3.1m.  I haven't done the snaps for the waist, and I think they're to bulky to buttonhole.  Here they are hanging on my shower rail.

I also got the apron 90% done, I've just got the press the tie belts, and hand stitch the waistband fully closed.  No pics yet, cos to be honest it would be tediously dull as it is.

Oh and the green linen I'm using for this apron, I won't be getting more of the same to overdye for Catelyn. It's fraytastic and has a woven rib in it, which won't be great on all those panel seams.

I also got some green trim to apply to the bodice, which is just what I was after.  For only $1 a metre, and it's cotton.  I'll preshrink it tonight so that when I need it it's ready.

Next up I'll mock up the bodice so that I can get help fitting it next Saturday at my usual sewing group.

Friday, 17 May 2013

planning for later in the year, Clara O

I've been a fan of Dr Who for years, well before the reboot with Christopher Eccleston.  I've liked various costumes, and am still planning to make Idris.  Most recently the 2012 Xmas episode had me say "ooh, ooh I *have* to have that!".  I like all of the costumes the character Clara wears, especially the blue & black gown.  So much that I hunted down a dobby cotton, as the close ups of her show the fabric isn't a plain weave.  It arrived a couple of weeks ago and it's delicious.  This photo is much lighter than it really is, it's navy not blue!

I also got from ebay the Past Patterns 904, an 1880s polonaise + walking skirt, which arrived today.  I know I'll need to make alterations to it, but it was close enough to suit me. No matter what I chose as a starting point changes will be needed so this will be fine.  There's a skirt in Hunnisett's Period Costumes for Stage & Screen that's ideal for Clara's black skirt ... and I wonder if the one she wore came from one of her productions.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

pics of the problematic fabrics

So the 2 blue linens look like this, and if I can't use them for this costume I'm thinking of giving them away. Unless I have another costume I can use them in soonish.

It's not the colour that bothers me so much as how the feel & look & their density.  Ooh, maybe dye the pale one and use it for a bodiced skirt for my working class regency.   Yeah! that works for me.

The hobbit apron fabric is textured and appears differently on each side.

So I could over dye it with pale blue for the duckeggy colours Catelyn wears. Though it's only 112cm wide so I'd need more than if it were a wider fabric.  From memory it was only $10m which is pretty good here. So possibly 6m would sort this for me.

Started sewing the hobbit skirts today, and these are the fabrics I'm using. the checky one will be the sides & back of the bodice, with the floral as the centre front. I want to find a green trim as the decoration.

problems with my Catelyn fabrics

I dived into the cupboard last night for the 2 blue linens for my Catelyn Stark dress, only to discover that the weave is different enough that I wouldn't be happy to use them together. One's paler & finer than the other, which just isn't going to work as a cohesive garment.


I'm not supposed to buy any more fabric but use my huge stash, but as I've already got the wig/s and I'll be wearing it in 5 weeks, well I might just get some inexpensive linen if I can get it.  My fave shop in Marrickville had reasonably priced when i was there a couple of weeks ago. I only got a piece for my hobbit apron that day (yay for restraint) but I may return for Catelyn.

I was a bit frustrated last night when I opened my hobbit pack, as the fabric & pictures where in there but no thread. And I'd already filled the bobbins.  Hence my detour to the grotto to do something else.  Late in the evening I did find the thread/bobbins in an obvious sewing spot, but they weren't where I was convinced I'd put them (in with the fabric).  Tonight I'll start stitching, and change the thread on my new overlocker from the white it came pre-threaded with.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Start with pre-shrinking

I'm actually making incremental progress towards stitching.

Winter is coming. For realz ... it's the last couple of weeks of autumn this side of the world and I need more work clothes that fit & look good.  I've selected some deliciously dark chocolate brown wool in a sort of crepe weave to make a skirt.  I've selected a skirt pattern I used back in January 2007, from a 2004 Burda magazine.
I'll start stitching the hobbit skirt tonight ... I would have last night but I had a crampy tummy {rolls eyes} ... crampy for none of the obvious reasons.  At least all the threads etc are together.

Here's the choc brown wool - this photo is really bleached out ... that's a navy top I'm holding it up to. Yep, navy not blue. n The Burda pattern is style 148 from the December 2004 magazine.

Monday, 13 May 2013

a second set of Ikea drawers for storage

Hurrah,  I just got a message from the ebay seller I got the Ikea drawers from.  They've decided to sell the other set they have, same size and colour.

I can't get it til later next week as I've overspent my pay already.  However they're happy to wait as the auction would take time, and I'm paying above the average for them.  Mainly because he can deliver, and delivery would cost me more. So it's a win for both of us.

It gives me time to get the table sorted out and the first set of drawers put in place underneath.


Also I tossed my falling apart sewing tote wheelie.  It's almost winter and the zipper had broken as well as the base being unstable. So gone. 

And I brought my hobbit costume upstairs from storage. It's time to start assembling the skirts.

a delicious gluten free cake

I first tried this recipe back in September, and it was definitely successful then. 

Last week we were having a morning tea at work and I operate on the theory that if I make it I can eat it .... it's easier for me to ensure something is gluten & soy free.  I can now have dairy so that's one less thing to dodge!

The recipe comes from:

This time around I was able to use butter instead of nuttlex .... mainly cos it's what I now have in the fridge. I had great success with nuttlex and may well use it again.  I failed to whip the egg whites into a properly stiff peak, so my cake wasn't quite as light as it could have been.  The first one was about 1cm taller (3/8ths of an inch).  Also I might have slightly burnt the syrup, but it wasn't noticed by anyone once the cake was done .... or so they told me.  It was enjoyed by all.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Tailor's Guide - pattern range

A company I'd never heard of with, to quote their website, patterns from the "colonial fur trade, civil war, western frontier".    My finger isn't as on the pulse as I'd thought, cos despite trawling a whole lot of sites that sell historical type patterns I'd not spotted them before. Which is crazy considering the range of patterns Tailor's Guide have.  There are other patternson Amazon & Patterns of Time that aren't on their website. Yesterday I added to my pattern stash by ordering their 1725-85 Partially Boned reversible stays.
I also got Past Patterns 705 early to mid 19th century stays. I've wanted to look at it for ages and it wasn't going to add to my cost of postage so snaffled it. So yes, my obsession with underpinnings continues unabated.  One day I should work my way through every single pattern ... a scary thought!

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Simplicity had a female hobbit costume pattern?

How did I miss this??

That's easy to answer cos I haven't really looked at the pattern books for a few years, when previously I was onto them like fresh crack as soon as each seasons was in the fabric shops.

Now it's a good-enough basic pattern, though a dress rather than a shift, skirt & bodice.  I'm not going to use it, but if I did want it it's reasonably priced on eBay even with postage from the states.

Rewatching the Hobbit movie last week, I did spot at least one woman in the village, though she seemed to be wearing a different fitted sleeveless bodice. More like this pattern (I keep wanting to call them jumps even though they're not?)