Sunday, 30 June 2013

bitching about hand stitching

I may hate hand sewing but I'll do my best if I have to do it.  Here's the bodice neck edges, the front of one side and the reverse of the other. One sleeve is hemmed too, so that leaves 1 sleeve hem and the skirt hem. I'm trying to have less of that to hem than 3m, but 2m is still more than I want to do.

bogged out from Winterfest, and dreaming of crochet

I just made 2 mugs of tea at the same time as I wanted a really big one, and this way i can stay under the blankie on a soggy winter day.  My group voted to abandon Winterfest as the car got bogged getting into the park at 7.30am Saturday, so it was going to be impassable by Sunday evening going home.  10 days of rain leading up to it meant the field was sodden and already boggy. None of us wanted to set up camp in that, and spend 2 days getting rained on most of the time. Plus a thunderstorm in the middle of it.

I found out on the way out there, so met up with the others for coffee, chatting and lunch before coming home & sleeping just over 2.5 hours.    I'd put my regency underwear on, and was going to finish dressing at the site. Thankfully I realised that I better not just put my coat on for the bus/train trip & tossed my green T-shift over the top of historic undies.

I'm home in bed and skillfully avoiding doing some hand sewing on my short gown.  I should do 1 bit, switch to something else, and return to hem the skirt section.

I'm twitching to start my next crochet blanket, waiting on back ordered wool from :)  Oh, I need to get my crochet hook ready.  I looked at images online to see if anythininspired me more than another, and one has stuck with me. I knew I wanted to make & join motifs, rather than endless rows like my first one. I can make lots of motifs up to the last colour/row and then join them as I go. Of course I can't find it on etsy now, but I'd saved the picture.  I borrowed faerie-mistress's amazeballs* crochet book, and have figured out how to make it in lavender and green.  I'll do a pale yellow centre, 2 shades lavender and 2 shades of green. So 5 rows per square.
     (*cos I gave it to her)

I've also considered doing some of these instead:

I do want squares to have a straight edged blanket, or rather to make a straight edged blanket easier!  So I also had to decide against these

Though I may make a scarf from this one, in teals

Friday, 28 June 2013

Winterfest is coming

I've cut out and started stitching my blue wool shortgown, using the Past Patterns Lewis & Clark era bodice. I've made the pattern twice before, and am tweaking it a little as I've lost weight.  Hopefully I've guestimated it right, but as it's working class, not upper or middle it's less important to reach an ideal.
I literally cut the gown to fit the cloth. I laid out the bodice & sleeves as economically as possible and then cut what was left into 2 strips. 1 width wasn't going to be wide enough for the skirt section as I'm not slender. 2 widths may be too much, but it leaves a bit for patches or mending.

The part I'm not looking forward to is hemming it. shudder!  If I had some linen tape I'd face the hem with that to save my sanity, otherwise I may do a rolled hem and be done.  For my brain, any hand sewing is too much. All those who love it, my brain doesn't comprehend. Intellectually I get that there must be them just as there must be people who like waking up early, but I don't "feel" it.

Some pix of the short gown.  hand sewing = fashion layer neckline, skirt hem, 3 edges (whimpers).  If it wasn't for re-enacting I could just get away with blatting away on the wondrous mechanical beast.  I need to hem the neck edge before I can attach the shoulder strap (at front anyway). I just belted around the lining. Ain't nobody seeing that.

The diamond back is definitely there! and I kinda like that it's the first thing I stitch. Could do the handsewing of the neck edge hem, but pffft. Diamond!

And here's a shoulder strap pinned to the assembled front/back with linings.

I'm suspecting quite strongly that I won't get it done for Saturday, ie tomorrow. But I'll take it with me and hand sew as much as I need so it's fit to wear on Sunday. It's definitely winter here.  Winterfest is likely to be very soggy.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Catelyn got finished and worn to Sydney Supanova

What can I say ... I'd have liked to get the chemise done for a smidge more character recognition. Though it may not have done as nobody seems to expect to see the mother. It's the hot young things that most people want to cosplay.  I've alway's gone for characters or costumes that interest me, rather than what may be popular.  It was great to be with the zeitgeist however ... so many other Game of Thrones costumes that we saw and a few more we heard were there.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

2nd mock ups and sewing the final iteration

Today I went to the sewing guild and took along a few essentials. My 2nd toile of the bodice for catelyn's dress and the 2nd toile of the hobbit bodice.  Usually I take more things than I can possibly hope for, but today it was only what had to be done.  Oh, forgot the 3 bra-laundry-bags that needed the zips replaced. That was a quick win to spur me on.

If the hobbit worked I was going to use it as a strength layer, but it didn't. I need to rotate the dart from the armhole, and I forgot to move the shoulder seam back. Lastly I need to insert a hulking hip gusset on the middle of the back panels and take the same amount from the hip side seam. Volume in the wrong place is still the wrong volume. Seeing as this gusset is going to be below the waist and thus under the skirts, it's not a biggie. I put the zip in the CB seam, or I'd pop it on & take a photo to show what I'm blethering on about.  I don't want the bodice to finish at waist line, cos that can be uncomfy with the boning, an there's a risk of gaping if the skirts drop at the back. It was making my quick & dirty oktoberfest costume a couple or 3 years ago that brings this to mind (it happens with that bodice & skirt).

Foolishly I didn't get pix of myself in any of the toiles.  The first dress mockup indicated that it needed to be taken in 3cm at the centre back seam, same at centre front seam, and a FBA done to compensate for the loss of frontage + a little extra. Also my standard 1.5cm sway back alteration.

And that half the FBA needed to be done on each of the two front bodice pieces. Oh Joy. NOT.   So I did that and cut out a 2nd toile & packed it into my sewing tote for today's group.

The 2nd toile needed 1 alteration, it gaped on the neckline so I had to fold that out of the pattern (18mm on the neckline!) I can tinker with the shoulder seam a little when the body is completely assembled & before I insert the sleeves. Then my brain melted a little when I remembered that I'd have to cut each panel into 2, as Catelyn as a 16 panel dress. I was winging the hem volume as I did went. I had to fit the pattern to the cloth as I only had just over 6 metres of fabric. It shrank in length & width in the dyepot.  No pix of the cutting & chalking proccess. I'd like to have much more width in the hem, but it is what it is. 6.4m of 140cm is a crazy amount to need more of. I may have cut longer than needed, but I knew that I was better off having to cut of an inch or so than need that inch.

I got half the seams sewn before it was time to pack up, and most of the rest once I got home. I flip flopped and dithered and felt obliged have the back seam lace closed, but I just wouldn't be able to dress myself if I do that. So after much angsting and consulting a couple of valued friends I decided that an invisible zip will be just the thing. I'm not aiming for screen accurate, just close enough to be recognisable.

So I've got 12 of the 16 body panels together and the other 4 in pairs. I'll insert the invis zip on the CB seam and then join the back 4 pieces to the rest. Stitch the shoulder seams and see if there's any tweaking to be done.  This looks like the fit is rubbish, cos it's being held up at the wrong level.

I was feeling so stressed this morning - over both work and costume deadlines and a day of sewing helped me decompress.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Hobbit bodice - shifting the front dart

So I stopped at the library on the way home to use one of their large tables. Here's I moved half the underbust dart to the side seam, and half off the side front of the centre front panel seam. I'm going to cut off the bodice 3" below the waist ... in the movie the skirts tie over the bodice, so I'm glad I marked the waistline. I'll leave the armscye dart in place & stitch it.

getting it right so far (Hobbit costume)

On the weekend when I was skimming for female hobbit pix, it dawned on me that my skirts + aprom is remarkably similar to this costume worn to the ROTK premier way back when. The image is from

Though I shall be wearing shoes, not furry prosthetics.  It's inordinately tempting to not wax my legs, mwahahahaha.

Monday, 10 June 2013

hobbit chemise is nearly complete

Tonight I spent a hideous half hour re-threading my overlocker from scratch.  There's one tricksy part with the lower looper, ie the first thread to be done, and it took multiple goes, two needle nose tweezers and a deep seated relief that I had no alcohol in the house.  I would have resorted to drinking some and it would have taken even longer.

Anyhoo, all is well I only have the neckline and sleeve hems to go.  Here's the hem being belted around. I overlocked and turned it up, and eyeballed the hem all around.  It's an under layer and in theory only seen by me. Hopefully I don't end up in emergency, and if I did the last thing they & I are concerned with is that I overlocked a costume hem that isn't on view.

Yes, I need to work on the overlocker tension as it's a smidge tight, but *underwear*.  Do I sound like I'm trying to convince myself ;)

Oh yes, I'm using Burda7156, a little shorter, and definitely shorter sleeves. I needed to cut it out of 3m of 112cm wide, as I needed 1m for a fichu (neck scarf) for my working class regency. I thought the sleeves looked crazy wide, & they were. I took 13cm (5") out and they're still puffy.

Oh, and my dreadful attempt at photos of my tv screen (my netbook doesn't have a cd/dvd drive so no screencapping ability).  Look at the ugly cap on this woman. -shudder-

being an adult has it's less fun aspects

Seeing as I've made the mess it's only fair that I pick up the mess I've made in the past 2 weeks, but I think we all know that it's boring having to put on the big girl pants at times.

Now it would have taken infintely less time if I'd just done it instead of constantly detouring via the interwebs. So later Sunday evening I finally got the hobbit shift cut out. I'm aiming to get the first pass seaming done tonight and just overlock the seams. Which means rethreading my new overlocker which I haven't done before. One of the looper threads broke, which means as they have to be done in a specific order that I have to completely unthread and learn this new beastie.

Today I'm dropping some unwanted tubs down to a friend, having brunch and finally seeing Iron Man 3.  Yay a fun day and a getting to feel like the grotto has a teency improvement.

Oh and talking of Hobbit costumes, I've just rewatched the first 5 minutes of Fellowship of the Ring and yes, their bodices do have modesty panels. blergh. Still, not a major hassle, just a bit tedious.  I remembered to order the grommets for the back, so I hope I got enough, depending on how i do the modesty panel.

Sooo my long weekend has been hidously unproductive, with Sunday being the clean up at home day that Saturday should.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

stashbusting for the corded petticoat

aiyyy, much as I'd love to be buying cotton organdy for my corded petticoat, I'm not going to.  I gave myself a mental headslap as I've 3 lengths of white hanky-weight linen in my stash. I've got 5 linen chemises already and even if I make a bodiced petticoat with one length, that still leaves 2 sitting waiting to be used. And are money already spent!

Corded linen petticoats are period so I need to just do it! Lunchtime tomorrow I'll go to the knitting shop in the city and get some heavier crochet cotton to use so that I have all the things, and can start it as soon as my Winterfest sewing is done.

Yesterday i didn't get anything sewing done, I've a mild headache that's been around for a few days. And I worked late, which is good as I need to make up time already taken. By the time I got home at 7.30pm I was tired, grumpy, hungry and my inner toddler was in ascendency. Time for takeaway, avoiding the news/interwebs cos of that stoopid sports match that was on which I have zero interest in. Along with an early to bed to get some zzz.  Except I had a crap night sleep due to being woken up by neighbours etc. Oh and I remembered dreaming - an anxiety one where I had so many deadlines and the only way I could finish everything was to do a bit of everything each day.  Oddly enough just like my real life scenario.

If I can do a couple of rows of my corded petti each day then I won't be spending my week's holiday before Steamfest sewing endless row after row of cording.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

seating for working class regency events

Just ordered on eBay (waiting to hear when I can pay & collect it) a folding stool, that's suitable for regency events.  I really want a chair, but this will be lighter as I'm schlepping myself around on by public transport - both bus and train.  Seeing as Winterfest is at the end of this month I'm really looking forward to having my own seat. Though maybe like last year I'll spend my time napping on the ground.

and yes it may be slightly posher than working class, but it's transportable by design.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

getting things ticked of the to-do list

So yes I got an extra-long zip from the stash TICK, and sewed together Catelyn's mockup bodice TICK and have an idea how it needs to be altered TICK.  On the way to the tub-o-white fabric, I looked in teh costume fabric cupboard and LO, BEHOLD there was the unbleached voile TICK.

Not even on my ticky-list was preshrinking the unbleached voile BONUS-TICK, and selecting a stash fabric to flatline the bodice of Catelyn's dress BONUS-TICK.  That's preshrunk too! BONUS-TICK I want to flatline it as linen/cotton may stretch out and this will hopefully reduce that. Though it may be totally counterproductive to do that, so I'll ponder that a little longer while I get the mockup fitted.

I also did two loads of laundry (sheets and towels) BONUS-TICK

Sadly not ticked off was altering the hobbit bodice pattern MINUS-TICK.  Partly cos I'm flat & tired after today's "may not have a job in October" news.

There aren't any photos of the mockup to share, dagnabbit, as I have 'misplaced' the memory card for my camera.  And I need the photos myself so that I can evaluate how the back fits.  Though so I don't have to wait forever, I may take it to work and ask a colleague to do some pinning. I'm so grateful that I have someone who sews sitting near me now.

Time to put fresh sheets on the bed, and then get the chemise pattern/fabric/pins together and go to bed. Have a follow up with my endocrinologist tomorrow morning first thing so I have to be up and at 'em..

Syd'nova and Winterfest costume checklists

Just to make sure I don't forget something essential over the next 3.5 weeks.  Strike through = done

wig - must get a wig comb & tidy it up
chemise - need to cut, stitch
bodice - need to 2nd toile, cut, sew. (ooh, must order grommets)
skirt 1
skirt 2

wig - have 2 being commissioned into 1. dye or spray my hair dark auburn
chemise (or chemisette) - find voile in the stash. check whites tub
dress - stitch 1st toile, alter pattern, stitch dress - possibly dye darker
bag - maybe embroider a fish on it?
shoes - decide on which to use
possible scarf - perhaps a length of silk chiffon?

working class 1806
cap & hat

chemisette - linen (can hand hem neckfrill at lunchtime {shudder}
bodiced skirt - the pale blue linen has already been dyed
short gown - in stripe wool. short version of Past Patterns
basket with wine jug
 edited to add: cloak
So tonight I'll sew together Catelyn's mockup (must get extralong zip from stash), and see how it needs to be altered.  Plus pattern up the 2nd hobbit bodice toile. And look in the tub-o-white to see if I put the unbleached voile in there, and I may make it a chemisette to make my life easier.
Tomorrow at lunchtime I can cut out the hobbit chemise, and at night I can sew the 2nd hobbit bodice toile and start the chemise (all those long straight seams for the win!)

Monday, 3 June 2013

lets not forget about shoes and underpinnings

Eep, I just realised that I've made zero thought as to what shoes Catelyn Stark wears.  Or maybe she wears boots.  I'm looking at my shoe collection and wonder what I can wear that's comfortable and closely appropriate - given that I have freakishly wide feet and can't just go out and buy shoes.

Part of me says that if I can't even see the hem of her skirt as it's covered by her coat, then surely I can chose whatever works best for me.  I've got some black hush puppies that I can wear all day, and I've pair of navy shoes I got for a costume that I could wear. Must see how comfy they are.

I also need to get some cotton organdy to make a corded petticoat. I need to start sewing this sooner rather than later, as I need it for the end of July. As I'm at Steamfest the weekend before SMASH, I can't leave it until I get home.

Plus I need a new corset to wear under my steampunk (in August) , and Ma Dola (ditto), and Clara ( at end November).  I could make an 1860s and a natural form, but I can wear the natural form corset under the 1860s.  So inspired by Before the Automobile I'm going to mock up both the 1880 in Waugh's Corsets & Crinolines and Salen's 1885 to see which is more suitable for my very different physique. Salen's because I've already scaled up the pattern and graded it to my approx size.  Even in my younger, slimmer years I was short-waisted and stocky.  Sadly I'm going to be not so elegant in appearance, and that's not even taking into account my hatred of hand sewing vis a vis flossing. But either one of these will have to do, as there is no perfect pattern.

eeee, I have Ageless #1288, a 1890 corset for a stout lady (though not as stout as me!).  I can't do this one too!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

an japanese movie costume for August

Some long term planning here, well August this year.  I'm going to SMASH, and I need to upgrade my Ma Dola (from the movie Laputa).  It's now hugely big for me, which is a good place to be unless you want to wear it.  I'm going to make her skirt version as I overheated in the britches.

Though I'm not sure if overheating was cos I used a stretch woven as that was the stashed fabric in the right colour. Which isn't that of these screencaps. The standing one is darker as it's night-time, and the one below is just wrong. 

I need to watch the film again to check her skirt length. I may make a corded petticoat if it's a shorter skirt.