Thursday, 30 October 2014

my bodgy version of the Sleepy Hollow windmill dress

I thought I'd got a photo of me early in the evening but nope I hadn't, and neither did any of my friends who I thought had taken one. So I've found a less flattering photo from a little later in the evening when I'm not so carefully posed (where is the nice one dagnabbit!).

The skirt is creased cos I didn't get a chance to press it after taking it out of my weekend bag.

With the retrospectascope these are things I wish I'd done differently:
- not bothered with the hip pads with this costume - they're too much for it.
- not raised the neckline so much. Some, but not as much as I had.
- put a modesty panel behind the hook/eye opening as per the screen version.
- cut the skirt longer & wider. I cut it 3" longer than my archery skirt, but it's still too short.*

* the blessing of buying a 9.5metre length of vintage rayon faille curtain fabric from ebay is that I can completely remake it with minimal cost ie time+thread

What I'm happy with overall it's ok for an impression of the costume, not a screen accurate one.

The skirt pattern from NSCT worked really really well. I'm more than happy to pleat the front & gather the back again. So easy to tie 1 set instead of 2. I used grosgrain ribbon cos it was cheap enough and robust enough to use. I'm loving grosgrain ribbon instead of poor quality cotton tape.

And here I am being silly ... again.

Because I raised the neckline too much, the drawstring at the neckline (attached to lining) is obviously gathered. If the topline was lower, there'd be less gather required.

Friday, 24 October 2014

freeforming with the windmill

I really did just freeform cut the revised shape of the lower bodice edge

And the sleeves were too angled for *my* comfort. The pattern may be perfectly period correct, but I'm happy to straighten them a little. I slashed to the centre of the elbow from each side so there was a small hinge, and overlapped the outer edge 1.5cm. (5/8ths of an inch). I can easily return the pattern to it's original shape or adjust it next time I use it.

The body is assembled apart from the shoulder/upper back edge, and the sleeves. Which I know fit and are 4 simplish seams and bodgy cuffs.

The lights in my work's meeting room are yellowing the cocoa beige of the fabric.

frankenpatterning my 1793 jacket pattern

I'm thinking of it as the cheater version, cos it's for a party where 95% of the people wouldn't have a clue about screen accuracy.

The skirt will be near enough, and the jacket is the bodgy part. The striped corduroy arrived from FFC and it's a stretch woven. An abomination in my eyes! But it's for a half in- & half out-door venue and I don't have to care if I spill party food on it. Which is a winner!

It does mean that I can't accurately test the pattern that I'm mocking up, even though I'm flat-lining it with non-stretch. As far as the sleeves go I'm not lining those suckers.

I'm cutting out the jacket at lunchtime today, after I mish-mashed the scaled up to 100% NSCT 1793 pattern with the archery jacket pattern via my 1780s polonaise. I really am leaving it to the last minute along with flying by the seat of my pants. Though I've fitted 2 out of 3 of these patterns already.

Yes, I dithered and finally got the patterning done last night - went to bed really early 2 nights in a row (Tues/Wed)and got 10 hours sleep each night - so I must have needed it. But that was my pattern work & mock up time.

I scaled up the NSCT pattern to 100% and she has approx 31" waist and 38" bust. Which I dont. So I got the pattern Desir Brulant lent me for our georgian archery costume, and I bodgied up a frankenpattern based on it.

Here's part of the back. I stuck the back & side back together along the seamlines. Mostly, I ignored that they didn't meet in the middle as this added not subtracted a smidge). Then drafted a CB piece based on the NSCT but 1" wider, with the pleated hem and then copied the rest of the pattern, guestimating & eyeballing below the waist - based on the NSCT pattern.

The top edge needed to be a bit higher for modesty - as "the girls" were so on display with the archer that its hilariously bad. Giant norks are over-rated. I also straightened out some of the shoulder strap edges - after matching the short section to the front on the seamline.

And cos this is a quick & dirty costume, not a screen accurate one (LOL the thought with the effort I'm putting in for this party) I'm going to stitch down the fringed yarn I have. Forget seperate piecing for the front.

quick.dirty.effective. (Hoping the last one is right).

And if you're wondering what I'm making, a friend is throwing a Tim Burton themed party, and I'm making this

I was hoping to find a cheap sheer table runner to use as an apron but will be skipping it at this point - no such luck. I must have missed that fashion trend. I've got the blonde wig I bought for Lamia a few years ago, and even though I'm not happy with it that's ok. It won't stay on all night the way it would at Supanova etc

Monday, 20 October 2014

back in the zone ...

Yes that is a very bad pun or dad joke, because the jacket in the costume is what we in teh 21st century call a zone front

Underpinnings are first under the needle. From op shop cotton guest towel, to 18th century pockets.

The pocket was made on Saturday (the other can be done if  I have enough time) and tonight I finished the hip pads. I used the pattern in the wingeo set ... at least I think it is. It's the set that I made my bum-pad from.  This time I used poplin ($1/metre that I still have about 5metres of) with pretty stars on it. Anyone sees the stars that means I'm prancing in my underwear, they shouldn't show through a petticoat and skirt.

Naturally I couldn't just make the pattern up as they are. I read the recent Foundations Revealed article on an extant working class (or not upper) stays with attached hip pads. So I noted that the loop tapes would make the wingeo pads not at waist level but @ 3" below. And the construction in that FR had the padding a coupleish inches below the waist.  Yes these would be larger/longer, but I'm a solid lump, unline the woman who wore those stays.

So I pencilled a line at 7cm from the top edge and stuffed them so that only the outer half would be padded.  Pinned along the pencil line, trying to keep the top section even & flat.

and then I stitched with edge of the foot next to the pins.  (what, you didn't expect hand stitching from me did you? foolishness!)

and then stitched another 5mm close to the waist, just in case any stitches pop, and turning in the seam left open for inserting the padding . After taking out the pins I have 2 pads for my hips that will get basted directly to the stays a smidge below my waist.

I also got the skirt a quarter done. I'm only using 2 widths of my 120cm (47") wide fabric, simply so that I don't have to cut slits for pockets. it's less than the original ... and she wasn't tiny.  I did the maths and her waist is about 33".  I got the lengths cut, overlocked the top edge so it doesn't fray. Stitched the side seams, and basted down the openings. I'm going to use the design structure of the NSCT 1793 outfit - not open at the side waist, cos the back half is gathered on tapes.  It's kosher, period and just a little bit different. The front edge is bound after the pleats are done which is usual, not so much the back section. But then again it's usually high class clothing that has survived in museums. This method isn't as pleat-pretty but perfectly functional with only 1 set of ties to be done when you dress. quicker!

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

MAGAM: October plan

The MAGAM theme for October is "Opalescence - sew & shine". Opals being the birthstone for October.

This was an easy one for me ... the fire opal is far more appealing than the milky ones. I have my two Anne Adams pattens and this fabric. Thats' as close to fire opals as I have in my stash.

It also counts in my Vintagw Sewing Pattern Pledge, which I've kinda let slide all year. Oops

spring has sprung - I'm feeling more like a happy baa lamb

It's the 2nd month of spring, but it finally feels like it. Sunny days, and a couple of hot ones too! (33C + not humid + sunny = happy me)

Also, I've been happier with photos of me at a couple events - which I need to post about very soon. I may need to be more selective in styles I wear to feel this way (both real life and costume) but I no longer want to cry at the thought of getting my photo taken.

This weekend I road trip with a Canberran friend to meet another costume buddy from Adelaide in Bendigo. We planned it months ago and finally get to see the V&A underwear exhibition! The somewhat hilarious news is that the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney recently announced their new program of exhibits includes an underwear exhibition from the V&A. All the LOLs that I'm travelling 10-11 hours each way (not flying), for something that is going to be in my home town. Probably next year. It's going to Brissie (12Nov-1Feb) after Bendigo, so presumeably it'll come to Sydney before leaving the country again. But perhaps not, as the PHM gave no dates but announced they had a 4-year schedule including menswear from LACMA.

So, I might finally be out of my fat-funk, and over my winter-blerghs and ready to face the world again with a happy smiling face.