jennylafleur: (stays)
The ruffled under-petticoat is done!!

Whew - that feels good! I've only been meaning to make that since January! :> I do hate making underwear (except stays, which I kinda like) so finishing under things always feels amazing!

Oh and no migraine tonight - yay! On to that everyday
jennylafleur: (bother)
I didn't get as much done as I wanted yesterday. I mostly worked on the much needed ruffled under petticoat - got the petticoat seamed, pleated and waistbanded, it just needs a hem. Got the ruffle for the petticoat hemmed and gathered, just waiting on that hem to attach it. The gaulle hem is marked, just need to work on that and adjust the fit of the bottom of the sleeve (a bit tight , needs to be let out a hair).

*sigh* So just bits and bobs I could have plowed through without a headache appearing at dinner time like that. Stupid headache.

So I'll have to squeeze it all in today sometime... not sure when though it's a bit of a crazy day! I also wanted to make a new skirt to wear this weekend. Not sure I'll have time now. Moo.
jennylafleur: (stays)
So I really want to make a new pair of 18th cen stays... not because I'm desperate for a new pair, but just 'cause it sounds like fun.

Clearly the now 5-day-headache is doing some permanent damage - that is SO not right!!
jennylafleur: (silly)

My visit to Under the Redcoat was short but very sweet! I arrived in Williamsburg at 5pm on Sunday and called [ profile] koshka_the_cat. She, [ profile] past_blue & [ profile] sadievale had retired from a fun day in the historic area and were in relaxation mode back at the hotel. After a very funny keystone-cop-with-cell-phones episode, Katherine found me and led me to her room. I unloaded my car and we settled down for the all important costumer's chat.

We talked about sewing and current projects, I saw the plans for her Gala dress and she helped me brain storm about the issues I'm having with my Charles bodice. It was a lovely - I had such fun!

After a little while [ profile] past_blue & [ profile] sadievale joined us and we made reservations for dinner at the King's Arms Tavern (my favorite - whoo hoo!). I got dressed in my costume and we shuttled over to the historic area.

Our candlelit dinner was lovely (despite all the annoying interruptions of 1st person interpreters & waiters with history lessons - when did they start doing that?). My game pie was yummy and the company fantastic. After stopping to chat with a family interesting in our frocks, we walked back to the hotel and stripped down to our stays for a mini cake party. [ profile] past_blue popped open a bottle of Frances Coppola "Sofia" champagne, I broke out the tavern glasses I'd brought and we feasted on mini cupcakes. All while listening to the MA soundtrack on Victoria's I-phone of course. We are such dorks!

The champagne made Victoria & Stephanie sleepy so they retired to their room and after showers Katherine and I stayed up talking for another couple of hours.

Despite the busy day and the champagne I was up early Monday morning. Which was fine since Katherine is a heavy sleeper and I take longer to wake up and get dressed. Once Katherine was up we finished getting dressed and packed, all while chatting a mile a minute of course.

Victoria & [ profile] sadievale joined us, Katherine gave her luggage to the hotel to watch and we loaded the rest in my car (Victoria & Stephanie were catching a ride home with me). A walk down to Market Square for breakfast and the quickest costumer meeting ever with [ profile] sarahnucci - but hey we did meet! Then came the shopping for Katherine's keychain, Bridget's playing cards and Victoria's brooch and it was time to say goodbye. Katherine headed for the Capitol and some last minute touristing and we walked back to the hotel, hopped in the car and headed home.

So a really lovely time! All my pics can be found here:
Under the Redcoat 2009
jennylafleur: (Default)
Polonaiseville [pol-uh-neyz-vil]
1. a madness, the irrisisable lust of costumers for stripey polonaise gowns
2. an excuse, used by mad costumers to create ultra floofy, super overdecorated polonaises with matching hats.
3. Also, a craze for Costume Con 27.

Resistance is Futile.
jennylafleur: (l'duc)

I am in love!!

Thanks [ profile] sakka for the link to her blog.

I've been really drawn to this shape of "zone" front lately but this is truly a stunning reproduction of it. She has the proportions just right. So now I'm wondering if I could alter my Pimpernel to this shape or if it would even be worth the effort since I don't have a contrasting stomacher/petticoat. I'm also liking the buttons. Miss-I-loath-doing-buttonholes. Weird.

*ponders possibilities*
jennylafleur: (georgian hat)
Yesterday was very productive. C came over and I measured her for her English gown (a commission - yay!). I then quickly threw together a toile and fitted that to her. I'm always amazed at how much faster it is to fit other people than myself... anyway. We have another fitting on Thursday so I need to cut a new toile, based on my markings, and cut out some sleeves to fit. I also need to order some .5" twill tape - any recommendations?

In other good news, I showed C my prettiest toile ever and offered to fit it to her if she wanted to buy it. She did! So I have a little work to do on that now (hem, cut down the back since she is a little smaller than me, add sleeves). No big.

I love that my costuming is paying for CC this year. It's really working out well. I have a few other costumes and maybe some fabric that I want to sell for the CC fund too. Things I love but don't see myself ever wearing again. I'll offer them here first then post on Ebay or Etsy... so be on the lookout for a post on that in the next few days.

I also worked on my own stuff yesterday, cutting out a toile for a new English gown. I'm using my striped Pierrot jacket as a base but I need to get rid of the peplum and use different sleeves so a toile seemed like a good idea.

I worked on my pearl dress a bit too. I've been working on it diligently every night this week so I only have 4.5 motifs to go until the sequins are done. Then it's on to pearls, which will go much slower. This really is a monster project, I must be mad. If only it wasn’t so fun!
jennylafleur: (regency)

While I was out and about today I stopped downtown to take some pics of the apple blossoms. It became overcast and cold as soon as I got there (of course) so my pics didn't turn out as well as I hoped. Perhaps I'll try again tomorrow. I love the apple blossoms downtown though, it's one of my favorite parts about living here. So pretty!

It was an awesome mail day today though!

First my fur muff came. I really wanted a fur muff for Coaching Day and now I have one - yay Ebay. The lining needs to be replaced but overall it's in good shape. Not bad for $16, aye? Now I just need to snag one for Bridget...

Then my Restoration earrings came. I adore them! They look so lovely and they have such a nice weight to them (they're glass). I think I'll be wearing them for more than just the Restoration gown... like for Easter! :P
jennylafleur: (l'duc)
Hey [ profile] girliegirl32786 I found a pic online of that cockade we saw at the James Monroe Museum... figured out how to make it yet? :>
jennylafleur: (georgian costume)
I don't have any pics to prove it (so you'll just have to take my word for it :>) but I have been sewing a little bit this week. Now that I'm feeling better (just tired, still coughing) I've been busy catching up on all the stuff I didn't do while sick.

All the black lace is now sewn onto the bustle skirt. I did it by hand but it ended up not taking long at all. Looks so nice - ooh! One strip of the ivory lace is halfway sewn down as well.

I started work on the trim for my green ball gown. It has some trim on it now but I think needs more on the skirt. I'll be wearing it for the Stratford Candlelight tour next weekend so I have to get cracking on that! My petticoat needs a ruffle too… must remember to dig out that extra fabric.

The last two nights I've been helping new RCHSers get their ball gowns made for Stratford. I mainly fitted the mockup/lining for one of the girls. In order to do that I basically had to chop up the original pattern and drape it. Thankfully the sleeve was not as evil as usual but the whole project took out about 6 hours of my week. So lessons learned:
1 - don't take my own work to these sewing sessions, I won't get much done anyway
2 - it's much easier to fit a sleeve when it's not on yourself
3 - it's faster to fit a bodice on a small, skinny person. I really must lose some weight.
4 - JP Ryan has craptastic directions! I know what they are talking about and I still couldn't figure it out. No wonder RCHS people have so many problems making new frocks! Draping baby – all the way!! It's the best thing I've ever learned!
jennylafleur: (pink)
I haven't been feeling well today... not sure if it's just being worn down from the last few weeks or if I'm coming down with something. I was going to a wedding tomorrow but I'm not so sure about that now. Moo.

I didn't feel like doing anything else tonight so I worked on the 18th century toile some more. I traced out the last toile, making the changes I noted last post. I then cut out a new toile, just to double check everything.

The toile looked good. I didn't feel up to putting on my stays but since it was the sleeve I really wanted to check I didn't bother. So no pics but I think I'm declaring it done. I ended up with two tiny pleats in the cap. Not quite what I was going for but I think they look nice so I'm just going to go with it. Everything else fits too nicely to mess with it.

Yay – that’s done. Now I can actually work on something fun. Unless I want to be good and work on another toile in the pending pile…
jennylafleur: (georgian costume)

Thanks to a headache I slowed down to a crawl on my progress tonight. Moo. I'm finally happy with the fit of the bodice though (although the center front bottom is wrinkling now, what is up with that?!). The sleeves however...

Basically the sleeves look pretty good, except they *just* fit the armhole. No characteristic tucks in the cap. I did some research through my files and books and found that 18th century sleeves don't always have tucks. Well shoot! I thought they did - so you never know! I think I want the tucks though anyway, for my sacque at least.

I think the armhole is too deep into the back though. I must have Regency on the brain because it's really more a Regency than 18th century thing - opps! Or if it is, it’s one of those more square sleeve affairs and so a different construction than my sleeves. I'm thinking if I shallow out the back of the arm hole that should give me more sleeve to work with and the ability to make some tucks. That's probably too simple to work, these are sleeves after all and sleeves are evil.

Proving my theory right or wrong will require another toile and I'm ready for bed. I think I'll go ahead and trace this toile off first as 18th cen basic bodice #1 though... no tucks might be nice on my next jacket. *wink*
jennylafleur: (l'duc)
My resolve not to clean before I started sewing didn't work. In my defense it was really 'cause I couldn't find important things like pins and needles that were still mixed up in the bridal emergency kit bins and piles. Ahm, yeah that’s right! :>

I wanted to work on something fun today, like with pretty fabric, but unfortunately all my projects are in the toile stage. Probably a reason I haven't been working on anything lately. Toiles are just so boring! I decided I would try and get at least one of the wretched things out of the way today though.

So I started work on my basic 18th century bodice. The slight changes I made to my new stays this spring made for major changes in the fit of my 18th century frocks. Some outfits I can get away with (the ones that didn't fit quite right with the old stays) but I've had to pack several things away because I don't like the fit. How is it I'm constantly sewing 18th century and my wardrobe keeps shrinking? Moo. Anyway, I decided I needed a basic 18th century pattern, the bodice lining really, that I can adapt future projects from.

I started on it earlier this month, started from the ill fitting Pimpernel bodice. This morning I tried on toile #2. It was an improvement from #1 but still had issues. The armhole needed to be trimmed, the center front fitted and something needed to happen with a funky wrinkling at the side seam.

So I trimmed down the armhole some, put in my handy-dandy toile zipper and messed with the side seam and tried again. The wrinkles were still there. Ahhmmmm. So I though maybe the whole front piece should be moved down at that seam. I moved it down 3/8". No go. So I moved it a total of about 5/8". Better but still wrinkling.

I then pinned the front, and smoothed the side as far back as I could reach. I next enlisted the help of Mom who smoothed out the last 1.5" and re-pinned the seam for me. She also pinned the shoulder seam, which needed attention after changing the angle of the front. I re-marked where the waist should be and decided a break was in order so here I am.

Progress is good but again I say - toiles are so boring! Oh and my new camera so rocks. It actually works without flash so the pics in the mirror are coming out great and without any flash faces or touching-up either - yay!
jennylafleur: (georgian 70s)

I was looking at this frock from the Kyoto collection (is it in Fashion do you know?) and have a question. It's described as a "compère front". I thought a compère front was a false stomacher that buttoned in center front but I don't see that here.

Am I confused or blind? Help! :>
jennylafleur: (Default)
I was reviewing my very scanty notes from the Sally Queen 18th Century Clothing review luncheon at Costume College and thought I should put down some of my thoughts... while I can still remember them. :>

The thing that made the biggest impact on me was Sally's emphasis on what she called "the art and mystery of the mantua maker".

in which I ramble on )
jennylafleur: (georgian)
Wow, finding info on 18th century muffs is harder than I would have thought. So far the only silk ones I've found are from Williamsburg and Costume in Detail (check out Nehelenia's copy of that muff).

Does anyone know of other muffs online or in print? I'm looking for pictures more than print on them. Luckly they look pretty simple to constuct - I shouldn't need a pattern. I'm not sure how I want to pad it, cotton batting lined with fiberfill (warmth plus bulk) perhaps. I'd love to work some embordery on my muff as well, although it's a bit crazy to attempt it this week.

Well no one has accused me of being sane lately! :>

Oh I just found a muff in Revolution in Fashion (pg 30). Very colorful with chenille embordery - pretty. No date on the muff but it's shown with a c1770 dress. Fun, fun!
jennylafleur: (georgian)

My cunning little pattern for the neckerchief didn’t quite work out. The Merseyside pattern made for a cute little shawl but not quite what I was looking for. It actually is very similar to the little shawl that was worn by Marguerite in the Grenville ball sequence in the 1982 version of The Scarlet Pimpernel. Scary I notice these things.

Anyway, here are some pictures to show you what that shape looks like on. To make the pattern, I just took the sketch and enlarged it in the computer until the length was 44 inches. I printed out the pattern, traced it onto tissue paper and cut the toile from there.

At this point I think I will wait until the gown pattern is fitted, then drape a pattern for the neckerchief.
jennylafleur: (Default)

Pattern: my own based on a neckerchief from the Merseyside collection

white cotton voile, lace from Liberty of London

When I sat down to decide what type of gown I wanted to make, I realized that all my favorite inspirations were pictured with a neckerchief. I guess I need one then! I am not sure how I will wear this, probably crossed in front once and tied in the rear. Maybe not...

As I began to research I found that most neckerchiefs were not shaped but were simple triangles or half squares. Then I came across a pic from 18th Century Costume (pg 11) of a shaped neckerchief. Yay, no bulk at the base of the neck! 

In addition to the lace, I may also add a border of embroidered dots, based on a period neckerchief I saw in the Museum of London. Simple but very elegant.

July 2014

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