jennylafleur: (nefret)
The Secret is finished - woo hoo!

The Diva is finished (the sequins are drying as I type) - more woo hoo!

So all my frocks are done for CosCol and more than 24 hours before I leave. I've never done that before. It feels very weird.

Not that I'm already to go quite yet. I still need to work on my hair pieces and I have a baby shower save the date to do before I leave. Still, I don't quite know what to do with myself. :P
jennylafleur: (potter)
Bad news is la secret project is taking longer to put together than I anticipated.

Good news is that it it turning out to be too adorable for words. Hee.

Bad news is it took me two trips to the craft store today to get the sequin glue for the Diva. I forgot the first time (My brain is so not engaged right now!!!)

Good news is there is a Hobby Lobby coming to Fburg!! Whoo Hoo!

Bad news is I haven't been getting LJ email notifications all day.

Good news is I think I fixed the problem. Quick someone comment! :>
jennylafleur: (georgian costume)
So my weekend didn't go quite as I intended it to go. Good news is I have a new computer, my very first lap top! Bad news is the setting up and switching back and forth of files ate away a big chunk of both Daddy’s and my weekend. *sigh*

Everything seems to be running and functional, which is a relief. I'm excited to have a computer with me at CosCol this year. It makes my long wait at the airport and the dreaded catching up when I get home seem much less scary. Theoretically I should be able to get my pics up sooner too, although we will see if that is really the case. :>

I did get some sewing done in-between the madness. I decided to be a good girl and finish up my Diva dress before starting construction on The Secret. I worked on it for hours & hours and it's still not finished! Gah!! I keep finding new things I said I wanted to do on it - it's like the dress that never ends! Ahh! I'm so ready to see it off my pending list, you have no idea...

Currently I'm taking a break from the Diva to start packing. Normally I don't like to pack too far in advance but I need to see just how much stuff I can fit in my suitcases. I'm still foolishly hoping my Green hat will somehow fit. It's a pipe dream I know.

I'll probably end up unpacking most of what I've packed tonight, so many things I need between now and then. *sigh* Well at least all the little petty stuff like re-filling travel bottles of shampoo and Aleeve are done. That will be one less thing to worry about on Wednesday.
jennylafleur: (party)
Yesterday ended up being insane, complete with a headache, so not much sewing. The ache was undercontrol by the late evening so I stayed up to cut out my secretness and sewed some hooks on my Diva. Of course the hooks are all spaced wrong and I have to redo them now. I guess I stayed up too late!

Today is nothing but sewing though and I'm excited to make some serious progress. Let the CosCol countdown begin!
jennylafleur: (moi)
I finished sewing on all the trim with gold sequins on the edge of the skirt last night - woot!

And since I'm in the mood: (taken from everyone!)

Rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.

1. The Bible
2. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
3. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
4. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
5. The Queen's Necklace by Frances Mossiker
6. Carry On Mr Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham
7. Seven Men Who Rule the World From the Grave by Dave Breese
8. Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson
9. The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
10. To the Scaffold by Carolly Erickson
11. Failure is not a Option by Gene Kranz
12. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
13. Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
14. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling
15. The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
jennylafleur: (jewelry)

I conquered the Diva trim yesterday - getting it all gathered, pinned on and tied off. Whew!! Did that take f-o-r-e-v-e-r! But it's done now and I can move on the more brainless handwork pursuits of hooks & eyes and sewing that trim down with spangles.

I have many man hours left on the project but I still feel like I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel on this frock - yay!
jennylafleur: (polonaise)

I got some work done on the Diva yesterday, though not as much as I'd like. Gah this trim is a time sucker!!

I sewed in the sleeves. They still aren't great but I can live with them now. most of my day was taken up with the foofy red ruffle that runs along the hem. I gathered and pinned and sewed that on the machine. Doesn't take long to say but it took f-o-r-e-ve-r to do!


Next up is the green zig-zag trim. It took me a little while to figure out how to apply that. In a straight line was boring while deep swags looked odd with the ruffle. In the end I'm swaging it just a bit. From faraway you can't really tell it's swaged, it just looks more interesting.

Of course I had a couple of threads break so I had to re-sew some of the basting stitches. Also I found I was going to be short so I had to tear, fray and stitch a couple more strips of fabric (making a total of 8 now I think). What a pain! I could have saved myself so much hassle if I'd just put the trim on the front of the skirt but really what is the fun in that?

The idea of glueing the red sequins on the skirt (rather than sewing them by hand) is starting to look better and better though I have to say! :P
jennylafleur: (Default)

Man, my summer is just flying by at mach 10! So what's been going around here? Well I'm just back from a lovely couple of days in Newport, Rhode Island. My sister graduated from her 5-week basic training so Dad, Mom and I went up to celebrate with her and cheer her on at her graduation ceremony.

We got to do some site-seeing (Marble House, New Bedford Whaling Museum, downtown Newport) but mostly we simply spent as much time with Bridget as her liberty schedule would allow.

We had some fabulous meals (the seafood in New England is SO good!) and some great family time. The time with B wasn’t long enough of course and we were all sad when we had to part. This living on opposite ends of the country stinks!

We are all so incredibly proud of Bridget though. It was great (if slightly surreal) to see her in uniform and to be part of the US Navy again, if only on the very fringes in my case. I didn’t realize just how much I missed it all since Dad retired. *sigh*

Right before my trip to New England we had our Mary Kay end of the year unit awards (the MK year runs July 1 - June 30th). I achieved my goal of Queen of Sales and was also Most Improved and Miss Go-Give (again!). Wow!!

So next time I pack my bags it will be for Costume College - I'm so excited! I haven’t had much time for sewing lately but that really needs to change now. I've mostly been working on the Diva, which is feeling like an endless bowls of pasta. I've been working and working and while I know I've made progress it's really hard to see it!


I had to take apart the bodice to re-fit it (losing weight does have its disadvantages!). It's mostly put it back together, just the sleeves are left. I also had to take off the trim on the bodice (and un-gather all the trim that I prepped for the skirt in Jan) to fray-check it. All the fray-checking is done so I'm in the process of applying and re-applying the trim. Tedious!

I'm making myself finish it though before I work on anything else. The carrot I'm dangling in front of myself, as a reward for the tedium, is a secret project for the Ice Cream social. Hee.
jennylafleur: (party)

So in between lots of drama such as my car dying (the battery dying really), getting a case of food poisoning, packing away the Christmas stuff and the diva being it's Diva self, I did manage to get my red silk robe à l'Anglaise into wearable condition for the Twelfth Night party in Williamsburg. Not finished mind you, I still have all the trimming on the skirt to do, but close enough to feel like a very pretty, pretty princess.

It helped that I was having a very good hair day of course. I think I've discovered the secret to a Pouf hairstyle - a shower scrubie! Seriously it worked like a dream. I put my hair in soft curlers, letting them dry overnight. I then teased my hair at the roots, made a little bun at the top of my head, secured the scrubie to that and started pinning my hair up and over to cover it, starting in the back, then the sides, then the front. Masses of hair spray later and I had a Pouf. Yay! The scrubie was great because I could put the bobby pins right in it and it was lightweight on my head.

The party was nice, all in candlelight and with period correct food, drink and diversions. I was still a little wary of rich foods but I did venture some rum punch (I think it was rum) and the rich Queen's cake. Yum! The beginning of a migraine that I left the party with and the 2-hour drive home (I couldn't stay the night) was a bit brutal but thanks to the alcohol in my system, and pulling off the road for a little 5 minute power nap about Ladysmith - I got home safe and sound. Ah, life - always an adventure!

All the pics are here, including close-ups of my frock and hair:
http://www.jennylafleur.com/dressup/2010.0109/album/index.html
jennylafleur: (1788)
Just keep sewing, just keep sewing...

This dress has to be one of the most discouraging projects ever. I'm trying to keep myself modivated with the thought of how lovely it's going to turn out and how much of a pretty, pretty princess I'm going to feel in it but it's been hard going. Seems like I'm working slower than molasses but progress is being made...

Let's see, so far I've had to cut the bodice twice, sew the straps on three times, re-work the neckline twice (somehow it ended up way too high), trim down the armcyle and try it on countless times to double check everything. *sigh* I think part of the problem is the grainline I used, you know to create a pretty V in front. Even though I've used this grainline, which is based on one in Arnold, on previous dresses without issue this fabric doesn't seem to like it. That doesn't explain all the issues I've been having though.

What a bratty outfit!!! I'm doing my best to just beat the wretched thing into submission though.
jennylafleur: (party)
I've spent the evening stitching tiny red spangles all over my Diva anglaise. I haven't decided if I like them yet... umm.

Oh and the petticost is finished - finially something on this outfit is done!

Oh and I'm not posting pics of the gown until Twelth Night. 'Cause I'm mean like that. :P

The Diva

Jan. 1st, 2010 08:42 am
jennylafleur: (Default)

My red anglaise... it has turned out to be a rather temperamental diva dress. In fact that is its new name - the Diva Anglaise. It knows it’s amazing and has the attitude to match. Jerk.

for those that care... )


Honestly this whole fiasco has really killed my momentum on this project this week. I have carried on (if not staying entirely calm) but it's been slow. I decided to put the bodice aside for a little while and turned my attention to the petticoat, which is not being a diva. So the petticoat is almost finished, it's waist-banded, hemmed, ruffled and the trim is pinned on. A few hours of handstitching and it will be finished. Yay for some painless progress!
jennylafleur: (party)

It seems like forever since I worked on my dress or posted but really it's only been a week. That is one thing I really hate about the holiday season - the days are so packed! I'm currently planning/decorating a friend's 15th wedding anniversary/renewing vows reception (this Saturday), my Mary Kay open house (next Saturday) and the big rent-out-a-hall-so-the-whole-church-can-fit-in-one-space Christmas service (the Sunday after that). So just a bit going on in my world... *rolls eyes*

In the interest of actually getting some sewing and personal projects done before Christmas (or I should say before Bridget comes home which is when the holiday begins around here), I've put myself on a TV/movie fast until the 13th. I started on Sunday and it's been harder than I thought! No Top Chef, no Survivor, no LOTR (which I'm suddenly in the mood to watch) – horrors!! It’s proved a good move though as not only have I been getting all kinds of tasks done for the above mentioned projects but I'm suddenly aware of just how much TV I watch these days. Which is more than I thought I did. Um opps!


So after being neglected for nearly a week I finally got back to my red silk anglaise tonight. I decided in the end not to add more fabric to the skirt. I tried it on and decided that really it was full enough. Anymore and I'm afraid I will lose those pretty puffs when I polonaise it. Besides I really want some self-fabric trim and with more fabric used in the skirt that may not have been a possibility. Not cool!

So I figured out how to get the skirt I have to fit, pinned the pleats and just finished pinning the skirt to the bodice - success! I'm taking a break but I think I will go ahead and stitch the skirt on tonight before bed. It's a headachy night so I don't feel like doing anything else anyway.
jennylafleur: (party)

Progress pics! (See Aubry, never say I don't deliver when you *ahem* ask!)


Let's see, so far I've done the back en fourreau pleats (twice *sigh*), assembled the bodice (minus sleeves), added panels to the skirt and begun the skirt pleating.


The pleating as gone as well as it usually does. I spent most of Sunday working on it without much to show for my effort. Razzen-franzzen!!! After doing the pleats so many times I lost tract, I finially got them to a point where I liked the look but they didn't fit the bodice. So I finally came to the conclusion that a total of three panels of fabric just wasn’t enough fullness for the look I wanted. So next step is to add more fabric to the skirt. And of course redo the pleats. *big sigh*

Thanks to Real Life (TM) and a lovely visit on Monday with Casey (happy butt wiggle) I haven't gotten back to it... hopefully tonight, definitely Friday!
jennylafleur: (jewelry)
My red robe à l'Anglaise is progressing. I'm feeling lazy about uploading pics so you'll just have to take my word on it. :>

It's starting to look like a garment of some kind which feels good. Although I have to say that this frock is fighting me a lot. Nothing major, just a lot of little things that are being fiddly. Or maybe I'm just paying more attention and not wanting to say "oh it's fine" because the fabric is too awesome for that sort of attitude. Also I don't need it until Jan so I have time to fuss with the fiddly.

Sometimes having a tight deadline is good, there is less fussing and dithering that happens in my sewing room and more "it's good enough - make it work!". :>
jennylafleur: (polonaise)
I worked on my red anglaise a bit last night. Got most of the en fourreau pleats set & sewn when I noticed how "off" the pleats were from the repeat of the fabric's pattern. Umm. So the burning questions began - would anyone notice, will it bother me in the end or not, it is period, am I being silly??? So I stopped work, slept on it and decided this am that I really did need to rip out all my stitching and do it again, this time paying attention to the print. Why I couldn't have thought of that the first time around... mreh.

Luckily this fabric is continuing to be a dream to work with (I love the weight and crunchiness of it!). Not only do the pin holes not show once it's been steamed and the washable pencil marks come out just fine with a damp washcloth, but the application of water doesn't change the crispness of the fabric's "hand". The red dye is a little unstable (some of it came off along with the washable pencil marks) but really that is to be expected with red silk. I'll have to be careful about getting it wet while I'm wearing it, that's all.

I'm going to have to think about the construction of this dress more than I thought I would. I've never made an English gown with a repeating pattern that was noticeable. It requires some adjusting in one's thinking.
jennylafleur: (georgian feathers)
Okay so I lied, I did do one more toile. I didn't like the look of the sleeve Mom helped me with and decided to try the sleeve I just draped for the linen print dress. Sure enough it fit perfectly without any changes - I love it when that happens!

So the master patterns have all been traced out and I'm ready to start work... if only real life won't get in the way!
jennylafleur: (party)

Worked a little on my anglaise toile tonight. My first try on looked okay, really just had to re-cut the too short should straps. After attaching some new straps it was just a matter of tweaking little things here and there. I figured since I had time I could be a little more anal than normal.

I also cut out a sleeve toile, and had Mom help me pin in place on. It needs a little work, mostly adding to the back so I can have some little pleats back there and move my arms. I don't think I'm going to bother with any more toiling, I can make all the little tweaks when I trace out the master pattern... which I'm going to go do right now. :>

I love a project without a deadline - this is fun!


Oh and also today I updated my website with all the recent projects and event pics... man was I behind!
jennylafleur: (georgian hat)

I was feeling inspired to work on some 18th century last night so I started work on what will become my red silk robe à l'Anglaise.


I've been dying to cut into this fabric ever since [livejournal.com profile] bauhausfrau picked it up for me in April. It's so-o-o-o-o pretty and different. Well except for the fact that both [livejournal.com profile] bauhausfrau and [livejournal.com profile] feathrfetish have some of it too! :>


I've decided I want go late 1770s, something fairly basic in construction and detailing that I can style into the 1780s depending on the occasion and my mood. (working with the theory that you can always wear an earlier dress with later accessories.) I've been inspired by many frocks in my files but the ones that have really stood out have been a yellow dress from Marie Antoinette, the polonaiseville dress from the Duchess and a yummy yellow frock from the Met.

I'm going to do an en fourreau because frankly it's easier and it pushs back the date a bit. :> Trimming I'm not too sure about. I have enough fabric to go reasonably crazy with self trim. The matching petticaot will have a full ruffle though and both pieces will have spangles - definitely needs sparkle!

So last night I started with the pattern from my pierrot jacket, which is also the pattern I used for my blue print jacket. I adore the fit of those jackets but I wanted to tweak the grainline (to shape the stripe in the front) and the shaping of the shoulders a bit (to try and achieve the same super pretty and comfortable sleeve I just got on my printed linen dress).

So I played around with the pattern and cut out a toile. It's all sewn up and ready to be tried on.

In changing the angle of the front's grainline I used the c1780-90 dress in Arnold as my guide. I lined up the center front of my pattern piece with the center front of the book's pattern and traced. When I lined up the newly marked grainline on the fabric, sure enough it created that pretty V in front with my stripe - just like on the Duchess polonaiseville dress. I'm assuming that if the grainline worked for Arnold it will work for me but I'm still curious to see if the change with throw the fit off in some way. I hope not but this is why we toile before we cut our yummy fabric! :>

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