jennylafleur: (silly)

in which the heroine gets wordy again )

The weekend was a nice little appetizer of CC and a good dose of inspiration and encouragement. I'm all motivated to finish up my costumes now - yay! Thanks again [ profile] bauhausfrau for hosting this event - I can't wait for the next one! :>

The rest of my pics are HERE

Loren's pics
Kat's pics
Jonatha's pics
Maggie's pics
Mary's pics
Barbara's pics
Aubry's pics
Stephanie's pics
jennylafleur: (Default)
The Mother-Daughter Tea is over, I get my life back - yay!!

I think it went well, really I don't know. I was so busy coordinating & catering that I don't really know what the impact was. So far I've heard good things though. I think I can safely say a job well done. The After-Action meeting will be the test I guess.

But right now my body aches, I have some serious sleep to catch up on, my house is a mess and I have endless bins to unpack. Still I feel like my life is my own again and I can actually *gasp* costume! My pearl dress is singing it's siren's song as I type...

I've spent the evening playing games with my family, surfing the 'net and uploading videos on YouTube. The videos are from Coaching Day and Seurat Sunday, a few of my jacket, a few of Bridget and one of my chemise gown un-belted - it was just too funny not to film!

My YouTube videos
I'm feeling lazy about embedding videos so here is a boring link... I'm off to read (a fun book just 'cause I can!) and then bed...
jennylafleur: (jewelry)

Second time is always the charm with me. I had great fun wearing my chemise á la Reine to Costume College last year but I simply adore the re-vamp version!

Below are some favorite photos, the rest can be found on my website here:

pics & rambling )
jennylafleur: (chemise)
Alright I take back everything I said about chemise gowns. I SO feel like a pretty, pretty princess right now!! *rubs hand with glee*

I'm off to Belmont - I'll be back this afternoon with pics!
jennylafleur: (chemise)
Right now I'm sitting in my re-vamped chemise dress waiting for B to mark my hem. Barring the event being canceled due to rain I'm wearing it to Belmont's Seurat Sunday tomorrow. I'd forgotten how much fiddly stiff was left to do. I should be able to get it all done today but still a bit of a pain.

It's a delightfully cool frock but I'm not convinced I like this style of gown on me. I have a feeling it's really one of those outfits that needs all the accessories (ie big hair) to look right though.

I wanted a new hat for the occasion but this week has been to hectic. I'll have to see how the fiddly bits go today... definitely something simpler than I'd imagined earlier this week. Oh well!

boring list making for me:
finish stitching lace at neck
add lace to sleeves
cut, sew & finish sash (green check taffeta)
ruffle on petticoat?
jennylafleur: (antoinette)

[ profile] sadievale came over yesterday for a sewing day. We spent a fair amount of our day NOT sewing but it was fun. We shopped at Jo-Anns, ate Vietnamese food, had tea & Pims, giggled and schemed.

I didn't get too far with my sewing but progress was made. I think I'm finally getting this chemise gown thing! I'm excited it's starting to make sense to me at last. I marked, pressed and hemmed the front drawstring. Then I dug around in my ancient bin of silk ribbon embroidery supplies and found, to my delight, matching narrow silk ribbon to use in the drawstring. Sweet!
jennylafleur: (chemise)

YEEESSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It worked!!!

The dye job came out perfectly even, no spots or anything, and the color is perfect! I don't know what your monitors show but after the rinse cycle and a tumble in the dryer in person it's a pale blush color in person. Champagne is probably a good name. It's a great color for me and shouldn't be too much color in a chemise á la Reine.

I'm so excited! Hey, maybe I'm finally getting the hang of this dyeing thing! :>
jennylafleur: (chemise)

I just finished dyeing my chemise gown.

Turns out I should have checked my box'o dyes because I had sunshine orange not tangerine. I decided to go ahead and do some testing rather than pop out to the store though. I followed the original recipe which had 2 parts orange to one part pink (#1), then I tried adding more pink (#2). I dumped out the tye bath and started over, this time reversing the original, 2 parts pink to one part orange (#3). I liked that but decided to add more pink to see what would happen (#4). I still liked #3 so that is what I went with. I filled to tub sink with hot water, 3/4 cup salt, 1/4 tsp pink & 1/8 tsp orange, wet my fabric and dumped it in.

At the moment it's in the washer for a rinse & spin cycle with white vinegar. I'll have to wait until the cycle is done but it doesn't look like it dyed evenly to me. The shoulder straps look darker. I'm trying to hold on to the hope that it's just my imagination and not freak out but it's a challenge. Maybe I'll go work on my Poe sleeve and listen to my current audio book (Anne of Green Gables). That should keep me calm, right?
jennylafleur: (l'duc)
Thank you so much for all your kind comments on my Poe dress and encouragement for my upcoming Redingote - you guys are so sweet to me! :>

First stage of the Redingote is to dye the Chemise gown. Like I said I'm thinking a pale peach or champagne color. Some form of off white really. Not being an expert when it comes to dyeing I turned to my old friend Google and starting searching for peach dye recipes. I came across several pages for dyeing flesh colors for dolls. The most helpful of which was this:

There are lots of different recipes and suggestions in there. I happen to already have Rit tangerine dye in the house so I was delighted to find a recipe that mixes tangerine & pink rose. So I went to Jo-Anns yesterday and got the pink rose.

Today's project is to dye *scary music*. I'll let you know how it goes... :P
jennylafleur: (antoinette)

I'm so excited, it's finally time to turn my attention to my Coaching Days outfit! It took me a few months to figure out what I wanted to do for this project: there were so many fun options! A riding habit, a Brunswick, a traveling gown etc...

I've decided to throw caution to the wind and make a Redingote. It's really a little late in style for RCHS but I'm doing it anyway. I'll just tone down my hair and accessories to the late 1770s and no one will know. :>

My inspiration comes from a fashion plate from the Galerie des Modes, a portrait of Marie Antoinette and a dove grey redingote from the film L’Anglaise et le Duc. I'm not sure what is being worn under the film version but Antoinette’s sure looks like a chemise á la Reine to me. In fact almost all of the redingotes I've seen seem to have a lightweight white/pale petticoat underneath that could be a chemise á la Reine. Anyway that is how I'm interpreting it.

The Redingote will be made out of a dress-weight navy blue wool. The cuffs and collars will be faced in pale blue or pale pink silk (I haven't decided yet) and trimmed with period correct pewter buttons. There are so many great hat options that I'm going to get the garment made and see what strikes my fancy. A cane would be fun too.

My chemise á la Reine from the Great CC Chemise Day last year is currently in pieces. Once I saw [ profile] koshka_the_cat's & [ profile] demode_kvc's I liked how they constructed theirs better so I’m revamping mine. Also I decided I didn’t care for the stark white on me. White has never been my color but I thought I could live with it in this case. I can’t. So I’m going to dye my fabric, I’m thinking a pale peach or champagne color.
jennylafleur: (antoinette)
Hey [ profile] koshka_the_cat what kind of ribbon/cording did you use for the drawstring in your chemise gown? Thanks!
jennylafleur: (chemise)
Golly - you guys are just a fount of wisdom with bustle queries - thanks so much for the help. It's great to know I have somewhere to go if I get stuck on my first foray into the Victorian! *hugs*

I couldn't stand all the post CC productiveness on the friends list so I actually worked on some costuming last night... or that was the plan. I got as far as washing, ironing (the fabric from LA that needed it) and rolling it all on bolts for storage. It was the ironing that sucked up my time but for once I enjoyed it, the time allowing me a chance to paw and stroke my lovelies... *ahem*

The actual costuming content of the night that I accomplished was to take apart my chemise dress. All the linings, straps, sleeves and gathers are now apart. It looks a little sad. I've decided to pull out a panel or two as well (looking at the pictures 7 panels was a bit much) but after that I can start putting it back together again... this time the correct way. I'm pretty confident I can use the same fabric (barring issues with the armholes) although I might lose a bit of the train. Well, it turned out longer than I expected anyway, not a good graces length really.

I'm also thinking I should tea-dye my fabric. *I see you laughing* I can't help it that white isn't my best color!! I just loved Kendra’s pale peach gown. *sigh* What color dye would give peach, watered down orange? Of course a colored petticoat underneath might do the trick too. :>
jennylafleur: (pimpernel)

I finished toileing the pimpernel yesterday, sleeve and all. I'm not 100% thrilled with the sleeve but it will work and I'm not in the mood to mess with it further. It's a sleeve after all. :>

Not that you can see from the pic but I cut the back into 3 curved seams. It's quite pretty, hope it shows up in the taffeta. I trimmed the back point a bit after taking the pic, so it's even prettier now. I took more pics but they were all un-flattering to myself or the frock so you'll just have to wait to see more. I really love this look - it's so stylish and flattering. I really need to do more 1790s/zone-front type things.

My testing of the orange fabric isn't going well so I've decided to wait on the shark tooth trim and see what I can find while I'm in LA. I'd really like some changeable taffeta. For now I think the application of black velvet trim to accent the zone will be enough. I just found out that for the first year my MK retreat and the RCHS ball are on different weekends so I get to go to the ball this year! *does happy dance* So I'm thinking the pimpernel should be my ball gown this year, although wearing the Bee is tempting. :>

Last night after picking apart the pimpernel toile and make note of the changes, I wasn’t feeling alert enough to cut out fabric so I worked on the hem to the chemise gown. It took forever (all those panels!) but it's done now - yay! I also cut out an extra sleeve toile so I can work on the chemise gown sleeves. I decided to go with the long straight sleeve after all. Easier and probably more flattering... we shall see. :>
jennylafleur: (1790s)

The Pimpernel petticoat - all done but the hem - yay! Oh and check out this perfect fabric for the tooth trim. It's the leftovers of my Fire Costume - how freaky is that?! The color is perfect I'm just a little hesitant because the fabric is bulky. I guess I'll have to do some testing and see how bad it looks as appliqué.

I cut out and stitched up the first toile for the pimpernel today. More work than I was thinking, as the pattern I was going to base it on isn't fitted for the new stays. So I'm having to use the pet en l'air which is quite different.

I got the basic fit and bodice lower front where I want them plus the "zone" seams marked. The neckline needs some work, the shoulder straps cut down and the back nipped in a bit at the small of the back. The biggest chore will be redoing the side/back seams. The pet en l'air lining was a quick and dirty job with vertical seams center back and center side. The pimpernel needs to have curved seams more towards the back. Shouldn't be too bad really...

While I was in the stays I tried on my chemise gown. I had a rather nasty shock when I discovered the front is too big. Just the very front mind. I have NO idea how I ended up so off, on the lining too. Luckily the 2.5" overlap isn't too noticeable in all the gathering. Good thing - I'm not sure I could have brought myself to redo those gathers again.

I think I've decided to not bother with a drawstring at the waist. I think I'll be okay without - leaving me with more time for the rest of the to-do list. I can always add it later if I find I need to. :>

Mom was gracious enough to mark the hem for me too and we experimented with sash options. I'm really digging the orange/cream combo, although if I went with the blue chiffon I could do red white and blue cockades and feathers in my hat. If I had red 18th century shoes I would totally go with the blue but the neutrals make my skin glow (plus going with the orange theme that has emerged from my CC line-up). Perhaps I will bring both and decided on the day. :>
jennylafleur: (antoinette)

Lookie - actual sewing content. With piccies and everything! My muse must have found her way back from Philly... :>

I was getting read to post last night when our power went out. *grinds teeth* Anyway B was beading away on the Fire when I looked around for something to do so I turned my attention to the chemise gown. I haven't been able to wrap my head around how all you people have put a drawstring round the neck while still gathering along the bottom of the sleeve strap. I need to see how you've done it because the descriptions are not doing it for me. mean people living so far away! I was getting all whigged out about it when it occurred to me that I will be adding a lace ruffle to the neck line so no one will see if I cheat. *looks at calendar and thinks. "cheating is good"* I'll just paw Katherine's at CC and figure it out for next time. :>

So I put it together the same way I did my Federal gown, which is less full but the same basic cut. Another cheat to save time and aggravation was to just line the blessed thing. I solved the problem of not really wanting a solid white lining by using the same thin voile as my lining. I ironed on lots of layers of heavy sizing until it was almost stiff so that it has some body while I'm working. I love spray sizing I really do!

It seems to be working well. If I had to do it over again I think I would have made the gathers along the sleeve strap a little less full. I may also take out the top-stitching along the strap. It depends on how much it shows under the ruffle. It looks a bit funky at the moment but I thought stitching down the gathers a bit would help the ruffle lay better.

I'm off to dance with RCHS at a local 4th of July event today so I can attach the ruffle and maybe do the waist casing while I'm there. Yay for period appropriate CC hand work projects! :>

Oh yes and a little seek peek at the Fire. B is doing such an amazing job. - Bless her little pea-pickin' heart!! Every time I talk to her she's finished a section and wants to add beading to more of the frock. The trip to King Tut is paying off - lots of inspiration for the beading. I SO have the best sistah evah!!
jennylafleur: (bother)
I really don't know what is wrong with me. I have so much to do costuming wise before CC and I haven't been doing anything. It will be my own stupid fault that I don't have new things finished to wear but to be honest I haven't been in the mood the sew lately. Not good timing for CADD.

I've been looking at pics from CC06 to try and whip myself up into excitement for the sewing part (not just the wearing) and I think the old WWKD is finially kicking in... So I'm off to work on something - not sure what yet. Perhaps the chemise gown? Or the sleeves on the Fire? Or... :>
jennylafleur: (antoinette)

I have gotten discouragingly little done on the chemise la reine today. I seem to have spent most of the day putting in and then ripping out gathering stitches. *sigh* Then I lost my momentum and watched B sew hooks and eyes into her outfit while pretending to be productive. We had some good sister time and I got to pontificate on ideas for my Fire costume. Good stuff. So no new frock for Belmont tomorrow. Oh well, it's supposed to rain in the morning and be overcast the rest of the day so not a good chemise la reine day.

I think the chemise dress is coming together though. I've got the top gathered and pinned onto the temp toile lining. Looks pretty good, nice and full but not too full. Next up is to fiddle with the sleeve I think and add the casings to the waist.

I'm totally feeling the pull of costuming ADD at the moment so I may set aside the masses of white fluff for another project. A break from the white might be a very good thing about now. :>
jennylafleur: (antoinette)

The chemise la reine is going well. Wish all my projects were this simple!

Yesterday I got as far as fitting the petticoat toile (which I'm using as a base for the shaping of the gathers), made a clean and tidy second one for the fitting (out of purple so I could see it under the voile).

I then cut (actually tore) my panels and sewed them together. Originally I tore and sewed 5 panels (36" wide) but after pinning that on to Narcissa we decided that wasn’t enough so I added another. Again pinned that on Narcissa and decided that wasn’t enough and so added another panel. So I have a total of 7 panels. I hope that will be right. I don't want it to look skimpy but I also don't want it to overwhelm me.

So all the panels are sewn and the seams pressed open. The sleeve straps are cut and sewn. I decided to line the straps in cotton organdy, mostly because it as sitting right there and I didn't want to stop and go hunt out my linen scraps. I think it will work well. I used spray starch on the voile before I cut it, two layers on each side. It was so much more friendly after that. I do love spray starch!

I have to take a break for most of today to work but I'll get back to it tonight or tomorrow. Next up... gathers!
jennylafleur: (antoinette)
The cotton voile for my Chemise á la Reine arrived today. Oh my gosh - it is gorgeous stuff! So fine and soft, like butter. And that is before washing too. I think I may need to buy some for underpinnings and a few summer tops... :>

In sewing news I haven't been up to much. I want to finish up old projects before starting on the new so I have trimmed down my stays straps (redoing the binding & eyelets), finished the lace on my pet en l'air sleeves, sewn down the bows. Still have the hooks and eyes to do.

I'm off to Fort Fred on Friday so I want to get some trim and sleeve ruffles on my red print English gown. Then I'm going to work on B's gown. Looks like she will be going to an event with me in May so I need to fix the tweaks. Like hems and sleeves that were sewn on backwards, that sort of thing. :>

May 6th is the countdown for my Chemise á la Reine so I've been busy researching that. It's amazing for so simple a garment there are endless variations. I want a 1780s dress so I'm going for longer puffy sleeves like this:
I think I want a little sweep in back, not a train and one ruffle at the neckline (maybe lace). I haven't seen much evidence for underwear showing through plus it would annoy me so I’m trying to decide if I want a lining or a bodiced petticoat of some kind. Now that my fabric is here though I just want to start working on it!!

After that will be the Victorian corset, anchor of my CC Gala and bustle outfits. I washed the new bustle fabric (gift from a fabric fairy :>) today. I got all the discoloring out which makes me happy (Oxiclean is such a beautiful thing). It still has an old musty smell though so it's out on the line drying in the lovely spring weather we are enjoying this week. I'm going to leave it there over night and see how it is in the morning. Dew can work wonders you know.

The robe volante is on hold for now. I sat down and listed everything I wanted to make for CC and prioritized it low, medium or high importance. The robe volante made it into the low category so I'm not going to even look at it again until the high list is finished. *looks longingly at fabric*

July 2014

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