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*
jennylafleur: (georgian costume)
A "bonjour" video of the pet en l'air:
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... And a 360° of the new stays:
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jennylafleur: (francaise)

It's over! The week of sewing madness is over! I did not plan it this way, I really didn't but I have to be flexible with my work and unfortunately everyone (including CCFred) decided this was the week to schedule things. Most times an hour away no less. I had no back-up plan so I had to finish everything this week. I have such a love/hate relationship with deadlines! It was all good though and God was SO gracious.

the night of Nessa Dorma )

So without further ado my outfit! I’m quite pleased with it. Little things bug (the waist bunches as I didn’t fit it with the false rump, silly me) but the overall effect was what I was going for. The pleats in back need more fullness to hang correctly. Still not bad considering my fabric restraints and my first attempt at the sacque style. I need a totally different cap but it’s on the list already. I wanted a shorter petticoat but it came out a shorter that I intended. I think it shrunk when I dyed it. It looks cute though, very Galerie des Modes, so I may just leave it as is.

Stealth shots B took as I was getting undressed in the mess that was my room. Well actually still is the mess that is my room, I haven't picked up yet. :P Both B and I had to sew ourselves into our bodices, having run out of time to sew on the hooks and eyes. Also a glimse of my outfit sans bows. It's the bows that really make it I think, certianlly the bit that makes it go with the necklace. :> Found the ribbon at Jo-Anns of all places, on Friday night. I really was shocked - it was perfect!

My stays! I’m very pleased with them, they give a better shape than my last I think and are quite comfortable, now that they are broken in. Lacing all the way down takes more time to lace but it does give better lower back support. It’s something I will definitely do on all my future stays. Love the silk - not the most practical of fabrics but so fun to stroke! :>

So onto the next week's sewing projects! Yes the madness doesn't end quite yet. I am doing a reverse strip-tease/fashion show for a local DAR group on Saturday and am determined to have a proper shift and that robe volante. Both are easy projects (I think) and if they don't get done, no worries but I'm going to try. If you haven't figured it out already, I AM insane!! *LOL*
jennylafleur: (georgian)
Finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with the pet en l'air. I'm going to tack down the side pleats (pinned) then try it on. I need to make sure the stomacher is in the right place before I sew trimming. I didn’t mark it well, bad Jenny.

So left to do:
add the trim
sew the hooks and eyes (last minute as I can always sew myself in Sat morning)
finish sleeves, add ruffle

B came home tonight to help (the sweetie!) so I was able to give her some fiddly but necessary tasks like trimming the boning for her stays, cutting, fraying and gathering the organdy trim etc. So helpful! She is also going to make the shortbread tomorrow. We were joking tonight that the price of her outfit was 100 pieces of shortbread. She seemed to think it a dear price; I told her she was still getting a bargain! *hee hee*

Enough of a break... back to work!
jennylafleur: (francaise)
This outfit has turned out in many ways to be the project from heck, or perhaps it just seems so because of the condensed timeline. *sigh*

The toile of the front section, which I did in such a rush before I went to Baltimore, proved to be totally unworkable when I went to cut it out. Added to the 'fun' was the fact that I had a shorter length of fabric to work with than intended because the finial sleeves took up extra fabric.

I tried draping the unworkable toile on me again but it totally wasn’t working. I fussed, fumed and despaired then got on the internet and starting trolling for ideas of how cut the bodice separately from the front skirt (the easiest solution I could think of). I then noticed something I hadn’t noticed before. The tuck/dart [ profile] demode_kvc had been talking about was horizontal along the waist, not vertical along the arm like the Arnold. Eureka!

I could have created a seam there instead but the tuck/dart seemed simpler and would use less fabric. Having had enough of muslins that wouldn't work when it came to the pinch I decided to drape a new front (with waist dart) in the blue fabric. I sewed the pleated back to the lining front & strap to use as my guides. I of course had to drape it on me for an accurate fit which means I actually talked Mom through the draping. She was a real trooper though and the front piece came out wonderfully. I SO owe her a big bag of M&Ms.

So last night I got most of the main things done. What's left? To bind the center back edge, attach the sleeves (already sewn, clipped and pressed), sew on hooks and eyes and decided what the heck I'm doing with the trimming. Oh yes and the waistband and ruffle attached tot he petticoat (already pleated thank God). No pannier, no cap. But right now I'm off to MK work (an appointment in Richmond) so I won't be able to work on this again until tonight.

It has to be done tonight though as tomorrow I have to get going on B's dress. Umm... an English gown, MK appointment (in Richmond), and baking 100 pieces of shortbread all in one day - I must be mad. Darn my stubborn streak.
jennylafleur: (pannier)
*sigh* I have workable sleeves - finally! Not perfect but good enough. Seems to be the theme of this project that. I'm not totally happy with my results on this thing but then again I didn't expect to, this being my first attempt at a sacque-back type garment. I'm never pleased until the second try (the notable exception being my Rohan), look at my website and you'll notice I make everything at least twice. I was just noticing that the other day... it amused me.

Anyway, I've got everything but the outer front toile piece traced out onto interfacing and ready to be cut and sewn tomorrow morning. I'm not really sure I CAN make a master pattern of that outer layer, I may have to drape and just cut it to fit the lining... it's such a fiddly piece.

I'm also trying to decide if I want the stomacher to be false and if so do I want to sew it so that it doesn't look false (finish the edge as an edge, add boning and hand sew it) or not. At the moment I'm leaning toward not but then again I don't really like stomachers either in look or practice. There is a reason they went out of fashion in favor of close-fronts you know. :> This opinion of course begs the question of why am I making one for which I don't have a good answer except that MA has one and I'd never tried it before. Besides it seems more appropriate for the sacque.

Ack I'm rambling - it must be bedtime!
jennylafleur: (mood)
*sigh* Three hours and I don't even know how many toiles later the sleeves are still not working.

I really do not have time for this.
jennylafleur: (costume bother)
Ack! I hate sleeves - aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!

Also Bridget is sick in Richmond, poor baby.

I REALLY hate sleeves. *razenfrazen*
jennylafleur: (pannier)
We have sewing progress! The back of the pet en l'air is pleated and stitched down to the lining. I made up a second toile so I could work on the front tweaking. Looking pretty good so I started on the sleeves. I have one pinned in but have reached my curfew. I've learned not to do anything involving a sewing machine after 11pm, it's never a pretty thing. I do have pics but well the camera is in the other room. :P

Ack, my stays definitely need some breaking in. Good news is they give me the pretty shape I want, bad news is they give me a tummy ache. I seem to recall my old stays doing that at first. Forgot about that part. Truth is I really just need to get rid of my too big tummy for the 18th century cone shape... maybe I should take the time to go the gym tomorrow after all... :>
jennylafleur: (georgian)

A rather belated happy Resurrection Sunday to you all! I hope you had a wonderful day of fellowship, celebrating and relaxing yesterday!

My pearl knotting class on Saturday was WAY too fun. The teacher was great and while it was probably something I could have picked up on my own I'm so glad I did the class. My teacher had learned to pearl knot while living in Japan. She worked in a shop run by a 60 year old Japanese man who had been taught to knot by his father. So we learned the traditional Japanese method as well as some of the shop shortcuts. She was very through about different materials and findings and why she recommended what she did. I love knowing the why of things. It was all very interesting - totally worth the $25!

I picked up the technique right away which was nice and finished my first necklace at the class. The dark blue beads were ones I bought at Bent's Fort in Colorado when I was 11 (the light blue I bought on Saturday to extend the necklace to the right length). They are nothing horribly special I know but I love the color and they have tons of sentimental value. The string they were on broke years ago and they have been sitting in a drawer waiting to be worn again. I'm thrilled to have them in a wearable condition again!

I've already started on my second knotted necklace, this one rose quartz for reenacting. I bought enough beads to make a double strand but I think I just want one now. So I have enough to make a second one to sell. *wink*

What I really want is a double strand coral necklace for my eighteenth century kit but I'm going to have to mail order those beads from Fire Mountain, as no one has period correct ones in town. Well I haven't checked the downtown shop in a while, I guess I should pop in there first and see what they have. I'm just not confident about sizing and so very unconfident about ordering online. It's hard to pick things out of a catalogue when you don't know what you want. :P

B's costume is going okay. I ran out of time to do a finial bodice toile and the whole sleeve toile so I'm going to have to do that on Friday I guess. The hem too, so it's going to be a very late night. I will be in Richmond for MK on Thursday but I think I can be more efficient in my own sewing room instead of dragging stuff down there, even if it means a couple hours less sleep Friday. Thank goodness I don't have to be at the tea until 11:30am!

I'm going to have to construct her bodice in such a way that I can alter it at the last minute, and do the finial fitting in the fashion fabric. I've never done that
before but Jean Hunnisett talks about it in her books so I know it can be done.

As far as my outfit goes, I have the pleats all pined down on Narcissa. I'm not entirely happy with the pleats but I think I'm just going to sew them down as is and fiddle with them again after the tea. I eyeballed the whole thing so one side is like 5/8" off, making the pleats on that side a little shallower. No one will notice I'm sure and I don't have time to re-pleat one whole side for the sake symmetry. Priorities!
jennylafleur: (stays)

Wow my friend's list sure has been quiet this week! Not that I've been doing much to fill the silence... just refreshing my page a lot. :P So for the rest of you to-busy-to-sew-lj-refreshers out there - behold the stays!! As you can see I have unashamedly pinched the line of seaming from the pattern Katherine just used but really it's too pretty not to pinch!

I'm very pleased with the stays, they are pretty, MA-ish and fit very well. Unfortunately I’m not pleased with any of the pics I've managed to take on them on me. So you get Narcissa as a model until I can try again on me. :> Oh yes and a little preview of how the outfit will look with the quilted petticoat - yummy!

Worked a bit on the pet en l'air today. I'm happy so far, the side view looks perfect. That center box pleat is bugging me though. It's plenty full at the top but looks kinda skimpy at the bottom. Must mess with it a bit more.

home again

Apr. 2nd, 2007 09:57 am
jennylafleur: (pannier)
I'm back! Actually got back before today but today is my first time back online. Had a lovely day yesterday with friends - soup, crying, prayer tea, & chatting. Today is catch up day so no sewing on the horizon.

I indeed took my pet en l'air back panels to Mary Kay conference in Baltimore but didn't get much done. I didn't have as much time to relax/hang as I did last year and I found I really need either a large space to lay pieces out or to drape the pieces on Narcissa to do the pleats. It's okay, I'm definitely further along with the project by trying to take it on my trip. :>
jennylafleur: (1780s)
Well, in the end I didn't spend my evening on sewing so no second toile and nothing cut. I did some much needed clothes shopping for tomorrow and spend time with Daddy (who, because of working late all week I've seen for a total of about 10 mins since Sunday). I shall now be cute and comfortable at my conference and had a good chat with Daddy. Priorities. *sigh* I wish I didn’t have to choose sometimes.

I was all bummed about not having anything to take then I thought, hey! The tweaks to the lining are all in the front and the back is what I need to do mostly by hand, so why not just take the back and worry about the rest later? I love these brilliant moments! :>

So I'm sitting here letting the nails I just painted dry and trying to decide what to use as the lining. I have a pretty polished cotton purple, but I'm really not a purple person and I'm trying to decide if it will bug me. I do have more of the pink sateen from the stays but it's actually not the sturdiest of fabrics so should I not use it or just interline it. There is always plain white cotton but that is boring. Umm... what about black - not period but well fun. :>

Maybe I should do eni, meni, mieni, moe... :P
jennylafleur: (pink)

Thank you so much for your helpful words and advice on the pet en l'air - you guys really are the best!

With renewed interest this morning I started by flipping through Arnold again and looking at the caraco that [ profile] joysdaughter's was talking about. Another non-bodice/skirt front. Cool! I draped the front, using the grain angles of the caraco as guide but without any better results. Moo.

While flipping through Arnold again I noticed the Brunswick-quilted-travel-thing had a dart/tuck right under the arm. *gleeful smile appears* So I took to heart the positive words on tucks/darts from [ profile] demodekvc, [ profile] sarahnucci and [ profile] gildedgarb and worked a tuck in under the arm - suddenly it worked! *throws confetti*.

I seriously fudged the back pleats and the side pleats - have no idea what I'm doing there but it looks good so ha! I basted up the lining and toile and did a fitting. Everything looks pretty good. Noticed some little things (like hello, way too small in the shoulders. It's the one area where Narcissa can't be padded to fit me.) but over all I'm feeling the warm fuzzies again. It even works with pannier (these are temp, still working on some smaller ones), which because of my limited fabric I wasn’t sure would happen. The pet en l'air definitely needs pannier.

I'm totally winging this project and have plans on totally winging the construction as well. I simply don't have time to be fussy about this thing. For once in my life I don't have the inclination either. I'm leaving for Baltimore and a Mary Kay conference tomorrow. It's only an overnight thing but thanks to my efficiency with the stays I have nothing to work on while I'm there and there will definitely be opportunities to work on something. With my deadline quickly looming that seems wasteful so I'm going to try and take this with me. I'm thinking one more fitting of the lining and then just tally ho with the fashion fabric. I can't believe this is me, Miss Jenny Perfectionist. I must be ill or something. :P
jennylafleur: (pannier)

My stays are done - yay! I took pics for you but they came out horribly so I will try again tomorrow. The stays are pretty though - I'm very pleased!!

I started work on my bleu outfit today. It went okay. Well, slightly less than that actually. The plan is to make a version of the above outfit from Marie Antoinette. In short a bleu pet en l'air. After much research and trying to wrap my head around the whole sack thing, I printed out some inspiration/reference for my walls and went to work.

I cut out a rough lining from my basic anglaise pattern, trimming away the front and adding a false stomacher piece. I then began on the outer toile, which is when the slightly less than okay part of the day kicked in. I messed about with the back pleats for a while before concluding that my toile fabric was just not wide enough (fashion fabric is a bit wider luckily). So I decided to move on the front and mess with pleating later. The first draping totally didn't work and the second only a bit better.

I can't figure out how you can possibly use one piece of fabric from stomacher front to back/side seam without darts or tucks or another seam. There is just too much area to cover and without something to release the stress it buckles and wrinkles most un attractively. I'm not seeing evidence of tucks or darts though, except were the front bodice and skirt are cut separately (which is not how the MA or Arnold ones I'm copying are done). Am I missing something?

I'm not sure I can make the pet en l'air anyway as I have a very limited amount of fabric to play with. This sack thing really sucks up the yardage! I don't know. It's so much easier to skimp when you know what you are doing, which I don't. I'm hoping the whole thing will look better in the morning 'cause right now it's just not giving me warm fuzzies...
jennylafleur: (naughty)
Is it reasonable to assume that colored (as in blue) sequins are probably not period correct for 18th century? I can't recall ever seeing anything but silver and gold spangles, although I'd love to be wrong... *evil grin*
jennylafleur: (ma)

I had a massive headache today so I didn't go out tonight like I wanted to - blah! Once dinner was settled in my tummy and the meds kicked in I managed to work on my stays a bit though.

I was hoping not to baste the tabs before I attached the binding but they were not being friendly at all. So I'm basting the tabs with a very loose and sloppy buttonhole stitch (love that stitch, so handy!). The binding is going much better now so the extra effort is rewarded - yay! I must say I'm totally digging the matching binding/lining on the inside - so cool!

The clear majority is for curve faux seams, which is nice because that is what I was leaning towards myself. If I'd had the time I would have attempted a stays pattern with that shape (so pretty) but with my deadline restraints I couldn't mess with a new pattern. Much better to perfect the stays I've been wearing for the couple of years and make my new "bleu outfit". You know the one I have changed my mind 4 times about...

I'll give the finial grand plan soon (let us just say MA!) but for now a pic of my new cheeptrim trims for the outfit. I can hardly contain myself, I'm so excited to put this outfit together. Just have to get past the stays and pannier first... *rubs hands together*
jennylafleur: (1780s)

I don’t know about you guys but I like it! I was going for a little bit more green in the blue but this is such a pretty color I think I will leave it. It’s the right color family (it's actually a bit richer looking in person) and it goes with the necklace. Maybe I could find some ribbon matching the necklace for my trim…

The color could have come out a little more even in places (another reason to miss my old washer) but I don't think anyone will notice with the full petticoat skirt and the fact I can cut around them for the jacket. If you look at the edges you can see the warp and weft took the color differently. It's why it's so pretty in person - this fabric almost shimmers. I love it! So a new ruffled jacket and petticoat here I come!

I used 1 cup salt, 1 bottle evening blue and about a tbsp dark green. I did it in the tub sink in the laundry room with the hottest water from the tap, soaking and stirring for about 25 minutes before rinsing (with a vinegar rinse) in the washer.

And a pic of the bronze taffeta, since I haven’t shown you that yet…
jennylafleur: (victoriana)
Still sick - bah! I seem to be getting worse not better. I actually lost my voice! Today I was feeling a bit better toward evening so that is something.

I did manage to do some desperately needed laundry done so that is good. I also washed the leftover bit of bronze taffeta (bits for the ruffle and trim of new ball gown petticoat) that the cat pee-ed on last week. I washed it by hand in the sink - hopefully it didn't loose too much of the crispy taffeta-ness. Worthless cat! Once I'm done here I'll go press it and see how it is. You never know with taffeta, I've had very bad things happen washing acetate taffetas. This one was a poly/nylon so I don't know. *crossing fingers* I could always starch it I guess.

I'd like to work on the petticoat tonight but I'm a bit wiped. I just finished dyeing the ivory faille (by hand). Dude I miss my old washer! *pouts* The faille is in the washer now being rinsed in cold water and vinegar. I'm curious to see what the color it ends up being. I wanted it to match a certain necklace you know...

In bustle news, [ profile] laurenmonkey was kind enough to pick up this eyelet lace for my bustle in the LA fabric district. It was a bit of a treat but I figured I'd only ever make the one bustle so I might as well do it right and I'll save days hemming those ruffles. Besides it's so purr-dy! :>

According to the pattern I need 16.5 yds of 6" ruffles (unhemmed) and I'm getting 15yds of 10" lace. Even adding a extra layer for height (which I suspect I'll have to do) I think that will work. I'm all about fudging! :>
jennylafleur: (antoinette)
I don’t think I can dye anything in the new washer after all. I watched it go through a wash cycle last night and the stupid thing doesn’t actually fill up with water – it’s one of those fancy efficient ones that uses less water and soap. Dumb. I am so bummed out. My days of easy dyeing are over. I’ll have to do it in the tub sink or buy a pot and do it on the stove. *mreh*

I did get the cream petticoat all taken apart and washed though so it’s ready to go. Maybe I’ll try the dye thing tomorrow. Have I mentioned I’m bummed?

I worked on my new ball gown petticoat today, it’s mostly done. I have the waist band pinned on so just that, the hem and the ruffles to add. I ended up with a shot gold/bronze taffeta. It looks nice with the ball gown but isn’t too matchy-matchy. Pretty!

I finally got word that I can wear my Bee gown one of the Stratford Hall nights so that is nice. I’m excited to wear it again. I’ll have to put the train on a wrist loop though for dancing!

I really can’t believe Thanksgiving is this week – November where did you go?! It will be 12th Night before I know it - scary!

My last bit of pointless rambling is a link to Yahoo Movies – they have 6 clips from Marie Antoinette up. Now I want to go see it again. Sony will you please hurry up and put MA on DVD?! :>

Marie Antoinette clips

July 2014

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