jennylafleur: (victoriana)

I had a truly delightful day yesterday at Kat's Victorian Picnic. Bridget came with me (so happy I had something she could wear that she liked!) which of course made it even better! :>

{Jenny-Rose Photos} - my photos of the event & my favorites from others

Kat | photos | (flicker)
Gloria | photos | (flicker)






Bridget wore my Poe Dress, which looked amazing cute on her. It fit really well except for being a bit short in the skirt and the sleeves, Bridget being my younger but taller sister. So I added a ruffle to the bottom of the skirt and moved the top ruffle on the sleeves to the bottom.

Luckily for me the new skirt ruffle was already cut out, the result of running out of time the last time I wore the dress. The plan was to add a total of 9 ruffles to the bottom of that skirt but I only got two on. That was in 2009 so it felt good to get that lone half-prepped ruffle out of my pending bin.

I still have the fabric for the remaining 6 ruffles although as I was working on it last week I remembered why that hasn’t happened yet. What a pain! This fabric is a rayon-poly-something and while it moves nicely on the body it is slippery and shifty to work with when cut on the bias as these ruffles are. Oy. I still say "someday" to the ruffle madness (it will be such fun to wear!) but probably not someday soon!

I wore my Black & White Bustle. Thanks to the twill interlining with silk taffeta combo that I used (I was silly enough to actually follow pattern directions for once, silly girl) it's definitely a cold weather outfit so I haven't gotten to wear it very often. It was fun to wear it again and it was perfect for this autumn outdoor event.

It also looked awesome with my very un-Victorian RED hair. I do love this hair color - and all the compliments I get on it - but of course the disadvantage is having to start all over with hair pieces.

Ebay was good to me in the form of some cheap Cosplay "dark red" wigs that were a great match. So the wigs were taken apart and I used some of the resulting wefts of hair to assemble and curl into Victorian submission. In the end I was really happy with my hair styling but I do need to refine the pieces a bit. Which is good for you since I'll be taking pictures of the process along the way next time. This time I was too busy trying to figure out what I was doing!

After the drudgery (dramatic sigh) of the shifty ruffles and the seat-of-my-pants hair piece making I decided to have fun by trimming a new hat. This 18th century hat from the National Trust popped up on my Pinterest a couple of weeks ago and I fell in love right away. It then occurred to me that I had a small black straw hat & striped ribbon in the stash and could wear the resulting cuteness with both 1870s and 18th century frocks. Sold!

Originally I was going to use some black & white striped ribbon I have in the stash but when I pulled out my ribbon bin I found this tan and stripe ribbon that is almost an exact match to the original photo. Clearly this hat was meant to be.

The black straw hat blank is very nice quality but rather floppy for my taste so I added some millinery wire to the edge of the brim before covering it with the ribbon.

The pleating along the brim was done by just eye-balling it and pinning it on the brim as I set the pleats to make sure I got the shape right. All of the ribbon was sewn on by hand using a straw needle and silk thread.





I'm really happy with the results! It's a little plainer than I usually go for with my hats (my philosophy being one can't put too much crap on an 18th century hat - I've tried!) but it's charming and will go with so many of my costumes. It helps that so I'm tickled with the fact that I saw a picture on Pinterest and was able to recreate it from my stash on a whim! It totally makes me giggle inside...

jennylafleur: (candles)
Another day, another migraine. *sigh* So far I'm not too impressed with 2011.

In the evening the meds had finally taken effect and I was tired of sitting on my butt so I started de-Christmasing. I took all the ornaments, tinsel, beads and lights off the big tree and my feather tree. Dad helped me pack the tree bits in garbage bags and packing the rest away will be tomorrow's project. 'Cause I am NOT having another migraine. So there.

There is something so depressing about taking down the Christmas. In the end I enjoy having less clutter in the house but it's still sad in a way. Especially the Christmas tree lights, I truly enjoy the soft glow of the trees in the evening. Some of the post-Christmas depression is the site of all the bins and boxes again. I hate boxes lining the walls, it unsettles me. I'll be glad when the house is back to normal and things are tidy again.

I'm not ready for Monday. I'm really not. I'm so glad I have lots to look forward to to keep me going. I'm having tea at a friend's house on Sunday. She always does such a nice job and I can wear a costume if I want. We'll see what my mood is on the day...

Then the next weekend is Sara and Aubry's visit. I'm SO beyond excited about that!! I have been researching recipes and decorating schemes for the Victoriana party - I'm tired of the same old things - and found some yummies to experiment with. The cake I really want to make is probably too ambitious, especially since cakes are my weak spot, but it will be awesome if I can pull it off. Also we recently got a few more pieces of my great-mother's china, silver and such. There is a particularly stunning silver vegetable serving dish I'm dying to use - I keep picturing asparagus with hollandaise in it but that isn't a very practical dish to make in costume (which I would have too since hollandaise shouldn't sit). So we'll see, I'll use it for something. I just love excuses like this to use the fancy stuff. :>

Oh yes and I have to make SOMETHING to wear to the party. Remind me again why I picked Victoriana as the theme when I don't really have any Victoriana costumes? Oh yes to do something different and more challenging. So I either have to re-make the Poe bodice or make the bodice for my Black & White bustle outfit or be insane and come up with a completely new outfit between now and then. I was going to go with the Poe, only because I know that is the era Flirty and Saucy are doing but at the moment I'm leaning toward the bustle. I'm more confident I can whip that out between now and then and frankly the hair is much easier. We'll see. If all else fails I can always wear my Erte Dress or my Titanic kimono... Heck I can wear whatever I want; it’s my party after all! :P
jennylafleur: (sisters)
Not too much happening in Jennylafleur land. I've strained something or other in my neck which has been rather uncomfortable. The worst thing is that is makes it hard to drive, very inconvenient that.

Mostly I've been sitting quietly with hot and cold compresses on my neck scheming about future costuming projects. It's been fun! I've got a master list which is too l-o-n-g so I need to narrow it down to the projects I'm really determined to do before CosCol. Still working on that – I want it all!
Next up for sure is the Victorian corset (the boning was shipping yesterday - yay!) then probably my Poe dress. I'm still debating about whether I want to revamp my original Poe dress (never happy with the bodice and it needs more ruffles) or make a new one. I'm leaning towards revamp, mostly so I can get the extra bolt of leftover fabric out of the stash. We'll see...

I've also been working on the Peacock beading. I finished a 2nd panel last night - yay. Two down 6 to go!

I also did a major update to my website. All the dress diaries and event pages have been updated, some of them with pictures that never appeared on LJ. Lots of pic posting fell through the cracks right before CosCol and the Ren Faire - opps! I also posted a video tutorial I made while working on the Diva demonstrating how I made the "zig-zag trim" on it. The page is here: http://www.jennylafleur.com/study/zigzag.htm
jennylafleur: (victoriana)

What a lovely weekend!


I had such a good time with [livejournal.com profile] girliegirl32786. We giggled, sewed, ate, snarked, schemed and barely slept - it was a typical visit really. :> On Friday we went to tea at Pinkadilly with Mom and [livejournal.com profile] sadievale which was fun. The rest of the day (except for the Ikea-trip-that-never-was) was spent sewing. I finished up my Poe bertha (which would have never happened without Aubry's help - thanks Luv!) and Aubry worked on her stomacher. I made her take progress pics so you should see them soon on her LJ.

The next day [livejournal.com profile] sadievale came over at 9am and we spent the morning getting dressed together. I did everyone's hair so the girls helped me out by finishing off the lace on the bertha and steaming my ruffled petticoat. Teamwork is a good thing.

We made great time to Baltimore and met up with [livejournal.com profile] missphilomena, her Mom and a family friend, [livejournal.com profile] bauhausfrau, [livejournal.com profile] padawansguide and [livejournal.com profile] viennabelle. Tea was wonderful. The hotel's atmosphere was really lovely and the food was quite tasty. The sandwiches won a A++ in presentation - I only wished there were more!

After tea we went to the Poe celebration (nice and early this time). The program was, again, excellent. John Astin was amazing. He was a man in a three piece black suit on a stage with a table and chair reading selected works and letters. Yet as he read (with one of the nicest, sexist voices ever) I felt chills and even had tears running down my face at one point (I need to remember a hankie next time). The talent and power of his voice was amazing. His choice of selections and the way he wove them together was fabulous as well. You could tell he was really passionate about the subject, it really was magical. He read my two favorite Poe pieces too, The Raven and Search for El Dorado, which made me very happy.

The evening ended with the toast to Poe and a soprano singing Amazing Grace and Auld Lang Syne. It was a nice uplifting way to end the evening. Afterwards we hung out and took pics while we waited for John Astin's autograph line to die down. After getting our signatures and pics and saying our goodbyes to [livejournal.com profile] missphilomena, we headed to an Irish pub for a snack. More fun was had (Poe cake anyone?) as we continued to scheme about costume plans and events for the year.

We got back to Fredericksburg about 2:30am. What a day! For my pics follow the link...

http://www.jennylafleur.com/dressup/2009.0131/album/index.html
jennylafleur: (victoriana)

I'm starting to feel better - yay!

I took a break from the endless ruffles today (I have two rows finished, I'm only doing one more until Oct!!) and worked on the bodice. The real reason to mess with the bodice is to come up with a solution for those shoulders that won't stay on. I was going to go with the cheater elastic idea but then i remembered how cold I was last year.


So I went back to the collar/bertha idea. I found several versions of this concept in my books (I will scan the for you later) so I decided to go with a "V" sort of thing. I liked the idea of more stripey fun so I cut two strips on the bias (I'm getting pretty good with all this practice!). My original idea was to gather the bertha at the front and sides. That was not cute so on to plan "B".


Trim down the size a bit and go for no gathers. I like it better but really I don't know if I like it. What to you think? Does it need something else, a ruffle or lace or something. *ponders*


Yes and kitty cuteness - Nefret was keeping me company yesterday. "I wanna help mommy!"
jennylafleur: (Default)

I am sick. Moo. I don't want to be sick.

I also don't want to sit around and do nothing (despite the fact that nothing is really what I have energy for) so I'm making ruffles. Last night I cut out over 800 inches worth of bias strips for the Poe skirt. The skirt will have a total of 6 rows of ruffles, each row needs to be about 313" long. So I still have a way to go but enough of laying out slippery fabric, tonight I am ruffl-ing. At least it's a brainless exercise.

In happy news:
1. We had a wood fire going all day so the house smells lovely (it's freezing out!)
2. Mom made the best turkey & rice soup ever for dinner
3. I bought Edgar Allen Poe-stage stamps today while I was at the post office.

I couldn't resist. :P
jennylafleur: (victoriana)


Houston we have RUFFLES!


Jan 09

I started work on my bias ruffles tonight. Mostly played around with strips of fabric on my frock to try and figure out the proportions of width and placement. What can I say - I'm a visual person! :>

Jan 10

Work begins in earnest! Oh my gosh, I'd forgotten how slippery this rayon was. I am so insane to be doing this - and on the bias no less. I wish the contrast of diagonal stripes didn't look so cool.


I thought the sleeves would be a good place to start so I began with just one strip, to work out how I would sew them and how full each ruffle should be. Testing, testing... I decided to cheat a little on the hemming by zig-zaging the edges, folding a narrow hem and stitching. The top of the ruffles I likewise finished the edge with a zig-zag, that is it. The top ruffles I'll cover with ribbon but the rest I will leave as is... I think. I've stitched them down with a wide zig-zag so they look fine. I'm trying to decide if I want to be anal about it. At the moment I'm thinking not.


So some ribbon and the sleeves are done - yay! I really like the way they look. The skirt really needs ruffles now to balance it. Why oh why did I have to make my skirt so full! *sob* But it must be done! *sighs dramatically*

The nice thing about these ruffles are they are pretty brainless. No fitting – yay! Just r-e-a-l-l-y monotonous. And finicky.
jennylafleur: (mood)
Jenny's tip of the day:

A gathering foot won't work on bias ruffles so don't bother to spend time trying to figure out how the thing works.

*rolls eyes*

yeah

Jan. 10th, 2009 05:15 pm
jennylafleur: (silly)
RUFFLES!!!

*runs to reserved padded cell*

Poe-ness

Jan. 6th, 2009 04:44 pm
jennylafleur: (victoriana)

I almost costumed today! January = Poe's birthday and thanks to a date being settled on and news that darling [livejournal.com profile] girliegirl32786 is coming down for the event I am once again ready to embark on Victoriana.


I love the dress I made last year but it needs some tweaking. The shoulders have an annoying habit of not wanting to stay up. I blame my lack of on-the-shoulder-sleeve fitting skills. I spent a chunk of the day researching and pondering all sorts of options - a chemisette to tack the shoulders to, a bertha of some kind to raise the neckline, a tucker with a drawstring to help keep everything in place. I think for now I'm going to try the easy and extremely un-period method of elastic at the shoulder (per Hunnisett). If that doesn't work I'll go for the tucker.


The fun part of this tweak involve the trimming I didn't have time to do last year. RUFFLES. Normally I'm not a huge ruffle girl but when I found the above fashion plate with rows of bias ruffles playing off a striped skirt I fell in love. I'm sure I will want to stick myself in the eye with a fork at some point (ahh the hemming - help me!) but it's going to look so neat when I'm done. I'll also add rows of bias ruffles to the sleeves like the original pattern. Yay!

tweaks

Jan. 23rd, 2008 10:42 am
jennylafleur: (victoriana)
Darling [livejournal.com profile] sadievale came over last night for what is turning out to be a weekly sewing date. Neither one of us was particularly keen on sewing last night, being tired from our costuming weekends. Since we were together though we actually worked, making me think this is a very good idea - accountability! Hey we might actually get our coaching day attire done on time this way!

We spent most of our evening chatting about the Poe event and the Jane Austen Evening, and concocting evil plans for 2008 & 2009. I decided to work on my Poe dress, on some of those tweaks, starting with the sleeve. I actually had cut out two of the same sleeve, meaning one was technically backwards. The sleeve head being fairly flat because of the drop sleeves I decided to just deal with it because of my time restraints last week but it was a bit of a pain to wear. I'll bet you didn't even notice huh?! Anyway I wanted to fix that so I took the old one apart, cut a new sleeve and started to put it back together.

Only problem was that I sewed the top together with the lining, not the bottom. I also managed to cut the new sleeve with a fabric flaw right on the bottom third of the sleeve. I think I'm going to leave that and just make those biased ruffles no longer optional, they should cover the flaw...

So not a great deal of progress last night but progress none the less.

nevermore

Jan. 21st, 2008 08:23 pm
jennylafleur: (victoriana)


The Poe event was Fabulous! Actually the whole weekend was lovely. in which the heroine once again gets very wordy )
jennylafleur: (victoriana)

Thanks for all your kind words and encouragment to my last post! My evil plan of using stripes so no one will notice how simple and lame my frock is is working!! *evil laugh*

Aubry's here - yay! She missed her connection so I had to go to Charlottesville to pick her up but we had a nice trip back and got to stop at Whole Foods for dinner - yum!

My dress is progressing. I started work on the cartridge pleats yesterday morning. I folded back about an 1" at the top of my skirt and then remembered that I had the long point in front. So I changed the top fold, making it "4 at the very middle. Hopefully that will help the hemming.


I ran the three gathering stitches by hand, making them larger in the very back. I put in and ripped out the very front three times before I figured out how I wanted to do it so I was only about 1/3 of the way done when Aubry called needing a ride. So, fortified with some of her yummy French pastries, we spent the evening bundled up on my bed sewing, giggling and listening to jazz. I finished the cartridge pleats and she her eyelets and we called it a night.

So today I have to sort out under petticoats (surely there is something in the stash that will do!) and accessories, hem the skirt and sew on the hooks and eyes. No bias ruffles which makes me sad but it looks just fine with out them. Just a bit more late '40s severe than I was going for. Ah well, I'm just grateful that dispite not feeling well and other setbacks I have something to wear and I won't be up all night tonight to have done it. Perhaps ruffles next time I wear it!
jennylafleur: (chemise)

Things have been going slower than I wanted but progress has definitely been made today. The bodice is 90% done, with the sleeves hemmed and the inside seams all whip stitched neatly down and everything. I just have to add the hooks and eyes and finish off the waist line and I'm done.

It took longer than I had anticipated mostly due to my rather slippery fabric. Thank God for basting spray that's all I have to say! I both lined and interlined the bodice with black cotton sateen. My obsession to match the stripes as much as possible sucked up some time too. I knew I didn't have the time/patience to get super picky but I did try to match up the stripes nicely in the very front at least. Looks pretty good if I do say so myself...

I'm pleased with the results, except that this fabric is way shiny and will never photograph well. The sleeves don't look like much on Narcissa either, but on me they are rather nice bell sleeves. Nicer with trim of course...

On to the skirt!
jennylafleur: (victoriana)
Everything is cut out and just in time for a lunch break. Well, almost everything. I wanted bias ruffles on the skirt and sleeves but I'm going to get it in wearable condition first before I worry about frivolous decorations.

It's been snowing all morning, so pretty! It's supposed to turn to a winter mix tonight. I'm so glad I don't have to go anywhere today. :P

I wish I had a fur muff for this weekend. I feel like my life would be complete with a fur muff. I should have bought that one I found in the flea market this summer. Loser! Well maybe I can put on of the vintage collars my Nana gave me on my wool cape...

I be tired

Jan. 16th, 2008 07:33 pm
jennylafleur: (victoriana)
Is it possible, can I actually be finished with the toileing? Yes I think so. The sleeve isn't perfect but it will do. I took off my toile and corset before remembering the camera so no pics, sorry about that.

I did a full mockup of the bodice pattern, with a lining, to double check the fit and think through how I was going to construct it. It was a bit time consuming but I'm glad I did it, everything looks good and I know about how long it will take to put together. I think I'll take a break to attend to some e-mailing and then go cut out the bodice.

Hey I may actually get this done in time yet! :>
jennylafleur: (pp)
I got back to work on the Poe last night. [livejournal.com profile] sadievale came over last night and we sewed together. I helped her get started on her riding habit (she's copying this lovely thing) in between finishing up the Poe bodice toiling. It was nice to have a costuming buddy to get me going and keep me laughing; I was really not in the mood to work last night.

I can't believe I have to have this dress finished in a few days, I'm so far behind and so not in the mood, but I don't have a back-up plan. I'm afraid to push myself too hard for fear of getting sick once again though. My immune system is so run down at the moment. Still I plow ahead, not knowing what else to do...

The real point of this post is to whine and say that I HATE sleeves. The first sleeve toile has been a disaster. Yes, I really hate sleeves. *sigh*

Oh and speaking of [livejournal.com profile] sadievale, she is off to the Jane Austen evening in LA this weekend, are any of my LJ peeps going this year too?
jennylafleur: (1800)
My day was lovely. Not only did I get out of the house but I got to dress up in Regency attire and have tea with my darling "Auntie" Tina & dearest partner in costume crime [livejournal.com profile] sadievale. A new tea shop opened downtown so we went to check it out.

Fredericksburg has a charming and decent tea room at last - I'm in shock! Pinkadilly was fun. The tea was properly brewed, the food nicely presented and quite tasty, and the price very reasonable. The atmosphere was really charming with tasteful china decorating the walls and windows with the walls painted a cheery pale pink. I'll be back! In fact Aubry, I'm thinking maybe we should stick close to home in our site-seeing on Saturday and check out their luncheon menu... *wink*

I wore my silk embroidered dress, this time with my long golden pearl necklace, matching earrings and a new orange silk ribbon in my hair. I wasn’t in the mood for camera work so I let [livejournal.com profile] sadievale take all the pics. I'll post them when I get copies. Until then you'll just have to take my word for it that we looked smashing and that my hair turned out especially cute this am. I do love Regency hair.

After tea, S & I talked costumes and concocted some very cunning plans for new caps & our coaching days outfits. It was great fun. So much so that I really wish I could just start on the CD outfit but the Poe comes first. I might go work on it a bit right now, although I'm tired from the day's excitement. I need to get cracking soon though or I'll be naked next weekend!
jennylafleur: (victoriana)
I feeling much better - yay! Not 100% but definitely human again, which after the beginning of this week is saying something. I actually got some sleep last night, some office work done today, remembered all the things I should have done on Monday & Tuesday *grinds teeth*, attempted to catch up on my backlog of e-mail and researched Poe accessories a bit. I'm quite proud of myself.

My reward for the day's accomplishments and this miserable week is to take tea with friends tomorrow (in costume no less!). I suspect I will strain my voice and it will wipe me out for the rest of the weekend but I'm doing it anyway. I feel like if I waited until I felt "well" I wouldn't see anyone ever again. Besides I have GOT to get out of this house or go mad!

My Poe Research consisted of trying to figure out what to do with the neckline of my dress. I like it as is but it's a little low for a Victorian day dress so I was thinking a chemisette or neckerchief or something. Although in looking through fashion plates at the University of Washington and the NY Public Library I noticed that earlier in the 40s a lower neckline during the day seemed acceptable. At least I assume so, they are wearing bonnets... perhaps it's just wishful thinking...

http://digital.nypl.org/mmpco/searchresultsK.cfm?&trg=2&image_id=802222&title=Latest%20fashions%2C%20August%2C%201841%2C%20for%20Graham%27s%20magazine%2E&strucID=571943&dstart=1&keyword=fashion%201841&NUM=0
jennylafleur: (regency)

First off pics of the DDD Poe toile. The pic doesn't even show how big it was - so sad!


Once I got Narcissa all padded out and as close to my shape as she gets, I took the front of the first toile and the rest of the back toile and started draping it on her. I had to slash at the waist area a lot as well as mess with the bust seams. It also seemed way too long, so I shortened it to where I thought my waist was.


After transferring my changes unto new pieces I sewed them together for toile #4. SO. Much. Better. That's all I have to say.


Still a bit more toiling to go though. No shortcuts on this project! Over all I need ease and some reshaping of the neckline so the sleeves sit right. (1840s should sit right on the shoulder, correct?) I got a little zealous on the front waistline so that needs to come down a bit, although the back looks pretty good to me. I don't know why I shaped the back to a point in back, once I tried it on I remembered I wanted it round in the back. Oh well, easy to snip!

I'm obviously going to need a chemisette to fill in the neckline for this event although I rather like the look of the faux neckerchief in Hunnisett. I wonder if really it's period though. Or if I really care at this point. :> The amount of research I've put into this project is really scandalous - why start now? :>

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