jennylafleur: (titanic)
The good news:
I finished everything on my list yesterday so I’m still on schedule

The bad news:
I think I have a cold. *sigh* Oh well. So far it’s not too bad. Hopefully it will stay an annoying head cold and leave in a few days. I’m going to ignore it and sew anyway, just sleeping a bit more than planned and making sure I’m drinking lots of juice. Darn the torpedoes full speed ahead!!

The stays are finished ad look nice and neat once again. It’s so nice to have regency stays that fit properly! I gave up trying to follow the original Hunnisett pattern, which had the top straight across, and cut dips under the arm holes. So. Much. Better!

I also took off some off the center front and shortened the sleeves. And of course re-did all the binding, this time with thin pre-packaged bias tape. I definitely like the look of a scant ¼” binding the best…

Finished up the Erté too. The shorter tunic looks much better and that little bit of trim at the bottom finishes it off perfectly. I had forgotten about the back though, I have to figure out something to cover up where the sari border ends at the back of the underskirt as it now shows. *think, think, think* If I didn’t have HIPs and BUTT this would have worked better. Oh well!

Today I’m on to the bee dress toile. I’m hoping to have the overdress toiled out by tonight but we’ll see…
jennylafleur: (Default)
Ack! 10 days before I leave for CC - I'm not panicking!!!!! *ahem*

Looks like the stupid cable has finally settled down and is working properly. No posting last week because our connection was only up in 15 minutes spurts. Just long enough to read my friends list (sometimes to do a reply or too) before it went down again. Just a bit frustrating. *grinds teeth*

Not much done on the sewing front. Good stuff though. I finally came to the realization that I needed to stop being anal about this 1800 bee dress. I started to get all whigged out about “oh my gosh I’m gong to meet all these amazing costumers, I have to put my best foot forward and do everything ‘right’!”. *sigh* Pride can be such an ugly thing. God has been gracious to me though and with a little slapping upside the head last week brought me to a point where I can say, you know what? This will be my best foot. It’s the best I can do right now and that is okay. Not that I don’t care what you guys think but I have to do this costuming thing for ME, not based on what others will say or do.

*sigh* Thought I’d learned that lesson a few years ago, guess I needed a refresher. :> So anyway, not much sewing but my attitude is much improved. I feel much lighter in heart too and totally ready to party, no matter how close to my original vision the Bee ends up looking like or not.

All that to say I ditched my attempts to make the gown I thought I wanted and am going to copy the old Greensleves dress as is instead. It’s not the “accurate & inventive” interpretation on the Regency that I was going for but the look is right and it will be quite pretty. The overdress is same as ever but I was never worried about that. I work much better (and faster thank goodness) with more structured and fitted garments.

I cut out the toile from the old Greensleeves pattern and fitted the lining. A few tweaks and it looked good. I also decided on the height of the bodice, the one thing I really hated about Greenie was that the bodice was too long.

At that point I had to pack up my sewing things for a few days (company coming) so I turned my attention to my regency stays. I ripped out the rest of the old binding, started on the new binding and generally tidied up from my re-construction of last month. The bottom binding is done (how I love stays without tabs!!) and the top binding is pinned on.

Today’s plan is to finish that up and then finish the Erte. Just need to cut off some tunic hem (made it too long originally), re-hem it and attach that bit of trim.
jennylafleur: (titanic)
The Erte is going very well. If I wanted to stay up super late I could finish it tonight but I have church in the morning so I don’t think I shall. I’ll finish up tomorrow afternoon.

I ended up cutting the border off. It was the easiest thing to do and I consoled myself with the thought that if I hated it I can always re-do it later. In the end I like it, definitely livable and with 19 days until CC (with the entire Bee ensemble left to make) something besides my sanity has to give. :>

I just tried on the dress for a double check and to mark the belt for hooks & bars and everything looks good. I need to shorten the tunic a bit. Without the border it looks better shorter. B and I also decided the bottom of the tunic needed something to weight it down a bit (both visually and literally) so I pulled out some black sequined trim from the stash and will at that to the hem. I’ll draw it into the dress by putting it along the top of the belt as well. B had the great idea of adding a cluster of sequined flowers to the collar as a finial touch and I totally agree. I don’t want to overwhelm the beautiful fabric but a little subtle pizzazz is in order. *wink*

This dress has really come together – I’m so happy! It looks just right, especially with the shoes, gloves and hat. I feel like a little porcelain doll – nothing like a hobble skirt to make you feel dainty! :>

Thanks for all your votes and comments! Those of you who choose ”c” – you are stinks! But I love you, thanks for the laugh. :>
jennylafleur: (angst)

Ack! Stupid dress! It was going to so well too.

I got the tunic sewn on yesterday and tried it on. B and I decided following the line of the under dress didn’t work, it dips down too much under the arm. The tunic needed more of a straight line. Should have taken pics. Oh well.

I played around with the height of the tunic skirt, even putting on my shoes, jewelry and playing with my hat. Oh this outfit is going to be uber cute at CC! No pics, on purpose this time – you have to wait! *hee hee*

Anyway ripped out the stitching, took the tunic off and stitched it back on, higher this time (did I mention this was all by hand?). Collapsed unto bed. Then I started thinking. When I sewed up the back seam, all nicely with a hand hemmed opening for the zipper, going into a French seam, I totally forgot that I had to cut the tunic to make it shorter. My plan had been to cut it and make a seam right under the belt, the hide it and still give me a border at the top and bottom. *sigh* This is the real reason I hate French seams, once you do them (especially if you trim them) that’s it.

I’ve been agonizing over it most of the morning but I think rather than mess with my perfect back seams (hours and hours of fiddly work) or cut and create a seam right above the border (possibly ruining the flow of the tunic also enter hours of fiddly work) that I am just going to cut the bottom border off and hem it. It wasn’t my original design but then neither was using the border on the sleeves or using so much of the end border on the underskirt. It’s a different look with out the tunic border, simpler but perhaps simpler will be better after all. Usually is on me.

If I hate it can always sew the border back on (creating that iffy seam there) I guess.

Oh I just had a thought… I have tons of fabric left. I could just cut a new tunic and start from scratch on that, making it the right length and then finishing the seams. Oh dear, now I’m undecided again. I think I’ll work on the belt and ponder…

What do you think? (when looking at the pics, the pic with the lower tunic border is the correct length of the tunic)

[Poll #769590]
jennylafleur: (twenties)

I have made remarkably little progress this week on the Erte, mostly because Real Life (TM) keeps getting in the way. *grrr*

Anyway… it’s going well. The zipper is in, the hems are done, the lower part of the underskirt is attached (used the bottom of the sari, pretty no?) and the over tunic is all hemmed and ready to be draped on.

Now comes the fun part of draping the tunic and the tedious part of making the belt. B won’t be beading it after all. Her schedule has gotten crazy and I’d rather her work out the embellishment plans she dreamed up for the bee overdress…oh wait till you see it! *rubs hands together*
jennylafleur: (titanic)

I hate life. I’ve been zipping along nicely on the Erte this weekend and was hoping to have it basically finished before bed. I was all ready to pop in the zipper (*shh* don’t tell the thread Nazis!) when I discovered all I had was a black invisible zipper in the house. Not good with ivory silk. Of course it’s Sunday so Hancocks closed hours ago. *cries* Not fair!! Couldn’t have realized it earlier or anything. I guess I can work on the under skirt bottom but after that I have to wait for the zipper. *moo*

I’m pleased with the Erte so far. I’m particularly proud of my dodgey little collar and it’s facing. Originally, I had cut and sewn in an ivory sari facing but decided I didn’t like it so I ripped it out and put in a black facing instead. Now the collar folds over to black which is much more striking I think.

I’m also super pleased with the sleeves. Because of the way I was able to cut them out I didn’t have to hem the sleeves. They also ended up perfectly matching along the border at the seam. On the first try too!! *happy butt wiggle*

That spray adhesive – brilliant stuff. [ profile] demode_kvc you are my hero! It adds a bit more mess to my sewing space (drop cloth, extra craft board that ends up sticky at the end of the day) but it’s worth it. It’s of course easier to use with stiffer fabric but I figured out how to use it with even the 5mm china silk (underdress layer).
jennylafleur: (pirate)

I decided to dress after all. Actually there were four of us dressed but I didn’t get any pics – silly Jenny! Actually it only occurred to me to take some pics right before I undressed and went to bed. I thought this outfit was too cute not to preserve for posterity, even if it was 4am and I'd left my hat in the car. It was comfy too, although it felt strange to be wearing my underpinnings on the outside! :> Fun but strange. I especially enjoyed not having to worry about everything being accurate. I reveled in my unperiod hair and jewelry. I am SO not a thread Nazi! *giggle*

As far as PotC2 went, I was disappointed. more on that subject )

I’m taking a break from the Erté dress right now. Everything is cut except for the belt - can’t remember how wide I wanted to make it. :P I’ve basted the bodice and it’s lining together using the temp spray adhesive [ profile] demode_kvc mentioned a while ago. So far it’s working like a charm. Anything that helps silk to behave in a more friendly manner is a good thing, right?!! :>
jennylafleur: (titanic)
I was such a good girl yesterday! I didn't sit in front of the TV and eat ice cream all night like I wanted to but instead worked on the Erte dress. I have all but the cotton lining cut out. The disgusting part is I have tons of fabric left over. I guess I was successful in choosing a design that was an economical use of yardage. Now I have to figure out what to do with the leftovers. maybe an everyday skirt?

The silk was so slippery that I stiffened it a bit first with some light spray starch. It made it much easier to fold and iron on grain and then cut out the pieces. To ensure the over tunic piece was on grain I actually pulled threads to find my cutting line. It's not something I do on a regular basis (being such a hassle) but I thought it was worth the extra time for this. Interestingly enough the woven pattern was not lined up with the grain. Whatever!

Tonight B and I are off to a Pirates of the Caribbean party in Richmond. We are going to watch the 1st movie, have dinner and then see the midnight showing of PotC2 with some of B's college mates. Should be fun. We are still deciding if we want to dress-up or not. I'm not in the mood for full 18th century but something casually piratey like my long black skirt and my green stays would be fun... we'll see.
jennylafleur: (twenties)
Yay - finial Erté toile is a success. There were a few small teaks I wanted to check. so as soon as I take this thing off I'll go layout the fabric. Maybe I should do that on the big table while it's up...

I'm noticing how I lace up my corset really effects this dress. Last night I felt a bit fat in it, laced up a bit more in the torso and voila it looks good again. In fact I laced it a bit with the corset too high then pulled it down and finished lacing. Much more slimming and my chest doesn't feel like it's in my chest when i sit down. I must remember that next time. Oh to be small busted like some people I know!!

I think I need to put a drawstring in the upper binding too. i pinned the top of my corset to my bra and it looks a lot better, more slimming. Umm... I hope that doesn't mean redoing the binding! I must figure out if I can cheat that somehow.
jennylafleur: (titanic)

I made good progress today and here is proof! First two pics are of the first toile (after being fitted with pins) so you can get an idea of what the original pattern looked like, then the second toile and finally the third with the sari fabric pinned on for the effect.

All my guesses about what I would and would not like about this pattern (and how I would change it) were mostly right, so that was straightforward. I put the first toile together per the instructions, just to see what that was like. Definitely not the way I would have constructed the pattern. Lots of extra steps so that no seams show on the inside and the sleeves don’t have to be hemmed – whatever! So yeah, skipping all that on my frock. At least the extra steps were explained well, if that is the way you wanted to go about it.

The dress is a semi-fitted sack so the fitting was simple. In fact the easiest way to fit it (particularly at the waist) is to follow the Titanic Deck dress pleats. It’s the way the silk drapes naturally in this style. I love it when common sense is applied to fabric and costume design – it makes life easy.

I lowered the bust/waist line ¾” and lengthened the skirt 2”. I’ll lengthen it a bit more to account for the heels I’ll be wearing with this outfit. The sleeves are also shortened (so they fit without piecing – if you have the pattern you know what I am talking about). The two major changes were to split the back open for a zipper (not strictly period correct I know – sue me!) and adding the collar.

I’m not sure how I feel about the dodgy little collar at the moment. It’s okay but I’m not sure what I’d like better. I used my Rohan collar as the base and drafted it into the neckline of the last toile. I don’t know I may bring the “V” a little lower or something. I’m not used to higher necklines like that (just not my thing!) but this is a day dress so I can’t go too wild and let too much collarbone show. Mean Edwardians.

Oh yes and pics of the finished ruffled jacket. Don’t mind the wrinkles, it needs to be pressed from where I was working on it. Still haven’t gotten to the store for the ribbon for the skirt…

my new toy

Jun. 23rd, 2006 07:50 pm
jennylafleur: (vamp)

My new baby – isn’t she cute? *grin* I’ve be spending quality time with her all day working on my Erté toile. The toile is going well and I’m in love with the new machine. Oh.My.Gosh. So much nicer than my old clunker. I can foresee really enjoying the next month of crazy CC sewing after all. *hee hee* It’s nice that you don’t have to have an amazing sewing machine to make costumes one can be proud of but it’s much more fun to be out of the stone age of sewing machine technology! :>

Is it a bad sign that I want to name my new machine? Funny I never even considered naming the old one...

I have some pics of the Erté toileing but they turned out on the crappy side. I don’t think I’ll post them… I knew there was a reason I didn’t like toileing with plain white muslin. :>

it's mine!

Jun. 21st, 2006 11:33 am
jennylafleur: (titanic)
I got my S&S pattern yesterday. I ordered it when, Saturday? *hugs pattern* I adore good costumer service and prompt shipping! Very interesting construction, which I plan on altering up the ying-yang or course! Still an interesting pattern.

Watched the deck dress scenes on my Titanic DVD (muted so the crappy dialogue won’t make me feel ill!) last night for inspiration. Good stuff! Makes me want a fussy back though. Mine’s going to be very plain, especially as I think I will put a fastening zipper back there to make life easy. Oh well. Funny in stills that frock looks quite stiff but in person it moves so nicely! :>

I want to get started on this project today but that ain't going to happen. *moo* Real life - go away!!!
jennylafleur: (georgian 70s)

Ummm... forgot the Deck Dress has that funky swag thing in the back. I've always liked it but I'm sure I won't have enough of the sari to do it on my frock. Oh well! Less to ponder toileing wise is probally good at this point anyway.

Oh and looky what I just bought! (I figured while I was making CC purchases might as well...) I've been trolling E-Bay for months now for just such a buckle. I’ve seen lots of go by but few in my price range and no winning auctions. *grinds teeth* So when I saw this as a buy-it-now this morning I snatched it up. I really dig "affordable" more than "perfect".

One I'll use to decorate my big black 1780s hat and the other I may use on the Erté belt. B is scheming up some grandiose beading ideas for my belt though so we'll see... :>
jennylafleur: (titanic)

The plan for my really-should-not-but-I-can’t-help-it costume! I know most don't worry about the theme of CC but it’s been bugging me that I wouldn’t be wearing any ragtime costumes. It seems a shame, especially since it’s a favorite of mine. I was originally going to make the Butterfly as my token ragtime frock but as you know but gave up on that a few months ago. I can’t deal with two labor intensive frocks that are being complete butts. Particularly out of two periods and at the same time, which is exactly what the Bee and Butterfly are. One had to go and as I was more motivated about the Bee, that will be my show-piece of the year. *crossing fingers*

So what could I make that was ragtime but not a complicated, potentially sanity losing sort of project? A day dress for the tea seemed reasonable, especially as I have the most dreamy length of black & white sari fabric a dear friend was kind enough to give me last year. The theme for the CC Sunday Tea is 'Tea with Erté' so of course this project has been christened the Erté Dress.

Inspired by [ profile] sewphisticate’s fabulous new outfit (dare we add a WWSD to the LJ lingo?) I hopped online and started trolling through the options. I came across the 1911 Kimono Dress from S&S, and thought ummm…

It struck me that one of the options looked a lot like the Deck Dress from Titanic. A bit of tweaking and it could look quite similar to the Deck in fact (more tweaking and it could be a perfect copy but I’m frankly not interesting in that much work at the moment even if I had the right fabric, which I don't :>).

So I took the plunge and ordered the pattern. The deciding factor was really that this design would be a great use of my sari fabric, allowing me to really show off the borders. Also if I run out of sari fabric I can make some parts either black or cream and it would look like that was I way it was supposed to be. Heck, I may just do it anyway!

I need to wait until it arrives to see exactly how I’ll be changing it but just wearing a period corset underneath will make it look more like the Deck. I may try to the change the neck to the Deck's lace trimmed "V" but I’m thinking a little turn down collar like my Rohan dress might be fun. I don’t know how period that is but I love that little collar, it’s great fun to wear and flattering to my face.

I want my pattern now!! Come to think of it I want my new sewing machine now too! I haven’t heard from G Street yet. *mreh*

Just trolled through the S&S forum. Saw some examples of the Kimono dress made up and looks like it’s a sack/tent with a belt. Should be pretty easy to fit to a corseted figure, right? :> I'm even more curious to see how it's constructed with the second skirt layer now...
jennylafleur: (Default)
Wow, this has been a bit of an expensive day. I ordered all my tambour supplies (and a few other things) from Lacis so they are on their way. Costume College class supplies - check!

I also ordered a pattern for my newest project. The first pattern I've bought in a long time. I'm already feeling guilty but after last weekend I must admit my confidence is a little shaken. I don't know how I'm going to finish everything in time so I'm insane to add another project but I *need* something fun for the Tea on Sunday. If I don't use this uber perfect fabric (for the theme) I will really regret it later.

More on this project when I actually start it. If the pattern arrives soon enough I may work on it before dealing with the Bee again. I think I need to walk away from the Bee for a little while, I'm feeling burned out at the very thought of Regency. *sigh*

July 2014

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