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: (twelfthnight)

Another Twelfth Night party is past! Inexplicitly I’m still awake so I thought I’d bring you a few of my favorite images from the party. The rest will follow soon. Really I should be in bed but I’m not tired for some reason. The weight of a looming deadline being lifted off my shoulders and too much sugar probably has something to do with it. :>

I finished the last stitch on B’s costume at 5pm this evening (the party was at 7pm). Way too close for my comfort but it was the best I could do. I’ve come to the conclusion that this costume is cursed. No matter how much I sew, I never seem to get any closer to finishing the wretched thing. Sort of like trying to eat pasta at Olive Garden, you eat and eat but you never seem to empty your bowl.

Not to say that her costume is finished – far from it. She was cheated on and safety pinned in places. At some point her stays out-of-the-package-poly-binding with have to come off and be replaced with silk while her coat and skirt still have to be made. Since I have to mess with the stays anyway I think I’m going to alter the fit of the back and shoulder straps. They are not right and bug me. I should also adjust her petticoat, taking out some of the fullness.

Of course despite it all she managed to look stunning tonight, if I do say so myself. Her beading was lovely in the low lighting and the velvet may be a pain but it sure is pretty. *sigh* She looks so good in red. :>

The oddest thing is that after this week I’m not feeling “off” sewing at the moment. It feels so good to have gotten something accomplished from my sewing list, even if it was in a crazed, mad way. I suspect I’m more burnt-out that I think I am though so I’m going to go on a forced sewing sabbatical. I noticed my machine was making some wacky noises today. These noises have been getting worse over the past few months and I really should take my machine in to be tuned up. The tension needs to be re-adjusted and the poor little thing is long overdo for some maintenance work. *bad seamstress*

Since I will be without a machine for a while, my next project will be to get going on the quilted petticoat. It is all handwork at this point so a good project for the interim. I may use Mom’s machine a bit to finished off my ballgown (attach the sleeve flounces)and get the stays fitting squared away while it’s all fresh in my mind. Then I can work on the new silk binding. More handwork you see. :>

Oh yes this week’s pirate progress pics. Not too many I’m afraid, I was too busy just sewing to document things. The last pic was us being a little silly. Narcissa was used as a clothing rack & accessory stand much this week and after piling on a few outfits on accident we decided to add some weaponry to complete the look. This is what happens when you have too much costuming and Cold Stone ice cream combined. :>
jennylafleur: (twelfthnight)

Yes I’m still alive. This week has been insane with insane amounts of costuming, giggling, eating and party prep going on. Not much time for sleep, LJ entries or sanity. It’s been fun though and I’m pleased to announce that I’m almost finished with the costuming.

I will probably end up with a bit of sewing to do tomorrow (which I did not want to do) but we did push the party back over an hour than previous years so that gives me a little leeway. Also the table is set, most of the party preps done and I’ve dressed in my basic costume a dozen times this year. I’ve even done the hair style before. I’m so glad I went 18th century for the party!! :>

I better get back to my handwork. I’m still working on the stays binding, almost finished with the bottom half. The top half should go much quicker and then I have 3 eyelets and it’s done. I’m still trying to get the sleeve flounces on my sleeves (don’t know if I’ll make it) but I did get the trim on with help.

So far this has been my favorite Twelfth Night. It’s been crazed but the four of us (B, C & L) have all pitched in on finishing up each others costumes and party projects, using our strengths to their best advantage. It’s been interesting and fun.

Tomorrow is going to be such fun, no matter what happens!
jennylafleur: (pirate)
All the eyelets but two (the ones on the bodice for the straps which I have to mark when B tries it on) are done! Yay! The stomacher embelishment is done and I started putting on the faux lacing ribbons on. B cut the boning for the stomacher and one haf of the stays before she ran out of cable ties. A trip to home Depot is on order now. :>

I also got that panel re-cut and sew in place. I haven't pressed the seams yet, wanted to wait until the morning when I was fresh. No more crushed panels please!

Oh yes [ profile] elegant_musings & co arrived today so we have been talking, laughing and stiching together non-stop. So much laughing can't be good for us! :>

It's late so I'm off to bed. I'll take some progress pics to post in the morning...
jennylafleur: (twelfthnight)
I got a few more eyelets done on New Years and last night so I’ve finished one panel (including the shoulder strap) and have 4 done on the second.

Real life continues to get in the way and because I have so much handwork to do on these stays they are moving at a snails pace. Not good. I’m not even making lists this week because they might discourage me. I’m simply living in a parallel universe where I believe I can get everything done in time for the party! *IcandoitIcandoit* :>

On the good news front the house is clean from our New Years party, so some general picking up should suffice for TW. We’ve taste-tested some snacks at Costco that will work, so less cooking then originally planned. [ profile] elegant_musings and her sis are coming today for a week’s pre-party visit so I’ll have a sewing buddy and extra hands to encourage and help. I’ve tested the Fray Check on my ball gown fabric and found a satisfactory way of cutting and sealing the sleeve flounces. If I can just find three hours before the party I can add those to my ensemble.

Anyone have some extra time I can add to my hourglass this week? :>
jennylafleur: (twelfthnight)

The obligatory progress pics of the day. We weren’t able to work on the costume much today (household things, errands and such got in the way) but B and I had another productive evening sewing session. B got most of the stomacher embellishment done and I worked a more eyelets. I know – we need to pick up the pace! :P

My shoes arrived today. Cute huh? :> I wasn’t quite sure if I liked them at first but after wearing them for a couple hours around the house I found they were quite comfortable. The leather actually started to mold to my feet so that they became more comfortable the longer I wore them. I still don’t know how comfortable they will be for dancing (it’s so hard to tell without the buckles or until I dance in them) but I say they are keepers. Anything has to be better than what I have now – they aren’t even comfortable for standing. I’ll have Dad help me with the buckles and wear them to dance class tomorrow night.

I did mange to work a bit on my gown today. After much fussing, I finished pinning the trimming along the neck and one sleeve. I still have to make trim for the other sleeve and then tack it all down.

I popped into Hancock’s today and picked up some sparkles for my ball gown as well. I just couldn’t stand it! :> Since I couldn’t find small (4mm) flat sequins by the packet I bought a length of trim to salvage. I even figured out a way to remove the sequins intact on their string! I’ll use them lose on the ball gown (applying them here and there along the gold trimming) but the string of small sequins gives me evil ideas for other projects. *rubs hands together* Small sequins are so cool! *grin*
jennylafleur: (pirate)

Two eyelets down 14,002 to go! *grin* Actually it’s 26 to go, plus whatever I decide to do in front. True love either way!

B & I had a nice little sewing session this evening, I working on stays basting & eyelets and she starting on the stomacher embellishment. If you think it looks pretty now, imagine all those sparkles in candlelight. *oooh*

*pouts* I want sparkles on my costume too!
jennylafleur: (pirate)
I hate velvet. I really do.

I was working on the pirate stays today and as I pressed the last seam I managed to completely crush one panel. So I need to re-cut (and re-baste) that panel. This velvet has been so fussy, I’ll be so glad to see the end of it. That will teach me to buy cheap acetate velvet from Wal-Mart, that’s for sure!!

I’m not up to cutting anything out tonight so I think I’ll just move on to the endless eyelets for the evening. That should keep me busy for a while! :>

Oh yes, [ profile] elegant_musings and I have declared a truce on the “secret status” of the pirates. It was getting silly to continue, especially as we are not able to present the finial versions of the costumes until next Ren Faire anyway. So no more LJ cuts…
jennylafleur: (georgian)
Yay! The quilted petticoat design is finished!! The finial version of the sucker is printing out as I type. Now I just need to transfer it to the fabric and I'm ready to start stitching.

Other than that I haven't gotten much done, mostly snacking on holiday goodies and napping. So much for my holiday sewing marathon. *moo* I feel too ghastly to feel much guilt at the moment but I'm really going to regret this wasted time in a few weeks. Still, I've lost my voice and am so tired all the time - what is a girl to do?

I did work on the pirate stays a bit last night. I have to pin and baste all the seams before I can even think about machine-stitching the panels together (wretched napped fabric) so that is what I worked on. So my project today is to finish up that handwork at the very least. I'm not sure I will get to the machining (that would require cleaning off my desk which I'm not sure I'm up to) but I'm going to try.
jennylafleur: (titanic)
I did it. I broke down and bought the Titanic EE. The 3 discs rather than 4 discs for the US release still ticks me off but I held off buying the stupid film until an extended version was released. It seems silly to not get it after all. At least I won’t have to get the DVD out of the library when I want some screen captures. :>

There is alot more on the EE than I thought at first. There isn’t much costuming fodder, some fun tidbits here and there but nothing spectacular. There are shots of vintage gowns used on screen and a lot lots of behind the scenes views of the extra’s costumes which is fun. There is a very good look at the Swim Dress prototype as Kate models it in a fitting that is fun. I like the finial version better though. There are also a few “new” costume reference shots in the still gallery (at least I hadn’t seen them before) including one of the Tea Dress with it’s original hat and one of the kimono. The image quality isn’t great but fun none-the-less.

Deborah Scott is part of the cast & crew commentary as well. My favorite tidbit was that the Jump Dress (or Suicide Dress as she referred to it) design inspiration came from some vintage scraps of circular beading. The gown grew from that element. I thought that was interesting. :>

In other news… well sort of…
I’ve decided to wear my Tea Dress for Halloween – gee I wonder why I’m in the mood to wear that costume? *wicked grin* I’m in charge of the Cake Walk at the church’s Harvest Party again this year so I’m silly to want to wear a restrictive corset but what can I say, I’m a glutton for punishment. :>

I have decided to add some new trimming to it. The gown is a bit plain… too plain for 1912 really. I never had the time to finish it properly and it’s bugging me now. I don’t have a plan per say but I’ve pulled a few trims and laces from the stash and we’ll see what I come up with between now and Monday.

I should also start work on my green wool cloak this weekend. I’m attending an outdoor event at Gunston Hall so I need it next Saturday. As far as B’s pirate costume goes I’m putting it on hold until her Thanksgiving break. It’s just too hard to work on when she is not home for fittings. :
jennylafleur: (ren)

We made it to the Faire, despite it all!! But to begin, Bridget’s plan “B”… We decided to make “Bridget the Middling Sort Pirate” which means on Twelfth Night she will be “Bridget the Successful Pirate”. I guess some plundering and looting must be on her calendar between now and then. *grin* My contribution was a ruffley pirate shirt made of black silk.

I ended up using two different patterns for it. Simplicity 8613 was really what I wanted – I particularly loved the way the ruffle was done – but the pattern is now out of print and I didn’t have the right size. Rather than trying to alter the pattern I used Butterick 4486 as my base, adding the Simplicity center front seam and ruffle. In the end I redesigned the sleeves as well, adding some ribbon and creating a drawstring closure to avoid more handwork. The front ruffle was actually cut in a spiral, very cool. I’ll have to use that again someday!

I also ended up making the shirt in 2 days, most of the work being done between 4pm and 4am the day before. Or night of if you want to be technical. I did have some hysterics when things weren’t going well around 1am but will some deep breaths, prayer, determination, petting Mocha (the cat who kept me company all night) and B’s assistance I finished it in time for a nice nap before the Faire. *whew* B added some scarves, the eye patch, lots of eclectic jewelry, just about every ring she owns and voila – a middling pirate! :>

I’m posting all the pics here this year because I’m not sure when I’ll have time to post them to my site. The Faire was fun, in a crazed, bizarre sort of way. Due to various circumstances B and I were the only ones who went. We had fun together (we always do) but it was very strange to be there without our Faire buddies, [ profile] elegant_musings and her sis. We decided we won’t go without them again, it was just wrong without their lively company. In fact we called them from the Faire and we all chatted on my cell phone for a half hour (hence the pic of me with the phone :>).

To add to the crazed atmosphere it rained most of the day. Well it only really rained when we first got there. The rest of of the day it just misted, first a heavy mist and then a light mist. It even cleared up and warmed up at one point. Not too bad really, if very muddy. Okay, make that extremely muddy. :> I decided not to wear the Rohan after all. I try not to be too precious about my costumes (I did make them to be worn) but rain and velvet is not a good mix. So I wore my purple Italian Ren instead. I figured a wool frock was my best bet and it proved to be a good choice. With the help of my wool shawl I didn’t get too wet or too cold during the day and I enjoyed wearing the gown once again, even if it was a bit big. :>

So to sum up our trip to the faire:
Last minute costumes, no friends, rain, lots of mud, cold, tons of horrific costumes to be snarked at (what were some people thinking!), no electricity at one point, hems four inches deep in mud, very little sleep and we had a lovely time. It all proves we are insane and have a sick sense of enjoyment really. *nods head*

So on to planning next year’s excursion! I think I’ve already decided what to wear. That will probably change of course… it usually does before the end. *hee hee*
jennylafleur: (bother)
Okay I give up. It’s 12:30am, I haven’t packed a thing for the trip and the stays are no where near where they need to be. Did I mention I have to leave the house at 7 this am?

In my figuring that I could really do this I forgot two important factors. The first was how much time it takes to figure out and transfer all those wretched boning patterns. Forever!

The second is that I am dealing with velvet. Now I’m remembering why I felt such immense satisfaction when I finished my Rohan gown. I’m having to baste AND pin like crazy every stinking seam. Even then it’s still shifting slightly in addition to taking forever. And I can’t find the needle board. I have never perfected the technique of ironing velvet without one and I can’t wake Mom up to help me look for it. *sigh*

I could sit down and cry. Quitting now means there is NO way I can finish B’s pirate for the Ren Faire. I was living in a fantasy world to think I could get it done in time but reality has finally struck. I feel HORRIBLE about it – I’m so sorry Dearest!

*bigger sigh* This is not the way I intended things to happen. Life has just not been cooperating lately. I think it’s time to break out my “for the trip chocolate”. Maybe nibbling will help the guilt while I pack.
jennylafleur: (pirate)
I worked a bit on the stays yesterday… not as much as I wanted or really needed to of course. I got the finial master pattern traced into interfacing (including the boning pattern) and the first layer of twill cut-out. I began transferring the boning pattern onto the twill but had to go to bed before I could finish.

I’m throwing aside everything else on my to-do list and devoting today to the stays. I’ll have to stop to go to church tonight (I’m singing and taking a promised costume loan to a friend) so I’ll pack for my trip when I get back. I can sleep on the way down to NC. :>

It’s okay my amazing sis is totally worth it!
jennylafleur: (pirate)

We have a stays pattern – huzzah! I whipped up and fitted the finial stays toile this weekend. Looks pretty good. I just tweaked a few things, mostly making it all even. The gap in the back doesn’t anticipate much weight loss, a dangerous thing with B right now but I’m not going to mess with it. I don’t have the time to fiddle with it and I’m afraid cutting it down will adversely affect the fit. So I’m going happily along my way and will alter it if necessary in December. I’m all about making stays easy to alter – I’m so past my garments having to look perfect and finished on the inside! :>

So I have to work on this today and tomorrow so I can take it with me on my trip. If I don’t get it to a point where I can work on the 4000 hand bound eyelets the stupid thing requires on my trip it’s just not going to be done for the faire. I’d love to work on the binding this weekend too but I don’t see it happening. So that means next week I have to finish the stays, make the shift, skirt and possibly the coat. If someone doesn’t put me in a straight jacket first that is…
jennylafleur: (pirate)

I’m on a roll – whoo hoo! I finished up marking the toile for the stays then worked on getting the stay stomacher ready for embellishment. The finished result is a basted combination of cheap red taffeta, one layer of black illusion tulle and the embroidered organdy. Looks good to me and very nice with the red velvet indeed. I should really zig-zag or Fray-check the edges of the taffeta before I give it to Bridget but we will see if that actually happens. It will probably fray like mad no matter what I do.

I next turned my attention to the pirate coat toile. I’m using the Simplicity Jack Sparrow pattern (I’m feeling too lazy to look up the number – sorry!). Holy cow that thing takes a lot of fabric! I’m interested to see how it makes up.

I did determine one thing – there is NO way I can use that navy blue jacquard. I *might* be able to squeeze it in if the coat was sleeveless but even then it would be a stretch. A sleeveless pirate coat isn’t an option so plan “B” is to take my precious 40% off coupon and get some black cotton velvet from Jo-Anns instead. I think it may be for the best after all as now the skirt and coat will now match. Quite spiffy looking really. :>
jennylafleur: (pirate)
I didn’t get too far last night, only cut out what should be the final toile for the pirate stays. It took so long because I took the time to figure out the boning pattern, drawing it straight on my toile. I’m using cable ties so I’m only half boning the stays. Boning patterns are so boring!

Here are some pics of the last toile fitting. Looks pretty good, the only thing to tweak is really the underarm and sleeve areas. The front stomacher is good to go. I need to cut out the fashion fabric so B can start embellishing it!
jennylafleur: (funny)
I'm sewing again... almost anyway! I actually got as far as setting up the table, getting out the fabric and digging around for patterns. That is when I discovered that I didn't have the pattern I needed for B's pirate skirt (today's main project). Blah I say!

So I went to Jo-Anns (for the second time today) who didn't have the right size then to Hancock’s who did have the size and a $.99 sale. So the extra few miles weren't a complete waste. :> I also picked up a few more bridal tiara bases. My Hancock’s is clearancing all their bridal and I have a feeling these bases will come in handy someday. *wink* I have some vague concepts of Titanic hair cages or maybe an elvish headpiece...

Anyway so now I'm back to being tired. I'm not having one of my better days, headache etc but I'm determined to get some sewing done or die in the attempt. The clock is counting down for the ball & ren faire. I really need to get my butt in gear!

...a few minutes later...
Okay I'm off to start cutting things out. I looked at [ profile] isiswardrobe's ball pics again and am suddenly not as tired. Inspiration is a wonderful thing. :>
jennylafleur: (pirate)
B’s fitting went well. The corset is pretty squared away now. I just have a few things to clean up when I make the master pattern. I have pics but I can’t find my camera cable so it will have to wait until later.

I think I’m going to cut out the lining (cotton twill) as my next toile. Most of the tweaks should be trimming is here and there to ensure it’s nice and snug. B is in a losing weight mode so I have to make sure this will still fit in January. It will be helpful to see what the shape is like with some boning…

Oh shoot I forgot about the sleeves. I didn’t really work on them today… and B is going back to school tomorrow. Drat! Well I guess I should do one more toile to fit this weekend then before I start work on the lining stays then. *mreh*

I need to cut out the coat toile or I could whip up the skirt this week I guess… I know B and I would both feel better if something on this outfit looked like it was taking shape!
jennylafleur: (pirate)
Can you believe it, I’ve actually gotten some sewing done!!! The realization that it’s September already has been a great motivation. Five weeks until the RCHS ball, 7 weeks until the Ren Faire and no time at all until the annual holiday madness descends once again. Can I panic now?

Actually I must admit that the only reason I’m sewing right now is because I’m sick. Well recovering from some nasty cold thing to be precise. I’m starting to feel well enough to care about life but not well enough to work. I love how sickness negates the guilt of being at home and not working on your home-based business. Usually I have to physically leave the house to get away from it. *rubs hands together*

Tomorrow I really should get back to real life but I’m still coughing when I talk much so for today I’m pushing aside the pink paperwork, saving my vocal cords and plopping into front of my pins and thread.

I cut out the second toile for the pirate stays and fit that to B. It’s too big here, a bit snug there but I’m definitely on the right track. I forgot to take pics, so net toile, okay? *sigh* I love the early 18th century stays… the lines are so pretty!

Okay break over – back to work!
jennylafleur: (pirate)
I sewed together and fitted the pirate stays toile. The one that has been cut out for 3 weeks? Yeah.

I didn’t expect it to fit well, which was good because it totally didn’t fit at all. Well the stomacher part was pretty good. I was going for the right length and planned to enlarge it from the fitting but it proved to be short as well. I’ve scribbled measurements all over the toile so I’m ready for the next try at it. :> As long as it doesn’t take me 3 weeks to get there we should be okay. :>

I think my life is starting to balance out after this last insane month. I really threw myself into Mary Kay full throttle, which was my decision and one which I don’t regret, but it’s nice to get back to something closer to normal life… just with a new career thrown in. :>

July 2014

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