jennylafleur: (moi costume)
*waves* Just checking in to say, yes I am still alive. In fact I'm lurking on LJ, admiring your new frocks & resolutions to not go mad making new things for CosCol. I'm just not commenting much.

Another thing I'm not really doing is costuming. I worked a bit more on the Charles dress then got frustrated and so moved on to the Pimpernel, then got frustrated and moved on to some modern skirts then got bored... My self diagnosis is that I am suffering from rampant CADD.

Like I mentioned on [livejournal.com profile] girliegirl32786's LJ, while a part of me is relieved that I don't have CosCol deadlines to contend with, the rest of me is wallowing in the sea of possibilities and half finished projects in the aftermath of CosCon. For some reason it's overwhelming and I'm finding inspiration hard to find.

Dear costuming fu - where are you?
jennylafleur: (Default)
I am quite tantalizing close to finishing the binding on my blue 18th century stays, only about two inches to go. I've been working on them off and on (as the wrists allow) for a week now and I'm SO ready for them to be done! They do look good though. For once in my life I don't have a deadline to finish them by (having worn them to CosCon sans binding) so I decided to revel in tiny stitches and take my time. Part of me is regretting that decision as I'm totally over working on the project but the other part sees my fine needlework and *squees* inside.

I do have progress pics but have mis-laid the USB cord so I can't get them off my camera. Moo.

So what is on the agenda in the coming months? Sadly I am not going to make it to Costume College this year, *weeps*, so after CosCon I've been feeling a little rudderless in the sea of costuming possibilities. I have lots of half-finished projects laying around that need attention but honestly most of them I don't care a fig about at the moment. Since I don't really have costume deadlines and events until the fall I've decided to work on only what I feel a burning desire to work on this summer. Should be fun really.

Top of the agenda are the Charles II dress, new Regency stays (mine "broke" at CosCon) and finishing the Pimpernel revamp. That list should keep me busy if not completely out of trouble for a little while anyway... :P

Oh yes and my other project this week has been updating my website (as the wrists allow). All the diaries and event albums should be updated now. Man was I behind!
jennylafleur: (polonaise)

Things are progressing, despite the lack of updates here. My life refuses to go as planned and days I thought would be sewing days are not and days I thought would not be sewing days turned out to be just that. Things just keep coming up, which is both a good and bad thing. My schedule seems determined to stay in flux, so I’m just trying to be diligent with the moments I do have and hope for the best.

Friday [livejournal.com profile] sadievale came over and in between helping her with stays and toiles I got my yellow petticoat hemmed and waist banded. It was being a complete butt so it took all night. Wretched petticoats.

Saturday was craziness for most of the day. The afternoon brought sleeve trauma as I tried to make the old Pimpernel sleeve fit in the revamp toile. I had a few moments where I considered burning all my fabric and leaving costuming forever but some time loading photos on Facebook gave me time to recover my senses and ponder. So I laid out every scrap of Pimpernel fabric on the big table in the studio and tried to figure out how to get all the pieces (including new sleeves) to fit. With God’s grace I figured out a way to do it. There is one of the old Cynthia skirt seams running through the under bodice of the zone front and the sleeves will be 3/4 but it all fit - yay!

The evening brought a gaggle of girlfriends I’d invited over for a crafty night, including [livejournal.com profile] past_blue, [livejournal.com profile] dancinseamstres, & [livejournal.com profile] sadievale. Most everyone brought handwork projects so they all sat around the kitchen/studio while I made brownies for a friend and cut out my Pimpernel bodice. It was a fabulous time and a fun mix of people. We seriously need to do that more often ladies! By the end of the party I had a complete bodice cut, the back flat lined and the rest of the pieces pinned together, ready to go.

Sunday was again full, this time with helping at church. Afterwards I came home and crashed. My busy week had finally caught up with me and I spent all of Sunday night sitting at my computer watching TV and nibbling of leftover treats. I felt a tiny bit guilty for the lack of sewing projects but my body needed the rest so bad. Really what else are Sundays for anyway!

Monday dawned rainy and gloomy. I sat down to spend the whole day hard at sewing with varying degrees of success. I sewed the pimpernel bodice together, although the zone front turned out to be wrong (the points are supposed to meet at the center not over lap so I have to redo those seams. Grrrrr) and my brilliant idea for how to sew the skirt on only lead to frustration.

I did work on my notes for the 18th century panel I’ll be on at CC27 as well. It will need a few more hours of work but I’m not in panic mode like I was before I started. Luckily we are sticking to basics so I’m not feeling too insecure about it. :P

Today the sun is shining (and I’m tired of dealing with the Pimpernel) so I think I’ll switch gears and attack the QofN petticoat. Hopefully it won't be as much as a butt as the yellow petticoat but considering they are twins I’m not holding my breath.
jennylafleur: (dark days)

What my room looked like last night Or: A Glimpse of Sewing Life... :>


Yesterday's sewing time was devoted to cutting, seaming and pleating the QotN over petticoat. Yay for black velveteen!


When I was done I had to put the outfit on Narcissa to see what it looked like. Ooooh, ahhh!


Of course I couldn't just leave it there - I had to try out some of the gems, jewelry and such I’ve been collecting all year and see if the bling worked. FREAKING AWESOME is all I have to say about that! The white dots on the bodice are pins so I could get an idea of how the rhinestones will look. I counted the pins as I put them on and I have 150 there so 300 for the whole bodice. Dude I have like 900 so I will be able to go to town and "encrust" the front nicely, use some on the sleeves and have left overs for the skirt. Whoo hoo!!


I think my favorite part are the vintage moon earrings Bridget bought me for Christmas. They are the perfect size and scale for the center front. That just worked out, I didn't plan it, although looking back I should have! And hello - they go with the whole Queen of the Night thing so nicely. The stones on the skirt are glass "beads" from Michaels. I need some more but have bought out my local store... I’ll make the trek up north to see what the Garrison store has next week.

Ahh, I am so stoked with this frock I don't even know what to do with myself!!


This am I took all the pins out and tried on the petticoats so Mom could mark the hems. The bulkiness on the sides is causes some fitting issues with the bodice so I'll have to let out the side seams a bit. Mreh. This ladies and gentlemen is why we flat line!

I also tried on the Pimpernel revamp toile. The center front bottom needs to be shortened a bit and the neckline a little more rounded but other than that... Oh I still have to double check the sleeves.

[livejournal.com profile] sadievale is coming over tonight to sew with me so it will be a night of hems, waistbands and, if I'm a good girl and work diligently, cutting out the Pimpernel. *happy butt wiggle*
jennylafleur: (georgian feathers)

First off I have to say I love you guys! *hugs* So I-Want-Candy froofy it is for the Pimpernel! But more on that later...

Yesterday I focused on the under petticoat for the Queen of the Night. I figured A) that I should make my mistakes on the under petticoat and B) since no one would see it I should have fun with the color. So I went with a blinding yellow that is a close match to my stay binding. Circus anyone? :>


My first step was to pad out my dress form a bit and pin on a piece of black bias tape that was my finished waist measurement. I perfected the size and such of the side pleats first, adding a slit in the side so I can get into my pockets.


Once I got that down I pleated the front half of the finial skirt, pinning the seaming of the side panels. (To get them to not pucker I had to shimmy one side of the side pleated section up a bit, it wasn’t even at the waist!).


To get the front to fall nicely I then had to shimmy the front up and mark where the bias tape "waist" was. I then took it off the dress form; making sure to leave a 1/4th section of the waist with pleats pinned and trimmed the waist according to my markings. I repeated the trimming of my panels of fabric, using my trimmed off scraps as a guide.


I then seamed all the pieces together, cut slits in the sides and hemmed those up. Then I started pleating the waist, using the pinned section as my guide. Once the waist was pleated to the correct size I popped it back on the dress form just to make sure everything still worked. It did! I basted the waist and set it aside until I can go by more fabric for the waistband.

I decided not to continue on with the black over petticoat, since it was evening and I wasn’t in the mood to work on black in the dark, so I turned my attention to the pimpernel bodice. I got as far as laying out my master patterns and realizing that I had enough fabric to re-cut the entire bodice (sans sleeves, I’ll have to make due with the old). Then I started looking at options, got overwhelmed and posted my cry for help.


This am, boosted by the overwhelming response that I should go I-Want-Candy froofy I started work on the updated Pimpernel patterns. I was changing enough that I decided to do a quick toile. I have NO room for error with my fabric; this is it for my pile of leftover scraps, so it has to be right the first time. I also need to double check the armhole since I have to use the old sleeves. Unless I started piecing fabric that is...

Now I'm off to run some errands including a trip to Jo-Anns for notions and necessities. It will only be the 3rd trip this week. Bah!
jennylafleur: (costume bother)
Beloved Pin Posse I need you. I can't decide where to take my Pimpernel revamp. After laying my scraps of fabric out this evening I discovered I have enough room to recut the whole bodice so I now have lots of options. This is not a good thing as I can't make up my mind.

Should I go for something very foufy and I-Want-Candy like this:
http://www.costumersguide.com/MA/ivy/roses7.jpg
http://www.costumersguide.com/MA/ivy/roses1.jpg

Or should I go a bit later and be all Duchess inspired:
http://www.costumersguide.com/duchess12.shtml

I'll be using silk gauze or ivory lace instead of self trimming/metallic lace, since that is all I have on hand. *ponders* The I-Want-Candy option is more of what I had in mind in the beginning (and when I made my frosting hat) but my Pimpernel is so similar in basic structure to the coral Duchess dress, even down to the front skirt being a little short. In short I'm drawn to both inspirations for this project, for different reasons, and I think they'd both be pretty and flattering. I really want both but only can have one. *sob* I can't decide - help!
jennylafleur: (georgian costume)

The stays are now wearable, yay!


I like the fit, the third row of horizontal boning does make some difference. It makes my bust more flat and yet more round. Very late 1770s. Someday I will get the binding on (and take better pics for y'all) but for now I'm skipping straight to the fun stuff - the frocks!


Yesterday I laced myself up and tried on the Queen of the Night toile I worked on last fall. I remembered it looking pretty good but stopped work on it until I had new stays (just in case they fit differently). The toile needed some slight tweaks but nothing major. I mostly re-drew the neckline, the "zone" shape and the center front point (having changed my mind about those shapes). A little trimming around the armsycle and that was about it.

Suddenly I was done and like ready to cut out something out. Wow! I'm so glad I put in some work on this a couple of months ago, even without new stays. It's going to make my life so much easier now. I’m now feeling quite lighthearted and optimistic about finishing my CC27 line-up, especially since I can use this pattern as the base for my Pimpernel revamp and the Fort Fred outfit. So three patterns in one. Whoo hoo!

So I spent the rest of my sewing time tracing off the master patterns for the queen of the night. Today I'm going to cut out the fashion fabric this morning and then work on tweaking the pattern for the Pimpernel. Can I get two frocks cut out today? Stay tuned for our next episode... err post. :>


Ahh yes and here are some pics of the construction of the stays which I haven't posted before...
jennylafleur: (antoinette)
My stays are done!

Well not really. I still have all the binding to do, but they are in wearable, toile fitting condition. You know what that means - I can finally actually get to work on my CC27 frocks. Yes! Not more being tortured by your foufy polonaise trimming posts - I can work on mine too!

So I only have a month and 3 frocks to make. I'm not crazy, not at all.

Today I'm being a good girl, labeling and sorting patterns I've been throwing in the bin, working on some commissions due this week and cleaning out my pending bin. Little things like that modern skirt I've had ready to be hemmed for 3 months and the sash I cut out of leftover black striped fabric for random 18th century use, a sweater that needed mending. That sort of thing. Just clearing space for the madness that will be CC27 sewing.
jennylafleur: (polonaise)

I have changed my mind about the trimming of my Pimpernel revamp. You know it's only the 12,000 time!


I was going to do something like the above but the more I worked on it the less I liked it. The proportions of my skirt were just not right or something. I don't know, I just wasn’t digging it.


So after leafing through my fashion plate computer files I came across this fashion plate. It still uses the silk gauze (which I have to use, not having any leftover fabric for self trim) but in a more simple way. (After I decided on this I noticed it was similar to the trimming on [livejournal.com profile] vivcore's lovely lastest creation - was I perhaps subconsciously inspired?!)


I also liked the way the polonaised skirt was rounded off. I've always liked the style but was chicken to try it. I think this is the perfect project for it though, since the front skirt panels ended up a little short anyway and I plan to keep this skirt polonaised forever. I took my lead in the shaping of the rounded corners from [livejournal.com profile] tayloropolis's amazing red silk gown. I'm so glad you still had those pics up [livejournal.com profile] tayloropolis (and use tags so I could find them!), very helpful indeed. :>


I'm still trying to decide exactly how this is going to work. I tried one version last night but I'm going to do some more experimenting before I decide what to do. I wish I had a trim with pink in it to blend better but I don't. Moo. Maybe I'll add pink sequins or something...


I have no idea about the trim on the bodice, probably similar but smaller. I do like the idea of bows down the front of the "zone", inspired by an extra in the film The Duchess.

So all that to say, different trimming scheme but it's still froofy so it's okay. :>
jennylafleur: (georgian)

My bit of 18th century frosting!

all the juciy details )


The real frosting: feathers, cockades and ribbons - oh my! It needs more feathers (I'll wait and see what I can find at Fort Fred this year) and ribbons (nice of MJ Trim to have a sale this week!) but so far I'm pleased.

Is it too much? *wicked grin*

And since I am having way too much fun with my millenary wire and have too way many ideas in my head to stop at just one hat this week, I started work on another. This time to go with a blue print dress I'm making for that Fort Fred outing. Only a sneak peak for now - I need the silk organza just I ordered to come in before I can do more with it...
jennylafleur: (Default)
Polonaiseville [pol-uh-neyz-vil]
–noun
1. a madness, the irrisisable lust of costumers for stripey polonaise gowns
2. an excuse, used by mad costumers to create ultra floofy, super overdecorated polonaises with matching hats.
3. Also, a craze for Costume Con 27.


Resistance is Futile.
jennylafleur: (l'duc)
*swoon*

I am in love!!

http://mantuadiary.blogspot.com/2008/12/cut-away-gown-history.html

Thanks [livejournal.com profile] sakka for the link to her blog.

I've been really drawn to this shape of "zone" front lately but this is truly a stunning reproduction of it. She has the proportions just right. So now I'm wondering if I could alter my Pimpernel to this shape or if it would even be worth the effort since I don't have a contrasting stomacher/petticoat. I'm also liking the buttons. Miss-I-loath-doing-buttonholes. Weird.

*ponders possibilities*
jennylafleur: (pearl)
Yeeeeessssss! I just found an extra piece of pink taffeta! So I should have enough to re-cut the back of the pink pimpernel dress now. I couldn't find this last skirt panel (from the old Cynthia dress) and was getting worried that I would have to scrap the whole outfit. Whew!

Also while searching for something unrelated I stumbled across another picture of the original court train my Pearl Dress motif is from:
http://www.centraalmuseum.nl/page.ocl?mode=&version=&pageid=250

Interesting... The motif looks so large – I’m used to my scaled down version now!

I think I've also discovered why these court trains became a separate piece, besides an excuse to use a luxurious velvet or a splendid watered taffeta as in this case. As full as the back of my gown is, the train still looks a little chintzy. I don't know that I could have gathered up my fabric at the waist much more let alone doubled to get a nice full train like the purple one.

Ummm... perhaps I should add an embroidered velvet train to my frock one day. Because I’m not putting in enough hours on it as is of course. *rolls eyes
jennylafleur: (stays)
I'm sick again. Another pesky head cold. I'm not really surprised, with all the craziness, stress and not eating well of the last few days of my trip plus the jet-lag coming home. It's pretty typical for me to get sick after that sort of thing. So I'm back to having a tissue box by my side and popping vitamin C tablets. Just as well you weren't able to come I guess [livejournal.com profile] elizabethdress. *pouts*


My body clock is still way off, which is annoying. In a fit of not being able to sleep but being too tired to do anything productive with the Redingote I completely took apart my Pink Pimpernel dress last night. This was a very last minute dress for Costume College last year and while I had great fun wearing it I wasn’t really happy with the fit.

Really, I wasn’t happy with it at all until I tweaked it a bit for the Stratford Hall event in December. I shortened the sleeves (just tacked them up), polonaise the skirt and added color in the form of aquamarine bows and jewelry. Suddenly I LIKED the dress and wanted to wear it again. That's when I decided to ditch the original Scarlet Pimpernel design and create a more generic 1780s ballgown from the ashes. I thought about just making my tweaks permanent but then I thought about all the other things that bugged me about the construction and thought, why not start from scratch and fix everything? So I picked the whole thing apart.

In the light of day I'm wondering if that was a clever decision or not but it's done now and I think I'll be happier in the end for it. At least I hope so.

Yes I really am insane.
jennylafleur: (yay)



I know I've said it before but I will say it again - there is just not enough time to sew everything I have on my list. Lately there hasn’t been enough time in the day to get everything done. It must me December... :P



Our second night at Stratford went well and once again I had a lovely time. I decided to be different and wear the Pimpernel. I paired it with my turquoise necklace and matching bows at the neck and sleeves (pinched from the pet en l'air).

I really don't know what to do with this dress. I love to wear it but I hate the way it looks in pics. It needs some major work, particularly the fit and the sleeves, before I'll be pleased with it. I think I'm just going to throw the original design from the Scarlet Pimpernel musical to the wind and remake the dress as a mid 1780s dancing dress. For Stratford I unpicked the sleeves almost halfway, rolled them underneath and basted in place (sewing through 8 layers of taffeta was FUN - not!). I think I'll just cut them off and if I have enough extra fabric do a ruched elbow trim. The fit of the bodice also needs work, particularly the back. I'm thinking about taking off the "zone" front flaps too... I think they make the bodice look poorly fitted and you don't really notice anyway.

It's needs some trim of course, although I think I'll keep that to a minimum. I don't have much extra fabric so maybe some organdy or lace trim. There are some pretty lace trimmed gowns in the Met. Oh or black velvet ribbon... umm...

Maybe I'll make this my Christmas week project. Then again I have the bustle bodice, the mini tricorn, the 1840s Poe dress, the Pearl Dress and the secret frock to work on already...

See - too many projects not enough time!


PS - My hair came out well again - yay! I think next time I wear this I need more height and some powder though. No point in being conservative with a screaming fuchsia pink dress, ya know?
jennylafleur: (pimpernel)
My body clock is super messed up right now so I've decided to make it a full 2 week vacation and not worry about real life (more than I can help) until Wednesday. In the meantime I've been trying to get over the fuzzy-brain-jet-lag-thing by catching up on my friend's pages, un-packing and updating my very neglected website.

First up is the Pimpernel dress, which I apparently didn't even start a page for. It was a bit last minute of course. Anyway the page is up here, the gallery (thanks to all for sharing your pics) here. Still need to make the fonts pretty but other than that the pages are presentable...

Also posted is the series of pics I took for [livejournal.com profile] jennil on how to make a petticoat. Turned out to be more of how to pleat, sorry about that. Not sure if it will be any help but there you are. I seem to have lost the pics of the hemming part so I'll have to re-create that for ya, with the first bit is there for now. Petticoat by Jenny-Rose!"

In other news I'm now declaring the pimpernel finished for the time being. I had every intention of doing the orange shark-tooth trim but haven't been able to find the exact shade silk taffeta I want. There are also several things that need work on the frock as well. The lining peeks through the center front, somehow both the sleeves and the front skirt panels ended up too short. I'm also not thrilled with the fit that I see in the pics but that is my perfectionist side rearing it's ugly head.

All can be fixed with piecing and/or fitting but without an event to motivate me I really don't care at the moment. Maybe someday when there is a point to the hassle...
jennylafleur: (pimpernel)
The good news:
My CC07 pics are online here! Hopefully that link will work... Got it down to 358 pics. Those to whom I have promised a CD will find a few more on that, mostly posed shots of themselves. :> Feel free to save, post on your site, print out, whatever. If you need a larger copy of something just let me know.

The bad news:
Both the RCHS Fall Tea and RCHS Ball have been canceled. I'm so bummed.
jennylafleur: (potter)
Yay! The pimpernel is all cut out. *whew* Turned out to be closer than I though it would be, fabric wise. I had to take apart the Cynthia gown after all, or rather Mom did. I was having a hard time bringing myself to take it apart so when she volunteered I let her. :> Even then the only way it fit was thanks to a largest scrap I dug out of the scrap bin. As it is I may have to piece part of the hem - not sure if the side skirt panels will be quite long enough. *crosses*

For the lining of the zone piece I pulled out some pretty cranberry duchess satin from the stash. It should just show under the little zone flap. If I can't find a fabulous orange in LA I may just use this for the shark tooth trim. Less contrast but a pretty effect. The rest of the lining will be the light pink stripe. I cut the rest of the stripe into pieces for a new under petticoat. There was just enough for a ruffle too. I think the pimpernel in particular will look better with a ruffle petticoat underneath and a second under petticoat will come in handy I'm thinking. I've had that fabric forever, it's nice to get it off the shelf.

Now I'm off to dance to say hi (forgot myself sewing to make class but I'll be in time for coffee) and then off to Walmart to pick up the Harry Potter book I'm not going to read tonight. :>
jennylafleur: (pimpernel)

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

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

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

Last night after picking apart the pimpernel toile and make note of the changes, I wasn’t feeling alert enough to cut out fabric so I worked on the hem to the chemise gown. It took forever (all those panels!) but it's done now - yay! I also cut out an extra sleeve toile so I can work on the chemise gown sleeves. I decided to go with the long straight sleeve after all. Easier and probably more flattering... we shall see. :>
jennylafleur: (costume bother)
I was supposed to go site-seeing with Bridget in DC yesterday (our last fling before she moves) but thanks to a wonky stomach and a headache I stayed home and sewed instead. I got the pimpernel toile apart and cut out version two. Not terribly exciting but progress.

In Fire news, we have wiped out AC Moore of red bugles (again) and it will be two weeks before they get more in. Did you know Michaels and Wal-mart don't carry red bugles? Other colors but not red. So I have two more places in town to try and then I'm not sure what. Order them online I guess and hope they get here in time. Moo!

I did find the perfect belt for the Fire at Kohls though. It wasn’t quite big enough so I bought two (they were on sale). I'll have to do a bit of chain linking to do but no more painting and gluing. Yay.

I leave for Dallas in 6 days. I am in SO much denial about how much I have left to sew for CC, it just isn't even funny.

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