jennylafleur: (bustle)
Saturday: a class, lunch at Macaroni Grill, another champagne party & the Sci-Fi masquerade

Saturday was lovely. I got dressed leisurely, went to the only class I attended, had lots of fun in my bustle skirt and top hat, took lots of pics, ate a very late lunch at the Macaroni Grill (I didn't get lost!!), took more pics, chatted with friends, pawed Katherine's wardrobe, champagne and ate left-over baklava, changed into comfy Regency, watched the Sci-Fi Masquerade and went to bed early. Well I tried anyway. It was great!

My pics can be found here: CC27: Saturday
jennylafleur: (brightman)

I be sick. Moo. Not sick enough to want to lay on a couch and die of course but sick enough to have a fever and have to cancel the tea we were having with friends today. I was willing to suffer through the day but I have a fever so canceling was best. *pouts* I do have a consolation of sorts in the Whole Foods chocolate croissant B found in the back of the 'fridge that I have since toasted and am nibbling while I type. Chocolate really does make life better.

Don't faint but I have been sewing a bit this week. I've been doing a lot of bead sorting (new containers - ooh!) but I also pleated the back of the black & white bustle skirt and put the waistband on. I ended up liking the effect of stacked box pleats best. Never used them before but they were fun - I'll have to use them again some time!

I've also been working on some everyday modern skirts. I'm in a long skirt mood but they don't seem to be in fashion at the moment so off to the sewing machine I go. Funny, I get more compliments on those homemade long skirts of mine than anything else I wear. More proof the “in” styles today are pretty darn ugly.

The first, made of a rusty red upholstery fabric came out super cute. I used one of my most favorite patterns, changing it to my preferred sit-on-the-hips than on the waist fit. It had a nasty backing so I flat lined the whole thing. I didn’t have anything in the stash that matched so I went for whimsy with a lime green poka-dot. No one will ever see it but I made me happy. It still needs to be hemmed and I think it needs some lace and a bow to soften it. I'll post pics when it's finished.

The second, made of a bordered wool like grey fabric was less of a success. I tried a new pattern/style for me with *eh* results. I think I can salvage it but not this week. I'm not in the mood anymore.
jennylafleur: (bustle)

I sat down last night to be a good girl and whip up a skirt for everyday wear and got sucked in the bustle dress instead. See - this is what happens and why I have no clothes! *rolls eyes*

I got the rest of the lace and the tassel fringe sewn on, then turned my attention to the back puff. I sewed in the vertical & horizontal ties, added pleats to the side and attached it to the skirt front. I then tried it on Narcissa and played with the length of the ties to get the affect/poof I wanted. By the way I didn't cut my back panel any too short after all. As it is all I have it a sweep, not a proper train now.

This morning I danced with RCHS for our local APVA so after I got back and while I had my shift on I tried on my bustle & skirt for the first time. I love the bustle, it's so light - I imagined it would feel heavier. I probably made the overlay a little long (without shoes it brushes the floor) but I like it so it's staying as is. I'm pleased with the skirt too. The black lace looks so good!

My only concern is that to fit my waist I have to get those back panels to fit into "10 (that’s 45” into 5”). So the cartridge pleating isn't working, in the pics the pleating is overlapped almost twice over. It gives a nice puff in back it's unworkable as far as a waistband goes.

I thought about taking a panel out (having one fabric width instead of two) but I think one width is not enough. While two is too much. So now I'm wondering if I should try and gather the waist or knife pleat or break down and take out a panel. Ponders... Okay bustle people, what do you think?
jennylafleur: (georgian costume)
I don't have any pics to prove it (so you'll just have to take my word for it :>) but I have been sewing a little bit this week. Now that I'm feeling better (just tired, still coughing) I've been busy catching up on all the stuff I didn't do while sick.

All the black lace is now sewn onto the bustle skirt. I did it by hand but it ended up not taking long at all. Looks so nice - ooh! One strip of the ivory lace is halfway sewn down as well.

I started work on the trim for my green ball gown. It has some trim on it now but I think needs more on the skirt. I'll be wearing it for the Stratford Candlelight tour next weekend so I have to get cracking on that! My petticoat needs a ruffle too… must remember to dig out that extra fabric.

The last two nights I've been helping new RCHSers get their ball gowns made for Stratford. I mainly fitted the mockup/lining for one of the girls. In order to do that I basically had to chop up the original pattern and drape it. Thankfully the sleeve was not as evil as usual but the whole project took out about 6 hours of my week. So lessons learned:
1 - don't take my own work to these sewing sessions, I won't get much done anyway
2 - it's much easier to fit a sleeve when it's not on yourself
3 - it's faster to fit a bodice on a small, skinny person. I really must lose some weight.
4 - JP Ryan has craptastic directions! I know what they are talking about and I still couldn't figure it out. No wonder RCHS people have so many problems making new frocks! Draping baby – all the way!! It's the best thing I've ever learned!
jennylafleur: (bustle)

I spent most of the day cleaning and prepping for tomorrow’s post Thanksgiving family gathering but I did manage to play with the bustle skirt a bit.

I roughly pleated up the back & then pinned together the back poof. It's all very rough but it looks pretty good to me! I really just wanted to know I was on the right track. I pinned according to the measurements on TV216 for the side pleat and back tie placement. Looks pretty true so I'm just going to go with them, maybe lengthening the middle tie a bit. (come on it’s me – I have to tweak something!)

Next I'll un-pin everything and sew on the lace, by hand I think for the neatness and control. Next up is sewing on the ties and stitching the side/back seam. I need to try on my Victorian corset to double check my waist measurement before I can finish off the pleats & waistband but that will have to wait a few days. I strained my chest injury with all the cleaning today. It’s quite painful at the moment. The thought of a corset (particularly lacing myself) does not sound appealing. *grimace*
jennylafleur: (bustle)

Happy Thanksgiving to all you fellow Yanks! I hope you have a wonderful holiday!

So what do you think?! I adore it!!! *giggles inside* The lace and tassels are courtesy of Mom. They were on her original Civil War outfit, when we starting re-enacting in 1989. See - waste not, want not! The lace is in surprisingly good shape, no sign of dry rotting or anything. It looks and feels brand new and is so soft and delicate. The tassels are a bit worn but for free I can deal with it. Besides they bring back so many memories of my childhood!

I had great fun laying out the lace. In the end I decided I liked it less concave and graduated in the spacing. I have no idea if it's period or not but it was more visually interesting. Once I'd figured out the design, I measured each side to make sure everything was even, pinned the lace and sewed on the side back panels. The tassels were then pinned and the ivory lace draped on once I had it all pinned to Narcissa.

I wasn’t sure about the strip of ivory lace on the side at first but I really like it now. The ivory lace will be on the bodice more (as an overlay on the vest & collar, and at the sleeves) so I like the idea of a bit of it on the skirt. I'm thinking of adding a flounce at the bottom of the front, either of the ivory lace or self fabric but I want to finish off the hem first and see what it looks like.

So on to the back puffy panel! I do have one question though, is it better/more accurate to use knife pleats or cartridge pleating (to pleat to the waistband)? And should they be large or small pleats? The pattern just says "pleat". Not that helpful really.
jennylafleur: (darkdays)

Thanks again for all your help and encouragement on the bustle dress. And so I march on!

I didn't get too much done today as I was trying to take it easy (want to shake this illness thank you!). At first I was very taken with the idea of a separate underskirt with the thought I could use it for a later costume too. There were good reasons to do all one piece though. The factor that decided me on one piece was that I don't have enough of the black lace & trim (for the front) to go all the way around anyway, so why bother. Also having less to pack and iron at CC is only a good thing. :P

I tackled the back first, which I'm forging ahead on without getting another pattern. Based on the descriptions on the TV website, the patterns I have, Hunnisett and Arnold I think I can do it myself. I decided to make the back two widths wide and 65" long. It's probably way too long but better long than short, yes?

I seamed the panels then cut the sides at an angle. My fabric is a lovely winter-white faille that came from [ profile] misslemmon (thanks again - you are too wonderful!). It had been sitting on a shelf for a while with one end discolored from the sun. Oxiclean got most of it out but it's still discolored on one salvage. I was seeing angles in Arnold so I went with that. Now I'm wondering if I should have angled it more (giving less volume at the top) but I want to get it on Narcissa and play first. I can always trim it down later.

I then turned my attention to the netting (recommended to reinforce the puffs). I eyeballed how long and wide I thought it should be, seamed it down the center and pinned it to skirt. I trimmed off the access and basted it on the top and sides. I started tracing out the front skirt pieces (from TV201) but I'm ready for bed so I'll finish that in the morning.

So decent progress, if even if it doesn't look like much. All the hassle with the netting was worth it, I already love the weight and drape of that section. I’m wondering if I should do the whole panel now instead of just the top third. I'm also wondering if I should flat line the whole thing. The fabric is surprisingly sheer and it might drape better too... Or maybe that is overkill.
jennylafleur: (bother)

As per the TV board, apparently I confused a 1870s fashion plate with an 1880s wedding gown. How embarrassing! My response:

Umm... oops! I wasn't looking at the dates when searching my files, I didn't realize the extent gown was so late. So perhaps it's not the best example of what I was looking for. I don't intend to copy the decoration per-say (or the bodice, I'm using TV405). What I liked was the line and proportions of the skirt/pouf/overskirt.

I'm not into the aprons and swags in front so I like the idea of that decorated flat front, pouf behind as shown in these 1875 fashion plates: (left green) (middle blue)

I'm really bad at translating the plates into reality though and couldn't tell if it was separate (full underskirt) or sewn together (false like TV216). I'm guessing now that either is acceptable for the 1870s? Thanks for you help and advice!

Clear as mud? Yep, thought so. :P
jennylafleur: (bustle)

When I start a project I usually have a plan, a flexible plan but still a solid idea in my head of what I want to end up with. The Black & White Bustle (TM) however, not so much. I have a vague sort of idea and I have materials and trims to use but beyond that...

I've spent some time this week trying to hone my vision for this project. Going through Demode's index helped immensely (seriously Kendra if you ever take that off your website I'll have to stop costuming!), as did the fashion plates on Festive Attyre. The bustle goodness over on [ profile] awesomecostume has been helpful as well.

All that to say I've figured out what I want in terms of the skirts and bustle. I love the lines of this wedding gown (found on e-bay) and plate (from Festive Attyre).

The upshot is I've decided I bought the wrong pattern for my bustle skirt. The more I look at TV216, the less I like it for this project. The way the back is constructed is not at all what I had in mind.

This isn't helping my overall feeling of being very stupid and insecure over this whole project.

I think I could puzzle it out, using techniques and pieces from my two TV patterns (TV216, TV201) plus the aid of Hunnisett. My only question is should I make full underskirt/overskirt or seam it all together hiding the join with a false side panel?

*sigh* Or should I just ditch the Victorian thing for another year and use the faille for a robe à la française?
jennylafleur: (victoriana)

I finished it - yay! Not bad for a sickie, aye? I still have to sew it on the bustle but the overlay itself is finished. I even put in some tucks and trimmed down the bustle’s waistband in back.

The overlay wasn’t too bad, just lots of measuring, multiplying, gathering and pinning. I didn't follow the pattern much as I was using much wider lace than suggested. I also lengthened the overlay (as always) which threw off all of the markings.

So I started with the top ruffle & bottom ruffles. I then filled the overlay in with three inner ruffles. Those I pinned at first, eyeballing it so that the designs would look even. It came out pretty darn perfect the first try which made me happy. I meant to track how much yardage I actually used but neglected to write down my numbers as I went along so I'll have to re construct that later. I have over 3 yards of lace left so I'm trying to decide if I want to add a ruffle to the bottom of the bustle proper or save it for a separate under petticoat. I don’t know.

I really liked the look of the bustle petticoat without the ruffles but man it looks great with them! What is it about rows of ruffled lace? It just makes me giggle inside when I look at them. :P
jennylafleur: (bustle)

You know it occurs to me, now that I'm 2/3 the way through adding ruffles to my bustle petticoat, that I probably should have washed the lace before I used it. Umm oops!

The main bustle part is done, yay! Mom has been busy all week putting up Christmas decorations so I eyeballed the hem on my own. Looks pretty good, if I do say so myself. I think I've got the boning tied correctly, there's quite a bit of variation there with the internal ties. The ties are temporary navy blue ribbon safely pinned in, soon to be replaced with white ribbon bought especially for the purpose.

I'm not happy with the way the waistband gaps at the back. Has anyone else had this problem, or did I do something really wrong? Assuming it's just a fitting thing, I'll take the waist band off and put a dart or something in there so it's not bulky back there.

My goal is to get the overlay done today, although right now I think I'm ready for a nap. *coughsniffcough*

Oh yes in other news my camera battery recharger has been found! It was at the B&B I stayed at at the wedding and is being shipped to me by the sister of the bride (in FL) who ended up with it. Hallelujah!!
jennylafleur: (bustle)
Felicity's mitts, muff & pattens set came today. Oh my gosh it is SO CUTE. A very nice treat indeed. The little muff is my favorite. I seriously need a muff for myself now, ivory with blue embroidery and everything!

In other news my bustle is progressing and is starting to actually look like a bustle. Some ribbons and a hem and it's done, then onto the overlay part. Before I can continue on though I have a quick mending-for-pay job to do. Then it's on to ruffly goodness - yay!
jennylafleur: (bustle)
I'm trying to be more diligent about this costuming thing so I've been working on my bustle a little everyday. I figure an hour or two of work a day is better than nothing. Just trying to avoid that last minute scrambling before CC.

So far I've cut a new panel to fit my pre-cut boning. It seemed the simplest option since the whole point was to not have to cut and tip boning. So my bustle will be 1" larger than it's supposed to be. Whatever. Tonight I finished sewing up the new panel, all the bone casings neatly stiched down and everything. Now to work on the petticoat part...

I'd like to finish off the first panel too. The panel looks so darn nice, I really took my time making sure it was tidy looking. It's just 1" too narrow. I've got some extra hoop wire around the house (just no tips) so I thought I'd whip it up as a simple bustle and sell it on e-bay or something. Waste not, want not, right?! :>
jennylafleur: (bustle)

You know I've gotten discouragingly little to show for my sewing time this weekend. *sigh* More on the aborted sacque project later but I did actually start on the long awaited 1875 outfit - don't faint!

It's only taken me a year to start this project in earnest! Sad I know but better late than never, right? I started work on this project last night with the tracing of the pattern onto tissue paper and the cutting of the fabric. I didn't change anything to the pattern except to lengthen it. The pattern was WAY short, particularly the overlay. Also the cotton I decided on from the stash was supper thin so I cut two layers for the top front and top back.

I did the marking and started on the sewing tonight. So far I've taken out almost as much as I've sewn. It would have gone much smoother if I'd actually read the directions correctly and not been talking on the phone to Bridget while I worked. Yeah.

My big snag of the evening is NOT my fault however. The pre-cut steel kit I bought from Truly Victorian gave me boning too long (by 1"-2") for the boning channels. Correct me if I'm wrong but does that not defeat the whole purpose of buying it pre-cut from the pattern maker? Yep, I thought so. *sigh*

So I have a few options: 1 - re-do the bias tape that I have so that I have an over lap onto the front piece. 2 - re-cut & mark a back piece that fits the boning lengths (the next size up?, a bigger bustle is okay, right?). 3 - pay too much for shipping, buy tips and cut boning down

It's too late to sort out issues so I'm leaving it until the morning. You know I just realized that all my lace is flat and has to be gathered... goody.
jennylafleur: (bustle)
Okay for all you bustle people out there...

If I'm making this,, will I need an under petticoat as well? Also how necessary is a corset cover?
jennylafleur: (antoinette)
The cotton voile for my Chemise á la Reine arrived today. Oh my gosh - it is gorgeous stuff! So fine and soft, like butter. And that is before washing too. I think I may need to buy some for underpinnings and a few summer tops... :>

In sewing news I haven't been up to much. I want to finish up old projects before starting on the new so I have trimmed down my stays straps (redoing the binding & eyelets), finished the lace on my pet en l'air sleeves, sewn down the bows. Still have the hooks and eyes to do.

I'm off to Fort Fred on Friday so I want to get some trim and sleeve ruffles on my red print English gown. Then I'm going to work on B's gown. Looks like she will be going to an event with me in May so I need to fix the tweaks. Like hems and sleeves that were sewn on backwards, that sort of thing. :>

May 6th is the countdown for my Chemise á la Reine so I've been busy researching that. It's amazing for so simple a garment there are endless variations. I want a 1780s dress so I'm going for longer puffy sleeves like this:
I think I want a little sweep in back, not a train and one ruffle at the neckline (maybe lace). I haven't seen much evidence for underwear showing through plus it would annoy me so I’m trying to decide if I want a lining or a bodiced petticoat of some kind. Now that my fabric is here though I just want to start working on it!!

After that will be the Victorian corset, anchor of my CC Gala and bustle outfits. I washed the new bustle fabric (gift from a fabric fairy :>) today. I got all the discoloring out which makes me happy (Oxiclean is such a beautiful thing). It still has an old musty smell though so it's out on the line drying in the lovely spring weather we are enjoying this week. I'm going to leave it there over night and see how it is in the morning. Dew can work wonders you know.

The robe volante is on hold for now. I sat down and listed everything I wanted to make for CC and prioritized it low, medium or high importance. The robe volante made it into the low category so I'm not going to even look at it again until the high list is finished. *looks longingly at fabric*
jennylafleur: (bustle)
Honestly how gorgeous is this?

Thanks to [ profile] pinkdiamond for posting it a few days ago. I'm not frequently tempted by vintage garments but if I had a couple of hundred bucks to spare right now I would totally be bidding on this lovely! Perhaps I will just copy it one of these days instead... :>
jennylafleur: (bustle)
[ profile] laurenmonkey - the eyelet just arrived. Oh my gosh - it's gorgeous! The pics totally didn't do it justice.

I can't wait to use it - thanks so very much once again!
jennylafleur: (victoriana)
Still sick - bah! I seem to be getting worse not better. I actually lost my voice! Today I was feeling a bit better toward evening so that is something.

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

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

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

According to the pattern I need 16.5 yds of 6" ruffles (unhemmed) and I'm getting 15yds of 10" lace. Even adding a extra layer for height (which I suspect I'll have to do) I think that will work. I'm all about fudging! :>

July 2014

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