Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Oh dear. That is a much longer gap than I like to leave in my updates. So what have I been up to in all that time? Mostly I have been crippled by indecision. I have choices, and I am, as usual, over thinking them. 

Firstly, I finished off my working apron. I trimmed the cloth so it's ended up as just knee length, forgetting that most aprons of the day were almost as long as the full length skirt it went over. But it's gotten Suzie's sit of approval, so I think it'll be fine just the way it is.

My serving apron I have decided to embellish with embroidery as my lace making skills aren't yet up to par (to be honest, I still have to start lesson two). But I can't decide on the embroidery. I know I want to do an assissi embroidered border, but I want that border to have personal meaning, and inspiration is so far lacking.

Next, a marble update! I've been continuing with the layers of shellac, and the picture to the left shows a naked marble at top left and, moving clockwise, each marble has an additional layer of shellac. I had originally planned to do 4-5 layers, but at layer three there's already a nice gloss building up, so I think it's time to start applying pigment. My shellac, due to the dye in the methylated spirits I've used, has a reddish tone, so I'm concerned my white marbles won't come out as clean in colour as I'd like, but there's only one way I'm going to find out that for sure!

In addition to SCA and Victorian tea parties, I have a LARP system that won't take care of itself. Big things are afoot for my character this year, not least of which involves her marriage. And as a larp wedding is really just an excuse for a pretty new dress, I've fallen in love with this beauty from the interwebs and have decided to recreate it. I have a burgundy taffeta already in hand that would be quite nice, though I'm concerned about how well that would work given that the original dress appears to be made with velvet. The only velvet in my stash big enough for this project is black, and yes, it's only a larp wedding, but you know, black just doesn't strike me as appropriate. I still retain the right to eat my words in a couple of months time when the taffeta doesn't work of course.

I'm not entirely in the mood to draft this pattern from scratch though, so I've dug out some old Simplicity and Butterick patterns which I can modify heavily to get my desired shape.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

This morning was spent mostly in essential organisational tasks.. meaning I was tidying. However, this did result in finding the red velvet and orange-gold taffeta that I had long ago put aside for a Tudor gown but is now being repurposed for a Victorian gown.

Alas, while I was trying to dig out the orange taffeta, I fell across another purchase from some time ago. A grey pinstripe with rows of roses that screams "victoriana" to me. So now I have a dilemma.

Thanks to my friends (no really, thanks), I now now I'm making two costumes. I figure that will be one for day wear and one for evening and social occasions. But I can't decide which fabric to use for which!

I'll be using Truly Victorian's Tail Bodice pattern to stick with my plan of making an 1880's costume, and seeing as I already have the pattern I'll be using the pattern for both looks. An fully closed front for the day wear and the open neck for the evening wear.

And finally, because I've had a few pieces of broiderie anglaise sitting in my stash for quite some time, I thought I should use to them to make some rather pretty unmentionables. 

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Today I had the delight to attend an Victorian styled afternoon tea. There was tea, of course, cakes and scones with jam and cream. It was quite delightful. Some, like myself, just made small effort with costumes for the day, but others, like the hostess, turned out spectacular gowns for the day. It made me wish all the more for a Victorian gown of my own.

It's something I've always wanted but haven't made time to make so far. For a social occasion some time ago, I made myself up an 1880's corset from Waisted Efforts to get started, but well, I guess I got distracted.

But a start is still a start! I've put on quite a bit of weight since I made this corset, but it can be my weight-loss goal to fit back into it. With very structured styles such as Victorian gowns, it is essential to have the correct foundation garments or the rest of the gown will not look right, no matter how well made it is.

I have a good measure of cotton, lilac coloured, which I'm going to dedicate to making the rest of the foundation garments for my Victorian costume. Granted, period under things were white, but that's what I get for pre-washing my white cotton with some purple cotton by mistake. But with a burgundy silk corset with lilac silk flossing details, I think I was headed for a non-period look anyway. If I do this right, I'll be able to get away with using it for Steampunk too.