Sunday, 29 September 2013

Sekret plans

Plans are afoot. Plans are always afoot, but these ones I'm not allowed to talk about till February.

I can say that it involved the picture above. I've been trying to pick a fabric to match the mask above, knowing that an exact match was not really likely. So I've settled on the silk dupinoni Gilded Violet, from Silk Baron, and I think the gold ties in with the mask embellishments and the purple is very me.

The part I am allowed to mention is that this is going to form the bones of my Realm of Venus comstume entry for next year, so now I've picked my colour, I'm going to start assembling my materials to have them ready. 

Monday, 23 September 2013

Jeans Skirt II

I'm trying to get my floordrobe sorted at the moment, and discovered that I have *ahem* quite the little horde of partially worn out cord jeans, waiting for the "I'll fix them later" moment to arrive. Sure, I could modify them like I did last time, but the ideal of making a variety of skirts is much more appealing.

For this skirt, I selected three pairs of cords in shade of brown, and started by cutting open the inner seam completely.  I'd already measured by waist (and my hips to make sure nothing ended up too tight) I flattened out the cut trousers, and marked out one sixth of this size on the waistband of the cords, and cut this mark down to the furthest point of the leg cuff, so I'd get a good, broad piece of fabric.

I'd planned to use all six pieces, but must have been too generous in my cutting as all six pieces together were too generous for my own curves. Where pockets would sit on the back of the skirt, I sewed up the edges, and on all panel, I removed the back pocket panel.

If I'd been more organised, or stopped to do this whole skirt more carefully, though that wasn't the intention at all here, I would have planned the skirt closure more carefully. As it was, I cobbled one of the jeans zips into the panel of the same colour. It's not perfect, but it works.

And voila, the finished skirt! I've already dubbed it the Chocolate Skirt in my own mind. With three jeans worth of fabric, it is delightfully heavy, and is whispering quietly to me of talk of petticoats.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Regency Dress plans

I am, nominally, trying to cut down on my fabric purchases these days. Or at least, using up or giving away some of what's been sitting there some time. So, of course, this was at the top of my mind when I went to the shops the other day to get thread, just thread, all I need is thread.Until the treacherous part of my mind suggested I should trying the evening wear fabrics section, just in case I spotted something... 
 So, almost 6 metres of 60" wide chiffon later, I bought the thread I needed. In my defense, it was reduced to only €5 per metre. And even if the label on the bolt said "coffee", seen by the light of the camera flash, it's really living in denial of being an old gold colour. Which is excellent, because I'll be able to tie the style I want, a simple dress with a contrast lining and the chiffon as a loose overlay, to the Spenser jacket I've already fallen for pictured here.
And now I have a deadline to sew for! I'll need to get an awful lof of these costumes done by the end of March next year for a very special weekend.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Getting back to it

Sometimes, you just need to give yourself a mental kick to get things going again. Sometimes, that even works. Thankfully, tonight was one of those sometimes.

I've had trouble getting my discipline on the last week or so, so today, I re-jigged my schedule and set my determination to be sure I'd get things done this evening. So far this has included putting my hair into one of my favourite hair masks (pampering is important too) taking pictures of some recently finished items, and even better, starting on the next project!

Firstly, I got my first Victorian hat finished. I became very happy with the glue gun on this one, so there's very little sewing involved. I used a single layer of buckram and just one round of millinary wire, which I think may have been too light for the velvet I used, so the edges don't curl up quite as much as I'd like. 

The trims I'm not entirely happy with either. There's just something missing, but I don't know what. I figure when I see the trim in a shop, I'll know. But until then, this is my first Victorian style hat, and I shall wear it with pride. Though given I missed the Victorian Field day (stupid sinuses), I'm not yet sure when that will be.

But while I wasn't doing much, I wasn't completely idle. My hands are allergic to idleness I believe. So I knit. Something easy, fast, with a simple pattern. And that was Clapotis from And given the sudden, yet seasonally appropriate change in the weather, as well as the corresponding seasonal breakage of the workplace air conditioning, I'm glad to have it done.

And last, but very much not the least; the most important project on my list.

You see, the green fabric I used in my recently completed Florentine dress didn't come from a shop. It was given to me by a friend looking for an exchange, and became the incentive I needed to enter the Realm of Venus costume competition. In exchange, this friend asked for a Tudor style shirt. She picked out a cotton voile for it to be made up in, and I'm planning a little surprise in the making of it that I hope she'll be happy with. Ok, sure, there's nothing much to show yet, but at least I have something to work on for A&S tomorrow.              

Saturday, 7 September 2013

IRCC 3 - The Results

The results of the third annual Realm of Venus costume competition were announced and, well, I won second place! This was so much better than I was expecting. IRCC3 was the first competition where competitors were offered the opportunity to begin work on intricate items before the competition proper started. I didn't avail of this as I only decided to enter the competition quite late in the preparation process.I was sure that losing out on that time meant that I'd already lost too many points to place. But no, I won silver.

I'm finding myself very inspired by this. I want to work that much harder the next time. My dress is based on the fashions on 1560's Florence, but next time I'll do more research, more documentable research, so I can feel happy about submitting my costume as a full A&S project.

The Fourth Annual Italian Renaissance Costuming Challenge, once again allowing extensive handwork to start immediately, has been announced. And this one I already know what I'm going to be making.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Victorian headwear

Little sleep and nightmares do not lead to productive crafting. Even less so when you read the instructions 5 times and they still make no sense.

I'm working on making a couple of Victorian hats at the moment, using Lynn Mc Masters 1870-80's Bustle Hat Pattern. I'm following View C to make a red velvet coloured hat to match my pre-existing Victorian costume, and I've plans to follow this hat up with a second, steel grey coloured hat in View D to match the pinstriped fabric outfit I have planned, though it has't gotten past the planning stages yet. 

So far, I've been cutting and gluing, with a little sewing on the side, as per the instructions. I'm tempted too to make the next hat entirely hand sewn, presuming this to be a more period construction method, and also as a compare-and-contrast of the two styles of hat manufacture. 

If the lack of sleep continues, there's probably going to be another two weeks worth of sewing in this one hat alone. But that will, at least, give me plenty of time to decide on how I'm going to arrange and decorate the hat with all the trims I've bought. Bases on the fashion plates I've been browsing, the headwear embellishments were anything but subtle.