Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cross Front Gown: Finished

The final and complete dress. Seeing how this turned out really drives home the fact that you must and I repeat you must have period undergarments to achieve a regency look.

Multitasking.  ;)
I decided to ditch the bustle for now. Yes I remembered the word. But it was too full and not wide enough, it just looked really goofy to me. Sorry there aren't any pictures of the back but I forgot. I wriggled in and out of my stays twice already today and I'm not about to try that again. :)
Fun in my undies. Teehee

Happy sewing everyone.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cross Front Gown

 Super yay! I spent the day yesterday working on my new cross front dress and the product has come out very well indeed. Again I'm using the Elegant Ladies Closet pattern from S&S and I'm having a much easier time working with it.

So lets review the last dress that I made from this pattern (which is off display due to it's current habitation of a vacuum storage bag). But anyhoo as I was preparing to delve back into this pattern I revisited the pattern pieces that I had cut out. You would have thought that I didn't own a tape measure or that I was having delusions of grandeur. I was off by two sizes! Doh!!! So my first day working on this project was spent re tracing and re cutting the pieces I needed while watching New Moon, washing and ironing my fabric. The other problem that I discovered is that I can't read directions to save my life. I had sewn the front skirt panels together.... how I had ever thought I was going to wear it is beyond me. 

Finally I've gotten somewhere. And with a  little inspiration from another sewing journal I added the extra piece of fabric between the bodice and skirt.

Now I have to say I was making this just to test the pattern again. So I have a few things I will be changing if I do this again. The pattern offers an additional skirt panel to be sewn to the front so that I will not gap while sitting walking etc. and in my case I believe I will need to add this. I would also like to take some of the fullness out of the shoulder and bust and have it be slightly lower cut. 

One change I did make and I'm not sure if it will pan out yet is the addition of a little, for lack of a better term at the moment, pad??? It's early and I can't think of the word. But I just mocked it up and stuffed it with a little netting I had hanging around in the fabric bin and there it was.

I tried doing a little tracing as a guide.

There's the stuffing.

And the almost finished product. I'm going to attempt to attach this with three hook and eyes at the middle back. 

A vast improvement on it's predecessors. Happy sewing ;)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Ren Faire Dress Inspiration

I'm super excited about the portrait I found today while I was trolling the internet looking for something that might inspire me. And here is what I found. 
I just about died when I saw this dress, it's very similar to the patterns that I found on simplicity. In fact looking at each of them together its sort of a compilation of each pattern. I really like the look of the high collar and chemise but I also like the padded rolls on the shoulder. My next step would be to research what type of fabrics that I'd be allowed to use during this era. I'm always trying to keep my costs low seeing as how I believe that this pattern calls for something like eight yards of fabric. So it would be nice to be able to use something like a taffeta instead of silk to achieve the same look. I also plan on trying to make the jewelry as well to really have the complete look. Ugh and i don't even want to think about shoes, but if I invest in one good pair they will last me for a long time. So many things to think about!! 
As a side note last night I also finished a new chemise from the S&S pattern using a size small a only the front pattern piece for both the front and back. It's in the wash currently but I'll get some pics later.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Katie v. Matua Maker Stays

The battle of Katie v. Mantua Maker Stays was completed this afternoon with a serious happy dance. I have really spent only about a week working on this project  and I am relieved that it turned out so well. It's seriously given me undergarment fever.

As a side note I have finally achieved some semblance of a sewing room! In fact the stays were finished in my new space and it was a dream to be able to sew with so much natural light and be able to spread out and not worry about cleaning it up right away. 
The natural light was kinda m.i.a. in this shot but it's working out great.
 As mentioned before I feel like I'm on a roll now and am planning my next projects which I hope to complete over the next week or so. On my agenda for this evening:

 I'm going to try and make the cross front dress again and modify it just slightly to make it less of a pain in the backside.

Near future projects:
 Very Caroline Bingley if you ask me.

I'm so eager to get started on all of these projects, I need to purchase most of these patterns the 1700 underclothes is what I have right now. But after doing my regency costuming backwards I'll never again start without a full set of underclothes ever again. Happy sewing.  ;)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Almost there!

 The home stretch! All i have left to do is bind the edges and possibly cut down the top just slightly, it kinda sorta digs into my under arms which I find to be no bueno. I am quite proud of it on the whole. Considering the fact that I just stared at the pattern for a whole 4 months before I was able to get the nerve to look at it.
I have to admit the final product is flawed, I was determined to sew until I could sew no longer seeing as how we were taking a trip to the San Diego Wild Animal Park the next day. And at 1:00 in the morning as I triumphantly finished the first set of grommets and stepped back to look at my work; I realized I had put them all on backwards......Sigh......but I just slogged on and finished the rest. Correctly of course. That little grommet setter my husband so graciously picked up for me was the best. Some would have turned up their noses at it but it saved me a lot of work. As well as the leather hole punch, it created perfectly sized holes for the grommets. It was just fate.  :)

Here's the back you can see the cable ties I used for the boning which just so happens to be one of my favorite short cuts of this whole thing. I had to stop right in the middle of my project and hunt for a busk. So I went on over to the Lowe's next to my house and went hunting for a ruler. Because that's the suggestion in the instructions. But they don't carry wooden rulers......goobers. But anyhoo after asking two different csr's for help one guy finally took me over to the paint counter and gave me one of the jumbo sized paint sticks. I could have kissed him because it was just perfect in length and width. In my next project t I think I would definitely take the time to sand down the edges to get it tapered on one end.

So I'll close for now seeing as how I don't think my fingers can type anymore. I wish everyone happy sewing!  ;)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Early morning sewing.....

Mmmm perfection. The house is all mine in the morning, with nobody to disturb me but the cats. I shall sit down to a cup of coffee, a slice or two of yummy homemade pumpkin bread and the view off the balcony. Yay for early morning sewing.   ;)

And even before can finish the post in walks the hubby from a run. Sigh...    :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mantua Maker Stays Progress

Ahhh finally I've gotten around to making some progress with my stays. This morning I completed the mock up and am getting ready to hit up the fabric store to pick up my fabric for the real thing. I've decided that for my first attempt at a corset that I really should try to cut my costs as much as possible. So instead of using coutil I'll be looking at using cotton duck and denim for my lining and interlining. Possibly even linen if I can find it without stretch. I'm undecided on what the outer-ling ought to be. I'm also using heavy duty cable ties in place of metal boning. I've tested it out on the mock up and it really seems like it will be able to stand up. I found a few yards of cording in my sewing supplies and that I'll be using for lacing, which makes it seem almost like it's free. ;)  My dear husband took a trip to Harbor Freight and picked up a grommet setter for $3.00 that came with 100 grommets in the right size. Astounding seeing as how JoAnn's wanted $22.00 for the same thing without grommets. And for my busk I'll be on the hunt for a wooden ruler at the hardware store. Other miscellaneous supplies include my husband's leather punch, masking tape and packing tape.

Here is the front of the mock up with the supplies mentioned previously.
The back view with cable ties taped in. You can see on the left side of the photo where I've taped a gusset up after trying to get into it by myself I ripped it there and also in the hip. But thankfully it wasn't the real thing.
Here are the holes I punched to be able to try it on for fit. I taped in the ties and then taped a scrap of muslin over them and the edge to add some strength so that it could be laced up without tearing it all to pieces.
This was right before I started to cut out the slits for the bust gussets.
Those darn things just wouldn't be pinned down. That was more frustrating than anything else.
Getting ready to put int he hip gussets.

With any luck I should soon be doing this all over again and for real this time. For now I'm off to JoAnn's with a little giddy up in my step and a smile. ;)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Have you ever been outed?

Facebook strikes again! No more closet geek status for me......   ;)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Costume Jewelry

I am very fortunate to have been able to to inherit some fun pieces of costume jewelry. Unfortunately only some piees will work for the regency but it's alright. I plan to some day expand my costuming to include many different era's, in which the pieces should do just fine.

Pearls and rhinestones never hurt anyone ;)

This happens to be my favorite piece. The blue taffeta fabric that these items are resting
on is for a dress that I intend to wear this necklace with.
And the full collection.