Thursday, October 29, 2009

New Name!!!

A big thanks to my friend Clint who came up with a much cooler name for my little sewing blog. Needle, Thread, & Whims is a name full of win and fits my projects perfectly!! I have also been playing around with the templates and backgrounds. I'm still very new to the whole blogging thing so bare with me as I continue to figure it out.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Things to do and new inspiration

Actually completing Robert's outfit brought to light the painful number of unfinished projects that I have allowed to accumulate. I am afraid that I very much suffer from Costumers ADHD. I find somthing I love and I really want to sew, buy the fabric, start on it, then... oooh look at that one, I must make it. So the poor unfinished gown gets put away in a trunk until an event comes up that I really want to wear it to.
Here is a list to keep myself focused:

Ash's Ionar for his Irish outfit. Mostly finished, needs for me to sew the skirting on.
Then attach the sleeves and closures.

Anton's hat. Needs to be lined, hemmed, then starched.

Chrismas Gaskell's Gown. Bodice needs to be taken in a tad and I need to finish attaching the trim.

Florentine Gown. Worn to Oct Gaskell's needs the sleeves, net, and caul. Considering entering it to for a showcase per advice from Laurie from Her Florentine gown which was showcased in July is easily one of the most beautiful creations I have seen.

1870's Bustle Ball Gown. Needs Ruffle for overskirt, More trim, and I plan to make two bodices. I should be happy if I finish one bodice first though.

Doublet gown. Need to pleat the skirt into the waistband and hem. Then I actually need to sew the doublet. I've been planing this outfit for 10 years...

These are just the projects that I have actually started. I have more that are sitting as just patterns and fabric.
So... no new stuff for me until I get the above completed. This is my challenge to myself.

Now for inspiration for a future ball gown....

Monday, October 26, 2009

The big night and unfinished projects

Gaskells was a wonderful night. I had many lovely dances and enjoyed catching up with friends. Robert's costume was a great success. So here are a couple of pictures. Unfortunately the lighting was not the greatest so several pictures that I took did not turn out well enough to post.

I forgot to pack the stockings...
I decided on the coat against using a ton of gold trim. The simple brass buttons seemed to work really well and I used gold thread for the button holes to highlight them. He recieved many compliments and had a wonderful time. Alanna is already trying to get him to invite her to the Christmas ball.

Two hours before we were going to leave I still had nothing to wear. I had gotten my face painted at an event at work and was thinking of pulling out an old fairy costume. My friend Maricica came over and saw my Florentine bodice peeking out from under a few hats on a shelf and suggested I wear that. Well it is only half finished and still has no sleeves, but with a little peer pressure I went for it. To my great suprise I recieved many compliments.

Close up of face painted and bodice.

Here I am with Maricica with Clint's mask.

I must say this gown was my first attempt at draping a pattern. It was extremely comfortable! I was not wearing my corset underneath it, so the sides wrinkled up a bit. I'm really glad that I wore it. I just need to complete the rest of it. So look for future posts.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Gaskells Tomorrow Night

Tomorrow evening is the much anticipated Gaskells Halloween Ball. I have been working almost non stop on a costume for my eldest son Robert. Who like any normal 12 year old, when asked what he wanted to wear said that he would like to go as an 18th century gentleman... It's almost as if he reached into the costuming hat and pulled out the one era that I have absolutely no experience in and has not caught my attention as of yet. This is a big deal as well because Robert has invited a girl his age to join him at this ball, so I buckled down and got to it.

First I chose a pattern.

Simplicity 3644

White Cotton Poplin from my LA trip which was .99 per yard for the shirt
Greenish Blue Cotton Velveteen from Ikea (it was curtains)

Goldish Brocade from Triad

The great thing is all of these fabric were already in my stash, so I did not have to buy any new fabric.


I decided on plain brass buttons for the coat and slightly different ones for the vest.

Several times during this process I had to be reminded that I was sewing for a 12 year old and that this is not "garb". He will grow out of it entirely within a few months.

I started on the coat first:

Personally I think once Robert is done with it, witha few alterations I can turn this into a very nice riding habit...
The shrit was very easy to make and put together. For others considering this particular pattern, I would recommend making the neck opening a bit bigger. Poor Robert has to sqeeze in a bit.
As of now the outfit is complete except for buttons which I will be sewing on today while on the road to a wedding in the bay area.
I will post pics from Gaskells with the complete outfit asap.
The down side of all of this is that I have no idea what I will wear and will most likely end up in my regency gown. Sigh... Harliquinn Bustle gown for next year.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Irish outfit for Ashlin

Ashlin is my roommate and a great guy. Over a year ago my sewing machine was giving me problems so he bought me a new one. A nice Singer machine with some bells and whistles. In exchange I agreed to be his sewing slave. So far I have only made him a shirt. Ash likes to play with one of the Irish groups at faire and after an expensive trip to the Los Angeles Fabric District we agreed on a new outfit for him.

Here is a sketch or Irish men during the Renaissance period. Notice the baggy shirts with huge sleeves and the short jackets? This is what Ash would like, and he has also requested a pair of trews as well. The shirt is a leine and the jacket is called a kilcommen or is refered to as an ionar. He purchased some nice white linen for the leine and dark blue wool for the kilcommen.

He also bought me these shears to help cut the fabric. I normally use a rotary cutter but I think with the thickness of the wool that the shears will be better.

Last night I cut the pattern pieces, today I prewash the fabric. I am thinking I will be working on this project next week.

Friday, October 2, 2009

October is full of projects

The bustle gown is going to have to be put on hold until after October. I had planned to attend the Sweeney Todd Ball this weekend However a friend of mine has come in from England for a visit and has also gotten engaged. So... My Saturday shall be filled with friends, pictures of wedding gowns, food, and fun. I'm sure I will find a reason to complete the bustle gown but for now I have several things to start/work on/complete for October.
Events in October:

Folsom Renaissance Faire

 The Halloween Gaskells

Folsom Faire is one of my favorite faires and it is very close to where I live. This year is also special because my oldest son will be performing there with his vaulting team. I've put many hours into preparing the team to demonstrate vaulting as a historically accurate sport during the Renaissance, so far the kids are doing very well and are having fun. Also our horses are a big hit!

Halloween Gaskells is always one of my favorites. I have gone on and off for almost 12 years. My favorite was about 8 years ago, my friend Wendy made absolutely the most gorgeous fox gown out rust and gold fabrics. I wish I had pictures... She had bought the rust fabric on sale for $1.00 a yard to use for a mock up of a victorian bodice pattern we had in a book. The illustration was only about 2 inches and she scaled it up and made the bodice. It turned out so nicely that she used it as inspiration for her full gown. I decorated my blue and black ball gown with peacock feathers and we had an evening full of fun.

Both of these events are going to involve a great deal of sewing so look for future posts...