Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Challenge #8 UFO Complete

The Challenge: UFO Unfinished Object
Fabric: Green cotton velveteen, cream shiny poly something, trims.
Pattern: Started as a Margo Anderson Pattern in 2009ish
Year: 1560's
Notions: metallic copper trim, black velvet trim, black ribbon
How historically accurate is it? All modern materials and hand sewn 
Hours to complete: completing sleeves only took maybe 5 hours once I got started.
First worn: haven't worn yet
Total cost: nothing, all from stash and was sitting unfinished
I wasn't able to get a really good picture, I realized that I don't have any hoops to wear this over to show off the gown shape. So I took a pic of just the newly finished sleeves. Now I have a potential loaner gown for friends who may need something to wear to faire. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Challenge 8 Half Way There

Slow progress, but progress none the less. 
The sleeve panels are now sewn together. Now to connect them and figure out how to attach them to the gown. I took her out of the garment bag that it's lived in for 2 years and put it on the dress dummy. I don't even have hoops anymore. One of my future projects on this fortnightly adventure. So the skirt is just hanging on the dress dummy mocking me. This challenge is more difficult than I expected. I think I like the idea of just stuffing things in a box and forgetting about them if I don't like them. But I am determined, I am going to finish it and then maybe I'll just give it away or sell it, or keep to loan to the inevitable faire friend that has nothing to wear. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Challenge #8 UFO UnFinished Object

I have a box of unfinished projects, I hate opening the box and reminding myself of those projects. But here is the next challenge and I have at least one project that I really should just finish up. 
My Florentine Gown from 2009.
I dove into this gown with a gusto. I researched and sewed my heart out. Then I kind of ran out of steam. I found that the skirt ended up slightly crooked, then I really got lost when I needed to move and I had not completed the sleeves. I wore it to a ball with out the sleeves and briefly to a Renaissance Faire, then into the box it went with every intention of being completed. 
Then life happened and I pretty much did not sew for almost 2 years. I attempted to take it our in 2013 but ended up still not completing it. 

So what does it need? Sleeves for the main gown. That's it. 

Here it is while it was in progress. My very first dedicated sewing area too. 
This makes me happy.

One problem that I am having is that my skill level has changed so much since I started it, I just don't know if I like the gown anymore. But right now the sleeves are cut and pinned, just needing to be sewn together so I am going to work on this and get it completed. Then I can move on. 

Once I have the gown itself completed then if I still have time left in the 2 week challenge I will complete the partlet and caul to go with it. At the time I even bought an ermine to stuff and decorate as an accessory. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tops and Toes: An Easter Bonnet

The Challenge: Tops and Toes
Fabric: Buckram, silk taffeta, and cotton velveteen
Pattern: Miller's Millinery Portfolio Pattern BEBE BONNET
Year: 1870's
Notions: Millinery wire, silk flowers
How historically accurate is it? 70% maybe
Hours to complete: Maybe 10, it actually went together rather quickly
First worn: April 19, 2014 Old Sacramento Easter Bonnet Promenade
Total cost: Everything was from my stash except for the flowers which I purchased for $1.00 

For the Tops and Toes Challenge I decided to make a bonnet to go with my bustle gown to wear to the Annual Easter Bonnet Promenade in Old Sacramento. 
Step one research:  I have discovered Pintrest and I love it! I spent several hours researching 1870's bonnets and found the mini one that would sit on the back of the head as a good one for me to be able to actually make. 
Step 2 a pattern: I found a pattern at Miller's Millinery for a Bebe Bonnet.
Step 3 Construction: 

Carefully cutting the pattern pieces and then the buckram. Using sharpies to mark isn't a problem since all of the buckram will be covered.

Sewing the pieces together then adding the wire along the edge.

There were 3 main pieces to put together. I used a heavy quilting thread and a strong needle to get through the layers of buckram.

Next step was adding the fashion fabric. This involved a lot of pinning to keep the fabric smooth and tiny little stitches so that you can't see.

Brim from the back.

I actually enjoyed adding the front piece, once it was sewn along the outside I had to make cute pleats to attach it to the back on the inside. 

Add some flowers. For the time period that I was going for a lot of the decoration was in the inside of the bonnet. I was trying to stick with a budget so I used the flowers I had rather than buying more appropriate ones, but I like how it turned out. 

And to tie it more into the gown I added a bit of dark velvet trim. 

Ta Da!! My first bonnet!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Challenge 6: Fairytale- Skipping This One

The next Challenge due April 1, 2014 is Fairytales. Lot's of fun ideas have come up but I have just not been able to find inspiration. So I've decided rather than force something, I am going to work on a different project. 
I plan to attend a Titanic Themed Tea in April and I really need something to wear.
So for these two weeks I will be creating a 1912ish tea gown. Here are some inspiration gowns.

 I love the tiers on this one along with the very feminine pinks.

 This one is more the actual style I am going to go for on my own gown that I am working on. 

These would be fun to play with, however I just won't have the time....

Step 1. Fabric choice: I had some lovely lace and embroidered curtains, I also owned a kitten, these two things did not mix well. So I took the curtains down and saved them, just in case.. It is the lace curtains that will be the over bodice and over skirt. I don't have enough that is not shredded to do more than one layer so my over skirt will be one layer. For the under dress I was determined to not buy new fabric but to use my stash. I found a little over 3 yards of some off white poly satin. Yuck I hate poly now, but at least it will be out of my stash and it should look the part. For the sash I found some dark green shantung. Voila, an idea. 

Step 2. Pattern choice: Well I have the infamous Titanic gown pattern from Simplicity and no time to order a new one so I will be practicing my altering abilities. 

Step 3. Finding the time: So far I'm chugging along. Megan thinks it's hilarious to sabotage my cutting attempts. I have also decided that the portion of my sewing area that I have for cutting is just too small, time to bring my smaller sewing desk up and to use the large table for cutting and detail work. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Challenge # 5 Bodice - Completed

The Challenge: Bodice
Fabric: Silk Taffeta and Cotton Velveteen
Pattern: TV 405 Vest Basque
Year: 1872
Notions: Buttons, thread,
How historically accurate is it? 70%
Hours to complete: 15?
First worn: Planning to wear to the Easter Bonnet Promenade
Total cost: All from stash
Finished the buttons last night. I am happy to have completed this within 2 weeks. I will have to look at adding more details later but for now it looks pretty good. Here are a couple more pictures. I need to iron the skirts and I will need a correct petticoat. It doesn't fit well on m dress dummy but that's okay when I wear it I will get some pictures then. 
Side view of completed outfit.

Definitely need to add a bottom trim or ruffle. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

1870's Bodice, Almost There

I ended up working over a weekend so I took a week day off from the day job to relax. My day was spent pretty much sewing and watching Merlin. The results are that I may just finish this Challenge in time for the deadline which is tomorrow. 
Here are some progress shots. 

 Front view. I practiced my button hole feature on my machine for almost half an hour to make sure I got these spaced properly. I actually do like how the dark velvet plays off of the lighter silk. My one regret is that with the time restraint and my attempt to use stash items as much as possible I really didn't do any embellishments like I would like. I may go back late and add details to the collar and cuffs at least. 

 Back view. I am liking the tail. I need to put the skirt and bustle on my dummy to see how it will actually look though. 

Side view. I may make this pattern again and change the design of the bottom, I think it could be made to be a lot more fun over all. 

Since taking these pics all I have to do is the hand sewing including the buttons, so my Friday night is going to be split between time with my family and time with my sewing. Looking forward to posting the entire outfit. Then all I will need is a proper bonnet or hat.