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Oct. 23rd, 2016

Mary Poppins had her debut yesterday for a Halloween party one of my friends was throwing. It worked out well! I definitely should have practiced my hair ahead of time, since it was a lot harder than I thought it would be, and I also made it a little too high on my head, so the hat kept wanting to either slide forward of backward, since I wasn't using a hat pin. And I did get super paranoid as I was leaving the party, because it had started raining, and the dyed Poppins umbrella is the last thing I want to get wet, so I covered the umbrella with my hat, and literally ran down her long driveway and up the street to my car. I don't think the rain did anything, though.

Here's a pic!

I'll try to get better pics when I wear it next, which will be for my party on Saturday. And for now, it's back to working on the corset mockup. 


So much burning of my hands later, Mary Poppins is done!

I did the hat first, which required a whole bunch of my organza scraps and a ton of hot glue. And of course, putting hot glue on organza also means very much burning of fingers (including at least three that have already blistered). But that said, I'm really happy with how it turned out!

The base is a wavy-brimmed straw hat that I bought from the thrift store a few years ago, and spray painted white. Tonight, I started by gluing/pleating an organza strip around the top of the brim. Then I took another organza strip, glued the selvedge edge around the top edge of the brim, and turned it under, where I pulled it tightly, and pleated it around the crown on the inside. Next I took a narrower strip, pleated the ends, and glued one end to the side of the base of the crown. On the other end, I sewed on two hooks, and sewed two bars to the opposite side of the base of the crown. I also ran gathering threads at three points on the length, to cinch it on the sides of the face and under the chin. Then I took a vaguely circular piece, and shaped it over the top of the crown, gluing it around the edge (leaving the bars free, obviously). I pressed messy ruching in place on another strip, and glued that loosely around the sides of the crown. Then I gathered a long piece for the back, and glued that around the back. And finally, I glued on the flowers! So as I said, a lot of glue - I lost count of how many sticks I went through!

Then I put the hooks and eyes on the skirt and the swiss waist, and the ribbon tie on the parasol. I didn't actually try it all on tonight - I'll save that for the morning, but each item does fit individually. I'm wearing it to a Halloween party tomorrow night, so I'll be sure to have someone take pictures of me. For now, here's som dress form pictures:

On the other hand, the temporary hair dye I tried this morning did almost nothing whatsoever to my hair color, so it is still very much not brown. I'm going to try to get to Sally's before tomorrow night, and see if I can exchange it for something better.

Oh, and also, I made both my first embroidery design etsy sale and my first princess playdress etsy sale today. And how fitting that the one that sold was for Mary Poppins!

Oct. 20th, 2016

I finished the skirt embellishment today, which means all I have left are hooks and eyes at the waist, hooks and eyes on the swiss waist, the ribbon tie on the parasol, and the hat. I think I can hopefully finish that all tomorrow evening? Though that said, if I get home from rehearsal after work tomorrow and it's actually not raining, I might take that chance and finish the Halloween decorations. It's been crazy rainy lately (literally it's been raining every single day since at least last Thurs if not before), and I still have a bunch of decorations to put up!

Oh, and I did take the opportunity to go see The Dressmaker after work today, since today was the last day it would be in any local theatres. It was really good, though not quite what I expected. I laughed a lot, but I also cried. Overall it was a lovely movie, with wonderful costumes (of course), and a really good story. To be honest, the only thing that threw me off was that Kate Winslet's character is supposed to be around the same age as Liam Hemsworth's character, and another girl named Gertrude, but both of these other actors looked significantly (as in, over 10 years) younger than her. As hot as Liam Hemsworth is, I don't know why they didn't cast other actors that are around Kate Winslet's age. That said, I do recommend seeing it if it is still playing in your local theatres!

Getting Closer!

I'm going to bed too late, but at least I'm caught up with where I wanted to be on Jolly Holiday! I was way behind as of last night - I had been hoping to finish putting the skirt back together, and do one row of appliques by the time I went to bed last night. But while I got the skirt assembled, and the hem marked, I spent about 45 mins today rehemming and putting the lace back on where I had to take up the corners that had formed on the seams because of the bias. Then I started on the appliques. I was originally planning to do eight appliques of each type, but it just wound up all being way too close together, so I switched to six. My appliques are slightly larger scale than the ones on the park dress, but they're as close as I could make them, since I couldn't locate more than three of the exact appliques.

Anyway, I still need to do the six appliques on the top row, and the six velvet bows in the middle row, skirt hooks/bars, hooks/bars on the swiss waist, and decorate the hat, and put a velvet ribbon tie on the parasol. I have tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday afternoon if I have to use it. I think I might actually be in a state where I can even go see The Dressmaker after work tomorrow - I'll see if I'm feeling as confident by tomorrow afternoon.

I just hope I won't have to sew any of those skirt appliques in place!

Oct. 17th, 2016

The bodice is done! Unfortunately, it took way longer than I had anticipated to finish it. I finished the sleeve trim and made a bow for the neck, and sewed down all the edges that were flapping up on the sleeve applique. But then I realized one of the appliques on the back was coming up on the edges, too, so I did that one as well. I'm really hoping all the skirt ones aren't going to require tacking down all over the place - otherwise, what's the point of the fusible?!

I also realized that I needed to stitch down all the seam allowances in the armseye so that they don't show at all in the sheer sleeves, and that the top corners of the front ruffle needed to be tacked down as well, since they kept flopping over. But all of those are done, and I even added a hook and thread loop on the back of the collar.

The bodice is finished! #marypoppins #jollyholiday #cosplay #halloween #disneyinspired #disneycosplay #ladyrebeccafashions #marypoppinsmonday

Then I moved on to redoing the skirt. I took the waistband off, and took apart all the layers. I still need to take the gathering out of two of the layers, but I got the other five. So far, I've taken in three of the layers - 2.5" off each side at the top, tapering out to the existing hem. I've re-gathered the top two layers at this point, but of course, I was really hoping to finish the whole thing by today. And to make matters worse, I'm pretty darn sure I'm going to have to round out the hem again, since it's wanting to turn into points at all the seams. *sigh*

If I don't get the skirt fully back together by tomorrow night, I might really have a problem on my hands! I'm wearing this on Saturday night, and I have rehearsal on Wed night, and a brief rehearsal Friday afternoon as well. I was also still really hoping to see The Dressmaker this week, because otherwise I'm worried it's going to disappear from theatres before I have a chance. 
As I thought, I didn't get much done today. I think I was home for a grand total of 30 mins until about 11:30pm...

That said, I did bring some hand-sewing to the dog show, so I managed to get both the cuffs' insides whipped into place, the collar beading lace/ribbon on, and also the beading lace/ribbon on one sleeve, along with the button loop and button on that sleeve. So I still have one sleeve's trim left, the bow at the neck, plus tacking the edges of the sleeve appliques down.

And of course, redoing the skirt! I had been tempted to go see The Dressmaker tomorrow afternoon, but since I'm behind in my sewing, I'm not sure I should... My goal for tomorrow is to finish all the bodice trimming, plus undo the skirt waistband, take apart the gathers and the layers, take in about 2.5" from the edges of each piece at the top, re-gather, and re-attach to the waistband. Oh, and finish putting up the Halloween decorations, if there's a gap in the rain. 
I came close to finishing the Jolly Holiday bodice this evening - all I have left to do is handsewing. I have to hand sew the insides of the cuffs, add all the beading lace/velvet ribbon trim, and the velvet bow at the CF of the neck. And I realized that I'm going to really need to tack down the points on the bottom of the sleeve appliques, because they're already wanting to peel up, since they go into the crease of my elbow.

I've realized in making this bodice that this is basically a wedding dress. So much white, and lace, and silk organza.

I'm not sure how much I'm going to be able to do tomorrow, but I really want to finish all the bodice trimming so that I can move back to the skirt. Unfortunately, though, I have an audition in the morning, then I might go see our dog perform in a dog show with my boyfriend if the audition gets out in time, and I have our first caroling rehearsal in the evening. So we'll see...

Bodice progress

I did quite a bit on the bodice today! I figured out what to do with my appliques, which was a big thing. I sprayed them all with a very light dusting of white fabric spray paint to take away the shine, and I have decided to fuse them to the outside of the fabric, which is fine since they're not shiny anymore. So I did that with my first two large applique combinations on the back of the bodice, and assembled the bodice backs. I picked up the .5" wide lace for the front ruffles at Joanns, sewed that on and gathered them up, assembled my bodice fronts, and attached the ruffles. Then I put fronts and backs together, and inserted a zipper up the center back.

Then I attempted a sleeve mockup, which unfortunately was a miserable failure. I did a slash and spread from a fitted sleeve pattern in the hopes of getting a slight leg-of-mutton, but it clearly wasn't enough. The whole sleeve needs to be widened by at least .75", and I need to do another slash and spread from my mockup, starting at the elbow, and make the whole top of the sleeve much larger. Hopefully that won't give me too many issues tomorrow.

Since I was fed up with the sleeve, I decided to move on to the collar. It's attached, but I have to stitch the inside down to the bodice. And though I wove the velvet ribbon through the beading lace and pinned up a velvet bow, I have to attach both those to the collar as well. Then it's on to the sleeves.

I'm hoping to finish the entire bodice tomorrow, and that way I can spend Sunday and Monday (I'm off work on Monday this week, so all I have those two days are two auditions and a rehearsal) redoing the skirt and starting on the skirt applique. I'm pretty sure each large applique takes me about 15-20 minutes to do, since they are each made up of five pieces, so I really want to get going on those sooner rather than later. I need to have everything done by Friday night! 

Oct. 14th, 2016

I fitted mockup #2 last night, and like I had hoped, it will work for my lining! I had to tweak the CB seam a tiny bit, increased the front dart seams both under the bust and going from bust to armseye, and tapered up the shoulder a bit. Then I took the side and shoulder seams back apart, because I think I'm going to do darts separately on each layer of the bodice, but join them together at the side seams (after adding the appliques and ruffle, I guess?)

I also mocked up the ruffly part of the front of the bodice, and cut that out of two layers of silk organza. Unfortunately, I realized I don't have any narrow lace to go around the edges of that, so I guess I'll have to make another Joanns run.

Then this morning I cut out the silk organza bodice pieces and marked all my darts. Now I'm trying to figure out how I want to finish my edges at the shoulder and neckline, since I don't think I want serging to show through. Then I'll assemble everything, add ruffle, appliqes, and lining, and mockup the sleeves.

Oct. 13th, 2016

No post yesterday because I basically did no sewing. I cut out a mockup for my Mary Poppins bodice, and tested the Lite Steam a Seam 2 that I picked up at Joanns on the way home, and that's it. And on top of that, I don't think the Steam a seam (or any fusible, I guess) is going to work out for the appliques. It made the whole area around the applique sticky, and right away it started picking up otherwise invisible fuzzies and making it all look dingy. So I'm going to have to sew them on. I think I can still manage to sew them on the underside of the top layer, whether by hand or machine I'm not sure, without the stitches looking too terrible. Oddly enough, of the five pieces I tested (one with fusible hem tape on the underside, one with fusible hem tape on top, one with steam a seam on the underside, one with free-motion machine sewing on the underside, and one with regular straight stitch machine sewing on the underside), it was the one with regular straight stitch sewing where the stitches were the least obvious. And if I can't make them blend well enough, then I guess the appliques will have to go on the top side of the fabric, because then the stitches definitely won't show.

Of course, all that said, I've also decided that I'm going to do the entire bodice before I start any of the appliques. Mostly because I'm still not happy with that skirt pouf at the waist, and if I wind up having time after I finish the bodice, I'm going to redo the skirt, taking in at least 4+" out of each skirt seam by the top of the skirt, and re-gathering, and re-attaching to the waistband. But since I know the appliques will take a while, I need to make sure I finish the bodice no later than the end of this weekend.

Today, I sewed together the bodice mockup, fitted it, and patterned out a second mockup. I'm hoping that the second one will work (or at least be close enough that I won't have to recut it), and so I cut it with the lower lining neckline (since the neckline of mockup one worked perfectly) in the hopes of using it as my bodice lining. I'll find out tomorrow!

Oh, and the reason I did so little yesterday was because I saw Girl on the Train. It was really good! Very suspenseful and intense, even though I've read the book. Emily Blunt especially does a great job. Definitely recommed!

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