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Halloween and Sewing Update

I had a last minute sewing/Halloween-ish marathon the end of last week. It was pretty crazy. For Halloween itself, I wore Jane during the day, because I was looking for something easy. (Yeah, I don't know what easy is - I just didn't want to wear a wig or ballgown). When I got home, I finished doing party prep, and then changed into Ariel (see - wig and ballgown!). We managed to take a few pics before it got dark outside and everyone from the party turned up (and the trick-or-treaters). I think I had about 15 people over, but naturally, I forgot to take any pics until after about 5 of them had left. And I had less trick-or-treaters this year -- probably only about 170 or so, so the kids who came after 8pm got to take two pieces of candy. We had one group show up at like 9:35, which was weird. 

Then I spent all of Friday working on the Queen of Hearts. I fixed/re-sewed all the seams that needed to be fixed, made sure it fit okay, re-styled my old huge 18 th c wig, and then ran out to Home Depot to try to get discount decorations (none left) and to Value Village for the same reason, plus a deck of cards to make a collar out of. There was basically no Halloween stuff left there either, but I did find an amazing deck of giant cards with red backs, and returned home to make it into a collar. It was perfect! The collar took me a little longer than I had anticipated, so I was a little late to the villains party, but my costume was very well-received, and people especially loved the collar. 

On Saturday, I went to a Disney photoshoot at Point Defiance Park. It was my first cosplay photoshoot, and I was a little nervous to talk to people I didn't know, so I only shot with three photographers, one of whom was my friend that I went with. But hopefully all the pictures come out nicely, and it was nice meeting them and the other cosplayers as well. I would love to do another Disney shoot! Then I came home, took down my outdoor decorations, and went to another Halloween party. 

On Sunday, I had a brunch date, and decided in the short time I had afterwards that I wanted to add long sleeves to my 1840s dress for the shoot that evening. I probably shouldn't have. They wound up a bit tight, and made me late. I also hadn't thought about the fact that the time change on Sunday meant that we had one hour less in the cemetery than what I wanted. Though in hind sight, I guess that was a good thing, because my phone also freaked out, decided it was full, and didn't actually save the last 30 or so pictures I took during the shoot. I'm still super pissed about that, since some of them had looked really wonderful. The cemetery itself is so cool, and I really want to go back when we have more time to explore more of the gravestones. Most of them are from the early 1900s, and we even found the grave of the founder of Tacoma! It was really neat, and we got some gorgeous sunset shots. 

Anyway, there's some pics from all of those events on instagram, but I need to go through and edit the rest of them.

In other sewing news, I have 9 fireworks left on the skirt, and have started the hem. I still have to hope that I can simply duct tape the lights into place, so I don't have to sew them in, since that's way more work. And I made some matching ears to go with my Dole Whip Disnebound. I also decided I needed to make a Harry Potter skirt for Universal. That is assembled except for zipper, waistband, and hem, which I hope to do today. I have also started on some of the alterations for the caroling group. I have nothing on my plate for tomorrow except sewing (like, I think I don't even have to leave the house!) and my weekend is fairly open, too. Which is good, since I need to finish everything and pack. I leave Tuesday for Disney World! :)

So many projects at once

I finished the last bit of Rapunzel on Sunday morning, and wore her to our cast party on Sunday night. Here's a pic: www.instagram.com/p/B4JpkkZAxBU/
I'm also planning to wear her to a Disney cosplay shoot on this Saturday, though I hope it won't be too cold! I'm really pleased with how it came out - tbh, I like it way better than the actual Rapunzel cosplay I made a few years ago. I should probably fix all the fit issues with that bodice at some point. 

Speaking of fit issues, I've been working on tearing apart the Queen of Hearts for this Friday. It's mostly that I'm just trying to get all the old pieces of broken/breaking rigilene out, so I'm taking out this weird half-lining that was in the bodice and ripping out all the channels. I think I've done about half of them so far, and am really hoping I can finish the other half (like 6 or 7 channels) tonight. That way, I can also spend a few minutes re-sewing the couple of seams that have come undone in the bodice. Over the weekend, I already fixed everywhere that the skirt was coming apart, so at that point, she will be wearable. I'd love to be able to make a standing collar for her, too, but I don't think there's time before Friday night. Tomorrow night really needs to be dedicated to completely cleaning my house, and to cooking (or at least prepping) everything that I can for the Halloween party I'm hosting on Thursday. I also have to memorize the two songs I'm singing at the party on Friday (it's a villains-themed party, and I've been asked to sing Mother Knows Best, which I don't know very well, and Be Prepared, which should be just fine). 

Luckily, I finished Ariel's sleeves over the weekend. I'd love to see if I can style the swoop bangs on the wig, but if I can't, it's not a huge deal. I'm going to wear her for my party on Thursday. Not sure yet if I want to wear her to work that day, though -- the idea of spending all day in a ballgown and wig is not super appealing, so I may pull something else out for that. 

I also did another 6 or so fireworks on the skirt last Thursday. I think there's three left to do on the front, plus the entire back. And then the hem and figuring out how to add the lights. And on top of that, I have several pieces to alter for the caroling group, though those are not due until the week of Thanksgiving. 
Had a little time for sewing on Tuesday, so I managed to get 6 fireworks embroidered on the skirt (I am now thinking there will be about 35 total), and while I was doing that, I also cut out the lower sleeves for Ariel, sewed them together, and attached one of them to the puffy part of the sleeve. Earlier that day, I had to wait on a rental car to be cleaned, and I had luckily brought along Rapunzel, so I was able to sew a bit more of her hem. 

I will have more sewing time tonight, so I'm hoping to embroider a whole bunch more fireworks, and ideally, finish the Ariel sleeves (which means that dress should be done). Then I can turn my attention to fixing everything that needs to be done to the Queen of Hearts. 

(There's a picture of the fireworks skirt on Instagram)

Halloween/Disney sewing update.

My mom was in town from Thurs afternoon till Sat morning, and the only sewing I did while she was here was to finish the last 5.5" of Rapunzel embroidery, and put the waistband on the Dole Whip skirt. So anyway, the Dole whip outfit is done, minus the ears, which aren't going to be started till I at least finish all my Halloween sewing. 

On Sunday, I put the bias tape on (most of) the Rapunzel hem and pressed it up for hemming. Naturally, I ran out of bias tape with less than a yard to go, and had to go get more yesterday. That will be added today, and I will continue whipping it down, which I started a little of yesterday. 

I also started on the fireworks skirt embroidery on Sunday. I've already done Cinderella's Castle, the Partners Statue, Tinkerbell, and one firework. I think I'm going to wind up with about 30+ fireworks total, so I have a whole bunch more to do, but the nice thing is, each one only takes about 10 mins, and fits in the 4x4" hoop, so I can use up all the leftover stabilizer from the Rapunzel embroidery (which had to be done in the 8x12" hoop). 

I also gathered up the upper sleeves for Ariel, so I just need to cut out and attach the lower sleeves, sew them into the armseyes, and style the wig, and that costume will be done. 

My mom brought my old Queen of Hearts dress up with her, which I made back in 2008 (aka one of my earliest projects). Technically, the only thing that it needed to have done was to serge/sew all the 1/4" seams in the skirt quilting that have pulled apart. But of course, I like to overcomplicate everything, so I'm not stopping there. It's a tiny bit big, particularly in the shoulders, but also through the bodice, and it currently closes up the back with the most hideous black lacing strips (it's a red velvet dress). So my plan is to remove the lacing strips, sew the back pieces together as a CB seam, and have it fasten up the front using pins (it's basically an 18th c pattern anyway - the old Pirates of the Caribbean Simplicity pattern). 

The other main issue is that I had boned the whole bodice with rigilene (again, beginner project), which apparently breaks down over time. When I went to put it on, I heard it all popping, and it is now in tiny bits. However, baby seamstress me apparently really sewed everything into an interlining, with multiple stitch lines of tiny stitches, hidden under a weird flatlining, so I'm trying to figure out if it's worth attempting to pick all the boning channels out. 

So anyway, there's a lot of random seam ripping that I think the Queen of Hearts needs, and I'm curious to see what state it will be in when I go to wear it for a Halloween party on Nov 1st...

Oct. 16th, 2019

Two posts in two days? Amazing. 

Anyway, slight update to the sewing plans. I went to the thrift store on my way home yesterday, and apparently Fate/Value Village really wants me to do a Dole Whip Disneybound. Last time I was there, I found a short-sleeved yellow sweater with a pineapple on it, and yesterday, in the dress section (aka, not where it belonged), I found a yellow and white striped house dress, with what appears to be just enough fabric in the body of the dress to make into a skirt. They are not the exact shade of yellow, but so close that they still match. I washed it, and cut the yoke and sleeves off last night, and am stopping at Joanns for some waistband elastic today. I think I am going to make some ears to match, but otherwise, it's done. 

In Rapunzel news, I am now about 1.5 motifs away from finishing. Unfortunately, if I followed the pattern I've been doing with the rest of the embroideries, that half a motif would be the same one that I started with. So there's going to be a random half of pattern 2 shoved in between 4 and 1. They meet right around the side seam, so hopefully it will at least not be that obvious. Not sure I'll finish tonight, though, since I will probably only have about one hour at home before I have to leave to go usher a show. 


Sewing updates

I didn't wind up getting sick last week, so hopefully I can stave that off until after the show closes. *knock on wood*

And despite tech week and opening weekend, I did manage to do a little bit of sewing. Mostly, I did more Rapunzel embroidery motifs. I'm over 3/4 done with the embroidery now, which I think is going to work out to something like 28 motifs total (I've lost count). I also dyed the mesh fabric for the lower sleeves for Ariel, and cut out/assembled the three layers of the upper sleeve. Now I just have to gather the upper sleeve, cut out/attach the lower sleeve, and set them in the armseye, do a little bit of wig styling, and Ariel will be done!

It turns out that the Queen of Hearts costume is still at my parents' house, so my mom should be bringing that up later this week when she visits, and then I can see if it's even worth wearing/fixing/reworking. I made it my junior year of college, so it is a very old project, and my sewing skills are worlds better than they were then. 

Ideally, I would like to be done with both Ariel and Rapunzel by the time she gets here, but since that's Thursday, and I'm ushering a show tomorrow evening, and I need to clean my whole house, I know the chances of that are exceedingly slim. 

Anyway, once Rapunzel is done, I can start on the embroidery for the fireworks skirt, which hopefully won't take nearly as long. 

I found out yesterday that I won't be able to fit the carolers until at least next Monday, if not the following Monday, which is really going to put a pinch on those alterations/repairs. I sure hope there's not that many. I was supposed to be getting those about a month ago... *grumble* I will charge them for a rush job if that's what it winds up being. But also, my Halloween and Disney sewing comes first at this point. 
I got my sewing machine back from the shop on Thursday afternoon last week. Since then, I've done more on the Rapunzel embroidery, but it feels like it's going so slowly (even though now my machine is able to run at almost twice the speed, which is certainly nice). I'm one motif shy of being halfway done with the skirt, but I believe there's a total of 24 motifs. That means I have about 13 left, and each one takes about a half hour... Why do I keep doing this to myself?

While the machine was embroidering, I did a quick dress hem commission, and assembled my fireworks skirt. So now that's waiting for embroidery. At some point, I may wind up switching which one is being embroidered, since a half-embroidered Rapunzel dress is still 100x more interesting than a black skirt with no embroidery! 

Also, I really hope that once I add the embroidery and lights, the skirt starts to look less like a garbage bag. I think because it's woven with metallic threads on one grain, it's reflecting a lot like plastic right now. 

Anyway, I should have some time for sewing on Friday afternoon, so I'm hoping to knock out more embroidery and do the sleeves on Ariel. I also have to find if I have the old Queen of Hearts dress, or if that's still at my parents house. I think they made me take everything that had been in my closet with me up here a few years ago, but I'm not sure I actually did... Luckily, my mom is visiting next week, so I can still get the dress up here anyway. The real question is, is it going to look so poorly made/ill-fitting that I'll be embarrassed to wear it, even if it is only a Halloween party? It's I think maybe the third or fourth costume I ever made... 

In non-sewing news, tech week has been going fine for The Secret Garden, but a bunch of the people in the cast have been sick, and now today I feel like I'm getting a stuffy nose! This cannot happen right now - besides the show opening on Friday night, I also have my first singing gig through the new company I've started tomorrow, and it needs to go well! 

Oct. 1st, 2019

It's my weekly sewing update! 

I cut out 3/4 of the fireworks skirt. I had not originally purchased enough fabric for the full circle skirt (this seems to be my thing, tbh), so I had to go out and get more, and there will be a seam up the center back. Not a big deal, but it did put me a couple days behind. 

I also marked the hem on Rapunzel, and started on the embroidery. I think I got about 1/4 of the embroidery finished, but then I brought my machine into the shop on Sunday morning, so I'll have to wait till that comes back to do any more. 

I also have rehearsal or shows every night this week, so my only sewing time is going to be Friday and Sunday during the day. I should be able to assemble the fireworks skirt on Friday. If I don't have the embroidery machine back by Sunday, then I guess I will work on the sleeves for Ariel that day. (If I do have it back, I can do sleeves and embroidery!)

Now that it's October, deadlines are definitely looming!
  • The Ariel dress needs to be done by the last weekend of Oct.
  • I would like to make some repairs/fitting tweaks to a super old Queen of Hearts dress I made while in college for a Villains party I'm attending Nov 1st.
  • I would also like to add a temporary length extension to my skating bustle skirt, in order to make it full length for a gothy Victorian event on Nov 3rd.
  • The Fireworks skirt and Rapunzel embroidery and hem need to be done in time for my Disney trip (I leave Nov 12th), and I would like to do a yellow skirt to wear with the pineapple sweater-blouse I found last week at Value Village, so I can have a Dole Whip themed outfit for Disney, too.
  • At some point in there, I will also have some alterations or building to do for the caroling group, which need to be completed by Thanksgiving. 
  • Then once I'm back from Disney on the 19th, I need to speed-sew on my burgundy velvet 1860s dress if I'm going to attempt to make it by Dickens Faire on Dec 22nd.
So much to do!
The BB-8 baby dress is finished and in the mail! Picture here: www.instagram.com/p/B2tH5vBAP7W/

Of course, while I was doing the embroidery, I found out that when I brought my machine in for service a couple months ago, something must have been put back a little wrong, because when I started embroidering at the 600 speed (medium), it started breaking needles repeatedly. It turned out they were hitting the needle plate! I was able to finish it at the 350 speed (slow), but that really slows down the embroidery time. I talked to the service people and they said it's still under warranty, and they can do a rush repair on it, so I'll only be without it for a week, but that's still obnoxious, since now I have a bunch of embroidery I need to do. I'm going to bring it in on Sunday, so that I can still use my machine tomorrow and Friday, when I should have a bit of sewing time, and I'll just be without it next week, when I have rehearsals and shows every day, and probably won't have time to use it anyway. 

We opened The Butler Did It, and other than having a very drama-filled tech week, both tech and the opening weekend went very smoothly. Now I'm able to get back to some of my rehearsals for Secret Garden, which is really nice. I was pretty much caught up on all the blocking for the whole show yesterday! It's a lot to learn, but I can already tell this show is going to be so good. I'm super excited!

Anyway, I have an amazingly rehearsal-free evening tomorrow, and I'm also not working on Friday, so I have the day free. I was waffling between seeing Downton Abbey and sewing, but I think sewing is going to win out. I really want to cut out and assemble the circle skirt for the fireworks skirt, so that the hem can hang out for a week before I actually hem it. If I manage all of that, I will also probably start on the sleeves for my Ariel dress, or possibly hem the Rapunzel Dapper dress, which has been hanging out for over a month now. 

Sep. 17th, 2019

I finished the other corset commission last week and shipped that off. This weekend I will probably start on the BB-8 baby dress commission, which is my last for a moment, though I will probably have some stuff for the caroling group to do in a couple weeks. 

But in the meantime, what I'm really excited about is starting my skirt for Disney World. I can't remember if I posted about it here yet, but I am making a light up skirt! I was going to do it on a black base, but I found this fabric at Joanns that is black cotton threads in one direction, woven with rainbow lame-ish threads on the cross-grain. I did a small test embroidery, and it embroiders fine *knock on wood*. I'm going to embroider Cinderella's castle, maybe the Partners statue or Tink, and a bunch of fireworks on it, and poke little holes through and put lights behind them. I found an inexpensive lightweight strand of LED color-changing lights on Amazon. I haven't figured out if it's best to sew them into the skirt, or to tape them in place - if anyone has any tips, please share!

I also figured out what I'm doing for Halloween. Between the commissions, theatre rehearsals/shows, and my Disney sewing, I have almost no time for Halloween sewing this year. But when I was at Goodwill on Sunday, I found a turquoise prom dress that fits me perfectly and was giving off major Ariel vibes. So I'm going to add puffed sleeves (I already have the fabric from past princess sewing), and I bought a red Ariel wig. Easy costume! 

Anyway, we open on Friday, and I work every day until then, so no new sewing will happen till Friday morning (and then only if I have the energy). I'm excited to get this show open, because then I can actually get to rehearsals for my next show! 

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