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Basically Done!

We had more snow on Friday into Saturday, and on Sunday into Monday, which both helped and thwarted my sewing. On one hand, being house-bound meant that I had a lot of sewing time, but it also meant that I couldn't go pick up supplies! I ran to Joanns in the lull on Sunday and got the eyelet trim I needed for the sleeves and neckline, but then found out Sunday night that I was out of bars for the closure. I probably could have made it to Joanns yesterday, but didn't realize that until it was getting dark. So I'm going today instead. 

But because I did have so much sewing time, the plaid bustle dress is entirely finished other than the missing bars and the buttons, which should arrive Friday. I realized that although Joanns no longer carries the buttons I wanted, the manufacturer still had them in stock! So now I have 18 buttons coming my way!

I can't remember the order of how I did everything over the weekend, but it involved fitting sleeve mockups (not too much trouble there, thankfully, though in retrospect they're a little on the tight side), piecing together enough fabric for a non-ruffled tier at the bottom of the skirt (I had just enough for a flat tier; there was no way I could get a ruffle out of it!), hand sewing that tier to the skirt, hand-hemming that tier, making and attaching the sleeves to the bodice, and finishing the bottom edge of the bodice. Then the run to Joanns came in, and figuring out which eyelet to use - naturally, it was the one that required me to pleat the whole thing. But it was worth it! I pleated the collar section, attached it to the neckline, and finished the edge with bias. Then I put all the closures (that I had) on the bodice - I think it's something like 21 hooks and eyes total, because it closes down the center and down the asymmetrical piece. Then back to pleating for the sleeves, and attaching the trim and hemming the sleeve ends. Then hooks and eyes on the waistband and attaching the four buttons I already had on hand. 



Once I get the bars today, I will try to get them on before tonight. And then I might try the whole thing on, since I haven't done that since I was doing the sleeve mockup. I sure hope it works!

I don't think I'll have much time for sewing the rest of this week, since everything that has been put off in the last week is now getting rescheduled. But next on my list is the Fairy Godmother day bodice. 

In the meantime, here's some snow pictures:



Bodice Progress

I worked a little on the bodice yesterday. I got all the pieces flatlined and assembled, and cut out and assembled a sleeve mockup. Today, I plan to set the sleeve and try it on. Hopefully it will work - I hate sleevils! And assuming it does, I can cut out the actual sleeves, and then finish the bodice and do the skirt ruffle. I still haven't decided on buttons, but I'm guessing that once I see everything together, I will.

I'll probably have to wait to fully finish the outfit, though, since I need lace for the collar and sleeves. I doubt I have anything in the stash that will work, and we're supposed to be snowed in all weekend, so that will have to wait till the roads clear. 

Snow Day Progress

We had snow overnight Sunday into Monday, and since that is a rare occurrence in the Seattle area, and we have many hills (less for me now that I live in Auburn, though), it meant that everything has been closed for the last two days. And snow days mean sewing time! 

Over the weekend, my organdy order arrived, and I made a petticoat to go with the Fairy Godmother dress. I didn't have anything big enough/the right shape to go over my cobbled-together crinolette, so I used the Truly Victorian bustle petticoat pattern as a base. I used the three main pieces relatively as is, lengthening them by 3" and widening the back pieces by about 3" each as well. I added three tiers of ruffles on top of the back sections to add more oomph. And then I decided to rip strips of the organdy and use my ruffle foot for the two additional tiers of the petticoat (in addition to the ruffles on the higher back sections), so I don't know exactly what the math worked out to, compared to the actual pattern. And I'm still not sure it's entirely done, mainly because it is shaped to go over a bustle, not a crinolette, so mine is pretty high off the ground in back, and I may add another ruffle to the bottom of the back that tapers off to nothing at the sides. But it's done for now!



After I finished the petticoat, I pleated up the skirt and put it and the overskirt on the same waistband. Once I finished it and pinned up the hem, I realized that the overskirt was not coming far enough around on the sides. So I undid that section of waistband, undid a pleat on the overskirt, and moved it about 2.75" farther along on either side. Then I tried on the skirt, and realized that it was 1 7/8" too big around the waist, and I couldn't just have a bigger overlap because of the overskirt. Gah! So then I undid the CB of the waistband, made a CB seam in it, removing that extra length in the waistband, and increasing the back pleats. But because I kept having to redo the waistband, I'm sure I wasted a good 2 hours. Really frustrating!

Anyway, it's done now, and I stayed up late on Monday night to finish hemming the whole thing. Yesterday, I marked where the pleated tiers go on the front of the skirt, did the math, and found out that I don't have enough fabric. Ugh. I need 51" length x the entire width of fabric, because the front is wider than I had estimated originally. And I'm almost 100% certain that there's no way that I can get the bodice and those tiers out of the fabric I have left, let alone the bodice trimming (or the evening bodice I was also thinking about making), since I have about 2yds left. Val has said that she can check the fabric district for me when she goes in a couple weeks, but in the meantime, I'm going to make the day bodice first, so that I know exactly how much is needed. 



But before I start that, I decided that I should really finish cutting out/fitting the mockup for the plaid 1880s bustle bodice, whose skirt has been hanging there mostly finished since the end of December. So that's what I did yesterday evening. I only had a few small tweaks that needed to be made to the pattern, so now I just have to take it apart, transfer those tweaks to my original pattern, and cut out the plaid fabric. And I can use my mockup as the flat-lining, which is nice. Hopefully I'll be able to finish that bodice this week. I'm going to try to use much of the same base bodice pattern for the Fairy Godmother, too, though I'm going to attempt to turn it into a two piece back instead of a three piece, since that's really obvious in the extant one. 

But anyway, work reopened today, so the next few days will probably be quite busy between work, gigs, rehearsals, and auditions. That said, we're expecting more snow on Friday night, so who knows what might happen?


Here's some cats in the snow pics. For some reason, the ones of Lion and my yard are refusing to upload to Flickr, but you can see more on my facebook if you want. 

Jan. 30th, 2019

I don't know how a week winds up going by between my posts. But anyway, I've had a bit more sewing time and mojo this week! Over the weekend, I figured out how the overskirt needs to be arranged to drape correctly, and then I patterned the overskirt and skirt. I freaked out a little at first, because the way I wanted to pattern the overskirt wound up taking more than 10 yards, which is all I have! So I re-patterned it, and hopefully it will still look full enough in the back.

I cut everything out Sunday evening, and flatlined and sewed together all the skirt panels on Monday. I started serging the edges of the overskirt yesterday, but still have a couple pieces left to go. The overskirt will be bag-lined instead of flat-lined. 

But what I'm trying to figure out now is if I should put both the skirt and overskirt on the same waistband. The description from the Manchester museum seems to say that it is all one skirt, plus a belt that has a bow over the closure, but it's pretty much impossible to tell anything from the pictures. My thoughts are - if I do two separate skirts, on the plus side, I can wear the skirt without the overskirt if I ever feel like it. But also, the weight of the overskirt might make its band ride up in front, and having two waistbands and a belt would add a lot of bulk. But if I do it all on one, it's going to be kind of a pain to add the skirt trimming with all that volume on the back. 

Any opinions?

I'll have to decide by Friday at the latest, I think, unless the organdy for my petticoat arrives by then, and I decide to work on that first. I really want to get at least this skirt/overskirt out of the way (aka, on a waistband so I can hang it or put it on my dressform), and then I think I'll go back to the bodice for the plaid dress. 

Jan. 23rd, 2019

I wound up being very unproductive with my sewing time yesterday, though I think I at least figured out the base crinolette shape for the Fairy Godmother. I took my old Ren Faire hoops, took out the top wire, and decreased the circumference on all the others (particularly the bottom hoop). I added my Jane bustle on top, and pinned the hoops to the bustle in the CB and sides, so that it lifts up the back of the hoops just slightly, making it a tiny bit more elliptical. 



I think it works! But now I need to make a new petticoat to go over it, since none of my existing ones are the right shape. 

I tried draping silk to figure out the funky drapes in the overskirt afterwards, but that's where my brain shut off. Also, I thought I had cut out the whole plaid bodice mockup. Apparently I've only cut out three pieces. :( 

And though I felt better yesterday, I'm back to feeling crappy today. Blurgh. 

Jan. 22nd, 2019

No sewing yet. I was hit with something that may have been the stomach flu yesterday, so when I came home from work, I spent literally the entire rest of the day/evening on the couch. I'm feeling much better today, though, so I'm really hoping to actually get stuff done! 

The first thing I need to do (besides stick a space heater in my sewing room, which is freezing and is part of the reason I haven't wanted to go in there lately) is to see if I have any hoop wire in my stash. If not, then I need to order some. I want to play around with some shapes for the Fairy Godmother dress. Ideally, I'd like to see if I can get the right silhouette by making a short wire bustle to wear on top of a condensed version of my old storebought hoops. Or even better, I might see what it looks like when I combine my big old Jane bustle over the hoops, and if that would work. 
 
If I wind up needing to wait for hoop wire to arrive, though, then obviously I can't start working on the fairy godmother. Which means I should finish (start?) the mockup that I cut out for the plaid bustle bodice. My sewing room is also a mess right now, but I'd like to clean up just enough that I have space to work, but not so much that I get distracted and spend the whole evening cleaning. 

I did finish kon-marieing my dresser over the weekend, though! It's sooo much better now. I bought an underbed storage container, and put all of my jeans (which I never wear), and all of my holiday sweaters (which I only need a couple months of the year) in there, along with my swimsuits and clothes for working on dirty/painting projects. That cleared out nearly two whole drawers, and meant that I could spread out all the things that were crammed into the other drawers. So now I have an underwear drawer, a pjs/tights/leggings drawer, a shortsleeve shirts/shortsleeve sweaters/camis drawer, a 3/4 sleeve sweaters/long and 3/4 sleeve shirts drawer, a long-sleeve sweaters drawer, and a heavy outerwear type sweater drawer. And I can close all of them easily, and see basically everything in each drawer because of her folding method. I'm excited to do the closet, but I do also need to get sewing done, too, since VicFest is two months away and I've made nothing. 

Jan. 18th, 2019

I went to NYC from the 10th-15th, and wow, apparently everyone decided to post a lot during that time! Which is nice. But I just finished reading them all. No sewing from me as of yet, but I did manage to find a pink for my Fairy Godmother bustle. Not silk because prices in NYC are insane. The seller called it a silk blend with poly, but I think it's just a nice poly, which still was $10/yd. 

So now I'm torn, because I know I should finish the plaid bodice, since I've already cut out most of (if not all) of the bodice mockup, and the skirt is basically done. But now that I have the pink, I could start on Fairy Godmother. Except not really, because I think I want a new structure for under the skirt. I have my elliptical hoop, which would be way too big, and my lobstertail bustle, which is way too small. I need something transitional, like what [personal profile] elizabeth_mn made. But my brain wants to do pretty drapey skirts, not things that need fitting (like bodices) or things that need actual work (like structure). Sigh

Also, part of me just wants to spend the next month cleaning the whole house. I started tidying my dresser, and although I'm only halfway done, it makes me super happy, and makes me want to do the same to my closet and my garage, at the very least. 

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2019 Sewing Goals

I feel like I may as well just post the link to my post-CoCo goals post for this, since I have made literally nothing on that list (and yes, I just used "post" three times in one sentence). So click here for that. 

That said, my goals are not exactly the same as what I was thinking in the end of July - just really similar. A lot of that stems from the fact that 5 months have gone by, and I haven't made any of those, so I'm trying to be realistic. Plus I made a couple other things that can fill in gaps at CoCo. And I just can't bring myself to make 18th c stays anytime soon, which means the 18th c outfit from the last post is getting put on a back-burner, despite actually having all the fabrics for that one already. 

So here's my new list:

Finish the plaid 1883 walking dress. If I actually buckle down and work on this, I think I can finish this in 2-3 weeks, and it should only take me that long because I'll be in NYC for five of those days. 


Find pink silk or break down and go with pink poly, and make the Fairy Godmother early bustle dress. I can't get this dress out of my head, so even though I thought for a while that I was going to switch to Anna for the Disney bustle dress, I've come back around to this one. 



Daniel Deronda riding habit. Really, I should make this before the fairy godmother one, because it would be a really functional dress to wear to the Victorian Festival in late March. But I'm more interested in the other one, first. 



Natural form gala gown. I still have no concrete plans of what I want it to look like. I should probably play around with the fabrics I have available, and sketch things out, and see what sticks. This would be another good one to make before the Victorian Festival, since I could wear it to the ball. But if I don't make it by then (which I probably won't), then I guess I'll just wear the yellow 1890s from last year. This is one of my favorite natural form dresses, so maybe an evening version of this, except in pink and green, since I'm using the blue fabric I was going to use for this for the fairy godmother. 



Just those four would give me enough that, if I also wear Anna Frozen Fever and the 1910s white cotton and lace dress I made in August, I would have enough for every event of CoCo. But I would still really like to make an 1840s dress, too. I don't think I'd need any extra underwear for it, which is always a plus, and I probably have a bodice pattern I can tweak to add a fan front. Of course, I don't have the fabric for this one, but I really just think I want a relatively plain patterned cotton dress, and a bonnet to go with it. 



That said, if I wind up finding the perfect fabrics for this (the red and white), all the other projects are getting pushed back. I have this hanging on the wall in my bedroom, and every time I see it, I decide I love it even more. This will be a next year project if it needs to be, but if I come across the fabrics before then, I'm bumping it up. 

2018 Year in Review

I really don't feel like I made that much this year. I'm not sure if that's because I just started sewing for the first time in two months, or if it's actually true, though. So here's what I made:

1830s plaid silk dress and yellow bonnet, made for wearing in Oliver, plus the Victorian Festival and Costume College


Blue wool coat, which I basically wear every day


Burgundy and mauve striped silk bustle dress, for the Victorian Festival and Costume College


Burgundy silk Regency dress, as a pattern test for Laughing Moon


Ripaway mermaid tail and Cinderella costume (and some other bits) as costumes for Disenchanted, for which I was Costume Coordinator


1890s Plaid "ice cream parlour" shirtwaist and navy walking skirt for Costume College, but also worn in The Music Man


Yellow 1890s Gala Gown for Costume College, including choker, royal order, bracelet, and petticoat with detachable train


A white cotton Victorian-style robe, which turned out to be the most practical thing I made for Costume College


Elephant dress for my friend's new baby

1910s white cotton and lace dress, worn to Snoqualmie Railroad Days


3 skirts and 3 playdresses through my etsy shop

Dapper Merida for Dapper Day; Also worn in White Christmas and to Christmas tea


Disney-print 1950s jumper dress


Princess Anna Frozen Fever


A bodice and skirt combo for the Silverbells Carolers, plus a few alterations for them

A "Totes Ma Goats" totebag as a secret Santa project


A skirt for my mom

A Marauders Map Fleece Blanket for my dad

The beginnings of an 1883 walking skirt (not finished, though I started cutting out a bodice mockup yesterday)


I guess that's a decent amount of stuff after all. But if I'm going to be on track for CoCo this year, I can't just take a two month break from sewing again!

I started sewing again!

Yikes. I didn't realize it had been two whole weeks since I posted... 

I did do a little bit of sewing leading up to Christmas - I made my dad a Marauders Map fleece blanket, and I made my mom a skirt out of some fabric she picked out in September. And naturally, I took no pictures of either of those. 

My parents came up on Dec 20th for Christmas, and were up here through the 26th. We went to a lovely Christmas tea last Friday, and I wore a Christmasized version of my Merida dress. We did some other Christmassy things, too, like hosting a holiday party, going to see a Panto, seeing movies (Mary Poppins and The Favourite), going to lovely brunches, making a wonderful Christmas eve dinner, driving around looking at Christmas lights, playing board games, and watching Christmas movies. It was a nice relaxed time with them. 

Here's pictures from the tea and of my Mary Poppins Disneybound:


While they were here, though, I started itching to sew again, which is good, since I've done so little of it recently. Of course, the first project I wanted to do is one that I don't have all the fabric for yet - the early bustle Fairy Godmother project that I had fallen in love with and then abandoned when I couldn't find the right shade of pink silk last summer. So that is now back on the table, because I really think I need that dress. If all else fails, I will use poly for the pink, even though that rather hurts my soul. But it's mostly lining/backing/trim anyway, so maybe it won't matter. 

But anyway, the evening that they left, I went through my stash and pinterest, to see if I had anything that matched up and struck my fancy. I didn't feel like working on the Daniel Deronda riding habit yet, even though I do have everything for that, but I found this interesting plaid 1883 fashion plate, and 5 yds of a plaid unknown-fiber-content-with-a-nice-drape fabric that I've had in my stash for ages, so it was a perfect match!

On Wednesday night, I draped out the whole skirt, and last night, I sewed most of the skirt together (including pockets!). I have to set it on the waistband, and do the seam where the faux-wrap is. I'm guessing that I may have to do that seam by hand, which is why I left it so far. I also plan to add the inner layer around the hem, but I'm leaving that till after I cut out the whole bodice, since fabric is so tight on this, and I'll piece that if I need to. 

Here's the inspiration plate, and a picture of the skirt draped on the form:


My goal is to finish the skirt, minus the ruffle, today, and maybe start on the bodice. Now that I'm not dancing all the time, though (and because I gained a few pounds over Christmas), I'm back to trying to go to the gym on most days, so I'll be splitting my sewing time with gym time a bit. 


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