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I've started in on all the hand-sewing I have to do on Fairy Godmother. So far, on the day bodice, I've sewn on all the neckline trim except the lace, plus I did all the hooks and bars. And I finished the sleeve binding on the evening bodice.

So here's my current to-do list for Port Townsend:
  • Sleeve trim on FG day bodice
  • Lace at neckline on FG day bodice
  • Net trim around neckline of FG evening bodice
  • Hooks and bars for closure of FG evening bodice
  • Stitch down pleat edges on FG skirt trim
  • Bustle tapes for FG overskirt
  • Bows! I need one for day bodice back, one fo day bodice front, three for the skirt, and one for the evening bodice front. 
  • Make a hat to go with the FG day bodice
  • Add decorative buttons to the front of the plaid skirt (redoing the front panel will have to wait, since I'm running out of time)

I also have to fix or remake my hairpiece for Anna Frozen Fever for Emerald City Comicon tomorrow, because I'm pretty sure my hair is lighter than that hairpiece right now, despite using the same hair dye. I also need to press my skirt. And Rupert Grint was supposed to be at the con tomorrow, but his panel has been moved to Sunday, so I may attend Sunday as well (for just his panel and possibly a photoshoot). If I do, I'm thinking about wearing Mary Poppins, but that needs a few repairs. Or I might do Elizabeth Swann, since that's ready to go - it's just a harder costume to wear and less recognizable. 

Fairy Godmother progress

I had a busy weekend, but a lot of that busy-ness was caused by sewing! Yay! 

My Thursday and Friday gigs went well. I think I am mostly over the bug from last week, but my throat still feels a little swollen, so hopefully today's gig will go well, too. 

I sewed a little bit before the show I went to on Thursday night, sewed some more on Friday before and after my gig, and sewed a tiny bit Saturday morning. Then I attended an 18th c Outlander themed ball! I wore my old courtgown, and it was much fun. I already have a few pictures up on instagram, but will do a ball post on here in the next couple days as well. I'm still editing all the pictures, and want to post them to facebook first, though. 

Then Sunday, I got to stay home all day! A lot of it was spent sewing, though I did also spend a couple hours on yard work. I now have most of the giant shrub gone, which I'm super proud of. I think 1-2 more yard waste bins will take care of what's left, other than the trunk/thick branches, which are too thick for me to get out on my own. 

I managed a little sewing after work, a callback, and an audition yesterday, too. 

So, what all did I do, sewing-wise? Well, for one thing, I figured out how to mostly put the pleats and half-bows on by machine! I sewed across each pleat, but under the fold of the pleat, so that the machine sewing is all hidden by the fold and the bow. Then I stitched the end of the half-bow down, again under the pleat fold. Now, I'm sewing just the fold of the pleat to the top of the half-bow by hand. All of the skirt and neckline machine sewing is complete, and I already did half the hand-sewing on the neckline pleats. So for now, that means 34 to go, plus however many are on the sleeves. I have not yet started the sleeve decoration on the day bodice at all. 

To be honest, that's most of what I did. I also cut/sewed/attached the sleeves on the evening bodice. They just need the other side of the sleeve hem binding hand-sewn. My hooks and bars finally arrived yesterday, so I need to put those on, too. So much hand-sewing! And I have to add the lace to the day bodice neckline, and some net trim to the neckline of the evening bodice. And put some bustle tapes inside the back skirt drape, so I don't pick up all the dirt in Port Townsend with my skirt. 

So basically, I'm getting close, but I have so much fiddly stuff left to do! There's pics on my instagram - I'm too lazy to put them into the post here. 

Mar. 7th, 2019

Well, once again, I made it to bed on time, but not early. Oh well. Hopefully today's gig will go okay!

I pleated up the lower tier for the skirt, and I made all the little half-bows that go into each pleat.

So now I just need to figure out how to attach it. I'd really rather do it by machine, but obviously then there will be visible stitching, so I may have to do it by hand. :(  I also sewed the two layers of the top tier together, but have not yet turned/pressed/pleated it. I did get the bias on the ballgown neckline, though.

I don't think I'll really have sewing time tonight, because I'm seeing several friends in a show, but I'm hoping that I might have a little time tomorrow. I'd really love to have time to actually put my corset on and try out the sleeve mockup on the evening bodice. And probably redo it a whole bunch of times, as is so apt to happen when dealing with sleeve mockups. VicFest is only two weeks from tomorrow, and I'm really starting to feel the crunch!
Weird - I don't know why the picture in yesterday's post isn't showing. When I go to edit the post, it shows up fine. Anyway...

I wound up not having much time for sewing yesterday, since I was trying to go to bed early (I wound up failing the early part, but at least was on time, which is rare for me). I did, however, finish sewing the binding on the day bodice sleeve hems, and cut the bias strips for the evening bodice binding. And I sewed together, turned, and pressed one of the skirt pleated panels. I was trying to sew just while in the commercials of Jeopardy, so while the show was on, I also pressed my overskirt for Saturday's ball. I still need to press at least the front panel of the petticoat, and figure out my hair, but otherwise I'm set for Saturday. 

I'm hoping to actually go to bed early tonight (I'm fighting a cold, and I have a singing gig both tomorrow and Friday), so unfortunately may not get much done today either. My goal is to sew and turn the other panel, plus maybe pleat them both, and to get the pink bias binding on the evening bodice neckline. It's a reasonably small enough goal that I think I may actually be able to accomplish it!

Mar. 5th, 2019

My extra fabric arrived! I didn't have enough of the blue silk for Fairy Godmother to complete the skirt trim, but luckily, Val is awesome, and picked some up for me when she visited the fabric district last week. And since the 2 yds showed up yesterday, I decided I may as well work on the skirt trim. The other part of that was, I wanted to do the binding for the evening bodice neckline, but before I cut anything on the bias, I needed to know how much of the pink fabric the skirt trim would require. Luckily, I did all the math on the trim a while ago (hopefully it's accurate), so I was able to just rip/cut strips of the blue and of the pink (the blue is backed with the pink. I sewed each color together to get the right length, and pinned the blue to the pink, so that's ready to be sewn, turned, and pressed, before I can pleat it all up. Then I have to make all the little pink fan bits that go inside the pleats.

I'm not sure yet how the pleated panels are sewn to the skirt, but will probably wind up having to figure that out by tonight. There's no visible stitching!

I've finished the binding on both bodice hems, and I think if I have some time for hand-sewing today, I might start on the hooks for the closures, even though I have to wait for the bars (and I called yesterday, and they're backordered another week! Grr). Because I also sewed in the evening bodice sleeve mockup yesterday, and though I have not tried it on yet, it looks totally wrong! Sigh. I'm hoping it just needs to be turned forward in the armseye, but I guess I'll have to wait till I try it on to find out. 

I was wrong when I posted last week about what I thought I had already accomplished on the Fairy Godmother bodices. I had only done the day bodice neckline and part of the hem, and nothing else. Whoops. But last night, I finished the day bodice hem and started on the evening bodice hem, and I'm hoping to finish all that handsewing today. I still haven't tested the evening sleeve mockup either. 

Honestly, I didn't wind up with much sewing time at all this weekend, because I had a lot of house and yardwork to do. The fascia on three corners of my house has started to rot (or two are rotten, one the paint has been peeling on), and I talked to a handyman on Saturday, and he suggested what I could do to protect/fix it, at least for now. So Saturday, I sanded down the fascia in those areas, got rid of the soft wood, and put Minwax wood hardener on them. I also took down all the Christmas lights, and cleaned my front gutter. And had the last performance of my show in the evening. Then yesterday, I put wood filler over all the areas that needed it on the fascia, and managed to clear out about half of a huge shrub that ran the entire length and width of the side of my house, and has been preventing me from doing any maintenance over there at all, including cleaning my gutter. I'm hoping that I can get the rest of it out before more rain comes and before spider season comes, but I filled up my yard waste bin for this week, so it will have to wait till there's more room. And then I went to Applebees and (finally) saw the new How to Train Your Dragon, which left very little time for sewing. 

What little sewing I did do this weekend was actually mostly spent on altering my 18th c court gown. I haven't worn it since CoCo 2014, because a) there's not much that calls for an 18th c court gown, and b) it's so large that I would have to get dressed at the venue. But luckily, there is going to be an Outlander-themed 18th c ball this Saturday at a country club with dressing rooms! And also luckily, I pulled it out a week ahead of time to make sure that it still fit. Because... it didn't. Although I was eventually able to lace my stays tightly enough to get it closed, it was so tight that I had a minor panic attack when I tried to get out of it (the hooks and eyes refused to unhook, and I wound up literally removing three of the hooks with my seam ripper to get out of it). It was much more comfortable when it opened up to about 2.5" or so at the bust (the waist still fits, oddly enough). Luckily, it's the 18th c, so I decided I would just add a stomacher to make it work, and also luckily, I pretty much had just enough fabric left to make one. So Friday and Saturday's little bit of sewing time was spent making a boned stomacher with four frilly bows, which will pin in to the bodice to close it. Success! Now all I'll have to do is press the whole gown, and figure out my hair (my wig is way too uncomfortable to wear again). 

Here's a link to my instagram to see pictures of the court gown alterations: www.instagram.com/p/BuhPRWfAXzZ/

Thankfully, my evenings this week are fairly open, so I think I should be able to both a) go to the gym multiple times, and b) knock out a bunch on the Fairy Godmother bodices. Though at this point, I don't think there's enough time left to squeeze in the Daniel Deronda riding habit before VicFest, too!
 I had a little bit of time Monday evening for sewing, and managed to machine sew the one side of the binding to both bodice hems, plus the day bodice neckline and and sleeves. I also hand-sewed some of the binding down - I honestly can't remember what all I did. I know I did the day bodice neckline, and I think I finished the day bodice hem and started the evening bodice hem? I guess I'll find out when I go to sew more today. I also picked up lace that I think will work for around the neckline and sleeves of the day bodice. Once all the binding it done, I'll be able to start on the pleated trim, and then add all the pleated bits and the lace, and it will be dandy! Ideally, I'd love to finish all the finishing and the trimming on at least the day bodice by the end of this weekend, though I may be getting ahead of myself on that... 

I also decided I'm sick of spending way too much money on buying hooks and bars from Joanns, so I ordered a great gross of silver size 2 hooksfrom Richard the Thread. I have four gross spoken for already, but if anyone wants to buy a gross from me, I'm selling them for about $10 + shipping. I'll know the exact price once I get the final invoice from Richard the Thread. Let me know if you want a gross or two from me. 


Feb. 25th, 2019

Apparently, I never posted here about the really stupid mistake I made in my plaid bustle, which I naturally only found out about after it was all 99.9% finished. You've heard this story if you saw it on Facebook or Instagram, but for those who didn't see it, I realized when I went to go put the buttons on my skirt that I made the bodice entirely in reverse of the fashion plate. Of course, the bodice is 100% finished, so there's no way I'm redoing it. The skirt is 100% finished other than those decorative buttons, but I could still potentially rip out the front asymmetrical panel and the waistband, flip the panel (since the fabric is double sided), and redo the waistband.

This is what it looks like currently. The wrinkles are just because I tried it on over the 1860s corset I was wearing for Fairy Godmother fittings:

But, since I have the whole Fairy Godmother project still in progress, and I'm hoping to make the Daniel Deronda riding habit by VicFest as well, I'm back-burnering the plaid dress until I finish the others. If it comes down to it, I will put the skirt buttons on the opposite side from where they should meet the bodice buttons. I tried it on, and while I don't like it as much, and it's not to the plate, I don't hate it. 

In the meantime, I didn't work as much on the Fairy Godmother as I wanted this last week, but I at least got some done. I now have both the evening and day bodices assembled. The day bodice has sleeves that I'm about 85-90% happy with (which is as good as it's going to get with my level of patience), and both bodices have the front edges finished, though without closures. I need to pick up bias tape for the neckline and hems, since I don't have enough fabric to do self-bias. And I have a sleeve mockup for the evening bodice that I need to try out. Then it will be on to trimming and closures. 

Feb. 20th, 2019

My buttons finally arrived! I put the two I needed for the bodice on already, and I'm hoping to get all the skirt ones done today, too. Because then my plaid bustle will finally be done. 

I had about an hour for sewing yesterday, and decided to spend that on fitting my sleeve on the Fairy Godmother bodice. What I finally came up with is such a weird shape. I don't know if my armseye is a strange shape, or if I just don't understand fitted sleeves, or what. I think I'm actually going to test it one more time, now that I've cut off the excess, and make sure it still fits right. That's my other goal for today - finish the sleeve mockup, and get the actual sleeves cut out and set. And go to the gym, since I haven't done that in a couple weeks. And do laundry. If I manage all that, then maybe I can start on bodice finishing, too, since I don't have anything else going on tonight. 

Lots of bodices

The plaid bodice is still in its almost-finished stage. I bought the bars and put them on (while sitting in the Joanns parking lot) on Thursday, but the buttons that were supposed to arrive Friday have still not arrived. Supposedly they will now arrive today. 

In the meantime, I started working on the Fairy Godmother bodice. I started with my standard Victorian bodice block, which has a six-piece back, and altered it to have three pieces, because the seam lines on the extant bodice are really obvious. And miraculously, I altered it correctly into the mock-up, and it fit perfectly! I also dropped the armseye about .5" since this is 1870. And I opened the neckline a little bit. It was nice that it fit so well. I'm going to use the same pattern for the evening bodice, just with the evening neckline, even though the extant one only has one dart on each side in the front (and there's no pictures of the back). 

So anyway, I cut out the silk for the day bodice, flatlined it with the mockup pieces, and assembled it. Yesterday, I mocked up the sleeve, attempting to turn my two-piece into a one-piece, and naturally, re-inventing the wheel in the process. I'm sure I could have just started with any old one-piece sleeve instead. I have yet to set the mockup, but that will be my next step. I also cut out the twill layer for the evening bodice, but have yet to cut the silk yet. Once I cut out the day sleeves, I'll cut the silk for the evening bodice. 

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