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Sep. 24th, 2018

As usual, I've fallen behind in my estimated progress. But at least this time, it's for a pretty good reason!

My roommate and I adopted a kitten on Friday, so most of my weekend home time was spent with her. Her name is Nymphadora Tonks (Dora for short), and she is a bundle of energy. Casper, my roommate's 3-yr old male cat, took to her almost immediately, and I think he really enjoys his cat uncle role. Lion is not so sure about her. I think he's quite jealous, and also that her tinyness and energy scare him a little. Half the time, he's fine around her, but at other times, he growls when she comes near. Hopefully he'll settle down soon. 






Anyway, I did manage to do some sewing yesterday. I had to clean the whole sewing room first, though, and make sure there were no pins on the floor. Casper and Lion are smart enough not to eat a pin, but I don't trust Nymphadora with them. After I cleaned, I finished the cuffs on Merida - I got too tired the other night, and figured it was better to leave them till when I was more alert. Then I was going to cut out the bias strips for Anna's skirt hem, until I realized there were weird streaks and spots all over the fabric! I will hopefully be able to exchange it after work, but that means I have to wash the new piece, so that might not happen tonight. Instead, I switched to Merida's hem, which wound up being an absolute pain to mark and pin. I did finally manage it, but by that time I ran out of the time to actually sew it. So now that's on today's to-do list, along with possibly cutting out the Disney print jumper. Otherwise, Merida is done, though I may make a tam to wear out of the plaid fabric. 


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Sep. 20th, 2018

I have conquered the Merida sleevils! I think a lot of the issues actually stemmed from the fit of the bodice, but there were some sleeve shape issues as well. I wound up tapering in the armpit of the side seams 2" on each side (a total of 4" all around, because the bodice was poufing out weirdly in the back). I also moved the back darts towards the CB about 1", and lengthened them so that they end nearly at the height of the bottom of the armseye. In doing all that, it also moved the armseyes farther out on the arm in the back, so I wound up shaving off about .5" of that. Then it was time to examine the sleeve shape. It was pulling in the lower front of the armseye, and didn't feel quite tall enough. I added about .5" to the height, and wound up adding nearly 1.5" in the front where it was pulling. Then it wound up poufing just slightly in the back just past the shoulder seam, so I took out the .5" of height that I had added there, and it fit! 

I cut out the new sleeves (saving the pattern so I can use it later, of course), and they are now attached. They still need cuffs, but I just wanted to get them set in last night, so I'll save the cuffs for today. I decided to use the solid green bodice fabric for the cuffs - I was thinking about using the plaid of the skirt fabric, but I think it breaks up the line. 

In all of my fitting from earlier, I also realized that the bodice was about 1.5" too long all the way around. So I removed that, and attached the skirt to the bodice (I did that before the final sleeve mockup, because I noticed that the weight of the skirt was affecting how the bodice was fitting). It turns out that still wasn't enough length removed, because once I attached them, it still seemed too low, so I did another seam 3/8" from the original 5/8" seam allowance. I think it's much better now.  

While I was doing all that, I also dyed the Anna skirt (twice). The first time, I forgot to wet the skirt first, so when it dried, it had a terrible line at the top of the dye (it was dip-dyed). So I rinsed that all out, wet the fabric, and started again. I think it's just dark enough at the bottom now. 

Today, I'm going to set the side zipper into Merida and do the cuffs. Then I'm going to cut out and make all the bias for the Anna hem and attach that. If there's time after that, I plan to start on the Anna embroidery and let the machine do that while I hand-hem the Merida skirt, which is the last thing I need to do on Merida. Not sure I'll manage all of that today, but here's hoping!
I didn't think I'd get any sewing done yesterday because we went to trivia, but I managed to squeak in a tiny bit afterwards. I set in the zipper on the Anna skirt, and completed the waistband. I was nervous about the zipper, because I've never done a zipper and pocket on the same seam before, but it actually set perfectly the first time, so I'm pleased with that. I hope the Merida zipper/pocket situation will go as easily. 

Tonight, I plan to dip dye the Anna skirt, and *hopefully* finish the sleeves on Merida. I have the evening free tonight, so I just need to keep focused and stay on track, and finish everything!

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Sep. 18th, 2018

I got some sewing done this weekend, though not much. The bodice part of the Merida Dapper Disneybound dress is done, except for the sleeves. I was majorly thwarted by sleevils on Saturday night while working on that. I'm pretty sure I spent 3 hours on the sleeves, and still didn't figure them out. It's a fitted sleeve - I feel like it shouldn't be this hard, but it was pulling weirdly all over, and even making the back fit weirdly.

Here's an in-progress of Merida. I posted all the fitting issues pictures on Facebook, if you want to weigh in. I do have some suggestions to try already. 



Because of the annoying sleevils, on Sunday night, I decided to switch to Anna instead. I got the skirt cut out, but that was another struggle. Joanns only had 3 yards of the only fabric that was at least close in color to what I was looking for, when I knew I needed more like 3.5-4. So unfortunately, I had to shorten it by about 3". It should still work, but it's not ideal. Luckily, it's still just barely long enough that it will cover the awesome Malco Modes petticoat I found on Sunday at Goodwill. And also luckily, the hem on this is bound, with double-fold bias, not turned up, so I don't lose any additional length there. The next step is to put the the zipper and waistband in, and then I can dip-dye the hem and add the bias. Then on to embroidery! 

I believe I have Wed-Fri evenings free this week, plus most of Sunday, so I'm really hoping to get the skirt to the point of embroidery, and to finish Merida by the end of the weekend. Then I can move on to the Disney print jumper dress while the machine is embroidering on Anna. 


Costume College Wrap-up Part Two

Saturday of Costume College, I wore my 1830s plaid silk dress (with the bonnet that was so big that I had to carry it on the plane), because I was wearing it for Jennifer Rosbrugh's Dressing the Plus Size Silhouette Class. I thought I remembered taking something earlier in the day than that, but maybe all I did was socialize, because I can't find anything on the schedule that looks familiar! After her class, I had signed up to take a class on Patterning from an Extant Garment, but it turned out they meant existing, not extant, and it wasn't suitable for fragile extant garments, so I left that class within the first 10-15 mins.




That turned out to be good, since it meant I could start getting ready for the gala. And for once, I wasn't running late! I wore my new yellow silk 1890s gown for the gala. I'm mostly pleased with how it turned out, but there's something about the fit and/or plainness of the back of the bodice that bothers me. I also styled my hair with all the tiny curls on the top of my head, since that's how you always see ladies of that era, but it was such an unflattering look on me! I wish I hadn't done my hair like that, because I'm not a big fan of how my pictures came out. We made the super-long trek to Maggianos for dinner, probably for the last time, since you can no longer walk through the mall, which made it a very long and hot walk. I ubered back, and unfortunately lost one of my shoe rosettes somewhere between Maggianos and the Marriott lobby, which is a bummer. I'll have to remake it for the next time I want to wear my Titanic deck dress. After we got back, we just hung out in the CoCo lobby area, chatting with people and taking pictures. We got a fun picture of (almost) everyone who was wearing yellow, which was a lot of people!




Eventually, we went to sleep, but definitely not early enough! I think I wound up getting about 4.5 hours of sleep before waking up for breakfast and the Bargain Basement on Sunday. I didn't get that much this year, but boy, they wanted to charge me an arm and a leg. Those estimators are ridiculous. I did talk them down significantly, but still paid more than I should have at "bargain" prices. The one thing I was really happy that I got was an extant 1860s bodice, so that was really cool. But no fabrics this year, which was unusual. I did manage to snag a few Truly Victorian type patterns, though, and a couple trims/laces. 

For breakfast, the Bargain Basement, and my first class, I didn't have time/energy to wear the bustle dress I had planned for Sunday, but luckily, I made a Victorian-ish dressing gown, so I wore that over my corset/bloomers/petticoat all morning, then changed into the dress after my class. It was a great class! It was making and setting Elizabethan ruffs, and the two teachers each had a different great method for setting them, so it was really nice to learn both. I was so inspired by the class that I had hoped to be able to make one as soon as I got home from CoCo, but didn't wind up having time before the Ren Faire the next weekend, so that is on hold. But at least I have the linen and the know-how now. 



After class ended, I changed, had lunch, and spent some time socializing before taking my final class, which was Soutache: Mastering the Tangle. It was a really good class, but I doubt I'll really ever have the patience to apply it on a garment. It's really challenging. I did wind up going to the marketplace a few times over the weekend, too. I bought a whole ton of ribbon from the new ribbon vendor (such great prices!), a gorgeous early 1870s huge fashion plate in a frame (only $10!), and a busk, but totally forgot to go back to Richard the Thread the second day for millinery wire (they had run out by the time I got there the first day). So now I'll have to order that online. We ended the day at the pool (which is what we did Thursday night as well). It was so nice to get to spend so much time socializing this year!


 

As you've read about previously on here, Monday's shopping trip was really a let-down, and I purchased almost nothing. Luckily, I did make up for that by the trip down there last weekend, so hopefully I will be mostly set for the year now. And I think I might start selling the silks I'm not as happy with anymore. In any case, I need to start making everything so that I'll be ready for next year's CoCo!

Costume College Wrap-up Part One

Hmm... Apparently I never did any CoCo wrap-up posts this year. I had so many costume events in August that I completely forgot. Whoops!

So here's part one of a brief wrap-up, assuming I can remember everything. 

I arrived Wednesday into Long Beach, met up with a few other ladies (Sarah, Britta, and Patricia), and we drove (in our super fancy Infiniti rental SUV) to the Queen Mary. We changed into our Titanic-era clothing, and spent a few hours there. We dined in the restaurant, then did a self-guided tour all around the ship, taking a ton of pictures as we went (so many pictures, that by the end of it, my phone had died!). It was awesome. We got a lot of stares and complements, of course, and our pictures turned out sooo good! I would love to do something like this again. Here are some pictures:





We changed out of our costumes and left Long Beach around 8:30, I think, stopping for groceries on our way up to Woodland Hills. The next day, DodiRose, Sarah, Britta, and I went off to Burbank to check out the vintage-ish shops in the area. We went to Unique Vintage and Besame, among others, before heading back to Woodland Hills to change for the checking in and the pool party. That evening, I wore my burgundy silk Regency dress. I was pleased with the dress, but I wish I had styled my hair differently, as I don't think the pictures of me look very flattering. 



Friday morning, I took a limited class that they should not have allowed me to sign up for. I signed up for Hand Stitches in Millinery during mid-registration, but it overlapped by 30 mins with the class I was teaching (which I didn't notice until like 2 days before CoCo). Combined with the fact that that class was running waaay behind schedule, I learned about 2-3 stitches. It was a good class otherwise, though. I ran behind in the Making Royal Orders class I taught, too, because I forgot to factor in the time it would take to distribute materials (which was like 20 mins). That said, I saw a bunch of my students wearing their royal orders for the gala, and I got lots of good feedback on it, so I think it was still a success. I watched some of Jennifer's Dressing the Silhouette class before going to grab some lunch, before my shoot with [personal profile] quincy134  (it was so nice that she did that!) and I finished off the class portion of the day with Jenny-Rose and Abby's Pomatum or Hairspray class, which was really cool to watch. During the day, I wore my 1890s Ice Cream Parlour shirtwaist and wool skirt. 



Friday evening was when our Titanic group decided to wear all of our costumes. I loved the turnout on this! All my past costume groups tended to fizzle out, but we had nearly 20 people in this group, and everyone looked wonderful. It did make it really difficult to round everyone up for photos, though, and I know we missed at least one or two people in the big group photo, which is really too bad. Some of us made movie reproductions, others opted for costumes of the era, and we even had one person dress as the iceberg! Naturally, we took a bunch of pictures. After a quick tour of the marketplace, several of us gathered for champagne, cupcakes, and chatter in our room - it was nice to host a small room party!  






I'll do the rest of CoCo in another post, since this is already really picture heavy. 
I worked on the Merida dress! The skirt panels are now all assembled, including the pockets that I almost forgot to add. The pattern gives a really weird waist shape - it's meant to go in at the natural waist, but then go up and stop at a high waist where it meets the bodice portion. Except it's a super drastic shape from the waist to the top - almost as if it's widening enough for the bust (except it's waaaay lower than where the bust would be). I think I may have taken in about 3.5" in the top of the front seams. I also had to take the waist itself in, in both the front seams and the back seams - probably nearly 2" worth, even though I cut the pattern one size down from where my measurements should hit. There is just a ton of ease in this pattern, I guess. So fitting the bodice portion may wind up being a pain.

I probably won't have time to work on it tonight or tomorrow, but I should hopefully have a little time this weekend. I also want to get the Anna skirt cut out and assembled, though, because if I set my big machine up for embroidery, I can work on the embroidery at the same time as sewing Merida on the little machine. 

Sep. 11th, 2018

I have done absolutely zero sewing since my last post. I'm realizing that I may need to pick two things for my evenings, as I don't seem to have time for three, and since I'm in rehearsals right now, that appears to mean either gym or sewing, not both. Since I have seen no results of going to the gym app 3x/week since (I think) late May, I'm very tempted to give that up at the moment... *Sigh*

I really want to get to sewing. This weekend, I was down in LA visiting my Grandpa for his 93rd birthday, so naturally, I also went to the fabric district. I was able to get some fabrics for historical sewing this year - two for a bustle-era gala gown (still trying to decide between natural form or earlier 1870s), and one for an exact reproduction of a natural form walking dress, though I'm not sure I'll have time to make it this year. Unfortunately, the prices have gone up even higher than they were in July. There is nothing in Home Fabrics now under $14.95/yd. Luxury has a few narrow stripes for $6 (one of which I purchased), a few others for around $10.25/yd (purchased one of those, too), and pretty much everything else is $12.95 yd. I sure hope the prices come down by next year! 

These were two of the ones I purchased (for the gala gown). I was in a room with terrible lighting when I took the pics, but it is a brighter mauvy pink solid taffeta, along with the spring green/mauve satin/taffeta stripe. I was really tempted by some matching spring green solid silk satin, but that was $12.95/yd, so I skipped on that for now. If I have leftover of the bright pink left by next year, though, I'll probably get a bunch of the satin and do another outfit. 


I actually got to do some touristy things in LA, too, which is unusual for trips to see family. We went to Angels Flight (a historic funicular railway), Philippe's (to get some historic french dip sandwiches), and Salt & Straw (because I'd heard it was the thing to do in LA). So that was all quite nice. 

Actual Sewing Content

I was able to get a little bit of actual sewing done this weekend! On Saturday, I had some sewing time, and realized that I may as well assemble the s-bend corset whose mockup pieces I had cut out ages ago. So I sewed all the panels together! I still have to put in lacing strips and some boning so that I can actually try it on, though. I think it may actually be a little big, but we'll see. For my mockup, I literally just cut the pieces out of random canvas scraps I had laying around, but I really like the striped effect, so I think I might make the final corset striped, too. 

Here's a pic:


The main reason I worked on that on Saturday was because I couldn't start any of the Dapper stuff till after Sunday. I knew Joanns was having 60% off coupons and pattern sales on Sunday/Monday (though it turned out to be the wrong pattern company than what I needed), so I didn't want to buy my Merida fabric till then. So Sunday I bought my Merida fabrics and tossed them in the wash, and after cutting out the skirt pieces in flannel, I realized they needed way more body. So on Monday, I went back to Joanns, and bought poly taffeta to flatline the skirt with (which hopefully won't wind up being too heavy), and most of the fabrics I need for Anna Frozen Fever, which I've decided will be my Halloween costume/Sat of Dapper Day disneybound.

Or at least, I hope I bought most of them. I wanted 4 yards of turquoise matte satin to comfortably cut out the Anna circle skirt, but the closest they had was 3 yards of aqua matte satin. I'm hoping I can eek it out of that, because I'd really like to get started on all that embroidery. (Come to think of it, I should probably check to make sure I still have stabilizer!) Unfortunately, Joanns has literally no light or bright green casa fabrics, so I'm not sure what I'm going to do about the vest. They also had none of the fabrics that I need for the regular Anna-inspired bustle dress I'm making for the Disney bustle group for CoCo next year. 

Anyway, I cut out and flat-lined 5 of the 6 Merida skirt panels, and sewed the front three together. I'm hoping I might have time to cut out the pockets and the last panel today and sew them up, but with having to match plaids, it's going much slower than a normal skirt! 

Dapper Day Musings

I finally have picked my Disneybound for Sunday of Dapper Day weekend. I'm going to do Merida! It actually makes perfect sense, because I wanted to do a princess, plus someone that would make sense with my red hair, and some of our other friends that we're meeting up with are doing Pixar. Perfect! At this point, I think what I'm going to do is a 50s-style high-ish waisted full-skirted dress, with the skirt out of a dark green plaid, and the bodice portion out of a solid dark green. I'm going to curl my hair really nicely, and possibly do a small fascinator-type hat on a tam base. I think I'll go with some sort of sensible brown shoe, a bag with either a bear face or an embroidered celtic bear, a wide brown belt, and possibly a parasol.

So that leaves Friday and Saturday. I know I'm going to make a cotton print dress. I found a Villains print, but I also really like the print with the vintage Disney movie posters... And I'm not sure yet what style I want the print dress to be. I find that the allover villains print I already have is hard to wear on a regular basis because the print is just a lot. Whereas my Beauty and the Beast jumper dress is easier to wear. So I'm thinking maybe a high-waisted suspender skirt? Or maybe use it as a wide border and accent print on an otherwise solid dress?

For Saturday, I'm debating about wearing the 1890s ice cream parlour blouse with a dark and solid calf-length skirt and Victorian boots. The thing is, if it's warm, that high collar is probably going to bug the heck out of me... So my other thought is to do a princess Anna disneybound. And if I do Anna, I might do it double duty - for Dapper Day, do the full embroidered skirt (either regular or Frozen Fever), but pair it with a more representative top, and then use the skirt with the repro bodice/blouse/etc for Halloween. Because otherwise I'm not sure I can make all of this plus a Halloween costume by then! 

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