totchipanda: (Default)
I sort-of have a plan for this month's HSM challenge, Historicism. I want to make a Victorian NF dress with Watteau pleats. The issues are:

Fabric choices
Tea gown vs 3-pc outfit

If I do a tea gown, I have a fabric reminiscent of the Waverly curtains, and someone at CoCo a few years ago did a watteau-backed tea gown that was fabulous! I have the TV pattern.

If I do the outfit, I want to use the diagrams in Fashions of the Gilded Age Vol 1. I'm just having a hard time envisioning what the fabric will be. The diagrams used bordered fabric, of which the only one I have is white with a large border. Maybe I have one that will work? I don't know if I have enough of it. I would need a minimum of hmm let's see... Evangeline was 4m with no overskirt or decorations of any kind. I would like to have double that. Eek D:

I am learning what the term "dress-length" means haha.

ETA: My three options are 7m, 11m, and 8m :O This might be doable after all! I think they are all at least blends, however, and more likely poly :(

ETA2: Pictures of said fabric! Top to bottom: 7m, 8m and 11m.
Probably huge picture )


Today I went to see a couple movies with my brother. Labyrinth was playing as part of a family-favourites series, so for $3 it was well worth our time and effort. Then we stayed for a showing of Kubo and the Two Strings. When I got home I took a two-hour nap, because I'd gone to bed around 2am and got up at 7:30. Now I'm feeling a little out of sorts still, though I've been awake for over an hour now.

Tomorrow is some gardening (as long as the weather cooperates? Not sure.) and sewing with the Regency ladies. I think I'd also like to get the open robe started, the fabric has been earmarked for that since I got it in spring 2014! Or perhaps I will take my swallowtail jacket. It's been procrastinated long enough, so I started working on the eyelets last night. I need a better awl, mine is so tiny. I have to use 3 different knitting needles to get the hole wide enough after.

Next week is my dance performances, so I also need to be practicing!
totchipanda: (Default)
Almost didn't remember to take these lol. Mock-up pictures!

It's not boned, and currently made of a heavy twill. The front is cut from a corset I abandoned many years ago (and thank goodness, it was made very poorly, and much too small, for where I am now!). The back is rescued from an Elizabethan bodies that I also abandoned but decided it would make for great lacing strips. Shown over a Regency shift.

 photo 20160815_212935_zpsxysrshpq.jpg  photo 20160815_212943_zpse9kxj7ga.jpg  photo 20160815_212950_zps6ahkxqm4.jpg

Other thoughts: I moved the compression point from the top of the hip gussets to just underneath (the top grommet is level with the top of the gussets). I think it could stand to be longer-waisted somehow? The compression happens across the top of my tummy, nearly at my ribs, and my tummy of course pushes the bottom of the corset forward. I still need to take in the top a smidge, I definitely don't need to expand the hips, but how to fix the waist without losing the look, cuz it's a great look/shape! Maybe it's just the back and side-hip gusset I need to lengthen? The back definitely needs to be widened, the finished edge of the lacing strips are flush with the unfinished back edges and I already have a large lacing gap. I need to account for the boning as well.
totchipanda: (Default)
While digging in a pile of fabric for something else, I found the bits and pieces to a petticoat I'd started at least 4 years ago. I definitely remember starting it while I still lived with my dad, and it was partially constructed. I was at the point of joining and hemming the lower ruffle - something like 480" of fabric. UGH. But, I really should be cleaning out my "almost finished" box, so I put it near my machine. Then tonight, I did a quick poll of what I should sew tonight, either the petticoat or the corset mock-up, and most responders voted for petticoat. That's what I worked on for about 2 hours before calling it a night (I got home around 7:30 as it was lol)

I had made it out of what I thought was a nice linen/cotton blend, from TV 170 View 2 (I think! My pattern is at Nicole's, I believe, and like I mentioned, it was at least 4 years ago!), but I didn't realize until now that it has some width-wise stretch to it :/ That made some of the sewing tricksy where the fabric wanted to stretch out, especially when I ruffled the top edge with the ruffler foot. I had some tensioning issues with my serger too, so there's a few puckers along the hem as well. Oh well. It's an under piece. I've been trying to use up old thread bobbins, so I used dark grey in 2 places, the light pink, and then finally wound a new bobbin with my top-stitching thread (a purple on the periwinkle end of the spectrum), which then ran out in the middle of topstitching. By then it was 10pm, so I gave it up. Someday I will have a sewing room that does not share walls with neighbours and I can sew until midnight or later if I want to :)

Then of course I had to pin its unfinishedness to Josephine and try it out under the skirts I made in May, just for funsies. It's too long for those skirts, which were made to be walking-length, and this petticoat is going to end up being closer to gown-length, I think, though I could fudge it still since it's not on a waistband yet. Or add a couple more tucks to the upper part of the skirt. The fabric is really too heavy to be an appropriate petticoat, but I'm still pretty excited to have it done so I can try it out! If nothing else, I can make that fancy NF "hoop" petticoat in Fashions of the Gilded Age (the same one that [ profile] jenthompson made) to help hold it out. And poor Josephine fell over the other day, so now her hips are all out of whack. I'll have to undress her to reset them.

Wooo progress!
totchipanda: (Default)
I had a brain-wave last night/today. I really need a new Victorian corset, and I think the only way I'm going to get one that fits the way I want it to without spending big bucks on a custom one is to make it myself. I was going to make a gussted one for one of the previous HSF challenges this year but discovered too late that my busk is much too long, so I put it off for the time being. I'm aiming to have it done for a future challenge instead.

I've been poking at various patterns for a couple nights. My next challenge entries are "soft" (small, easy things) so I'm planning on working on the corset in stages so that I have time for fitting. I was going to use Truly Victorian's pattern because it's a 6-panel corset that I made once before (but never finished), and should be easy to get the fit right. But every time I look at it, I'm not overly enthusiastic about starting work. Maybe because I'm having a hard time starting a new project of any sort right now? (Seriously, it took me 2 weeks to start reading a book I really really wanted to read! And then I devoured it in about 3 days.)

Then today I was looking at some blogs and their newest (and some not-so-new but still lovely) corsetry and BAM! It was like lightning. After a day in my corset in San Antonio, it was pulling in my lower back, especially over the left hip (where I have the most damage from the sprain 5 years ago). When I tried it on a couple weeks ago, I got some weird pinching in the rib cage (and not even the same side as the one I broke). What did these lovely examples have in common? Hip gussets with no or minimal boning over the back hip. Both examples, and then some of the inspirational examples linked, had boning at the lacing, and some diagonal boning at the upper back, but none over the hips. Over the bust, there was boning next to the bust, and angled from the bust and sides and ending at the front hip, but not the same up-and-down-at-every-seam pattern you see with seamed corsets.

It was like lightning. I must have spent a couple hours scouring the internet for gusseted patterns and boning patterns. I might be able to replicate the boning pattern with a seamed corset, but I'm really more determined to create a gusseted one now. I don't want to change the shape of my body much at all; I mostly want a good foundation garment that's comfortable and not too heavy. It just has to fit and not cause my back injury or ribs to hurt. My belly resists shaping in pretty much any shaping garment I put it in, and I'm OK with that, but the rest of it has to fit too. I'm hoping the gussets will allowing my hips to do their thing and also not squash my chest flat. I don't have a lot of demands...
totchipanda: (*love*)
As some of you know/may remember, every year since 2009 we go out to Stettler, Alberta and ride their train down to Big Valley and back. We go when the big 6060 steam engine is running, because steam engines (especially really big ones; it was built to go through the mountains and snow) are cool ;) The first year, only Mum and I dressed up. 2010 had 16 people in costume, and 2011 we had 21 people. Other passengers always assume that we're staff, but we just like the excuse to dress up. We're going on a steam train; what ELSE would you wear?

Also worn during WorldCon in Reno, NV :3 (Ms Gail, I missed your Kaffeeklatch by being the first person on the reserve list :( )

I wish I had worn this like we'd planned to while taking the train from Carson City to Virginia City when we were down for WorldCon. I would have LOVED to be dressed like this on their downtown boardwalk :3

More pics and construction notes )

Why I'm entering this in the contest. )
totchipanda: (Orihime: a pretty hat)
Picture from Saturday!

In which we look mighty fab in front of our rail car. )

There's a couple other photos on Facebook that I tagged for myself at least, so if you're friends with me on FB, check 'em out :)


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