Monday, 20 October 2014

back in the zone ...

Yes that is a very bad pun or dad joke, because the jacket in the costume is what we in teh 21st century call a zone front

Underpinnings are first under the needle. From op shop cotton guest towel, to 18th century pockets.

The pocket was made on Saturday (the other can be done if  I have enough time) and tonight I finished the hip pads. I used the pattern in the wingeo set ... at least I think it is. It's the set that I made my bum-pad from.  This time I used poplin ($1/metre that I still have about 5metres of) with pretty stars on it. Anyone sees the stars that means I'm prancing in my underwear, they shouldn't show through a petticoat and skirt.

Naturally I couldn't just make the pattern up as they are. I read the recent Foundations Revealed article on an extant working class (or not upper) stays with attached hip pads. So I noted that the loop tapes would make the wingeo pads not at waist level but @ 3" below. And the construction in that FR had the padding a coupleish inches below the waist.  Yes these would be larger/longer, but I'm a solid lump, unline the woman who wore those stays.

So I pencilled a line at 7cm from the top edge and stuffed them so that only the outer half would be padded.  Pinned along the pencil line, trying to keep the top section even & flat.

and then I stitched with edge of the foot next to the pins.  (what, you didn't expect hand stitching from me did you? foolishness!)

and then stitched another 5mm close to the waist, just in case any stitches pop, and turning in the seam left open for inserting the padding . After taking out the pins I have 2 pads for my hips that will get basted directly to the stays a smidge below my waist.

I also got the skirt a quarter done. I'm only using 2 widths of my 120cm (47") wide fabric, simply so that I don't have to cut slits for pockets. it's less than the original ... and she wasn't tiny.  I did the maths and her waist is about 33".  I got the lengths cut, overlocked the top edge so it doesn't fray. Stitched the side seams, and basted down the openings. I'm going to use the design structure of the NSCT 1793 outfit - not open at the side waist, cos the back half is gathered on tapes.  It's kosher, period and just a little bit different. The front edge is bound after the pleats are done which is usual, not so much the back section. But then again it's usually high class clothing that has survived in museums. This method isn't as pleat-pretty but perfectly functional with only 1 set of ties to be done when you dress. quicker!

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

MAGAM: October plan

The MAGAM theme for October is "Opalescence - sew & shine". Opals being the birthstone for October.

This was an easy one for me ... the fire opal is far more appealing than the milky ones. I have my two Anne Adams pattens and this fabric. Thats' as close to fire opals as I have in my stash.

It also counts in my Vintat Sewing Pattern Pledge, which I've kinda let slide all year. Oops

spring has sprung - I'm feeling more like a happy baa lamb

It's the 2nd month of spring, but it finally feels like it. Sunny days, and a couple of hot ones too! (33C + not humid + sunny = happy me)

Also, I've been happier with photos of me at a couple events - which I need to post about very soon. I may need to be more selective in styles I wear to feel this way (both real life and costume) but I no longer want to cry at the thought of getting my photo taken.

This weekend I road trip with a Canberran friend to meet another costume buddy from Adelaide in Bendigo. We planned it months ago and finally get to see the V&A underwear exhibition! The somewhat hilarious news is that the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney recently announced their new program of exhibits includes an underwear exhibition from the V&A. All the LOLs that I'm travelling 10-11 hours each way (not flying), for something that is going to be in my home town. Probably next year. It's going to Brissie (12Nov-1Feb) after Bendigo, so presumeably it'll come to Sydney before leaving the country again. But perhaps not, as the PHM gave no dates but announced they had a 4-year schedule including menswear from LACMA.

So, I might finally be out of my fat-funk, and over my winter-blerghs and ready to face the world again with a happy smiling face.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

a medieval fair at St Ives (Sydney) this weekend

It's at the St Ives showground on both days, a parade thingy at 10am (no idea) and it's the first one I've heard of at this location. I'm dog minding for friends so may have to either go in civvies or fetch something to wear. but what? Catelyn Stark is tempting! so is wearing regency. Just cos I can.

I also owe a post about Adelaide and my new cocktail dress from last weekend. I think I'm resisting looking at photos of myself, but really I just need to put my big girl pants on & just deal with it.

I wonder if I'll pass a man with wives & cats

Friday, 5 September 2014

A distinct lack of sewing progress

I've not got any further with any sewing, though I did shop for fabric on my weekend away. I really need to post about the fabric & the costume event ... will get to that over the weekend.

Tonight I'm tryign to squeeze a trip to an art supply store between work & getting to a short film program of the Sydney Underground Film Festival. Someone I've worked with has her work screening tonight, and I'd really like to see it (Kookaburra) as I gave her some of my photos of the kookaburras that woke me up one morning.

At the art supply store I'm buying another roll of Whitetrace, for copying my vintage patterns & to use where my roll of sandwich paper isn't wide enough. the first roll I got is missing, possibly buried somewhere in my storage room, but the only spot it's likely to be is in the heap of things on the sofa. And I've rumaged to no avail. The roll I got first time around was the 46cm wide as it will fit on the Ikea Mala, a kids craft paper roll holder. As I took it out of that holder to take to a sewing guild meeting or 2 (may have left it behind by mistake??), I'm wondering if I should get the slightly wider 61cm as more usefull for wider pattern pieces, or altered pattern pieces. I'll have to decide in the next 3 hours, and then live with my decision. Cos either way I need to use it ASAP.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

progress on the blue UFO shirt

I didn't get as much done yesterday (at the sewing guild group) because I hadn't bothered to change the overlocker thread & neaten the edges that I was going to need (sleeve hem, CB seam etc). I got the darts onto the correct side of the front right piece, and the other front darts sewn, along with the shoulder seams. The irons were busy so I didnt' move onto fusing the interfacing on the collar pieces/facing.

Today I started feeling twitchy - coming down from family drama stress levels mixed with the unusual situation of not dementedly sewing a new costume for the ACG annual ball next Saturday. I'm going to it, but re-wearing my Disney Cinder's Fairy Godmother.

It's a little odd to be honest - the lack of inspiration for a new costume. But that's how life works. I had ideas, but needed time to make all the right underwear. And they will need fitting help.

So today I got myself organised enough to change to blue thread, and did every edge I possibly could to make the next stage easier for me.

Not the first time I've used this fabric and pattern together. The first shirt was such a favourite of mine that I bought more fabric while it was available.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

the paisley no-longer-UFO shirt, and more robot

Last night I whined far too much about hand sewing buttons onto this shirt, but it was worth it as today I got 2 compliments on my new blouse.

I realised why the facing was too short - the facing is the original length of the shirt I drafted this from, but I cut the blouse longer. Silly me!

Something that maybe not everyone does is sew a spare button to a side seam or bustdart.

The reason I sew it into the seam is so that it has the same laundering processes and wear as the other buttons. I've always bought at least 1 spare button, and one time when I got it out of the button box to use I was shocked by the contrast to the other washed & worn buttons. Considering I can have a shirt or blouse last 4-7 years or more that can be multiple washes that affect non-shell buttons.

The other finished item in this post is a hot water bottle cover - a gift for a friend. It's 3 layers of cotton flannelette (2 inner layers of stash!), bound with grey satin binding (stash!) and then folded into an envelope and stitched next to the binding. The elastic is there to hold the cover in place - I've never used that on my previous covers but this is a gift and I had matching elastic, so it doesn't need to be stretched, just able to stretch up over the top section.

I self drafted this by drawing around a hot water bottle and guestimating how much ease I'd need once there was water in it. Snug but not tight. And I got it right first go. :D so I simply copy it each time.

As a sidepoint to why I was confused at losing the buttons for the paisley blouse, I usually keep all parts of a project in a ziplock bag. cut out pieces, pattern, thread, zip/buttons etc.

Thanks to the missing buttons (which turned out to be in the drawer on my sewing table {hits forehead}) I decided to put the thread/bobbin/buttons in to a micro ziplock bag, inside the bigger bag.