think things are sorted…

Only photos so far are of Ahsoka sitting nicely on my head next step it to decide if I want to make that rigid section permanent and how much shaped padding to put in. But having the support in place now means that I can actyally make that shaping 🙂

A post on different SFX techniques is needed I think..

But I found an older Mina bodice lining and I think I prefer it! Not as it is but umm.. I can put hip gores in just like with a set of stays so why wouldn’t that work???

And I also got ABS juice in my Leia molds! IT WORKS!!!! So far the back hip has been mostly cast and it is so light. A bit too light, I think the surface had enough dust that it got mixed in. That said this is definitely going to let me scan them to get them digitised 🙂 Now I just need to hunt down the missing collar piece. Very frustrating to have that missing.

 

And yes, the prednisode is making me feel freaking AMAZING right now. But it can only be temporary because of how it works. So much misinformation, I really want to do a post full of real research that shows what we actually experience.

whoops, fell into a research rabbit warren

In order to figure out history of the gown I wound up with dozens of reference notes about the production of garments and how there are multiple copies and why.

I still haven’t found the specific references I want (all secondary atm) but enough to feel confident in several statements made.

But there are some conflicting descriptions of materials, I have my suspicions about why so will also have to discuss those.

So yeah. I can now start the day and do things.

 

But I also will have my abs juice ready to go today and the latex work of yesterday will hopefully pay off today. Unless it didn’t adhere in what case I get to strip the base back and redo it. IsoPro does work but it is a PITA to time correctly. The latex needs to be clean and dry for the next layer of latex. But with a very damp climate there is a fine layer of moisture on anything outdoors- or in a room without insulation.

 

What else… Oh yes. I need to bleach my sateen panels for my 1870s gored stays. I worked out what I need vs the original pattern styles so will also see if I can make one in red sateen finally. I have tried to do this in the past and somehow wound up with stays too short.

What I need from stays is less about squish as it is about reducing stress on ribs. My current pain is a very good reminder! My ribs are very long, there is barely two fingerwidths distance at the side of my waist between ribs and pelvis. So this means if I want a wasp waist I either deal with ribs being heavily squished or I make it nip in only at that narrow point. Or I can avoid too much restriction and taper the stays to the waist then flare out over the hip.

This last one is what I find gives a shape that is both acceptable to a modern eye as well as historic. If I nip in only at the waisy it tends to make everything else seem disproportionate rather than drawing the line in.

So today will be spent cutting fabric and bleaching to have a summer and winter variation. There may even be enough silk satin left over, though that feels a bit extravagant!

 

why one must use all resources!

After removing all the dye from my Sunburst silk I had another look at the information available. I wanted to see what the silk would do as UV light worked on the last remaining colour remover molecules. before even thinking about dyeing it.

I can’t dye the skirt, it has already been fused to a cotton backing 🙂

And then promptly lost the exact quote I wanted. And just found it again. Anyway. There will be a references guide added to my site soon as a page, because I think it needs a little more formality than a blog post 🙂

I noticed also an historic homestead has started folloiwn on instagram so feel a tinybit of pressure to you know, include content they might be interested in!

And I have gone and cracked the cartilage in my ribcage. I am used to being able to sort of.. slip it- painful- but this was a little extra pressure on one point and so now it needs to repair. Luckily it is quite a sharp continuous pain- no I don’t like pain but as a warning, as a limitor it’s fine 🙂

And there is a steampunk event tomorrow. I really wanted to wear Mina, but I would have to spend all day on the bodice… hmm… but I cn’t really do any kind of corsetry until my rib heals. So no. I’ll wear something else 🙂

the other victorian projects

I keep coming back to a very small handful I really want to work on, and realised I have a major love for very stark gowns.

I mean Sunburst or not on that skirt that gown would be on my Must Make list anyway.

 

Virginie Gautreux by JS Sargent and Rose Caron by Toulmouche.

I have actually made part of each, but I really want a nice silk satin for Mme X. I need about 8m and in a nice heavy weight that’s just not really been on the cards. But, sales are sales so fingers crossed one coincides with a bit of luck 🙂

My day ensembles have tended to also be a bit stark like my grey dress and this is in keeping with that with a touch of Worth:

Worth’s Cleopatra yellow wool dress.

I also have to admit the fabric I just cut for my new duvet cover (one of a set of curtains) has such a huge pattern it’s super tempting to make a Worth-a-like based on those oversized patterned velvets. The front is a crinkle silver with chenille waves, but the reverse.. now the reverse looks like black velvet with flat silver waves and that is just too much to resist. Well I hope I can because I *might” just be able to get a frock out of it. But I want a high necked version. That might be a bit much. The curtains had huge eyelets at the top which est into the amount that is free. That said I do have a strip.. but also my new duvet cover is so pretty that it really needs a bit of matchy matchy in terms of pillow covers.

It might be possible for a more 1890 vs 1895 look.

the books arrived

While I was at the library the Ultimaker was also there XD It felt brilliant being able to talk historic costume nerding while also talking about the printer and the software to use it. Just fun 🙂 Also it’s a nice size machine so seeing it in person means potentially being able to plan to get my Maleficent horns printed piece by piece.

Anyway, I know the Opulent era well but it’s still really nice to have the luxury of having it at home. Also this is still a gown that keeps leaping up for attention:

http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/155944

Date:1900
Culture:French
Medium:silk, rhinestones
Credit Line:Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of the estate of Mrs. Arthur F. Schermerhorn, 1957

My scanner has fallen over but The Opulent Era has a strip photo of the beading and it is just clear enough to make out the bead types 🙂 Looks like delica style pearelscent bead which is fabulous! One of the desriptions in the Worth Bio mentions “iridescent” beads which I always take to mean opalescent- rainbow refracted colours very pearlescent but either is of interest to me in terms of materials. I adore AB finish so figuring out an appropriate start date to use it is always of interest.

As a start:

http://blogs.houseofgems.com/index.php/2014/09/sparkle-shine-a-brief-history-of-how-glimmering-gems-and-beads-came-to-be/

Metallic sparkle and shine has long been a favorite among bead connoisseurs. The bead makers of Gablonz first painted metallic finishes on glass beads, including iridescent coatings. Next, they came up with iridized and electroplated glass beads. Iridized glass was glass sprayed with an almost hair-thin vapor deposit of metal oxides. The craze for iridized glass and beads reached its height during the late 1800s and again in the 1950s and 1960s after the introduction of aurora borealis coating.

http://www.karipearls.com/how-pearls-are-made.html

Wax Pearl with Essence Coating and Fragile Glass
Photos thanks to Diane Volkmann

Which I had only heard about, so it’s nice to see (click through.) For an example of the description of this kind of fake pearl:

MAN and SHELLS Molluscs in the History
By Riccardo Cattaneo-Vietti, Mauro Doneddu, Egidio

Though I think this has the closest explanation:

https://www.thespruce.com/stones-in-vintage-costume-jewelry-4026020

Saphiret is type of glass stone with a blue-brown hue used in Victorian jewelry.

This page also distinguishes carnival glass from AB (specially Swarovski method) so I think this one is the lead 🙂

 

Anyway. My desire for iridescence is generally tempered by being sure it’s slightly out of date for my most loved eras! But

solidot

It is real!

http://sewingchest.co.uk/pdf/p19-Interfacing.pdf

Cotton woven with PVC dot resin
is what is commonly called Solidot and
is probably one of the oldest interfacings
still used today.

Woo!!! I am very lucky to have just enough for my Sunburst as what I have I cannot find any more. What I have is a very well woven cotton fabric of a complex weave and a very distinct regular series of opaque dots. The closest I can find is in fact labeled as anti-skid fabric. And yeah. Very similar. But it’s annoying it cannot be found any more.

But I can’t very much info about who produced the stuff and why I cannot find any since about 2010.

gathering materials

Well dye remover. I decided rather than trek across Auckland for dye remover I’d just order some. So I did, and ordered a new cutting blade for my cutting machine at the same time because well I’m going to finally just start cutting the darn Elsa sequins! Well huge confetti circles that are 1″ across 🙂 They are translucent so once dye up will be very icy when finished 🙂

The dye remover is for my silk satin and also for something else I have forgotten.. whoops!

But I have also just spent the day detangling my very expensive lace front wig I bought for my Chistine Daae costumes.

It’s a bit frizzy for that now but ideal for doing all kinds of historic hairstyles which is fab. I just need to run a blade over the ends (designed for human hair these thin ends out and as the frizz sticks out is fairly easily cut out 🙂 )

I have read most of the first bio of Worth I got from the library. The library has two last holds for me: the Opulent Era and The House of Worth : portrait of an archive.

That second one I have not read through yet, obviously I know TOE very well 🙂 This is just saving me hunting out a copy for myself as the costume reference shelf is a little out of hand. Okay, no I do want this. I just want to find a very good quality copy!

I have the large scale edition of Costume by KCI and sadly most of the photos I am interested in were not adjusted for the larger format so are a little blurry. Luckily the section on Japanese influenced western costume is all good!

Also.

I’m buying the freaking Rocailles. I may as well do this properly if I’m going to the effort of removing all the dye then adding more. And if I have 10m of silk chiffon already decoloured just for the selvages and.. well this is the gown that started the obsession. And yes, the museum catalogue includes “metallic thread” so I was right in assuming the outlines were originally si;ver.

OMG!

So obviously the owner being rich and in New York had other worth frocks but WHAT THE [email protected]!!!!

 

I wish it was possible to know if all these gowns were worn my The Mrs Astor, or if they were collected. But I love her taste. I really do. And I am almost up to this section in the Worth biography so I’ll keep reading and see what the book has to say about the New York social scene. Most of the info is fantastic. Not a lot about the day to day proceedings, but a lot of info I assumed but more as well (1200 seamstresses in the 1860s????)

My OMG moment was false though, a picture of the Electric Light (Worth) gown for the Vanderbilt party  came up and I thought how could I possibly have not made the connection. And now it turns out I have lost my book with the very good copy of it.. Anyway. False Excite.

So next step is to see where the book is and possibly rescue it from the pile of books to donate….

And finally.. did I forget or has The Met released a few books as PDFs?

Haute Couture

Right so yes it is pale green not yellow as it appears in the more well known version of the image. Pale blue would make more sense but what the hey. Probably a case of what worked for the client in terms of colour 🙂

ooooh sunburst beading

So obviously one uses silver lined glass beads and the other uses pearls. Of note, fake pearls. Which is very exciting. Beacuse I have vintage fake glass pearls so I suspect they are made the same way- I think it’s an enamel paint over glass.

Anyway notice the other big thing.

The pearls do not have a shadow line. I was originally working from The Opulent Era which includes a close up of the pink gown that shares photo space with the yellow sunburst. And in that the beads are outlined with fine seed beads. But that is not what is going on!

The yellow sunburst apparently has a silver cord laid down and the silver lined beads sewn around that. You can see the couched threads once you look for them but especially on the cloud circle to the inside of the furthermost star. Also metal would explain how the cord stays so crisp as opposed to a silk over cotton core. Compare how firm they appear compared to the known beads and thread. The gown has a lot of shattering of the silk but how soon did the silver corrode? Was it a factor calculated into the making? Or did the gown get stored in a way that wasn’t completely optimised?

So I suspect the same rational I used to decide the pearls were the better option for me played a part in the original. I think the beads alone were not going to give enough definition so the couched silver does that.

I however love the effect of the the corroded metal! I love how it outlines in such a sharp graphic line. So I am really really torn as to just how “accurate” I want to go. I should only couch cord iff I use rocailles but it should also be silver. Also the rocailles are one size while the pearls graduate… will going for a single sized pearl and dark silver cord work? As somthing that could have been done?

But the same can be said of the sequins. I will likely use modern non tarnishing sequins so will that affect how this changes over time?

 

And now I am remembering why I stalled the last time! My historic gear is rarely a copy. I much prefer to do as was done which is to take a fashion plate or photo of a celebrity and say “I like this, but do this” as is how the pink version came about anyway! But I love so much about the yellow (with hints of pink and green and bright yellow).

Sunburst graphic overhaul

I have decided that I know how to make line art in photoshop so let’s just do this 🙂

I had basically traced all the photos of the skirts in my books here and then traced over that while adjusting for curve. Let’s just say onion sheet is the best stuff ever 🙂

I just scanned that, and scaled to full size and have so far created paths for all elements except the hem and the curves inside the clouds.

I started with the easy-peasy straight rays of light, this is just using the pen tool on the tips and ends of each ray.

For the wavy rays I wanted to have a more regular and controlled shape so I created one ray in paths.

I started by adding anchor points regularly, shifting them to gently widen and length each curve.

Once I was happy, I stroked the path. My experience with Elsa has suggested the ideal cutting/stitching line is to use the brush on 3pxls

This was then copied and pasted as multiple layers and each one rotated and placed in position. I also erased overlapping lines.

 

The straight rays were merged and the wavy rays were merged to another layer.

So then I started to add the clouds. Each circle was created by using the circle line tool, stroked and copied to different layers and for each layer they were free transformed to shape. And the overlapping sections were also erased.

So now I need to create a star and cloud to repeat for the hem and also add curves to each cloud.

Once finish it will probably be flipped and printed then temporarily basted to the back and machine stitched as I had planned before.

sunburst, I have to!

In tidying all my beads I found my pearls again. All the pearls. The Metropolitan Sunburst gown uses faceted beads so would have glittered like a glittery thing. But I am short shighted, that effect would get very lost on me, especially while working so the more solid effect of the pearls of the Kyoto version is very tempting. It may also be down to the darkening of the lined beads (not sure what metal, but given they look nearly black.. tin? Silver?)

I’m not sure if the instagram importer will work so here is a quick grab from facebook 🙂

In this photo, clockwise from top:

~super delicate cotton tulle. It wobbles so I think it may actually be rayon. It’s still a very gold colour. So to the RIT color remover

~silk faced satin (a purchase from Cynthia Settje waaaay back in 2006! So it’s kind of perfect 🙂 ) Already knocked back to gold from green, it should soften further (6 skirt panels cut and interfaced, colour removed with pre-Dye by Dylon)

~hand drawn beading pattern (pinned to the face of my front skirt panel.) This may get swapped for a scan of my scale drawing which is more accurate 🙂

~glass pearls! You have no idea how expensive glass beads have been for the decade around my start date! These were a lucky dollar store find! (24 hanks)

~silk habotai- intensely yellow- to the RIT!

~silk chiffon- looks quite lovely, much more institutional mint in reality! To the RIT!

 

Not shown are my sequins and lined seed beads.

I may have enough sateen to line the bodice, but there may be a little Worth construction hunting before I commit!