Current projects

I took a dayย  this week to make sure all my projects are easily found and while initially it was overwhelming, I think I am not just at the inspired stage ๐Ÿ™‚

I have a lot of current projects, but having them nicely divided into clear containers mean I can actually see them ๐Ÿ™‚

I really want to finish my Cleves research this year. Or at least be at a point where I can say “yes, I can talk about this.” Because let me tell you, I have a heck of a lot of info for Cologne but there is very little for Cleves, Jullich and Berg. It’s a larger geographical spread and lots of archives are just gone. I have looked for donor portraits, any portraits and they are just.. not there.

Later yes.

Anyway. I now do have a pretty Cleves dress, a beautiful Cleaves dress, and a working kirtle type garment. I’m mainly working on accessories. But my red velvet gown is at the same stage my pink and black Cleves dresses were a few months ago so I can definitely work on the hand finishing of that this year.

So that least the later historic and modern media recreations.

I want Mina finally finished. That has been a struggle for fitting the bodice as my fabric has zero give. So the lining has to have zero give. I may have finally managed that but I need a bit of time to work on making it all tidy and transportable.

And I want my Elissa costume done. I should have left it alone but well… I wanted to wear it where accuracy is still prized so… but it’s okay. I think I’m just not wanting to face the rope skirt. It’s about 8m of velvet and while I have cut the pieces I have to pull and roll them and somehow make sure they don’t unroll. This is easier with velour but these are clearly velvet.

And Ahsoka. I am now happy with where Rebels has left her (in fact it’s exactly what I hoped and thought was the most logical outcome) so feel a lot happier in investing in the project again ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s been intense and nothing is even close to finished due to just not having any luck with any material.

 

So that leaves Marie Antoinette as my other must finish project. It’s hard because I really do need a metal frame. Luckily the original is very short so it’s possible I can find support material for it. I am very disappointed with the plastic stuff now available. It’s not at all like the older stuff with an oval cross section. That had a fibrous property that made it really quite firm, and the oval cross section helped curves maintain shape. I get a greally nice kidney shape but that is not at all the shape of these things.

This may be a project for next year. I have all the fabrics, it’s a matter of boning for the stays and hoops. I think I have an idea for making the hoops solid and transportable though.

and follow up workshops

So, I think the bodice making workshop was too much to understand in one go. I want to do a really good dedicated follow up, I’m just having trouble figuring out a start point. I may need to do a quick and dirty corset workshop (using the gored pattern I used for my Marie Antoinette dress as it is super adaptable for all sizes and proportions.

But I will have to impart the understanding that a corset is a foundation garment. It is going to change your shape so that the outer garment can be fitted over like a glove. But it doesn’t mean restricting breathing or anything, it’s about creating a solid shape. Uplift is part of it sure, but there can be room for adjusting for comfort.

But yeah, the basic double dart bodice needs that solid shape. And if someone is not willing to wear a corset or something to support the shape then it’s not going to really work. Not unless there is a perfect mannequin already in that shape so that the lining and shell and boning can be put in place and only a little fitting needs to be done.

So as well as the Marie Antoinette stays I’ve got ready for boning and tidying, I can create a basic stays pattern from that. Or diagrams anyway.

So there may be some time spent at Canty Faire on writing up a good proposal.

marie antoinette progress

Well semi progress! I have the petticoat cut and partially sewn, even braved using a hemming foot! But I have run out of thread. But I do have a nice amount of cotton sateen, slightly heavy, to line my bodice with which is a huge relief! I need to wash it to soften but it’s ideal ๐Ÿ™‚

I was also trying to remember how the bodice worked. I remembers the back, and the sleeves, but as I have been distracted for a while I forgot the neckline and front shaping.

Suffice to say I’m happy with reviewing photos again. Double darts. I love these. I can work with these for any profile. So happy.

I do still want to make a set of stays that will work for anything. And having seen Eric Winterling’s work i now I want to use my cotton bobbinette. It’s not the same method but I got really inspired seeing the care taken in making a light bretahable stage ready foundation garment!

I try to make my work as close to the original as possible. I do make substitutes, oh yes, but I always want to know how and why I am deviating.

So as per the previous post I will make a separate set of stays, they will be pretty modern. A blend of c1900 and later. But possibly with bust gussets not seams just because there is a pronounced underbust stress line in the photo above that I don’t get with a smooth seam.

today

I have decided on a Rococo theme for my birthday as an excuse to wear my Marie Antoinette Rocket Gown because a picnic in a pretty garden sounds perfect ๐Ÿ™‚ So I need all the undergarments and I also need to test the pattern for the swag drapes ๐Ÿ™‚

To do this I’m finally starting to use a stash of about 14 metres of of a shot freen and white mystery fabric. The colour it looks in warm light wis qtute silvery and in cool like quite dull aqua. It handles like cotton but feels like a bast fibre. So it may well be a mix. But it is totally perfect for a 2m wide petticoat and ruffles that I need for this frock!

So I’ll grab photos as I promised to share how I make my tubular wonder skirts (they can be used for paniers, a bell shaped rin, and even a bustle!

It’s very simple but a really good stable ๐Ÿ™‚

These will need to be twice the size I normally make them of course..

And I also have glue to see if I can also do some more work on Ahsoka.

And then see about how to cut this lace into strips of a good size. So first, to the printer! I need a reference image or two if I’m going to work on this away from my comp ๐Ÿ™‚

 

I figured I should work on projects where I already have materials for a bit ๐Ÿ™‚ Also I do need to make a modern-ish set of stays to be able to wear the frock. And that will mean boning past the waist and controlled on the hips. So probably a gored hip with a bit of bust shaping given this is the shape of the original.

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So basically this. Which is from the film ๐Ÿ™‚ I know the plain piece on the lower back is acting more like a plackard but I’m going to make mine in two pieces, waist through control and a skirt of padded tabs to tack on. It gives me a lot of room to wear this under the Wilting Flower costume for instance and maybe even a Glinda if I decide to go that route again with my epic amount of bubble fabric.

So ideally ballet pink.

norma shearer gowns progress

I worked on both my marie Antoinette gown and Upstage gown today. For Marie I cut the silver lamรฉ to fit the skirt. It will need to be stitched in a specific order so no pics today as it’s a bit of a mess. It will be all overlocked tomorrow though as the weave is very loose. Not too bad on the straight but the diagonal.. I’m worried.

I went a little overboard with the length. BUT I DON’T CARE!!! (Marie Antoiette is folded and hanging up on the wall behind. Not very exciting stage!)

I am totally redesigning the skirt front as I am not a fan of the short underskirt. This will overlap at mid thigh and I will maintain the stretch of the line using hand and machine stitching. Honestly, mostly hand because the long pile of the velvet had already proven it cannot walk a straight line.

The upper half was draped in pink crepe earlier so I may transfer that to the lime green and just tidy it a little, the dress will be silk velvet with a lining of either silk charmeuse or rayon charmeuse- it depends on how much I need. Probably the silk as it is already terrible pinky-beige.

I was going to make my magic Flame inspired bodice switch out with the Upstage but there may be enough velvet for both!!!

yep, I am obsessed by slinky velvet dresses from a time where slinky is not remembered! But I do have a full post on slinky dresses already!

Bizarre jetpack issue resolved

Lj went down (502 error) and Jetpack’s “Publicize” went weird. Kept telling me to refresh connections. Seems to be okay now.

My PC also crashed the other day. I think it’s my UEFI setting- has legacy bios compatability mode for some boot types andย given I get the classic BIOS screen and text type I think that’s what is being fired up when I crash. So I think I just need to make sure I have a standard boot after a crash rather than fast and to make sure everything is set to boot into UEFI.

Looking at online documentation, the year my PC was built, the OS installed and I think this is the issue.

I rarely crash now but I had the panel off the side of the case and was playing SWTOR. After a full day of it being on. And no screen saver. Might set sleep/hibernation mode on again I just mistrust it as that was what caused my netbook(s) to fry.

Just bought 2kg of Napisan! Yes!!!! Time to soak Elsa so she is ready for any more charity requests ๐Ÿ™‚

Also need toย get people to follow up on picking up stuff they have asked me to put aside. And then I can start figuring out how to get some pigment across the ocean. Contacted one courier company, a few more to go ๐Ÿ™‚

Meanwhile time to go and work on Marie Antoinette.

Also, I finally worked out the pattern for the Freya cloak ๐Ÿ™‚

Man, I had it right my first go, but then I doubted and tried all kinds of ways. Nope I was right the first time. Good news is I can perfectly work out how much leather I’ll need. And because I’d quite like to travel with this I can use double sided vinyl instead. It may wind up a little super shiny but hey. My stash of cheapie leather would have been great had I kept it all. Soaking the plastic coating off would have been okay. Darnit!

this year, the reproductions

It’s at LACMA. It was being restored for display in a travelling exhibit but I’ve not been able to figure out where/when. But LACMA is a place I’ve wanted to go for a long time. The blue satin mantua is one reason ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, lots of room for interpretation based on patterning in the 1930s, Adrian and his desire to be historic, and the really not at all 1930s or 1770s patterning. The bodice is glorious. It’s ideal for my figure as it has delves into late 19thC darting. This will have to be patterned on my calico covered stand as the bust is closer to what I need than my other forms. Also the stand is able to be made as tall as me (neither dressmaker stands do and I ask myself how on earth my friends in the US deal as I’m pretty short at 5’6″!

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Oh look, another Shearer gown. There *maaay* be a folder just for her ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thi s is the Upstage gown. But well the front is not exactly flattering* so I’m also taking from The Magic Flame and using the front of Vilma Bankey’s gown- to the right.ย If there is enough velvet who knows…

Actually there should be. The velvet was going to be for the maleficent battle robe but I have the main gown nearly finished again ๐Ÿ™‚

But this gown is more achievable for my hands than the Sunburst so I’m moving my Feelz to this to make it work. There are challenges in this that will push but not punish. So say hello to the newest/last embroidery project ๐Ÿ™‚

(Suddenly WP won’t let me upload an image- it’s the insert media window- I can upload via theย upload page- wanted to add Maleficent here..)

My work on the horns is nearly done. The 3D scanning app works, and I may be able to get sculptris to work on adding nice texture. Okay hand warming day then sculpting tomorrow.)

Cunning plan for the epic hoops is to use plumbers coil, tapes, and felt as a brushbraid type deal. Okay, time to rescue the felt that was tossed…

And finally:

This one is really doing my head in but I have a test in foam that looks really good. It’s translating what works nicely on my cutting board into what looks good in reality! Also I’m not sure I can afford 50lbs of leather, that is many many many skins. But boy is this pretty!

And finally tidy the Mina. Just made the few extra leaves to hide the hook and eye closure of the bodice but it was rough so just need to get some more ribbon. Lots of firm cotton twill tape has been purchased to bind the seams and reduce the stretch of the cotton while being worn. There will be a waist stay as well. The rip stop cotton is very firm and so far is holding shape ๐Ÿ™‚

New petticoat or skirt lining, not sure what to do. But the pleats are sewn in so many rows that the stitching can get caught so they need to be protected.

Oh yes! Ahsoka!

Cunning plan for casting the montral has worked!!! In fact so well that the few wonky bits are frustratingly there and not worth fixing. But I have latex to do this in the next few days ๐Ÿ™‚

Spent far too long on the pc today to actually do anything. Time to get a hot water bottle for my hands and rest.

busy!

The next few months have many opportunities!ย As always there are the Special Children’s Christmas parties, then there is a couple of Steampunk shoots, also the Bal d’Argent, and the big Santa Parade (yep, you’ll see me there XD) and also there are some opportunities for next year that I’m just insanely excited for ๐Ÿ™‚ Also of course Rogue One and N7 day ๐Ÿ™‚

I have been watching my Ahsoka mold like a hawk, it is finally starting to dry! It’s still very fragile but it is drying out. It’s just past the point of being able to be trimmed!

I didn’t manage to check what leather I have, so I’ll do that again tonight.

I also am incredibly inspired for my Marie Antoinette and for a vintage gown I really would like to break out for the Very Vintage Day Out next year. I also know I will not, I repeat *not* ever wear that sunblock again as it just ruined my make up and hair and thus all the photos. It was supposed to be “oil free” and how that can possibly be allowed I do not know as the carrier is an oil. I think it was a silicone oil though. SO I guess technically… anyway, my skin and oil is just not good. Never has been, it basically burns my skin, doesn’t matter what kind.ย Maybe almond oil woild be okay. But even Argan oil can be a bit.. aggressive.

Right, so I’m going to go look at my mold, check for what letaher I have and also get the pvc pipe out ready to put my Ahsoka templates on ๐Ÿ™‚ Going to make the armour from stuff I know I can heat shape and that won’t melt! Basically if it’s good enough for building structures meant to last for decades that’s when I’ll use it for armour ๐Ÿ˜‰

More lace for marie Antoinette!

 

This very heavy embroidered lace net reminded me of the dimensional effect of handwork one of my great aunts would work.

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The colour however was not quite right. Had the leaves been green I’d have kept it.

So during the colour removal process some dyes can go a very strange intermediate colour. Whites often go yellow, and here the cool blue went a pale apricot before finally all settling back to very very very pale tones.

But what I really really wanted was to change some finer embroidered lace that I had 25m of (I kept a5m length aside).

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The pattern is so beautiful and a reasonable patternย for many periods.

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Before and during.

I also put in some vintage real metal laces in after the fabrics. Real metal will gain new life but it will create a far amount of dark brown liquid- sthere is a reaction to the metal. SO do be careful. Once cool the dark brown liquid turns black, and any staining of the fabric disappears.

Today is a day of pressing and cutting linings for my Princess of Cleves doublet.