information overlaod

Quite literally. I managed to break my OS by extracting images from something like 2000 pages of pdfs. I think it was closer to 2,500 but that requires me opening them all up again so…. we’ll stick with that.

But it was really fascinating! I finally got then in the order of publishing and I think I may have some new information, maybe not.

I’m also redoing my few pages already published so that I can make sure to get all the files with the same naming convention and to also add in some editorial. I think I need to.

Do I also just add a list of common clothing phrases? before explaining how they have been determined because it’s a really confusing as heck 50 years where some 15thC terms continue, then there is the regional dress that is most populer before at the end of that the spanish fashion coming along and taking over almost entirely by 1585.

Okay do the trachtenbuch first. put captions on all images, and use galleries.

Right. Here we go!

new filing conventions

Once upon a time I would share images with my own filename so that I could easily keep track. Forward the 15 years since I created The Frazzled Frau and I have thousands of files from hundreds of sources that were not available back then.

So last night I worked out the best file naming convention. But it only works if I also name all my folders the same and if I also rename the original sources. This makes it impossible to back track as my bookmarks list is also very full.

So I have started to “print” pages to pdf. Or if the code in the page is not clear I’ll save the page as. It’s less convenient but it is how I saved all the images from auction sites back in TFF days 🙂

So today I redo those map files. All the pdfs and I will get the trachtenbuch up today!!!

I also drew a bit of a flow map of all my site elements and it works. Mostly. I have a couple of tutorials that do not really fit anywhere- I may just call them -not-frock files? Maybe.

google changes

Google is now using the mobile version of my site. As expected more people use the web from their phone.

It’s not too bad, I specifically use a responsive theme that works on all devices. I’ve started to have to accept though that there will be limitations such as font choices. 18px is not the same across all fonts after all.

Anyway. This means my cutting book will still be hard to read on a phone but I’m trying to make it at least a sampler to download the printable version.

And I suddenly had a fun idea to get the book ready for the new frock and some SCA schtick that I’ve wanted to do for some time.

I got a tad overwhelmed

Yesterday I got so excited by lots of very nifty finds. And in the last week I have also come across the Boissard costume book (considered the first- but I think that means first in print) and the fully scanned one which includes several pages of intermediary plates.

These pages are either the costume image alone or the costume image with added borders and what looks to be script below. And that script looks very much like the font I have finally settle on for my book.

Anyway so that was great. 

Not so great is the quick travel to a whole bunch of pain yesterday afternoon. 

The medication we tried for the fibro I think may have helped but it also meant I was waking up nearly every hour at night and that is a side effect that doesn’t seem too bad but means it is a no go.

I deal with the poor wound healing of leflunomide, dealt with repeated hair loss with methotrexate, but when it means no sleep that’s when I need to ask for an alternative. And this headache is no fun either.

Anyway, today I may just do a batch of image editing and get the Cleves info actually up and ready. Found some really nifty coincidental images that may offer even more information.

Der Tod

So I have been so excited by my progress of my costume I let out a few hints then just straight up told social media what I am making. (Hello Tumblr where all the fandoms reside 🙂 )

I can keep secrets for other people, but I’m having so much fun that I really want to post as much as possible.


Manato Asaka as Toto in Elisabeth 2016, Takarazuka Review

As a musical theatre graduate of course I am going to be interested in musicals. And of course a musical about a very famous 19thC Empress (Sisi) is also going to pop up on my radar. I have had Ich Geher Nur Mehr on my walking playlist for a long time.

And it wasn’t long before the Takarazuka troupes popped up in searches. Over the years it’s been in my “maybe one day” section of inspiration images. But then this image popped up. And wow. Just wow.

This design is by 有村淳先生 (Atsushi Arimura) for the 2016 production by 宝塚歌劇 (Takarazuka Review.)

Designs from the Takarazuka Review Hall of Fame (seriously so happy so many people have shared photos as it is an amazing exhibit.)

Anyway. So a few more piccies:

(different costume, love this one too.)
(The jacket seems to be reused for the end of Act I but with different pants, Ah, quick changes.) 

And the details, oh wow. The layer I spotted as being over the sequins is not just semi opaque, it’s also wooly. Very wooly. 

  • Sequins? Check
  • nifty wig? Check
  • shiny pants? Check
  • Overly complicated details? Check
  • seam details? Check
  • historic influence? Check
Pattern in progress

Yeah, I don’t really exude the same… ease (certainly not at night with downlighting) but the coat is so lovely so far. I was going to work on the sleeves today so I could start drawing the details but wound up finding so many wonderful resources from fans sharing their photos of at least two exhibits. So now I need to find a way to share them with full credit. Pinterest is buggy for me atm so old fashioned bookmarks are it right now.

Wig which is on the way- there are more tones in the original so I’ll be doing a spot of dyeing.

Obviously I have a lot to do. But with the jacket pattern going so fast I am really content and quite confident about this one.

Also if you get a chance to listen to Zunko ( Shizuki Asato [姿月あさと] ) sing Yami ga Hirogaru with Máté Kamarás do so. It’s pretty amazing. No. Actually amazing.

my studio is mine again

It’s taken a while because I have to do it in stages, but I have managed to make my studio feel like it is my space again. Hah, myspace..

I was going to do some patterning today but decided to get some sorting and get to work on clearing my stash after all. I have a lot of photos of my Elsa kits (skirt, bodice, sequins- partly assembled and easy to fit) and cape. 

I had made them for myself, one as my actual dress before I got my other sequin fabric, and one as an historic version (based on a photo I think inspired the actual design as it’s one of Queen Maud’s gowns- Queen of Norway.) But I just don’t see me doing so any more. 

I also found my uncut pattern (Simplicity 3637- the Robe a la Francaise that is actually a really nice, really nice introduction to historic patterns in a modern format) so will be able to send that off too. It’s not my size, I grabbed it because it’s a really nice pattern regardless.

Anyway, I also can get Netflix out there so yay! Got to watch The Good Place which was very nicely fitting.

Now it’s time for a tea and time to update my destash album as I kind of need to get it under control.

slight wibble in plans

I need to destash some gear; so I’m looking to part with my silver lace, my stunt Elsa cape and dress parts (more than enough sequins to do the bodice), a Padme.

Also possibly parting with my overlocker- the industrial grade juki. I will take some time to clean the desk but she really needs someone who is more physically able to restore and use her. The fully metal frame slightly limits that! But I would like to know she is being used by someone who will appreciate the speed and quality boost. Also because of how long the foot is it’s very safe- I’ve never come close to hurting myself. I did sew through my nails with a domestic sewing machine though. I was 12.

Anyway. The blip just really reinforces that time runs away when you don’t look and this year certainly has. The current list of things to make has felt overwhelming, right now I am feeling like I can do it. Well. Parts! 

There are several pieces that are cut and assembled but need decorating or are still in lengths of fabrics.

But this new costume, so fun. Terrible. But fun. Slightly more sensible than one I so desperately want to make. Might attempt it next year.

inspiration and tidying

So I think it’s pretty clear when I fall for a song, or a gown, or  character, I fall hard.

I have one that I haven’t really shared but it’s come back and there is even better news. This version basically is overly complicated which naturally means it is a must do now.

sleeve detail

This is part of the sleeve (I did a lot of digging to find hi res images which involves learning a fair bit of code to be fair and I feel confident in making my own theme entirely now.)

Note the solid shiny twisting oversized cording, note the tiny sequins that appear to be veiled in a fabric that is not evenly textured.

I was up until 1am with insomnia so I also managed to find a pro shot video of a presentation evening and now have a view of the back and underarm that confirms my theories and now. It looks like Giger designed formalwear.

In the tidying news I am finally trying to part with a few items. My “stunt” Elsa ice cape and my silver lace. I found a much more delicate lace with as many repeats across the width, it’s just a little more expensive.

There may need to be some more time spent on getting inspiration folders tidied. I have my in progress or must do costumes on one drive but a good 15 years of files on another drive that really really needs sorting. It’s just a little slow. But my new glasses are perfect for desktop work, I have a hot water bottle to keep my hands warm and I may also be able to do a proper back up of most items.

theft follow up

The insurance company can’t find a replacement for my model. I am not surprised. It is only available now from overseas and often from sites that may contain dupes.

So that’s sad on one hand. It doesn’t really help find mine- even though it is a very uncommon model I doubt it’s being directly sold to the hobby community but instead one of the many second hand markets I can’t get to.

I also have had to look up the missing tools and that was hard as the tools are no longer made. I believe it was a Skil set. I can only find them on IndiaMart right now. Again could be dupes.

I spent all Sunday looking at photos to try to find a photo of this in the background of any photo.

And so that involved looking at all the photos of my Boo in his final days.

That was very hard. It stirred up all the painful memories of the moment. He did not have an easy passing. He was stressed and scared and I still have so much guilt about that. I couldn’t even hold him because he was in so much pain it would have made it worse. But now I wonder if that was right.

I didn’t find any images so I did end the day not feeling terribly great.

I’ve been searching again today and am going to have to draw the line under this.

The Mina

I have finally got really sewing again. Many reasons why I didn’t, but I am testing various therapy for fibro so have a few temporary options for pain. The daily stuff hasn’t really seemed to help for a full day.

Anyway. So I have been putting some of what I know works for me in other costumes to the test with The Mina and it’s working. It’s also offering a way for me to explain how my Northern Renaissance patterns work as they use the same basic engineering. The trick to shape is in specific curves.

The front of my bodice shows how the gussets are able to give a really crisp definition to under bust and hips while being very flat on the CF line.

The side view shows how the bodice basically has the straight of grain from shoulder down side and then is perpendicular to the waist. This is the same principle I use for my earlier patterns. 

Here though I have to use gussets over the bust for the idealised figure of the original. In the earlier patterns I just use the bias of the grain in the bust area to create support (not possible to mimic with a rigid mannequin though.) The key thing is that essentially the foundation is very stable vertical through the side and as far up from the waist as possible then allow ease over the bust. Some styles have that change a little further down some higher up (sort of starts very high in the lat 15thC then drops a bit and gets higher and flatter with the influence of Spanish style all over Europe.)

The back also shows some of my stabilising efforts. The V neck is prone to bagging both front and back so I’ll be using some stay tape along the edge later.

The hip gusset like the front one allows for the hip to hopefully be directed to the side rather than squished in.

This V shape of stitching follows some of the shapes seen in gusseted corsets especially. But as this is a bodice I was able to put in an angled side back seam to help smooth that out.

So speaking of smoothing out one of the dressmaking books I looked at again recently shows what I mean about how historical shaping is not just about the initial pattern being very different but the methods of fitting are also different. The post is here. Go straight to the book here (The elements of modern dressmaking for the amateur and professional dressmaker
by Davis, Jeanette E; Holahan, Cora M., ed, Publication date 1894)

1 to 1, 2 to 2, 3 to 3, Stretching for the hollows of the figure ; 5 to 5, Crossboning; 4 to 4, Extra bone in front.

I’m basically using the lines 3 and 4 to keep my fabric straight and thus most supportive. I will be using the methods of putting in vertical darts in the shell.

Here is the illustration showing where to add padding into that hollow for two variations (f for fuller, h for hollower). Also the darts at B and C are for lining fabrics only- this is likely that lining fabrics can’t be eased as easily as shell.