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.

1920s fashion illustrations

French fashion illustrations of the twenties : 634 cuts from La Vie parisienne

by Grafton, Carol Belanger
Publication date 1987
Topics Vie ParisienneFashionClothing and dressFrance Women’s clothing Fashion design, 1920-1930
Publisher New York : Dover Publications
Collection printdisabledinlibraryinternetarchivebookschina
Digitizing sponsor Internet Archive
Contributor Internet Archive
Full catalog record MARCXML

I’m so glad I decided to go looking for resources today 🙂 This book was either at school or at a very local library. Very worth being on the waitlist for. A lot of the designs really test our perceptions of what the era really looked like.

worth it

As per my previous posts it’s been a real struggle to work on stays. But all the reading up on Worth and hunting around for information on the making of (I’m making boards left right and center and sub boards. Technically i really should put all the Worth boards together but I have about 100 followers on each and I may then break links for those people. And broken pins are horrible be they real or virtual.

Today I get ALL THE BOOKS!!! I think a a few from stack but mostly from all over the city. Have I said how much I love my library? I do. I really do.

Four pattern books, four baby. And some I had no idea we could possibly have- one of the Devonshire Ball!!!!!!!! I have the pdf of the book published the same year- it’s very grainy but a few hundred mb as it is.

I am also on the hunt for ball gown bodices. They require very different cutting. 

I want my Victorian wardrobe to be nice and full again. So I need a new day dress (black gabardine, it will be a glorious thing of pleated beauty. There is a Worth gown that would look amazing.) I want a dinner dress, and a summer dress, and of course the sunburst.

I’m still reading the Worth biographies. Mostly for info such as how many workers there were (1200 or so) and how the house was organised with room by fabric type, and how models were created and could be made a number of times but not if a royal chose it first. 

I really would like to find the patterns that were published with one of the women’s magazines. I think it was Demorest? 

Well I’m off to look in the digital books. And see if there are more patterns in Costume that I have missed. And get them via ILL.

mina can progress

Last time I tidied my room I mixed up whether I would put notions with projects or keep them under beads/lace/braid/etc. so the featherlite Heat n Bond was somewhere else entirely. With it I can fuse my layers of mina fabric together so I can sew all the cording channels 🙂 Then press it again and it’s all gone.Fantastic 🙂

I found one pack of colour remover but I swear I have some more. That said I use so much that I may as well find some.. oh, one sec.

and stalling again

I can’t seem to catch a beak this year. I am totally torn as to how to deal with my current costuming issues. 

One of the realities of corsetry is it encases flesh, muscle, bone, organs. It’s also not just a matter of reshaping a corset to measurements but some styles of corsets simply exaggerate or resist properties.

I seem to do best with a gusseted corset and I’m thinking a mix of cords and steels are actually my best bet. With this kind of corset I can also adapt it to different eras the lower slung 1860s the higher 1890s and even the higher 1810s- the gussets change shape but the stability of the body panels, the simplicity of the body panels work with my torso. I just still need to take care with the shape of the hip gore and I think in fact that cording that will help a lot with what I am trying to do- create a slightly more oval shape through the hips as generally I wind up smooshing everything into a smooth circle all around.

So the stalling is from again a lack of fabric suitable for a really good and pretty and accurate looking corset. So just ordered some. 

Another stalling issue is that my really lovely sateen princess gown has decoloured over time. I think I just need to put the whole thing through some more colour remover as opposed to bleach. Now that means a trip to spotlight. Might have to ask for help with that.

But really this is where I have been stuck with Marie Antoinette (cutting the steels for the stays and hoops) Ahsoka (it’s too cold and wet to work with latex and have it cure well) Sunburst (I have mucked up every aspect ever since I started cutting in 2007. 

Well I can at least share research- but not much as my RA is acting up so I need to get tested and that means no steroids before the test or no inflammatory markers will be present!)

So off to heat my hands… and try some more therapy as well.

so cording

I may have to take a pattern from the last bodice for The Mina and maybe, maybe remove the over bust seam and cut in gores. 

Fortunately there is a fair bit of the rip stop cotton. Oh yes! Actually cutting gores and gussets will work and probably even better with the cording.

Just got a copy of Jill Salen’s Corset book. I need to make it as a separate lining and line the silk in something to just not show the cording. It was always going to have to avoid the boning of course.

Okay actually yes I can use my fabric I just need to decide on unpicking or finding all the vertical lines for the vertical cords and horizontal for horizontal. Okay. This is now a plan with potential!