Tag Archives: marie antoinette

lightbulb- the mina

Okay so while looking for photos for insurance I found my first photos of my new Mina bodice and had quite a revelation.

So I find it very painful to do fitting for historic gear. It’s physically painful. 

I have helped that a bit with The Mina because I shaped all panels before putting eyelets in the back so I can lace it closed even during fitting.

But I’m having trouble with boning because well it’s also painful to cut. and to handle in general.

And I realised where most of my fitting trouble is which is the bust.

I need to cord the whole thing!

I want a mid-late 1870s shape and to get that cording is often used in the hip and bust gores.

Of course!

SO this is great.

My Marie antoinette stays need a lot of topstitching before I can bone that too and I may even use a bit of cording in that to soften some of the harshness of the metal stays.

I didn’t account for cording in my pattern but I have a good seam allowance at the sides.

The cording is going to help retain the shape I carefully created in fabric as it collapses off the form.

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norma shearer gowns progress

I worked on both my marie Antoinette gown and Upstage gown today. For Marie I cut the silver lamé 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!

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#marieantoinette skirt draping. This is the lining then I’ll start cutting the silk.

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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 and 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 🙂

Also need to 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 🙂

Meanwhile time to go and work on Marie Antoinette.

Also, I finally worked out the pattern for the Freya cloak 🙂

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!

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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 🙂

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″!


Oh look, another Shearer gown. There *maaay* be a folder just for her 😉 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. 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 🙂

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 🙂

(Suddenly WP won’t let me upload an image- it’s the insert media window- I can upload via the 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 🙂

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 🙂

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

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The next few months have many opportunities! 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 🙂 Also of course Rogue One and N7 day 🙂

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. 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 🙂 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 😉

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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).


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


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.

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Wig frankensteining

I have three lace front wigs that were not entirely perfect. The first was just a size too small for my head, the other two were slightly too dark for Elsa.

Step One: A new wig cap.


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This is a strip of high quality powernet (the rest is set aside to redo my Pink Diamonds costume) with the lace top and strips from one of the wigs I cut apart. There are strips of the wig powernet in peach on the sides.

Step Two: Add the lace front to the nape of the neck.

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I added a strip of stable net and lace to the nape, to help support and reduce stress on the delicate net. This is to disguise the wig fully and the hair can be styled up or down.


This is the interior view of a strip from a lace front. It is curved and has the front lace clipped already.


It does blend well.

Step three: stitch lace fronts in

(no pics, as this was a process of frustration and photos that don’t illustrate this well enough!)

Step Four: add wefts


This is ongoing, and I’d also like to add a couple more lace strips back in to help stabilise the vertical stretch. Start from the bottom to avoid having to flip the wefts out of the way.

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hoops nearly finished

No real photos for this update but the tape ties are in, and the yoke and side openings have been tidied. I can now wash the things gently without any worry. There are pen marks and large pin pricks to wash out.

I also got progress on my Jubon for my Princess of Cleves ensemble. The braid is now all sewn on the body and sleeves, though I may unpick the lower sides and put the waist braid in pieces as well. It looks amazing on. I will be putting padding in like the extant garments of c1600 have as there are so few good internal photos of women’s doublets from an earlier time.

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getting there

My Marie Antoinette hoops are slowly taking shape. I finally managed a pattern though, so if I have to redo this I have a guide.

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Yes, there are finally tape channels sewn in! And even more plumber’s coil/drain snake.I finally got the internal tapes to a position that works, and the tape is all hemmed.

Also that is a yoke on the dress form, I also had the hip padding under it, and it makes a big difference to how the hoops sit!

Detail photos at a later time. I just had to take some prednisone and am about to strap my wrists. I can’t close my hands nor my jaw so there is a heck of a lot of inflammation going on.

Weirdly though with that my sinus pain has gone, so I have no idea what system is in place- except that perhaps the inflammation cascade is actually functioning as intended in my face due to a lack of synovium- my antibodies are against synovial tissue so maybe that’s how my sinuses are getting the benefit while my joints just get worse. Have to check on that.

Synovial tissue is also found around some organs as well as tendons and ligaments which is hwy it’s particularly nasty and why I hate that the disease is called Rheumatoid Arthritis- it is so misleading.

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