Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Baby Shower Gifts

I love making baby presents - they're small, quick and ever so cute. One of my co-workers at Disney is having a baby soon, so for the baby shower, I made these:
Winnie the Pooh kimono top

Winnie the Pooh bibs; bib on the right has appliqued characters

Polka dotted and Winnie the Pooh bibs; polka dot bib has rick rac trim

Coordinating baby bunnies! My favorite toy to make.

1912 Ladies Afternoon Wrap

My group's pattern is the Ladies Afternoon Wrap E0291. I love this pattern because it makes up fairly easily and can work with modern apparel just as well as it does with period attire. I've been delayed in making this due to numerous issues, but working to quickly get back on track now.

Mine is being made in a dark fushia peachskin with a black peachskin trim. I find the peachskin drapes beautifully...that and I had just enough left over from my Amy Sorel costume to fit the pattern pieces - except the collar! I didn't have enough black for my undercollar pieces, so I cheated and cut it out of the wrap fabric and painted about a 1" wide section of black fabric paint along the outer edge to blend with the edge of the outercollar. (No matter how many times I photographed this, it was fuzzy.)

After everything was cut, I took to sewing together the darts and center back seam (slightly out of order from the instructions with the latter). I decided to not hand-finish these, but rather just use my serger for that. Then, to applying the sleeve trim, following the instructions word for word. Sadly, my progress photos of applying the trim were too fuzzy (maybe my camera is dying?) to be useful, but here's a shot of the actual color and drape of the sleeve trim:

When doing the topstiching on the trim, make sure your bobbin thread matches your wrap's fabric or you will see the stitchlines; as you can see in the photo, the stitchline is nearly invisible on the underside.

After applying trim and tacking my waistline pleats, I went to attach the collar...but something was amiss - I'd mismarked the center back and sewn the fronts together instead!

So, a step backwards, restitched the center backs correctly and was able to attach the collar properly. But what's this? A new problem?! Argh....

The collar is beautifully lying where it should be but now the right front is stretched out and the odd thing is, while the waist pleat and bottom hang considerably lower now, the point of the sleeve slash matches the left side perfectly...how in the world did this happen? I'm guessing I did something to the bias or the trouble-maker may be involved (he does enjoy torturing things on my dressform).

Kyo, the ever adorable trouble-maker

Hoping to figure out what in the world went wrong with this poor wrap while debating what type of tassels I want to use as well as what color/shape of buckles I want. The pattern calls for the front to tie, but I'm going to use a belt buckle instead which will match the one at center back. I have two round gold buckles, but they're so...normal. I think maybe a black jet/rhinestone buckle might be a good statement piece, but we'll see. I'm also still debating on adding some painted roses to either the sleeve points or maybe even on the collar. They would be similar to the ones from my Amy Sorel costume (notice a theme here?), which look like this:

I was thinking maybe a rose at each point (coming off a vine starting at each tassel) with some gold detailing added on...that or doing roses with just some gold outling on the collar...or would that be too much? Thoughts?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

1912 Princess Slip..off to a rocky start

My group finally received our roster, so hopefully our official first pattern will be on its way shortly. :) I still have my challenge pattern to complete in the meantime - the Princess Slip.

Well, my pattern is printed out and taped together, my lace is chosen...and somewhere in my moves I misplaced my large quantites of muslin. I have scraps here and there, but not enough for a full-length slip. My mother was kind enough to order some and have it sent to me (enough for the slip and then some!), but now I'm playing the waiting game as I wait for it to show up. Le sigh...

On a small side note, I am cheating with the insertion lace - though I will one day make it properly, currently I will use my 1 inch Raschel lace - I bought a 200 yd spool of it (for only $10, mind you) and in 8 years have barely made a dent. This is the lace:

In the meantime I suppose I'll work on my 1930s overalls...I'm making them in a lovely grey linen with a white pinstripe. Hopefully little Kyo will leave the paper alone long enough for me to lay it out and cut. The pattern I'm using is the Sweetheart Overalls from Decades of Style.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

1911 Corset Complete

Minus some decorative detailing, my 1911 corset is officially complete. It's a smidgeon too big (fitting helper fail), but I'm going to add a mini seam in each back piece to take out the little bit I need. As you can tell in the pictures, it's not shaping me as well as it should in the waist and hips, but that's where it is a smidgeon loose at the moment.

1911 Corset from Norah Waugh's Corsets and Crinolines
And to show the difference from my norm, here is my 1890s corset (combination of spring steel and a lot of cording).
1890s Pretty Housemaid Corset from Jill Salen's Corsets: Historical Patterns and Techniques

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Corset ready for boning

Everytime I went to type this entry, work called me in early...soo, let's try posting in the middle of the night, when they're closed. :)

I decided to make this in a single layer of coutil, keeping it summer weight and following some of my research. Busk is placed at center front per usual (for a good visual on how to do this, visit Bridges on the Body's corset sew-along at http://bridgesonthebody.blogspot.com/2012/02/1911-busk-loop-side.html Note, the instructions are for the same corset I'm working on.) All seams are stitched, attaching hip gussets before finishing the rest of the side front and side back seams (this ensures that they meet properly). After this, I flat-felled all seams both for seam stability and strength. The result is something like this (forgive the photo quality, my apartment provides poor lighting for this): 
The pencil lines are for boning placement; seams are all flat-felled and show as a thicker 'strip'
After this, I lay in the boning channels - my wider tape is MIA, so I stitched two 1/2" boning tapes together, barely lapping the edges. 
Here you can see both seams and attached channels.

Details of the over-lapped channels, seams and the rough of my new 'hemline.'
I found that the length of the corset is not to my liking for my shape, so I'm tweaking the 'hemline' considerably, following some of my research. It still rides over my full hip and then some, but now I can sort of sit down, which is important as I may need to one day sit in a modern car while wearing this! I also raised the bust ever so slightly just over the breasts for better support.

All spiral bones have been cut and tipped and are ready to slide into their channels. By next post, the corset should be finished! And then, on to the princess slip challenge pattern!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

1911 Corset - First 'Snag'

Somewhere in all my moves since undergrad, I've either lost or misplaced the final pattern for the corset...on the plus side, I still have the mock-up. I did a quick re-fitting of the mock-up, now I have to use my ponce wheel (the spiky brother of the tracing wheel) and transfer the pattern back on to paper so I can proceed into the coutil.

Here's the mock-up from the front:
Sans boning, part of why it's super wrinkled, but you get the general idea. The front is stitched for the mock-up to ensure that it stays straight - in the real corset, this will have a straight busk and remain open below the pelvis.
I tried taking a side/back shot, but ran into some trouble with that...
The adorable face of trouble.
Also, after further thinking, I'm going to keep the coutil white and add some blue perle cotton embroidery and flossing with maybe some blue ribbon details.

My Pre-1912 Project Project

In rememberance of the Titanic, the Vintage Pattern Lending Library is doing a year long project of transcribing original patterns and having test-stitchers 'test' them out - and I'm participating in this project! As we're close to my group getting our first pattern to test out, I've been debating about making a period corset for these garments to go over, especially since many of the other ladies have been making foundation garments in prep for the patterns. During my years in undergrad, I blew up the 1911 corset from Norah Waugh's Corsets and Crinolines for my Costume Construction class - I made a full mock-up and my mentor fit it to me. I figure, well, there's step one down (just need to double-check the fit since I've changed a bit since then) and I have enough coutil and boning for a few corsets, so supplies isn't really an issue, might as well make one, right?

This is the corset pattern per the book:

Because of its length, I'm planning to use spiral boning - I normally use spring steel for all center backs due to the strains of lacing, but as it will be going over my most prominent curves (I have swayback and a larger derriere - basically, a natural s-curve, no padding needed!), I will probably have to use the spiral so that I can still sit down comfortably, especially in a vehicle when travelling. I will be using a white coutil for this, though I may embellish it with some hand-painting or embroidery or dye it...so many options! Part of me is thinking maybe a nice evening blue with white embroidery along the busk...perhaps I'll go that route.

I will post again once I've made the decision as to my chosen fabric modification and have started the cutting out/construction process. I'm so excited to be doing this and can't wait until I can start posting about the actual patterns for the 1912 project!