bethzylla: (FFD2012)
I started this project last June, and just now got around to finishing it.  It'll be needed this weekend, so the deadline helped.  ;)  Initially this was going to be for me, but it ended up sized more for my friend Chris.  So she's the lucky recipient of this Vanity Fair-esque hat!

Read more... )We still need to sew some faux hair curls to the front, but otherwise it's done.  She wanted something that made doing her hair easy, and this will definitely be that!  It doesn't get a whole lot easier than throwing on a hat that already has hair sewn to it.

As for construction, it's an iridescent silk exterior, a fleece mull layer, and a straw hat's crown for the base.  [ profile] jenthompson was kind enough to lead a group of us in how to make Regency turban-style hats that are permanently attached to a hat base.  If I recall correctly, the straw hat started life at Party City.  After mulling the hat, I just pinned and tacked the silk until I had something I liked.  I sewed a straight-grain band around the bottom to hide the raw edges of the crown silk, then covered the seam with the gold trim.  I curled the peacock feathers using a plastic knife (yes, that really works!) and tucked all the feather ends into a filigree cone bead.

It's nice to be making progress!  Tonight I'll be fixing some small errors on my own regency hat, and tomorrow I'll work on a chemisette and some sleeves for my dress.  I've gotta look spiffy for tea this weekend!
bethzylla: (FFD2012)
I'm very behind in posting about recent costume events, so naturally I'm going to push that off a bit longer and share a quick post about a tunic I recently made for a friend's son.  He's involved in some kind of fantasy-themed LARP where he portrays a dwarf.  My friend specifically asked for earthy tones, but also wanted a green that would bring out his eyes.  They're a very striking light green with a gold/yellow undertone.  Here is the inspiration pic:

I chose a softened canvas-weight linen for the fabric, a long-pile faux fur, and a unique woven poly trim I found on ebay from seller mespa13.  You'd think that a canvas weight fabric would be too much for a tunic, but it was already softened and got even more drapey after an initial run through the wash.  It also got more textured and rustic-looking, which is exactly what I was hoping for!  I was in a rush to get this packed up and in the mail, so the wrinkles you see here are due to my only ironing where it was absolutely necessary (ie, the neckline facing.)  Then again, it is linen, and we all know how prone it is to wrinkles!


It was delivered yesterday, but it's a Christmas gift.  So I won't have any pictures of the young fella wearing his spiffy tunic until after the holiday.  I hope he likes it!
bethzylla: (FFD2012)
Historical Sew Monthly
Challenge #1: Foundations

Corset Front Corset Back

The Challenge: Bustle-era corset

Fabric: Silk exterior, coutil flatlining, cotton lining

Pattern: Laughing Moon #100

Year: 1837-1899, according to the pattern envelope.  It's intended for mid to late 1880's.

Notions: Busk, spiral and flat steel boning, two-piece grommets, round polyester lacing, thread

How historically accurate is it? I'd give it an overall 80%.  I used some modern materials, but the pattern and fabrics are plausible for the Victorian era.

Hours to complete: About 20, which includes a fully boned mockup and fitting.

First worn: January 10th (four days ago) for a costumed visit to an Impressionist art exhibit.

Total cost: Around $75.  Most of this came from the stash, so that's my best guess.

bethzylla: (FFD2012)
Saturday the DFW Costumer's Guild visited the Faces of Impressionism exhibit at the Kimbell Museum.  We dressed in late Victorian and Edwardian fashions and had a wonderful time seeing all the artwork!  The museum was very busy and the exhibit was actually at capacity nearly the entire time we were there.  Lots of people were interested in us and our fancy dresses.  Some of them even thought we worked for the museum!  The staff there were very welcoming and even took some photos of us.  I found this one of [ profile] nuranar on the museum's instagram:

Ginger on Kimbell Instagram

Before we entered the exhibit, we stopped for a group shot.  I think two people had gotten there early and were already inside, but this is most of us:
Big Group

It was amazing to see all that stunning art with friends.  Getting a glimpse into the everyday life of the era is pretty fascinating.  I know there's a lot of little details I'm missing because I'm too busy mentally deconstructing the clothing of the subjects.  I was so caught up in the hat and facial expression of one lady that I totally missed seeing there was a tortie cat under the table until [ profile] jenthompson pointed it out to me!  I think that means I need to spend more time around art.

I managed to finish up my friend's outfit just in the nick of time - I put the last stitch in the hat just minutes before she arrived to get ready!  I'm really happy with how it turned out.  She was thrilled too, which made me feel great about it.
Chris and I

Want more pics and construction details? )
bethzylla: (FFD2012)
I'm hard at work on a bustle outfit for my friend Chris for this weekend's guild outing.  I started completely from scratch since this is a new era for her, so what I have done is a few of the undergarments.  These were very hurriedly taken pics (and therefore not the best lighting) but you'll get the idea.  :)

Shift from Laughing Moon 100, made from buttery soft cotton voile I got from [ profile] jaelie:

Bustle Petticoat with Wire Frame (TV101) from cotton muslin:
(We're pretending this one is done even though the hem needs another pressing and I still have to sew on the waist closure.)

I've also got an overskirt complete, but I want to keep the outfit a surprise for Saturday.

Today I'm wrestling with sleevils.  Chris is very petite, so I'm now on my third redraft of the sleeve pattern for the bodice.  Hopefully third time's a charm!  I also found out that the fabric I want to use for the bodice and underskirt was terribly off-grain, so I'm giving it a good wash and dry in the hopes that with the sizing removed it'll be useable.  I seriously wonder what's going on at the fabric mills when they're finishing off the fabric and getting ready to fold it onto bolts.  This is the worst off-grain mess I've seen in a long time.  Cross your fingers for me, because I don't have a backup plan! 
bethzylla: (FFD2012)
I've got a little downtime before the series finale of Breaking Bad, so I might as well be semi-productive and use some of it to share the coronation robe I made for Shane.

I'll preface this whole thing by saying that this is intended for wearing at LARP events, and therefore is only historically inspired.  Even so, I think it came out well enough that I'll still enter it into the HSF Outerwear challenge.

If my less-than-ideal backdrop doesn't bother you too much, then keep reading!

Read more... )
bethzylla: (FFD2012)
I've got a lot of projects going.

One of my friends is getting crowned King of the larp group he plays with, and I'm making a coronation robe for him.  He sent me this as inspiration:
Read more... )
In non-larp sewing news, I'm planning to enter the next Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge, Re-Make, Re-Use, and Re-Fashion.  I've been haunting my favorite thrift stores lately and I happened across some matelasse (sp?) curtain panels in a light brown color.  New petti time!!!  You may remember I already have one matelasse petticoat, but it's fitted for my panniers.  The new one will be fitted for the false rump I wore to last year's Georgian Picnic.  After all, can a lady ever have too many petticoats?
bethzylla: (Alot)
I've been quiet on here and facebook for the past couple weeks.  The reason for that is because I was either rush sewing some things to take on vacation, or actually on vacation!  Sadly I don't have any pics ready to share here yet, but I thought I'd just ramble on a bit about it all to decompress.

Read more... )

So, total hours spent continuously sewing: 26.  I did stop for short breaks to eat, let the dogs out, stretch, etc.  That is definitely my new personal record, though.  My sewing room is in utter chaos, and I haven't set foot in there yet to start the cleanup effort.  I think I'll do that tomorrow since it's supposed to be such mild weather.  I'm still sleepy from the long drive, and all my animals are still clustered all around me like they weren't sure I was coming back home.  I think I was missed!
bethzylla: (Default)
I'm a list maker.  I don't always write them down, but they're always kicking around in my head.  Sometimes they get too long or too detailed, and that's when I grab my pen and paper.  It's still my preferred method in spite of living in this technological age.  There's something about physically crossing off the completed items that is just so satisfying!

I'm going to try something different this time and put my list here.  Seems like a lot of us sewing types have been bitten by the organization bug lately, so maybe we can all organize together!  My list is long and've been warned!

Projects )

I've definitely got a full plate right now!  Nothing like seeing it all in black and white to make it obvious.  Almost all of it has me inspired, which makes it a whole lot more fun to do!

Edited 8/2 to reflect completed items.
bethzylla: (Alot)
Yesterday was one of those push to get it done days.  By 'it,' I mean the skirt portion of the wedding outfit I'm making.  I spent about 10 hours sewing.  Well, sewing and pressing really...but you get the picture.  You might be thinking that a skirt shouldn't take that long...Trust me, I'm thinking the same thing!  Blind hems are apparently not my strong suit, and it was really two skirts with curved hems and massive circumference.  In the end, I had to wave my white flag and put it down to finish up today.  My back ached, my butt was sore from sitting in an inadequately padded task chair, and I was sticky from sewing in a room with only a box fan for a/c.  Not meeting my goal was really disheartening but I really was right at my breaking point.

Today, I woke up rested and got the job done.  It feels great, even if it's a day later than I wanted.  As soon as Ben gets home I'm heading to UPS to get this box shipped.  I'm still tweaking the fit of the bodice, so hopefully this mockup is The One.  If it still needs major changes I think I might start tearing out my hair.

In happier news, the corset fit great!  Almost no wrinkles at all, and the chicken patties created even more shaping than I'd hoped for.  So hooray for that!

All in all, I can't wait for this project to be over with.  I've been meticulously saving small bits of the scraps so I can stuff a voodoo doll with it during CLW.  I've got a dress in mind for the Mourning Party, but I'm having some trouble finding the right brocade fabric for it.  Also, I've only been able to find a pic of it from one angle (the back) so I'll have to make some educated guesses about the front, or just accept that it will be an 'inspired by' dress and not a replica.  Who knows, after this wedding outfit I might be burnt out on sewing.  We'll see what happens.  Here's the dress:

bethzylla: (Default)
So, remember how I was lamenting the fact that my sewing mojo had mysteriously disappeared?  Well last week it mysteriously reappeared.  Here are some pics to prove it!

This corset pattern is one I got by attending a class taught by Electra Designs a couple years ago.  I've found it makes the most comfortable corset I've ever worn, and I want my bride to be comfortable on her special day.  It's silk dupioni with a few panels of interfaced poly brocade for the outer, an English coutil strength layer, and a cute cotton lining.  The top and bottom edges are machine bound with bias silk dupioni (sorry to any corset purists who might be reading this...machine binding is much faster for me than hand binding!)  It's got an underbusk because I wasn't happy with how flexible the busk felt.  Each seam is double boned with 1/4" spiral, and the back has one 1/2" flat and one 1/4" flat per side to reinforce the grommets.  There's a modesty panel that's boned with 1/4" flats and laces in for no slip/no crumple/no worries.  Right now it's laced with round polyester cord, but I plan to make double faced satin ribbon laces so she has options.  The bride wanted a little bust assistance, so I created pockets to hold those gel 'chicken patties.'

Right now I'm working on mocking up the bodice for her dress.  I'd planned to have that done by the end of today, but I spent all day Sunday in bed with a killer migraine and upset stomach.  I'll most likely send her corset out tomorrow and the mockup Thursday or Friday at this rate.  Progress is progress, and I'm happy to be making some finally!
bethzylla: (Default)
I've had the worst time lately trying to get mentally in gear.  I have several sewing projects on my plate (all for paying clients) and deadlines are creeping closer every day.  I don't know what my problem is, but the sewing mojo just isn't there.  I utterly hate when this happens...I want my sewing to be something that makes me happy, not a chore to be completed under pressure.  I know everyone goes through creative slumps, but this seriously couldn't have come at a worse time.

There's a fun guild event coming up - a Victorian train ride - and I'd hoped to make a new outfit for it.  It's safe to say that's not happening at this point.  I'll have to wear my only Victorian outfit (the blue bustle dress) again.  I do like it, and I'm starting to get it accessorized to a level I'm happy with, but's not new and shiny.  At least all the hard work I put into making it is paying off with multiple wearings.  Besides, it'll be fun to see all my friends and go on a scenic round-trip train ride.  Last year Ben and I wound up leaving early because we hadn't eaten all day.  I'll make sure that's not an issue this time!

In the meantime, if anyone has advice for sweet-talking a sewing muse who's apparently on strike, please feel free to chime in!
bethzylla: (Default)
I know it's been a long, long time since I updated here, but I figured a few of you might be interested in this.  It's the first complex costume project I've taken on in a while, and I'm relatively happy with how it turned out.

This set is a replica of Darken Rahl's costume in Legend of the Seeker.  The client wanted some modifications, but all other details were kept as close to the real costume as possible.
Warning!!! Very picture heavy... )

It's not every day you can dress like the emperor of D'Hara.  :D


bethzylla: (Default)

September 2016

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