bethzylla: (FFD2012)
I've been busy sewing over this long weekend.  It's basically the only time I can really put the pedal to the medal and marathon sew, what with 4 consecutive days off.  I've been working on some new pieces for the guild's next event, Dressing for the Holidays.  I volunteered to get dressed and show all the hidden layers of a bustle-era outfit, so I figured this was an excellent opportunity to spruce up some of my undies!



Now I have some new frilly whites - combinations and a petticoat to fit over my bustle.  I had to wash them to get all the chalk marks off, so now they're dripping dry in the bathroom.  Maybe there will be fewer wrinkles to iron out this way.  *crosses fingers*

I'm also working on a new bustle dress that I'll call 'The Very Merry Christmas Dress.'  This will make perfect sense to you when you see it, but for now no pictures.  It's pretty on-the-nose, both colorwise and fabric pattern-wise (there are small pine trees woven into the fabric!)  I don't usually get into themed dresses like this, but honestly the guild does enough Victorian Christmas events that it'll get plenty of use, so I'm going for it!  Here's my to-do list:

  • Hem underskirt

  • Make and apply self-trim to underskirt (this can wait until last, or be added later)

  • Construct overskirt (it's cut out and marked for pleating in progress)

  • Mock up bodice, make changes to pattern as needed

  • Cut out and construct bodice

  • Make a paper small-scale model for a tall hat from this doll-sized diagram, make changes as necessary and scale up pattern (or come up with plan B) ETA: Plan B it is!

  • Construct tall hat during slow evenings at work

  • If I miraculously have time, make a shoulder cape and small muff trimmed with faux beaver fur.

I fully expect this list to remain unfinished by Saturday, but that's OK.  There will be at least one other Victorian Christmas event this year (two if I feel up to inviting myself to a friend of a friend's event on Sunday.)  And there's always next year's events too.  This is enough to keep me very busy this week.  I'm already going to lose a day because of a holiday dinner at work (but yay dinner!)  I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving (if you're in the US) or a good weekend!
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 [livejournal.com 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 [livejournal.com 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 [livejournal.com profile] jaelie:
20150107_11524820150107_115316

Bustle Petticoat with Wire Frame (TV101) from cotton muslin:
20150107_115729
(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)
Last Saturday the DFWCG met up at the Grapevine Vintage Railroad station and rode the train to the Fort Worth Stockyards.  We had an excellent turnout in spite of the hot (90ish) day.  Everyone seemed to have a good time in spite of the less-than-ideal weather, and I loved seeing all my friends dressed to the nines!  Very special thanks go out to [livejournal.com profile] jenthompson for taking pictures and sharing them.  I brought my phone, but as it gets older it takes crappier pics and loads verrrrry sloooooowly.  As a result, all these are taken by Jen!

Many, many pictures... )
bethzylla: (FFD2012)
Saturday the DFW Costumer's Guild met up at the Candlelight event at Dallas Heritage Park.  The weather was perfectly chilly, as a Christmastime event should be.  We had a cozy group of five, and it was wonderful to walk the grounds and tour the old buildings in good company.  Unfortunately, I only got a single picture the entire time we were there!

Candlelight 2013 - The Ladies

Smartphones are impossible to operate in leather gloves.  I know they're making smartphone compatible gloves these days, but I really wanted to wear my red gloves!  Fashion before functionality, right?  ;)  I need to look around and see if they sell just the stitched pads that allow you to use your phone so I can add them to all my gloves.  Luckily for me, [livejournal.com profile] jenthompson saved the day and took some great pics!

Read more... )
bethzylla: (FFD2012)
I've had an awful time getting motivated to sew anything lately.  That really sucks, since I was so excited about having a new bustle dress for Candlelight this Saturday.  I've got all my fabric and trims layed out, the patterns and inspiration source material handy, and a felt hat blank and coating wool for some snazzy winter outerwear.  I've even deconstructed a vintage fur shrug for use as a muff.

So what's the hangup?  I have no idea.  But I'm starting to suspect that the stress of trying to bang this thing out in two days would overshadow my enjoyment of the event.

My backup plan is to wear my black half-mourning gown and make a mantle or wrap to go over the top.  I've got some black wool/wool blend (estate sale find) that might work.  I'd certainly be warm!  It's very heavy and blanket-like.  I'm wondering if I could make a small bustle pad and fake that skirt into looking early bustle era?  Might be worth a shot.  I'll need to make a reticule (or check local thrift stores for a framed purse) so I can hide my cash, keys, and phone/camera.  That's still a fair amount to do in the next couple days, but it's far more reasonable than trying to rush my original plan.

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