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I did manage all the brocade stitching yesterday. I need to press it before stitching the joins but basically six rows of more than 4m a row through metal brocade was a nightmare.


Yes that is overlocking, no it will not remain for long. I do need to get some tape over the seam allowances but this keeps the edges stable until then. It may not be possible to find enough linen to make facings.



I think you may be able to tell the thickness from these photos, but that is a big needle. I need big needles so I can use all my fingers to push the needle through. Usually I can do this in a way that doesn’t require a thimble but this was so grippy… my needles did need to be pushed through at the very end and I can’t use thimbles so I have a bit of healing to do.


note: calluses are not good. They are brittle and less able to resist the pressure from a needle end.


I am looking at a leather thimble for my ring finger though. I sew and write using all my fingers anyway due to how my fingers curve unhelpfully, so I’ll test thimbles on each finger to see what works best.


No I am not able to use short needles please do not recommend ways of using them. I am though looking at just restocking more frequently. Pincushions have the sharpener for steel needles. Well most modern needles are chromed. This means you can’t really sharpen them to the same degree. Also the profile of the points can vary so I need to look to see if there is a specific brand and type that i can continue to buy.


I’ll see if I can get some photos/video of why short needles are so bad for me!

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Yeah, well I tried by machine. It was actually much harder and the result was just not okay. I either had really obvious stitches or had to break out my craft blade to unpick very carefully.


The light heat n bond is kind of perfect though. It is too light to work on its own but works really well to stabilise the brocade. It both retains the curve I managed to pressed it into as well as stick to the silk. But the fabric is much too heavy, so it absorbs the stuff!



Also if anyone has been watching my instagram they’ll have seen the progress of the centrepiece of my stickelchen. My Boo, he is made from embossed copper with silver leaf so is quite fragile. I was going to make his body from pearls but I think I may want to preserve the feeling of softness by either embroidery or more embossing. I have silver thread but nothing to couch.



And yes, I still need to tidy the couched braid as it is a bit wobbly from stretching.


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This gown has really stressed every problem solution option I have! I mostly chose modern options if there was an external issue, or period for internal.


So the lining is salvaged from a badly made skirt and left over length. The grain is all over the place inside the skirt so I overhanded all the seam allowances to help stabilise them  then there is tiny piecing of the lining at the hem so as to make sure the hem guard is nice and stable.



The skirt is still very full, with the flatter front and fuller back that defines this region so well.


 



This is where my modern sensibilities went nope! I am not using a similar but not same piece of brocade for this I took the back of the skirt in by 12cm instead.


The skirt really is fine as can be seen from the above and I may have a nice strip of silk now for other elements of this gown 🙂


 


Today I get to press the border in place.


 


Unfortunately my disease is triggered by physical stress on joints so I absolutely cannot hand sew this hem the same way I did the bodice (nearly fully hand sewn) . I use steroids to settle the infmammation and disease itself but that has been at levels used in trauma. So that is not really going to do anything good for my heat and liver and everything really.


 


I don’t tend to hypersensitivity but because I have signs of it with pin pricks (the only pain I know full well is OTT- I can breath through injections but random scrapes from sewing? It’s hypersensitive for sure.


But we have decided to try to block pain signals- and it has made a big difference today 🙂 I do though know it’s blocked signals so I have to make sure to not do something I know will cause har.


 


So back to the border! It has been fused to heat n bond. I am using light which should just hold this together long enough for me to easily manipulate it under a machine.


If anyone is all “omg that’s too modern!” I’d point out that I do not have a workshop full of apprentices to do all this 😉 Tailors did not do this, their apprentices did. And I’d like to point out there are traces of glues and waxes found inside garments some used for stiffening some appear to be to hold pieces for working.


 


If you like pretend I’m using feather light, the stuff that dissolves away on second pressing 😉


I will need to do all this on my padded table, the pressing and careful fine work to tidy the top edges of the widest braid.

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Stickelchen is now tidy enough to line and to add more leaves and sequins 🙂



The back is slightly longer than the original I made so there is a bit of a gap. Currently binding the individual cords in gold thread. It is taking a few goes as my needles keep bending.



Brocade trim progress:


The double border after the dye was removed, being cut into usable strips.



Then one of those strips being pressed for use. Hopefully enough to do what I want. There may have to be creative use of scraps if not!



The bodice! So proud. I’m using a few actual tailoring methods here 🙂 Heavy thread to baste the layers and to ease the armscye. Yes. the thread is slightly tight which draws the fabric closer into the shoulder and arm. You can seen the deep clipping used to fit the armhole too, it was really distorting the fit so it had to be done sooner rather than later.



What’s this? Yes, stay tape around the neckline (including deep front opening. I wanted a round neck but all those images of Anne show her nckline really scooting right up to form an inverted V at the front so it makes most sense to make a V in the back.


But a V is on the diagonal so stretches out. The tape is to prevent that.



Is it telling that I really want to make the matching belt? Like really really really want to. I feel it’s going to tie the whole ensemble together well 🙂

big day

Jan. 25th, 2017 08:53 am
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Finally have my studio feeling spacious. There has been a lot of digging through stash to divest the burden, still lots more to go and we have so much old furniture to get rid of too.


Anyway. Today I cut and pressed all the gold trim of the saree. Well now gold. I used RIT color remover to turn the base fabric yolk yellow and the metal tarnished to gold.



 


These are photos from the auction. As soon as the seller added these I clicked by it now 🙂 That double border does go from one end to the other, or did, and there was a 2 yard length on the other side (one width). Real metal, cold to the touch.



The space between the double border has also been turned into narrow trim for the chemise.


The main body? Well I’ll have to cut to shape then use that for the kirtle bodice. That is mostly not metal, but a double satin. It’s pretty darn amazing as a piece that has been totally able to be used with minimal waste.


Today I cut the sleeves and lined the bodice and refitted it (based on the Mary of Hungary bodice which really relies on the bias at the waist to fit!) So on the whole really stepped up to get this ready.


I have plans to go to Hamilton Gardens with a good friend and get photos. Honestly, I just want to get all my gear out there and photographed. All of it. No, no exceptions. All  of it.


 

very down

Jan. 22nd, 2017 04:36 am
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Not sure if fatigue is worse this year or what, but today has been spent trying to be at least upright and it has felt like a struggle all day, and that is after a day sleep that usually does help.



But we did have “not a storm really” last night which brought down this tree. And it was partially sheltered by the garage and house next door.



So pretty much all I did was overhand over my seams to stop them from twisting in the skirt.


 


Okay I did also manage to mostly remove colour from the saree borders, but I have to be careful as it’s the same kind of fabric as one I took too far. And there are still red patches.

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Okay, this has taken forever and I was trying to get this ready for.. tomorrow. AHAHAHAHAHHAAH!!!


But I decided to not take any shortcuts (except to stabilise layers before hand working.)


So this meant stretching the velvet and pearls over the base. Loose over handing of the back, then the front with tinier over handing.



Okay it’s not Anne’s because I do like a little room for interpretation and originality.


And this work? Well I had to carefully remove it all as a few branches were just off enough that I was not happy.


Rare back view as it doesn’t show that well on the form. Well it does but it doesn’t sit in the right place 🙂



And on top of the saree I picked up just tonight. It is vintage style and is very similar in hand to the saree I partially gave away a while back. This should decolour but it will be a little tougher than the recent saree.



There are a few larger gaps than intended in the stickelchen so there will be tidying tomorrow as well as tiny twigs like seen almost in the centre of the image below.



With all this, and with the news about the new schnittbuch it’s reinvigorated my desire to get The Frazzled Frau (boards under my name- all right at the top 🙂 ) back up and running. If there are pins from trusted sources I repin, if I have tracked down through image searches I pin anew and smile when it turns out others have pinned from the source too 🙂


Also, I have a single xml copy of my livejournal to go through- lj archive would be so perfect if it had editing capabilities. But ah well currently using a mix of apps that are better than notepad but not as flash as I’d really like. But that’s xml documents for you. But essentially finding all the for public posts and making them public again 🙂 I’ve been blogging since 2001 so it’s an old habit and it’s not always been easy finding the balance 🙂

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I woke early and put Pride and Prejudice on and sewed. And sewed.


Backtracking a few days: My support bodice has been theorised and made. Basically I went this area has both Dutch and German influences and I really don’t want another sidelacing support so what if…?”



The shoulder is cut separately like in Alcega and other tailors. Because like me those tailors said “man this wastes fabric also I want a stable neckline all on the grain thankyouverymuch.”


I have done this since.. well the Kampfrau at least, but  in all the site moves this has been lost. So, that’s the two-fold benefit of cutting shoulders separately. Oh, but the shoulders are a single layer like the Effigy stays because it really is super comfy!


Then I wanted to try to use the overhanded body seams. This was nervewracking! I know the curvy S front seam means that’s where fitting happens, but it is very apparent from extant items that the side back was where the final fitting happens. This is clear when you look at the even seam allowances at the front but uneven allowances at the side back. That can only happen if the fronts were fitted and made up and the side backs done last.


I have managed that through very bad initial fitting stages though…



So here is my cunning method of transferring a seam and also my curvy S front seam. The entire bodice (aside from sloping neckline) is straight from a tailor’s book seen in Kohler’s History of Costume that looked like it was made up but is definitely from an extant manual.


I thought it was in Drei Schnittbucher (which really I hope everyone has) but I think was in another article. I will find it. Meanwhile the Kohler diagrams:



So finally I used twill tape to stabilise where I’ll be poking lacing holes, and bound the entire piece by hand.




Lots of falling in love with all the characters from P&P here and also lots of life lessons between my first viewing and latest!


So that wasn’t enough. I also removed the dye from the brocade for the hem of the gown proper and started putting the stickelchen together properly.


I like making hats, I love millinery. So of course am doing this as complicated as possible. But it’s at least plausible and mimics the structure I know was used for rigid headgear at this time. Oh trust me that documentation is coming but it’s been a slog to reverse image search as my bookmarks are out of control! And because it’s been over a decade since this project started there are broken links to hunt for archival forms 😉



The twill tape is to stabilise the edges.And the front shell is in place and the jeweled band is in progress. Just second guessing a few decisions for that one. I just don’t have the finding I know I want to use. The pretty ones clearly have glued stones and the “aged” gold is just not what you want for period items (you didn’t pretend the bling was dirty or not real, you wanted the bling!.)

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Progress from 2006:



Progress 2016 after stripping all the fire damaged bezants and sequins:



New pearls on the upper right, the same pattern was repeated on the upper left and a matching overlapping design added to the lower part.


Yes, it looks very wobbly. This is part of how the fabric was eased over the original support. I’ll be clipping the cotton tulle to let it ease as well.



Stash of pearls used for the update. There are a good number left to be able to use over the seam once assembled.



I am about to add the leaves again, these are different, they are what I used on my Krantz for my laurelling, so these are very apt 🙂


Again the pearls look wibbly, I don’t want to stretch the stitches once I put this back on the support so am having to live with it until then. Once on the support these will have heavier thread passed through to support the curves.


So happy to get this progress. I am doing eat therapy on my hands every couple of hours, 10mins at a time.

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