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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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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Today the carpal tunnel injections have proven their worth 🙂 If I can do this one or two more times before I have to have surgery I’ll be happy. Sounds like I need my ulna’s chopped off sooner, but, maybe?


Also I may have gone through 1/4 of my Hot Cinnamon Sunset tea. Now if I could get a perma-stash of that I’d be happy 😉


Okay so putting fabric away up high just made my radial stuff really make a statement but I am just wandering around with bandages around my wrists not full splints 🙂


But I have cut my Cleves skirt fully, an entirely new kirtle bodice (hey Michaela it’s summer, you do not want linen canvas, cotton twill, and silk underneath those layers for the bodice) from my linen twill.


Just took a break to share this. I usually work with non easy to photograph fabric so this is why I’m sharing now! I usually use a mechanical pencil and draw directly under the pins that emerge from the top but I just had chalk out there today.





Also yes, florist pins. They grip better and I can really pull in my seams to fit properly. It’s easy to see how, I also overlap them to work like boning/support.

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I started with taking a copy of my Braunchweig gown and a transfer of my “german” kirtle to make my two bodices.


This is the Braunchweig copy as it is regionally close but also able to swing into the more dutch bodice shape.


I did also keep the Mary of Hungary bodice in mind.



How this works is the edge is on the grain so you have to smooth and stretch the fabric from there  under the arm and to the waist. So yes the waist is off the grain. This is how the Mary of Hungary gown works too- if the edge was taken off the grain you get stretch going around the neckline that needs to be stabilised.


The down side to this is it makes fitting the armscye a nightmade.


But I kept going.



Ugh, look at how that now sits. Oh the back fits beautifully but where the excess fabric is moved to shows I needed a longer narrower back to be able to support this open neckline.


So my options were to remake the back panel or put in a seam. I dislike putting seams in the CB of my German gear but I am also running out of this fabric!



But it worked.


Then of course I had to copy the seam placement from one side to the other.



Side back matching, and shoulder matching.



SIde front matching.



The silk has almost no give! So I also also had to do a few tweaks on the form. I smoothed the left shoulder up and pushed the excess to fold over the shoulder seam.


As can be seen the armscye is very tight in the front of the arm, this will be clipped but only after I have properly assembled the kirtle layer and have the support this gown needs.


So I may see if I can get the kirtle underneath already to fit the way I need it!

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Love. So in love. My hair has been lost and regained between first making and wearing to now, so I have to do something different with my haube. Right now the back of the one I wear under my pearled Braunchweig haube pushes the back of the stickelsche out of place. This style depends heavily on having braids just so and haube just so. But doesn’t really require much fussing once on. It’s just getting familiar with your hair and fabric properties 🙂


stickelchen

Jan. 5th, 2017 05:31 am
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I am insanely happy with how the braid looks. Yep, it is laid over pearls rather than all being flat as that is the dimensionality that is seen in all forms of pearl work from this region. The tapering is right as well, I just used pearls that were oversized originally and while I know this I want to keep a lot of my original work as possible.


But look! There may even be enough leaves to really pill in the back, but that may be part of the work that will go into joining the sides together 🙂



Today also saw the skirt linings cut for two gowns. Yep. Pink. Pink is returning to the wardrobe 🙂



Oh hey, also went on a saree buying spree! This one was a spur of the moment buy when I picked up the ones intended for the cleves hem 🙂



The gold tone trim it what I grabbed these for and totally didn’t realise there was potential for the coloured embroidery….. now there are Thoughts(tm).



This one was riskier. not sure if it’s easy to spot but those repeats can be cut in half to mimic the trim of the Moulin Rouge wedding gown. It’s a start. Also once in hand it does look like thr ground of the repeats is cotton so it should decolour really nicely!


I hope!


But there is a lot of unpicking over the next few days!

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I don’t know how I got this energy- well I do and it has everything to do with my therapy and being able to actually do stuff and then build up on that to do more stuff 🙂 Had a day of sleep at one stage though 🙂



So the frame is apparently the perfect cat shape as he makes a bee line for it no matter where I set up!



These leaves are the same as my Krantz, and in order to make sure they sew in place I had to hammer out holes from the pointy end. (I have found there are indeed flitter haube from further west, it makes sense with the influence from Nurnberg but it’s not close enough to Kleve!)



It’s very bright. Like blinding in bright light!



And how it looks as of just shy of the end of my birthday 🙂 So yay! That is a very good birthday present to have 🙂


(Subtle laurel is not at all subtle, though might have to get less subtle in the back.

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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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I’ve been looking through my stash of fabrics with a calculating eye and have finally settled on a few absolutely desperate to make right now projects. Most of which use my stash in some way or another 🙂 This is all locked in and I have plans for what occasion each will be for 🙂


freya2 freya3 norma_shearer_-26


Freya from Hunstman: Winter’s War (robes and armour) & Norma Shearer from Upstage


The armour can be from my stash (so lucky!) so can Norma’s gown. It’s the robes that is currently making my brain itch because I need to calculate and create my patterns precisely.


But that slinky velvet. Obsessed. There is a preview that has survived and it’s at the NZ film archive! The skirt front of the gown isn’t so exciting but the rest is. And I have many options to adapt the front of the skirt. And a lot of research as slinky gowns abound in the 1920s.


mantuamol 76c655368e1abea996bf521c24afb1a3 kjole


An early mantua. 


These are illustrative only, I am trying to debate between my stash options of black ribbed silk or a shot pale blue polyester. 9m of each!


satinmeshwedding24 b83806b7


Sheer 1870s


I have about 12m of cotton net. Now that I have my fluffy Robe de Style in lace I can put it all towards a fashion style that has had a dedicated folder for over a decade!


 


These are “new” projects. I am still working on my wall of things but these are mostly stash busting so really just a shifting around in my workroom 🙂


 


 


To finish:


Marie Antoinette: thought I’d forgeotten? AHAHAHAHAH! All my trims are here so time to start patterning and washing sizing out of trims 🙂


Cleves red velvet: this is long term hand sewing. And fiddly. But everything is put aside.


Valois: the skirt needs hemming and I am worried I have been rushing the stitches. Also the silk is insanely difficult to work with. I have scrap silk that is less difficult to try!


Silver Spanish: it’s lining, so much lining. I also took out some extra weight from the skirt to make it wearable.


Princess de Cleves: You’d think a doublet would be easy. Nope. But I figure I can couch some braid over the existing braid for some extra texture!


 


Hannibal gown: reassembly!


Phantom wedding gown: in storage with the Hannibal gear, no rush, but it is silly to leave it this long!


Mina: I have to make the lining absolutely perfect as the silk has zero stretch and all my bodices have had some stretch. I now have the same ripstop cotton as for the bustle so it will be done!!! For my birthday? Maybe…


Worth Sunburst: on hold, I did just find my 9m length of pale aqua silk chiffon so I may wind up with my own interpretation of the gown seeing as there are two extant versions already. Also I have glass pearls set aside and that is more of the Kyoto style than Met style 🙂


 


Ahsoka: lost a bit of steam on this. Still want to finish her 🙂


Mothma: my dress shrank :/ I’m thinking of passing on the fabric parts to just reset.


Darth Talon: New bikini is fantastic! ANd I do need new lekku. My 2nd set are just too heavy 🙂


Ashara: potentially be remade into my own SWTOR jedi knight Neimhaille 🙂


Nyreen: With Andromeda coming out and more female turians running around I dug out my robes for her that were about to be thrown out. So resizing them 🙂


Leia: my senatorial robes have just gone into the wash, I got new photos for my tutorial, and finally found a pair of soles that work! SHe has no heel, her shoes are made with that really gummy rubber and there are so many cool seams in her boots anyway.


Draenei: slightly on the back burner again. I have a habit of wanting to figure out how then figuring it out and then not really wanting to finish 😉


 


So at the heart of it I love patterning, and figuring stuff out, not so much the final stages. Ah well 😉

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Yesterday was lovely 🙂 I  do enjoy displays for kids so long as the theme is very particular. So we were teaching history.


I generally don’t have that sort of hook in recreation costumes, so it winds up being a better opportunity to do activities such as read.



It was also lovely getting interesting questions from kids and parents.

So happy to hear there were people interested in the dressing a lady part 🙂 The worry is that after a full display of gothic plate makes everything else pale in comparison! So it was a relief- I really wanted the Spanish ensemble because I could have talked about the differences between male and female dress and how very similar they are in places.


But I do now have all the patterns to go through and work out a generic layer of paddings and facings.


So, I need to keep hunting for sliver lace for my Marie Antoinette- I am seriously going to look at sarees, it’s rare to find two the same but I need about 20m of lace and close to that in scrolling appliques.


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