Nov. 21st, 2011 01:59 pm
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
The DFWCG picnic was awesome! So worth the minor trouble of lugging all the costumes all that way. We had a lovely afternoon.  I was so glad to be able to meet so many amazing people, especially those I’ve been LJ-friends with for years:[livejournal.com profile] jenthompson and [livejournal.com profile] christylee.  I also got to meet [livejournal.com profile] nuranar and I know a few more people I met there are on LJ, but I didn't catch anybody else's username.

photo from Jenthompson.

My photos for the event are here. I’ve got more, but I got sick of uploading. My hubby took most of these.

LJ is being stupid and not doing cuts today so I'm going to try to shove everything else underone giant cut )

I'm so eager to see everyone else's photos!

elizabeth_mn: (Default)
Last night after work I stayed late to use one of the classroom dressforms to level my caraco hem; a tedious process but less so than getting all dressed up and trying to level it on my own body.  Not sure if it's perfectly even, especially since the linen is so wiggly, but it looks pretty okay.

Now I just need to get around to sewing the hem, and I don't have much time left.  I daydream and write lists and plan all the days long, but the actual time I really have to sew is about a tenth of what I would need to materialize all those plans.  I'm on childcare duty all day, and now that I work evenings, some of that time is gone, too.  (Not that I'm complaining!  I love my job and I am so lucky to have it.)  So maybe I get an hour every other day, after my HB gets home, before I have to start dinner, to get on the sewing machine.

I've been using naps for quiet hand-sewing, but I am slow and besides there are some things I just prefer the machine for.

Anyway, here's what's left to do before I leave for Dallas:

- hem
- ribbon trim
- hem kerchief
- hem sleeve cuffs

F's dress: pretty much everything.  It's all cut out, needs to be sewn.  It's going to be really costumey with lots of cheats.  Sigh. 
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
Please forgive the deer-in-the-headlights expression.

CF bodice and skirt (and the little slit) are are finished; sleeve ends are finished also.  The sleeves do not cup my elbow as much as I had hoped, but this sleeve is worlds better than my first few attempts.  It ought to be, since I practically re-drafted the thing from scratch.  

The neckline and hem are still unfinished, and there are no closures yet.  There will also be trim on neckline and sleeves.

The waistline wrinkle is not bothering me so much with this soft drapey fabric.  What does bother me is the unevenness of the slits on either side of the bodice point; I did not notice this until just now!  Maybe it's just the way I am standing in the photo (hope hope hope - because I really don't want to pick it out and do it over.)

elizabeth_mn: (Default)
Version #4 turned out to be a winner.  It's not perfectly perfect, but no garment that you actually move around in ever is.  I think I could have make it look a bit more perfect, as long as I didn't want to use my arms.

So, both sleeves are in the jacket and the lining.  I've started sewing the outer and lining together by hand; everything else up to this point has been by machine.  I've turned both CF seam allowances in and I'm basically doing a slip stitch to join.  There's a slit at the bodice bottom that has a sharp point which was slightly tricky to make smooth, but I think it's good now.  Hopefully I can make the other side match.

For hand sewing, I have tucked a length of twill tape under my sewing machine's foot (and lowered the needle through it) and pinned the other end to the end of my piece to be seamed to provide a little tension.

I plan to do the CFs and sleeve ends this way, by turning both seam allowances under, but I am not sure about the neckline and bottom hem.  Patterns of Fashion says "the outer fabric is turned over 1/4" over the lining and sewn with a hem stitch," but does that mean a raw edge is left?  I'd rather have a clean finish.


Oct. 22nd, 2011 08:32 pm
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
Ok, I normally find sleeves to be basically a breeze, and when I hear people complain about them and throw the word "sleevils" around, I am arrogant enough to think I am past such troubles.

Obviously, I was ripe for a humbling.

I am currently on Version 4 of the caraco sleeve.  It seems like your basic one-piece 18th c sleeve, with a little dart in back to curve it over the elbow.  But it has given me so much trouble!  I really want to figure it out, but really, next time I think I'll just skip straight to a 2-piece sleeve.  More seams = better fit, every time.  Plus I'm just more familiar with a 2-piece sleeve.

There is a disconnect between the sleeve cap curve and the elbow shaping.  When the highest part of the cap is positioned at the shoulder point, the back-of-elbow dart is on top of my arm.  I thought at first I just had the sleeve backward, but on the other arm, that put the seam on top of my arm, and that's not right.  And anyway, the dart was still in the wrong place.

Then I thought maybe the top of the sleeve cap is not in fact, supposed to be positioned at the shoulder point, but adjusting the sleeve back caused all kinds of ugliness.

The elbow dart in the pattern is in line with the top of the sleeve cap, and nobody's shoulder point falls in a line with the back of their elbow, so I had to shift the pattern around a bit.  Unfortunately, I only realized this was the problem after 3 tries.

To make it worse, Janet Arnold omitted a.) sleeve seam placement in the sketch of the dress, b.) hash marks in the pattern diagram detailing where to connect sleeve to bodice, and even c.) which side of the sleeve cap is the back and which is front.

I realize now that what I ought to have done is fit the cap, then create the elbow curve.  I think I may have a working pattern now with #4, but if not, I am going to basically start from scratch and chuck the original version.  The next mockup is now in order.

I have the feeling that I am in way over my head with this project!  Not only do I not have the relevant information to make it work, I also have no idea where I might get it.  All my current resources seem to be exhausted.
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
I got sick of hearing myself whine, so I just took a deep breath and dove into cutting my lovely printed linen.  I cut the pattern as it is, and I'll add a horizontal dart at the waist (if necessary) during fittings.  I liked the waist seam idea, but doing it this way meant action could happen sooner and I could get going before I had a chance to doubt my decision again.

I also cut a plain unbleached linen lining.  Both layers have main seams sewn and are hanging up to stretch out before fitting/hemming.

The plan is to finish the edges by hand, turning each layer under to conceal the raw edges.  Hooks and eyes, edge-to-edge, to close.  Or maybe pins if I get lazy.  I have two (or maybe three) trim options and I'll probably wait to decide until the rest of it is finished and I can see it all together.

I also bought some nice cotton lawn at work the other night for a kerchief and sleeve ruffles to complete the ensemble.  It's washed and ready to go.


Oct. 17th, 2011 12:14 pm
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
I enlarged and mocked up the Patterns of Fashion caraco a few days ago.  A bit loose, neckline a bit too low, and a few other minor glitches, but it was not too bad.

I also had a yucky horizontal wrinkle at the waist, looking like it needed a fish-dart or some such thing.  I don't want to do that unless I really need to, because I'm trying not to deviate from the original too much.  I think adjusting the pattern elsewhere might reduce the wrinkle enough.

I've transferred the changes to the pattern and cut a new mock, just waiting for the time to sew it!  Then the construction seems pretty straightforward.

Besides the jacket, I also need/want:

plain lawn sleeve ruffles
a cap
a new kerchief
stockings (but I will totally buy these)

Then F's dress!  Eeep!
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
Finished the petticoat!

It took a while since I worked all weekend and my only free time was taken up by chores.

I’m wearing it over the padded petticoat and one plain linen petticoat.  I'm also wearing the lovely repro shoes from Fugawee that [livejournal.com profile] undycat gave me.

more pix! )

This afternoon I started enlarging/resizing the caraco pattern from Patterns of Fashion.  Hopefully I can do a mock tomorrow and then maybe get started.

elizabeth_mn: (Default)
Okay, so maybe it's not even so much about not wanting to pack my pocket hoops as it is about not wanting to wear them.  

I love wearing bustles.  Bustles are fine.  They are comfy and don't annoy me.  But my pocket hoops ride up, crumple up, twist around, and generally bug the crap out of me.  Plus I just want the look of a softer, less structured line.

In theory I could do a bumroll, but a.) I already have petticoats, and b.) I've never been able to make/find a bumroll that doesn't look like a shelf, a silhouette I don't like and have never, ever seen in period documentation.

This morning I got out some plain petticoats and my padded petticoat and tried everything on for comparison.  I originally made the padded one for my ren fair dress, not for 18th century, but if the look is right, I'm not too concerned about the mechanics. I think I may also slightly pad the pleats of the last (really outer) skirt for my dress for just a little extra oomph.

I tried on the padded petticoat with one plain petticoat, and then two plain ones together.  The plan is to then layer the outer petticoat (which I haven't yet made) over one of these sets. 


I realize now the outer one desperately needs to be ironed.  Mirror-pics as usual, but hey, I cleaned the mirror today!

side and back )

Thoughts, anyone?

elizabeth_mn: (Default)
I tried on my stays again and even though they are shoddy and lumpy and a little loose, I think I can make them do for now.  I guess I have a little more pop-up than I realized, too.  (very small hooray!)

At work last night I picked up 2.5 yards of lovely berry-red linen/hemp blend for a contrasting petticoat.  I'm going to use the paisley border of the printed linen for something else and just cut my jacket from the floral.

I think it will be a caraco style, but I'm not sure.  I've been doing a little internet research, but I think I just need to go to the downtown library when I get a chance.  It's so much faster and more efficient than poking around on the internet.  Whatever style I choose, I'm just going to call it a jacket, though.  I can't be messing around with funny pretentious unpronounceable words.  
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
I bought this printed linen a while ago on the cheap, hoping I could do something costume-y with it, but now I’m really not sure about the border print, since I can’t find any good historical examples like it. 

It's black on cream/natural linen; the print is floral with a wide paisley border. 

Thoughts, anyone?  Remotely 18th century at all?  I think I have enough to (frugally) get a jacket and petticoat out of it.  Or is it just destined to be a curtain?

Or if I do use it for 18th c, any ideas on how to get some color in there?  Trims?  A sash?  Dye it?

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