elizabeth_mn: (Default)
Saturday was the Pirates & Njnas event, and I wore my riding habit.

I'll say this: I loved it as a pirate costume.  It didn't need to be perfect or clean or nice for a pirate.  I just didn't love it as a versatile go-anywhere costume.  I think this one is permanently stuck with the pirate label.

However, nobody could see the black splotches (they were mostly at the back/bottom of the skirt, at the underarm, and on the facings) and my buttonholes didn't look too crappy at arm's length.  But thanks for the sympathy on my last post, y'all!

Here I am at the event with my hair all crazy and not paying any attention to my photographer-husband (I was looking at how pretty the trees were).

More photos! )
So, in list form:

I got a great pirate costume
I have a well-fitted jacket pattern I can use again
I learned about drafting shapes of this era
I learned a new sleeve placket
I got to practice handmade buttonholes

I don't have a versatile riding habit
The pattern I now have is really different from the next jacket I want to do

I think the pros win, making this project mostly a success.

The event was great fun!  I'll be posting about it at [livejournal.com profile] tccostumers later.

elizabeth_mn: (Default)
Ok, so I know that the fabric for this riding habit/pirate thing was a relatively cheap find from the local cheap fabric store, but I didn't expect it to be this crappy.

When I first started cutting I noticed a little black splotch; it looked like a stain from either black dye or dirty machine oil from the mill, and since I had already washed the fabric I figured it wasn't going anywhere so I should just try to cut around it.

Well, while pressing up the skirt's hem yesterday and doing a bunch of the other assembly, I noticed that there are more.  Huge.  Black.  Splotches.  Everywhere.


Also, my hand-sewn buttonholes look awful.  I wanted them to be big and obvious and contrasting, so I used embroidery thread, but they are just huge and obvious and ugly and cartoonish.  I've done the pocket flaps and sleeve cuffs but I'm just going to make plain machined holes for the front closure.

So with the fabric already being as flawed as it is, plus my buttonhole failure, I'm not going to waste my time doing anything other than the bare minimum of finish work on this to make it wearable.

On the plus side, at least now I won't have to worry about getting it dirty or wrecking it at the park this weekend.


Oct. 2nd, 2008 08:43 am
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
Most of this week, I've been sewing too much to make time to post, and now I don't even have photos or anything to show for it.

I know I'm working on a costume right up to an event, which I hate doing, but I'm having a great time.  I'll give up on trying to finish in the short time allowed if the project ceases to be fun.

So far:

Bodice is seamed together, is hanging up right now to stretch for hemming the skirts
Pocket flaps and sleeve plackets are made and embroidered
Sleeves are sewn
Most important!  I figured out a way to put the whole thing together!

Left to be done:

Attach sleeve cuffs
Attach sleeves
Hem and face all edges
Buttons & holes
Attach pocket flaps

Not so much, right?
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
Sort-of bad news:  My buttons for the riding habit came on Friday, and they're so small!!  They're teeny.  They're like doll buttons.  They were supposed to be 1/2", but they are barely larger than 3/8".  I don't really have the time or money to get different ones, so I guess I just ought to use them and try to have better advance planning next time.  Oh, and I should also remember that the size given for buttons is only an approximation.  They're pretty and they're the right color, so I guess that's something.

Good news: a dear dancer friend's husband-to-be is an accordian player for a local Irish band, and he made me a CD of 111 tracks of Polka music!!  I've been trying to find good polka music for months with no success.  But finally, I have them!

They're Irish polkas, of course!  The only way to polka.  Irish polkas leap; German polkas lump.  And I think I could live quite happily in a Universe entirely free of tubas.


Sep. 24th, 2008 02:21 pm
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
I made the next riding habit bodice mock-up, and tried it on.  It fits pretty well, and I think I'm going to have to stamp it Good Enough, because with the event 1.5 weeks away, I'd rather have a slightly flawed bodice than no bodice at all!  I made a few teeny changes to the pattern, then drafted the sleeve pattern.

After that, I got distracted and made cookies.  (Having an oven and lots of lovely recipes for sweet things around really lowers my sewing productivity!)

I finally caved and ordered buttons.  Hopefully they'll be here by Friday.  As for the embroidery, I've decided to just do a single outline on the wavy edge of the pocket flap and sleeve plackets.  I also plan to embroider the buttonholes.  (Actually, I plan to make buttonholes on the machine, then buttonhole-stitch over them by hand with the embroidery floss.  Because I am a wimp and I don't want to make really real handmade buttonholes.)

So I should probably get the bodice assembled by Monday, so I can do the finishing and detail work.  Plus, it will probably take me an entire day just to sew on 28 buttons.
elizabeth_mn: (Default)
I spent most of yesterday cleaning my house (phew!) including pulling all the furniture out of the sewing room, sweeping it out, and then putting everything back all nice and clean and orderly.  This really makes me want to do a "Tour of my sewing room" entry now that it looks all clean.

I also put the waistband on the riding habit skirt and make the alterations to the bodice pattern.  Now it's ready to cut the 2nd mock-up.

Worked on the sweater a little.  I did the math for the change from pullover to cardigan + the extra hip width about 4 times, and now I'm satisfied and I'm going right ahead with it.  I've done 2 or 3 decrease cycles, and it kind of feels like I am never going to finish this thing.  I mean, I started in, what, June?  It's September now!  I need to either knit faster or resign myself to not having the sweater done until spring.

Christy's corset fit great, and of course I completely forgot about photos, but oh well, she likes it.  I brought my red corset as a demonstration model and gave her a short lesson in lacing herself up (something I wish someone had done for me with my first corset!).

My Halloween dress plans have changed a little, because I couldn't find the right color feathers.

I should probably continue with my pirate/riding habit today, but there are a couple crafty things I want to do that will probably take over.
elizabeth_mn: (needlecraft)
Mostly notes to myself on fitting.

I pleated the skirt, drafted/enlarged the pattern from the Cut of Women's Clothes, and sewed the mock-up together.  I got myself into my stays and tried the whole thing on.

More photos and fitting notes )

Yesterday I also put together a little corset bag from a nice white-on-white striped cotton remnant and a scrap of leftover self-fabric corset binding.  It has a ribbon drawstring and a little lace at the top.  It's so cute I couldn't resist sharing it.

elizabeth_mn: (Default)
I went out today and picked up some linen (with my Jo-Ann coupon, yay!) for my pirate dress. I really wanted to use wool, but the budget prohibits! I got the dress worth of linen for $23, and I have some remnants I can piece a lining out of.

I wanted to do something 18th c and menswear-inspired, so I decided on a riding habit style. There's one in Historical Fashion in Detail with a great cuff, a Mariner's cuff, it's just an adorable little shaped placket, instead of the giant barrel shape one often sees on pirate coats. The faux pocket flaps mimic the shape and there are tons of buttons.

So a plain skirt, over the side hoops, and a simple jacket bodice. The linen is chocolate brown. I plan to do a very small amount of embroidery on the pocket flaps and cuffs, and maybe along the CF as well. Maybe in red, or gold. Or both. Probably just a couple straight lines of stem stitch to highlight the shaped edges.

Mostly I want the buttons to be the decorative element. I saw these dragon buttons at Treadle today, and I almost couldn't resist them, they're so ren-faire-kitschy. But if I need about 2 dozen buttons, I'll need to look for something a little cheaper.  (Actually, it is kind of insane and distressing how expensive buttons are getting these days!  Even plain 'ol crappy buttons.)

Other pirate accessories I need: a bright silk headscarf, giant gold hoop earrings, a bag of some kind, and a tiny tricorn hat.  I can do the hat in buckram and remnants.  I've never made one before, but I imagine you just make a big round brim and tack it up in thirds (?).  I don't plan on carrying a weapon (unless a spoon counts) but I'll probably bring a flask (to enhance my pirate-ness!).

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