Sunday, December 30, 2012

It's a Dress! Or Finally Finished

Semester ends! Yay! And I catch the sewing bug. But with money tied up in Christmas Gifts, I must dive into the UPB or Unfinished Project Box. We all have one, they're usually that box tucked away in the sewing room of things no one wants to see, where a couple tweaks and maybe an hour and there'd be a finished project.


This is my first colonial dress. I made the stays, shift and pockets a few years back. As with the small bumroll and the three petticoats underneath. (Said petticoats and bumroll are used for everything requiring petticoats.) There are pictures of the underthings, somewhere. And I know I need new stays. The ones I'm wearing are from when I first started sewing and not really comfortable. (had yet to learn of tabs. OMG! I love tabs.) Pretty much they're boring white with blue thread. I'm debating new ones with an actual pattern and possible that goregous curtain fabric......

So here is the dress (excuse the cell phone):
It is a very pretty quilter's cotton I found in Joann's. The pattern looks very colonial to me, but I cannot swear to accuracy. I'm a costumer not a historian, Jim! (Sorry, couldn't resist). The back is quartered and the front fastens down the front with pins, which are currently pulling because I'm not laced right. (My assistant was over the river, literally) The pattern is a combination of the Simplicty pirate gown and historical stuff I found/looked at online. I drafted it from the information myself! I doubt it's together historically acurate but alas. Partially machine partially by hand.

You can see the pattern of the fabric well here and how full I got my skirts. Plus the shape provided by the stays.

The yellow skirt is not the right one for this gown. I made a very full, teal petticoat that looks gorgeous under the gown and adds even more fullness. But it and I are not on speaking terms (long story.) So I am using possibly the first skirt I made. It too is of quilter's cotton and has a matching blouse and corset to go with it. (technically it belongs to the Padme outfit...)

The neck-kerchief is not the right one. I have one somewhere but I don't know where. So its a muslin square. And a little bit of self fabric trim is not on yet. I ran out of fabric. But there are sleeve flounces that had to be removed to adjust the sleeves. Hey! There's a hem and a closure, to me that means finished!

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 7, 2012

It's because of the 'Birds, I swear!

At the heart of it, I blame the Angry Birds, after them comes Disney. And exactly for what praytell do I blame them? Why for the "Sew Star Wars" Bug, I've been obsesively playing the Angry Birds Star Wars game on my phone. It really is a fun one and the Leia Bird's power is awesome. Couple that with the news Disney plans three more Star Wars movies, has sent my sewing bug all a twitter.

I love the costumes out of both trilogies. Personally I favor the original trilogy for story but the new for costume. I mean have you seen some of the costumes? I'm particularly partial to Padme's costumes. Her Picnic Dress was one of the first I made.

Alas this is not my version. Mine was made when I was 16 and of a pretty yellow quilter's cotton. I didn't have the shawl or the headpiece. But the piece de resistance in my opinion was my corset. My very first corset, which I painted the embroidered design on to. I will have pics as soon as I remember to take any. The blouse is currently in pieces, I wanted to redo it. And I do have new ribbons.

However! This time it is not the picnic dress that is in my mind. Although if I finish the blouse redo, I may wear it to Faire. Ha! No this time it is Padme's battle dress from the end of Attack of the Clones. I have spent much time debating how to do the cloak, and spandex is cake for me to work with. (cough Catwoman cough).

I also admit fascination for Princess Leia's white dress in Star Wars A New Hope and also for Arwen's Chase outfit in the Fellowship of the Ring but I fear that is to another post.

All I have to say is any of us who sew Star Wars or at least based on many of the movies are truly in debt to Maggie ( She is truly awesome to have compiled all the great pics from numerous movies. I do not know how she does it. So check out for Star Wars costumes and for many other movies. We will not discuss how many times I have been there to drool over costumes.

Cheers All!

PS: If you want, I can put the links in proper reference format, but it'll be MLA regardless of how pissy that makes my professor.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Late Night Thoughts and Shoes

Today was a catch up day. Tradtionally I hate them, but more often they're necessary. I was able to watch the midseason finale of Once. OMG! How am I supposed to wait a month for new episodes? Guess that means we focus on Hook's costume. Meow.

Also I now have a sewing apprentice so to speak. Lover wishes to learn sewing and I wish to have help fitting garments. Two birds, one stone. Though it could lead to intersting times. At least I get lucky that he likes to dress up. Plus there's talk of a weapons collection. Ooo swords. Some day I'd love that to extend into actual reenacting. Perhaps it's just because of the tent.

Also, it must be mentioned, American Duchess has a pre-order on a new shoe design! I'm in love with her red colonial shoes. I have yet to talk myself into spending the money. I can be very thrifty. Still one must mention the new shoes! Victorian boots, not my favorite time persay, but one of my fantasy characters exist there.

One day, I'll actually get to be more than a poor grad student. Then I could have pretty red shoes for Abigail and button boots for Holly and Anna. Plus Marian could wear silk. And yes, That probably made little sense to many but I've been in the Southern Comfort and my voice is practically gone. Plus it's late.Dreamland awaits.

Fare Thee Well

PS: All Hail the American Duchess and her beautiful Shoes!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Pirates! Pirates! Pirates!

Okays so it's probably a little crazy to start planning for next year's RenFaire now (and yes I do go to those, I happen to love the one by me) but when inspiration strikes, there is often little choice. And man, do I have inspiration.

Every Sunday we watch ABC's Once Upon a Time. It's a really cool show and has awesome characters and amazing costumes for a tv show. It's like SyFy's Merlin costume wise but with a Tudor/Elizabethan/Victorian edge. Anyways, the costumes are awesome. Google it for awesome pics. But alas, I digress. This season there is Captain Killian Jones, better known as Captain Hook. Yes Captain Hook is now on Once. But not this Hook:

This Hook:
I know, totally drool worthy. Any who, there was already discussion of pirates for next years RenFaire, last year. And with Hook's arrival on Once, what better character to do? (and I mean costume ;) ) So I went through pics and managed to figure out Hook's wardrobe and the absolutely gorgeous coat he has. On a random note, does anyone else notice how he keeps getting tied up every time he appears? Not that I'm complaining  just saying....

So we have our dashing captain  Lover is already all for it. (squeals and runs around cheering). Now we need my attire. I looked through Milah, Hook's love interest - we think - from the episode "The Crocodile". I liked the idea of her attire but I didn't want to recreate it exactly. So after much digging, I came up with this:
Merlina the Pirate

Just ignore the writing on it. I take notes on my sketches. And yes that is a sketch and the extent of my art skills, although I can sometimes do landscapes....

I intend to make the doublet shell out of this lovely tooled faux leather with a green-blue lining. the doublet lining will also be the same as the outer fabric of the corset. Blouse will be a crinkly cotton. Skirt likely similar to the lining. and this time the pants will have a little stretch or I will cut them properly and there will be NO lacing down the sides.

Now I just need to get the fabric, pattern and everything. Fun. At least I have my favorite corset pattern!

Cheers and Happy Sunday/Once Day!

PS: Links beneath the pictures will relocate you to the location they were taken. I admit I could formally cite them in APA or MLA format, but I just finished the massive bibliography and I don't feel like it.