To be a bit cliché, this shoemaker is a professional Web Developer and her child is this blog, but it was past time to launch what I have of a new design. All the content is still here, everything else is a work in progress (kind of like most of my sewing projects)!
It’s time to show two more pieces for my halloween costume: a third (a final) skirt and a chemise.
The skirt is made in the same manner as the petticoat, although I used self-fabric ties for the front because I ran out of twill tape. This time the fabric was wide enough to use the selvedges along the side seam, and the skirt is supposed to be short, so two yards did the work. The plaid fabric wasn’t quite right, so I topstitched lace in a few places before constructing the skirt. It’s still not very close to the original fabric, but it’ll do for a costume.
The chemise was made using Simplicity 5582. Because there is an incredible amount of ease built into the pattern I didn’t bother with any sort of bust adjustment or other fitting since the ease would leave plenty of room. I did add an additional 7.5″ to the length, though, to change it from a blouse into a knee-length chemise. It’s very much costume construction with pinked seam allowances and elastic at the arms and necklines, but done is better than unfinished couture.
One costume-specific detail is the attached necklace (made from a 30″ chain from the jewelry section at the big-box craft store). Although source photos show it is definitely attached, none are clear as to how. I decided to use hooks (of hook and eye fame) sewn to the neckline elastic casing to catch the links of the chain. Then, it’s easily removable if I want to repurpose the chemise, but will stay in place while I’m wearing the costume. The tension from the short length of the chain keeps it from falling below the neckline.
Stay tuned for later this week when I can reveal the final pieces.
I’m doing a group costume for Halloween with two of my coworkers. The who I’m portraying is a secret until then, but the how involves three different skirts for maximum authenticity. This is layer one.
The character is historical, but we’re not going for historical accuracy (nor did the original costume designer). This petticoat is almost-historical, albeit for about 100 years later than the character’s base time period.
It’s made from 3 yards of 44″-wide cotton, plus stash scraps and twill tape for the waistband. The hem is approximately 106″, so nicely full and swishy.
I used my rolled-hem foot to finish off the side slits, then sewed the rest of the side seam with a french seam. Those techniques are not historically accurate at all (well, maybe the narrow hem, a little).
At 5’3″ with a short inseam, the 44″ width was the perfect height for me, so I used the selvage as a hem, which made the work very quick. A more historically accurate skirt would have put the selvages along the side seam, but the fabric width was too narrow for the fullness I wanted, and I didn’t want to sew any additional seams.
I also finished the sewing part of layer two, although it needs to be thoroughly distressed before it’s technically complete. This layer is far more costume construction than historical, using a half yard of the fashion fabric, with tulle for the rest, which will be hidden by the overskirt. The same two-part waistband structure is there, but I sewed a channel for the ties and gathered the center by way of stringing the bias tape through, then tacking the ends so it doesn’t spread out again. It’d be a bit unwieldy for cotton, but works well for the light-weight net. The hem (or lack thereof) will be even more uneven by the time it’s fully distressed.
I’ll try to post more progress posts before Halloween, if I can do so without plot spoilers. Otherwise, you’ll just have to wait until November!
Followers of my blog are likely familiar with my love of American Duchess these days, but if you’re new around here, allow me to introduce a great historical costuming merchant: American Duchess. They provide well-researched reproductions of historical shoe styles, often in customizable, dyeable form. Their latest shoe is a Regency style called the Highbury.
I liked their previous regency style—the Pemberly well enough, but this new style is exactly what comes to mind when I think “regency shoe”. Had these been out when I was doing the 1812 stuff last year, I would have purchased them in a heartbeat (and still may, although I have my eyes on the Gibsons at the moment).
The other thing I love about AD is their business model—they pre-sale their styles to gauge interest, which allows them to product high-quality custom shoes at a relatively affordable price (considering the small-ish scale of the production runs). They use great materials and have a very high quality control threshold (which I admire, even though it did mean a longer wait for me to receive my Astorias after they rejected the entire shipment due to inferior quality material use).
So, that means it’s time to jump in on the pre-sale for the Highbury now through April 21. Make sure you’re able to order your desired size, and get that pre-sale discount!
The links in this post are affiliate links for American Duchess, meaning I may get a bit of money if you buy their shoes after clicking one, however I have spent my own money on their products and think they’re awesome. The affiliate links will just help subsidize my next American Duchess purchase, I hope. 😉 Like my dream of owning the Tavistocks. And the Gibsons. And these. If you have something against affiliate links, here’s one that isn’t: www.american-duchess.com
I’m still trying to figure out what color to dye my Astorias so I, personally, am leaning toward black or tan. Good thing I still have time!
Actually, in writing this, I am leaning toward black, since I could wear those with modern clothes and my black pumps really don’t fit properly. What color are you leaning toward?
The links in this post are affiliate links for American Duchess, meaning I may get a bit of money if you buy their shoes after clicking one, however I have spent my own money on their products and think they’re awesome. The affiliate links will just help subsidize my next American Duchess purchase, I hope. 😉 Like my dream of owning the Tavistocks. If you have something against affiliate links, here’s one that isn’t: www.american-duchess.com
Have you seen the latest American Duchess pre-sale? The Victorian button boots? Well, now you have.
I want these so much. Unfortunately, things like fixing the traction control on my car (I swear, the day after the warranty went up, that dang light came on) mean I can’t hop in the pre-order (oh fates, please, please, please let me win if Lauren runs a contest for these), but my woes shouldn’t stop you!
They’re so pretty. And Victorian. And lovely. And likely entirely unrealistic for daily wear, with the buttons and all, even though I would love to wear them daily anyhow. Nonetheless, go on. Get thee to American Duchess!
Also, while I’ve been lazy about blogging, they ran a pre-sale for 1920s Spectator T-straps called the 23 Skidoo. They’re now in production and are the bee’s knees!
The links in this post are affiliate links for American Duchess, meaning I may get a bit of money if you buy their shoes after clicking one, however I have spent my own money on their products and think they’re awesome. The affiliate links will just help subsidize my next American Duchess purchase, I hope. 😉 Like these boots. If you have something against affiliate links, here’s one that isn’t: www.american-duchess.com
Despite the lack of updates, I haven’t entirely forgotten about that giant Steampunk outfit plan that I’m supposed to be working on. I finally took a stab at putting the corset together this weekend, in a form slightly modified from my original plans, but one that should still work.
In May, after having C&K try on the mockup, I knew I needed to modify it to an underbust.I drew out the new top while they were wearing it, and then ripped apart the mockup and modified my pattern pieces according to the drawn lines. The other major modification is that the budget got the best of me and I decided to forgo using a traditional separating busk in lieu of hooks and eyes. I found these great filigree ones on sale, so there will be four of them, and likely a few more hidden ones. This is not going to be used for tight lacing or everyday wear, so I think it should hold up.
I have the fashion fabric and drill interlining all pieced together for both sides (one shown here, with some bones in place). I’m now in the process of sewing in the boning casings. After that will just be the lining and grommets, and deciding on what to lace it with.
I’d completely forgotten that I had this homespun in my stash. When I uncovered it, the whole corset look clicked in my head—I like it much better than the other options I’d laid out (and C&K said that they had no preference at all).
It’s a bit annoying to match the lines, and it’s by no means perfect, but there aren’t any absolute glaring mismatches. Luckily I have plenty of fabric so that I needn’t be hampered by a restrictive cutting layout.
I hope to finish it this week so that I can get started on the other torso-covering pieces. It’s September already!
Also, here’s a look at the dog modification I made from Simplicity 2613 now that it’s been delivered:
The concept needs work, but I like it (and so did the recipient!).
It’s time to get back to work on the Steampunk costume, don’t you think? The first step is finishing up the corset, since it is the base of all the other top-layer items. I’ve picked apart the drill mockup so that I can use those pieces for interlining/strength, and now I’m ready to cut into the fashion fabric and actually construct the final corset.
The problem is, I can’t decide what to make it out of. I’m sticking to fabrics I already own (and own in enough quantity). The fittings are gold/brass, so it all needs to match that, too.
They fit quite well, and are very comfortable, at least from the bit of prancing about the house I did. I don’t consider myself to have narrow feet, but actually, for shoes made on dance lasts, these are almost too wide (but just a comfy wide, not actually too wide).
I mentioned early on that I wanted to try drafting a bifurcated skirt out of a period tailoring manual. I’m still doing that, sort of. Except, I’m also kind of cheating, because I realized that if I enlarged this one:
…so that the front measurement (line C-G) was the right length for my models, it worked out that the waist was also right (in other words, the measurements I needed to draft to are pretty much correctly proportioned to the book’s draft).
Since I first posted about making the Steampunk costume, my plan has changed a small bit, but also really coalesced into something I think will be great when it is finished. What is helping me stay focused and not go too far out there (or grow this into something too large) is to focus on a couple themes. If an idea doesn’t suit the themes, then it’s taken off the table.
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