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!
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.
“Introducing the All-In-One Adventuress’ Wardrobe! All the Modern Adventuress needs to suit most every occasion in her travels!”
I think head-in-the-clouds Rae has won out (was there ever a question, really?). I’m making a Steampunk costume over the course of the next nine months. I even ordered some fabric, so now I have to make it.
My muse hasn’t stopped singing about the costume in the past week. It came up with a whole backstory and character for this costume, and who am I to deny it? Now that it’s in my head, I can’t get past the character (who is about 18 years old) so this won’t be a costume for me. Luckily, I have two younger sisters with similar body types (to each other, not me. Brats got all the tall genes)—hereafter referred to as C&K—to exploit, and they’ve agreed to let me dress them up at Christmas for a photo shoot.
So, paired with their measurements, a dress form I don’t yet own, and only a single chance to fit a mockup or two in person in less than a month (unless they come visit me, which is doubtful, since they’re on college-student budgets and I’m on a recently-bought-a-house-and-am-making-a-big-costume budget), I will be creating a costume that fits them (in theory). Luckily, they have more pattern-ready bodies, so fitting should be simpler than if I were to make it for myself, I think.
I can’t really sketch, but here’s a bit of my idea on paper…
I spent my National Sewing Day taking advantage of the lovely weather to do some much-needed leaf raking, then sat on the porch and made progress on my Tula quilt’s binding. I still haven’t photographed my underpinnings and gown (show is tomorrow), but here’s a few of my shoes.
After deciding against the American Duchess shoes, and Moof chewing my half-finished pink attempt, I still found myself in need of shoes for the show. Target no longer had the pink ones, so I couldn’t continue in that vein. I finally decided to go back to my original plan of gussying up a pair of black flats I purchased a few years ago and have practically worn out (I stopped wearing them a while ago, but never got around to throwing them out). Some of the wear will be hidden by the decoration anyway, so it’s a good compromise.
I had hoped to be further along with my dress by now (that is, started), so that this giveaway could tie into notes about making the dress. However, I want to make sure that you have time to make your own dress for the show or whatever events you wish it for. So, without further ado, this is a giveaway! Of Simplicity’s licensed Sense and Sensibility Regency Gown—perfect for 1812 Bicentennial celebrations!
Specifically, this is the size HH (6-8-10-12) pattern, so you need measurements smaller than 34-26-36 according to the package, although considering the modern ease added, you may be able to get away with using the size 12 even if you are closer to 36-28-38 (what they consider size 14), and if you’re really adventurous, you can try to scale the pattern up.