Monday, April 30, 2012

Black Sheer Dress!

I made a black sheer at the end of last summer, but haven't gotten to wear it yet. All I have to do before it's finished is to tweak the fitting on the bodice, add a few final hook and eyes to the under-bodice, and self-trim it a bit. I'm super excited to debut it this season (hopefully one of my events will stay under 80° since it is black... doubtful, but I can hope!) I'll hopefully take some photos of it once I'm home from school at the end of next week.

Here's the dress that inspired it: (photo was swiped from Historical Sewing's post)

Gorgeous, right?!

I used black dotted swiss, because I had been actively looking for an opportunity make something of that fine fabric :) Mine has bishop sleeves instead of the pagodas that Princess Helena is sporting, and I didn't add the tucks at the bottom of the skirt. I'm thinking of trimming it with black ribbon where the tucks would be, though, to achieve a similar look without the extra yardage. Aaah I just adore this dress!

After finals are done, I'll be working on this, and my aforementioned plaid taffeta skirt/Garibaldi blouse/burgundy Swiss waist outfit.

And now... back to the insanity of show week followed by finals! I just bought an arm and a leg and several fingers' worth of frames, mat board and glass... I'll have to get to working when I get back home so I can continue to finance my sewing addiction!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Eating Cookies is a Bad Way to Deal with Disaster

This week. I do declare.

I seem to have abandoned Quote Thursday some time ago, but here is one that is helping me to contextualize some things right now:
"We must expect reverses, even defeats. They are sent to teach us wisdom and prudence, to call forth greater energies, and to prevent our falling into greater disasters."
-General Robert E. Lee
If The General can deal with the downfall of the Confederacy and having to surrender his entire army, I can deal with an art professor who seems bent on my ultimate destruction. I dearly love this quote--it helps me to remember that God's plan can be rocky and painful at times, but we'll never know what we've been spared through our current problems.

With lots of caffeine and the support of my dear lovely best friends, I can finish the semester! In only two weeks I will never have to deal with these classes again, and it's my last class ever with the professor who is the source of my current *cougheverpresentcough* dismay. HURRAH!!!

Also, I remembered too late that eating cookies in response to distressing circumstances:
a) does not lastingly fix the problem, and
b) makes wearing my corset much less comfortable when I plan to don my ball gown.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Plaid Taffeta and Shorty

I need to cut more fabric to finish trimming the bottom of my taffeta skirt, since I undershot by about a foot of pleating. (Measuring fail! Fortunately I have enough fabric left.) However, as soon as Shorty hears the 'shink!' of the sewing scissors, he arrives to assist in holding down the fabric. Where he does not impede progress by sitting directly in the line of cutting, he distracts me with his big green eyes and soft fur.

My handsome little man!

I'm still hoping to have this outfit ready for Greenfield's Memorial Day reenactment. I'll have a couple of weeks after finals to do it... I think it can be done!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Summer Dress Re-do

This is a modern outfit, but the Victorians loved their re-purposing, so I'll tie it in that way :)

I found this long floral dress at Goodwill, and liked the print. It wasn't especially flattering as it was, though, so I decided to do some work on it.

The original dress, probably from the 80s.

I just cut off the length to the knee, re-hemmed it, and added a belt. And voila: a fashionable little summer dress for this season! Except now my black belt has been MIA for a number of days now... I need to find it, since it's a basic staple of my wardrobe!

 The final result. I like it!

A closeup of the print. I like the subtlety of the coloring.

I'm considering adding some lace or trim to the neckline for some detail and texture, but it's perfectly wearable as is. Now it just needs to warm up again so I can wear it and not freeze!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Getting Ideas...

Remember the exciting fabric I got at Kalamazoo?

(Here it is again... beautiful, cheery embroidered cotton!)

Well, I think I've found what I am going to make with it:

I was reading American Duchess' blog (a perennial favorite) and found this piece. I'd been brainstorming a Rev War era project that wouldn't take too much fabric (since I only have a little over a yard and a half of 54" wide, not enough for a polonaise or something of that sort), and instantly fell in love with this 1784 pierrot. It's even a floral stripe of the same size... destiny!!! It's post-war, but I'm not too bothered by that... now I just have to make stays, undergarments, and a petticoat to go with it. It'll be a while before I'm outfitted in 18th C since I still have a lot of Civil War and Bustle era projects in the works, but I'm excited to  start, especially now that I have an official inspiration piece!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

In-Progress: Civil War Beading Project

Here is another project in progress: a small beaded purse for Civil War reenacting!

I'm more than a little in love with it. I am not quite halfway there... the one side (pictured) is almost done, but then I have another whole side to go. I used delica beads to get the even, smooth tiling, and while it was quite a bit more expensive than using regular seed beads, (about $20 total for the six colors in varying quantities), the result as more than worth it. And from what I've seen of originals, this is closer to the size and shape of bead they used than our normal rounder ones anyhow. 

When completed, it will be lined with bright pink dupioni silk, which I have had in my stash for about a year now. I got it as a remnant, and knew it would come in handy! :) I also need to find a closure for it... I'm thinking of a brass snap closure, but haven't decided for sure yet.

A belated happy Easter... He is risen indeed, Alleluia!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

It's Tuesday...

Buuut it feels like at least Friday. This has by far been the craziest week of the semester, and it's only halfway through. Now just one more art project to turn in, and one more exam until I can chill for a little bit. Good thing we have Friday off for Easter, I'll need it to recover!

I leave you with a picture of the 1860s ballgown I am currently in love with:

Isn't it crazy delicious?! I want to reproduce it super badly. Someday...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Quote Thursday *coughSundaycough*

This week's quote is several days late... homework has eaten me alive!

Here is another Civil War General quote that I love to pieces:

You've gotta love Stonewall Jackson! Not going to lie... I cry at the end of Gods & Generals every time I watch it, and I am not a "cries during movies" type. Consequently, I can't watch the full film on my iPod in the art studio while working on my homework. If I were to start weeping bitterly out of nowhere, my best friend would undoubtedly be concerned and ask me what was wrong. Wailing "Stonewall Jacksoooon, nooooo!" would probably not be socially acceptable. The same goes for watching Gettysburg... Armistead/Hancock makes me tear up every time. Oh well, I suppose there is something to be said for passion!

Happy Palm Sunday!