Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Frills and Fitting

Yesterday I was seized by temporary insanity, and decided to start self-trimming my black dress instead of finishing the other projects that need to be done by tomorrow. Whoops! However, I am not very regretful (yet) as I am completely in love with the result! I haven't self-trimmed before, but I am now seeing lots of it in my future.

Here is a closeup of the trimming on the bodice.
Scrunch, stitch, scrunch, stitch, scrunch, stitch...

Today is a challenging sewing day... I'm trying to fit my swiss waist on myself, but I can't set pins into the back! (Or the front very well, for that matter.) I end up taking it off, pinning, taking it off, adjusting, taking it off, adjusting, etc. until it fits. Oh well... my main problem now is correcting the arm holes. When I drafted the pattern and cut out my fabric over Christmas break, I was quite a few pounds heavier. While I am happy to have lost weight, it is giving me some serious fitting issues!

Adding to my fitting misfortunes, my corset is currently missing in action. I think it sneaked away when I was rearranging the yards of muslin and piles of undergarments. When I make my next corset, it will not be white like everything else!! :P I do have a blue corset bag, but do I ever store it in there? No, I do not. I should probably try to get into that habit, though!

When I next check in, my swiss waist should be much farther along, and I will correspondingly post a picture of the ensemble together so far!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sewing Update

I'm almost done with my Garibaldi! It has reminded me that sewing in sleeves is my least favorite thing ever... it's not tricky, just plain tedious. But now all I have left is one button hole on a sleeve cuff: victory is mine! It has also occurred to me that I should have a corset cover, since it's pretty sheer. [+1 to this week's long sewing list]. I'll post a picture of the blouse later, along with the finished skirt!

I ordered some more burgundy velvet ribbon for my taffeta skirt, but it ended up being much lighter than what I originally had. I think I'll tack it on now so it at least looks complete, and continue to look for a better match later. (Or I could attribute it to war shortages, like my mismatched wrapper buttons? I am a relocated Southern civilian, after all...)

You can see it especially well on the back.
Mine is waaay browner :(

As costume dramas are a must for sewing weeks, I was happy to discover the Sharpe series, which I hadn't checked out until now. I absolutely love war movies and period films, so this series is right up my alley! 14 episodes of Sharpe, all of which are at my library = this week's sewing entertainment.

Meet my new sewing companion.

Back to sewing! Greenfield Village, t-minus 5 DAYS!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Plaid/Waist/Garibaldi Outfit!!

Here is the background of my latest full outfit. To start off with, here's a Godey's plate from August 1862. I'll be sporting it starting in the end of May '62, but that's close enough as far as I'm concerned. Besides, I'm sure it will be worn in August as well!

See the lady in the middle with the black waist and
pink skirt? Bingo! That'll be me, with a few alterations...

Here is a similar photographic representation:

Hartford, Ct
Think this, except with a plaid skirt
with a big-ish pleated hem. It'll be rockin'.
(I also like the same-color bodice and skirt...
maybe for another outfit someday?!)

I really like the Swiss Waists with the shoulder straps, and happened to have some extra burgundy taffeta lying around. As soon as I realized how well it would go with my new plaid skirt... destiny! Looking at some other period examples of similar waists, I chose to do a neckline closer to the photo than to the plate. And a little bias-cut self trimming never did anyone any harm, additionally evidenced by this stylish young lady. I also find the little bowtie on the tintype completely adorable, and plan to add one to my finished outfit.

The final result will largely be a cross between these two images: the contrasting waist and trimmed skirt from the plate, and the shape and decoration of the waist from the tintype. I'm so excited!! The waist is all cut out, but I haven't started assembling it yet. The plaid skirt has a couple of feet of pleating left to set, but all of the fabric is cut and hemmed. I ran a couple feet short on velvet ribbon, but reinforcements are in the mail and should come by this weekend. (Boy, did I undershoot for this project... I usually overestimate, not underestimate!) I have to put another sleeve on my garibaldi blouse, and shorten the one that's already on, as it's a little longer than I would like. All in all, there's a bit left to do, but it's definitely manageable, as I have over a week left. Hopefully I'll also have time to touch up my black swiss dot dress as well, so I can debut that too!

1862 trendiness, here I come!

Hello, Summer!

I wished for Summer, and here it is!

The semester is finally over! Although I will miss my friends, I will most certainly not miss all of the homework, and am quite happy to be rid of that particular set of courses. At any rate, this means that I am now back and ready to start sewing in earnest!

Before I dive into any projects though, there is one more thing I have to do: clean up my sewing room. I have a new cabinet to serve as the final home for my fabric stash, which has previously been shoved around between various drawers, shelves, and bins. It is so nice to have the extra organization space, and should make the cleaning up a bit easier! I started yesterday and am almost done already. Hopefully by tonight I'll get to finishing the pleating on the bottom of my taffeta skirt. The next post is planned to be a detailed run-down on that outfit.

Greenfield Village Memorial Day Reenactment Countdown: 10 days till takeoff! Yikes... I thought I had more time before I actually counted. Time to get sewing!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The End of the World as We Know It

Actually, it's just finals week. But it's feeling rather apocalyptic! Most of my dorm room was packed up and sent home with my family earlier today, so I just have a week's worth of clothes, etc. to tide me over. Now to finish all of the final projects and get through exams...

Light at the end of the tunnel: SEWING!!!! I miss it terribly while I'm at school, but don't have time or space for it. By this time on Thursday (if all goes according to plan) I'll be home playing with my cat and dog, watching movies, sewing, and catching up on some much needed sleep. I'm even going to get up to speed on my other poor, neglected blog!

Five days.