Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I wish all of you a Merry, merry Christmas!!
Have a great time with your beloved ones. I hope Santa got you some nice presents as well ;).

Also I wish already wish you a Happy New Year.

I hope to be back to blogging soon.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Overskirt done / Hiatus

Hello you all out there,

I know it's been a while again, but I just didn't get back to the sewing machine until on a couple of days of my holidays a couple weeks ago.
But then I made the trim for the overskirt and therefore finished it. (At least I don't know if I should add anything more, so far nothing is planned.)

I decided on the boxpleated trim with the narrower velvet ribbon. I had even ordered additional 25meteres as I found a shop that sold the meter for 0,52Euro... I had to take this chance ^^.
However when I finally did get to cut and hem the trim, it took me awefully long hours to hem them... I chose a (although using the widest foot I own) narrow /rolled hem.
But the fabric was giving me a nightmare. Even though I had tried my best to cut it on the grain to not have so many stray threads hanging around, there were more than enough to get caught in the spiral of the hemming foot and messing up the hem *argh*.
But after a few hours I was done with all of the 32 meters (16m trim on both edges), so the next day (after actually not feeling really up to do it) I went on with pleating the whole 16m into ca. 3cm wide box pleats. I didn't measure them, just eyeballing with the help of a little fruitpicker I had found in a chocolate fondue set in my kitchen... so my very own version of fork pleating ;)

Anyway the end of the trim was faster in sight as I had thought after the loooong hemming, and having the last day off from work I decided to finish it up right then. So I did... with the last hand stitches done around 11pm that day.

The result:
It does look better than the "naked" version before. And I think I got the right width to match the proportions well.

Tell me how you like it.

I will store the skirt away after I finish this post, as I most likely won't get back to sewing for the remainder of the year (there might be some repairs or so, but that doesn't count).
This also means that this will probably be my last post here for this year.
The busy times (even busier than usually) at work have begun, meaning I'll be working 12 or more hours up to seven days a week. I doubt that I will haul out my machines in the rare free time that remains.
In about two months we'll be moving back to DD for our Christmas project "Sparkle City" and we haven't even begun with making costumes (and I'm still all by myself in the costume shop plus decoration sewing plus laundry plus tour packing/costume checking /repairing... I could actually just put my bed under the cutting table *eyeroll*)... -.-'

So just in case you wonder where I am... I'm working ^^. I hope I can make one or two posts at least for the holidays... so yeah... I'll try my very best.
Thanks for your patience and I'll see you sometime next year at latest.
Have a great time and keep on posting (reading I'll manage ;) ).


Monday, July 2, 2012

Which one??

Hello my dears!

I haven't made much progress on the over skirt during the last couple of weeks.
The other weekend my parents and I went to visit the Dutch Fabric market. It's been the first time I was there and it was kinda overwhelming. So many fabrics and notions.
My my, it's really hard to decide what to buy, if you have a limited budget. But my mom and I both found some nice things within being reasonable *lol*
It reminded us a lot of the hobby fair, where women are pushing and pulling to get to the stands and find the best stuff. And of course the size and amount of bags with purchases was quite similar ^^.

Anyway on Sunday I then didn't get my butt off the couch... I'm such a lazy bum lately... I hate it... I just can't find motivation to get off the couch. I do want to work on my stuff, but I can't find the will to move. Any advice on that matter?

This last Saturday I did at least get some smaller stuff done... changed the zipper in a pair of jeans (looong overdue) at work, after going there to clean up... scrubbed the cutting table for 1.5 hours... an "awesome" idea with my already overworked wrists I did a lot of scrubbing these last weeks) -.-. At home I then altered the neckline of my chemise (fixed the gathers in the CF/CB and made the sleeves tighter) and used the lace saved this way to repair a hole in the lace of my petticoat (even longer overdue, had been on my list since June last year).

Yesterday I made another attempt to put my ruffler on my mom's old sewing machine... the trustworthy one ^^. I had failed so far because the screw on the needle bar was too short. But then I accidentally saw a video on youtube, where they put the ruffler on after taking the scew out compeletely. So I gave it another try and with some shiftings of the bar that holds the needle and fiddling around a bit, it now fits *yay*.
So I don't need to be worried to have to use the ruffler on my computerized machine. I'm a bit wary about it, because I fear that it might mess up the timing or so (again). But on the old workhorse the ruffler sounds way less dangerous *lol*

So I tried out a few settings and made a sample for the trim of the overskirt. I took some left over fabric from the pleated flounce of the underskirt.
The fabric I can use for the trim has the same structure, only the colour is a bit "blacker" (less blue-ish).
I made one piece with the ruffler (biggest pleat setting) and one I boxpleated by hand. The ruffler-pleated piece is made of a single layer cut with ziczac-sheers. The boxpleated piece is doubled and turned. Both are 6cm wide and I think this is the right width for the trim. I took one picture in full, so you can see the size relations.

I then pinned different trims and ribbons on top and now I need to decide... HELP!!

First I've got a narrow satin ribbon. I might need to get some more as I have only have a bit left.  I took one pic with flash and one without.

I then did the same with another narrow Polyester ribbon. It's a bit stiffer and less shiny than the satin ribbon, but I have enough of it on hand ^^.

Another try with a narrow velvet ribbon
and a slightly wider velvet ribbon.

Also I tried out some narrow lace/passementry trims. The grey-black one is the one I also used on the hat.

So now I need to decide which combination I like best...
Other than that I need to decide if I want to have the trim going all the way around the apron or only at the bottom edge, and should I put it also on the back drape (all the way around ) or leave this plain???
The only thing I know is that I will also put it around the neckline and sleeve hem of the bodice. But this will take some time till I get there...

So please, please help me decide and tell me what you like best. (You can combine each pleating with each ribbon of course.)

Thanks and see you soon.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Trimming help...

Hello again!

Well, that was fast, wasn't it?
This afternoon I stitched up the pieces for the overskirt and finished it except fot the trimming, which is giving me a lot to think about.
But first I wanna show you what the skirt is looking like right now:

I'm quite happy with the drapings, they're falling very nicely. Adding a layer of net to the upper part of the backpiece was a good idea. Even without wearing a bustle or pad underneath, it is giving a nice shape in the back.
Yet I might add a small pad to a) add a it more volume and b) as the fantailskirt it still a tad too long and a pad will probably lift the hem just right. I'm not sure what the pad will be made like, it'll be either like a small bumroll- a stuffed crescent shape- or a few layers of ruffled tulle.

However what the overskirt needs now, is some nice trimming, but I can't decide on it. What I have in stock are satin ribbon 1" wide single face and double face in black, a few braid trims and velvet ribbon. Otherwise I've got some of the black cotton left that I lined the overkirt with to cut a trim of.
I also have (I think) 2 Cluny style laces here that might work, but I'm not sure I've got enough meters of them.
Additionally it'd be nice to be able to repeat the trim on the future bodice (probably around the neckline and sleeve hems).
So I'm really at a loss here. The stuff I have here would most likely end up in something pleated, like a knife- or boxpleated satin ribbon with a braided trim or the velvet ribbon on top or so, put on the edge of apron and backbustle. Or a pleated flounce put on the bottom of both. The trim can't be wider than 2", so it won't look weird where the sides of the backbustle meet the waistband.
Or should I get some completely different lace (e.g. something embroidered or a Raschel lace) to put on the bottom??
Ah, I don't know. I really need help here. I've already browsed the internet and all the pictures I have saved on my HD for inspiration, bur nothing really caught my eye.
Help please!

Thanks for reading, see you soon :)


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Bustling around

My dears,

I so need to apologize. It has taken an eternity since my last post.
But only a few weeks ago I finally got back to the sewing table, besides shortening a couple curtains for my new apartment and some repair things.
The weeks prior I was busy getting stuff done for the apartment and the whole move and work stuff has had me emotionally exhausted.

Anyway, I'm back to the Natural Form era. Last year I had started stitching up the pieces for an 1880s day bodice made of a pattern from "Fashions of the Gilded Age".  So I went on with a fitting, while I first thought that it fit quite well, a closer look showed that the waistline was way too high just as the back neck was. So I had to alter the pattern a few times to make the waist sit where it belongs and the neckline look like it is supposed to. Fitting the sleeve was another adventure including a few tries and I guess at least one more try will be needed before I can cut the real fabric. And also then I will leave enough seam allowance for security ;).
This is the last status of the bodice mock up.

You might remember that the whole ensemble is to be made out of the grey wool of my dressmakers exam fabric. The one where I got the last bits and that won't be available anymore. Well, I have about 3.3m left of it plus a few leftovers and scraps. Plenty enough for the bodice, but what to do with the rest?
In the beginning, when I got the fabric I had planned to make a simpler modern day (godet)skirt, but I don't think I would even wear it. And as the fantailskirt looks rather plain, I decided to make a small overskirt.
You, who have experience with bustle dress patterns know that those overskirts usually eat up a lot of fabric. You can eayily fit 3 or 4 yards into one bustle skirt. So the challange was to fit the overskirt and the bodice into those 3.3m wool flannel.

The final bodice pattern I can only make after the overskirt is done, so I can fit the bodice hip over the new skirt volume. But with the current pattern pieces I was able to determine that I would need at least 0.6m (thanks to the scraps where I can fit narrow pieces into), better leave 1m to be safe. That would leave me with a whole 2.3m for the overskirt. Insane? Maybe a bit, but not impossible to manage.
I only wanted a small overskirt, an apron in the front and some bustling in the back. Luckily I am a small girl, so one width of fabric should do for each part. From my apron try out with the Burda bustle pattern some years ago, I knew that the apron could be made of something around 0.7m fabric. So, from the remaining 1.6m there should be a way to drape something nice.

I got out my treasured BOMULL and started draping, I also took reference to a few overskirt patterns from "Fashions of the Gilded Age" to get a few basic measurements for darts and pleats. The apron was quickly made, as there are only a few pleats on each side.
For the back I took the opportunity to try out the butterfly drape explained here on Foundations Revealed. I added some side pleats like the butterfly train of Truly Victorian has to add some volume.
This is what I got from my first draping tries.

 I liked this quite much, so I made a pattern for the apron and stitched it up. Unfortunately the pleats would not stay put as much as I wanted them to, so it took a few more tries to see how I need to fix them on the final piece. The butterfly was a bit easier, yet it is always challanging to manage folding 75cm down to 15cm for each half of the back.

Because of the butterfly drape the closure can't be in the center back, so I want it on the side and have the front and back piece overlapping a few centimeters.
The pictures of where I tried on the overskirt don't look very spectacular, but I hope it'll look nice in the final fabric. For the back bustle I'm gonna add a layer of net for some extra volume and stiffness. The pieces are cut and tomorrow there'll be some stitching.

Okay, I guess that's it for tonight. Stay tuned for the next post, hopefully to be come soon.
Thanks for reading and your patience. You guys rock!

P.S. I reloaded my fabric sale and added quite a few things. Have a look and tell me if something catches your eye. Shipping preferably within Europe only.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Just a quick hello...

Hey guys,

I know, long time no see, so I at first want to wish you a very Happy New Year.
I hope you had a good start into 2012.

I'm in the midst of moving house (well studio apartment only actually-- it's awful how much stuff fits into a 340sqft/ 32m² apartment ^^), so there won't be a sewing post here for some more time. Although I hope to get over with the whole moving and settling into the new apartment fast and get out my beloved sewing machines as soon as possible, my fingers are already twitching ;)

Oh and you might have noticed that this blog has gotten over the 10,000 hit mark. Thanks to everyone who visited and especially to all of you who stick around still.

So thanks for your patience and I hope to be back with a "real" post soon.