Thursday, August 20, 2015

Time Travelling - the Lady

Hello again,

as promised here's the post about my outfit to go with the victorian suit.

I don't have any progress pictures, as time had been tighter then and I started working on it while also still making the frock coat and waiting for fittings.

The dress is also late victorian inspired, but with a little more modern/ steampunky twist, so not historical correct.
It's concipated to be worn without a corset but still holding the typical Natural Form silhouette.
As I knew that I wanted to make a matching dress, we had gotten more of the brown wool facric. Otherwise I wanted to use the left overs from the suit and stash materials. The blue dupioni silk I had in stash and I still have something left of it.

I started with the skirt. I again used my Natural Form Basis Skirt based on the Fantail Skirt pattern from "Fashion of the Gilded Age". The silk is rather thin, so I backed the panels with black cotton. I'ts all machine sewn, and closes with a hook in the back.


Next I made a blouse from the dupioni combined with a crêpe georgette I had in stash as well. I had bought it for my master's exam, but didn't use it then. The sleeves are made of it as well as the ruffles on the front and all edges. I cut them with the wave knife of my rotary cutter and left the edges to fray. I used the same buttons as for my boyfriend's waistcoat.


For the overskirt I combined 3 bustle patterns: for the apron I used a slightly altered Burda 7888 bustle dress apron, for the back I used my butterfly bustle pattern based on the instructions from Your Wardrobe Unlock'd and added the waterfall drapes from the Simplicity 1819 pattern. Two drapes I put on the sides and two I put in the back under the butterfly draping.
I used the woolblend from the trousers and the waterfall drapes are lined with brown duchesse, which I had ordered as lapel fabric for the frock coat. In the end we liked the plain wool better for the lapels, so this was left over. Yay for me ;)
In the end I added some antique brass butterflies.


Over it I made a waistcoat of brown wool. When making the black outfit for the master's ceremony, I thought that the bodice would make a nice waistcoat as well. So here I went with it.
I altered the pattern a bit around the armscyes and the witdh, and it did make a very nice waistcoat. It's also boned like a bodice to hold the shape.
Just as for the frock coat I got the buttons from work. They are actually for mens' tailoring and they had a huge load of button boxes from a donation (from a known suit designer brand) ready to be thrown away (!! blasphemy!!). So I took some of them home with me. The brooch is from my small jewelery stock and matches very well.


On top of it I made a short jacket. It's rather plain with a little standing collar in the back and a hook and eye closure in the front. It's adapted from a modern jacket pattern that I found in a Simplicity pattern magazine.


A proper lady of course also needs a hat.
The shape is based on the TV550 hat patterns and it's made of buckram, hatwire and covered with the brown wool fabric (there was just enough of it left). It's trimmed with ribbons and trims made of the other fabrics used for this outfit. Also I wanted to be able to wear it both steampunk-y and victorian. So I made an interchangable hat decoration that is fixed with press studs.



In addition I made a handbag to store all my stuff. It's made of the same pattern as the black one I made for my grey NF dress. Only the strap is longer to be worn over the shoulder, so I have my hands free.


And, just like I did for the suit, I made another brooch with gears for some more steampunk.


For the Wave Gotik Treffen at Whitsun I borrowed a lace parasol from work and wore a chain watch that I inherited from my Granny.
So here is the complete outfit (pic by Felix Brodowski):


And both costumes together (pic by Felix Brodowski):


Oh and inbetween I squeezed a pirate costume for my boyfriend's little one. (He didn't want "old clothes" as we had ^^)


Friday, August 14, 2015

Time Travelling - the Gentleman

Hey guys!

Sorry it took me so long again... but life has been taking over the last weeks.

Anyway finally I get to show you the main project that has kept me busy for a few months earlier this year.
Somehow I had agreed to make a victorian inpspired outfit for my boyfriend, so he had a matching suit to accompany my Bustle dresses.
He wanted something that could also be styled a bit steampunk-y as he really likes this style.
So I told him that I'd made the basic suit and he could pimp it to his liking afterwards.

The suit-style itself was a rather fast decision. Frock coat, trousers, waistcoat, necktie. Plus a purchased matching shirt, as getting proper material for making one plus counting the time would have been much more effort than just buy one.

I had thought about drafting all patterny myself, but as the trouser drafting instructions are a quite complicated matter, I decided for a first try I'd use a commercial pattern.
The perfect model I found in the McCalls 7003 pattern, it had all I needed: frock coat, trousers, waistcoat, necktie.
Thanks to my boyfriend, who uses my apartment as a second office, I've got a laser printer here, so I opted for the printed version of the pattern.

The whole thing is mounted on 128 pages *eek*. You need space to assemble the sheets.

As I wasn'r sure what size to use, I made mockups in size L, but could downsine almost verywhere to size M in the end. I just left the upper part of waistcoat and frockcoat in L, as he has a rather broad back and shoulders.

Originally I had wanted to use only stash fabric, but the grey wool I had here was to light an thin for a historical inspired suit. For a modern one it would probably have worked. So we went fabric hunting and in the end decided on two brown wool fabcrics (plus a matching viscose-blend lining). I wanted a high wool portion as I wanted to do ironwork on trousers and frockcoat to mould them into shape.
I will just share a few progress pictures with you as the whole thing would just be too much...





The first pictures show the ironwork on the trouser legs. You can see how much I was moulded with the pattern on. This was due because my boyfriend has o-shaped legs. I did this at work, as you need an industrial iron for this.
My co-workers from the mens' department were a great help through the whole project.

Next time I will draft my own pattern to make it more historical acurate and to accomodate the "imperfections" of his build. That's probably easier than changing the commercial pattern.
So the final fit is not perfect, but as best as can be and he's really happy with it.






The waistcoat went fairly smooth (it's not so different from womens' waistcoats), although I had to recut the back as it had not enough width around the hips. Luckly I had enough fabric and could use the cut piece later for something else.
The buttons came from my stash, my boyfriend picked them. I had added single welt pockets to the front as he needed a place to put the pocket watch I got him for his birthday.

The frock coat was a whole different matter. It took a really long time to get the fit right. My boyfriend also stands very errect, so he needs more length over the front and less at the back. After being really desperate, my co-workers ordered him in for a fitting *lol* and in just a few minutes all was fine *yay*. Now I know how to fit in this case, I learned so much making this frock coat.


Getting the right material to begin with had been a struggle. Finding the proper interfacing and undercollar felt non-wholesale is not easy. Luckyly I could look up the interfacing at work and finaly found the felt for much less than I had expected. Also I had to order the buttonhole silk, as most shops only sell the polyester stuff now, this had been a challenge as well. But for handmade buttonholes I just don't like the polyester thread, as it is harder to handle. For machine made buttonholes it's fine though.

The necktie (that had escaped my mind until just before being done^^) was a quick thing...and assebled easily.

I fixed the folds and added a button.
Also to add a bit steampunk style I made him a brooch. He made a tulleband with gearwheels to put on his Top Hat (which came from my parents vintage stuff and fit like a glove).


To complete the outfit he got blue sunglasses and a walking cane.





Okay... next time I'll show you my outfit to go with it...
Stay tuned :)


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

New Year, new stuff

Hey again, my dears!

So on we go with the little catch up trip.

We stopped around the change of the years. Just before the Christmas holidays at home I ordered the mentioned new fabric. Beware it'll get very colourful.

This one, but in red for me
and this one for my boyfriend.

I probably will never hold such fabrics in my stash.

You've might already guessed the occasion for colours like that... a 70s party was ahead.
My boyfriends mum had her 60th birthday 60s/70s themed and wanted her guests to come in costume. And you know what it's like...
"Hey your girlfriend is a dressmaker, surely she can quickly whip up some great costume for you...."
Erm... not really. Especially as the 70s are not really my favourite fashion era. At least not the 1970s *lol*

Another first time was making mens' fashion.
While still in school we had the opportunity to create a slim fit dress shirt pattern with our boyfriend's/husband's/brother's, etc. measurements via CAD and have it plotted if wished.
So I went to try it right in the eye-cancer-creating fabric. The fitting then showed that my boyfriend rather needs a regular fit pattern, as he has quite protruding lower ribs. Also he has rather broad shoulders for his clothes size.
I altered the back a best as I could, still the shirt ended up a bit tight around the shoulders and upper arms.
My boyfriend liked it anyway and even accompanied me to buy matching flower buttons in neon pink and yellow (and was a bit shocked, how much buttons can cost ^^).

For my dress I searched the web for 70s pattern images and came across this one:

The red dress seemed really fitting for my fabric and the pattern was perfect for my taste- not too short and a higher neckline.

I adapted the Burda "Danielle" dress pattern by lowering the empire waist line, lengthening the sleeve and raising the neckline. Also I bought a white wide belt, just as the image shows.
The dress is fully lined in light green (as the satin was rather shine through and thin) and is closed with a blue invisible zipper. Both came from my stash again.

Here's the result:

and in action

We both wear "peace"-necklaces and plateau boots, and I had put some gores into an old pair of my boyfriend's jeans just the night before the party. Also I made some sunflower hair clips for me, while my boyfriend had grown a mustache for 2 weeks before the party.

I hope you don't have burning eyes now ;)

Thanks for reading, see you soon