Monday, December 14, 2009

A completely different era - Part Four - End of the line

I'm sorry guys I didn't mean to leave you with a cliffhanger like this. I did finish the outfit in time and wore it with great pride, felt fabulous and had such a lovely night out that I completely forgot to get pictures taken of me in all my splendor.

I planned to dress up four you guys last week but an urinal tract infection made me feel in no mode for fancy dress up. I'm still battling this beast and as soon as I conquered it I will dress up, put on the same make up and fix my hair so you can see what I looked like that fantastic night. I might get dear M to dress up four you to but I cant promise that for sure ;)

The corset it self turned out to big, again. M managed to lace it completely shut all the way in the back. I spent most of last Sunday pondering how a 28" corset could close on me...then I compared the shape of my 28" vollers and the corset I made. And it hit me. The vollers has a very straight shape while the 1880's corset is curved. The later makes it possible for my bust and hips to expand while my waist gets compressed. Apparently there are no limit to how much I can lace my waist as long as my bust and hips are allowed to expand...

I also discovered that the stiff steel bones only work at CF and CB on this type of corset. I had put some at the side fronts and side backs and it was not comfortable at all. So I will change those bones to spring steel and then sell this corset for half my regular price since it has been worn twice.

And I will pray that the last changes I made has rendered my pattern to perfection this time :)

Anyway, here are the last two days of sewing madness for this project:

Friday the 4th of December
07:45 Starts to assembly the fascinator with the hot glue gun

(It's almost finished on this picture it's only the bias edge missing and the comb that keeps it to my head.)

08:11 Starts to finish the CB's of the corset

08:34 The CB's are finished and I start with the bottom edge

09:33 Bottom finished and the hard steels gets pushed in to their channels
When that's done I went inside the main house and got my self ready for goin to Stockholm. I spent most of the day and evening there, shopping, going to a shop called Pom Pom Parlour and introducing myself and my sewing business (and hoping that they will like my stuff and wants to sell it) and I spent the rest of the afternoon and the evening drinking tea and chatting with Isis :)

Saturday the 5th of december
09:55 Starts finishing the top edge

10:41 Starts setting grommets

11:12 The grommets are in and the corset is finished!

Cut out a lining for the fascination and a strip of fashion fabric to make a bow out of
Goes inside the main hose and sew a comb on the lining, glue the lining on and edge the hole shebang with hot glue and bias binding. The fascinator is finished!

Then me and M goes to Uppsala for some Christmas shopping. We arrive at home base at approximately 16:30. Then I start to sew the bows and bells to my skirt. When that's done my outfit is done 2 hours before planned departure to the party!

Now M realizes that he needs a cravat for his outfit (He wore this smoking jacket, a fez, black shirt, suspenders and black dress slacks). I dig through the fabric stash and find the left overs from his jacket that I originally planned to make the corset out of and some matching lining fabric. Whips up a pattern for the cravat, cut it out stitch it together and turn it. Do a quick try on M to see that it looks like it should. I does. Great. We hurry inside and I fix my make up, my hair and M laces me in to the corset. While we drive to Stockholm I finish the last on the cravat by hand in the car...


Thursday, December 3, 2009

A completely different era - Part Three- Making nice progress

Todays madness:

06:30 The bell rings. Time to get up and eat breakfast

07:30 Starts to cut and insert the spring steel boning. When that's finished I cut and file down the edges of the hard steel.

10:07 All I can do is done. Time to go inside and freshen up for the meeting with the great girl that takes care of my horrible economy papers. (I'm suffering from dyscalculia, it makes me very bad at handle big amounts of numbers.)

10:53 Miss the buss to Uppsala. Goes inside and try to get more of my papers ready.

11:53 Catches the bus to Uppsala.
Do the horrible papers, discover that I've probably misplaced some of them and then enter the fun part of the day - shopping. I found some black ostrich feathers at Panduro ( a craft store chain), some gorgeous red metallic net and black bias at a store called "Tyg Centrum" (= Fabric Central"). If you go to Uppsala, go there. It is a small store but there are fabric stacked from the floor up to the ceiling. And the girl who owns the place are really nice. The prices are a bit high on some fabrics though, but I go there anyway.

17:00 Arrive at home. Take some chicken out of the freezer and while it tawns I cover my fascinator base with the fashion fabric. I also make a gathered fan shape out of some of the net. My plan is to attach it to the base with my hot glue gun tomorrow, add the shortened feathers and crown the whole glory with a bow made of a pinked strip of the fashion fabric.

My fascinator, so far:

I haven't decided yet what side to have as front. My first plan was to have the point as front but now I think it might look cool to have the point as top?

When the covering was done I put the chicken in the pan and while it cooked I covered the tips of my hard steel bones with electrical tape. It's not my favorite solution but I couldn't find anything suitable to coat them with in Uppsala.

This is what I have left to do:
Finish the CB's on the corset with black bias
Insert the hard steel bones in the corset
Close the edges with black bias
Make and attach 4 bows to the skirt and glue one to a pin for the corset
Attach four bells to the skirt and one to the pin
Assembly the fascinator

I need to buy:
One pair of seamed fishnet stockings
A metallic comb for fastening my fascinator to my hair

I'll end this with the words of fantastic M, my fiance:
- Skall du ha ett löv på huvet? (= Are you going to wear a leaf on your head?)

He said it with a tone that made me feel like I was planning something very indecent ;)


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A completely different era -Part 2- More sewing madness

I'm quite accomplished with todays achievements. The vision has under gone some tweaks but it is only to the better and less time consuming. This was my sewing madness today:

06:15 For whom the bell tolls..time to get up, try to awaken and get some nourishment into the system. Reads Cut of womens clothing and Patterns of Fashion 1 during breakfast.

07:15 Starts cutting the foundation layers and marking boning channels

08:35 Starts to assembly the corset
10:19 Time to start working on the Steam punk coat since my official work hours has started. Pins the assembled pieces to Vermont.

Don't like the skirt, at all. Too much red.Rips it off. Pins some "bows" made of scraps on underskirt.

Ahhh, much better! And all I have to do skirt wise now is to make proper bows!

12:00 - 13:00 Lunch break
While the food gets warm in the oven I start to stiffen a fascinator base with glue.

I plan to have BIG hair on Saturday and then my all black hat will disappear in the blackness of my hair. So a fascinator it will be. I will cover the base with the same fabric as the corset and edge it with black bias just as the corset. I'm not sure what to embellish it with yet, I will take a hike to the big craft store in Sthlm on friday and see what they can offer. A black feather and some gold net would be nifty.

The fascinator base is made of two layers of heavy canvas stiffened with two or three layers of wood glue. I like to work with wood glue, it is easy to find, gets very stiff and since it's water soluable before it's dry it is easy to clean up any mess ;)

During food warming I also manage to stitch one more panel to the corset and cut some ribbons of the fashion fabric with my pinking scissors.

17:19 After 4+ hours of fiddling with the lining of the steampunk coat, I had enough. I don't do modern lined clothing very often so I tend to forget how to do it between the times :/ I find it erasier to make a corset than to make a modern lined garment....So I will continue with the lining tomorrow and I continued to assembly the corset instead.

19:07 Corset is ready for boning! Yay! I will try to put in all the spring steel tomorrow and cut the crinoline steel. I need to buy tipping fluid when I go to town tomorowr afternoon. I also need to buy 4 m of black satin bias binding and find some hat decorations. I don't have high hopes for the latter, Uppsala is not a good town for costumers, but you newer know... Here is a picture of the unboned corset on vermont.

I have also pinned some bows and bells to the skirt. I'm not sure about the bells. I kind of think they look cute but maybe they just look silly? If i keep them (one at each quarter) I will also add one with a bow at the neckline CF on the corset.

So my shopping list for this outfit:
4m of satin bias binding
Tipping fluid
Gold net+Black feather?
Black fishnet stockings with back seam (I've found a pair here, I hope the IRL store has them too)

Now I'll snuggle in the couch with a warm wool blanket, a big cup of yogi tea and work on my striped petticoat while looking at The Duchess.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A completely different era...

This is totally off topic for this blog since it's main focus is 18th century but this creation that are going to take form during the next couple of days is a costume, so it kind of fits a little bit.

I'm completely, utterly insane and this crazy idea kind of proves it. Yesterday me and Fantastic M, decided to go to Stockholm Burlesque on Saturday evening. Cool, great idea. But then the thought " I have nothing to wear" kind of ice skated through my mind.

I do have a burlesque outfit, this one, but the corset is getting a bit raggedy after heavy use and it is also a bit big on me. But the under skirt is still going strong and still fit. I also have a pattern for an 1880's OB corset that I've already made a mock up of and that only needs a minor alteration to fit. I also have in my stash somewhere a red flock printed taffeta with medallion motif.

With this in mind I went to work today in my sewing studio. I looked at my red taffeta but wasn't 100 % pleased.Then in the afternoon, inspiration hit me like a thunder bolt:

16:11 An idea is born... I suddenly realized that I had a fantastically, glittery fabric in my stash that I got wrapped around my birthday present this year...I hastily went through my stash,found it and pinned it to Vermont. It looked terrific so I quickly added some accessories to get a feel for it all. I also estimated how much new material I needed to buy. This is how it looked:

(The blue fabric that sticks out at the bottom is my 18th century under petticoat, it will not be in the finished costume)

Then I felt very accomplished and got back to work on the steam punk coat I'm making for a client.

18:16 My official work hours are finished and I start to transfer the changes from the mock up to the pattern.

18:29 Pattern is finished and I start to take out the corset pieces from the glittery fabric.

18:39 The cursing starts...there are not enough fabric for both a corset and a skirt! Arrrghh! Dives into the stash.

18:41 Found a skirt made of red metallic fabric. It needs a new waistband, shortening and some more ribbon decor added but otherwise its fine.

19:22 All the corset pieces are cut out from the fashion fabric and the seam allowances are covered with Fray Check. I leave them in the studio to dry and wanders into the main house, hungry and dizzy from the Fray Check fumes.

To be continued...

To clear all things up a bit.I have until Saturday evening to make my self a corset, add som ribbon decor and change the waistband on the skirt. I think can make it. The corset will have black piping in the seams and black ribbon on upper and lower edge. The skirt will have ribbons aded so it looks like I've made it in sections instead of a full cicle.I think it will look good when finished. I need to find myself some fun stay ups or hose, maybe fishnet ? Or classic ones with a back seam? What do you all think?