Monday, August 31, 2009
So, I actually had 48 yards (yes - forty-eight) of bias strips to run through my ruffler foot then pin and sew to the skirt base. (When all was said and done, I have enough pleated ruffle strips left that I don't have to cut and hem more for the bodice hem ruffle and perhaps even the sleeve ruffles. Yippie!)
Speaking of my ruffler foot - AAARRRRRGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!
So I took my machine in for a cleaning since it'd last seen a tech in, like, 2002. (I have a Viking so it's self-oiling but it does need to be cleaned every once in a while - you would think I'd pay attention to that. duh) Well, I've not had a problem, although the black case where I plug in my cords had a crack right through it and the handle doesn't sit properly anymore. But I didn't think that my special Viking ruffler foot would cause a problem.
Something was amiss as I started running my kazillion yards through the foot. About every, oh, 10 inches or so the needle thread would shred and break. Like it was getting caught when it was moving around the bobbin. I was so confused and frustrated. What would have taken about an hour was nearly 2 and a half to finish the strips. I had to go super slow and the thread would still break.
Apparently the needle was hitting the feeder on the foot. It dulled my needle like nothing else which didn't help the problem as I continued to feed my fabric through. Hopefully that'll not happen again and it'll play nice next time.
But it got done and here is the skirt with the glorious, sheer bias ruffles:
It did end up taking a few evenings and several hours (albeit watching Firefly episodes) to scallop pink both edges of each bias strip. With no sewn hem, the ruffles stay light and airy.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
So.... I present my latest "insane" costume: an 1875 blue striped, sheer summer gown. The debut will be at the HCA 1870s Picnic on September 20th at the Banning House Museum in the LA area.
Being that most of my costume ideas start from fashion plates or extant garments, this project is no exception.
This is Plate 12 from Full-Color Victorian Fashions: 1870-1893 by JoAnne Olian. I've admired it for some time as it's girl-y and light. The perfect thing for a "Buccaneer" afternoon frolic over the lawns playing croquet and partaking of fresh delicacies.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
And the back view:
I used JP Ryan's Caraco pattern made from a 100% cotton duvet from Ikea. I have enough fabric left over to make a matching petticoat. The caraco skirt can also be polonaised up (the correct verb - thank you Val!) which I think will look adorable with the matching petticoat.
Here is the box pleated trim with braid on top. I pleated the fabric strip then ran it through my machine with a basting stitch. I hand tacked the braid on top while simultaneously sewing it to the neckline.
The inside of the center front:
The quilted petticoat is made from a bed quilt from Target. It has one side seam that I flat felled to make the petticoat reversible. The other side I slit down for the pocket access as well as getting in and out of it. The front and back are separate: the back ties in front then the front covers the knot to tie in back. (The photo below is of the back. You can see the front ties knotted at center back.)
I box pleated the centers then put in large knife pleats to take up the remainder of the panel to fit the waistband. (For convenience, I used the 2" wide grosgrain ribbon that came wrapped around the quilt from the store for the waistband.)
Thursday, August 13, 2009
THURSDAY: Arrived in mid-afternoon. Unloaded two vehicles with about 6.17 tons of STUFF. (Strangely no sewing machines were included.) Hung out at Info/Check-In to help set up. Sewed last two eyelets in my pink stays straps.
Dressed some funky, beat up mannequins in my 1876 Gown and my husband’s Regency ensemble.
Talked with lots of new and old people. Rolled hair in tight sponge curlers. Can you believe bed before midnight??
FRIDAY: Ratted and sprayed and ratted and sprayed some more to get my own hair into Hedgehog City – circa 1788. Remind me again about why they liked a long straight ponytail hanging from under the cotton ball head cover…
Wore my new 18th C. Caraco and Quilted Petticoat – This outfit brought to you by department stores. Answered questions from the Info Desk. Stuck a kazillion labels on cards for the Random Wheel of Knowledge.
Taught another terrific 19th C. Corded Petticoat class. The room overflowed into the hall with over 30 people again!
Learned about Stays & the Body from Lynn Sorge-English. So... our hunches were right about them not knowing what they were doing.
Quick to the Marketplace for early shopping with Sara. I’m a sucker for navy Regency bonnets. Anyone with me?
20 minute dinner at the hotel
SATURDAY: Curl setting lotion is the bomb! Wore my newly finished 1844 Dress. (Only two years late.) I need a bigger bum pad.
Did I say I’m a sucker for blue Regency bonnets?
Talked and chatted with so many people every time I visited the Marketplace. Delightful.
Enjoyed Sally Queen and Mela’s Hollywood class. Ooh, we need a whole class focusing on one film and the historical and not-so-historical costuming parts.
Back in the tiny room again to teach about the quickest way to make a Victorian Corset.
Despite the overflow into the hallway and the late hour, I saw nearly everyone find some tip or technique to take home.
Collapse in the room – no wait, need to dress for the Gala. No time! Curled hair, hooked and looped dresses together. Flounced about the room. Rushed to dinner. Danced to a great selection of music. Admired the general “prettiness” of the entire ballroom. Gushed at the marvelous beauties. How did the night go so quickly?
Hauled a huge purple bin up to the Hospitality Suite to teach people about the inside of 19th C. clothing. "So that’s how they did that!"
SUNDAY: No Undies but comfy jeans and top. Sally’s class on 18th C. Dress Down Friday Jackets. Inspirational. Can I have them for modern Friday work wear?
Back to Marketplace where I chatted with yet MORE people. (And I wondered why I hadn’t succeeded in completing my shopping list yet.)
Ok, REALLY have to get my shopping done now – last chance. Then my Hand Embroidery Class where we were all tired out but had fun twirling thread around a needle and pulling through.
CGW Annual Meeting – under 2 hours! You have no idea how excited we were (unless, of course, you yourself were at the 2006 historic SIX hour meeting.) Casey for Director of All Future Elections!
Dinner at Millie’s. Laughed until we cried - several times – I think exhaustion and Wrackspurts had taken over at that point. Chatted about next year. (Helps having the new Dean and CGW VP, Programming Chair and Registrar, not to mention other Committee Heads, with you at the table.)
(I don't really know how Becky was still able to take pictures at this point.)
Back to the hotel where we packed, stayed up way too late discussing plans and changes for next year, then crashed into bed. zzzzz.....
My apologies for not getting up off the sofa sooner and letting you read about the goings on. When you're a teacher, attendee, and committee head, that one long weekend takes it all from you. Now, two weeks later and I'm back to the sewing room. hehe
Monday, August 10, 2009
Take a look here at Madame Berg's new Historical Sewing forum.