Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween 2011

Here's the first part of the promised update about Halloween this year.

I cut the pannier skirt from an old sheet I bought at Village des Valeurs. I figured I'm probably going to wear it only a few times anyway so it doesn't need to be super tough.

Bonus: This part I was able to cut on the table instead of the floor.

Below you can see the boning channel guides for the pannier skirt. I used transfer paper and a tracing wheel. For those kinds of marks, there are not that many ways to get a great transfer.

And here it is with the channels sewn. I'll have pictures of it being worn when I put it on next Monday!

Next I made the bodice. Sorry I don't have any pictures of the construction. I used a very stiff and heavy fabric for the interlining, so I decided not to bone it. Maybe I should have, but I didn't want to add too much thickness to the seams. And it turned out that it was a good thing too, because I made the bodice slightly too small, so I had to ease out the side and center back seams. Now, I think it's a tiny bit too big, but that's much, much better than too small!

And then I made the overskirt. You can see the pleats on the side here. Towards the left there's supposed to be one last pleat, but I couldn't figure out how to gather it without the wrong side of the fabric showing. I ended up folding everything together, including the bottom of the previous folds, into the seam. That seems to work alright.

Next is the double box pleats at the back of the overskirt. Those were, surprisingly, super easy to make and turned out great. They'll be draped over the pannier right on my oversized behind. You'll see, this is going to be super elegant.

Here's the new corset! I had to rip out and recycle boning from the previous, much too small one, because there wouldn't have been enough time to order some new. This time I didn't shorten it at the waist or at the top, but I removed one full inch from the bottom. I think it could still have been shortened a little bit at the waist, but it still fits fine anyway. Much better than the previous one.

Turns out I actually made it slightly too big, so I had to take an extra seam at the center back to make it slightly smaller.

I don't have pictures of the skirt in progress, but it's the same fabric as the corset. I made it just before and it went so incredibly fast! Well, except that there wasn't supposed to be a seam at the center back... I just placed the piece the wrong way on my fabric. It'll be hidden in the pleating anyway so it doesn't matter, it was just a funny stupid mistake to make!

I even had time to make a cape! Below are pictures of the cape all marked and ready to be cut, and the pattern right below it. The trick when making a circle cape is to draw two half circles, taking your shoulder points as a reference. This way the length is just about even all around, instead of it being shorter at the sides and longer at the back and front.

Everything went so incredibly fast. I think I was expecting a lot of snags along the way so I planned for about twice the expected time to start with. When almost no snags happened, I was left with all this extra time! Which is good, because, by then, I had a cold, and I used the time to rest.

But I think the fact that it went so quickly is due to two main reasons: 1- I'm using Truly Victorian patterns, which are well made and true to advertised size. And 2- Since it's not the first time I use them, I know exactly where to fuse the sizes and shorten them so they fit right. I'm a small in the shoulders, and a medium for waist and hips, which means that I need to redraw the pattern pieces before I start. And I'm also short-bodied, which means I remove half an inch at the waist line and half an inch at the midpoint between bust and shoulders, which is a little trickier because it also involves lowering the armscye. But it works, every single time. That's only for the bodice though; for the skirts, I just do the medium size (and yes, they run extremely small, I wear sizes 0-2 in modern sizes in most stores - that is, those that make sizes small enough for me - so if the size medium fits me, imagine how small those patterns really are!).

So, things went well and fast. I bought some accessories, converted earrings to clips, dug out my old makeup and spent a lot of time on Rapunzel's Resource learning how to style long hair. I think it's all going to  go together great and look fantastic :-)

And last but not least... I wanted to make a special giant tree for my big front window. I would have painted it with black paint on white fabric and lighted it from behind, but I ran out of time. It will be magnificent... next year :-)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

New projects

Remember last year? I had all those projects...

This year I'm using the beautiful fabric I bought last year. I'm taking pictures, I swear!

The bustle is done. The bodice is done (needs hooks and eyes). The skirt will go pretty fast.

Then I'll need to deal with my corset. Remember last year, it was rather small for me already? Well, I put on some weight; so now it's even smaller. I'm debating making a new one (reusing the boning would be a good investment) or making this one bigger by inserting panels in the center front, sides and back. Two weekends left before Halloween, will there be time to make a new one? I mean, it's not that long after all... but I don't want to come up short...