Today has been kinda hard.  Work was more work than usual, but not bad...I'll be happy to be going home in the next half hour.  But I've been trying to get my homework done while I'm at work so I can do whatever I want when I get home, and it's not working out that well today.

Brad stayed home today because he wasn't feeling well.

But I'll recap my weekend of non-productiveness in the way of costuming.  Friday night I tried putting together my indian fancy pants and determined that they are so unflattering I don't want to spend more time anymore.  I might try futzing with them if I have extra time before the fest season ends, but for now I'm putting them away to focus on more pressing issues.

For Saturday I would like to put a guard on my skirt and repleat & reattach the skirt.  I'd also like to check the pattern of my sleeves and possibly make another pair as they're falling apart anyway.  I don't think I could get to a corded petticoat made by then, but I'd like to have that done as well.  That's all for now, the last 15 minutes of work usually passes very quickly and were at that point in the day!

Yay!
 
I've been talking about this project for years! 

Made the dress in 2007, and finished (with Crystal's help) in time to wear it to Ren Fes that year.  It was too big then, so I took it in and wore it a few weeks later at the Northstar VSA's Masquerade Ball.
As you can tell from the first picture, there were structural issues with the bodice which cause the straps to slip (I was 2 years less experienced then and now I know better).  I wore the dress last year, making the straps shorter, to no avail.

This year, I had two options:  rework The Work Dress or find a way to solve the problem of the slipping straps for the Venetian.  I am trying to make Brad a costume by the end of fest this year, so I want to focus most of my time on that.

Anyway, the Venetian won because I found trim I thought could help me with the project.  I added a 2ndary strap (you can read about that in earlier posts), wore the dress last weekend and it worked rather well!  Great!  On our way out of fest, I stepped on my hem and ripped my skirt! 
Picture
Since my first Venetian (a long time ago) I have wanted a split skirt.  I'd also like to make a pair of fancy pants to wear with this dress when I'm feeling fun and flirty, like in the movie Dangeous Beauty.  So now I have a couple of options for the skirt:

I'd like to add a guard to the hem of the skirt.  Should I trim the skirt opening in this fabric?
OR I have more of the trim I used on my bodice.  Should I trim the skirt opening in that?
OR Should I find a way to incorporate both the  guard, and the bodice trim as a trim for the opening of the skirt?

What do you think?
 
 on fabric swatch:

I got out of work early yesterday and since I've been talking so much about costumes for the Masquerade ball, I've been thinking of my own.  Last week I posted some ideas I had for making my wedding dress a "costume" to wear to this ball.

Since then in talking with friends, I really like "the ghost" idea Debbie has offered, and am rethinking using red for the underbust corset and instead something more the color of my dress.  The above fabric is a great upholstry fabric I've found, with a damask pattern, as you can see, in gold, black and white.  I wanted something that was more cream colored, but I think this will work with my dress, though I'm not sure it's exactly what I want.

Also, I think I will be "beading" the dress (not sure I want to fully reveal my ideas now) and adding some "lace" as well. 
On fabrics:
look very closely at that white cotton!  I only found 2 & 3/4 yards of this yesterday.  It has what looks like strawberries embroidered on it, one big strawberry and a tiny one too!  Very sweet.  Not sure what this will turn into yet, but it's always nice to have fabric on hand for a chemise, shift, or shirt.

The other, colorful embroidered fabric caught my eye because for the past couple of days I have been thinking I need a corded petticoat for the Venetian.  In the 2nd picture you can see my Pink Venetian and this fabric together. 

Also, Crystal and I are working on a project that will hopefully be done in time for Costume Con 2010, which I will eventually need a petticoat for, and to be honest, these colors are PERFECT for that petticoat.  Since the fabric has two embroidered sides, I only bought 6 yards of this stuff (hoping that will be enough to cover a hoopskirt and also make the corded petticoat with), but there's more of it if I need to use it.

Okay, more on Venetian and splitting the skirt coming up!
 
I thought I'd have lots of time to get the little things I needed to get done for the first wearing at MNRF on Saturday done Thursday and Friday night.  Famous last words right.  It always works out to take alot longer than I think it will, so I have started preparing for that by priortizing and starting early.

It managed to catch up with me again on Friday evening...one of the 2ndary straps refused to be symmetrical to the other strap, so I spend an extra hour or two figuring out why, which pushed me behind in getting the skirt reattached.  I mangaged, it wasnt' perfect, but I did wear it out and will aim to get this done by the next time we go out in two weeks.

I also need to allow myself time to:
make pantaloons
line skirt
split skirt (my hem came undone on Saturday and on my way out I stepped on it and ripped the skirt (by happenstance, right in the center front). 
find stockings

Well, enough talk, let's see pictures! (My particular friend, Crystal, may have a picture of Mr. Vetter and I, though I have yet to see it, I hope to post it here soon.
Picture
Myself, Peggy Elizabeth, and Crystal (thanks to Brad for taking this lovely picture).  This was a particularly picturesque moment (I love when I notice these), sitting under the tree, with guitar music and singing in the air.  Peggy noticed or picture being taken several times, so apparently I wasn't the only one feeling this way.

Peggy's work can be seen on her website www.uncommongatherings.com/RB&L.htm

and Crystal's at her blog, www.sonnetofthemoon.blogspot.com

More pictures to come!

 
I just finished Frankensteining the waistband for the breeches (I cut it in several places, instead of taking it off, regathering the pants and reattaching it).  I feel bad about this "shortcut" because it's not the best solution and probably end up taking me as long to do it as it would have been to do it the right way.  If Brad really likes these, I will redo the waistband in the future...put probably not until after this season of fest.

In other news...the Northstar VSA has changed to the theme of this year's masquerade ball (not that it was ever made public anyway, so I'm not sure I should be sharing this) to Dance Macabre.  All things dark and deathy, I suppose, since our Ball is going to be on Halloween night.

I was upset about this at first because the original theme would have been the perfect excuse for me to rewear my wedding gown, but if we can do it next year, I'll have the perfect excuse to make an 18th Century gown, or at least the underwear for it! 

My idea for my costume (so far) is to wear my wedding gown, and modify it by adding an underbust corset, a cloak, a mask, and possibly adding some new elements to the dress (beadwork).  Also, I can play everything up with jewelry!  I'm thinking a blood red velvet coat, lined with silk (I've always wanted one, and now I have an excuse).  I also thought Brad might want a cloak though I'm not sure what other apsects he has in mind for his costume (men can get away with wearing tuxedos).   All in all it sounds like it's going to be a fun theme for us.
 
 I just had a really wordy post about these, but it was eaten and is now gone.

Short version, I picked this lace because I found it in a thriftshop a few years ago at a great price.  It is handmade linen lace, and though I felt bad about cutting it because there is such a short supply of it, I justified it because I if I didn't us it for this costume, I may never use it, so what was the point in buying it anyway?

Here is some pics of the sleeves, lace attached, that I've gotten done in a couple days during my downtime at work.
 
I had the chance to put on the Venetian again (no small feat) and checked the new strap placement.

I do have before pictures, but they are on my home computer...just know the strap never wanted to stay on my shoulder, and that the lesson I've learned from this will be forever burned into my brain because of how frustrating it's made wearing this otherwise satisfactory dress. 

In these pictures, the placement of the strap isn't permanant, just basted into place and pins where changes needed to be made.  I think I've mentioned it in previous posts, but I'm using a trim I found for the straps, and will end up trimming the front of the bodice in it (which I wanted to do anyway, just not with this particular trim) to make it look more intentional.  I would like to add some beading to the trim for more glitz and glam...you understand!  Not sure when I'll get around to beading though.

The last picture in this series is less about the dress, and more about the beautiful antique mirror my wonderful hubby gave me as a wedding gift!  It's from 1893, and it's one of my most treasured posessions.
And below are Brad's breeches, with other pieces of his fest bought garb...I'll include a picture of what it his outfit normally consists of (I hope he still feels inclined to wear these once in a while, it's not everyday a lady gets to enjoy her man in such close fitting clothing :D).

The last picture is because with his boots on, the pants are too short buttoned...if we unbutton the legband, they work, but we're not sure how comfortable they'll be, so Saturday is our testrun before I make the real breeches (which are all lined just waiting for our testrun to be put together).

The breeches fit Brad now, so I'm going to finish up the buttonholes and waistband and then DONE!

Note:  After contemplating using this pattern for my own breeches (for under the Venetian) I tried these on to figure out how I would need to alter them: they are too long, and 6-8 inches to wide in each leg fo the look I'd want, and my calfs are bigger than Brad's so the legband would need to be longer.
 
 
Sorry it's taken me a while to get these up...somehow I cracked the screencover on Brad's camera and feel so terrible about it that I hate looking at it anymore, much less using it.  The camera still works, it's just marred. 

Picture
Above are the "pantaloons" I've made using fabric from the salwar kameez.  The fabric with small flowers was the orginal pant fabric for the outfit and the stripe down each leg is from the dress part of the set. 
 Above are the wearable mock-up breeches for Brad.  This fabric might be hot because it's a mystery brocade (and the manliest floral brocade I've ever seen, how about you?)  Brad's response to "these might be hot, are you sure?"  was, "they can't be any hotter than my leather jerkin"...Ah!  Good point!

I still have to finish up the waistband, the couple of buttons & holes and the fly, and buttons and holes on the legbands, but I included the button we're going to use, so you could see it!
 
This past weekend was my sort of last push to get anything done before the start of Renaissance Festival!  I'm excited that it's starting on Saturday, but it marks so many things.

The end of Summer, that State Fair will be starting shortly, the return to school, the beginning of Fall...and that all leads to the end of the year, which always arrives strangely soon, leaving us wondering what we did with the past year and always making plans to move onto the next.  It's a circle. 

But, to What I actually accomplished this weekend...not much!  The great thing about Fest is that since it runs for 6+ weeks, there's time to do stuff while it's on, which is actually very motivating! 

Saturday we did some errand running and ate lunch while we were out.  We slept in, which gives me less time to get things done, but I did press Brad's black linen before we left the house and when we got back, I put my corset and Venetian dress on and Brad helped me with the frustrating secondary straps.  I'm going to try the dress on tonight to see if I attached them in the right places and make adjustments if necessary.  Putting the corset on reminded me that the corset is too long, so yesterday, I cut it down a couple of inches (not as easy as it sounds since I also have to cut bones and melt them down, not difficult, but it is work). 

Venetian To Do:
This week I would like to repleat the front of the dress.  If I have the time I would also like to reattach the whole skirt because there is a fabric wrinkle where the skirt and bodice meet which means too much fabric.  I should be able to get it done, but I have to be sure to give myself enough time.  I really like the look of the trim that I'm using as a secondary strap, so I'm thinking it would look more intentional (these straps are necessary because I didn't know what I was doing when I made the bodice pattern and it's easier to add them than to make a new bodice) if I trimmed the bodice with it.  Then I could add some fun beading!  I was also toying with the idea of paned sleeves using this trim, though I'm not sure there's enough of it for both (there should be).  Finally, I need to do a mending job on the camicia shoulder.

Pantaloons:
I did add a yoke to the pantaloon...mmm...no!  The yokes makes the pants really puffy around my waist, so I'm thinking of adding a waistband or making a different pair of pantloons completely.  I might scrap this idea for this year if it gets too involved.

Brad's Breeches:
I pressed his linen, as mentioned above, and cut all the pieces for his real breeches.  Unfortunately, I forgot that this fabric needs to be lined *headdesk* so I need to cut more fabric!  I'm hoping to get this done tonight.  Also, today I should be finishing up Brad's "mock-up" breeches.

Doublet:
I got the doublet mock-up sewn up last night.  A few things need to be changed, the armhole was too small and the collar too high.  I may need to add some length to the waistline as well, but we'll have to double check it tonight.  I also need to trace the sleeve pattern in Brad's size so I can get those cut too.  Getting thse done isn't necessary to the doublet, but then I guess it woudl be referred to as a Jerkin.

 
I sewed up the pantaloons yesterday, and it went rather well except for the fact that the waist is too short, so now I'll have to add a yoke (I think that's what it's called) to make up where they are lacking.  Hopefully this will also make them a little longer because I did sort of want them either less full and below the knee or puffy and above the knee. 

Eitherway, I think I should have thought about the fact that the plan is too show off my legs (unintentially, I really only want to show off the shorts) because I feel very silly.  Hmm...

So, I'm not sure these are going to work...right now anyway.  They may just be too small for my thick thighs, so I'll try fiddling with them to see if I can get them how I'd like them with my current body, and if it doesn't work, come up with a plan B.

Today I'm planning on working on some graphics for my blog, and if I get to them, some advertisments for the upcoming VSA Masquerade Ball and a possible corsetry workshop we're hoping would raise some funds to help us survive.