Fantastic!  So yesterday, with all the stuff I have to do I was struck by the headache truck, and they gave me a whopper.  I tried the drugs that normally help me and they didn't so by the afternoon I went home two hours early.

I took some Tylenol Sinus and that helped straight that's when I got to work.  I cut the fabric pieces for Brad's cloak collar, put that together and attached it to the neckline...I still need to finish the neckline off, but I can do the handsewing in the car on the way somewhere...probably tomorrow morning on the way to set-up.  I found a trim in the stash that will work for the cloak, but after pressing it and attaching the collar, I think it looks pretty dapper as is...we will add the trim when we decide whether or not to switch out the lining.

I got my sleeve pattern adjusted and I hope I like the way the sleeves fit when there done because they're almost to that point.  I also painted my mask, which took several coats of paint, so it's a good thing I remembered to start that last night.  I decided against the gold because one of the decorations I'd like to put on it for this wearing is gold and I didn't want to detract from that.  So I went with pearlized white, which is another good "neutral" for masks.

I guess that's all I got done besides running out to Party City to buy the last BIG Skull they had...:D  I should take a picture of where it's sitting in the house right now because I'm amused.  You see, I like to decorate our house in themes...even if they are subtle...themes (even costume themes) help me to come up with ideas and stay cohesive.  Anyway, one theme I thought would be fun for our living room (which is in the lower level of our house) is the Dungeon.  One, because it is in the lower level of our house...and two because Brad collects dragons, we have alot of dragon stuff, and we could use it down here...he also collects swords that would allow us to display them, and because I like Renaissance & Medieval decor it could all work...So I put the giant humanesque skull on our entertainment center, and it looks cool, but I don't think I could leave it up there all the time, dungeon or not!

estimated work time: 4 hours
Last night I didn't work on my dress very much.  I did find the Margo Anderson pattern I have for "wide curved" upper & lower sleeves...because I was feeling lazy and because I do want BIG SLEEVES just cut the biggest size (instead of tracing my size) and decided I'd make changes if I I needed.  Not sure how they're going to work because the big sleeves have big I need to do some research (as these sleeves are big, I don't think they're big enough but I don't have the time to trial and error my own pattern for them) but I may just make them up and make changes later.

Brad cut  the fabric and I sewed it together for his Renaissance men's semicircular cloak (again using the Margo Anderson patterns), here's the backstory on why I thought this piece was necessary for the Ball. 

Brad picked a great leather mask at Ren Fest this year, specifically for this ball...but the striking color  of the mask isn't found anywhere else in the costume he'll be wearing...I had an idea (while I was sleeping actually) that we could use a fabric in the same color fabric as the mask for a lining and make him a cloak.  As luck would have it I have a silk that matched the color of Brad's mask, pretty much exactly the same, in my opinion.

The outside is a chevron patterned brown on brown wool I bought to make Brad a Victorian cloak...there may still be enough for that leftover.  The brown wool works nicely with the brown in the brocade of his doublet & breeches so I think after the ball I will replace the lining that something that coordinates with the outfit so he can wear it to fest if he wants to...unless he wants to keep the striking fabric to wear with his mask out at fest. 

Onto a few construction notes....the instructions say the cloak should hang for at least 24 hours after it's cut (I always forget to let this happen before I hem a skirt...I usually don't have the time either) before I add the collar, so if I didn't get it done last night it might not have gotten done at all.  It will take a little more doing to get the rest finished.  I need to add the collar, a clasp,  hooks to the cloak and loops onto his doublet so it will hang properly...and if there's time, I'd like to find a nice trim.

For the work dress, I need to add a bar and hook closure to the skirt and make sure it lays properly when shut...I'm working on the underbodice while at work today.  Hopefully I can get the straps turned under, and I may just turn the neckline under as well instead of binding it...I didn't bring the binding from home, otherwise I'd be using that...I did bring Brad's doublet sleeves to place the buttons (for the hair elastics to hold the sleeves in place) so if I can do that and not waste any time, I'll try to wait until I get home or tomorrow to bind the neckline.

I haven't gotten anything done in the way of decorations for the ball except spray painting branches.  I hope that the Ball Chairman likes my idea because I totally dig it and would be disappointed if we don't use the arrangements.  I did find two close to life size ravens to perch on the branches, which completes the effect.

Okay, back to work!

estimated work time: 4 hours
I'd like to list my wants, outside of the Work Dress Wish List, for the ball on Saturday.  Because Brad and I have to help with setup on Saturday, I won't have that extra time to get these things done.

I want to make a semi-circular cloak for Brad using Margo Anderson's Gentleman's Patterns.  The pattern looks simple, but I bet I can manage to goof it up somehow.

I need a mask!  I have a mask, but I don't really think it goes with my dress, so I need to do something to have a mask to wear for the ball.  Good thing I have ready-to-decorate masks in my pile of junk...though I don't know now I want it to look...Gold would go with the trim on my dress AND I'd be able to use it again with other dresses, so that sounds like a pretty good starting point, but what else?

All the decor stuff I signed up for...two wreaths for the front doors, the branch arrangements (which are mostly done) and the flying skull I want to make.

That doesn't sound too bad...though I do have some finshing up on Brad's doublet to get done too!
Thing #1
Last week I did a very bad thing (bad because I want to use up fabrics in my stash before buying anymore) and decided I needed fabric for an underskirt for this dress.  I went to a local fabric warehouse in search of a nice linen but found a stack of silk remnants, at $4.99 silk is hard to pass up and was probably less expensive than any linen I would have bought if they had any I liked.  I picked gold for this underskirt and got enough so that I could also make a bodice and/or sleeves for this dress.  I'm not sure I'll get to the underskirt in time to wear it to the ball, but I hope to have sleeves done in time.
Thanks to Realm of Venus for this portrait.
For the historic version of this gown (I believe the movie dress is based on historic garments, though Danielle's sleeves are earlier in period and/or fantasy based) I want to make a pair of full sleeves as in the above portrait (shh...I'm most excited to make the 2 part sleeves from the movie though).

Looking at portraits from the period of similiar dresses, I've noticed the openings in the dresses are more commonly smaller than the opening on my dress, though the opening in the dress from the movie is larger than the opening in the picture I posted above.
Thanks to for the above image
Thing #2 I hope that I can replace the ties at the front opening before Saturday as well.  I used the velvet ribbon I trimmed the bodice with for ties but these aren't working out so well.  They aren't really long enough and they are only one sided, so they have an ugly side.  I want to make the ties from the dress fabric so it will take a little effort to sew it, turn it in, then finish the edges (if I don't have time to finish the edges I can knot the ends off and maybe add a bead?  I don't know yet.

Thing #3
I really hope I have time to repleat the back of the dress.  I used box pleats in the front, and it creates a little puffiness around my waist...I used stacked knife pleats because I have SO MUCH FABRIC in the back of the skirt...but the knife pleats lie too flat and the combination of flat in back and puffy in front looks kinda stupid.

Thing #4
I don't NEED to add the guard at the botton of the dress for the ball...but I wanna! I pinned part of it in place and makes it look polished. 

Thing #5
And least importantly for the ball, the Underskirt.  I have trim, I have fabric, I just need time and I don't have that! 

Thing #6
I don't need these until the next time I want to wear this dress as the Work Dress from Ever After, which might be at either The Midwinter Feast that is put on by the Fest Friends group, or maybe Costume Con?  Anyway, I need the 2 part sleeves and an apron.  In looking at Danielle's apron in the movie...the apron is a square or rectangular piece of fabic with a tie across the top.  The square corners of the top of the apron are not included in the tie, and instead hang at angles from the waist (does that make sense?)
Another night began with sluggishness after dinner.  I haven't been feeling well this week and with so much to do I don't really have a choice but to keep on keepin' on. 

I started working at 9 and continued until 2.  Mostly I focused on my dress, but I did work on moving the buttonloops for Brad's doublet too.

Work Dress:  I attached the skirt by hand (which I could have done by machine) to the right side of the bodice.  Then I attached the left side of the bodice to the skirt by machine! so much easier!).  I wasn't 100% sure how I was going to work the skirt opening with the front opening of the bodice.  We watched Ever After a few days ago and Brad happened to pause the movie (for dinner or something) in the exact frame that showed me how Danielle's dress opened.  That was a happy coincidence and did guide my decision on where to slit the skirt...but that was a neverwracking thing...cutting my skirt fabric and being unsure if I was making the right decision.  Anyway, it looks like it should work.

Also, I got the velvet ribbon I ordered from MJ Trims for the guard on my skirt and it is lovely!  I bought the velvet trim for my bodice at Joann just last year and waited for them to restock the wider ribbon, which they never did, then I think they discontinued the color all I was worried it might not match, and if I put the colors side by side they don't match--BUT the good news is the trim on the bodice is way up on the bodice, seperated by an entire skirt...and with the space between, it does look the same!  

Approximate work time: 5 hours

I really liked tracking the work and the time it took to finish Brad's doublet, so I'm going to try to do this here starting with the work on my dress that I started on Sunday.

By the time I sat down on Sunday night to start working, it was 7, and I worked until 1am because I felt I should get as much done as I could (even though my wrists & hands have been sore from the making the eyelets &/or the pleats I suppose, I don't really remember that happening before).

And last night I was a bit lazy.  Actually, I was really tired, but I did work after some resistance.  I attached the back of the skirt to the bodice, and half of the front, then realized I needed more room than I had in the side opening, so I had to let it out...then I tacked the pleast onto a strip of sateen for the parts of my bodice that are nonexistant (the front & side openings). 
approx Sunday & Monday work time: 9 hours

Tonight I will make another attempt to attach the front of the skirt to the bodice.  I think I've had to redo this enough times that I should be able to get it right tonight.  Also, I need to move the button loops on Brad's doublet, and that should be quick...maybe I should start with that project tonight.
Okay, so I thought I'd try to keep my thoughts seperate...thus the seperate postings.

I have been doin' stuff, just haven't written much about it, though I did write up some of my progress in my LJ.  Anyway, the low down is I have decided that I am going to finish up my Work Dress for the Masquerade.  It will match the period of Brad's costume, which my wedding dress wouldn't have, and it will get me closer to having one thing crossed off my to do list.  Wins all around!

At the beginning of Fest Season 09 I thought really hard about which dress I wanted to tweak this year for myself, The Venetian or The Work Dress.  This is because I wanted Brad to have a new outfit and knew that would take most of my efforts.  One drawback to The Work Dress was that I believed it needed more support than the few bones I placed in it originally. 

In reading Jen Thompson's article on Hemp Cording for the time period of the dress I'm making I decided this was the right answer for me.  I started by using the pattern I'd orginally made for the bodice, and added some width the the straps (I thought my straps were too thin on the bodice).  Then during a trial of the mock-up for the corded corset, I realized I might not need the cording after all, and since I'm pressed for time, anything I can do to eliminate work will help.  So, I cut the pieces for the underbodice and sewed them together.  I made the outside layer from the same sateen I had made the dress (more on that later). 

I worked more on the underbodice this weekend...and opted for handbound eyelets since I am relying on this garmet for support and I didn't want to chance that metal grommets would eventually move or rip.  My eyelets turned out pretty ugly, but it's okay...I hope no one else minds either.  Also, because I spaced the eyelets too far initially, I ended up adding one line of cording on each side of the openings.  When this didn't fix the problem I added more eyelets.  I left enough (I hope) excess fabric in the same allowance so that if I decide to cord this in the future, I can just let the seams out. 

I worked on repleating the skirt last night, and boy are my arms tired!  I had some issues, and think somehow one fabric panel was longer than the other because though I pleated it identically, it didn't match up in the end.  I cut this excess fabric, and will sew it up, along with the pleats I had to redo as well.  And I'm hoping that tonight I will be able to attach the skirt to the bodice...AND I'm hoping to get it done.  This is the challenge, because I wanted this bodice to be adjustable I made two side openings along with the front opening.  IF I do happen to expand or contact, I may need to resize the skirt later anyway. 

Still needed for this dress are sleeves, and wants for this dress, trim the sleeve of the underbodice so that it looks like part of the bodice and if not at least turn the raw edge under, bind the underbodice, attach lacing rings for sleeves, and if possible make an underskirt.

In my last post I talked about dressing up my overskirt, etc with The Cherry Dress.
I was able to change the collar, though I'm not sure I like it...and I did trim the overskirt, though I'd like to trim it more.  In talking with the other ladies at the tea though, in their opinions, I can still wear the bodice (it's the bodice that has the most problems) but they don't think I should continue to futz with it to make it better. 

I'm not sure I agree.  Given the amount of time it takes me to make a bodice, I would spend the time to fix it...but I suppose I agree with them in the aspect that if I move forward on another Victorian bodice, I might just have better luck given the improvement in my skills over the years, etc.  So without further delay, here is a picture.

Yeah, I didn't get any front detail pics of the changes I made to the collar, since the stand up collar was giving me problems I made a "v neck" by folding back part of the neckline, then added a lace ruffle around the collar.  You can see in this picture the ruffle is folding in th back...not sure if I care enough about that to find a way to fix it.  Of course, you can see my overskirt...I needed a little extra of the red gimp trim to add around the bustly part in the back, and the fabric that looks pink at the bottom is actually a very thin stripped red and white REALLY! 

Last night I got to work on my capelet again.  I cut the ivory wool and sewed the two pieces together, I didn't have enough of the wool left to make a hood (or hood lining if this turns out to be non-reversible) without piecing it together so I found a similiar color silk scrap and cut it for the hood. I sewed the velvet, then I sewed the bottoms of the two pieces together, though looking at cloaks online the bottoms are not sewn together and I like this so I may undo the bottom hem, it seemed kinda wonky anyway. 

Onto a different subject, my friend Debbie who is in the VSA with me has the wonderful talent of putting trims and fabrics together that I might not normally work together, and they do.  So I have been trying to think outside of the box while using what I have on hand when it comes to trimming my projects.  That said today I've added a bit of trim to my Cherry Dress bodice.  I made this dress in 2007 (and will make a website for it with more information soon). 

Last year I made an overskirt for my dress but didn't get any pictures.  Anyway, I hope I can get some nice ribbon & trim attached to it for my outing on Sunday and get pictures then.  I do have some pictures from when I've worn it previous to last year and as a bonus will include also a picture of the Northstar VSA Banner I had a part in making...I cut all the stencils from freezer paper (which took alot of time)and Debbie (in the peach on the right side of the picture) painted and sewed the banner together.  I love the way it turned out.  We also made a smaller version using a different font as a table cloth to use when we're at events so people know who we are.
Yesterday I got out of work a little early because I have to be here so long today.  A 10.5 hour shift...eww.  I didn't do much with my extra time...ran by the grocery store and took a nap.  I had a headache and thought sleeping would help, I don't think it did.

I tried making a new dish yesterday, leek soup.  I have wanted to try making leek soup since I first saw Bridget Jones' Diary and hers turned blue!  That was years and years ago and since I know nothing of leeks I've always been afraid to buy them at the grocery store.  Last week at the farmers' market there was a bundle of leeks for $1, so I thought it was about time to try it.  Last night I did, we didn't eat it for dinner just in case it didn't turn out...but I think it turned out very fine.

I used this Potato Leek soup recipe from as a base for my soup and taking some advice from reviews added a few extras, celery for one was added to the potatos and chicken "broth" (I used buillion cubes since it is what I had on hand".  While that boiled, I cooked the full pound of bacon (thinking bacon would make this dish at least a little interesting to Brad) in the oven because I have more success that way rather than on the stove.  Then using the bacon grease, I sauteed the 4 leeks that came in the bundle with mushrooms.  I ended up needing more oil, so I used Land o'Lakes butter/olive oil spread for that and let it all saute.  Before adding this stuff to the soup, I used our cool emersion blender that we got as a wedding gift to smooth the soup out a bit.  I did want some chunks but the blender was too quick!!  Anyway, I added the bacon, then the leeks and mushrooms and blended again...then added a little left over rotisserie chicken we had (as not to waste it) and besides needing a little seasoning, it's pretty much good to go.  I forgot to add the cream until the very end, but did half skim milk and half heavy cream to cut some of the calories.  I thought I'd end up freezing some of it as I ended up with probably 6-8 cups of soup and I don't think we will eat all of it this week. 

Because I have an excess of potatoes, and because the weather is cool enough I think next week I'll be making Zuppa Toscana, which is the reason we frequent Olive Garden as often as we do.  I made the recipe last year and it was delicious!

In edition to kitchen witchery, we finished watching Pride & Prejudice (the BBC version)  and I put a straw hat that I think is the right shape in water in order to soften it up so I can try to reshape it into something I can use for Saturday.  That went very well because the water softened it alot.  Then I set it down to dry.

Afterwards, I pulled out an old drapery panel to make a mock-up of the cloak pattern I'm using.  I cut this fabric in the dimensions of the wool I have available to see how it would turn out with so little fabric, and it looks full enough so I cut my red velvet and didn't get much further than that before I decided it was time for bed.  Hopefully I'll feel productive after my long day and get the wool cut and at least get the two seperate pieces sewn together.  I forgot to mention I want to *try* to make this a reversable cloak, but I'm having problems thinking of how to make the big clasp not funky if turned to the inside.  Hmm.