Here are a few pictures from the Danse Macabre...and pictures of Brad and I, of course!  These pictures were taken by my friend, Deborah Lundberg & Kit Cusick, Ball Chairman
 
This ALWAYS happens to me when it comes to costume, most of the time events like birthday parties, travel, and family gatherings we have the foresight to think..."Ay!  We might need batteries for the camera!"

Hmph.

There were several pictures taken of us in costume at the Ball on Saturday night, but the one shot we got on our camera I am not smiling.  This is strange because at the ball while dancing and talking I can't help but smile...so the picture must have caught me when I decided for one second, to take a break.  Oops.

If I don't have any other pictures up by tomorrow, I will put the nonsmiling one of me & Brad up. 

So...I didn't get everything I wanted to get done...but I wanted to get alot done.

Work Dress to do: (still)
Velvet guard at hem
repleat back ? (I'm not sure I want to do this anymore, the pleats seemed to work on Saturday, so I'll have to reevaluate this)
new front ties
rebind parts underbodice
trim underbodice straps
attach bar and hook closure
underskirt
2nd pair of sleeves
apron
restitch bone casing on bodice

Overall, I had a good wearing of this costume on Saturday night.  The front opening seems a little wide...but I have been expanding since the wedding and now that "costume season" is mostly over it's time to start working out again.  I might wear this dress to Costume Con and if not then it will be almost 9 months (unless we attend the Midwinter feast!) until I get to wear it again so I have time to slim down without changing it. 

Oh, and my sequined shoe caught the thread in my hem, so I have a spot to fix, which will be more secure when I stitch that guard down.

Then the sequined shoe (with leather soles) took the opportunity to bust my butt on the steps of our garage.  Concrete steps.  I fell then took a second to make sure I didn't actually hurt anything, then Brad helped me up.  I didn't hurt anything majorly, but I'm sore, so I think that and the dancing both contributed to my aches and pains.

I want to finish this dress soon while I still have it all fresh in my head...but at the same time I'd like to take some time away from sewing...a week or so.  Also, I need to start making the bustle for my 1870's ensemble though I have to wait for the boning and the pattern so that is going to be my main priority once I have all the pieces to get started.  I'm not good at working on two projects at one time, but maybe I can try to get the little things done while I "take a break".

I want an updated list of costumes I want to make in the next year as it looks like it might be feasible for me to attend CosCol 2010, though I may be trading it in for our Italian Honeymoon (not because of Coscol, because of the economy).  Anyway...not going to Italy means I'll have vacation time to go to CosCol, and that is a bonus.  if you want to read the list, click "Read More"
 
 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 away...so 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 wrinkles...so 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
 
 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 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.