So, it's been a while since I've posted.  Last week I tried making a couple mock-ups and though I think with a little more work it might happen, I am giving up on that corset for now. 

I am just sorry I wasted so much time on it, but it was easy to let it go and make a corset from an existing, already drafted up to my size, pattern.  I started out making the Silverado from Laughing Moon, but found a link to some pattern instructions on the Truly Victorian website. 

The instructions were helpful, noting that larger busted figures may prefer to make the Dore, as the fit of the Silverado pushes the bust toward the neck which is not proper when recreating a Victorian figure.  So, though I had cut mock-up pieces for the Silverado, I cut more mock-up pieces for the Dore...then cut the pieces out of coutil and silk.  I got the boning placement marked, and half of the busk inserted before we left for Iowa.

Since I wasn't bringing my machine along, this project wasn't done enough to finish up by hand so I brought The Work Dress and thought I'd work on rebininding the underbodice and/or sewing the velvet guard on... I didn't do very much worth mentioning, got probably half of the guard sewn on the top on the carride home, then it got dark around 4:30 :/  love winter. 

But I'll switch back to corset mode this week...I know putting it together won't be difficult, but it will take time to cut bones, insert the rest of the busk and pound grommets...I'm guessing by the end of the week it should be done, and I've *really* got to kick the bodice making into high gear. after the corset is done.

I signed up for the last of two classes I plan on taking next term and I'm not really looking forward to it, but one positive note would be that I will be that much closer to a degree (after next term 8 classes left). 
 
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
 
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.
Picture
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.
Picture
Thanks to everaftercostumes.com 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 together...so 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.