Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Another petticoat?!

This time we're moving ahead a few hundred years to the 1950s. Last week I had to take a break from creating my Tudor gown to do a little sewing for work. Every Monday night we have a car cruise and management decided to make it a 50's themed night, poodle skirts and all! How excited am I? :D Well, about a month ago I was talking to one of my managers and she had mentioned needing someone to sew some poodle skirts. Um...hello?! I can sew! She was thrilled and last week they finally solidified the plans and I was making skirts. Never having made a poodle skirt before I was pretty darn excited. I went online to figure out the best pattern, ran to the store, bought 12 yards of black felt, some funky fabrics to make appliqued poodles and got to work. The six skirts turned out perfectly and were a huge hit. I even have an order for two custom skirts from one of our vendors!

Being the lover of dress up that I am, I of course couldn't just have a plain poodle skirt with no fabulous underpinnings. I mean really, why bother with the skirt if you have no crinoline to give it shape and help with movement? I didn't make them for work since they weren't in the budget but I've wanted one anyway so why not just whip one up for myself? I proceeded to purchase 12 yards of 72" wide purple netting. Now I just needed a base slip. In my fabric stash I happened to have some funky hot pink polka dotted taffeta. Perfection!! I then begun then began work on the most obnoxious garment I have ever made!!

I kind of feel like a sort of mad cupcake...

It came out so nicely that another girl I work with wants me to make her one as well. They really make the skirts so much more special and fun. Monday nights are going to be such a great time this summer!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A few weeks a go I started working on a craft apron. I've been wanting one for ages, especially since when it comes to painting and inking I am an absolute mess. I think there's more on me than whatever my canvas is. I've been painting a lot more lately so I really wanted to finish this up and it gave me a nice break from the sea of brown taffeta that I've been working with for a week. :) I had 3 fat quarters of some really fantastic fabrics so I decided to make it a patch work apron with a large center pocket.

After working on my petticoat last night I revisited said apron. I had already made the patchwork panels, I just had to sew the backings on them and put the whole thing together. I wanted it to have a slightly rustic feel so I left many of the edges unfinished and did a lot of stitch detailing.

I eventually may add a pocket to the top half but we'll see. I also want to add some loops/small pockets along the waist to hold tools and maybe even add some buttons for some added interest.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tudor Gown: Taffeta Petticoat

Last Thursday night I was able to finish hemming the taffeta. As it turned out it wasn't as tedious as I thought it would be and looks pretty darn nice if I do say so myself. :) Not too bad for my first time.

I had to work most of the weekend so I didn't get much sewing done but Saturday evening Jeanne and I spent a couple hours at the fabric store. Most of the time was spent trying to decide on my final fabrics for the gown and kirtle. I believe I am going to use a wine colored velvet for the outer gown. It may be a bit on the heavy side for summer wear but there are generally some cooler days when I'll be quite comfortable and I do go to a decent amount of autumn events and it will be perfect for the 12th Night Feast. For the kirtle I have about 6 fabrics to choose from. The prices are a bit higher than I'd like but will a 50% coupon I can swing it and I do have some nice options.

Today I was able to resume sewing and managed to pin the lining and skirt together, baste the top edges and hand sew the center front just below where the eyelets will be. I also stitched about a quarter of the lining to the skirt along the hem line. Unfortunately I'm a closer at work today and won't be able to do more until tomorrow. I should be able to finish the hem, work on the knife pleats and from there it's just a matter of sewing the bodies and the skirt together and hand sewing down the lining to cover the waist seams! Voila! I will have a lovely taffeta petticoat!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tudor Gown: Smock and Petticoat

Last night I finally begun the actual pieces for my Tudor gown! I have completed patterns drafted for my smock, petticoat and kirtle. All that's left is the gown and farthingale (which I haven't decided if I will make or purchase.

Due to my budget I decided to go with a lightweight muslin for the smock instead of linen (which I would much prefer!). For a base piece, although I would love to be as period as possible with my fabrics, the muslin will have to do for now. I began cutting and sewing last night. Despite the many garments that I've made I had never actual done any french seaming. Most of the garb I've made was really just whipped up and though construction was done well it wasn't done as properly as it could have been. I don't own a serger and wanted all of my seams finished on this piece. Since I'm taking the time and making the effort to draft the pattern I figure this one should be done right. :) I finished the smock on the machine fairly quickly and spent the next couple hours catching up on my stories and handsewing the arm holes so that the seams were completely encased. Even though it's a simple garment I'm really proud of the way it came out so far! I have yet to finish the neckline, as I must wait until the kirtle is finished to get the proper fit, but the seaming is lovely and it will be so comfortable to wear.

Today I began cutting the fabric for the next layer - the petticoat. While traditionally they are red I wanted something more earthy so I chose a dark, chocolately brown taffeta. It reminds me of a Dove chocolate commercial, where the chocolate is flowing and silky looking... mmmm... Thus far the lining is cut and after I grab a bite to eat I'll work on the top fabric. I really can't wait to get sewing on this one. With any luck I'll have the day off of work (I'm an on-call) and I will be able to finish the entire garment today, with the exception of maybe the hem, which is to be hand sewn down in a herringbone stitch, something else I've never done. I think I'm going to use some of my scrap taffeta and practice before I potentially butcher my gown though. lol Hand sewing is not exactly my strong point but that's half the fun of making this outfit - it's challenging me to learn new skills and really get outside of my comfort zone.

Later that afternoon...
So, I worked on the petticoat more since I didn't have to go into work today. Woohoo! I got a lot accomplished. I was able to cut out all the top fabric, put together the bodies and skirts of the lining and taffeta and make a few yards of bias tape from my leftover taffeta to finish the bodies.

Next up is hand sewing the entire hem of the outer layer of the skirt. It's going to take a while but I really want to make this gown special so hand stitching it is! It'll be good practice too since I'm not that familiar with that stitch. It seems to that it will be a tedious yet rewarding evening. :) Once I'm good and sick of the Herringbone stitch then it's on to pinning my outer skirts and lining together, knife pleating all around, finally sewing the bodies to the skirt and finishing it all off with hand sewing the lining down to cover the seams along the waist. Whew!! lol

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Receive. Create. Pass.

I love circle journals. They're such a fantastic collection of artwork, feelings, thoughts, ideas, techniques... I am very lucky to be a part of one collection in particular - the Create and Pass journals of the site Lovin' Mixed Media.

This is my contribution to this amazing collection. I call her Josephine.

I used a combination of acrylics, glaze, water color pencils and paint, collage elements, staz on ink, stencils and gold and silver ink.