Waitress Clara Cosplay

Hi!
Long time no… post!
Let’s be honest, I’m TERRIBLE at keeping a blog. It’s been, what, 2 years? Since my last post??? UNACCEPTABLE.

Anyway, I won’t make any promises, but I’m hoping that this year will be filled more with projects that I am happy to post about. Not that I haven’t made any worthwhile outfits in my hiatus… that’s the Terrible Blogger part! Perhaps I’ll make a post of my unmentioned projects sometime in the near future.

Now that that’s out of the way, I DO have something to show!

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Hannah B. asked if I could help make a cosplay for a mutual friend, Lauren.  I can’t remember if I said yes before or after she sent the next text informing me that I would have less than a week to get it all finished! 🙂
The dress is based on the waitress dress Jenna Coleman wears as Clara, in Doctor Who:

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I had my reservations about what I could pull off in the short amount of time we would have to work on it (I’m seriously NOT confident at all. And I know that I’m a slow worker, unfortunately!), since we’d have our own schedules to work around at times.

But! Thanks to the generosity of Hannah B’s mother, allowing us to spend hours in her house working on the dress, we did finish on time for Lauren to wear her dress to meet Jenna Coleman at a convention in Miami!

Sadly, there are no construction photos. I got a new phone in the middle of the whole project, which while awesome for me (my previous phone was a defective wreck that I put up with for almost year), meant I got no photos on the new phone of construction. Just completion.

The finished dress, complete with jeans, no ironing, fresh off the sewing machine, and including some complimentary threads and bits of fuzz:

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Isn’t Lauren adorable?!?!?
She made the apron mostly by herself, too! And it’s so cute! I’m partial to the pocket, myself!

For the pattern, I actually just ended up making one myself. Lauren had bought a pattern from Hobby Lobby that had some features of the dress, and I had told her that I could alter it, but none of us expected it to be such an odd and difficult pattern! After an hour of trying to make it work, I decided that I could do a better job making one from scratch. So that’s what I did! It took some time on an already time-crunchy project, but it was worth it. Plus, I welcome the added practice of making patterns for other bodies beside my own.

Last two pictures of Lauren in the dress, gleaned from Facebook:

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*thumbs up emoji*

And look! One with Jenna Coleman herself!

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According to Lauren, Jenna Coleman “absolutely loved the dress”. Nice! 🙂

Now, this was actually my first time doing a collar like this. And cuffs. I think I messed up a lot on the collar. Buuuuuut it’s not super noticeable, unless you’ve got the eyes for it. Next time, I would attach it differently and put another, stiffer layer of fabric in it, so it had more body.

Either way, I’m pleased with how it turned out, and Lauren is happy with it, so that’s what matters to me! 🙂

I’m just going to stop apologizing….

…. About my long absences!
Blogging is definitely NOT my forte! I’m awful about photographing my work, and I feel like my posts would be rather bland without them. So I just don’t post, and then end up forgetting that I even have a blog!

My newest option is to just take photos with my smartphone, but that seems a little lazy to me. I guess it’s better than NOTHING, though!
Anyway,
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but if I did, I should probably have made one about being a better blogger! I think I will at least try. I plan on having a way more productive year in 2015, and I’m determined to go through with it!

In 2014, I only sewed a couple of things. It wasn’t a horrible year for me, I just had a few things happen that did not work well with my usual poor health.
Off the top of my head, I can only think of a few things I made. A Snow White costume for a friend, a skirt for a friend, a blue and white striped 18th century inspired gown, a shirt, and maybe a few other things that I’m forgetting. What a miserably small amount of things to have sewn!!!

At this very moment, I have numerous UFOs, one of which I plan on finishing within the next few days. I found a lovely little blueberry print cotton, and I’m making a dress out of it. I’m going to set a reminder on my phone to take pictures of it!!

Anyway, that’s what I’m up to, nothing at all interesting. Perhaps I will actually have some worthwhile content within the next few days to post here!

Goodbye, Wisdom Teeth

I’ve gotten absolutely NO sewing done this weekend, and I have multiple projects that NEED to be done. Two of them need to be completed within the next 12 days, and I haven’t even started on them!
But I do have a valid excuse. After 2 years of putting it off, I FINALLY got my wisdom teeth extracted, just last Friday. All four of them, no less. So here I am on day 5 of no wisdom teeth, and while it’s better than each previous day, I’m still not up to doing anything other than lying in bed. I really hope that my constant resting is speeding up the healing process, because I’m just itching to get back to sewing!
In just a day or so, I won’t have to worry about the risk of dry sockets, which is nice. I’m getting tired of eating just soup, though! D:

The only exciting thing to happen to me sewing-wise, lately, is that I finally manned-up and tackled the 1880s bodice I’ve been struggling with lately. (As in, 6 months of lately. ;_;)
I’m still kind of wondering about fit, though. I’ve got the fit pretty well under control, and it looks great in most places, but I’m a little unhappy with it around the front of the armhole. I’ve been looking at old photographs, and some of Merja’s dresses, and it looks like that’s just how it is. I supposed you cannot have an absolutely perfect fit in a woven fabric unless you plan on not moving in it, ever. (I reference Merja’s stuff because she’s, like, my historical fashion role model. Everything she makes looks absolutely perfect and like she would fit right in to the time period she’s taking from. And her fit is universally praised as perfect, so I definitely look at her stuff when I try to judge the fit of my own!)
IT’S JUST SO HARD TO FIT YOUR OWN CLOTHES AND THEN TRY TO JUDGE IF YOU DID A GOOD JOB OR NOT

Sooooo that’s pretty much it! I’m going to try to sew more this year, though. I think I’ve finally got a good-fitting corset, now, and that’s pretty much all that was REALLY standing in my way of sewing. I’m really big on making sure I have the right undergarments :`)

Sorry for the Absence! Also, a Skirt Pattern!

It’s been a while since I’ve last posted here! Life has just been busy, and I haven’t actually sewn anything for a while. I meant to participate in the HSF this year, but so far that hasn’t happened. I am planning on doing the challenges on the 15th of each month, but I missed #3 Pink, because I was sick for most of the week. I regularly go through periods of activity/inactivity with my creativity, and I think I’m just now going back into one where I just want to sewsewsewsew! Several important things have happened in my life, and I’m feeling the need to keep on sewing!

I was hoping that I could post pictures of my Edwardian blouse and the skirt I made to wear with it, but none of the pictures turned out well enough to make the cut.
On the subject of wearable antique clothing, I am more on the side of preserving fashion, but I don’t have a problem with wearing an antique garment once or twice if it is in very good condition and there is no risk of compromising or ruining it. I only wore my antique Edwardian blouse for pictures, and I stopped by an antique shop while still wearing it, since I was in the area.
The lady who was working there was rather rude to me about it, giving me dirty looks and making snide comments about it. She almost acted as if I was wearing a silk ballgown and leaping about in mud puddles while wearing it!
I completely understand that everyone has different opinions about wearing antique clothing, but whatever one’s opinion is, it doesn’t make one entitled to rudeness towards others.

And even though I said that none of the pictures taken were deemed worthy of this blog by me, I’ll put up this one, so you can see the skirt. My bag was blocking most of the blouse. 😦 Image

I know I look like a 15 year old girl. I am NOT a 15 year old girl. 🙂

I made the skirt out of some cream and blue plaid cotton that I got off of Fabric.com. It’s fairly stiff, and it didn’t wrinkle as badly as I thought it would.
I used a pattern from the Commercial Pattern Archives, and it took a bit of finagling to get it all worked out, since it had no measurements. I eventually just enlarged it until the waistband piece was the correct measurement.
Here, I cleaned it up and put a helpful 1/4 inch grid on it. The waistband measurement is 25 inches, so I guess it’s a size small, so if you want the waist smaller/larger you’ll have to remember to tweak it! The “F” and the little dots are either for indicating where the front is supposed to be, or that it is where you should cut on the fold. I don’t really have any instructions for using this, since there was just a pattern image for me to use. And I just figured it out as I went along. I ended up making 8 pleats total on either side of the back closure to take up the excess fabric. I have no idea if that’s how it would have been sewn up back then, but it worked for me! I also used several loops and mother-of-pearl buttons as the closure method.
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I really wish I could explain it better, but hopefully anyone who wants to use it can figure out what I wasn’t able to explain about it.
As an end note to this post, I want to mention that I may be traveling to NYC this spring, and I’ll definitely make a stop at the garment district, which is exciting to me! I hope to pick up some fabrics that are harder to find, such as cotton netting and different types of silks. 🙂

Sick…

*sigh*

I’m quite close to finishing my corset for my FIRST entry into the HSF, but everything is on hold as I suddenly am sick from a sinus infection. One of the side-effects of my many food allergies…

Thankfully, Friday and Saturday were the worst days, and now just have the feeling of a flat pancake left for today and possibly tomorrow. :p

I did get a package in the mail, though! I found SIXTY YARDS of green cotton tape on eBay, for only $5. That’s how much I pay for 6 yards at Joann’s! So of course I bought it. 🙂

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Unfortunately, it’s an insane jungle green. But the color is a small matter when you think about how it’s SIXTY YARDS FOR FIVE DOLLARS. I’m sorry, I’ve just never found such a good deal on cotton tape!

And, the project I have planned is green. So it will work. Hehe!

I’m thinking that by tomorrow, or maybe Tuesday, that I will have finished my 1880s corset. Then I can take pictures of it completed!

It doesn’t look quite as nice since I had to add two triangles of black silk, but it’s still pretty. Also, I noticed that a few of the grommets are falling out!??!  I probably need to put a bit of glue around the holes, and then hammer them in. Oh well. At least I picked up a ton of grommets on clearance, and that hammering them in is a lot of fun! 🙂

Also on my list of things I want to get done soon, is a mockup of an 1880s natural form bodice. The first one I cut out, I forgot to add seam allowances. Oops.
Now this second version has seam allowances, and hopefully doesn’t need much changing! I really don’t like doing mock-ups. It’d be so much nicer if everything just automatically fit you right away! 😀

Hooray!

My busk came in the mail today!

I ordered it last week off of Etsy. Of course, with Labor Day weekend, and then the package being “missent”, it took quite a bit longer to arrive than usual, but that was okay.

I like to build my historical wardrobes up from the inside out, so after I make the corset, I’ll probably start the rest of the undergarments, petticoats, etc.  The annoying part about that is how long it takes to actually get to the dress making! Ahh!

I have a little plan for an 1880 dress, but it’s a pretty big plan, and I’m not entirely sure that I’ll be able to pull it off, so I won’t say much about it. 🙂

I have about a 1/2 yard of green silk fabric that I will use for the 1880 corset. The exact color is a sage-hunter green type of color, and reminds me of a darker part of a peacock feather.

On a side-note, I still have pictures on my camera that I need to upload. I need to get better about that, hehe!

Fashions of the Gilded Age! :)

Just had to share with you all my excitement! I just bought the second volume of Fashions of the Gilded Age Volume 2 for the best price I could find of it. 🙂
The eBay seller also has two of her other books I’m interested in getting later on. Directoire Revival Fashions and Bustle Fashions.

As for the book I just ordered, it’s just in time that I bought it! I’m veeeeery close to finishing my 1880’s corset. I’m quite happy with how it has turned out!

 I chose not to put a busk in it (For a few reasons.). Which makes it less convenient for me to put on, and less accurate, since I know the Dreamstress mentioned that past 1870, not many corsets were seen without busks. (By the way, if anyone knows of any examples of busk-less 1880 corsets, I’d be very happy if you showed me!) 

I’m not *quite* finished with it, so no pictures yet, but as soon as I’m done with the little eyelets and the embellishments, you’ll see it!

I like to get the period corsets out of the way before I build up a wardrobe. And now that I’ve got that (almost) done, and a pattern book on the way, I can get started on those beautiful gowns! 🙂

This has to be my favorite thing on the internet right now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I saw both of these the other night while searching for inspiration for the Masquerade HSF challenge, and it made me so happy! My sister couldn’t understand why I was so excited. 🙂

First we have the fashion print, which most of you have probably seen. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen it around!

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And then we have this, which looks like someone else decided to make the dress pictured! (Found on Pinterest; have no idea who originally posted it. The links lead to a password protected blog that I can’t view.)

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Isn’t that just so cute?!?! It’s a pretty faithful make of the drawn dress, too. Her hat and the bat on her chest are very different, but everything else is as close as can be to the drawing! She even remembered to have the black ribbon around her neck and the little bats on her shoes!

I love seeing fashion plates come to life from back then, especially when they are as faithfully recreated as this young woman did!

(I also was thinking of trying my hand at making this dress in the near future. Now I do know that it can and has been done! 😀 )

Excuses, Excuses

Well, I’ve been back for about a week now… I guess the reason I haven’t updated in so long is because I didn’t get ANY pictures of my clothes I made, like I planned.

Things just didn’t go as planned. I didn’t get a chance to wear my orange and green dress, due to my grandparents not being able to make the trip to Maine, so we didn’t go to the Cliffhouse for pictures. I left several items of clothing I needed for the outfits at home by accident, anyway, including my 1900s blouse.

I did have a very nice time in Maine! But I’ll just have to take photos here in Florida, which is a bit difficult at this time of year (The heat is unbearable to me. I’d rather NOT go outside if it can be helped! The only time the weather is decent at this time of year is when it’s raining, and I can’t take pictures in that weather!)

Hopefully I can get some pictures of the 1910s skirt I made soon, and I’ll make a blog post about that. I used a pattern from the Commercial Pattern Archive, and I’m pretty pleased with the result. Projects like that are so encouraging and keep me going. 🙂

Also, I am thinking of getting a dress form. One of those Roxy ones, which I think is actually for display purposes in the store, but since they are made of carve-able stuff and very close to my measurements, I can make it work. The American Duchess has a post about the exact dress form.

NEXT time when I post, I will actually have a post of substance! I will take photos! (I hate taking pictures and then uploading them. The hassle!)

What’s Been Up Lately

I’m a terrible blogger! I don’t even know when I last updated. And my posts have certainly not have been of good quality. I do have things to post about soon, though.

They’ll have to wait for a while, since in a week I’m leaving for Maine! I’m quite excited. 🙂 I haven’t been back since I moved away 5 years ago.

Before I leave, though, there are several things I need to sew. I need to finish the orange and green 1910’s dress (After the blue and white one was such a failure, I started again on the same pattern, and this attempt is MUCH better!), make a 1910ish skirt, finish up a 1910 hat and start a head piece to wear with the orange dress for a dinner. Oh, and I need to make some sort of swimsuit, not necessarily historical. I very rarely go swimming, and when I tried on my only bathing suit yesterday, it was quite uncomfortable. I don’t think I’ll find anything in the stores, either, so that leaves making up one.

All of this in less than a week! I am not busy at all for the next few days, though, so I think my big plans can be fulfilled, if I work hard enough at it. As it is… I probably shouldn’t be taking the time to write up this post!!!

The good news is that I will actually have pictures of the things I make when I get back! I never seem to get around to taking photos. (Some of my friends and extended family have been asking for photos of things I’ve made/sewn… for years… and they still haven’t gotten them. I really need to get better at that. :|)

So that’s how things are for right now!