Monday, April 30, 2012

Steampunk dinner dress!

Behold my new fabric, 13.5 yards of black, white and grey plaid silk dupioni.

I'm thinking 1870s... bustle... and fringe... and pleats... and lace...

Something kinda like this...


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Oooh! On-line instructions for drafting your own drawers.

While the exact shape and technique would need to be modified to make a more 16th century pair of drawers, the ideas and discussion around fit, sizing and body shape are well thought out, easy to understand and very helpful!

Please note:
If the link above isn't working (it's on and off again for me) just go to the "The Compendium" tab at the top of the sewingacademy's home page, scoll down the page to the Free Patterns for women section, and there the drawers pattern will be.

Blackwork, oh my!

Surely one of us needs this?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

I think the universe it trying to tell me something

Like that it's time to be getting started on my camicia!

Have you been reading Baroque Embellishments lately?

I'd call that a sign...

Monday, April 23, 2012

We're going to Teslacon!

I'm so excited I'm practically bursting!

So many new outfits to plan. So many gadgets to consider.

Hmmm....what *is* the appropriate attire for an exploratory day on the moon?

It's giving me something to think about while I work on my IRCC II outfit!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

IRCC II - The Question of the Moment


As you can see, I've started working on the trim. I'm tilting the inner loops in groups of four and I think the new interaction and rhythmic spacing does just what I wanted in terms of unifying the two small band of trim into a single unit. And it also looks much less modern to my eyes

Both good things!

The question of the moment is, 'Should I go further?'

I could do so many things...tilting the outside loops also, stitching an additional pattern where the four loops meet, pearling or jeweling the trim at the intersections, or in the spaces I've created...

I've yet to commence the work on the frogs and buttons with which to close this puppy so I don't want to go crazy but as we know I'm a 'More is more!' kind of girl...

What do you think?

Friday, April 20, 2012

IRCC II Tasty Nibble #5 - My Lace

It never fails to amaze me what I can find on e-bay!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What the world needs more of THIS DRESS!

Portrait of a lady
Alternate Title: Vittoria Colonna
Near Bronzino, Agnolo, 1503-1572, Italy
2nd half of 16th century
Found online at HOLLIS number: olvwork557680

It's a little early for me, but every detail I look at only makes me like it more!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Saturday, April 14, 2012

IRCC II -Tasty Nibble 1

The first row of gold trim going onto the front opening of my loose gown


IRCC II - Aaaack!

Went to bed last night "OK, the clock is ticking down. 10 hours to go!"

Woke up this morning "But it's IRCC II Start Day! You can't lay about in bed on IRCC II Start Day!"

Was firmly rebuffed by my Clarence who want's another 15 minutes...

Rushed out to the living room, materials in hand, ready to start on layer #3.

Flipped open my computer to see what people are up to.

And found the counter...still...ticking...away...

2 1/2hours! What do you mean there are still 2 1/2 hours to go until IRCC II Start Day!


It's worse than waiting for Santa!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Oh my. I want these.

I guess I've always been a great believer in the idea that the underclothing makes the girl.

While poking about on the Internet for information about making cloth stockings I came upon what may be the most wonderful pair of stockings ever worn.

How I want a pair like these!

(From the website of The German Hosiery Museum. There's a German hosiery museum...who knew?)

Hmm what do you suppose is the relationship between "strumpet" and "strompf" (with double dots over the o) which appears to be German for stockings or hose? Interesting....

IRCC II - So confused ....

So, when does this thing start anyway?

12:00 a.m. on April 15th, I get that part. But I remember that last year I carefully waited for my clock to say it was time to start, only to find out that other people had been madly working for ages since the contest was running on Australian time!

Does anyone know if we are working with Aussie time or our own local times?

(I kinda want to get started... )


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

IRCC II - The Prep Work Continues

Well, today I ordered linen for my camicia and the lining of my bodice and hem. It was quite nerve wracking to try and color-match the blue silk of my gown fabric when I haven't yet received it but I haven't the patience to wait...and one can always find a use for blue linen.

I've made a bit of progress on my ideas about my under layer too. It's all still in the speculative phase, of course, but I've been contemplating making a second attempt at the more fitted & gored style of camicia. Among other things I have been wondering if it would be possible to use the bust supportive techniques of the Gothic fitted dress in a low-necked camicia. Certainly my bust can use all the support it can get and it does seem like it might make a great combination with a supportive bodice and a partlet...

I hope to actually do some bust support experimenting this time around.

And I may have the beginnings of a workable idea for the embroidery!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

IRCC II - So Excited!

I just took a look at the challenge entrants page and we are up to 24 participants! WooHoo! That should make for some really interesting exchanges, and many pretty pictures!

In terms of my own plans, I've been busily reading about padded bodices, and hems, and pondering the need for chopines--and the extra height they bring-- to balance out the deep point of 1590's gowns. (although I really suspect it was the other way round. Longer skirts lead to an increase in the depth of the waist to trick the eye into normalizing the proportions of the figure.)

I think my available fabric will prevent my going for chopines and a train on this gown so I expect to be concentrating on the details of fitting the gown and making fabulous accessories.

Possibly fabulously naughty accessories!

I've yet to explore the Courtesan aspect of my persona in any depth. A shame, really, as there are endless opportunities to spice up my garb in a way that would resonate with Venice in the late 1500's. So, I'm thinking about:

Embroidered drawers - I'll probably leave the entire crotch seam open. For(ahem) convenience. And embroider some truly raunchy period poetry along the opening. I'm thinking one of Arentino's banned works.

Erotic jewelry - years ago I bought a phallus-shaped natural pearl on e-bay with the intention of making it into Courtesan jewelry. I hope to make a classic 'winged phallus' pendant to wear...probably on a gold chain....hmm...maybe even one with a collar and leash?

Figs - as a symbol of the female, figs would be highly appropriate for use as a topic of embroidery on my camicia. And they would be rather easier to wear on my more modest days than the, also tempting to continue, winged phallus theme!

I'm still working on ideas for how to really play up the Courtesan aspect in this outfit. It's especially interesting for me because I find most period 'erotica' to be both misogynistic and sex-negative, at least the written stuff, and yet it can also be so delightfully forthright! I expect I could have a lot of fun putting forward my modern sex-positive, feminist spin with period-sourced words and images.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

IRCC 2 Planning. OK, I Admit It. I'm Weak.

Well, many of my 2nd IRCC gown choices have just been decided (by implication, at least) by my purchase of some fabric. Not quite as much as I'd like--there were only 4.75 yards available and I prefer to have 10 yards on hand when I start on a gown--but such stunning fabric that I just couldn't resist any longer!

I am going to make the best outfit I can based on this cloth:

In a way having such a scarcity of cloth feels authentic to me. I'm going to have to wait until it gets here to figure out how to make the best use of the fabric--I certainly don't have any to waste! And this may just be the outfit which makes me let go of my modern insistence on matching the pattern...I guess we'll see!

I have to admit that even the simplest of dresses would be amazing in this fabric.

(And it's mine! All MINE! Bwwahahahahaha!)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Things I'm wondering about

I realized that my response to comments in response to my last entry was oh-so-full of...let's call them typographical errors. So I decided to see if I could edit my comment. Being the enterprising I-will-learn-to-use-blogger,-I-will! kind of girl I am, I decided to go poke around in the features of the comments tab and see what I could do.

Presto! No more comment.

What, I wonder, is the purpose of having both a delete option and a modify comment option if the modify comment option simply deletes it also?

I'm thinking it's all about entrapment.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

IRCC II - O.K. I'm in!

I've been pondering whether or not I was going to join in the IRCC this year.

I've realized that I don't really enjoy the competition aspect of such events and that what I'd really like to join in on is a group of people working on longer-term personal challenges to make one incredibly hand-work-intensive article. Like maybe a 4 month challenge to produce our dream camicias, or something...

Still, I find that the IRCC is a great catalyst for me to try new things, meet new people, and get some sewing done. I really like it all up until the judging!

So, pondering aside, I'm in. Now I just have to decide what I'm going to work on. I already have the fabric for several gowns in my stash but I'm torn between making up one (or possibly more) of those long delayed Venetian-style dress projects or taking on a portrait gown. I've never tried to make the best copy I could of a specific dress and it sounds...kinda fun!

Of course, the fact that the dresses I most want to copy are all crazy elaborate (for one reason or another) is rather a drawback


Right now I'm leaning towards concentrating on trying out new techniques. I'm happy with the support offered by a bodice with a hemp corded supportive lining but I've been wondering what the results would be of combining that technique with the support and smoothness offered by the technique of padding the bodice with layers of wool felt. Would it be more supportive? Perhaps it would eliminate the tendency of my outer fabric to develop small wrinkles?

I'm also interested in trying out the documented techniques of a period style padded, clipped and tucked hem, and maybe even padded pleats at the waist. I took on the challenge of sewing an outfit entirely by hand years ago but I'm not particularly wedded to it at this point....hmm...what to do....?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

New Skirt Stage One

So, I loved the bugs but I never did like the leafy stripes so stage one was to cut off the borders, remove the stripes in the body of the fabric and reassemble the resulting bug filled strips into a length of cloth. I've now got a chunk of fabric which is about 30" wide by 4 yards long which I intend to cut into four pieces of equal length. (Matching the pattern of course. How could I not with a design as linear as this?)

I haven't figured out the pattern repeat yet, but I hope to have a small band of bugs left to use as applique for a coordinating top. No plans yet for the two leafy stripes I took from the body of the fabric....maybe I could make a purse or cover some shoes...but I plan to use the wider border for the hem facing of the skirt.

I love the new fabric! To me it is just as loud, but somehow darkly mysterious and definitely not as clownish. My Clarence said it is weird like me. How good is that!?!

It's going to look great on a summer night.