Friday, March 29, 2013

My First Blog Award!

I've been awarded the Very Inspiring Blogger Award!  :D

It's so pretty!  

To accept the award, one must:
1. Display the award and link back to the person who nominated you.
2. State 7 facts about yourself.
3. Nominate 15 bloggers for the award.
4. Notify the winners.

Seven facts about myself:

  1. My hair is not naturally red.  Shocking, I know!  
  2. I love dolls.  For a while they were my biggest hobby, and I even started a minuscule business making shoes for them.  I should probably shut down that website, though, as I no longer have time for it...  
  3. I grew up in a movie theatre, and for most of my childhood we didn't own a TV.  
  4. My hometown is less than three miles square, with a population of around 2,100.  I'm told this is impressively small.  
  5. I'm a nerd.  I got into costuming because of Star Wars Episode I:  The Phantom Menace.  It's probably the worst movie of the franchise, but it has some of the best costumes!  I'm also into Star Trek:  The Next Generation, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Harry Potter, and Doctor Who.  
  6. I was in a swing dancing club called Rugcutters in college.  I made some of my best friends that way.  :)  
  7. I have been to 41 of the 50 US States (including Alaska and Hawaii), but have yet to travel outside the country - besides Canada.  

Now the really exciting part - passing on the award!  I would have nominated Thread-Headed Snippet, but she's the one who nominated me.  :p  Thanks again, dear Choll!  

15 Inspiring Bloggers:  
  1. The Laced Angel - Amazing corsetry and fantastic costume creations
  2. The Fashionable Past - Beautifully sewn costumes with easy-to-follow tutorials  
  3. The Dreamstress - The mastermind behind the Historical Sew Fortnightly!  And her gowns are always lovely.  
  4. The Broke Costumer - A woman after my own heart - making historical costumes as inexpensively as possible!  
  5. Rococo Atelier - Incredibly detailed costumes with an emphasis on the 18th Century
  6. Rebel's Haven - A fellow nerd with excellent taste and mad skillz
  7. Mistress of Disguise - An impressively eclectic costumer
  8. Maggie's Costume Wardrobe - It's all Maggie's fault that (sort of) that I'm into costuming in the first place.  :p  She makes beautiful dresses and maintains several movie costume research sites, as well!  
  9. Diary of a Mantua Maker - She makes her own shoes.  'Nuff said.  
  10. Chronically Vintage - An impeccably dressed vintage soul in a modern world
  11. Classic Costume - An excellent resource of information on nearly every aspect of costuming, with beautiful gowns besides
  12. Before The Automobile - A beautifully photographed blog full of exquisitely detailed costumes and helpful construction techniques
  13. Arachne Attire - 18th Century and Victorian fashion with a touch of whimsy
  14. An American Seamstress - A lovely costuming blog which also has excellent reference links and a library of costuming/pattern books
  15. A Dedicated Follower of Fashion - Absolutely beautiful costumes with incredible attention to detail

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Birthday Presents

For my birthday (last Friday, in case you were wondering :p) this year I asked for mainly sewing supplies, so I was very pleased when that is what I got.  :)  My sister Elise - who has her own blog (yes, I purposely linked to the post I'm in :D) - got me a sleeve ironing board, and my sister Gretchen - who does not have a blog but we still love her anyway* - got me two pairs of spring-loaded scissors!  I only asked for one pair, but she found a great set with a bonus super-sharp pointed snipper.  I'm sure that's the technical term, anyway.  Someday I'm going to do a post all about the myriad pairs of scissors I own.

I already owned the mini-iron; I just think it looks cute with the tiny ironing board!
*Gretchen does have her own page, so she kind of wins.

I also got flowers and chocolates from my boyfriend, which is not sewing-related at all.  I just like to brag.  :p

Happy Birthday to me!  
I spent my entire birthday sewing, as I had a ball to attend the following evening, but it was sewing for me, which makes it fun.  :)  And the ticket to the ball was my birthday present to myself.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Regency Slippers From Modern Ballet Flats

When I left off with my slippers, they were stripped of their casing and drawstring and dyed a pale blue, and I had just received my ribbons in the mail.  Now for the fun part!  I gathered up all my materials and got ready to paint.

Monday, March 25, 2013

I Could Have Danced All Night

Oh, the ball!  It was so much fun!  I wish I could go to one every weekend.  :)  But you want to see the pictures, don't you?  Well, wait no longer!  

My accessories for the evening - American Duchess stockings and my newly decorated slippers (blog post on those coming soon!), long white silk gloves purchased at the bridal store where I work, pocket mirror for last-minute hair touch-ups, gold necklace and earrings, a drawstring reticule purchased at the Michigan Renaissance Faire last summer, my invitation, and of course I couldn't go time-traveling without my sonic screwdriver!  

Sunday, March 24, 2013

HSF Stripes Challenge - Regency Ballgown

When I left off with this project, I had two bodices for my two dresses, and the blue one had sleeves.  Now I have two completed dresses, even to the hand-sewn buttonholes!  It's amazing how much I got done in a day - and I do mean a 24-hour day.  I didn't sleep Friday night.  :p  I finished my ensemble for the ball at 8:00 Saturday morning, went to work from 10:00-4:30, ran home for a quick dinner and catnap, left for Lansing, MI at 5:45 and arrived at the ball at 7:02, after a quick change in my car.  But more on the ball later.  First, the dress(es)!

The skirts are just pinned in place to get a feel for length.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Regency Ballgown Progress

This project is actually two-in-one, as I am making both a solid light blue day dress and a sheer white striped overdress for the upcoming ball.  The day dress is almost done now; I just have to attach the skirt to the bodice and add a placket and buttons.  Easy-peasy.

The overdress, on the other hand, is a little more complicated...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Regency Blues

I'm having difficulties with my Regency ballgown.  The vision in my head is a sheer striped white overdress worn over a light blue day dress.  I have been inspired by several images, all found on my Regency Inspiration Pinterest board.

I envisioned the white overdress skirt to be the same length or just slightly shorter than the blue underdress, like in the above two fashion plates.  However, I do not have enough of the white striped voile to accomplish this.  The very first image gave me the idea to use my scalloped eyelet trim and a row of solid white voile puffs to lengthen the skirt.  I originally planned to add the eyelet in two rows, with the puffs above.  I had more than twice the eyelet I needed for one row, and I also wanted to add more width to the skirt to make it as flowy as possible.  To make up the extra width, I decided to add a panel of my solid white voile at the back of the skirt, with vertical rows of inset lace set at intervals to mimic the striped pattern of the main skirt fabric.

The stripe at the center of the photo is my inset lace joining the two fabrics.  The stripe along the right is not yet sewn in.  
The stripes will not be as close together as on the main fabric, but I'm ok with that.  I want the feel of the striped fabric, not a direct copy.  This panel will be gathered closely at the back of the skirt, so it should blend together relatively unobtrusively.

However, now that the bodice pieces are cut out for both gowns, I am unsatisfied with the fabric left over for the overdress skirt.  The blue dress should have plenty of width, as I have 102" remaining.  But my striped fabric, even with the solid white panel attached, is only 60" wide.  I want the overdress to be as full as the underdress, but if I make it wider I can only use one row of the eyelet, and therefore it won't be as long as I want.

(Is this making any sense at all?  I'm having a hard time explaining it.)  I've laid out the fabrics to better visualize it.  The blue fabric is folded in half along the right edge.

Option 1:
Imagine a row of puffs between the striped fabric and the rows of eyelet.

Option 2:
Ideally I would like the white overdress skirt to be this long, but then I'd need several rows of puffs and/or tucks between the two.  

Option 3:
I could leave the overdress intentionally short, to show the blue underskirt more.  
In case all of this is unclear, Option 1 would leave the white skirt narrower than the blue underskirt, but almost as long.  Option 2 would make it as wide and as long, but require much more extensive hem decoration than I was originally planning.  Option 3 would make it as wide, but much shorter.  Also, keep in mind I only have enough of my insertion lace to make five vertical rows, so they would either need to be much wider apart, or spaced between more rows of a different lace, if I am to make the skirt wider.  I hope this all makes sense.  I feel like I'm buried underneath a pile of decisions here.  :(

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

New Cloak Pics And An Announcement

I love everything about the pictures from my first Curtain-Along Cloak photo shoot, except that there was no snow.  Apparently Virginia doesn't believe in snow....  in February.  But I digress.  I was back "home" in Iowa over the weekend, where they have snow a-plenty!  (We have snow here in Michigan, too - but I never seem to have time to get out in it to take pictures.)  My sister Gretchen was kind enough to be my photographer for an afternoon, and we went out in the wooded area around my parents' new house on The Farm.  There may be one or two dogs running around in a couple of the shots.  :p

Follow me if you like snow.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

A New (Old) Tool

I'm visiting my parents in Iowa for a long weekend, and in a tour of my mom's new sewing room I made a comment about how many sets of pinking shears she had - I counted three!  And I knew she had recently given one pair to my sister, so I was curious how she ended up with so many.  She explained that some of them had come from her mother's stash, and pulled out one pair to show me how it was actually a set with a scalloped edge, and she had no need for it!  So I gallantly offered to take it off her hands.  :D

Needless to say, I'm super-duper excited about the potential for making scalloped fabric trim!  I'm looking forward to many future projects involving my new (old) tool.  :)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Regency Slippers - Progress

Since my previous post on these shoes, I have done three things:  1) removed the casing/drawstring around the edge of the uppers, 2) dyed the shoes pale blue, and 3) purchased ribbon online.  The ribbon came in the mail today, so now it's time to start decorating these puppies in earnest!

Somewhat faded ivory satin ballet flats.  I should note I got these for free because they were going to be thrown away.
After I ripped off the drawstring and casing:
Oh, the carnage!

Friday, March 1, 2013

No New Fabric Challenge - February Recap

Two months down, ten left!

I didn't set a foot inside a fabric/craft store once during all of January, which made my resolution fairly easy to keep for the first month.  This last month, I had to make a JoAnn's run for various sundries to finish up a few projects, and it was a little harder...  But I made it!