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Today I finished painting the feature wall in my sewing room. Popped the shelves back up on the wall and it's done. The color is "silverberry" by Behr.

madamemodiste: (me 18th c.)
So here in Philly we celebrate Bastille Day at a big block party outside of Eastern State Penitentiary with champagne in the streets and a storming of the prison where our own Marie Antoinette throws down Tastykakes (local pastry co) exclaiming, "Let them eat Kake!"

It's fun! See? )

So it's usually 100 degrees on Bastille Day, so I decided to make a new cotton polonaise. Stealing a great idea from [ profile] bauhausfrau, I bought two packages of Shabby Chic white voile embroidered curtains at Target and made a skirt. Yay! So here it is:

This was my first experience leveling a skirt from the waist. I found it hard and I won't jump to do it again :) Without the advice of Ms. Amy J, I doubt I would have finished it (she advised I find an object that is the same height from the floor that I want the skirt to be (I used a cracker box), wrap a piece of twill tape around the waist, adjust the fullness evenly, and begin adjusting the hem from the top until the embroidered hem hits the top of the box all the way around)

The bodice will be a black and ivory stripe with pink and green floral ticking. I've had all this fabric in the Stash for several years and I'm so happy to finally get to this project. I hope I finish in time!!

So far today I've only cut out the fashion fabric and lining of the bodice and overskirt.
madamemodiste: (Default)
..aaaaand I never shared a photo of that black velvet bustle bodice I talked about months ago! Here I am wearing it with the Lost Souls skirt at the SPWF

Kinda sad...the black ate up all the light and you can't really see it, but there it is

madamemodiste: (Default)
Whoa...I never shared the Madeline dress I talked about this past winter/spring! I wore it to Costume Con 29 and SPWF.

I haven't gotten any great photos of me wearing the dress, but I promise the back is huuuuge.

Here it is when it was almost done. I love it!

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My my! I have woefully neglected this journal! My apologies to those still following! I wrote my senior thesis (for my undergraduate History degree) during the Spring semester and it sucked up all my time. But it's done (I got an A!) and now I can share what I've been up to.

I made two new outfits for the Steampunk World's Fair.

"May Welland Visiting Dress" This was inspired by a dress May wears in The Age of Innocence a few times. You know I love me some stripes! This dress has no actual steampunk attributes other than being Victorian, but that's good enough for me!

I also made a day dress out of this cool red satin fabric embossed with a crocodile pattern and a red poly taffeta. I call it "The Croc Dress" it's alternate name is "The Sporting Dress" because I wore it to represent the imaginary head of the SPWF Croquet Team. I made the croquet harness, too.

The rest of the photos can be found here:

Then came time for the 6th annual Victorian party. Wow, I can't believe I've been doing this for 6 years!

I made a dress out of my famous white on white stripe cotton voile. Yup, that fabric I got years ago at Joann's that I used to make my Chemise a la Reine, my Regency chemise, and the Regency day dress I started like 2 years ago (and only needs a hem to be finished...I should be ashamed!).

And the rest of the photos can be found here:

Next up: 18th c. polonaise for Bastille Day in Philadelphia
madamemodiste: (Default)
Well, I finally did it! I made a single layer Victorian corset.

I'm taking a pattern and drafting class at Temple University. Hey, I might as well take advantage of the costume/theatre department and learn sewing skills while I get my degree. Where else can I learn from professionals twice a week and have access to amazing tools and supplies? It's like Project Runway in there!

Anyway, our latest project was to draft and build a corset from scratch. We could pick any era we wanted from the 1500s to the 1950s. I went with 1890s. I picked a pattern I liked from Robert Doyle's Waisted Efforts: an 1892 corset with hip gores. I chose a fancy white coutil for my fabric.

First I had to grid out the pattern because it wasn't printed on a grid. I measured the corset pattern front and back length and measured my own front and back length. When I scaled up the pattern, it had to match my measurements, not the ones on the original, which is too small. With the help of my classmates who have taken math classes much more recently than I have, we figured out the grid so the pattern would draft up closer to my measurements. No, I couldn't repeat that process again if you put a gun to my head.

Once the grid was figured out, I grabbed real life grid paper and started drawing. By hand I drew out each piece in life size, cut them out, transferred them to muslin (with a generous 1 inch seam allowance), cut out the muslin, sewed them together, cut spiral steel, taped them to the places I wanted boning with masking tape, basted on pre-made boned lacing panels, and tried it on.

From there, my professor marked where I needed changes. The bust and hips were too big and the curve from my rib cage to my bust needed to be sharper. It was also longer than I felt was comfortable, so we marked where I wanted the bottom hem to sit (so I could sit without getting poked in the no-no place).

I went back to my paper pattern and, using the "slash and spread" method (or in my case, "slash and squish"), made changes to the pattern pieces that needed them and trued up my edges.

Then I transferred my new pattern to the coutil, sewed them up, put on the boning channels using boning tape, set the busk, altered the previous boning to fit and tipped the bones, made and sewed on self fabric bias binding (by hand inside and outside), and hammered on nearly 3 dozen size 00 two piece grommets. At this point my hands were throbbing!!

and here she is! Of course she fits me better than my dress form, so ignore the fit.

see more here )
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We are all in a tizzy over the arrival of the highly anticipated "Georgiana" 18th c. shoe by American Duchess Boutique. It's dyable silk! It's gorgeous! It's AFFORDABLE!!

Available for PRE ORDER April 1st

Since I'm writing on the fashions of the very influential Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire for my senior undergraduate capstone, I really like the choice of names.
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Both school work and a nasty cold prevented me from getting much done on this dress. I did get the underskirt made and nearly done. I made both sets of pleats, but I haven't sewn the lower set down yet (it's pinned in place).

It's very bright in my sewing room today, so the color looks a little bit washed out.

see another view here )

I had to do the pleats without my Perfect Pleater because I've come to realize it's bowed. I didn't realize until I tried to make pleats with a stripe in it. Immediately I could tell that the pleats weren't straight, and it matters when there is a stripe. Oh well. It wasn't so bad. I listened to Anthony Trollope's The Duke's Children while I pinned and pressed. The white ribbon I secured with double stick fusable iron-on tape before I pleated. There was no way I was sewing down a ribbon (would have required upper and lower edges, which already have decorative "pick stitching") to that much material. Yup, call me the lazy seamstress!
madamemodiste: (Default)
I've been sewing up a storm, but they are secret projects for the Steampunk World's Fair, so I can't reveal them until May. Anyway, The Croc dress and the Madeline dress are just about finished. I found myself with Judy over at Jomar yesterday and came across a lovely black cotton with white stripes for only $2/yd. I picked up 7 yards and looked through my "striped dress" photos to see if any spoke to me. This one did:

From The Age of Innocence, this is a gown May wears on two occasions while "visiting."

another view )

Since I wanted to make the underskirt out of plain black cotton to save the striped fabric, and I was out of plain black cotton, I started on the overskirt. Here it is shown over an old petticoat that has seen better days.

click here to see my progress )
madamemodiste: (Default)

Here are the screen shots I took of costumes in the movie. Oh, and a hot photo of Louis and Armand ;)
madamemodiste: (Default)
For years I've been obsessed with the two "jewel" gowns from Interview With the Vampire, that I have neglected other gowns in the film. I am working on a dress based on the gowns that Claudia and Madeline wear in the scene where Claudia asks Louis to make Madeline a vampire. Mine is of green and black shot taffeta. Anyway, as I'm cutting out the skirt base, I popped the movie in. And the scene with the New Orleans whores revealed a dress I'd ignored in the past. And my god, it's gorgeous! Regency deliciousness:

madamemodiste: (Default)
Over the weekend I spent a little time on the Croc dress. With the help of a group of friends going to the Steampunk World's Fair, I finally decided on a bodice design. The SPWF is at the end of May, and it might be hot. Since my fabric is all polyester due to my sad, little budget, I don't want long sleeves and a bodice buttoned up to the neck. I needed a design with 3/4 sleeves and an open neckline.

I did interline the bodice (made of the croc fabric) in a sturdy black and white cotton toile. Fun!

So over the weekend I cut out the fashion fabric and interlining, serged the two together, and sewed all the pieces together. Next- boning!
madamemodiste: (Default)
Some time in the middle of last week I finished most of the skirt. Still need to line the bottom of the tabs and buy red fringe. (Joann's got red bias tape back in stock. yay!)

Today I decided on a design for the bodice and cut the pieces out. That's about it for today since I have to get ready to go out to dinner soon.


In other sewing news, I got sick of the Croc dress and decided to work on a few other things. I made a natural form era over skirt for sale so I could buy trims and such, and sold it to a friend. I also started work on that Period Impressions 1809 spencer pattern. Making it out of a really pretty midnight blue velvet. My measurements were closest to the 28" waist size run, so I cut that one out. Opps. Way, way too big. Does Period Impressions include too much ease like Butterick does?? Since it wasn't a "Big 3" pattern, I assumed it would finish in the measurements stated, but it was much bigger. So I had to take the whole thing apart. Need to trim each piece to a more reasonable size and try again. But I'll get back to that another time.

Can't believe school starts up again in a week. My Winter Break was much too short!

Red Croc

Jan. 3rd, 2011 10:02 am
madamemodiste: (Default)
I finished the 40" long pleated front piece last week. Took two evenings and a morning. Again, I did it by hand using pins and a ruler, so it took longer. Then I pinned everything onto the mannequin to see how it was looking and I was happy, but still not sure how to proceed. After considering, I've decided to make a separate underskirt and then put the second layer over that, but all on one waistband.

I still need red piping and have come to the conclusion, after trying to dye some white cotton piping unsuccessfully, that I need to make it. You all knew that, I know. Just took me a week to come to the same conclusion. I think I'll pull the cording out of the white cotton piping and get started.
madamemodiste: (Default)
Hrm...let's see what I made this year!

18th c. inspired club skirt of tiered lace

February and March:
Worked on Lost Souls dress and Crawford Manor dress

Worked on Crawford Manor dress, Steampunk Madame Dress, and Striped pantaloon sporting outfit

Finished Steampunk World's Fair outfits and began Summer Victorian gown

Finish Summer Victorian gown (1878 Tissot gown) and work on Lost Souls dress

Finished Lost Souls dress and make fringed Victorian collar

Began work on the black and green Elizabethan

September and October:
Worked on and finished the Elizabethan, finished the Regency I started last year and made a black faux silk open robe


Begin work on Red Croc dress

I didn't make very much this year compared to other years, it seems. School took up most of my time and two projects took a long time (Lost Souls and the Elizabethan). But all in all I'm happy!

This year I'd like to make 2-3 new outfits for the SPWF. Other than that, I'm not sure!

Oh, did I tell you that I wore my Titanic Jump dress to my Christmas party and someone accidentally spilled a rum and coke all down the front? It's been at the cleaners for a week. They can't get the stain out yet, but want to keep trying. I will be HEART BROKEN if they can't clean it.
madamemodiste: (Default)
This project will not feature any photos as I want my finished version to be a surprise. It's no fun to go out of town and everyone there has already seen your dress on the internet, right? Right! But I do still feel like documenting my progress.

Upon closer inspection, I realized this is a complicated dress. The description says it's two piece...which means that skirt is all one piece o_O. I know I could do it however I want (and I usually do), but I feel like doing it as one piece. Less bulk at the waistline.

So far I have cut out the "under skirt" and sewn together the front and side pieces. Then I cut out 40" long piece, hemmed the bottom (Properly! I didn't serge it! OK, I admit I didn't serge it because I don't have 4 cones of red), and started making 1" wide pleats with a 1/2" repeat for the center front. I'm about half way done.

So that's it for now. I still need fringe and it looks like I need piping. Hate making piping! Uses up all that pretty fabric and no one really notices it, but it does make a difference.
madamemodiste: (Default)
Oh! I never posted finished photos of the Elizabethan!

madamemodiste: (Default)
I've missed talking to you guys about sewing projects! My semester became so overwhelming that I couldn't sew a thing after October.

But now I'm BACK!! Yay!

I have a few projects I hope to complete over Winter Break.

I'm making a version of this Pingat dress from the Kyoto book:

But I'm using some crazy fabric I found at Jomar: red satin embossed with a crocodile pattern. I'm using that where ever you see the floral fabric on the Pingat dress. Then I have a faux silk dupioni in a matching red for the rest of the dress. I'm still looking for a good red fringe. I plan to skip the plaid bow at the neckline ;)

The color is a bit off here, but you get the idea.

Another thing I think I'm going to tackle first is a black velvet ballgown bodice for a late 1880s style gown. Sort of like the bodice on the left (but in black).

madamemodiste: (Default)
Well, here it is! I was afraid at first that the combination of a white gown and black robe would make me look like a Regency waitress, but I think it doesn't. It probably needs some trim, but that's for another day.

madamemodiste: (Default)
So I ended up choosing a faux black silk dupioni for the open robe. On an aside, I also ended up ordering the Period Impressions 1809 spencer jacket pattern. A miracle might happen and I might be able to whip it out the week before the event. You never know.

OK, so!! I had meant to add sleeves and do the Marianne front tab, but I put on the audio book of Sense and Sensibility, and before I knew it, the whole bodice was together complete with lining. The lining went on in such a crazy and new way (to me), that I didn't realize I was finishing all the edges before the sleeves and front tabs went on. It's too late for the sleeves, but I can still open up the CF and put in the front tab if I feel like it.

Also, I wish I would have thought of this in the beginning, but I should have used the back of the S&S pattern for the robe bodice. The Butterick version uses darts instead of having a separate side piece, which is obviously not period correct. But like I said, I was just trying to whip this out fast and wasn't thinking. Try not to stare horrified at my modern construction!

No photos yet because right now it just looks like some 1970's vest on a Regency dress.

So today I need to do the hem, do the front tabs, put the skirt on the bodice, and it's done.


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August 2011

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