madamemodiste: (Default)
2011-07-02 10:43 am
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black velvet bustle evening bodice

..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)
2011-07-02 10:38 am
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Madeline dress

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!

madamemodiste: (Default)
2011-07-02 10:31 am
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Belated Victorian costume update

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)
2011-04-05 09:34 am

My first Victorian corset

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 )
madamemodiste: (Default)
2011-03-29 04:48 pm
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Visiting Dress update

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)
2011-03-14 10:52 pm

May's striped visiting gown

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)
2010-12-21 09:33 am

Hello!! Long time, no post, eh?

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)
2010-06-16 10:16 am
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Summer Victorian gown

So I wasn't able to say much about the summer Victorian gown project until the party was over, but now I can post about it.

I became enraptured with a white gown that Tissot painted several times. Then I saw this fashion plate that was very like the Tissot gown, but fancier. Perfect!! It's definitely much girlier than what I usually make.

Beth had many yards of a white stripe cotton gauze she gave me for the project. The gown was made from Truly Victorian patterns. The overgown is the Tea gown pattern...modified. It's flatlined in pink cotton. The gauze skirt is the fan skirt (without the fan or train) and the pink cotton underskirt is the tie back skirt.

...and here I am wearing it )
madamemodiste: (Default)
2010-05-26 12:25 pm
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New gown

I'm making my summer Victorian gown and have decided on another Natural Form. I can't reveal the design yet. Beth gave me a ton of this great sheer white on white striped cotton. I washed it and it twisted up like nothing I've ever seen! It was like a long Fortuny gown when I took it out of the dryer!

Well, I finished ironing it all by the time Lord Goring admits he is going to propose to Mabel in "An Ideal Husband". Yay, so that's done.

Now to run some errands.
madamemodiste: (Default)
2010-03-27 09:24 am
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Pleats and ruffles

I got two rows of pleats and two rows of double ruffles onto the gown. I made the pleats and the ruffles were pre-purchased trim. Then I put satin bias tape over the join of the pleats/ruffles.

Progress photos:

making the pleats with Beth's antique pleater. I used 22 yards of 60" fabric. The pleats are 5" wide.

More this way... )
madamemodiste: (Default)
2010-02-25 04:09 pm

1874 black day gown

This is a gown that's been on my "to do" list for forever, but I never had enough black taffeta sitting around at one time to do it. The other day I got 16 yards of a good crisp medium weight black taffeta for $1/yd at Jomar. I knew it was time!!

I am using the TV 208 view A, and it has an option for a pocket in the side seam. I decided it would be awesome to have a pocket, so since the TV pocket instructions were scanty, I looked it up. Here was a great set of instructions for a visual learner such as myself. Dude, I did it!! I made a pocket! I feel like some grade school kid who just learned how to tell time or something lol!

In other news, I seem to have temporarily abandoned the black velvet coat bodice because I dread putting button holes through all that velvet O_O

OMG, I just realized I never shared the "finished" photos of the ballgown I recently made

click here to see the photos )
madamemodiste: (Default)
2010-02-07 02:01 pm
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new underskirt

Yesterday evening I made an underskirt from the TV 225 Fantail skirt. Today I put on trim! Here it is:

I had to lighten the photos to show detail, but it's jet black.

Wanna see more? )
madamemodiste: (Default)
2010-02-06 06:46 pm
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progress on jacket bodice

Well, I got the boning in, attached the facing and tacked it by hand, made and attached the collar and hand sewed the collar lining to the inside of the bodice, then marked for button holes. I had to stop at this point because I don't have enough buttons to finish, so I'm going to move on to a skirt I want to make.

I'm looking forward to getting to the trim, but I want to do the buttons and button holes first so I can be sure the placement is perfect.
madamemodiste: (Default)
2010-02-03 10:20 am
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getting to work

As previously mentioned, instead of a proper coat, I want this as a "jacket bodice", so I cut it out from the TV tea gown pattern, cutting it off at the hem where it said "lengthen or shorten here" since I want the underskirt to be seen.

Anyway, when LL came over on Sunday, we held up the trim to the partially made garment and realized it needed something. It was too plain. We looked at the fashion plate and saw that there was a silver-grey trim underneath the braid, so off to Jomar we went! I got 8 yards of this really lovely medium weight satin for $1/yd

see the photo here if you want to )
madamemodiste: (Default)
2010-01-31 10:08 am
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Finally inspired: 1878 black velvet coat

Beth sent me some inspiration images last night to try to jump start my desire to work on something. She sent me this and I freaked:

I have all that black cotton velvet and braid trim from Jomar. I don't even need to buy anything, so this is a perfect project to work on. Right now I'm trying to decide if the back center panel should be of the left over black on black dragon brocade or if the whole thing should be velvet. I'm making it as a jacket/bodice rather than a true coat. This will be for club nights when it's 10 degrees out, like now.

Can't wait for Beth and Jess to get here later today to see my progress and give their input!
madamemodiste: (Default)
2010-01-13 04:42 pm
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Playing with buttons

Since I am waiting to choose buttons, I decided to play with the pleaty thingies. Here they are done and sewn down. I had two 3/4" black satin buttons in my button bag and pinned them to the pleat points to see how it might look. I LOVE it! Looks like 3/4" is the right size for the pleat tips. I fear any smaller and the pleat tips will show. I held up my usual 5/8" and it seemed too small - didn't look right. So here are some 3/4" buttons pinned on:

madamemodiste: (Default)
2010-01-13 09:24 am
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Ballgown bodice

A few years ago I received 3 yards of a lovely black on black brocade from [ profile] bauhausfrau. It has finally spoken to me after seeing an extant bodice purchased by [ profile] cfilson.

The front of the extant bodice is a high collar, double breasted front - otherwise plain. Mine, as a ball gown bodice, will be low necked, off the shoulder with a single button front, and I have no idea how to do the pretty back kick pleat, so it's just a slit. I cut the hem higher than the original to save fabric, and I think it'll be ok with out the "skirt". It's really those pleaty things I'm hot for.

I'm thinking of doing an overskirt of black satin taffeta with an asymmetrical swag of the brocade and black lace since I have little left and can't get a whole overskirt out of it. Sort of like the middle dress in this fashion plate. Again, not quite sure how to accomplish that, but I figure I'll fuss and drape until I'm happy.

So far the bodice is together and hemmed, and the boning is cut and sewn into boning channels. Next I must sew the channels to the seam allowances, do buttons and button holes. So satin or the usual "jet" buttons from Joann's I usually do?
madamemodiste: (Default)
2010-01-07 12:27 pm
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bodice update

Since we last visited this bodice, it needed to be lifted up at the shoulders because an unsightly horizontal wrinkle appeared over my bust when I wore it. ( see 2nd photo for unsightly wrinkle) Done!

Then it desperately needed some trim. I poked through my Jomar trim finds and picked a matte sequin trim braid to be placed over black net lace ruffles. I also decided to fill in the open sleeve with a double ruffle of the net lace.

Just need to tack down the sleeve ruffles! Should I add the sequin trim around the hem of the sleeve, too?

madamemodiste: (Default)
2009-11-30 01:59 pm
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test shots

OK, so here is a test of ideas...

With a grey silk sash to tie in the grey hem pleats:

and here is a velvet NF era overskirt I already have, to give an idea of the skirt with a black overskirt:

But ya know, there's no reason I can't also have a grey overskirt. That way I can put it with this as well as any black underskirt. Just a thought :)
madamemodiste: (Default)
2009-11-17 08:21 am

1884 Reception gown

Not much time for sewing since we moved and I miss you guys!! However, I did mostly finish the bodice to the 1884 reception gown (if you forget, it's here:

It still needs sleeve cuff trim and some lace at the bust, but it's generally done. I wore it to Linsey and Duncan's wedding a week and a half ago.

No plans to make anything until the semester is over next month, so I'll have to live vicariously through you ladies!