mandie_rw: (naturalform1)
2017-07-24 11:46 pm

beige bodice, one more time

I thought I was almost done...but then as I was ironing the pleats of voile for the white collar, it occurred to me that I ought to have cuffs as well! Damn. Wish it hadn't occurred to me, haha. I could make plain ones, but I know that pleated ones to match the collar (and the upper side of the dress fabric cuffs, for that matter) will look better. Okay, okay...

It's supposed to be in the low 80s tomorrow and Wednesday, so I'll gussy up and get photos one of those days (it might rain tomorrow so I can't promise tomorrow). And then I can wad the whole thing up into my 19thc costume bin and be done with it, whew! It's been hanging around for far too long. And then back to the dinner dress! I think.

mandie_rw: (naturalform1)
2017-07-23 08:10 pm

Fort Mott Boer War Event

Second Boer War, to be specific.

(The Facebook event just said "Boer War", mind you, with no dates. Apparently this is colloquial for the second war...but as 1/ we didn't know this til yesterday as that's when the park put up the event description, and 2/ none of us have c.1900 summer dresses anyway...we cheerfully assumed it was the first war in the early 1880s, as that's what we have clothes for. As assumed...nobody cared. *grin*)
boer war 1
Read more... )

Robin's flickr album here

mandie_rw: (naturalform1)
2017-07-22 11:57 pm

beige bodice again, again

I was pretty lazy as regards sewing today...I could have gotten the bodice all finished if I'd really tried, but...didn't. xD Tonight I tried it on, "it's really almost done! just need to finish the neck! I could totally wear this tomorrow!", but only had it on for about 35 seconds before I remembered why I wasn't pushing myself to finish and wear it tomorrow. Hot! (The sewing room is un-air-conditioned, and it's still 82 at midnight. Shirtwaist 'tis!)

So I just need to put a facing in the neck edge - Bodice Take 1 had a collar, but that collar doesn't fit anymore, plus the fit of the neck at the back is just a wee bit funky still, and it's a lot more obvious with a collar on. I did a brief survey of my books, and it looks like a ton of early 1880s had just a white collar, rather than a dress-collar-and-white-collar combo. So I have zero qualms about doing a plain finish! (I could pipe it, but I don't want to and you can't make me.) I do still have to make a white collar to tack in, unless the one from my blue wool 1878 dress will work. Don't think it will as that's a v-neckline and this one is much higher, but we'll see.

mandie_rw: (naturalform1)
2017-07-21 11:30 pm


Sewed in the side wedges properly, and reboned all the seams today - and then noticed I'd managed to sew it with the bodice front twisted round itself. Whoops. I'll just unpick the shoulder seam, as that's the path of least resistance...


(Forecast for Sunday is currently in the mid-80s, so I don't have any pressure to get it done in time for that! Ugly shirtwaist carries the day yet again.)
mandie_rw: (naturalform1)
2017-07-20 11:38 pm

beige bodice again

Mostly successfully futzed with the beige bodice today to get it to fit - it's not really 100%, but it's vastly better than before. (And when all's said and's not the most attractive print in the world anyway. So.) I will have to put a wedge in the sleeves to get them to fit, but I didn't have to piece in the front of the armscye, so that's good.
beige bodice front
I didn't get around to actually taking the basting stitches out, cutting lining pieces, and sewing the awkward fixer-pieces in properly...but I'm off tomorrow so I can do it then. (It's definitely going to be too hot to wear this bodice if we do go on Sunday, but I'd like to finish it anyway! Just putting it on and taking it off got me all hot and grumpy. I think I need to acknowledge to myself that just 'cause it's cotton, doesn't make it a Philadelphia-summer-appropriate dress...)
beige bodice side
There are some stupid side wrinkles that I don't think will come out even when the side's reboned, but oh well. I'll just consider myself lucky I could get the damn thing to fit at all and call it a day! Not all home sewers in 1880 had perfectly-fitting bodices, right? ;)

mandie_rw: (1860ssunset)
2017-07-19 11:12 pm

beige bodice

I finished sewing the hooks and bars on this afternoon before work, but didn't quite have enough time to suit up and start fussing with fit, so indulged in flights of fancy re: my planned turn-of-the-century wardrobe. (My Voice of Fashion and Turn-of-the-Century Fashion Patterns and Tailoring Techniques books arrived yesterday, so that helped with the distraction. The latter may be a bit beyond me, but I never mind having something to work up to, and at the very least the pattern shapes will be helpful!) I sincerely doubt I'll have time to throw a dinner dress into the mix, but it's very amusing to plan out!

Tonight I intend to get the buttons sewn on the beige bodice (yes, buttons over hooks...after testing out hooks and bars vs buttons for years, I've come to the conclusion that I generally prefer hooks to fasten tight-fitting victorian bodices! Much less annoying to do up! And then slap the buttons on top), which was delayed by my putting the buttons away while cleaning up a while back. Never put stuff away!

Also: spent money today I totally shouldn't have. But Dita von Teese added Philadelphia to her touring schedule this fall, and the pre-sale went up today...and I just couldn't not go! I'm much more of an enthusiast of Dita's style than necessarily burlesque in general (I think it's cool! but I wouldn't call myself an enthusiast), but I wouldn't turn down an opportunity to see Queen Dita! I texted a college friend who's also a fan..."can we turn this opportunity down??" "NO WE CANNOT!" I'll be going with her on September 15th. Woo!

(Well I think I need a new dress...!)

mandie_rw: (sew all the things!)
2017-07-18 11:39 pm

slight change of tack

We might go to a Boer War event this weekend at a local-ish fort (if it's not 90F, which it probably will be), so I felt vaguely inspired today to start fixing my beige cotton print bodice instead of continuing on the dinner dress bodice mockup. It's not really wandering very far off, as I want it for Belvidere too...unless it's hot enough that I have to wear the Ugly Shirtwaist yet again.

I can't remember what details I posted about the bad fit of the beige print bodice so I'll recap - basically I used my pattern taken from a fabric mockup that had stretched a lot and I didn't realize (that's what I get for being lazy and not cutting it out on paper the first time I used it, for my first natural form dress a couple years ago!) I sewed it almost all together before realizing it totally didn't fit. Not like, oh, I'll just have to add an underlap and put the buttons all the way over, but the CF edges didn't even meet, and the armscye was pinchy at the front. Which I then tried to easy-fix by letting out a dart, fussing with the shoulder seams, and pretending it fit, and I got it pretty close to done before acknowledging that it'd be embarrassing to wear a bodice that fit like that. Which was where I left it the week before Belvidere last year! I knew I'd have to take a good bit of it apart, and Didn't Want To.

So, more recently, I took the step of undoing all the work I needed to, to start fixing the damn thing. Took the collar and sleeves off, unpicked the bottom facing, boning and the waist stay from the side seam and took said seam out. I pinned rough strips of fabric into the let-out seam and tried the thing on with a corset today to check and see if that side-seam-fix would be my best plan. Yup.

It's going to be a very stupidly-shaped piece of fabric once it's fitted, but it'll work. And less obvious than sticking something in CF, which was the only other option (best practice would have been to just recut the fronts, but I don't have enough fabric left for that!). I may have to piece in the front of the armscyes (as I'm a meticulous seam-trimmer, and had already notched/tacked down all the SA, of course) and put a wedge in the sleeve armpit since it was a smooth-fitting sleeve and the armscye might now be too big for it...but maybe not.

I put the second dart back in the fronts, and I'm in the process of sewing on 10,00 hooks & bars, since I think my best plan is to have the closure done before fine-tuning the weirdo side-wedges!

All this and I'm fairly sure it'll be too hot on Sunday to want to go to the fort anyway. But I want this bodice fixed up either way!

mandie_rw: (Default)
2017-07-18 12:52 am

fabric-buying aw yiss

I meant to buy the light blue voile from FFC earlier to make the tea gown for Belvidere, as today was the last day of their free shipping coupon code, and I like to not pay shipping. Went on tonight and it was sold out, oops. Cue a mad scramble to find something else to make a wrapper out of - as usual, there was a certain amount you had to spend to get the free shipping, and I really wanted to get my Take Two of bathing costume flannel (the first one I bought is really too heavy...and also not terribly colorfast, apparently. I could have been practical and cheap and just bought the cotton twill that was on sale...but I really want to experience the flannel bathing suit in all its glory! I'm weird). This one promises it's lightweight. We shall see.

Anyway, said flannel did not get me up to the free shipping, so I really dug around through the lightweight cottons (nada) and the tropical-weight wools (aha!), and found something in the wools. Two somethings, actually. *shifty eyes* I found a blue and ivory stripe wool-poly blend that might work for the wrapper/tea gown - if it's too poly-ish when it gets here, back it will go, but currently I'm hopeful. I adore lightweight wools but why are 99% of the affordable ones black, navy, and grey?? So BORING! (Yes, I know, suits. People make other things besides suits from wool, come on!)
The other tropical weight wool I found and couldn't resist will be for my next early 1880s warm-weather dress. I have no plans to make it soon, but since natural form seems to be an established Thing for us now, I can tell I'm going to get tired of my one and only dress after I wear it at least twice more this year. Not to mention, it's all cotton, but it's a joann's printed broadcloth, so not particularly lightweight when you get all the linings and the overskirt and everything else on together. The cream/navy check I found is 100% wool so I'm fairly confident it'll be cooler than the cotton dress if it's really tropical weight like they promise!
Apparently I like blue today...hopefully I like blue still when I go to use all this fabric! The flannel is blue too... (And yes, this after complaining about the lack of color variety in wools...)

(I'm attempting pictures again. via Google, thanks to [personal profile] jenthompson 's help, but I'm too dumb to figure out how to make them smaller when using an embed code, so this will not be an ideal method when I have pics taken on a camera instead of pilfered from a fabric site, because then they will be GIANT EFFIN' PICTURES, so. Hmm.)

mandie_rw: (naturalform1)
2017-07-17 10:19 pm
Entry tags:

toodling along

As mentioned, Saturday I cut out a new chemise to work on for sewing day yesterday, to have something easy to abandon if [ profile] misspeachum wanted help with her sewing (first sewing day at Amanda's, where the teapot is never big enough, the volume of conversation is never appropriate, and the jokes are always filthy! I think she'll come back...). As it was, Tessa was perfectly competent without much input from the old people (us), so I got a good bit of it done yesterday despite continuous yakking, and finished it today. Well, finished sans silk ribbon I'm going to thread through the neckline lace, for decoration and for keeping the thing on. Had to order 2mm ribbon, as the lace is cheapo joann's-on-a-spool, with teensy holes that aren't really meant to have a ribbon threaded through. I will fight you, lace. You're getting ribboned!

(Technically I didn't really need another chemise as I could have worn the late-18thc-shift, which is good Wear With Everything underwear. But I'm not often in the mood to make chemises so I figured I'd take advantage while I was!)

mandie_rw: (naturalform1)
2017-07-16 12:13 am

(no subject)

So...a picture post of the finished overskirt would have been longer, but now I can just sum up: finished the overskirt and train earlier this week, and haven't sewn a damn thing since. Other than the ugly style-in-an-instant dresses, but they don't really count.

I cut out a new chemise today to work on for stitch'n'bitch tomorrow; I don't have a low-necked Victorian chemise or combies, and I'll need one for the dinner dress. Could always wear a late 18thc shift...but I like pretty Victorian undies! Well, I like wearing them, not so much making them. :P
mandie_rw: (Default)
2017-07-15 01:28 pm


hm will this work
pleated ruffle


flickr can suck it.


SaveETA: nope. annnnnnnnd back to hating all photo hosting sites everywhere. at least I can fix the public blog. tired of this one at the moment...
mandie_rw: (duh)
2017-07-12 11:42 pm
Entry tags:

bye-bye, photobucket

I was GOING to do a post on my finished overskirt for the dinner dress, but it appears my ten years' loyalty to Photobucket is officially done, so I'm setting up a flickr account and sending them a nastygram tonight instead. They're getting rid of their 3rd-party hosting feature on all accounts that don't pay $40/MONTH. I do pay to host my photos (not a lot, but 10 years of costuming makes for a lot of pictures, so I don't mind having a paid account) so the 3rd-party hosting will go through the end of the year for me. Buuuuut I'm certainly not going to pay FORTY DOLLARS A MONTH so I can link pictures on fricking DW, so I'm essentially going to lose 10 years of pictures in this journal. (ETA: Not to mention everything on Blogger. Arrgh.)

Unless I want to go through over a thousand journal entries and relink them to flickr, once I get everything uploaded there. I don't.

So...slightly pissed at the moment!
mandie_rw: (1860ssunset)
2017-07-10 11:32 pm

(no subject)

I have been sewing! Some boring stuff (like "this dress has been unhemmed for almost a year, should probably get around to hemming it"), some less boring stuff like the overskirt/train on the dinner dress, and quite a bit of plotting, because who doesn't love costume plotting?

RE: dinner dress progress, specifically: the train is all done and the dust ruffle is basted in, and I finally forced myself to mock up the overskirt drapery. Somehow that was a hump to get over. Why? Dunno, I didn't really think it was going to be that hard... Either way, I did that this afternoon, so tomorrow hopefully I can get those pieces hemmed and maybe stitched on to the waistband. The train will go over those pieces in the back, and it'll all need one or two ties to hold it back where I want it. But I can't imagine that will all get done tomorrow.

mandie_rw: (naturalform1)
2017-07-07 11:53 pm

oh, right, dinner dress

Was reminded that I'm supposed to be a good example by finishing my dinner dress well ahead of time. Haha. O, yes, that's a thing I should be sewing. So, I made the train today! Well, not that it required a lot of "making", per se. Just a lot of hemming, which I decided to do by hand because short of bag lining, I couldn't think of a way to machine it and not have it look horrid. (, I was not bag lining a train. Especially one that's black but lined in two different colors of cotton.)
train laid out flat
Exciting train is exciting! ;)

Black taffeta would have been my first choice, but I had 4+ yards of black shantung in the stash already, so I went with the second choice. (The same silk will be used for the side drapery-paninier-things, to hopefully not look to obviously like "I didn't have enough of this striped silk, can you tell?") I ended up cutting it about 60" long - a respectable but not excessive length for a dinner dress I think. I lined it with two different cotton remnants from the Remnants Bag (yeah, I stock up on them every so often at work!) that don't match, but I don't care...because it's a train lining. (I would have preferred black, but no black cotton rems in the bag. So ivory and white it is!) I got it all hemmed today, and will figure out the dust ruffle tomorrow. Have to go spelunking in the lace drawer...I think I have some fairly wide nylon-but-respectable-looking lace that will work.

mandie_rw: (chintz dress spring)
2017-07-04 11:47 pm
Entry tags:


Back from NY - well, we got back yesterday afternoon, but I went to work in the evening and then I went to sleeeeeeeep.

Reading of the Declaration of Independence this morning at the Indian King Tavern, then there was the town parade and then the tavern had an open house, so I was in my 18thc duds for a good few hours today. Pretty hot. There was a breeze outside so not bad in the shade, but I'm in a room on the ground floor for tours and the windows don't open for Security Purposes, in there! Some dude in a bad Jack Sparrow costume showed up to the reading - not associated with us, and it was weird. (Like...what does Jack Sparrow have to do with Independence Day?? Come on now.)

And then it started raining on our usual local fireworks, so they set them off before it was quite dark, before the rain got any heavier! We were still driving to the park, so we just pulled into a bank parking lot and got a perfect view while staying dry. Win-win.
mandie_rw: (Default)
2017-07-01 10:41 pm
Entry tags:

sewing, and not

I worked a bit on the blue-and-white anchor dress today, up to the point of putting the zipper in. (Invisible zipper. Gross. But it was the right color, and happened to be 50 cents on clearance, so gross invisible zipper it was.) Which is not getting worked on any more tonight as I've just painted my nails. Red for Canada Day because Canada is 150 today and is kind of beating my country at everything this year Independence Day weekend! If I finish the anchor dress in a timely fashion I'll wear that on the 4th with red accessories to be all patriotic and shit. (Sense the enthusiasm!)

Going to visit the Albany branch of the family tomorrow, and staying over, so I won't have any sewing to report over the next two days...although I am going to bring my hand-sewn-linen-stays pieces in the car. They're a good travel project!

mandie_rw: (sew all the things!)
2017-06-30 11:48 pm
Entry tags:

modern sewing

Today I was feeling more modern sewing than Victorian, and who am I to question inspiration? (This is why I have an enormous bin full of UFOs, by the way.) I fiiiiinally finished the pin-dot dress for the Reading air show...I have decided to view it as being done well in advance for next year, rather than a month late for this year's show. Ahem.

I also cut out and assembled the bodice for a new dress, out of dark royal blue poplin embroidered with white anchors. It's been tempting me at work for over a year, but I steadfastly refused...til a couple of days ago when I unrolled two sizeable bolt ends when I was cutting it for a customer. Well, fine then. So I bought another yard, and came home with almost 3 yards for $11. Plenty 'nuff for the dress I have in mind! Gathered skirt and plain bodice with cap sleeves, easy enough. Except that I'm a masochist, so I flat-felled all the bodice seams by hand as I assembled it tonight, which made it take a little longer. (Hey, flat felling by hand looks so much nicer! Skirt seams will be felled by machine, because I care but not that much.) Well, you know I like all that fussy little hand-sewing stuff... ;)

And it's getting the 1950s tag, because, close enough.

mandie_rw: (rose1950s)
2017-06-29 11:17 pm
Entry tags:

pin-dot 1940 again

Only did a little bit of poking at the 1940 sundress today: just put in the buttonholes and buttons, and took a tuck on each side of the bodice top in hopefully the least obtrusive spot. Small boobs strike again. But then again, this is not a dress for the big-boobed, so. (Too low-cut in the back for a normal bra. Heigh-ho, no problem here.)
mandie_rw: (me longwood)
2017-06-28 11:18 pm

(no subject)

Little bit of sewing today, in an attempt to finish off various things that have been hanging off backs of chairs, etc. for too long: sewed a zipper into my Beauty and the Beast print skirt, and tried on the pin-dot 1940 sundress to mark where I need to make adjustments. I might like to wear the sundress when I go up to visit extended family in the Albany area this weekend, which gives me a bit of a push to actually finish the damn dress!
mandie_rw: (naturalform1)
2017-06-27 10:52 pm

skirt finished

My petticoat provided enough fluff at the hem that I'm able to squeak by without doing any hem facing, happily. I finished fussing with all the ties and elastic this afternoon; also decided it needed just a little bit of bum-padding to look good. The swags are a wee bit uneven, not helped by the skirt-wrangling I was doing immediately prior to taking pics of it. Definitely don't care enough to re-swag, though.

(Haphazard? What do you mean, haphazard??)
skirt 1  skirt 2

skirt 3
Well, alright, the front drape in particular is a bit wack...I'll think about redoing it.

And the innards, in case you were curious. I've discovered I like using a mix of grosgrain and elastic for the ties, especially the ones at knee-level. Makes it easier to walk! Never seen that on an original, but then I haven't really done a close inspection of skirt tiebacks (and I honestly don't care that much), haha.
inside skirt 1  inside skirrt 2
On to the drapery and train! Maybe! (I know asymmetry was very popular by this point, but dang, I'm really a symmetrical kinda girl! So I need to see if I can wrangle anything asymmetrical that I don't hate. Not perfectly confident in my abilities there, but...)