viennabelle: (Default)
I did not take many photos this weekend. To be honest, it was by choice. Setting up good shots, lighting, etc. takes me out of the spirit of a time travel. It has really become work for me.  So, I brought my simple point & shoot, left my cat glasses in my purse and lapped up the glory and ambiance of the day with total abandon. It was splendid. However, I did take 4 photos (under the cut) which capture a bit of my enjoyment.
viennabelle: (Harem Girl)
I had a lovely time this weekend.

Yesterday, I had a minor epic, getting my wig ready for [personal profile] bauhausfrau's tea party.  I set it...and then realized my hair dryer disappeared!  After two hours of searching from both me & DH, we resigned ourselves that the painters who painted our bedrooms last week probably packed it somewhere we hadn't expected (we are finding things in really odd places). So, I ran down to Sally's, bought a new one and plopped it on the wig. Just then [personal profile] angldst arrived, soon followed by [profile] jehanni, ready to head off to the country. I tested a curl. Wet. So, I grabbed it, wig head and all, and threw it in the back of my car. We tooted off and headed to the country.  At arrival, I plugged it in and it hummed for an hour or so, then it was tea time. I started unwinding it...and the hair would not come off the curlers. Then I realized I failed to grab the bag with my brush and bobby pins. Egads...this looked horrible! But [personal profile] padawansguide lent me a few, I tore at the thing with a brush and made the best of what I had.

Oddly, the results were amazing (talk about big hair!) and I got to wear my new chemise dress, as this fetching butt shot (hat toss to [info]bauhausfrau) shows:

By the end of tea (with amazing food prepared by the other ladies present), I started having a bout of that midlife curse, vapors.  I was quite overcome with the heat, so while the others posed, I rested. I almost fell asleep on a pool chair situated perfectly to catch the mountain breezes. I was tired, but terribly comfortable and enormously happy in the company of the most amazing friends, new and old.  Soon we changed, I got into my bathers and ran right into the pool. It was heavenly--I floated in an innertube and waited for the rest of the ladies.  Loved it!

After the fabric swap (or should I say frenzy), I headed over to Bauhausfrau's father's cottage, where I would be spending the evening.  Her father is a special friend, so we visited, then I joined the ladies just in time to watch Marie Antoinette.  Thoroughly inspired, I joined Jehanni and we headed to the cottage to sleep.

Waking early, I realized that there was no reason to hurry, so I went back to sleep....and slept to 9:30! Then I joined Bauhausfrau's dad for tea and a leisurely talk about life, books and politics. So fun! Finally I joined those left at the house, at breakfast, packed the car and we came home.

There were folks who weren't there, but we thought of you and toasted you. It was a lovely day...perfect (well, except for styling my cursed wig).

It was a fantastic time...Thank you, ladies!
viennabelle: (Default)
I've been fighting a bug which has left me doing a lot of sleeping the past few days. The upside has been that I've got quite a few hours of work on the Chemise a la Reine.

I managed Thursday night to get the sleeve pattern to work. It took a combination of cutting it down the extra length from the top, reducing the depth of the sleeve cap (as Jehanni suggested) and finally cutting down the extra bulk from the sides. The cool thing:  I didn't need to get any more muslin!

I went ahead, cut four pieces of fabric and gathered it into one big tube. I measured and shortened it a few inches to compensate for the areas that would be gathered at the neck and the arm holes. Then I pinned it onto the toile, which has been placed inside out as a lining.

I tried it with and without the bumroll. It looks great when belted, but right now it doesn't look right with the bumroll, which seems kind of odd to me. Maybe when I get to the hem and try it on, I'll feel differently about it.

Right now, I'm playing around with the collar. I tried sewing lace onto two sides of a hemmed strip of voile, but it isn't hanging the way I want. I'm removing one of the pieces of lace and sewing it onto a piece of checked voile curtain that I had knocking around--it's got a nice texture that I hope will work.

Photos will come shortly. This project is going a whole lot faster than I'd expected, even with ripping out this collar. That's pretty cool! ;-)
viennabelle: (Sleepy)
So, the effort to start up a Chemise dress started serious this weekend, starting with draping a toile over my new stays on the dummy.

Part of my difficulty with this is that the upper chest on this dummy tends to expand significantly larger than my collarbone area does whenever I put stays or a corset on it. So, I figured the toile would be at best, a starting point. I took that off, recut it, pinned it and started fitting as best I could. Finally, DH assisted me with finalizing the fit on places I could not reach on the bodice. Considering that he had no concept of what I was trying to accomplish (other than "move that pin back, now up!") he was remarkable. He marked the seams with a sharpie, I copied it on to tracing paper, then used it to cut out another with seam allowances. That sewed up nicely.

So far, so good. Then came sleeves. 

Using my copier, I enlarged the 18th c. coat sleeve from Hunnisett.  A first try with a muslin showed it was too narrow for anything but a seriously skin tight fit. So, I redrafted and added 3/4" ease. I sewed it up, gathered the back of the sleeve...insufficiently...gathered the back more....insufficiently...

By the third time I got the sleeve sewn on. I tried the bodice on. I have way too much fabric in the back of this silly sleeve. It's now fitting too long--the elbow bend is halfway down my forearm. I think the armscye is slightly off, too.

At this point, I went at it with the seam ripper. Halfway through, I looked over at my stash.

I'm out of muslin. 

Odd thing...If I get this dang muslin to fit, I expect the rest should be fairly easy. Plus, I'll have a decent base pattern for other 18th c. efforts. But getting there is feeling mighty slow right now.

Time to go to sleep on this.
viennabelle: (Default)
This weekend I figure I have a full day of free time for sewing, albeit spaced around other responsibilities (like renewing my car registration, grocery shopping, some work activities, etc.).  I'm hoping I can really clear up some last UFOs. The delightful part--all of these are relatively close to finishing with minimal effort. So here is The Mission:
  • 18th c. stays: Sew up the front eyelets and figure out if there are final changes. This week, when I sewed the back eyelets, I tried it on with DH's assistance (he laced me in fairly loosely while I held the front together). My first impression was that the back holes are incorrectly placed in the pattern (ironic, since it took making my fourth set of stays from this pattern to realize that's why they are always crooked). I also get the impression that the back might be too high--something I can still alter. Getting binding on will take more time...that might not get done this weekend, but at least I can use the pair for fitting. I'll do a detailed post once I'm done.
  • Little jacket: some time ago, I got a pretty little jacket from the Silly Sisters. I want to refit its lacing to my new stays.
  • Bustle: I need to iron, sew up one last ruffle and stitch on a hook/eye closure. Then it's done!
  • Civil war corset: I have a corset that needs two seams and about 5" of hand sewing...and it's done. Ridiculous I never did it.
  • 18th c. Caracao: my final effort will be fixing the back pleat, which is a muddle mess. Should take a bit of ironing and a few minutes of hand sewing. I also may sew sleeve ruffles. I also have a decorative apron I want to cut and a belt to sew.
Finally, there are new projects, which are apart from The Mission. That would include testing out a new replacement bodice for my regency ballgown and getting things started on a new chemise gown. Finally, there's dreaming about what I'm going to do with this:



Dreamy, huh? Got it from a great vendor, Millhouse Silks...gorgeous, pure silk lampas at under $20/yard (if you use her, refer me, since she's offered me a discount if I get her new customers). I have 5 yards and I'm imagineering what to do with it. Half of me says go with a knock em dead Robe Francaise ballgown. Another side of me is inclined towards either a hunting or a pierrot outfit. Needless to say, I'm getting inspired but not making any decisions.

Finally, my ultimate wish item is the pink pirate. I'm still undecided there, too...

By the way, thanks to all who wrote or called about my cuts. The facial ones (thanks to copious application of antibiotic ointment) is almost healed. Pretty soon, I won't be looking like the walking wounded!

Ok, time to dry my hair, grab my sewing and head over to DMV. By the time my number comes up, I should be done with lots of sewing.

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viennabelle

March 2013

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