Saturday, 15 July 2017

Stays with nobody to wear them

Hello! It has been far too long since I've posted, but I have been very busy up until last week. More on that in my next post.
Another Unfinished Thing has been removed from the pile!
 I started these vaguely mid- 18th century stays more than 2 years ago. They were supposed to be my final project for the corseting class in second year fashion, but I didn't finish them in time.
I based my pattern on this pair from The Met, but it didn't turn out quite the same. I definitely made a few foolish mistakes, including somehow putting the straps on the wrong sides, so they point more inwards instead of outwards.
 It's made of two layers of cotton canvas with steel boning in between. The outside fabric is a mottled grey quilting cotton. As this was a school project, I wasn't too concerned with historical accuracy.
The bulky and annoying seam allowances, all graded and tacked open.
I stuck a plain black cotton lining in and bound the edges in silvery grey silk bias strips.
  It was a pain to do all those tabs, but with pliers to help I eventually got it done.
 Somewhere in the construction I slightly screwed up the alignment of the pieces, and sadly didn't notice until all the binding was done. The bases of the tabs do not form a nice smooth semi-circle, alas!
I stuck that godet in too low. Or perhaps didn't cut the tabs high enough.
 I used the grommet machine at school to do the eyelets, and they were done! I haven't tried them on a real human yet, but I got some photos of them on one of the school dressforms.

Sadly, they stays are a bit too big for her, and the foam is so firm it didn't compress well at all.
 I also need to get some proper lacing for them. They need so much that none of my nicer cord bits were long enough, and I had to use polyester ribbon.
 They were originally fitted to me, but I'm not sure they'd fit me well now. And even if they did I'd have no cause to wear them, but hopefully someday I'll get a real human of the right size to model them for some better pictures!

Good riddance to one more Unfinished Thing!

Friday, 2 June 2017

Nightgown alteration + hem monsters

I altered a nightgown recently! (Edit: it was recently completed when I started this post, but it's been sitting in my drafts for a while now. I also have a pair of stays I finished last month and have yet to blog about...)
It's one of those old fashioned fine cotton ones with very long pintucks.

It had these stupid 3/4 length sleeves with button cuffs on them. What's the point of cuffs there?? They were way too short to reach my wrist, and so tiny that buttoning them around my arm was impossible.

Bad and foolish sleeves, so I cut them off. I turned one of them into bias binding for the armholes, and the other I used as a collar ruffle. I was very indecisive about the collar, but eventually went with a stand collar and put a ruffle along the top. There wasn't quite enough sleeve material for the collar itself, so I used a different scrap of white cotton.


I wanted to put monsters all around the hem, just because.
 I drew a bunch of them in my sketchbook and used the ones I liked best on the nightgown.

I did some practice monsters on a scrap of sleeve. (Which turned out blurry after steaming because I didn't rinse it in dye set solution.)
I drew out my monsters all around the hem with a fabric marker, which I got recently and I like very much! It's the sort that disappears when you put water on it.
In the textiles studio we use these delightful little pointy tipped squeezy bottles for drawing with resist on silk scarves, and I used my finest tipped one to draw my monsters on with black dye paste. (Which is a thing we mix up in the textiles studio, and I shan't get into the particulars of it now)
Always, always wear gloves when working with PRO MX fiber reactive dyes.
My monsters turned out so nice! With proper setting and washing they didn't blur at all.

And here are some detail shots of them.

This one is my favorite:
I have decided that her name is Elyse, and have drawn a few more pictures of her.
She enjoys rollerskating, gardening, and is working on her masters degree in architecture.
And she does have a lower jaw, it's just very thin.
Here's the nightgown worn with the ruffly bed jacket, which goes very comfortably over sleeveless nightgowns.
(I know it's not a remotely masculine looking ensemble, but it's for at home, so who cares?)
I need to make more sleeveless nightgowns, so I can wear this jacket more. It's comfortable and I like it.
(Photo credit to Naxius)
I also made a dressing gown a few weeks ago, which is pretty simple so I'm sticking it onto the end of this post instead of doing a separate one.
Old gown on the left, new one on the right.
She had this other dressing gown that was very worn out, and I just made a copy of this. All the pieces are rectangles, except the main piece, which is a rectangle with a big slit halfway down it that's rounded at the end for the neck.
And here she is wearing it! Photo taken by my father.
It was supposed to be a mothers day present but it was a bit late.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Ruffled bed jacket

I made a short, ruffly jacket to wear over sleeveless nightgowns. I was inspired by the one from The Secret of Moonacre, which I think is very cute and just the right length to wear while sitting up in bed reading.
 The pattern was pretty simple. I traced the sleeve of my frock coat and the top part of a waistcoat pattern with the front edge trimmed down a bit.
This started out as just a test run of the pattern, but I decided to make it wearable. I will make another version soon, with a bit more ease added to the shoulders.
It's sewn up in a fine blue cotton stripe fabric, with a floral print lining.
For the ruffles I cut strips along the width of the fabric. The cuffs were half a width each, the bottom ruffle was 2 widths, and the front & neck hole ruffle was 3.
It's all machine sewn, except for the lining armholes.
Unfortunately, this is not my colour at all. It was waaaay too light and bright of a blue, and it looked terrible on me.
So I dyed it with 50/50 grey and teal, and now it's much better!
I suspect the lining may be a poly/cotton blend, because it didn't take the dye as well. But that's ok, it came out a nice grey.
The polyester thread I used is still bright blue, but it's not too noticeable.
Here I am wearing it over a shirt, which is a bit bulky and difficult to get into cotton lined sleeves. I'll wear it properly over a nightgown in a later post.

Oh! And here's something I forgot to mention in the "smallish things" post!
I did a trade with a friend at school who is in pottery. I printed 2 sad dinosaur shirts for Chase Benjamin Ceramics and he put a decal on a mug for me!
It's my own drawing, that I did specifically for this mug. I love my bird mug very much.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

A few smallish things

I haven't got any newly completed garments at the moment, but I have some other things that I haven't blogged about. A few days ago I finished this box. 

I started it a couple years ago in bookbinding class, and now I've finally gotten around to covering it and gluing it together. I think I had originally intended it to be a sewing box with a more elaborate interior, but I just wanted to get it off the Unfinished Things pile, so the inside is plain striped quilting cotton. The outside is covered in black cotton twill.
I didn't cut my pieces as accurately as I should have, but the lid fits pretty well.
Not sure what I'll use it for. It still could be a sewing box.
I made this green hat in felt class, shortly before I made my tricorn. I didn't make my pattern big enough so it came out really, really small, and barely fits this foam head.
I think it's still at school, and I don't have any use for it.
I carved a linoleum block a couple days ago! It was a commission for a heart & stroke event.
Speaking of commissions, two people are going to buy these shitty dinosaur prints from me, and I am amazed.
Two humans got me to print these and will pay me real actual money for them.

I posted about the fish I block printed, but I never posted this other block I did for class, so here are some pictures of it.
I did some prints on a piece of paper.
And some on fabric.
I haven't done anything with these 3 bits of cotton yet, but they were fun to print. Though I wish the edges hadn't printed darker than the middle of the block.
It's a half drop repeat, with swirliboops based on the ones I embroidered on my waistcoat.
I will hopefully have some finished sewing things soon!