Monday, December 30, 2013

A Year in Costuming Review

A number of blogs I follow are doing a list of projects the ladies had completed during the year, and I thought what a great idea! I feel bad that I didn't make so many things this year, so I am inspired to do better next year! (Especially since I found a list of projects I wanted to complete a couple of years and I did do most of them.) I have set myself a very lofty goal of actually finishing the HSF on time, as well as all of my missed challenges from this year, AND at least one, hopefully two, new cosplay(s).

Here's what I completed this year:

Mei-rin cosplay
Photo by B.M.
 photo 159eb534-9310-4010-962c-8ffd6ce2eccd_zpsc604b46b.jpg

Gothic Lolita petticoat
 photo IMG_4429_zps62cc91f9.jpg

Two Regency gowns (the green one had its first outing as a belly-dance cover-up lol)
 photo IMG_4490_zps023ace28.jpg  photo IMG_4492_zps3df8c686.jpg

Six cosplay (commission)
Photo by Unknown
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Pin-striped early 1880s riding habit
Photo by H.S.
Photo by H. Schroeder photo 1081851_10200686181975433_568424258_n_zps34822181.jpg

Timeless-inspired gown
 photo IMG_4546_zps2e10da35.jpg

Jedi outfit / Melisandre cosplay / Snow White costume (commission) (No photos)

1750s stays

Toothless amigurumi

Crocodile stitch hood

And that's it... Kind of disappointed in myself. I know I was shuffling a lot of blame onto my retail job, with the variation in hours not giving me as much free time as I thought I needed to make things, but I really think I just wasn't dedicated enough to spend that precious free time working on things.

Next year :) Things WILL be accomplished. Oh yes.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

HSF #3: Under It All: A 1750-ish Stay

The Challenge: HSF #3: Under It All
Fabric: quilting cotton, cotton twill
Pattern: Reconstructing History 833 1740s-90s Stays, "red" view.
Year: 1750ish
Notions: vintage poly bias tape (from stash, given to me by my gramma), 11 heavy duty cable ties, ribbon
How historically accurate is it?: Perhaps 40% or so. Modern materials and machine stitching abound, but the bias tape is entirely hand-applied and the eyelets were all done by hand.
Hours to complete: I lost count. If I had to guess, around 20 hours?
First worn: For pictures only.
Total cost: Perhaps $30, max. Most of the items came from my stash, and the cable ties were purchased specifically to try out as alternative boning.

Shown here over an Elizabethan shift, I'm quite pleased that it's finished, even 10 months late :D Insert all the excuses not to work on it, up to and including moving and writing a novel in November. Then I debated for a time on whether or not I wanted to do hand eyelets or use two-part grommets, and finally decided that while grommets would undoubtedly be easier, it wouldn't be "correct" and darn it, if I was already putting all this effort into it, I might as well go the extra steps and do them by hand.

I initally started out with 5 eyelets on each side of the back and was thrilled that I even got to try it on properly for the first time. I decided it needed more eyelets in the back, but to work with the holes I'd already made, I needed to add 7 more per side. I sat down Saturday evening with a good show (Spartacus) and before I knew it, I'd done 10 eyelets in three hours.

Sunday afternoon I was fighting the urge to start a new project when all I had left to do was reinforce the straps, shorten and narrow them, finish the top binding and put eyelets on the straps and it would be done. So I watched a few more movies and made myself do it and I'm so glad I did, since I can now check this off my to-do list :) And start on the garments that go with it! It's been a year since I decided to finally venture into the 18th century, and now with a proper stay, I can start to build a wardrobe.

I'm not wholly sure on the fit, as this era is totally new to me. I'm reluctant to opine on how it fits around my back as I took a bad fall on the ice the other day (I bite my thumb at you, winter and freezing rain!) and really need to see my chiropractor. It's rather conical in shape, giving me a three-inch difference between bust and waist. My tummy resists shaping in any shaper I try to put it in, so it sticks out underneath the stomacher and pushes the bottom of it forward. I'm hoping this will even out visually in the full kit.

Since I've spent nearly half of the day hand-sewing and I finished a project, time to celebrate with a cup of tea :3

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The HSF: Planning for the Future

This year was a total write-off for me in terms of the Historical Sew Fortnightly. I failed miserably at completing each challenge on time. I still intend to finish each challenge in the spirit of it, if not the law. I probably will not complete another challenge this year. When I started writing this post in October, I was becoming rather overwhelmingly busy. I needed to move at the end of the month (I ended up moving on November 2), NaNoWriMo starts on November 1st of which I am one of the people that coordinates events for my region, and then, when I started writing the post, I was working in a retail store. I usually go straight from the craziness of novel-writing straight into holiday shopping. But I decided mid-October to search for a new job. I do not recommend moving, novel-writing, AND job-hunting all at the same time. It does not make for a happy frame of mind.

But I persevered :) My move went very well even though it made me realize that I have too much stuff. Novel writing eventually came together, though it was just past midway when I decided I hated my novel and I wasn't going to write it anymore and then had to switch to a new novel and write 37k words in under 2 weeks. My new job involves covering the reception desk for a couple hours a day, and while I have a project to work on when not there, I can't do it at the front. So I've been spending a lot of time looking at costume blogs and planning future projects :)

I've decided to participate in the Historical Sew Fortnightly 2014! And at the same time finish all of the 2013 challenges too! Hooray!

Since I am still trying to organize my apartment (I moved from a 3-floor, 2-bed townhouse into a 450 sq ft apartment), it's mostly all in the planning stages right now. I've been taking Leimomi's advice and trying to plan ahead so I can be better prepared for actually finishing this year :)

I am thinking about what I want to do for all of the challenges. So, here is a run-down.

#2: UFO
#6: Stripes
#10: Literature

#1: 'Centennial: 1913ish Stays (based on Festive Attyre's pattern)
#3: Under It All: Finish the 1770s stays I started in January.
#4: Embellish: Blackwork embroidery on an Elizabethan shift.
#5: Peasants & Pioneers: Hadn't totally decided yet. Either a Flemish ensemble or a dress inspired by Sienna Guillory's in Gunless.
#7: Accessorize: Finish the Victorian Bonnet I started in July.
#8: By The Sea: I was gonna do a cute Victorian seaside outfit, then I was going to make a Hogwarts-themed Victorian bathing costume, or perhaps a SWEET nautical-themed dress from Voice of Fashion.
#9: Flora & Fauna:
#11: Squares, Rectangles & Triangles: Probably a petticoat, unsure on century.
#12: Pretty Pretty Princess: I haven't quite decided yet. This one was due a day after the one-year anniversary of a beloved friend's death, and we had a "princess boot camp" with some other friends for the express purpose of dressing up. I need a bit more time to think on it and get the inspiration right.
#13: Lace and Lacing:
#14: Eastern Influence:
#15: White: A Regency gown made from the Folkwear pattern.
#16: Separates: A Victorian bodice to go with one of my many skirts.
#17: Robes and Robings: There is a lovely early 1900s "kimono" pattern I have that I'd like to try.
#18: Re-make, Re-use & Re-fashion: Turning an old 1980s costume Victorian gown into something lovely, likely an Edwardian gown.
#19: Wood, Metal, Bone:
#20: Outerwear: I think I will do a Victorian coat..? I don't wear most of my outfits in winter cuz it's just too cold without a coat, and I do not have a coat that will fit. I should start this soon, it's full-on winter here!
#21: Green: Linen 1770s gown.
#22: Masquerade:
#23: Generosity & Gratitude: A 1770s gown with major props to Katherine C.G.
#24: Re-do: A chance to re-do a challenge! Maybe "Under it All" with panniers or a bum pad.
#25: One-yard:
#26: Celebrate:


#1: Make do and Mend:
#2: Innovation: a new corset for myself.
#3: Under it All:
#4: Pink!:
#5: Bodice: A cream-coloured Victorian ballgown bodice to go with skirts I already have.

Road to Costume College 2018

Gosh, where did the first half of the year go? (I know where, winter was unusually long and dark and cold, and it's effect lasted longer...