Tuesday, September 30, 2014

No Historical Sew Fortnightly

I had plans, I found a poem, I was going to make something. But the deadline for the Victorian Femme Supernatural Cosplay is coming up, and with tickets bought, hotel booked, and a week and a half long vacation in the middle I knew I have to get to work.

Castiel's bodice is practically done, I just need her to try it on to see if the bones I put in are good, and finish boning it. Seriously. The closures are done, a pocket was added, it's close. Until that fitting happens, I've been working on her capelet.
This is one half of the back, smocked into a wing. The right side will be the center back seam, and there will be another wing. The capelet will wrap around her shoulders to the front and button on under the collar. It may be done tomorrow; I finished the first piece today even though I didn't start on it until 2pm.

I will also be writing up a post of How I Did It, by Victor Frankenstein.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Bodices of friendship

Crowley was down for a recent visit, so I had her try on all of her clothes so I could figure out hemming lengths and button placement and so forth. I also threw my bodice mock-up on her as well, because despite being significantly shorter we have nearly identical measurements. I was able to pin it, mark it, and notate it enough that I'll be able to make her bodice without making another mock-up. In fact, if I'm lucky I'll be able to make all five bodices with only six mock-ups. It took two for me, and I was able to use the revised version to fit Crowley. It took two for Cas, and her bodice is nearly finished. I'll likely need two for Samifer, but I may be able to use the best fit one to figure out Gabriel as she has similar measurements. Even if I need seven mock-ups total, I'll still consider that a win. And now, photos:
Cas in her walking skirt, the day I did the mock-ups for her bodice. Also: eyebrow. Also also: you can see her toesies.
My cat, 'helping' me sew.
Crowley, now with added butt.
Next was the petticoat.
Crowley skirt front
And side. Her boyfriend was surprised at shelf-butt, and tested to see if you can rest a drink on it. Result: you can. If drink had not been a lidded cup of water, added result would have been dead boyfriend.
I went on a trail ride with Cas, Crowley, and Samifer (who owns a trail riding business) on Sunday. This is Athena (left) and Remi (right) flirting.
Stay tuned for pictures of Castiel's bodice, the panicked realization that I only have about a month left until my deadline, and photos of my upcoming trip to Idaho where I will bring lots of things to work on and then spend most of my time drinking and fishing.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Historical Sew Fortnightly #17 Yellow

So I've had this challenge finished for the last couple of days, but I've too lazy too write up the post.

For the tutorial of how I made my Regency turban, click here.

I didn't want to go full yellow on this, but with a yellow plaid band, yellow trim and cording, and yellow tassels, this turban would be boring without. It was difficult to find a way to make yellow work since I tend to avoid it, but I'm happy with my finished project and may end up doing a matching burgundy and yellow pelisse one day.

The Challenge: #17 Yellow

Fabric: Half a yard of burgundy linen, a strip of yellow plaid cotton, and some cotton muslin to line it.

Pattern: Based off of this tutorial from Festive Attyre and this method for making the roll.

Year:1810ish, I didn't really try for a specific year

Notions: Cotton, silk, and polyester thread, brown and yellow polyester trim and cording, two tassels, brown poly-cotton piping, about 180 fake pearls, one paper fedora, polyester ribbon, cotton batting, one metal and one plastic button.

How historically accurate is it? Most of the trims are polyester and I didn't copy a design specifically, but the fabric is okay for the period and I pulled elements directly from fashion plates, not to mention the whole thing is handsewn, so maybe 50-60%?

Hours to complete: 15ish?

First worn: Not yet

Total cost: The linen was $4, the muslin a leftover, hat was $1, plaid was $2.50 a yard, trims were mostly dollar packs but the pearls were $4 a pack so let's say $25 abouts.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

How to Make a Regency Turban

So I said I was going to make a tutorial, and so I am.

My Regency turban was made for the Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge: Yellow.

I had issues with this challenge, because like many I don't really like yellow. But I do like plaid, so when I found a not horrible yellow plaid, I figured a turban would build my wardrobe, not take too long, and be something I could actually wear.
Not horrible yellow
 So I spent a little time on Pinterest looking at fashion plates and existents, and found that plaid turbans were a thing.
Found on Historical Sewing
This one was probably the best, but it's obviously a wrap turban and would be hard to do as a solid cap.
Ekaterina Karamzina Benner, by Jean Henri Benner
This one isn't bad, but it's a very different kind of plaid.
American Evening Turban, 1823, cotton. MET
This seemed like an okay idea, until I saw the back.

I tried playing around with my fabric to find a way that would work for me, and I couldn't. The plaid was too loud with nothing to offset it. I continued searching, hoping to find something that would allow me to make a yellow plaid turban, when I discovered this:
Yellow jacket and bag, accented with red. A yellow turban might be out, but a red one, with yellow accents? That's more my style.
The turban on the left in the upper picture and top center in the lower picture served as my main inspiration pieces, and I got to work.

I had a half yard of 54 inch wide burgundy linen to serve as the body of the turban cap. At first I played around with a fully fabric cap,
but realized I was going to need some kind of structure. Dollar Store fedora to the rescue!
I cut off the brim and covered the edge and base with a three inch wide strip of linen. The linen was sewn to the inside, even with the edge, folded over to the outside, and tacked down with running stitches. I also cut off the top to make more room for my dreads. That edge was covered with ribbon, folded over the edge and hand sewn.

Dread space
A circle as wide as the fabric would allow was cut and unevenly gathered onto the cap.
Don't look at the camera. Look anywhere but the camera.
The circle was stitched down unevenly, so it would meet the band edge at the top, but come down to the wearing edge at the bottom.

Next came the plaid bit. I had some cotton quilt batting on hand, so I rolled up a log of it about 2 inches in diameter and long enough to fit around the cap.
Loosely rolled batting
This was stitched together to prevent it from unrolling.
A bias strip of plaid wide enough to go around the log (plus seam allowances) and long enough to cover it with overhang was cut, folded in half lengthwise, and stitched.
Looking closely you can see little hand stitches along the top edge.
This was turned rightside-out

the batting attached to a large safety pin for ease

and inserted into the plaid tube

I played around with trims for a while, and finally settled on a brown trim topped with some yellow soutache-like cord.
The trim was pulled tight to cause the plaid tube to puff out in-between, but to avoid looking overly structured it was only stitched together where it met the seam. If you look closely you can see the ends of the white thread where the trim is attached at the seam.

Then some burgundy tassel trim was added where the crown met the brim
and was then completely hidden by the plaid.
I wanted it to peek out like this, but I didn't secure the roll far enough back so the tassel trim became completely hidden. Oh well.
The tube was stitched to hide the seam line all the way around and through all layers.
Trying to let the tassel trim show
There was a casualty.
My needle literally snapped between my fingers as I was trying to maneuver it.
Decorative roll secured, I cut the rest of the linen into 5 inch wide strips
stitching them together into one long tube (so I didn't have to worry about hiding the raw edges), and began playing around.
The bottom of the plaid strip where it extended past the batting was gently knotted, stitched to secure it, and the ends were hemmed. I wanted to have them hang down my back with tassels on the very ends for extra flair.
I still had some of the yellow soutache left, along with some brown cording that matched the trim wrapped around the plaid roll. After a lot of playing around

I finally decided on folding the linen tube in half and braiding it with the two cords. That was tacked on repeatedly until I was happy with the style.

Sorry the pictures are all over, I'm not good at this.

The braid had its center point tacked over the plaid roll, with each end wrapping under the fabric at the back of the head and the ends over each other just behind the plaid roll. This was stitched down here and there, wherever I thought it was necessary (generally wherever I had pinned it during the trying on stage).
Sewing in progress
And stitches nicely hidden. The braid is only stitched to the fabric, not to the structure underneath, to keep it relaxed looking.
The ends of the braid, stitched down on top of one another.
 The extra fabric at the very back
was simply folded over and stitched at the tip.
Please ignore the box of Cheez-its and the raccoon piggy back in the background.

After this more trim was acquired, this time an inch wide yellow upholstery trim. This stitched onto the brim.
And around the point in the back, hiding the cut edges under folds of fabric to make it look continuous.
Next was tassels. The ones I bought were attached to a cord, so first they were freed.
The ends were knotted, the tips of the plaid roll were folded around it, and it was stitched together.

Blurry stitching photo, but you get the idea. The knot gives a nice secure point to stitch around, so I don't have to worry about the cord unravelling.

Brown piping was added around the brim edge, stitched carefully to prevent the thread from showing on the right side.
And pearls were added. Lots of faux pearls.
The strands sink into the cap, to give the appearance of wrapping.
Now I just needed something to cover the point of the pearls, and the ends of the braid. After hating everything I had in my jewelry jar, I eventually some winners in my button bin. A metal crescent moon button (the only one I own) was prefect for the top point, and a different button worked to cover the braid ends.
I think maybe the moon should be pointing the other direction, but I'm too lazy to change it.
And the finished project:

And I can shove the dreads in, though the cap looks a little weird when I do.

Though not weirder than period caps, so I think it works. The only extra not pictured is the strip of muslin hemmed and stitched to the inside to hide stitches and the bits.

I didn't really use a pattern for this cap, and I'm not certain of the period accuracy, but it hides my anachronistic hair and I'm happy with it.

For other tutorials that I used to help me (and that you may want to refer to if I was unclear) Festive Attyre did an excellent post on making hers, and Lynn McMasters has a guide to making the padded roll on the turban.

So there you go, a brick of text and photos. Hope it's helpful!