Saturday, August 15, 2015

Sneak Attack

I just had an idea for a costume sideline me so hard I think it did sneak attack damage.

I was at work, minding my own business, doing my job, when I realized the previously empty Halloween party grid now had things on it. There had been talk of a zombie party at my house, so I went to investigate the new things. I was walking around it, taking it in, when I spotted this:
A Halloween stamp of a lady's skeleton, wearing a spectacular bustle dress with ruffles, and a train, and fringe. And all of a sudden, I knew what I wanted to wear for Halloween (Michaels allows employees to dress up, so I can wear it to work). The main points of the dress, if you can't see the details, is a black bodice with fringe along the bottom edge, pointed in the front but reasonably short in the back. There is the implication of a jabot at the neck. The skirt front has five rows of triple pleated contrast fabric with fringe (or possibly pleats) along the bottom. The bottom most row also has a ruffle. There is a patterned panel (brocade? beaded?) that appears to be piped that separates the front from the back. The skirt back appears to be a darker fabric, with a double ruffle that forms the train. The back is mostly hidden by a large, sweeping overskirt that comes all the way down the top ruffle and is edged in fringe.

I spent the rest of the day thinking about the dress, and didn't I have some black brocade left over from a previous project, and also didn't I buy a ton of soft gold fringe trim for a steal? After investigating the sewing closet, I came back with this:
The red is shot with black polyester that has alternating rows of black lace and a short self ruffle. The black is cotton sateen and may be enough for a bodice, hopefully (it was from JoAnns, and I may need to buy more). The gold fringe is about 12 or 13 yards, bought for the amazing price of 50 cents a yard. And the brocade:
Black on black, with some shine. I am planning on making the underskirt red, with black contrast. I would prefer fringe on the front, assuming there's enough. Failing that I'll do pleats. The brocade will be the piped panels, and may also be the overskirt if I like the look. The jabot will be a red silk I have a remnant of that will match the skirt, and I'll also add some to the cuffs to pull the look together. The second ruffle on the bottom of the back will be left off because there's no way I can have a train that long, but I think I may add buttons or ties so I can add one later.

I can use my combination, corset, and bustle that I already have made, but I'll need a second petticoat for that much skirt. I'm also thinking a bustle pad, just to give me some extra oomph. And before you ask, last year I wore my Dean Winchester bustle outfit for an eight hour shift, and did just fine with it.

More on this crazy scheme, as it develops.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Bag of Happiness

In a previous post I alluded to a bag of vintage sewing supplies I found. I figured it was finally time to show off what I got.

Couple of months ago I went up to Ojai to visit the farmers market. My favorite coffee is a local roast, which I've only found for sale at a Cajun restaurant and the farmers market. After some shopping, I was trying to kill time before another store I wanted visit opened, and I discovered I was lucky enough to be there while the monthly peddlers fair was occurring. After wondering the tables, I found one selling some crocheted lace. There was at least a yard of each, so I bought a few.

This one is actually two pieces, each one over 18 inches long
Then there's this lovely edging
This piece isn't crocheted, but it's nice and will add some pop to a costume one day
Most of the lace was rolled into little cakes, and safety pinned together, with some mother of pearl buttons threaded onto the pins to prevent them from damaging the lace. So on top of the lace, I also got 6 buttons.

After that first find I decided to really explore that table, and found a ziplock bag with some fabric and other sewing stuff in it, so I grabbed that. After buying it I was able to discover all it held.
There were three pieces of fabric. The brown floral and the white with periods and commas are both fat quarters. You'll recognize the brown floral from my 18th century housewife. The piece to the right with the tea and croissant is not much bigger than shown, and I'm thinking it will be a steampunk bag (to hold tea supplies, of course).
 There's some blue and purple floral trim, a long, triangular piece of cut lace, a ton of hooks and loops or bars, and some packs of pins and needles. There's also buttons, plastic and mother of pearl, and some flower appliques.
Here's more buttons, a bunch of snaps (various sizes), three zippers, and a spool of gold and red trim. That plastic container in the upper right is full of tiny buttons.
Check out this button. It's hard to photograph, but its lavender with a pearlescent shine that makes it look light blue.
Now my favorite part. Besides the beeswax and piece of elastic, there is a whole lot of cotton bias tape and rayon seam binding. There's also a pack of nylon stretch lace seam binding. Some of the packs have been used, but some are completely unopened. There's also some iron-on patches.
The bag was $10, and the lace was $3 each, but I was able to get the lot for just $15. An awesome find, one I'm really happy with. I almost made it out with just this, but then I found some pins and had to get one.
This guy is about 4 inches long and only cost me $1. I've been trying to go back, but I've been working the Sunday of the peddlers fair every month. Hopefully this month, cross my fingers.