Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How to size up a pattern using photoshop

Because I had a lot of trouble figuring out how to do this.  And drawing it out by hand can be a drag with all of those squares and boxes and arbitrary lines, especially if one pattern piece is smaller and very complicated as to curves and darts.  So without further ado, here's a poorly explained tutorial about sizing up little patterns to scale!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Douglas Day, version 2

Don't worry, friends, I am still alive! And sewing!  I've mostly been working on my new CW camp dress made of wonderfully garish print, but I want that to be a surprise for when it's finished. c:  I've just been mending and retrimming my old stuff.
But I did take advantage of the last halcyon days of summer and youth to drag friends out to the Douglas tomb (right in our town) and have a picnic and roll around and whatnot.  It was a chiefly amusing day!
As if you all didn't think that I was Douglas crazy enough.
 The artifice itself is actually Douglas' tomb.  It was started in '61 and finished around 1888 (due to cost difficulties.)  It stood on the land where he had intended to build his grand Chicago estate, Oakenwald.  Never did get around to it (thanks to typhoid and a history of alcoholism....)

It has all sorts of cool reliefs carved around it depicting scenes relevant to the early American experience!
I left a few flowers in front of his tomb.
                                               We also had a lot of fun with the statues!

Our very pc picnic bench
 We set up in the lovely park around the memorial itself and ate little cookies and cucumber sandwiches and drank lots of bubbly!
 The caretakers came up to us and complemented us on our outfits.  Apparently they have period events around there and once or twice a year they have a Douglas reenactor!  And I've been missing out on 7 whole years of going to see a punk rock' Stephen Dougas! But they promised to contact me and send me info and were generally very kind.
 Anne came, as well!  It was awfully nice to see her.
I never got around to showing off the finished bonnet I was making for C for APortfolio, so here it is, beautifully modeled by the owner herself.
 And we got a little jumpy by the end of the day, and what better way to honor an energetic woman-loving man than by flashing our drawers all about?  (and nobody told me my hair was falling out! :c )

It only goes to show: if there aren't any events around, make one yourself!!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Julia Tyler in Night Vale

I suppose my interest in accurate sewing has reached a point where if something was made before 1855 or so I feel the deep, burning need to sew it by hand.  Remind me never to do that for a ballgown again, though.
So last year on a spring break college tour I found a fabric store in Providence, RI, and I found some 60" silk duchess satin for $10 a yard, so I snatched up the last of the bolt because it screamed '1840s' to me.  And now I have finally done something with it!  Hurrah for stash taming!
 I used several different inspiration pictures.  I meant for this dress to be exceedingly spartan, but I ended up with lots of lace and ribbons and a bertha.

Yaaaay summertime in Chicago!
"I swear, even though Senator Douglas was only THIS tall, he was still cute as a button!"

The back didn't fit me so well, and the whole thing could stand to be taken in an inch or so and it doesn't make my waist look very small at all (oh well.)  Despite that, I feel really rad in it!  The light really makes it shimmer and glow.

Obligatory harp picture
My preeeeciousssss
This was the dress of many design flaws... It was originally supposed to have intricate pleating at the front but I wussed out and made it up as a plain bodice.  I should have made a center front seam so I could have boned the point and taken care of some of the front wrinkles.  The armscythe fits really strangely, but the bertha covers it up wonderfully!  Also, one side of the skirt is fuller than the other because I tied off my gathering stitch too quickly.  My bad..

 The skirt was cartridge pleated and both the neck and waist piped (I tried to doble pipe the waist and failed amusingly)
Boning in the dart

 The bertha was only attached at the shoulders and pinned to the center front for easy future removal.
The bertha was made by stitching bias strips to a plain cotton base.

(About the name - I did most of the work on this dress while listening to Welcome to Night Vale, a really weird and excellent podcast.  Go listen!  All hail the glow cloud!)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A quick poll

(Which will probably be deleted in several days time, but I have a desperate need for opinions!)
So at the moment my 1840s bodice looks like this, but without the sleeves:
From Antiquedress.com
 What initially drew me to this style of dress was the brutal simplicity of the style that let the fabric quality shine; no silly doodads or lacey bits, just immaculate fit and quality fabric.
But I still have at least a yard of fabric left after making up the skirt, and I'm starting to think that I might like to put a pleated bertha on as well.
Something like this
Do you like it plain better? Or with a low bertha (like the one in Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion?)  I don't think a detachable one will work, as in the 40s it would have been sewn into the sleeve seam.