30 March, 2008

First debut of Rust Gown

So, Castleteer Event was last night! HUZZAH!

Great fun was had by all and my Rust Gown made it's debut. Now, there were some fitting issues, such as the bodice needs to be taken in an inch or so in the front, and through out the day, a couple of eyelets popped out of place, and several were very rough in the lacing process, however, in general the clothing worked out beautifully!!

Here are some shots of the gown in action!!






What do you think??

Character Sketches

I've got about a dozen characters that need garb, and I've recently drawn out some basic, pencil sketches for six of my characters, including one that I'm making for my darling Patrick.
Details of the drawings are listed below the pictures, giving more of a mental picture of the final product.

Aelyna "Grey Hawkes" Grey, First Mate of the Rusty Cutlass
Blue Velvet Irish Overdress with gold hasps
Light blue cotton underskirt
White linen chemise with belled sleeves and collar-bone height scoop neck
Blue snood with white pearls
Black boots

Captain Quincy Hawkes, Captain of the Rusty Cutlass
Blue Velvet frock coat, lined and trimmed with black damask
White linen shirt with ruffled cuffs and three-layer ruff at neck
Gold buttons on coat
Black leather gloves
Black Cavalier hat with blue feather
Hair pulled back into a ponytail
Black linen or cotton breeches with drawstring just below the knee
Black leather boots with fold just above Knee

Druidess Cyrwnn, Earth Spirit and Guardian of the Fairies
Natural shaded chemise, long, flat-edge wrists, scoop neck
Medium brown light wool Irish Overdress with dark brown lacing
Brown boots/sandals
Grey-green light wool cloak (Like LotR Elven cloaks) with muslin lining and wood hasp; deep cowl hood
Fits very loose, and very simple; no trim

Emerald Dancer, Irish Dancer
Black sheer chemise with ruff around neck
Black corset with black embroidery and emerald green lacing
Black topskirt gathered in draping tiers with emerald ribbon
Emerald green bottoms skirt with handkercheif hemline
Black low-cut heels over black leggings

Hussy Cara Greenleaf, Wench
Scarlet Bodice with purple lacing
Cream-colored chemise with off-shoulder collar, elastic in the neckline; sleeves falling to just under elbows
Scarlet bottom skirt
Blue Velvet top skirt, cut on angle, lowest point just below the knees
Brown Sword belt
Brown heeled boots
Brown Cavalier hat with purple feather

Lady Cara Dragonspyre, Lady Wife of Lord Dragonspyre
Black, round-neck chemise with purple beaded trim
Black bodice with purple design in center panel and black side lacing
Purple open sleeves with black lining in same fabric as bodice
Black top-skirt over hoop
Purple bottom skirt of same fabric as sleeves
Sheer blackish purple capelet attached to back straps of bodice
Sheer blackish purple draping over the black topskirt of hoop
Heeled black boots
Amethysts decorating hair

Silver Shadowe, Mercenary and Assassin
Black chemise with slight bell to sleeves, they will be close to skin, but not too tight
Black bodice with silver front lacing
Black overskirt with split front
Either Black with Silver pattern or Grey second skirt
Black boots
Black half gloves, covering back of hand but leaving fingers bare
Black cloak
Black sword belt
Hair uncovered and pulled into a low-braid at base of neck.

Rust Bodice

Ok, so the Rust Gown's bodice is done.

And I'm not dead.

Quite an accomplishment I must say.

I know I usually prattle on more about this, but I've got two posts to make tonight, and the pictures are pretty self explanatory. And I'm tired. I just got back from Castleteer, and I'm ready to go shower and go to sleep. So, as said before, with no more introduction or babbling:

Bodice Lining:

Bodice Front:

Bodice Strap detail:

Eyelet marks along the back:

24 March, 2008

Rust Gown II

Ok, so I went to Mother's this Saturday past to work on the gown with the assistance of her sewing machine. Much progress was made!

I successfully finished the corset. It is done. The beast is finished! A total of 30 man-hours were spent stitching the bloody thing, and the thing isn't even the very best it could be. But oh well. The next one I make will be better. However, for a first attempt I'm quite proud. The final product is only three layers thick: One layer of duck cloth and layer of cotton with cable ties as the bones. A second layer of cotton was laid over the duck cloth's facing side, giving the finished, smooth front.

The eyelets are (I believe) aluminum or a steel/aluminum mix.
Photobucket Photobucket


I'm quite proud of myself. All by hand too. Owie.

With Mother's assistance, and the sewing machine, the skirts are done as well. Both of the skirts were nearly done when I got there Saturday morning, but the edges were unfinished, and I got some help there. Mother also helped with the laying of the top skirt and the hemming of both.

This picture is of the stitched topskirt over the finished bottom skirt. We were trying to make sure that the split fell right, and some darts needed to be removed. (My hands are over the waist because the hasps weren't on yet. I still had to hold it up.)


This shot is after the darts were removed, the edges finished and the hasps put on.


This is a close-up of the hasps, though I'm not sure if they are H/A or not, they will be covered by the bodice, so I'm not too worried, but they look pretty! (Sorry, the picture's a little blurry)



Now all that's left to finish is the chemise and the bodice!

Mother is actually helping me quite a bit with the chemise, doing most of the actual machine work. I cut and pinned all of it from lovely handkerchief weight muslin, very light and soft, but because I was so behind on the corset, she volunteered to do the machine work on that. Very nice of her.
It's actually almost done:



And now it's on to the evil little demon that is my bodice. At this writing, I've drafted the pattern, and started stitching the first layer onto the core of duck cloth. No pictures yet, but I'm getting there, and I'm considering having the straps be laced on, rather than attached, but I'm not sure yet. As it's drafted, they're attached, but that could always change.

Wish me luck. My deadline says I should be done with the beast by Friday night. Heh. Like I said, wish me luck. Pictures will be posted when it's done, and when I'm at the event where it gets it's test run, at which point, I'll be going over just what flaws cropped up.

21 March, 2008

Rust Gown I

Ok, So here's the first installment in my dress journal.

This particular dress is going to be used for a couple of different noble characters:
Historical: Dona Mencia de Mendoza
Faire: Lady Cara de Valencia

I also may use this gown for my "Noble Con" Character.

These first pictures are from my first attempt at an historically accurate (H/A) Elizabethan Corset. I used duck cloth as my stiff inner layer instead of canvas, as the only canvas that the store had was "artist's canvas". Didn't feel like pulling it off of a board. So duck cloth worked and I used old bedsheets as the lining. I'm still debating what to cover it with, but seeing as it's going to be mainly used as underpinnings, I may just double the lining fabric and be done with it. I'm going to attmept a better one in the near future, but first I must invest in a sewing machine.

Oh, yeah. I don't have a sewing machine. Every stitch you see on this page was done by hand. This weekend I will be able to have access to a sewing machine for a day, so I will be making the chemise, finishing the skirts and hopefully making a bodice with that so that I don't go crazy with sleep deprivation before next Saturday, which is when this entire gown needs to be done.

Anywhoo. This is the picture of the channel lines drawn on the duck cloth.


This next picture is after the channels were stitched and the cable ties that I used as bones were inserted, but not trimmed down.


This is the center panel of the corset, all boned and final stitching done along top and bottom.


And the most gratifying picture I've ever taken. This is the finished core of the corset, taken after countless hours and bloody fingertips. I'm actually quite impressed, as it was the first time I'd ever attmepted anything of this scale or difficulty, especially since I had to draft the pattern myself and had never done that before this project.


(the reason the left side looks unstitched and some of the lines look "undone" is because I ran out of my black thread and the store only had "natural" left in the particular thread weight I was using)

*le sigh*

So that's the corset. Next are the much easier, but still as mentally challenging, skirts. I decided on making two skirts, a bottom skirt with a pattern stitched on and a top skirt that has a split. I started making another dress off of a pattern from McCall's and quickly found that the size 6 for that particular skirt actually translates to about a size 12 by store standards. So it doesn't fit. So I took a skirt that fits perfectly and lays right over the hoop I have and used that as my pattern. It worked! :D That was a gratifying find.

I don't actually have a picture of just the plain bottom skirt, but I have a picture of the reveal pattern pinned on, then trimmed and stitched. You can see the bottom skirt color (a nice, naturaly shaded cream) at the corners when the skirt is laid flat.

Pattern pinned:

Pattern trimmed and stitched:

Pattern detail:

The fabric I used for the pattern is actually about a yard and a half of drapery fabric. I fell in love with the pattern and the color, so built a dress around it. I've found that that is a very fun way of starting a dress, and the drapery fabric is so much more durable and heavy, it really gives that period weight, without the heat, it's actually kind of thinly woven, so it breathes beautifully.

This next shot is the bottom skirt laid over the fabric for the top skirt (which is only pinned at this point. After I work at mother's tomorrow, I will post the pictures of everything else, including the top-skirt finished). I realy like the way the colors compliment each other. I'm going to trim all of this in a rich chocolate brown to really pull all the shades together, and wear brown boots, not that it matters, but I'm a stickler for everything matching.


That's all that I have done and photographed right now, but stay tuned and next Monday more updates will be posted!

Oh, and what would a sewing project be without helpers??



18 March, 2008

Not a blog, a project journal

This is not a blog. There. I said it.

I'm using this space as a dress and chain journal. Here I will be posting project ideas, from design to finished, and will be updating as I work on new projects. Huzzah!

Also, will be posting Faire news as it relates to myself, my characters and my business.

If I get bored, this will also be a place for me to build up characters and work on backstories with feedback as an option.

Here we go!