Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fabric balance sheet 7/2012

I have been a bit better in the sewing department and realised that I took a full crush on historical(ly inspired) sewing. Which is good since most of the robes need a lot of fabric and the use of unmatched and scrap lining is widely known!

  • 4m taffeta
  • 5m baroque printed taffeta
  • 1m purple lace
total damage: 10 m fabric

Outgoing (only counting finished projects):
  • 3m cotton for regency dress
  • 3m cotton for petticoat, stays, bonnet and reticule
  • 1m jersey for a shirt
  • 1.5m for Capri pants 
to the rescue: 8.5m fabric

10m - 8.5m = 1.5 m fabric added to my stash this month

Well, this month the fabric gods smiled at me and I bought some fabrics on sale. I have plans for every fabric I bought, so in my eyes the damage is not as bad. Maybe they don't even damage next month's fabric balance any more, but are already sewn into garments?!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Birthday presents: Kitty for Neisella

I made this little black cat pincushion for Neisella's birthday. It was made from black velvet (the one I bought for my bat cape for WGT) and filled with a butchered old pillow. I included some pins so it is ready to use!

front with green eyes and stitched nose

bottom with label and tail

pic from above

I also added a brooch with a little ribcage cameo, raven feathers and an organdy ribbon:

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Zombie Saturday - Play Infactonator!

If you ever considered moving into the mad evil scientist department and develop a successful zombie virus to dominate the world (and who hasn't?! ^^), you should definitely try your hand at the game Infactonator first!

It's a very old school game (graphics are... -retro to say the least), but it is a lot of fun. It's free of charge and online, but beware; before you know it you spent hours trying to infect your way through central Asia!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Mighty tighty whitey

Once upon a time I bought some white ripped jersey from my favourite Ebay seller in the states. Actually, it was not that long ago in January - my fabric turnover really increases since I try to mainly sew from stash! The point is that since my serger was already threaded with white thread, I decided to work on this fabric before I re-thread it back to black. So I cut a simple shirt and added a little length to wear it comfortably over leggings without promoting my butt to everyone:

This was taken before I cut the boat neck
But somehow the shirt was just "too white". I knew that I would probably never wear this, but I love the fabric a lot. After thinking for a while (and a little burn test which told me that the fabric contains unnatural fibers), I thought I could just use a little bit of watered down black acrylic colour to stain the shirt grey. I experienced in the past that acrylic colours stick pretty nicely to every fabric even after wash (I ruined some pants while painting a frame pink). With all the batik experiments going on in the bloggosphere (see Natron and Soda, both bosses of my favourite sewing forum), this will be my take on that trend....

After a bath in muddy waters ^^ and a little high speed drying on our currently hot attic, this is the final result. Much more wearable, don't you think?!

By the way, the title was inspired by this song (Bloodhound Gang "Mope")...

Week in Review 30/2012


ASP "Snow white" - Little diva Snow white and her betrayal of the dwarfs!

I read a horrible book during the last week and tried to make up for it by re-reading a good book after... The bad book was "Duft der Kaffeeblüte" (~ Fragrance of the coffee flower) by Ana Veloso which fortunately for my English readers has not yet been translated. The main character is totally indecisive, the portraits of slaves in the book very unrealistic and the end gives you somewhat of a epiphany which you almost miss because the author spends 2 sentences on it!
The good book was One foot wrong by Sophia Laguna. This book is written in the view of a child (later women) whose religiously fanatic parents keep her in home and treat like a mentally disabled person. The girl Hester has never left the house until being 8-10, her only friends are spoons, doorknobs and other appliances. Whenever she does something wrong, her parents mistreat her, even hang her by her arms in the cellar for hours... I don't want to spoil the plot, but the reading is really intense and the book very recommended!

Tortilla with potatoes, onions and tomatoes. It was delicious and used up all the leftovers!

Done and done! Now, please take it, please take it, please take it... *prays to gods I don't believe in*

A shirt and finally the pocket hoops!

Color by COLOURlovers

...of the week!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Regency dress

After presenting the full outfit yesterday, I thought it might be nice to give a bit more detail for the dress. As I mentioned before somewhere in the comments, the pattern I used for my regency dress is by Burda, pattern number 2493, view B to be exact. I added some width to the back and some length to the sleeves, otherwise I simply followed the instruction of the pattern. As you remember, this is the result (over stays and petticoat):

I know that the pattern is not historical, but I guess I mentioned often enough that I'm going for the general look and not authenticity. I used a period adequate fabric, but chose to sew with a machine (it would have been impossible to sew everything by hand in only two weeks while working full time),  and serge the seams (because hand stitching is the devil and takes forever).

Foundation: Stays and Petticoat

I did the sleeve tunnels for the binding with heart bias tape

Front pic: You can see the drawstrings on the inside. I used self made bias tape for neck and waist

Back pic: The top part is a bit longer here than in front

Close up of the neck rushing

Monday, July 23, 2012

Jardin de belle Epoque

It was grand! The location was a bit hidden, but really nice. In a park and since I was late - Am I ever on time?!- everyone already had their picnic blankets out.

The evening before I was told by Neisella that she brings so much food that I should not bring anything myself. And she was right:


Although I was so afraid to look stupid with the bonnet on, I tried it on "for just 5 minutes". I ended up wearing it almost all day!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday cake - Butter and almond cake

This week I made some cake for the boyfriend and you know that his taste is very strict. I'm always happy to find something he enjoys, because he doesn't like my creations most of the time. Sometimes even without trying (can you believe this man doesn't like chocolate cake?!), sometimes he forces down a few crumbs. But not this time:

He even took it to his frisbee practice where the people ran races for the last bits!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Week in review 29/2012


Depeche mode "Wrong" -  I just fell this song fits my week!

I finished "'Round Ireland with a fridge" by Tony Hawkes and had some good laughs. I really feel like redoing his tour around Ireland, but the fridge is still under debate! ^^

Shrimp and garlic pasta... Yummi staple food!

Indecisive PI is indecisive... *annoyed*

Stays, bonnet, dress... I'm all regency-ed!

Color by COLOURlovers

...of the week!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Regency stays

Another foundation garment for regency are the stays. I already said that instead of the more well known short stays I will need long stays to hide my tummy... Again, ordering a pattern would have taken too much time, so I searched all over the internet for a free pattern. And - as the internet never lets you down unless you post drunk or nude pictures of yourself- I got what I needed!

The pattern came with the instructions you see on the page, but actually sewing together 5 pieces of fabric was not much of an act. The only complicated part were the gussets. I had to increase the pattern size a bit, to make it fit my measures. I also added a second bust gusset since my bossom is ample... ;) The final result:

front - yes, I'm a bit more hip-y than my minime

Inserting the busk - a wooden ruler ^^

The hem is closed, on top of the busk two eyelets hold the ruler in

The back - can you imagine that I have no white laces?!
The pattern is historical, the fabric beige cotton weave and white jeans. The metal eyelets are not historical, as well as the added steel boning next to them. Otherwise the stays bunch up uncomfortably at the waist...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Regency bonnet

While bonnets continued to be worn for into the 19th century, they were high fashion during regency times. No movie made about Jane Austen novels without all of their female characters wearing bonnets when going outside! No respectable woman of age would leave the house without a hat of some sort during daytime, and bonnets were not only charming and framing the face, but also put little pressure on the carefully made locks you needed for the evening at the ball...

After researching on the internet and finding a lot of patterns to buy (unfortunately the delivery would have been 7 days after received payment, which would leave me with very little time to sew the bonnet) or instructions how to alter a bought hat (did you try and find a light coloured hat recently?), I was devastated. The only solution for me was to wing it. So wing it I did:

The pattern is self drawn, it took me two trials to give the crown the needed puffiness. The pattern pieces are a circle for the crown and a curved rectangle:

Fabrics are the same as for the reticule, the satin ribbon was bought in store. I had the flower at hand and since ordering buckram was no option (time!!!), I used skin coloured (no white available *rolleyes*) foam rubber to hold the front up.

Monday, July 16, 2012

BurdaStyle 8/2012

Another month over and in between historical sewing, I spare some time for another Burda Style review! This time I found some interesting patterns, than had the foggy memory that I saw them before in another Burda issue and decided to travel back in the archives. See below what I found...

But first the pretty patterns I would actually sew (if I had time and the matching fabrics...):
It might be because of the historical sewing, because of the light colours in regency style or because I actually bought some H&M blouses in more or less the same cut, but I like the white and lacy blouse on the left a lot. It has some lace details keeping it from being boring, but it could be worn to the office with a tank top underneath - or sewn from a less see through fabric!
When seeing the vintage pattern in this issue, I nearly fell over laughing. I bought almost the exact outfit on a flea market some years ago in an even more girly fabric - pale pink and lilac flowers. The boyfriend hated it and even refused to cuddle if I wore it! Maybe I should resew it in a more gothy fabric and try if he likes this better?
The skirt I like best from this issue looks great and classy. The bow hides a belly and the rushing at the hips looks flattering on many bodies. I could imagine it in another colour as well, either jewel toned or in grey - I remember that someone I know bought a grey pencil skirt with a bow from H&M this year, but who?

Now on to the less desirable patterns of this issue:
While the intention of the jacket on the left is clearly 50s inspired, the wool fabric and the strange embroidery around the arms look just plain wrong to me. The woolen fabric looks rather stiff, the colour looks very hippy and the embroidery takes the focus from the neckline and hips (originally intended) and draws it to the arms, adding visually more width to belly and hips. Great look if you are size S or smaller!
The coat on the right has the wonderful O-silhouette that Burda praises to make you look smaller. Doesn't work for me, even on the hanger (see above picture) or on the model (see the issue itself) the coat adds a good 20 kg...
And what about the inverted collar? Do you think this looks like a quirky and fashionable design? For me it only looks as if you didn't read the instructions properly and mixed up the sewing direction...

And now to my way down Burda past alley... Take the skirt with the bow, remove said bow and you have the twisty hemline from a Burda issue 5 months ago. Take the matching jacket from this issue, shorten the hemline and you have just made the same pattern that was already in the last issue of  2011. The coat is not only ugly, but was already shown in September 2011, although the added some sleeves and made the collar a wee bit smaller. And this issue's pants that could also be pyjamas were published also 3 measly months ago. Great!

I don't have a problem with pattern recycling. I understand that there are only so many ways to design a coat or trousers. But recently the whole cycle of reproducing patterns has become much faster! While in the past, Burda issues from one year more or less repeated every year, now I see a trend that the patterns repeat every 6 months. Is it only me? Maybe Burda should invest in some new designers again?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Regency - shoes and scarf

Today just a short peek on the stuff I didn't make myself but bought or received.

The scarf is the one I mentioned in the first post contemplating my regency outfit. I got it as a gift from Niniel Chan and her husband (thanks, again!) and contains a paisley pattern which was all the rage during 1795-1810. The colours are turquoise and mustard yellow which could also be worn at that time - though of course I don't have any pictures to prove this.

The shoes are from Deichmann, a cheap shoe shop here in Germany. They are fake leather in mustard yellow (= matches the scarf). Of course ballerinas are not period, but in the end I didn't want to spend too much money and no one will see the shoes as the dress is floor length. For the occasional peaking shoe tip, the pleather looks real enough!

Week in review 28/2012


Bush - Letting the cables sleep

I currently read the book "'Round Ireland with a fridge" by Tony Hawkes which I gave my mum for Christmas. It is exactly what the title tells, the story of a man who surrounded Ireland's coasts with a fridge because of a bet. Very funny!
For all the people who ask themselves how I read so much besides sewing, going to the gym and meeting friends: I usually travel by public transport leaving me time to read. And I read on the cycling machine in the gym... ^^

Bean brownies. Good for protein and chocolate cravings! ^^

I got something done, and got my ass into the gym more often. Now I only need to get working on my PhD thesis as well *sigh*

Definitely needed a historical outfit for Jardin du belle epoque, so I got started with a regency inspired outfit which is not 100% historically accurate. But it looks the look, so good enough for me! Done with the reticule and the petticoat, working on stays and bonnet right now...

Color by COLOURlovers

...of the week!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Regency - The petticoat

Another quite simple and necessary item for the full grown regency wardrobe is a petticoat. A lot of  jokes were made about regency dresses being so thin and see through that every breeze revealed enough of the ladies to make the gents blush (Does anyone besides me imagine poor little Edward at night in bed praying for a hefty wind next day when he will meet his crush?! ^^):

In my version I made some decorative tucks, other than that it's a plain rectangle with a drawstring at the waist (somehow this seems THE one pattern everything in regency uses?!). The lace was originally white which looked rather odd with the cream fabric. I tea-dyed it with some Christmas tea (black and green tea leaves with cinnamon), now it looks almost a bit to dark. But it smells heavenly! ^^

I'm still indecisive if I should use cording which was done to increased the width and stability slightly. On the one hand it would be historical and probably help my silhouette lots, but on the other hand it takes a lot of time and no one will see it. Maybe I can do this later?