Saturday, August 25, 2007

A Little Scrappin'

Um...okay...scrapping has taken a back seat to sewing costumes this summer. I have made time for a page a week, though, by participating in the So You Think You Can Scrap challenge at The Scrapbook Site. With a different DT member hosting each weeks challenge there has been a lot of variety and it has been a blast! Thanks to them for all of their hard work and for forcing me to make some time for scrapping!

Week 1: old School
1. Using old supplies (a mixture of papers, embellishments and alphas. New items can be used but please keep them to a minimum).
2. Scrapping a picture from in or around the year you began scrapping.
3. Using one of the first techniques you tried.

Week 2: sketch Play
1. Use an Elsie Flannigan sketch (file attached and there are 28 to choose from! Here’s the link:
2. Scrap a minimum of 3 pictures
3. Use at least 2 different pattern papers from at least 2 different collections/manufacturers

Week 3: Lucky Sevens
create a layout entitled, "Seven Things I Am Lucky to Have".
Your layout must also include the following:
7 photos
7 buttons
7 journaling strips

Week 4: Memories
The Challenge- Create a layout about a childhood memory and how it relates to you now. Include meaningful journaling.
We were allowed to skip one week and this was the one I ended up skipping because I was just too busy to get the challenge done and do it justice.

Week 5: Sing Me a Memory
1. Find a song with meaningful lyrics.
2. Use at least 4 lines from that song on your layout. You will need to include the song title and the singer in your description when you post your layout to the gallery.
3. You will need at least 2 photos on your layout.

Week 6: The Power of Three
3 pictures
3 buttons
3 different ribbons
3 different patterned papers (can be from same or different manufacturers)
3 word title
3 extra embellishments of your choosing (this can be ANYTHING not listed above and also
can be 3 of the same things or 1 each of 3 different things just as long as
it is not something already listed).

Week 7: Ordinary Objects
Journaling is a must. Tell me why each item is important in your daily routine and why you couldn't live without it at this point in your life. If journaling is hidden – please post a separate picture with the journaling so we can see it!
Patterned papers – use at least 2 - you can use more.
Ribbon OR fiber – you can use lots or as little as one piece of either.
You can do any size layout you would like.
You can use anything else you want for this layout – cardstock, embellies, ink, chipboard – no limits!

Week 8: DIY

Monday, August 20, 2007

Costume Contest

This past weekend was opening weekend for the Michigan Renaissance Festival and, after missing opening day to attend the family reuinion, Tom and the girls and I spent Sunday at MIRF. We had a fun day in spite of the all day drizzle. They are having daily costume contests this year and I wanted to see what the entrants were waearing so we went to watch. There were eight entrants in the contest. Third place went to a young gypsy girl who said her brother made her costume for her.

Second place went to the baker and her husband (who had to be the cutest couple ever LOL)

And guess which costume took first place.

I wasn't planning to enter because I haven't completed the accessories and I know all the mistakes I made but reluctantly did so after some prodding by Mary Jayne Fitzhugh, Town Seamstress of Hollygrove, and my family. The prize was four tickets to the faire so I told Kim that means she has to visit again and encourage Jason and Lou to come since Tom and I purchased season passes and don't need the tickets.

(edited to add) In hindsight I realize that I should have cut the bodice with a slight downward curve to the front waistline instead of straight across (but I'm not doing it over), I need to fiddle with the plackets on the side-back opening of the skirts to get them to lay right and not gap, and my camicia sleeves are not long enough for proper puffs through the openings of the sleeves so I'm thinking of sewing in some fake puffs or adding some length to the camicia sleeves.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The dress is done!

I spent most of Thursday finishing up all the fiddly stuff like sewing on the pearls and adding the points (ties) and aglettes to tie on the sleeves. Friday morning I shortened the hem a bit and added a velveteen guard to protect the light colored fabric from mud stains. I'll get some photos of me in the gown tomorrow at the Michigan Renaissance Festival. :)
btw- If anyone has any tips on hairstyles or headcoverings from mid 16th century Florence that will work for someone with very short hair please share! LOL

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

still sewing

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! LOL Since my last entry I have finished the construction of the bodice and it actually fits. I have all the hand work to finish up by this weekend. I've already handstitched all of the binding on the bodice and have half of the eyelets done. So I need to finish the eyelets, sew the skirt to the bodice, hem the skirt, and finish sewing the pearls to the sleeves. If I have time (or later if not this week) I want to add a paned cap sleeve and a black guard at the hem to protect the light colored fabric from the dirty faire grounds.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Sleeves- Part I

First a bit about the cording: I had planned on using some antique gold cord I saw at HL but, when I went with a fabric swatch in hand to buy it, decided the color just didn't go with the fabric after all. Then the clouds parted, the sun streamed down, and I spotted THE PERFECT TRIM :D on what appeared to be a full spool! It was a very tiny (1/8"?) black they called faux suede but it looked like velvet to me. It cost twice as much as the stuff I had planned to buy but I didn't care. I took it to the cutting table and told the girl I wanted all of it. She started unrolling it and saw that there was a short piece wrapped around the outside of the main piece so she set it aside and measured out over 17 yards then went to measure the short piece and noticed that they weren't the same. The 17 yd piece was about three times thicker than the 3 yd piece I had fallen in love with! :( I took the thinner stuff and a yard of the thicker stuff home with me to mull it over. I decided that I really didn't want the thicker stuff so I called the Hobby Lobby in Jenison and explained my dilema. The young lady who took my call told me that they had a nearly full spool of the stuff I was looking for and set it aside for me. I went out there yesterday afternoon to discover that it was actually the thicker stuff they had. The veteran employee on duty told me that the thinner stuff had been discontinued and looked through their clearance trims and called another store in the area but didn't come up with any of the trim I wanted. After I pouted for a few minutes while she suggested alternatives, she finally asked why I didn't just go with the original twisted cord piping but in black instead of gold. Why didn't I?!? So I chose to stop pouting, work with what was availble, move on, and be happy! LOL

Last night I sewed and turned each of the six sleeve sections. I then realized my error in cutting. I had been concerned with making the pattern match perfectly at the seams of my skirt (where no one but I am likely to notice) but I cut the sleeve sections at random. I ended up with one sleeve that kinda-sorta matches and the other not at all. Another lesson learned. I have decided not to worry about it.

This morning I cut and stitched the binding for the tops of the sleeves and turned it to the inside ready to be hand sewn.

While mulling over where I might find enough matching buttons on short notice for the 48 joins in the sleeves or if I wanted to go shopping for beads I remembered and old strand of cream colored Maljorca (sp?) pearls that needed restringing to re-attach the clasp that has 50 pearls and goes beautifully with the fabric! :D
I have the hand finishing and beading left to do and plan to take the project with me to a family birthday party on Sunday the work on while I chat.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Progress so far....

Doubling up the boning greatly improved the line of the corset.

Tracing the sleeve pieces along the edge before cutting the skirt panels.

I figured out the placket ting in the skirt openings. (I confess for my previous skirts I simply tacked down the seam allowance and left it at that.)

A shot of the cartridge pleating.

The finished skirt. Well, finished except for attaching it to the bodice and hemming it.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

On to the Dress!

After discovering that I still need to do more tweaking to get the bodice to fit I set it aside and went back to the corset. I did end up opening the corset back up and doubling up on the boning. Much better! In the process I realized that I was wearing it too high on my body the first go round so I ended up replacing the straps with longer ones as well. I don't know why but I had a horrible time getting the placement of the strap right so I spent pretty much all day on the corset redo.
Anway.... I didn't feel like fiddling with the bodice again today after getting so stressed over the corset yesterday but wanted to make some kind of progress so decided to move on to the skirt and sleeves today. I cut out all the sleeve pieces along one edge of my fabric then cut four skirt panels to length. Even after evening up the side the sleves were cut from I still have wide enough panels to end up with a nice full 160 inch hemline. :) And the trimming are wide enough to be used for the paned cap sleeves. :) And... I have enough fabric left to make a forepart to use with the sleeves on another future gown! :) (Um... provided I don't screw up cutting out the bodice 'cuz there's just enough to cut it once and still get a forepart out of the deal.) I took a little break from cutting to typ this up. Now on to sewing the skirt together! Oh, yeah. I should show you my inspiration for the gown and the fabric I'm working with, shouldn't I? I am using the Elenora di Toledo portrait as my inspiration with this yummy fabric I picked up a Field Fabrics a couple of months ago on clearance for $3.97 a yard and plan to trim the sleeve panes and neckline with some dull gold cording I spotted and Hobby Lobby and plan to go buy tomorrow.

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Corset

Okay. I'm attempting a mini dress diary here. The trouble is that I get going along with the sewing and forget to take photos. I've decided I am ready to tackle a "real" Renaissance gown but the first step is to have the correct underpinnings so that means ..... a corset! I have a smaller frame with huge boobs (DDD) so I cut my pattern with size 12 shoulders and size 18 bust and waist. You know it kills me to type size 18! I hate that patterns are different from ready to wear where I wear a 12-14 which I have a hard enough time accepting. Anyway... Here's the pattern laid out on the cotton twill fabric.

The really tedious part was marking all of the boing lines using tracing paper and a wheel. (Another first for me.)

At this point I've sewn the back-side seams which was a real PITA because the two pieces are very different lengths. The instructions said to stay stich, sew the seam, then clip the curves. It finally dawned on me that I needed to clip to the stay stitching before sewing the seam to allow me to stretch the shorter piece to match the longer piece. I still ended up with some ripples in the seam but it'll do. You can see that the Margo Anderson pattern is cut to include a side seam, even though that likely wasn't done in period, for ease of fitting. That's a very good thing because I ended up taking in quite a bit at the bust. More than FIVE inches!

This photo shows the boning a little better. I used plastic cable ties for boning. I originally purchased more rigid ties but they were too wide for the channels and I didn't want to hassle with remarking them so I ended up with narrower less rigid boning. I am still considering opening the binding back up at the top and doubling up the boning in the center front so that the boned tab will keep a straight line instead of curving out at the bottom.

The good news is that the corset subtracts four inches from my bust but the bad news is that it adds and inch to my waist. Today I am trying to fit the muslin for the bodice of the gown and it looks like I need a size 14 bust and a *gasp* size 20 waist!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Where did my baby go?

Kacie turned 16 while we were in Mackinaw. I think back to the day that asshole doctor told me that my beautiful baby girl wouldn't ever walk or talk and I wish he could see her now! I am so proud of her and how determined and independent she can be yet I know what a naive and trusting soul she is and I just want to wrap her up and protect her from the big bad world.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Mackinaw/Mackinac Photos

The girls and I spent July 20-23 visiting Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island where I managed to get some nice photos. Enjoy!

It's my anniversary!

Can you believe I've been married for 26 years?!? And to the same guy, too! LOL I'm having a lousy day healthwise so I'm mostly being lazy 'til I need to shower and dress to go out to dinner. I did, however, drag my butt into my scraproom to make DH a card in response to the mid-week challenge at the Scrapbook site to make a card using song lyrics. I decided to make DH a silly card for a chage since I usually give him serious cards and he usually gives me silly ones but he surprised me with a serious card this year!