Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

The day has arrived and I wish you all a very fun and spooky Halloween!

Pictures of my finished costume will be coming. I will give you a bit of an accessory teaser. I decided to make a decorate a headband up instead of making a hat and my mask turned out amazingly well.

Close up on the felt flowers
Mask before being attached to the stick
Finished mask. The ribbon "handle" has tea pots on it! :D

Yesterday, my friend Sasha and I got dressed up and went in search of some Halloween fun. We decided to be Flapper Time Travelers but made sure we brought a costume as well.

Me wearing my costume (aka the mustache on a stick)
Sasha letting the statue borrow her costume for a minute.
We ended up finding the Pirates and Wenches Guild at the James Joyce Pub and hung out with them. Eventually a bunch of Steampunks came over once the event at Academy Theatre was over. We ended up sharing the mustache love and talked to some very cool people.

Everybody loves a good finger mustache.
I think a mustache is a good look for Jason especially with a collar like that.
Now on to more Halloween hijinks tonight!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Long awaited update

So I haven't been as hard at work sewing as I would like but progress has been made. I finished my vest, skirt and sash with giant bow. Now all that is left is my hat, mask and bow tie. 

Finished Vest front
Finished vest back

Button details. They're purposefully mismatched 

The huge bow I made
Front when I tried it all on together. The shirt choice changed later.

The back when I tried it all on. The bow makes me so happy.

So I will be getting the last bit of this costume together this week. I didn't end up finishing everything last week since I had a Halloween event called Beasties at Barrington. NFDC does a haunted story telling even every year the weekend before Halloween and this year I was one of the story tellers. So I busted out my costume I made for Beasties last year when I was a guide. I decided to go much more dead and creepy this year then I did last year. This was the result:

Come play with me!
The best part about this outfit is the fact that the dress used to be a skirt. We try and dress a bit accurate to the time period of the house so around 1900/1910s. This outfit is as historically accurate as it can be since I am not kid sized. 

I went to the thrift store and found a skirt that had ruffles and was big enough to fit over my chest and still be knee length. Then I cut off the elastic on top and the top layer of the skirt. I pinned it at my underarms and sewed a diagonal seam to fit it to me. Once that was done I took the top layer I cut and cut a neckline into it. Then stitched it back to the skirt. With the extra trim I cut off I sewed it back onto the shoulder seams to mask the slapdashness of it all. 

It took about an hour to do this and then I went to town with spray paint to dirty it up. I also spray painted the shirt I found and the Dollar Store teddy bear. This is one of the costumes I am most proud of because of the outside the box thinking I did on it. I tend to have a hard time thinking of ways to use already created garments and turn them into something else. I should find more places to wear this to as it's super comfy and awesome!

Besides finishing my Halloween costume, I still have my jacket in the works and I have a paying costume job. I am making a Regency Short Stay for my friend Jessica. She is in a production of Women Beware Women and they have set it in Regency/Napoleonic era. Since the dresses require the girls to be up on a shelf, Jessie has requested the undergarment that will make this happen. I am excited to get to make this garment again.

Speaking of stays, I think I just might have to buy this long stay pattern for myself: 

1800 - 1820 Regency Stays Pattern by Mantua-Maker

It would be a great challenge and my bust is really to large to use a short stay for anyways. I love the riding corset option on the stay and my hands are itching to do this project. I think for $9 I can allow my inner crazy historical costumer to come out and shine.

On top of the long stay I have been drooling over this Regency coat pattern for about a year now. It so simple and lovely. Regency is not my absolute favorite time period but it still holds a strong/loving place in my heart. The simplicity of it is just stunning. I want to be in photo's like the one below.

Photo by Gabi Reichert (

Lovely! Just lovely!

I am off now before I just sit and regale you with all the patterns I want to make. Happy sewing and see you soon!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Halloween Costume

I started on my Halloween costume!

So I know in my last post I said I don't like to start a project and have to put it on hold. Well, that's a bit of a lie I guess, as I have put my coat on hold in order to make my Halloween costume. However, I will get back on track with my coat as soon as this costume is done.

I have been thinking long and hard about what to be for Halloween. I had come up with a number of ideas from Patchwork Doll to Silk Spectre from Watchmen. Finally I hit on an idea that I couldn't get out of my head. Mostly this is because the party I am going to is a masquerade and this costume lends itself to the making of a very fun mask. So I am going to go as Lady Mad Hatter!

My Sketch. Pardon the lack of fine art ability on my part.
So Sunday afternoon I headed out to Hancock Fabric. I found a nice vest pattern, green cotton for the skirt and a very lovely blue cotton with a light blue swirl pattern to it for the vest. The orange sash and bow are going to be made out of the same orange fabric that Launces vest was made from in NFDC's production of Two Gentlemen of Verona. Incidentally it's also the same orange fabric that is one of the sides of my reversible bodice I made for working the Renaissance Faire.

I'm making Vest View C (aka the one with the black collar)
I made the skirt first. I used the skirt of a Simplicity costume dress pattern and just created a waist band and decided to use snaps for the closure. I love circle skirts as they go together really nicely and quickly. I got the skirt done in very little time. Maybe an hour to an hour and  a half.

Cut Shirt pieces and pattern

Finished skirt

Back closure
The vest is also going together really easily. I got it cut and the outside put together minus the collar. I basted the side seams closed in order to see how it fit and what alterations would need to be made to it. I was very surprised to find that it fit amazingly well. I was expecting to have lots of altering to do since I'm using such a cheap pattern. I think the fact that it has a curved bust and back seam instead of darts allowed for the fit to be very true to form.

Nice right?
So today i will be going back up to the barn to finish the vest and to make the sash. After that all I have left for this outfit is to make the hat and mask. I'm very happy with how quickly this costume is comign together. I should have a full outfit post for you very soon.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Shinny new toy

I finally opened up the box for my brand new serger! It's a Brother 1034D. I haven't done much with it besides change the thread and test it on a small bit of fabric. I cant wait to use it more during my coat project. Then we'll see what it can do by playing with the gather foot that came with it.

Fresh from the thread change. You can see my regular machine in the background.

My test piece. Check out those overlocked edges! So exciting!

Besides bust out my serger, I also went ahead and starting in on my coat. I cut out all the pattern pieces I need. Because I normally sew for NFDC, I have gotten really used to having to trace out my patterns before using them. This allows us to reuse the same patterns as many times as we would like without having to re-buy the patterns every time. Sewing for myself then causes this inner struggle about ever reusing the pattern or if I will make it for someone else in another size, etc, etc. Since this pattern has two long coat options as well as the short one I am doing, I was met with the problem of if I should cut the pattern off where I need it or leave it and mess around when I go to cut the fabric. 

In the end I gave in to convenience and just cut off the pattern pieces, however, I did make sure to number the parts I cut off in the off chance I decide to make the longer coats at another time. I doubt I will as the short coat already will be coming down much lower on me then the illustration says it should. Oh the joy of being short. 

Anyways, I put aside my tracing concern and cut the pattern, ironed the pieces flat and got to the cutting.

Since I do all my sewing at home in my room and the only table I have in there is my desk, which houses my sewing machine, serger, tackle box of thread/scissors/notions/misc tools, my floor in turn becomes my cutting table. It works well enough but the hard wood is not so nice on my knees after a while of cutting. At some point I will have my own cutting table at home as well as at the theatre.

My very high tech cutting table (aka my floor)

One tiny problem arose while I was cutting out the outer fashion fabric. The pattern calls for you to self line the front 2 pieces of the coat and interface them. Well, of course, I didn't buy interfacing when I went fabric shopping for this project, so I don't have any in the right weight lying around my room or enough of it. I could put the project on hold and go buy some but I'm not especially fond of holding on a project once I start it. So I checked the yardage required on the package and realized I have plenty of the broadcloth I bought for lining to take care of the front pieces, as that is part I planned on lining anyways with it. this means I no longer have to worry about having enough fashion fabric for these two pieces or deal with interfacing since broadcloth already has a good weight to it. So crisis averted! Problem solved! I can go on with the rest of this, cutting wise, in peace.

All the fashion fabric cut and on my ironing board
Here's to tomorrow being the day I put some stitches in this bad boy!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Guest post at SewSewDef

So, I work with a fantastic theatre company called North Fulton Drama Club or NFDC for short. Nikki and Alyssa over at SewSewDef are two of the founding member of NFDC and do the costume design and sewing for the group.

I tend to do lots of stuff over there for them from prop work, stage management and, of course, costume construction/sewing. We just finished a production of Two Gentlemen of Verona where I did the most sewing for them to date by making 5 out of 7 vests, a ruffle skirt and two shirts.

They blog about all we do and let me come in and post a guest post about what we like to call the Vestival. Take a look at MY POST and all the other wonderful things they talk about!


Off to a slow start

I have decided to take my chances on a couple Vogue patterns. I'm a mostly self taught seamstress and by no means fantastic. I have tons still to learn but I have finally decided that I for sure know enough to be able to take on a Vogue Easy pattern or two.

I'm going to start with this fantastic coat pattern:


I'll be making View A, the short coat pictured in the center in black. With the help of Nikki from SewSewDef, I found a fantastic black/red/gray/white houndstooth and gray broadcloth to serve as lining and to help keep out the wind during the very harsh Georgia winter. 

I think what I'm most excited about, besides the amazing houndstooth, are the buttons. They match so well and are just the right amount of style without being overpowering. Since I am a petite person, a huge button on top of the pattern could easily overpower me. Also, I think the collar of this coat is enough of a statement that I don't have to help it along. 

Like the smart person I try to be, I did check out this pattern on Pattern Review before deciding to do it for my first Vogue as well as first coat. There were only a couple of reviews but it was highly recommended and one lady had even made it a number of times. I feel that if you are willing to make the same pattern multiple times then it must be good.

The other Vogue pattern I'll be making is a Vintage Vogue dress.


I went thrifting a number of months ago with Nikki and found 3 sheets for about $2 each that I bought to use to make some dresses. I used one of them to make my Owl Dress (named because of the owls that are the print on the sheet) but I still have the other two laying around in wait of the perfect pattern for them. Without really looking this patterned showed up and I thought to myself "Finally! I can use my sheets!"

So when I go to make this dress post-coat, it will be made out of an off-white sheet with a branch and flower pattern in brown and teal. I will go buy a nice cotton to line it with as the sheet is a bit see through as you can see in the picture below. 

The bottom sheet is the one I will be using for V2960

I don't foresee myself starting this project until this weekend or until I make my Halloween costume. I do know that this week with have me holed up in my room playing with the serger my Grandma got me for my birthday. I, sadly, haven't had time to play with it yet and am long over do to do so.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I have been considering starting up a blog where I can post about sewing and projects and other such odds and ends. Since I am in a place of transition with all that I do I figured now was as good a time as any to start up such a blog.

Now all I have to do is remember to fill this up with all the weird sewing thoughts I have as well as post about projects I have in progress. Doesn't sound too hard but it will be more of a challenge then I suspect.

Well, all I can do is move forward and tackle this with a gusto! Perhaps by starting out with a fun new project and putting together a nice sewing space.

I'll keep you posted!