Monday, September 26, 2011

Moving Right Along...

Tonia and I do many pattern reviews for our collaborative blog The Emerald Parlor - recently, I have started constructing several Truly Victorian patterns and so far I have found my working experience with them to be positive. I should mention that these patterns are being used as the design basis for my Victorian ensemble to be worn at the Old West Festival this coming weekend.  Here some progress pictures from the last week:

Testing trim selection

Fitting the bodice (vest front not shown)

Sewing the trim to the collar

Finished collar

Vest front attached and collar fitted to the bodice

I do have a couple of adjustments to make on the bodice yet, particularly the armscyes and sleeves - I may alter the sleeve cuffs, too (I'm not sure if I like them - of course, this is an aesthetic preference and not a structural issue). I suppose I should get busy then! Oh yes, and did I mention that I have a four day weekend (more time at the machine while watching my favorite historical movie dramas) - how wonderful is that? :)

Happy sewing!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Gittin'r Done...

The only regretful thing about the start of a new school year is that there's precious little time to sew, but somehow I manage to get things done - I may be half crazy before the week is over, but no matter - lol! This was a tough week for students and teachers alike, signaling the end of the back-to-school honeymoon period. We are already half way through the first quarter and mid-term reports go home to parents in a week (Doh)!

So, after an exhausting week, the objective was to spend yesterday (Saturday) vegging on the couch, but I desperately needed to shampoo the carpets, fall clean, and put autumn decorations out. I got all of it done, and don't you know I even sat down at the sewing table and finished the underskirt for my Victorian ensemble - one more layer complete. I am a happy girl (pat on the back)! 

Underskirt (front view)

Underskirt (hem detail)

This morning I draped the white satin overskirt over the black underskirt and adjusted the pleating where necessary - it looks very good. I just need to sew the pleats in place on the overskirt, trim it (maybe - haven't decided yet), and sew on the hooks and eyes. This week I will be fitting and constructing the bodice jacket...(Git'r done!)

Happy sewing!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Petticoat Junction

Old West Festival, Williamsburg, Ohio

I am looking forward to the Old West Festival in a few weeks. One of the reasons I am going (aside from the living history, which is right up my alley) is to determine if I'd like to vend there next year. These Old West and turn-of-the-century events are fast emerging as the new rage in festival entertainment and they promise to be around for many years to come. Certainly, the medieval and Renaissance shows that littler the country are still popular events for the most part and some have been around for 30+ years, however attendance is waining (and has been in general and across the country over the last 5-7 years; several fairs have closed). The younger generation of festival goers are looking for fresh and modern events that compliment and accommodate their love of innovation, technology, and science fiction (this is the gadget generation, after all!) - in other words, the festival trend pendulum is swinging from Lords & Ladies to the Cowboys & Aliens. I'm jumping on - :)

Last night I finished up my petticoat, so my undergarments are done (unless I can see my corset under my gown's jacket bodice - although I am lining the garment, it's white, so I may have to make a corset cover). I did use a pattern this time: Truly Victorian (TV 170 - view 3). Please note that in the following pictures I have not modeled the petticoat with a bustle. 

Petticoat front view

Petticoat knife pleat detail

Petticoat back view

I do have the over-skirt completed, however, I need to gather and pleat the sides and secure them in place. I love the striped satin that I'm working with - it's a medium weight and it sews together perfectly - no puckering or stretching - and it lays well over the contours of the body. More pictures to come as I progress little by little.

Over-skirt finishing hem

In the meantime, happy sewing!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Third Annual Regency Picnic

~Cassi, PJ, Patty, Me, Tonia, Elma~

Yesterday was the Emerald Parlor's Third Annual Regency Picnic. It was a perfect day - the weather and all. Because last year's picnic was a soaking ordeal with terrible thunderstorms and raging heat, Tonia and I decided then that we'd up the festivity date to a more temperate and pleasant month - lol! Yesterday did threaten  a bit of rain, so on arrival I searched for an open shelter house. Lo and Behold! The Pavilion at Buck Creek was free (the largest and the nicest of the shelter houses, complete with a water fountain and spigot)! Ahhh, and not a drop of rain fell! Good weather, good friends, and good company (except for the swarm of bees that were overly enamored with Tonia's lemonade and PJ's fruit salad - lol) - to say the least!

Rose and Patty reading on the lawn

Maria, David, and Kate

PJ (open robe)

Cassi and her baby, Abby Road

Miss Patty-cakes

Tonia (wrap dress)

Me (jumper and under-gown)

The next event for the season is the Old West Festival the first weekend in October. I have most of the over-shirt constructed for my late Victorian gown, and today I hope to finish the petticoat - my corset and chemise are completed. I still have the bodice, underskirt, corset cover, and hat to make, not to mention Marie's whole ensemble, which I have not even started - lol! Indeed, I am joyfully a busy girl!

Blessings and happy sewing!