Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Ballgown Begins

I have traced off the pattern I plan to use for the ballgown bodice, Simplicity 2881. I'm not going to put the strap on, the waist will be straight and I will revise the sleeves, but the pattern at least goes to my size and is a good base so I don't have to make one. Just as a reminder, here is my inspiration and my fabric; it's a silk faille.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Dress form done

The finished product. Not bad for the first try. It will still be more useful than the commercial things that I can't even get in my size and do not have the right shape.
Now I get to sew again!! I think I'm going to do my ballgown first. Check back for pictures.

Duct Tape Dress Form

The new corset is done, so I decided to make a dress form specifically for my corsetted shape. This is my first experience with this method and the pictures are beyond unflattering, downright ugly. So far we have only gotten the form taped and cut off. What a process. Hot, hard to breathe but some right nice bounding time with the hubby. Sorry, bad pun.

Here it is mid-tape.

And fully taped.

And finally cut off, but not stuffed.

I'll post more as the project progresses; I need to tape up the back, stuff it, mount it on a stand and cover it with some knit.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Corset workshop, Gettysburg PA

What fun!! This workshop was amazing and now I have a great new corset that fits wonderfully!! So let's start from the beginning.

I arrived at the airport Thursday morning to find out my flight was delayed; even a short delay would have messed up my connections. So I ask what they can do to ensure I get into Harrisburg that night. I love Continental; they got me on another airline where I sat in first class to Chicago, then to Harrisburg in Economy Plus (more leg room). Nancy had already made it to Harrisburg but her luggage didn't. Nancy picked me up at the airport and we went back to the Sheridan in Harrisburg. Since Nancy had to retrieve her luggage the next morning and I came in late, staying in Harrisburg was the best solution.

Friday morning we took a very leisurely time of it; didn't leave the hotel until about 11:00 after Nancy picked up her luggage at the airport. We then headed toward Gettysburg and Needle and Thread. The drive was great, everything so green, little roadways through the woods, I loved it. Found some great stuff and N&T; picked up some polished cotton, cotton viole, another cotton for a chemisette and some burgandy colored silk for another drawn bonnet. Had way too much fun there. Then we went to get a photo of the Texas monument on the battlefield for a co-worker. We have always been there during the winter, never in the summer, boy was it crowded. Tour buses, cars from all over, boy scouts, tons of people. But I got the picture.
We then headed over to Abraham's Lady; picked up The Way They Were. Great little book full of CDVs. They are also selling mourning jewelry by Beth Miller. They have broaches, bracelets and earrings. Great stuff.

By this time we're getting hungry. We ate at the Dobbin House. We had been there before in the main dining room upstairs. This time we were in the tavern. The restaurant focuses on the colonial heritage of Gettysburg; the wait staff are all in 18th century clothes, candles are almost the only light, think Williamsburg lite. The food was so good. Then off to the workshop. It was held at the Gettysburg fire station just off the square. They have a community activity room there. The first night was spent taking measurements, deciding which pattern to use, tracing the pattern, and putting the first part together. We called it a night about 9:00. We drove "over the mountain" to Chambersburg and checked in to our hotel. It was pretty full due to a softball group and the only room they had left to give us was with only a king bed. Thank goodness Nancy and I are good friends! We ordered room service and stayed up way too late talking.
Saturday started early. We had breakfast at the hotel and then drove back over the mountain to the workshop and go there about 8:00. This was the first full day and began with fitting the pieces we put together on Friday. Followed by more sewing. Finally it begins to look like a corset.

We finally called it a day about 5:30. We had dinner at this cute little French restaurant in Gettysburg, stopped by Joanne's and then back to Chambersburg and the hotel. We were beat and Sunday was going to be another early morning.

Sunday was the final day. We started putting everything together, the reinforcing stays on the side cup, the reinforcing cording on the cup. Finally around 4:00 it was time to lace and get the final fitting and we were done.

That night we were beat. We stopped and had dinner at an Irish pub in Harrisburg, went by the airport to see if I could get an earlier flight out and then back to the first hotel we stayed at near the airport.

Nancy had a 6:00 a.m. on Monday so she left really early Monday morning. I lounged, enjoyed the down time until it was time to leave the hotel room and go to the airport. No surprises on these flights, no upgrades. I got home about 11:00 p.m.

I love my new corset and really want to go back to take another of Carolann's workshops. But this weekend has marked the beginning of a really active time for me. Now with the new corset I need to start sewing for various events coming up, alter other dresses already done, get Henkel Square together, begin writing my presentation for March and sew my conference dress and ball gown. This is going to be a very busy 9 months or so.

Other photos are available at http://www.dotphoto.com/go.asp?l=netnet81&SID=253090&Show=Y&p=

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Too excited to work

So, I leave for Gettysburg tomorrow for the corset class with Carolann Schmitt. I'm so excited; need the trip and the well fitted corset. We plan to hit Needle and Thread, a couple of other shops, and I have to run through the park to get a picture of the Texas monument, the rest of the weekend will be spent sewing. While I'm waiting for the corset to sew for myself, I've been hand sewing a msn's shirt we plan to put in a soldier's box to give away randomly and annonymously at an event in November; that should be fun. I hope I can stand to the side unnoticed when the men get the box. Look for an update and corset pictures here next week.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Living History at the Alamo

This isn't my period, but I happened to be at the Alamo on a first Saturday when they have living historians out. You can view the pictures here

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Texas Monument at Richmond KY

The monument in honor of Texas troops who were at Richmond Kentucy was dedicated May 23rd. Click on the title to view pictures. Unfortunately, I was not at the event; the photos were taken by a co-worker.