Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Autumn Queen Crown Part One

For the Historical Fortnightly Challenge for Fairy Tale, I  wanted to make up my own Fairy Tale with an older woman as the protagonist. One of the things I was inspired by was the Dolce and Gabbana crown from their 2013 collection.
I like the Byzantine feel of this
Here's a closeup
This is a different one, but I wanted a closeup for reference
I wanted to make something similar. I found several tutorials on Pinterest for lace crowns and it had potential. I found some cotton lace at Beverly's and bought a half yard for about $3.00
Very happy find
First I wrapped a wig stand in plastic wrap so it wouldn't stick to it.
No idea why this is sideways. It wasn't when I uploaded it. Odd.

I whipstitched the crown together after fitting it to my head and then sprayed it with this stuff
It wasn't particularly stiff or quik. I needed about five coats and I dried it overnight.

Most of the photos I've seen online looked like Lace sprayed Gold. I want mine to look like gold shaped into lace. After I let the lace dry overnight, I mixed up some Rub n Buff with some Diamond Glaze and painted it on.
Rub n Buff contains real metal powder
I had no idea if this would work, but I've used it to seal paper beads and it works really well on those
After letting the painted on gold dry overnight, I have this.
It still looks like painted lace, but the rub n buff makes it a little less delicate which I like
Tonight, I'm going to go to town with beads and baubles and shiny things. Stand by!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Thrift Shop Thursday

This may become a regular column. I prefer to gather most of my costuming supplies at thrift shops. Not just because it is cheaper, but because it really flexes my creative muscles. There is something about a fabric store that (although I love them) brings out a little bit of anxiety in me. I have ADHD and sometimes there are just too many places to look. Shopping in thrift stores narrows my focus. It gives me parameters. Since I have decided to use only natural fabrics when possible, I have to really concentrate on what I can make with what I can find. I also see things differently. I don't see things for what they ARE, but for what they COULD be (something I also used to do with men. bad idea) Here are a few things from my latest haul.

This is what was hanging on the rack:

Huge baby blue 25% linen %75 Cotton tablecloth $4
This is what I see:
The link took me to Elegant Vintage but this item wasn't listed
Then I found a bag of several (not sure how many) yards of this unused fabric:
smells like smoke, but it can be washed. 100% cotton.
Thinking about this:
Right? So cute.

And then there was this hideous beaded tank:
polyester. Ugh.
But when I look at the sequins closer:
They are ridged and metalic, not plastic looking
And I think, "I will remove those cool sequins from that ugly tank and use them to make".......

This concludes your tour of the inside of my brain for this blogpost.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Quick FotoFlexer fashion drawing tutorial

Here's the FotoFlexer Tutorial as promised. It's my first so be gentle. If you have any suggestions or questions, please let me know. Especially if I can be more clear in places.

Before you start, find a photo of the pattern you want to try out with different fabrics. The easiest ones to work with are the actual flat pattern drawing from the back of the pattern.
Very Easy Vogue Pattern 8945
You could also use the actual fashion drawing. It's a little harder, but can be done and looks great.FotoFlexer and open a free account. You can use the tools without logging in, but you won't be able to save your photos. The app seems to be payed for by advertising banners, but they aren't terribly intrusive.
Original drawing from the Vogue site
For the sake of this tutorial, I'm gong to go very simple.  You can get a little fancy with this, but this is a very quick way.

Next, find a photo of the fabric you are interested in using. You can create your own in Spoonflower or find a fabric you might by online, or even scan in a photo of a fabric you own. Those are whole different tutorials. If you use a photo of someone else's design and use the photo online, you should link back to them and give them credit.

I created a heart fabric in Spoonflower using a copyright free print.
Literal hearts
Now you're ready to use FotoFlexer.

Upload your pattern drawing.
Upload your fabric photo
 Click on the layers tab and 'push back' the fabric photo to the back.
This is the fun part. Make sure your pattern drawing is on top. When you 'fill' it in transparent mode, you are erasing the top layer so that the fabric in the bottom layer shows through.
Now you are ready to finish it off.
Done! Please let me know if there is any vital information I have left out. I'll do a tutorial on how to get a little fancier at another time. This is just the basics.
Won't be making this anytime soon

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tutorial Tease-FotoFlexer

I am not a great fashion Artist. In fact, I'm not any kind of fashion Artist. More of a doodler I would say. I've been fooling around with a free photo editing site Fotoflexer. It doesn't need to be downloaded, it's absolutely free and has some great little tools. What I wanted to do is find a pattern photo that looks interesting.
This is a Vogue pattern. I didn't get the pattern number. My bad.
Find a few different fabric patterns. I searched by non-copyrighted designs.

And make something like this.
I used an effects button to make them look a bit more like fashion drawings.
I will put together a full tutorial for all y'alls as soon as I get a chance. The tutorial is far more difficult than the actual process. I find FotoFlexer very simple to navigate, so go have fun!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

It's my blog and I'll I'll cry if I want to...

Aaaaaah. All I want to do is work on my fabulous (in my head) fairy tale gown. I don't want to work on my stupid Edwardian shirtwaist that doesn't fit right and is confusing me. I have to, because I have to wear it in a fashion show on Saturday.
What do you do to keep yourself going. I really don't like this shirt at all. I want to look like this:
But I feel like this:

Monday, April 14, 2014

One Weekend and Twenty-Five Cent Post-Edwardian Corset, Part Two

Phew! Well, I managed to 'mostly' get it done. If you missed part one, you can see it here. First I cut the pants apart so I could use it as fabric. Rather than pin the pattern to the fabric, I use fabric weights.
I managed to get all the pieces out of the pants
After cutting out the fabric, I transfer all the markings directly on to the fabric with a Frixion Heat erase pen. It makes things much easier to put together and all markings disappear with ironing.
After a few rounds with my sewing machine. I beat it into submission, setting in on some 1900 house and sewed up all the seams. The pattern doesn't have seam allowances, so I added 1/2 inch. For boning, I used various sizes of cable ties.
The nice thing about cable ties, is that you can cut them to size with ordinary scissors.
Crappy scissors for cutting the ties. A foot file to round out the edges.
To avoid confusion later, I mark where the boning is going to go with sharpie.
I used pre-made boning channels and some twill tape for the boning channels.

I didn't have the front busk yet, so I basted the front of the corset together so I could lace it up.
Not me
I love the silhouette of this corset.
Also not me
Things I learned:
1. Have more than one bobbin. That way when you lose you ONLY BOBBIN you don't have to waste a half an hour looking for it before you even start.
2. Don't sew several pieces inside out. Machine sewing seams are a female dog to pick out
3. Project runway is the best show to watch while machine sewing. It's like you are RIGHT THERE.
4. Using my sewing machine is bearable if I put it on my coffee table. I guess it's not the sewing machine I have a problem with, it's getting off the couch.

When I get the front busk, I will show a picture of the front. Since my event is this coming weekend, I need to get to work on the shirtwaist. I may just leave the the front sewn together for now, so I can wear it under my costume. I hope my boyfriend has been eating his Wheaties, but pulling this puppy tight is a workout.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

One Weekend and Twenty-Five Cent Post-Edwardian Corset

Using the Pattern and tutorial from Festive Attyre, a pair of 100% cotton twill pants I got for a quarter at a yard sale, cable ties I already own, and a busk removed from another corset, I am going to attempt to make a Post-Edwardian Corset this weekend. Actually, I hope to do it more quickly, since I still need to finish the shirtwaist and walking skirt.
Here are the pants. No stretch at all and they are a large men's size.
This is Festive Attyre's finished corset. Mine will not be as pretty, nor will it have the garters because I'm in a hurry. I'm also going to use my sewing machine *gasp* even though I haven't used it in two years. I am being a smidge ambitious.
Festive Attyre's Corset
I already enlarged and printed out the pattern. I need to:
1. Deconstruct the Pants
2. Cut out the pattern from the pant fabric
3. Find my sewing machine
4. Realize I don't have any thread in the machine
5. Find some thread.
6. Look for bobbins
7. Fill bobbins
8. Swear
9. Find a costume drama to watch this. (okay, this will probably be number one)
10. Start sewing.
11. Realize, I have totally forgotten how to use a sewing machine.
12. Do it anyway and thank goodness this all going to be UNDER my costume
13. Have a drink. (okay, again this will probably be 1 or 2)
14. Try it on. (should have been number 1 or 2, but I am just going to trust the fates on this one)
15. Bask in my glory or throw the whole thing against the wall and wear my completely wrong for the period, but it'll do in a pinch, Victorian Corset.

Ready Ladies. Start your engines! And....

Sunday, April 6, 2014

1660's Autumn Queen Fairytale update

Sorry I haven't posted in a bit. I've been embroidering til the cow come home. Darn cow, always wandering off. I had originally wanted to make this for Historical Sew Fortnightly #14 Fairy Tale challenge. My inspiration was some beautiful fairy tale illustrations I found on Pinterest. Like this one:

Snow White Illustration by Jennie Harbour

I wanted to make it in the style of a 1660's gown. Something like this portrait.
Hortense Mancini Duchess of Mazarin (1646-1699) favourite niece of Cardinal Mazarin and a mistress of Charles II,
I found these curtains at the thrift store. They are cotton, and these dresses would normally be silk, but I really like the exaggerated pattern and the colors go well with my Autumn Queen idea
Original fabric
I wanted it to look more like an illustration, so I made it impossible to finish the challenge on time, by hand embroidering an outline on all the motifs.
For the outline, I just used DMC pearl thread in black and used a backstitch
It really makes the motifs pop.
I will also add some beading and gold cord
Here's all the pieces, not put together yet.
Here are all the outer pieces, not yet sewn together