Thursday, March 28, 2013

Definitely More of a Doublet

So, in my "Adventures with Doublets: Day 2", I made a doublet with some peplums that looks decidedly more "Renn Faire" than "Steampunk".  However, I've always felt that Steampunk has a lot more to do with the accessories and the innovation of the costume's theme.  So, I still feel this is appropriate as an attempt to make something functional for both genres.

Like, I think pairing this with a telescope would be "tres Columbus"...

Front view; this one has peplums on the bottom that reach to about the knee, and laces just about all the way up.

A view from the side.

A view of the back.  The peplums overlap a smidgen at the back, which means once you put a body (and therefore a butt) into the garment, they will flare out a bit.

A peek of the inside!

Men's "with shirt" example.  Smexy, no?

Lady's "with shirt" example.  I think this is an example that needs a body in it to really get the effect.  Now, just to find a body...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Doublest? Voublet? You Tell Me.

I'm in full-throttle production mode for an upcoming Steampunk Convention that I am vending at with my much-mentioned friend, Contessa Esselia, and today I started playing with doublets/vests.  My overall goal is to have a garment that is Renn Faire, LARP, and Steampunk friendly.  Not too much to ask, right?

This is today's edition...

It has a collar, laces about half-way up from the bottom, and tabs at the bottom.

A view from the side.

A view of the back.

A peek of the inside!

Men's "with shirt" example.

Lady's "with shirt" example.

Tomorrow will have another edition, be sure to check back!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

No Quarter!

While the LARP I participate in is technically a Medieval/Fantasy reenactment group, the organization has really developed a style all its own.  Brightly colors circle-cut tunics with fancy-dancey applique on them are generally the order of the day when it comes to garbing for my LARP.  I haven't had occasion to do many of these types of tunics in recent times, so it was nice to get back into some "meat and potatoes" for this project.

Above is the front-view of the tunic.  I am a large fan of parti-colored things, so swapping the sleeves' colors was fun for me.  Below is a picture of the neckline, though I finished the bottom hem in the same fashion.  Thread-swapping might be a pain in the rear, but it shows everyone looking at it that you have serious attention to detail.

Above is a side-view and below is a close up of the applique on one of the sleeves.  For the sleeves I employed a reverse applique technique, and paper-traced the design on.  I am really not sure if this method is *actually* faster than the good-old Heat'n'Bond way, but it feels faster.

Again, above is a side-view and below is a close up of one of the sleeves.  In the picture above, you can see the black fabric lining the sleeve, which is how the reverse applique technique works.

Finally, the back of the tunic.  The person I have made this for (thankfully) decided to but the main gear on the back of the tunic.  I always stress when someone asks for a device on the front of their tunic, because you run the risk of what I call the "Carebear" effect.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Merida Madness

Little girl's dresses seems to be a thing that I'm into right now.  I just finished up Pinkie Pie in six year old form, and I have moved onto Merida, from Pixar's "Brave", in girls-size-10 form.  I was delighted to be approached for this commission, having wanted to make a Merida dress, but not having the wardrobe space for *another* costume.  Even more so, I was thrilled when the owner asked for some embroidery on the piece.  This was a great project, and I'm sad to see it leaving the workshop.

Here is the movie poster from the movie (which was excellent, if you have managed to *not* see it, yet), and a pretty good view of what I was asked to make; Merida's everyday dress and cloak.  For those of you who are familiar with medieval costuming, you know that this ensemble would ordinarily consist of an over dress, a chemise, two upper arm gauntlets, and two lower arm gauntlets.  My challenge here was to make the dress all one piece that could be pulled over the little girl's head.

The first picture in the sequence was an unfinished picture I sent to my friends so they could understand what I was doing as I was flailing around looking for inspiration as to what to do for the embroidery bits.  In that picture, the (unfinished) dress and cloak are simply hung on a hanger.  Trying to give the dress some shape, I pinned the dress to my adult sized dress form and took the other two pictures.

((I should take this moment to express how frequently I've weighed the "creep factor" of simply calling the mothers of the little girls in my son's 2nd grade class, asking if their daughter was a size 10, and then asking if she'd like to model a dress for me.  I might still do it, but I feel like I would get labeled "that mom" and would have to leave the district.))

Some detail shots, first of the sleeve and then of the neckline.  I feel I was very clever with the sleeve, carefully placing the "upper gauntlet" and "lower gauntlet" with the ribbon on a full, muslin sleeve and then sewing it all together as one piece.  Then, the muslin behind the keyhole neckline is really something along the lines of a modesty panel I stitched in.  Overall, I'm *really* happy with the effect.

 Below are the pictures of the Celtic knot band on the bottom-front of the hem of the dress.  Be sure to click on the images to enlarge them, as you can see the detail a lot better that way!

I used a simple outlining stem-stitch and hid/anchored my knots for a fare-the-well.
A close up of the front.
The neat thing about the stitch I used is that the back of the work looks like a back-stitch.
In this way, the design is pretty well reversible.

Punking Up Baby

My Sister in Steampunkery (and really so much more), Contessa Esselia, is expecting her second little one this year, which is super-exciting, but as we were making plans to vend at the upcoming Air City Expedition, she realized that she wasn't going to be able to wear her typical corset.  So, we hunted a mused a bit, trying to find a style of shirt that could be pre-baby and post-baby convertible.  This was a super-fun challenge!

We started with this design as a base concept:

I started out with a men's doublet pattern and put together the lining:

Then I cut out that "peek-a-boo" window at the top:

I cut my fashion fabric (a suedecloth) to match the lining, and put everything together:

At this point, I deviated somewhat drastically from the example picture, and added a full collar to the shirt:

I should have taken step-by-step pictures of the sleeves, because they took nearly as long as the body of the shirt to make, but here they are attached and functional:

This is a side-view of the sleeve.  There is an elastic'd channel at about the mid-arm to give the sleeve that upper "poof" and another elastic'd channel at the wrist in order to create that dainty ruffle:

Here is a side-view of the sleeve, when the straps have been employed.  There is a strap sewn into the inside  of the sleeve that can be brought out and fed through the buckle on the outside of the sleeve.  As the wrist of the sleeve has elastic in it, the strap isn't entirely necessary to hold the sleeve up, but it looks darned cool!

For closing the front of the shirt, I decided on an upside-down zipper that could zip over the bust, and then stop just before the baby-belly.  I fitted in a triangular "belly panel" under the zipper, so that the baby-belly would be covered:

This is how the shirt looks totally closed, which is how it will be worn post-baby.  At that time, I might alter the belly-panel a bit, but right now I'm not worried about it.

And if you'd be so kind as to imagine a baby-bump on my dress form, you can see the overall effect here:

The final details were a bit of fun, and the Contessa let me sift through some vintage shoe-making bits she'd found at an estate sale (or somesuch).  I wish I could have used more of the buckles and slides that she had, but I had to content myself with just these:

Fin!  The final effect!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pinkie Pie!

It has been about a month since my last blog post, and I really apologize for that.  I had been going flat-out with preparations for a Fashion Show I hosted (which went surprisingly well) and that was followed up by my Beau visiting for about three weeks.  Needless to say, I was distracted.

But here is the wonderfully amusing project that I slaved over for my Fashion Show.  My inspiration was Pinkie Pie's "Grand Galloping Gala" gown from "My Little Ponies: Friendship is Magic", pictured here:

The little girl below was my model for the Fashion Show, and she worked that dress *fabulously*.  The dress is a little big on her, but I believe in giving children's clothes (especially hand made things) room to grow into.  At the bottom of the dress is a fair amount of candy/ribbon/bow applique that isn't pictured well here, but little girls are somewhat difficult to catch standing still.

Also unpictured is a pink tulle snood and hairbow that I made, to bring the set into more of an Italian Renaissance feel than straight up pop culture.  I'm hopeful that I'll be able to do another photo shoot with my model soon.