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Happy September Equinox!

At the moment of this post, it is the September Equinox, the official beginning of fall!  No more hot summer!  No more “Why are you already making pumpkin pie when it’s not fall?”  As if there’s any a time that’s not for pumpkin everything?  Psh!  I love me some pumpkin!  Time for the leaves to turn, and for more fires in the fireplace, and for our forest of a backyard to lose some green and hopefully turn into a winter happy land.  Since Charlotte is partly homeschooled, she won’t get out of school on snow-days!  (We all know the jokes about people here freaking over a little snow, but there’s a reason for this–the temperature hovers just above and just below freezing, and that few inches of snow melts, then freezes into ice, and that ice is what’s so dangerous and panic-inducing.)

I’m more motivated to sew, more motivated to bake pfefferneuse…  Mmmm. Pfefferneuse.  Let me stare for a moment at my glorious pfefferneuse…  It’s a good time for reading, as if there’s ever a bad time, and a good time for snuggles and movies and wine and talking about all the travel we’d love to do, even if it’s to places not entirely possible.  Antarctica, anyone? 😀

It’s time agains to make gingerbread houses and sing Christmas songs in the store without the strange looks we got last month! 

Time to head out to the farms for fall produce, and to make cocoa and sit in front of a fire with my critters.  
But it’s also the time of year to remember that there are a lot of people who are struggling, and to ask everyone to just be a bit kinder to one another.  You never know who is without family, who is struggling harder than usual to get by, who just plain needs to see an occasional smiling face as well rush about enjoying a season that tends to be about togetherness, regardless of religious or spiritual beliefs.  One of my favorite things about this season may be how it does tend to help bring out the better in a lot of people, at least at first.  Find that in yourself, and don’t let go of it.  Find motivation in the coming holidays, whether that’s Halloween or Dia de los Muertos (or both!), or Yule, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or the Epiphany (or anything else, or more than one), and find moments to do good, to send a letter.  Read out this year to anyone, and try to find ways to use your skills.  Charlotte wants to make blankets for the homeless.  I’m going to make stockings to fill with things people may need.  As we go into autumn, remember it’s a happy time for many, a tough time for many, and just aim to do good for everyone around you.

 

Labyrinth Jareth Study: Part 2.0

(Please let me know if you don’t see 11 photos.)
This post has given me grey hairs. The first time I posted this one, it disappeared. I spent scads of time on it, then…POOF. Finding the time again has been very difficult. Then, when I finished it a second time, it wouldn’t work either. Thank goodness the text was saved! This time, I found out that the problem is too many photos that are too big. We had to increase storage capacity and a few other things, including having to resize some photos. So, at full size, some photos make be smaller than they otherwise would be. I also rearranged photos, and will have fewer n this post than I was otherwise going to have, and the rest will be posted every day or two (the posts are already set to auto-post, so expect a new post on Monday at 1pm PST, Tuesday at the same time, etc.) in smaller posts that will hopefully not have any issue posting.

Monday: Lining
Tuesday: Cuffs
Wednesday and Thursday: Back and lapel details
Friday: Miscellaneous

Those are all already done and scheduled, and I’ll be biting my nails waiting to make sure they post without issue.

Expect this post to be something of an overview with more photos for each part in the coming days.   One day will be more photos of the lining, another will be cuffs, another of buttons, etc., which will also make it easier to find the specific part you’re looking for.

I was also planning to make this coat as part of making this post, but then had the brilliant idea (well, “brilliant”) to have it be a make-along.  I’m likely heading back to Paris at the end of this year, and, if I do, I plan to try tracking down more of the metallic velvet I got before.  If anyone is interested in that, it was €75 per meter, and sold in 3-meter lengths, and I charged the actual cost converted to US-dollars.  It’s not cheap, but it’s perfect.  I got some for myself as well as for one of my followers.  Once tickets are booked, for those who are interested, I would ask for a refundable-if-not-found deposit, and fabric would be distributed on a first-signed-up order.  I’m regretting not choking down the cost of a few more lengths, but I was already over my baggage weight limit.  Having me get the fabric wouldn’t be required to participate in this make-along.

So let’s start with the lining and the hem.  The lining is a simple silver lamé, and it’s serged with cream.  I’ll be honest–I don’t serge enough to know if that’s a 3-thread or 4-thread, though it looks like a 3-thread.  (I serge so rarely that I got a Baby Lock Imagine since it adjusts all the tensions automatically, and I suuuuuuuck at that part.). Click on any photos for larger versions.

The bottom of the coat looks like it’s been light-damaged.  Yes, light causes damage.  This is why flash-photography isn’t allowed.  The flash from one camera seems like it wouldn’t do anything, but over time, all those flashes add up.  But it does make the hem of the velvet easier to see as well, and it’s also serged, but with navy.  You can see in these photos that the backing is woven, not knit and the metallic fibers are also easier to see.  In Monday’s post, you will see some tulle that I suspect was used for display purposes.

Movin’ on up, we get to some buttons.  There appear to be already-made buttons, nothing custom, and that makes sense.  Unlike the broach, this isn’t a detail that will get much notice.  There are two in the back, and one in the front.  more on that in a bit.  In place of a coat vent, there are three pleats under each button, and this piece is cut separately.  In the first button photo, the seam is clearly visible.

Next up: Cuffs.  I really want to show more of these in this post, but am not wanting to come up against whatever limit on files there is.  So more photos will have to wait for the cuff page scheduled for Monday.  The bottom of the cuffs are gathered tulle with a gorgeous soft black lace.  It looks like silk, but no silk was used.  This Is probably rayon.  It’s too soft to be nylon.  All over this, following various parts of the design, is glued-on chunky black glitter and small black short bugle beads.  The beads are glued as well, but mixed in with the glitter and sprinkled on the glue.

The top of the cuffs are cut pieces of lace that wrap around, but don’t go around the back.  The method used on this lace will be shared in the section below about the back and lapels since it’s the same method.  Simple plastic buttons in shiny peacock colors are used.  The faceted mold is meant to look like crystal.

The third button is on the front.  Look below the cravat (as pointed out, it’s technically a jabot).  The coat covers left over right and closes at that button.  I’m going to speculate that the button is decorative and that it likely covers with concealed hooks and eyes.

The collar is a standing collar with a fold.

Now to the big part.  This is going to be a very quick overview since there are so many photos of this that I’d definitely hit the file cap.  On Wednesday and Thursday, these dozens of posts will be metered out.  Notice, at least quickly for now, that the sleeves are gathered in the caps, not tremendously so, but enough to help pad out the lace that falls over it.

The trick here is that hot glue is drizzled all over lace (it’ll stick better to the netting of lace than to velvet) with chunky black flutter, small sequins, small black faceted beads, opalescent round and oval beads, deep green and blue leads that look like broken pieces of glass (definitely aren’t, though!), 4mm faceted black beads, and shards of plastic beads that look like shattered mirror pieces scattered all over it.  Just go full ham on this.  You can’t overdo it.  No, the beads aren’t sewn.  Look at the shattered-mirror piece in this first photo.  You can see the hole, and there is nothing through it.   About halfway down, about two-thirds of the way to the right, is a black bead with a hole, and you can, again, see that there is no thread.  While the method is just about as cheap and quick as possible, it manages to work without looking cheap.  It’s perfectly Jareth, and reflects the concept of being shattered and broken, a sense of vulnerableness crossed with rocker glam.  To me, it feels like tis goblin king living a simple, yet complex existence, dug up whatever he could pull up in an attempt to seduce this young lady he’s fallen for.

Keep a watch here this next week for the rest of the posts.  As said, they are ready and waiting to auto-post.  I have the text all saved.  If there are any snafus, I’m ready to tackle them.

STEAM in Sewing

Starting the week of September 17th, you will be able to find articles weeklyish about the various ways all five factors of STEAM are in sewing. It’s time to dispel the myth that sewing is some nimby-pimby little craft for idiots who “can’t do anything worthwhile, like technology.” (Dears, I used to be an email security analyst and was a tech geek back when that still got you beaten up, and Bill Gates making geekery cool was years away, way back when it was still acceptable to literally tell a little girl, like me, “Why do you like science and math when that’s for boys?”…) Well, even if you think that sewing doesn’t involve anything “important,” knowing how to mend and properly launder clothing will save you a lot of money, and who doesn’t like to save money? Aside from that aspect, knowing how science, technology, engineering, art, and science are all a part of sewing can help that budding designer find relevance in school classes that seem irrelevant, and it’s just plain cool to learn stuff.

See you soon!

Princess Projects: Belle update

It has been a while since I’ve updated this project. It fell by the wayside because I just knew I wasn’t every going to wear it, and so everything else took priority. But now it will have a home, and so back to work I go. 🙂

The skirt has come together.  At first I didn’t give as much thought to the back as I should have, and when I twirled the dress form, it became a mess.

So I took it all apart to start over.  The new formation falls back into pretty folds.

Much better!  And the front?

It’s a full circle, and it twirls like crazy!

I’ve also been working on the bodice.

Yes, right now it looks very different than the finished bodice will look.

In addition to the boning and binding, the trim pieces still need to be applied, and those are still in the making.  I need lots and lots of the pieces shown in this video.  But it’s coming together. 🙂

(I said chiffon, but meant organza. I was in a lot of pain, still am, after busting my foot. The pain is distracting.)

 

“New” photos of the Belle ballgown…with a twist

I recall when Disney came out with the 17″ live-action Belle doll, and something fans and others noticed right away, other than that horrid face (sorry, y’all, that face was so poorly done that I actually feel a bit bad for Emma Watson), was that the gown was different than in the movie.  In some of the many, many Disney groups I’m in, people speculated that Disney was getting cheap with their doll ensembles and couldn’t be bothered to embroidery three layers (not that they bothered embroidering anything in the movie, but I digress…).  Here is the limited edition Disney 17″ doll, and one of the Hasbro dolls.

 

There’ve been a few promotional photos floating around of Emma in a gown with a single embroidered layer, with them all being longer, but those have appeared to be digitally changed, and that gave pause to some, that perhaps some photos were changed to match the doll dress.  I’d heard rumor that that was the first gown used, and that it wasn’t eye-catching enough when dancing, and that it was changed after the dolls had gone into production.  Now, it is true that the lead time on dolls is easily a year.  So this hypothesis was plausible.  But where was that original gown?  Well, I found a photo.  It definitely exists.  And it has the same number of layers as the Disney limited edition doll.

The theatre that displayed this gown quickly changed to the film version.  Photos taken opening night of the gown on display were of the three-layered gown we all know.  This gown must have been on display for the media.  Fortune.com (apparently they host their images on WordPress, which is strange) and Getty are the only outlets I’ve found with any images of this version, and even then, the versions in their articles are of the three-layered gown.

I thought this was an interesting little thing to share.

The devil went down to Portland, he was looking for a soul to steal

He was in a bind ’cause he was way behind.  So he was lookin’ to make a deal.

And whoever lost that deal doomed Vancouver as well.  It is HOT.  Miserably so.  It is after night night and still almost 80 outside. My makeup melted off ages ago. When I got up off the leather couch in my sewing room, it hurt because I was stuck to it. My grandma always said that horses sweat, men perspire, and ladies glow. I’m not sure which could be blamed for me being glued to my seat so that I had to painfully pull myself off of it. I’m a Californian, and this heat is reminding me of being a kid and cursing the existence of summer.

Hot Aria says bonjour au monde!

Not sticky and icky now, so almost time to resume sewing. Finishing a corset, then a fitter for the Belle bodice, then to redo part of the elevator gown, the part I had finished right before finding new photos.  Because that happened.  Years of no new photos, only low resolution photo with the original white flower, and the flash in the movie, and then there is a new photo.  In the words…word…of John Oliver,