Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happily Sewing Along!

Well, I haven't done much for sewing on the polonaise this last week or so.  While I enjoyed  a wonderful holiday it was still quite sad!  DH days off coincided with Yule and Christmas this year, as did my girlfriends days off.  The kids were upset to say the least that this year we wouldn't be celebrating Christmas.  That we would instead be celebrating Yule, a more pagan holiday that means a lot more to me than Christmas. 

I had asked the family to not send anything for Christmas and a few of them listened.  It was such a change from the previous years.  Usually the kids gets loads of presents and by the time they are done opening gifts they are so wired and crazy, they start to have melt downs.  Most of the toys they receive get played with for about a week before they are broken or left forgotten on their bedroom floor or strew across the my house.  This year I bought 2 presents for each boy, my mom sent 2 gifts  each , and my SIL sent one combined gift for them.  The change was amazing!  They actually appreciated their gifts and we ended up  having a wonderful day SANS meltdowns.

It was sad in a way tho to end a tradition of celebrating Christmas for thge past 29 years and start a new tradition.  After supper we light the Yule Log (candles in the fire place) and we read stories to the boys of the how the gods created the earth and man, of how and why the seasons change, and the great battle between the Holly King and the Oak King.  The boys especially loved the battle!

We did celebrate Christmas in a way.  My GF and her DH had never eaten a traditional turkey supper so I made on for them....I have never eaten so much in my life...I woke up at 2 am with turkey sweats...I kid you not!

Boxing day came and the GF and her hubby left and took my DH with them.  It was a big let down having a house full of people to being on my own.  Definitely miss my friends and my family more so this season becasue of the move.

I am looking forward to the new year.....

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Work work work....

For the past week I have been working on my Polonaise faithfully every day and I am pleased to show you the progress.  There are a lot of changes I plan to make on the next English gown I make, but for now I have  a  few pictures for your viewing pleasure.  I am trying to get it done for a levy on New Years Day....Here's keeping my fingers crossed.  I do have doubts tho...I am having troubles figuring out what kind of trim to use...should I self trim it, do I do gathers or pleats?  rosettes?  hmmmm...Ideas ladies?

I have also gotten a lot farther on it, but have been so busy with it I haven't taken much for pictures.  I have also done a petal shaped Bum Roll....the kids laugh cuz it makes my butt huge and anything to do with big butts makes them laugh!  BOYS!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Here come the Polonaise!

So for the better part of the day I have been draping my Zone front Polonaise.  Its coming along perfectly.  I do have concerns about draping sleeves tho, you know it's one thing I have never done! I didn't have a pattern so I did what I usually do when I don't have a pattern, I drape it on  Mrs. Swishypants, (name courtesy of AShton), my mannequin.  Here are pictures of the almost finished set of stays and the draping the bodice or the polonaise.
Front with half of the stays bound with faux suede binding.
The sketch of  the 1780's Polonaise

The back with en Fourreau pleats.

Close Up of marking the side seam for the front

Front Side Seam pinned

Front, you can see the shape of the zone. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Transitional Stays....10, Katy and the Girls.....0!

SO yesterday I hopped onto an idea to make transitional stays into regular everyday wear.   WOW what a challenge!  Sorry I don't have much for photos...I just got too excited about doing them.  I started trying to do the ones with the gathered ups.  They should end up looking like this....

 Unfortunately, the GIRLS are WAY to big for this method and I ended up having a square boob.  I know what you are do you end up with a square happens even though I tried different shapes and sizes I still could not get the fit properly for the girls.

Let me point out that the base, (the area that goes around the body), fit perfectly, so I have been fighting with fitting the cups for hours at this point.

The next shape I tried was this.....

With the bust gussets, (the triangular shaped thingys in the chest area).  This shape worked out a bit better, but still flatted the girls into pancakes.  I did however like the way the under boob looked in it, just not the shelf look.  If that makes sense.

So I was left with a conundrum, I could stay with period style or I could deviate and do a more modern cup.  I have opted for a more modern cup and so far so good.  Right now I'm just trying to play on size so that the girls have enough room to fit.  THe other problem I'm faced with is the center front between the girls.  It bows out, when it should separate and help lift the girls.  I think the solution to the problem is having the busk in there, (a long wide wood or metal or plastic piece), I'll try that on another muslin to see how it works.  I also need to see how I am gonna close it.  Is it gonna lace in the back, in the front, the sides.  How is it gonna wear and how easy will it be t o get into it? 

I should also point out that the pattern for this has been draped on my mannequin.  I love draping because you get to see the effect on the body of how the fabric shapes to it.  Maybe one day I'll do a tutorial.  I much prefer draping to drafting.  I just can visualize the shapes on paper and seem to do a great deal of altering in order to get what you want.  at least with draping you have almost a finished pattern to start with.    I also learned that cotton organdy is THE BEST for doing muslins and draping patterns for garments that need stability.  It is very stable, although somewhat expensive, at about 10 bucks a meter.  But I would rather sacrifice cost for working with wobbly fabric.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Direction is Forming....And Another...And Another!

The direction for my first designs is forming....Dresses and skirts, in light diaphanous fabrics reminiscent of the flapper.  Beading, easy silhouettes,'s the kicker.  Each one will be unique in that I will try to use reclaimed fabrics for the majority of the piece.  EIther fabrics I have already bought and are in my stash or fabric, clothing from the thrift store, AND I will try my hardest to find natural fibres.  I hate polyester!

Wow in the few hours that since I started writing this post I have moved on to other ideas, which have nothing to do with the direction of the Modista line....Sometimes my mind is crazy, and jumping form one thing to another.  It's a surprise I don't have whiplash!   I have always had a tough time finding a bra that fits and is comfortable.  I hate them, but without them I have not so nice looking waist bags, erm....boobies.  LOL!  And since I have been stuck in the past....a few centuries ago, when it comes to clothing lately.  It just dawned on me to make a set of transitional stays.  What you ask are transitional stays?  Well they are more in keeping with a natural form of the body rather than turning it into a conical silhouette that was popular in the 1700's.  They were used at the latter part of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th Century, hence the name transitional. 
1790's from Kent University
Now that looks comfy batman.  It forms to the natural shape of the body and looks like it will give the girls support without digging in all the wrong places.  The BEST part!?!?!?   No underwire!  Can you imagine this made in a pretty printed cotton or lace?  I can!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Still sewing away.

I haven't abandoned you guys....I'm still here.  Slowly the stays are coming together, I've been doing alot of zippers lately and finally have them all done and no more are supposed to come in for about a week.  So I should have plenty of time to hand sew all the eyelets.  K well maybe not ALL the eyelets.  I'm sorta getting impatient to finish it so I can see if the pattern was a gooder, (yes it's a word, and no you can't find it in the dictionary).  I plan on doing the bare minimum on eyelets so that I can try it on, then I'll finish them.  So if you don't hear from me for a while you know what I'm doing.