Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Rennaisance and Victorian costumes

Thought it was about time I added a bit to this, even though there hasn't been a lot going on.

The Victorian walking skirt has been pinned together with the underlining in place, and just have to change my thread on the machine and will be under way.

I started what I call a Demi-Corset, due to the fact that it is just a short boned midriff corset, in a hunter green with gold and wine accents upholstery fabric. It is lined in a dark green moirre' and I cut bias strips of the lining and am currently in the process of attaching that to each piece as binding. I thought it would be ideal to do the corset binding the same way a quilt binding is done, and it seems to be working, except that I have to trim the seam allowance a whole lot to get it to turn over the 4 heavy layers of fabric. Will probably hand stitch it in place on the lining side.

Was a little hesitant to use regular grommets, so have been haunting all the corset supply shops on the web for a different method of lacing.

Found some interesting options, and came up with a rather unique way to close this one. I bought some brass washers last week, which i was going to use to trim some Steampunk pieces I'm contemplating, and I'm going to sew them to each opening to thread the lacings through! Since the corset is mainly a costume piece, rather than an actual waist reducer, the stress will not be as great and they should do very well.

I am also making, and have nearly finished, a black Victorian jacket with bustle peplum back. The front panel is a tiny black and white houndstooth check, and the center back is the same. The peplum is lined with the check, as are the long straight sleeves that cover the hands of the wearer.

I'm trying to figure out what to trim it with to get the Goth/Steampunk flavor I want, and had purchased some silver washers (like the brass mentioned above) which were to be sewn on in some way. I'm thinking I will still use them, but not in the original way I had planned. It's one of those things you have to let percolate for a while, until the right solution pops into your mind.

Last night and today I cut out a Renaissance shirt like the one my custom order gal sent me, and I'm going to see just how long it takes to sew it together. Took almost 2 hours to cut out as i had to really finoogle the fabric to get all the pieces, as I didn't have quite enough of my practice fabric. The shirt has 20 pin tucks down each long, full sleeve, and also 9 of them on either side of the front opening. Also I will be putting loops for lacing the front opening and the sleeve cuffs.

I just realized I did not allow space between the 2 front pieces for the loops to lay flat...guess it's back to the drawing board, or perhaps I can convince her to go with the original button holes as her old shirt had.

Off to ponder the latest costuming challenge..this should be a doozee!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Custom items finished

Well the commissioned top that I built the bright colored fabric for (see a previous post for pics.) is completed, actually has been finished for about a week and a half. Haven't figured out a way to photograph it yet, as the neckline is so wide the top slides off hangers, and my mannequin, so guess i'll have to hang it on the clothesline and see how that option goes.

Since that was completed, I have had a bit of a revelation, and a definite change in my M.O. all because of a post in Art Fire's Forum. I asked if anyone thought there might be a market for Victorian period costumes and/or RenFest garments, and was told that there was a definite niche market for each and why not go for it.

Since making costumes has always been my first love, I decided to jump in and try it. A gal who read the thread commissioned me to do a pair of breeches and a shirt for her, and sent me her old set to use as a pattern, so the breeches are finished, paid for and mailed already. The shirt still needs to have the right fabric found, but that is coming along also.

Last night I cut out a Victorian Walking Skirt in a good weight cotton poplin, which is white ground with a royal blue tattersol plaid print. It is a 7 gore skirt of the 1890's and should be great when completed. Also plan on doing a petticoat to go under it in bleached muslin.

I already listed the breeches as a custom item to be ordered in buyers size and specifics, and plan to do the same with the skirt, which will serve as a sample for skirts in any fabric.

It will be a little difficult to price these even though the work will be the same no matter what fabric is used, but more expensive fabrics like faille, heavy taffeta, brocades etc. will be more costly, so I may just list the cost of the construction and add that choice of fabric will determine final price.