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Medieval Green Dress Photoshoot With Mom

Green Medieval DressGreen Medieval Dress

Medieval Green Dress -- Halo Effect: Some of the back-lit images came out with a really neat halo effect.Medieval Green Dress -- Halo Effect: Some of the back-lit images came out with a really neat halo effect.

Medieval Green DressMedieval Green Dress

Medieval Green Dress Photoshoot -- Without Veil: Most of the pictures of this dress ended up looking goofy without a veil.. just not right. I liked the way this one turned out, rather fierce looking, but I ended up making quick veil so we could get some with a more period feel. Medieval Green Dress Photoshoot -- Without Veil: Most of the pictures of this dress ended up looking goofy without a veil.. just not right. I liked the way this one turned out, rather fierce looking, but I ended up making quick veil so we could get some with a more period feel.

Medieval Green Dress -- Face ProfileMedieval Green Dress -- Face Profile

Medieval Green Dress -- Behind TreeMedieval Green Dress -- Behind Tree

So--mom to the rescue!--I've finally got some pictures of me in my green medieval dress. I hadn't originally made a veil to go with it, but after we got a bunch of pictures, I realized the outfit just looked incomplete without it. So I made a makeshift veil out of a circle of a cheap polyester crepe ("crepe" is what it says in my spreadsheet, although I'm starting to think that "crepe" isn't a particularly descriptive word; it seems like a great variety of fabrics are crepes, the defining feature of which is very twisted threads that create the uneven texture. But I have other fabrics that seem to have that feature as well. Some of my chiffons feel like they may actually be lightweight crepes, and this particular fabric is almost as lightweight as a chiffon. I'm learning more and more that fabric categories aren't particularly well-defined.) I still haven't finished the edges of the veil, although I do plan on it; at the time, I just needed something to put on my head. I also secured it with elastic. Totally non-period, but I'm not generally concerned keeping things period, only trying to make them look somewhat period. And besides, with a princess-seamed medieval-style dress, some elastic was the least of the non-period-ness!

Ivory Self-Drafted Corset In-Progress

Self-Drafted Ivory Corset ProgressSelf-Drafted Ivory Corset Progress Ivory Corset In ProgressIvory Corset In Progress Herringbone Canvas-y.. stuff: The herringbone stuff I'm using as a middle layer in my newest corset.  It seems to have more give than the Vera Wang canvas, but that could be said of most things.Herringbone Canvas-y.. stuff: The herringbone stuff I'm using as a middle layer in my newest corset. It seems to have more give than the Vera Wang canvas, but that could be said of most things.
Okay, so I've started what may be a "real" version of the corset I drafted from the Foundations Revealed instructions. Since I decided I did want to use the ivory dupioni for the outer layer, I decided to nix the second layer of Vera Wang canvas and use the herringbone canvas-y stuff from a mystery bundle as the middle layer. I'm thinking that next time, I'll definitely fuse the fashion fabric layer to the next layer in, because extra layers to make it much more difficult to get everything to sit right. (I'll have to order some more iron-on bonding web. I've got some, but mostly the tape kind rather than the flat kind.)
It's not turning out bad so far, but not quite *right* either.. I'm getting some diagonal warping along and between the boning channels that bugs the heck out of me. My walking foot is also being slightly unreliable. There seems to be a pin in it that keeps slipping out of place. I can put it back, but it's kinda a pain, and there's dark grease inside that gets all over my fingers when I do, not great for working with ivory silk. I dream of an industrial walking foot machine with needle feed. Perhaps something like this. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

I did order a yard of white English coutil from King and Company on Etsy, although I may not be ready for it yet. It will be nice to see coutil up close, and be able to compare it to what I've been using. I figured there was probably no point in using domestic coutil as an intermediary, given that the canvas I've been using has very little give, and it's hard to imagine that a coutil described as having some give could really have much less than the Vera Wang canvas does. *shrug* But maybe I'll have to eventually get my paws on a bit of that anyway, just to see. I thought about ordering two yards of the English coutil, one white and one black, but despite the fact that King and Company has awesome prices on it, it's still expensive. Besides, it's not like there won't be other orders!

Currently I only have the normal type of awl, rather than the tapered kind recommended by Sydney Eileen in her tutorials on Grommeting by Hand and Inserting a Busk. I've ordered a tapered one, but haven't gotten it yet, so I'm kinda waiting on that to do any hole-poking. I'm not sure how necessary it is for the grommets currently, since I'm still using my stabilizing-the-eyelets-with-duct-strapping method that really does require punching holes, but I'd really like to have a proper corsetry awl before inserting the peg side of the busk. (I may eventually start using real grommets and not doing the duct strapping thing in the back-- grommets are actually not as deep as eyelets, and so I can't actually get grommets all the way through the duct strapping. Yes, I've tried. Although I also don't have grommet tools yet. I'd been kinda hoping that eyelet tools of the same size would work.. but eyelet and grommet sizing are different anyway. That doesn't make complete sense, since apparently the biggest difference between metal eyelets and grommets is whether or not they have washers on the back, but I've also got some eyelets with washers, and the tool to apply them, but they still don't use the same tool as the grommets. Go figure. I'm getting a serious headache on the metal eyelets vs. grommets issue.)

30-Minute Jacket

Half-Hour JacketHalf-Hour Jacket
When I saw the 30-minute jacket I thought "oh neat!" And when I saw that they say it can be made reversible with either lining or double sided fabric, I figured it would be a wonderful use for the double-sided high-performance windblock fleece that's been sitting in the bottom part of the china cabinet that my stash lives in.
I think it actually took longer than half an hour. It probably would have been easier if I had a free arm-machine-- it was rather difficult to manipulate on the bed of my machine. It also took me a little while to figure out how the fabric should go together to make it reversible-- sides facing the same way, not right sides together. It was still pretty easy to make. I decided not to cut the fabric lengthwise, because I'd prefer it as a longer coat-- really, I like cloaks. It's very cloak-like this way. However.. on my dress form, it looks like a no-sew project, like I just draped the fabric over my form and that was it. I think it looks a bit better actually on me, but it's still.. I dunno. Doesn't quite feel like a "real" project. It's not bad or anything, I'm sure I'll wear it, and it *was* a decent use for the double sided fleece.. It just doesn't look like much of a sewing project. Don't get me wrong, it's a good quick jacket, and would probably be more displayable if I could photograph it on me. But I'm still feeling a bit disappointed.

A Few More Couch Pillowcases

Christmas Couch Cushions!: After I made all of the green ones, I was mentioning to Kris that I've seen couches in magazines with very assorted pillowcases, and really liked the way that looked.  The first thing he mentioned was that I should make some red ones so we'd have Christmas couch cushions!  Well, Christmas is a long way away, but I'll have the pillowcases ready! I made two of the red ones.  The fabric was narrower, so they needed a full yard each.Christmas Couch Cushions!: After I made all of the green ones, I was mentioning to Kris that I've seen couches in magazines with very assorted pillowcases, and really liked the way that looked. The first thing he mentioned was that I should make some red ones so we'd have Christmas couch cushions! Well, Christmas is a long way away, but I'll have the pillowcases ready! I made two of the red ones. The fabric was narrower, so they needed a full yard each. Assorted Couch Cushions: ..And then I made a couple more panne velvet pillowcases in different colors.  I made one each of the purple and orange ones.  The purple I only had just over a yard of, so I couldn't have made more than one.  (It used 3/4ths of a yard.)  The orange I still have a bit more of, but I don't need more than one orange pillowcase.  It's amazing I even made one, I'm not much of an orange person, but it's not for wearing, so that makes it better.  It's more of an accent thing.  Some orange can be an acceptable accent. This used up most of the panne velvet I had left.  The panne velvet hasn't been living in my main stash, but in a box off to the side labeled "panne velvet."  (Creative, huh?)Assorted Couch Cushions: ..And then I made a couple more panne velvet pillowcases in different colors. I made one each of the purple and orange ones. The purple I only had just over a yard of, so I couldn't have made more than one. (It used 3/4ths of a yard.) The orange I still have a bit more of, but I don't need more than one orange pillowcase. It's amazing I even made one, I'm not much of an orange person, but it's not for wearing, so that makes it better. It's more of an accent thing. Some orange can be an acceptable accent. This used up most of the panne velvet I had left. The panne velvet hasn't been living in my main stash, but in a box off to the side labeled "panne velvet." (Creative, huh?)

Simplicity Arkivestry Dress

Light Blue Gauze NightgownLight Blue Gauze NightgownTapered Fold for Gauze NightgownTapered Fold for Gauze Nightgown
I first used this pattern last summer, and figured I'd do another one (or maybe another two) since I'd gotten the knit gauze in three colors. When I made it last year, I used the off-white, this time I used the blue; I still have a light purple one. The pattern is a serious fabric hog. The last time I made it, I felt like it was quite wasteful, since there were large pieces of fabric left over that seemed excessive. As drafted, it's so wide that the fabric has to be opened out and then placed double thickness. I didn't really want to do that again, so I used a tapered fold (shown in the second picture) so it could use lengthwise folded fabric. I actually wish I hadn't tapered it as much as I did-- I'm actually thinking it would have worked out better if I'd taken some out of the middle of the top, because the upper edge is very bulky. I think the knit gauze is bulkier than regular gauze would be. I also repeated what I did last time and used a drawstring instead of following the strange instructions for foldover lace with a fake drawstring. I'm considering the possibility of cutting a V out of the front, to reduce the neckline bulk and make the drawstring visible, since I cut the front piece on the fold instead of making it two separate pieces. I haven't decided if that's necessary or not; I do like it as it is, and I'm not completely sure how I'd finish the inner edge of the cut-out V. Probably a lettuce edge like at the hemline and sleeves, but I'm not sure how well that would work. So for now, it stays as it is. I also have less of the lavender, so I'll have to taper the sleeves too, so they don't have to be cut out seperately. I used four and a half yards for this one, and I only have four yards of the lavender knit gauze.

Midnight Blue Panne Velvet "Medieval" Dress

Butterick 4571 in Crushed VelourButterick 4571 in Crushed VelourI got the midnight blue panne velvet for $1/yard from FabricMart last April. I'm not generally a huge fan of panne velvet, but at a dollar a yard for something in a pretty color, I got sucked in anyways. Well, it's been sitting around and sitting around.. so I decided to use it for Butterick 4571. It's a pretty costume-y pattern to begin with (yea, I know it's a costume pattern, but I don't usually like my costumes to be costume-y) so I decided I'd try it in the blue panne velvet. It slides off my shoulders pretty badly, I'll have to do something to stabilize it so it won't fall down; the shape of the neckline nor the slippery heaviness of the panne velvet both contribute to the falling-off-the-shoulders thing. A bit of clear elastic going across the upper edge of the back should help with that, though. I used some of that narrow flower trim I got in a FabricMart mystery box, and I lined the outer sleeves with a hunter green panne velvet I got even longer ago-- at the end of 2009, when I'd only just started sewing. All in all, it doesn't look too bad.. it's kinda pretty for panne velvet. (It was one of the recommended fabrics, too.) I didn't line anything but the sleeves. Polyester is bad enough as it is, I didn't think it needed more layers.

Pink Knit Simplicity 3568 Tunic Top

Pink Knit Tunic TopPink Knit Tunic TopThe bad news is that when I prewashed this fabric, I washed it with some other stuff.. including a shirt of Kris's that had a pen in it that I missed. The good news is that a few more washings got most of the ink out-- enough that I was still able to fit the pattern pieces into the inkless parts. I made view A of Simplicity 3568, the longer top without the cowl neck. I cut a 12, but it actually seems a bit big. While knits are among the fabrics suggested for the top, it also lists various non-stretch fabrics, so it's not sized for knits and I probably should have gone with a smaller size. It looks frumpy with jeans, but I'm thinking that it'll be better with leggings, and leggings were more what I had in mind for it while I was making it anyways.

Sheer Kitchen Curtains

Sheer Kitchen Curtains: I'll really have to take another picture when the sun isn't shining right into the window.  I used two layers of green polyester chiffon from (you guessed it) a half-off red-tag sale at Joann last year.  I made green sheer curtains for the living room and the stairway awhile ago, but hadn't decided what to do with the rest of the stuff.  I had old white curtains up on the kitchen window before, but the green goes with everything else better.  I've still got a tad of the green stuff left, but this used up most of what I had left.Sheer Kitchen Curtains: I'll really have to take another picture when the sun isn't shining right into the window. I used two layers of green polyester chiffon from (you guessed it) a half-off red-tag sale at Joann last year. I made green sheer curtains for the living room and the stairway awhile ago, but hadn't decided what to do with the rest of the stuff. I had old white curtains up on the kitchen window before, but the green goes with everything else better. I've still got a tad of the green stuff left, but this used up most of what I had left.
Green Sheer Curtains Closed: Here's one of the curtains closed.. but still with the sun right behind them.  Hopefully I'll get better pictures after the sun sets.Green Sheer Curtains Closed: Here's one of the curtains closed.. but still with the sun right behind them. Hopefully I'll get better pictures after the sun sets.I just finished sheer green curtains for the window over the kitchen sink. I'd made similar curtains for the windows in the living room and in the stairway, but I'd had up old white ones over the sink for awhile. These match the rest of the house better, and used up most of the green polyester chiffon I had left. I used two layers for each curtain panel, and did a serged rolled hem with woolly nylon in the lower looper for the bottom edges. The curtains are 45" long so I used just over 5 yards for the pair.

Micro-Terry Bathrobe

Micro-Terry Bathrobe: I used the Simplicity 3571 pajama pattern very loosely.  It was the closest pattern I had on hand to what I wanted to make, so I really used it as a guide more than a pattern.  I flatlocked all the seams because I wanted to make it reversable.  My reasoning on that was simple-- I'm not sure which side of the micro-terry is the right side!  I'd expect that the soft side to be the one that should be next to the skin, but it's supposed to be moisture-wicking and the soft side doesn't seem like the absorbent one.  Not sure if that'll change after washing.  So anyway, I wanted to be able to wear it either way, so flatlocking was the logical choice.  I added 18 inches onto the bottom of the pattern, since I wanted it to be a robe and not a top.   I used rolled hems on all of the edges.  Then I added fabric loops on the front pieces, and ribbon so that it could be tied closed.  It actually didn't turn out too bad for something so improvised!  I like the kimono sleeves.Micro-Terry Bathrobe I used the Simplicity 3571 pajama pattern very loosely. It was the closest pattern I had on hand to what I wanted to make, so I really used it as a guide more than a pattern. I flatlocked all the seams because I wanted to make it reversable. My reasoning on that was simple-- I'm not sure which side of the micro-terry is the right side! I'd expect that the soft side to be the one that should be next to the skin, but it's supposed to be moisture-wicking and the soft side doesn't seem like the absorbent one. Not sure if that'll change after washing. So anyway, I wanted to be able to wear it either way, so flatlocking was the logical choice. I added 18 inches onto the bottom of the pattern, since I wanted it to be a robe and not a top. I used rolled hems on all of the edges. Then I added fabric loops on the front pieces, and ribbon so that it could be tied closed. It actually didn't turn out too bad for something so improvised! I particularly like the kimono sleeves.
It'll make a nice summer bathrobe.

More Grocery Bags! ..but this time with explanations!

My mom has said she'd like some reusable grocery bags, so I have an excuse to make a few more! And to use that rubbery "techno taffeta" that I've had no idea what to do with. I was surprised at how well the "techno taffeta" went with that iridescent fabric from Joann; these bags fold up much better than any of the others I've made. I've made two in this fabric combination, and I'll probably make a few more, since I still have more of both fabrics and I like the results a lot. I took some pictures of the process, too, since how the folding-in of the outside edges works always seems somewhat hazy in the tutorials I'd read; it took me awhile to figure out how simple it actually was.
Green Reusable Bags: Two more reusable grocery bags.  The outside is some kinda of synthetic iridescent fabric from a half-off red-tag sale at Joann last year, and the inside is that rubbery Vera Wang "techno taffeta."  I was surprised at how well the bags made with this combination folded up!  The folded up bag is definitely flatter and more compact than the other fabric combinations I've tried.Green Reusable Bags: Two more reusable grocery bags. The outside is some kinda of synthetic iridescent fabric from a half-off red-tag sale at Joann last year, and the inside is that rubbery Vera Wang "techno taffeta." I was surprised at how well the bags made with this combination folded up! The folded up bag is definitely flatter and more compact than the other fabric combinations I've tried.
Grocery Bag Side Fold Outside View: From the outside, the bags look like there must be some sort of accordion thing going, folded in from the middle of the side, right?  Wrong!Grocery Bag Side Fold Outside View: From the outside, the bags look like there must be some sort of accordion thing going, folded in from the middle of the side, right? Wrong!
Reusable Bag Unfinished Inside View: Turned inside out, the outer edges are just folded in towards the middle, lined up with where the pocket comes to on the outside.   From there, I just serge across the bottom with a 5-thread safety stitch.Reusable Bag Unfinished Inside View: Turned inside out, the outer edges are just folded in towards the middle, lined up with where the pocket comes to on the outside. From there, I just serge across the bottom with a 5-thread safety stitch.
Inside Fold Closeup: A closeup of how the sides of the bag are folded in.Inside Fold Closeup: A closeup of how the sides of the bag are folded in.

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