Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Fabric addiction & new petticoat

Um... I need to stop buying fabric.

I only buy fabric from thrift stores, but still, it adds up. And there's no point in Buying Fabric With A Purpose (to make costumes) if I'm not actually DOING anything with it (yet).

But then, I find things like my most recent weekend finds:

$1.99 - for 7 yds of poly-cotton fabric from Goodwill. I can use this for mockups and practicing new things. For instance, yesterday I used it to practice making a chemise, which I've never done before. I've bought yardage from Saver's in the past and used it to learn how to make men's shirts.

$.50 - for three panels of red cotton velveteen from Salvation Army. I'll measure them when I get home. I'll save one to make a corset to go with the Christmas ren fest costume I've been planning (I found 4-5 yards of a red and green plaid at Saver's about a year ago and have been saving it for this).

(I haven't washed the fabric yet in this pic.)

$2.50 - for 6 yds of what I think is silk damask! I can't remember the yardage, and it's not a full width (only one of the selvedges is intact). It measures about 26 inches wide. It was hemmed using some kind of glue, but the glue is old enough to have lost its "grip" so I can unfold the hemmed edges easily. I haven't washed this yet either. I don't know what I'll do with it. It's so beautiful. I may have to just sell it and let someone more talented use it.

Pictures will follow later for the following:

$2.99 - for a long poly-cotton voile curtain that I'm going to use for a chemise for my friend's costume.

$1.99 - for 3 yds of retro fabric in perfect condition.

$6.02 - for 4 yd white linen curtain swag to use in a chemise for myself, a queen-sized 100% cotton sheet to use for a petticoat, and a vintage embroidered tablecloth from the Goodwill Outlet where everything is sold by the pound.

In fact, maybe I'll post pictures of everything in my stash. I spent only a fraction of the cost on the yardage and household linens that I will be turning into costume pieces that I would have spent buying from Joanne's, but I still feel kind of overwhelmed by it all. :-)

Oh, I almost forgot! I finished my friend's petticoat last night.


Me modeling the petticoat. I need to lose weight. :-(

Detail of fabric and hem.

I'm going to steal the Dreamstress's format for reporting on projects for her Historical Sew Fortnightly, even though I'm not participating in it (yet). It's a wonderful way to summarize projects.

The Challenge: Make a petticoat for my friend's Ren fest costume
Fabric: A cotton-something synthetic blend curtain from Goodwill
Pattern: 18th-century style petticoat
Notions: White thread, grey double-fold bias tape/quilt binding for waistband and hem, cotton twill tape for waist ties 
How historically accurate is it? The pattern is very historically accurate, but the fabric is not. I think the hem depth is accurate (I can't remember where I read hems of 18th century skirts were rarely more than 1-inch deep). I think using bias tape to enclose the raw edge of the hem might have been done sometimes, but I don't know. I think the waistband finishing isn't very accurate, but the waist ties are. 
Hours to complete: I didn't keep track, but will try to from now on. I think about 4-5 hours? Took longer than usual because of having to pick out the seams and learn how to do a French seam 
First worn: TBD 
Total cost: $4.99 for the fabric, $1.50 for 1st package of quilt binding, $1.79 for 2nd package of quilt binding, I already had the thread and the cotton twill tape. So $8.96 total (including tax).

This petticoat is about 90 inches circumference. I'm so happy with it now, but it was so frustrating to work on because I had to tear out all the seams, the edges were very easy to fray, the fabric is thick so I had to use a French seam on the sides, which looks sloppy, and I had to use bias tape quilt binding on the hem because it was too thick to hem normally with those massive side seams. BUT--that fabric makes a beautiful petticoat, the bias tape on the hem is a nice touch, and the thick side seams helps the petticoat to stand out more.

Now I wish I'd bought more of these curtains to use in the future. Maybe I'll be making a run to Goodwill after work. :-) If only I knew how well these would sell. But I think, if they're cheap enough, they'll probably sell okay.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Like a pioneer

I'm having a massively exciting evening of pinning knife pleats by the light of the fireplace, just like a real pioneer. :)

And then I BASTED them in place BY HAND!

I don't know why some people hate knife pleats. They are so beautiful. I just eyeball them since the only good tutorials I've found involve math, and I can't math. My waistbands always end up too big, so I just by default make my skirts and petticoats the 18th century style for adjustability.

My puppy has been "helping" me (she likes burying her Nylabones in the skirt fabric). Right now she's leaning on me and squeaking her Blue Guy (and deafening me and my husband in the process). I wish I could get a picture, but in the dim light of the fireplace it's just not possible.So here's a picture of her from a couple of weeks ago, when I caught her in a calm moment.

I hope you are all having an equally lovely evening.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sewing again

I stopped updating this blog back in May of last year because it was summertime and to me, sewing is a winter pastime. Plus, it gets really hot in my little sewing room in the summer.

BUT, I've been doing a lot of sewing and reading more awesome costuming blogs, so I decided it was time for me to start blogging again.

I made two more skirts, a pseudo-corded petticoat, finally pleated that matelasse quilt into a quilted petticoat, and learned how to make a man's shirt. Oh, and I made a new corset. And then I went CRAZY at the thrift store and bought $100 worth of household linens and fabric thinking I was going to MAKE ALL THE THINGS AND SELL THEM ON ETSY AND EBAY YAYYYY SEWING IS FUN!!!! And then I became paralyzed with anxiety. I could have spent $100 on clothes for myself. I could have upgraded my iPhone. What is wrong with me?

I'll post pictures tonight.