mellymell: (basterds shosanna)
I'm trying desperately to catch up on everything. I have no idea how I got this far behind in ALL THE THINGS, but I have and it's frustrating. I was over 200 entries behind on LJ reading. I know this because they won't let you go back farther than 200 entries on your friends list. I've got it down to under 80 now and still plugging away. If there's something that happened at the end of September or the beginning of October that you think I might have missed (i.e. beyond those 200 entries), do tell.

My velvet still isn't in. Impatient mellymel is impatient. ETA: In the time that I posted this, picked up Jonah from school and returned home, the box from Sy Fabrics was sitting on my doorstep. I guess I was expecting USPS for some reason, though I don't believe they specify. My first impressions of silk velvet are always underwhelming until it's been through at least one wash. Also, I think the red is too... red. The trim I wanted to use with it is a touch deeper, maybe a shade towards burgundy. So, I've got some burgundy dye on hand and though I cringe to think about it, I might try an overdye to darken it up a bit. The other option is overdyeing the trim. I just tested with a fabric paint marker and it makes a subtle but noticeable difference to the color of the red bullion and casts it more toward the blood red of the velvet. I don't know, I'll consult the bride first.

In the meantime, I'm trying really hard to get my mockup completely finished before the final fabric arrives. Would be nice to switch over and finish up Brandy's stuff while I ponder the mockup a wee bit more. I like some leeway before cutting and I know once that velvet arrives, I'm going to want to play with it. I still need to draft a skirt pattern for Brandy's stuff, too.

The very fitted look of this is growing on me. I have to remember the whole thing is going to look much more relaxed in silk velvet rather than the muslin I'm working with. Even still, there are a couple of areas I'm going to have to add to, and I'm considering adding an inch or two of length in the back. Also, for any number of reasons, my center back line is not matching up. I can only guess it's because women in the 30s did not have butts. I did figure out how to work with the ties. They will tie, but they'll only be decorative, not a method of fastening the dress (sticking with the side seam zipper idea). I feel like those unpleasant wrinkles across the real-life model's midsection were caused by the ties being used this way, not necessarily overfitting in the hips/underfitting in the waist.

Here's how it's looking. )

Just keep working, just keep working, just keep working...
mellymell: (billie holiday)
Dharma Trading never ceases to amaze me at how fast they ship. I was curious how long it would take because I've only ever used USPS Priority as an option with them (is usually the cheapest) and this time I used First Class. I ordered before noon on Thursday and my fabrics arrived on Saturday! I don't know how they do it.

I've never worked with silk organza before and I'm curious as to what I can expect from the pre-washing, as far as shrinkage and raveling are concerned. It's a fairly open weave and I don't want it to all come loose on me. I have three yards of it, which should be plenty for the jacket including a bit of raveling and shrinkage, but I just sort of like to know what I'm getting into.

The rest of it is five yards of silk chiffon for making a second skirt layer. I'll just copy the existing panels for shape and add it in underneath. The dress has a handkerchief hem and where it comes up is a little too high, even for tea length. So what I'm going to do is just shift the new skirt over by one panel width so that the high points on it fall where the low points on the outer skirt fall. Kind of filling in the gaps, as it were.

So I should have everything, except for a little bit of tulle to stiffen the collar of the jacket, to get started on all the final stuff for Brandy's wedding. I should really spend my evenings pulling lace off her mom's dress until I have all of that I need.

As for my dress, well, I've been wrestling with the muslin. This thing is not going to be easy to put together and even harder to make adjustments to the fit. All the pattern pieces fit together like a puzzle and I make myself dizzy just thinking about altering it a bit for some more room below the hips. Right now it fits all the way down to about mid-thigh where it then flares into the lovely bias folds (or they will be on a more appropriate fabric than muslin). But I'd like for it to pretty much fall from high hip or so because I know that looks good on me. I also don't want the waist to gap or bunch at all and I'm afraid if I fit it too much in the hips, it'll do just that. Kind of like the real life example on the pattern page.

Also, those ties are a nightmare! I plan on adding an invisible zipper into the side seam opposite the ties, but I do want them to be there, if only decorative. But I'm having a really hard time getting them to line up right because I've altered the original pattern to account for my long waist (had to add 4" and I must have done it in the wrong spot on the back bodice piece). I've contemplated just doing something like hemming those sections and just sewing up that seam completely. It would give kind of the same effect as my Arwen Dream gown (basically just really big seam allowances left on the outside to fall into lovely folds). I don't know, I'll play with it some more and see what I come up with. I probably have enough muslin to redraft the bodice at least, if I can get all the skirt panels to work together (which they do, but for the fact that they're too fitted for my tastes).

The fabric for my dress (the lovely deep red silk velvet from Sy Fabrics) should be on its way to me now, as well.

Just a month to get all this done... I can do it!
mellymell: (basterds shosanna)
I still don't completely have all my costumes packed away from Dragon*Con. I need to make some repairs and do some finishing on a couple before they can be washed, so they've just been hanging in the closet door since I got back. Also, I need to purchase something in which to store Batgirl parts and pieces. But I have straightened up enough (almost) to begin work again. The week after Dragon*Con, I got the pattern for my bridesmaid dress cut out and started making notes about sizing and such on the instructions (damn long waist).

I took a moment to scout out the fabrics I had picked out for it a year ago and lo, Thai Silks has jacked up the price of their silk velvet (likely because of globally increasing prices of silk, but still...). I was going to go with the "Dyeable Velvet" with a black backing and natural pile (looks like charcoal grey), but it's now over $21/yd and I'm not willing to pay that. So, I checked out old, reliable SyFabrics to see what they had in my price range. I sent Brandy some of the options I was looking at (since it's her wedding, she gets final say, of course). Among the muted autumnal tones I was considering were chocolate brown, olive and a gorgeous deep red (since those are colors I know she's using). She and I both leaned toward the red and I remembered I had some gorgeous bullion trim (the bottom one in that image) that was too narrow for the Blood Red Gown that will work perfectly on the straps and maybe even the neckline of the gown. I have a lot of it, but I don't want to overdo it on the gown.

I was hoping to get my mockup cut out today, but it looks like I've filled the day with cooking and cleaning instead. Oh well. No soccer game/practice this week, so I've got a little extra time there plus one more day of preschool for Jonah this week. Maybe I can spend all day tomorrow working on it.

One down!

Aug. 13th, 2010 09:30 pm
mellymell: (billie holiday)
Finished the bolero mockup! )
mellymell: (elseworld batgirl)
Another week gone by and I'm still looking at the bolero. I'm hoping today's third attempt at adjusting the sleeve pattern will finally get it to fit properly into the armscye without weird wrinkling and far too much wrestling while pinning/sewing. I know set-in sleeves are the hardest part of any garment for me still, but I can usually get it on a second attempt. So I'm thinking another tweak to the pattern will help. I'm keeping my head though. When I feel that familiar heartburn-like tingle of frustration build in my chest, I set it aside and think it out while I work on...

Batgirl! )
mellymell: (billie holiday)
Starting stuff for Brandy's wedding. )
mellymell: (Default)


More here.

I want to give it another coat, or two and try to clean up the spots where I screwed up a little better. The latter might require a different type of paint than I have on hand. The black paint pens are too matte. The setasilk is really watery and hard to get good coverage with it. I need something thick like the Lumiere gold, but with a satin finish to it. Once I get it how I like it, I'll heat set with an iron, wash it, then move on to the next thing: armor.

Also been working on my ConCraft article today and I'm surprised at how quickly I got to 1000 words. Going to have to trim, which will be good. Not a topic you want to go on and on about. If I can polish that up tonight, I might start a second one. If I had a second hat blank, I'd so do a pirate hat tutorial. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pics of what I did and let's face it: tutorials without pics are less than helpful.

Got my bridesmaid dress patten yesterday. Am not opening it until I'm done with Batgirl. Will be good. Will not succumb to costume A.D.D.
mellymell: (Default)
Started painting the Batgirl symbol on my compression shirt last Wednesday night. As I was about 30% done with it, I was thinking I should have stenciled it. At least the outline. Because I'm unsure and wanting to get it just right, I'm very slow at freehanding it. It's looking great though, so I can't complain about the effect at all. Just the process and the time it's taking kind of sucks. And I have screwed up in a couple of spots, but some black fabric paint has proved handy to correct those (mostly). If I had stenciled, I could have worked out these mistakes on some poster board or something first. At any rate, all that gold and black fabric paint I got when I had the "bright" idea to paint my own paisley for the Blood Red gown is finally going to good use. The outline is completely done now, so once I can get my hands on it again, should be quicker work of just filling in the lines. Then iron to heat set, wash and onto the next piece, probably the armor.

This is going to be a very fun costume to do. Lots of problem solving, which I kind of like. Yep, I'm mental like that. As we drove down to Huntsville yesterday afternoon for a baby shower, I started working out all the parts and pieces in words and trying to mentally figure out some of the logistical issues I'm going to encounter (like attaching the armor and cape to the main body of the outfit in the most inconspicuous and non-shifting way). I've decided to shoot to have the costume 100% done by Halloween so that I can go for a test run in it around the neighborhood on that day (so there will be minimal staring and head scratching. . . ok, who am I kidding?). At least my face will be mostly covered and it might be interesting to hear people later that night around the neighborhood trying to figure out who was running in a Batgirl costume that day. We'll see if I can keep my secret identity safe. ;)

As soon as this is done, I'm sliding straight into more black fabric as I start work on my bridesmaid dress for my best friend [livejournal.com profile] branflake who is getting married in a little over a year. I figure since it's me, it's never too early to start. There will be no embellishing though, so we'll see. There's a 1930s theme to the wedding so she wants everything to feel vintage (which is going to be SO FUN!). Out of the links she sent me of the dresses she was considering (no one's will be exactly alike), this was my favorite and I've ordered the pattern. She wants us in all black and I'm thinking a crepe de chine would suit this gown just perfectly! I'm also keeping an eye on ebay for vintage dress pins. Though I'm not adding any trim or anything to the gown, I think a tiny bit of bling (jet beads anyone?) at the tie on the waist would be nice.

I'm shooting to have it and a sheer (probably organza) ivory bolero done for her dress by the end of the year. As a result of those two projects surfacing AND just getting a little realistic about the time frames and budgets, I'm putting off Alice. I don't think I was going to have the budget for Alice yet anyway. And, honestly, I want that budget to go to Celeborn at this point. Yes. ;)

Still buying the buttons, definitely. But will put off anything but research (unless I happen upon a pair of those delicious shoes!) for Alice for now.

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