Monday, November 08, 2010

Obligatory snaps

 Jessica was in no mood for photos. This was taken 28 Oct 2010 before school. I made only her skirt and the 'scarf' in her hair. The t-shirt is something she already owned and the leggings... she really could have gone without the leggings! But, as she likes to climb I must be thankful she considers her modesty. The headscarf is waaaaay too big. I know this. Thank you for noticing it too.

Georgina and Jessica... wow these two are hard work. Georgina didn't want to get out of the car. Neither of them looked happy about being dressed up, yet both of them had been so excited in the lead up. Jessi LOVES that costume. The pettiskirt is horrendous and is fraying nylon crap all over the place, but that didn't stop her wearing it 3 days in a row. Maybe if I get a tealight I can singe the edges a little to stop (or even slow) the fraying.

 My friend Cissy and I at the Workers Club Halloween party, 30 Oct 2010 (it's a bit hard to have a party on a Sunday night lol). Cecilia is wearing a 1920's dress she ordered for the last Murder Mystery night which arrived 2 days after the event, a $30 feather boa, $55 shoes, had her nails not only manicured but acrylics applied, fake bullet wound tattoos, fake blood, and she left at home her big old fashioned cigarette holder (like this) with fake cigarette all bought for the occasion. I, on the other hand, frantically scrambled to make myself a costume, any costume, with supplies on hand.

I am sooooooooooo proud of myself!!!!
(did you hear that? it's probably the only time you ever will so please take note!)

I am not a "someone" or a "something", I am merely wearing a costume. I aimed for Regency, and I think I may have pulled it off. Sort of. This would have been more a day dress or something. If you don't know what the Regency era was, think of movies like Pride and Prejudice, Emma.. Anything Jane Austen!!
(It reminds me of an oversized nightgown/christening gown)

I had no more than 3 fabrics to choose from. I rarely buy more than 2.5m of any one fabric and I needed roughly 4m for this ensemble. It should have been in a small floral print and is instead in this funny little dotty cotton where the dots are ties of cotton. I really didn't want to use this fabric, I was saving it for something for me. Let's face it, I save too much "for good" and never get any use out of it what so ever.

I DID NOT USE A PATTERN! At all.. It was all from my own head and playing around with the manequin. Although I have a plus size manequin, that darn thing is nothing like me and it took a bit of work to get it from there to me. All piece by piece. I worked out the front bodice and then the back, realising I needed to have a slightly odd side panel too. 

I chose pastel pink for contrast only because I have a gorgeous pink shawl I bought at an op shop and rarely get to use. I already had the wide ribbon, the lace on the sleeves threaded with narrow pink ribbon, the pearls and flower in my hair. The pearl necklace is something I wore to a school ball. Possibly year 9 (so, age 14.. half my life ago lol). My friend bought me some narrow cream ribbon for the lacing loops and some flat lace for the hem as well as the pink lacing used in the corest style back all for under $10. Overall, I don't think this dress cost me more than $25. The fabric itself was no more than $6/m when I bought it. I know this because I am mega stingy!! (or mega broke, you decide). The bodice and sleeves are fully lined with some heavy, but soft, creamy fabric I got in a remnants bag and the weight of it helped to hold the sleeves up, giving them that "poof" they needed. The panel in the back (under the corset style lacing) is only fixed down one side and held with press studs (snaps) on the other. I was curing my hair and nanna was behind me sewing in snaps! It's a little hard to do those things for yourself lol.

The skirt is two fabric widths pleated to fit (yay for dotted fabric, no measuring required haha) and a press stud to hold the last pleat under the centre back bodice in place. It needed to open slightly to get it off and on. All hidden under the wide ribbon sash. I styled my own hair. It's not what I wanted but it sufficed. 
I was sitting there curling the front when nanna took this photo lol

I have no 'in progress' pics, I could go back and take some but I know no one is really that interested. I started with the mannequin and made it as 'me' shaped as it would allow and using super fine interfacing I marked a centre line, lined it up with the centre front of the mannequin and drew all over it with a Sharpie! I hand stitched in some gathers, pinned pleats etc and marked it all in black texta. I removed the interfacing from the mannequin and all the pins and tacking stitches, and traced it onto baking paper. Using an old bed valance I cut out my 'pattern pieces' with the baking paper pattern. Sewed up the hideous green valance pieces and tried it on. Too big. More tucking, pinning, tacking, drawing on.. until I got something that fit. Scribbled all over the green fabric in biro, sharpie and pencil marking different things. Undid all the stitches etc and the green fabric became my final pattern. Re-cut the pieces in my good fabric and lining. Then sewed it all up and put it back on the mannequin to work out sleeves. Had to cross my fingers the sleeves worked, and 'poofed' appropriately. The corest-y back was the very last thing I did, after the skirt was sewn on etc. I had no real idea how to make it work, and was worried I'd have to concede defeat and use a zipper. I also nearly forgot to sew an underskirt! I didn't have enough fabric to line the skirt so I cut some white jersey very randomly and serged some elastic to the top and serged up a seam. No one could see the underskirt so it was terribly rushed and imperfect but by this stage I wasn't fussed. Considering I was still at the serger/sewing machine 3hrs before leaving the house, and the last minute finishing touches nanna was adding, I was grateful just to be done!

I had a good night out. Well, I appreciated the getting out!! Above is myself, Ange (Georgina's mum and my ex-coworker) and the barmaid Danielle leaning over the bar to get in on the action :)

This was the night before all the headaches started. I have one again today and I am wondering if it is related to the hay fever I have right now.

I have Jessica home with a nasty cough too. She missed a day of school last week also. It was the athletics carnival on a 36C degree day! I told her teacher she wouldn't be attending. It was way too hot to make them run around in the sun, she can't wear appropriate footwear due to her latex allergy, and she is under strict orders from her dermatologist not to get sunburnt because of the pills she is on. I felt a little bad about it, like I should be encouraging participation.. but let's face it. Not all kids are athletes anyway.

The weather is still bouncing between about 18C and 36C but we've been forecast 40C this week too. Not looking forward to the summer heat if we're already getting such high temps.


Toni said...

I'm So impressed Shell! can't believe you did all that yourself, and it's so pretty!