Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fie on thee, thou focking fruck coat!

So, after toiling away for a bit, custom-fitting (which meant re-pinning and re-cutting) the muslin pattern and getting everything supposedly fitting right, even going so far as to purchase the fabric, it happens.


Every seamstress's nightmare, or at least this seamstress's nightmare. Why we ever left off lacing leather or fabric sheaths to our bodices at the end of the Renaissance, I'll never know.

While I ponder that, here's some pictures of lovely frock coat fabric.

Bag'o'fabrics, fresh from Mood (aren't I trendy?), with swatches draped oh-so-elegantly over the side. That beige mass in there is just the muslin. The real coat fabric is...

This lovely sage green color, it's a polyester pretending to be silk, and I think it'll work splendidly for the coat. If the damned sleeves would cooperate, that is.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Second interlude: Moar crochet and yes, I fangirl on occasion.

So, instead of working on costumes like a good little costume blogger, I've been doing more crocheting. Why? Because I don't sleep. Instead of sleeping, I watch episodes of the new series of Doctor Who on my netbook, and it's much easier to do that while crocheting than while cutting and sewing costumes.

Following as a natural progression from my Doctor Who-a-thon, I've been poking around to see where else I can find David Tennant's lovely Scottish visage and tremendous acting versatility. Though, sadly, I can't see him as Katurian K. Katurian (yes, that middle K is what you think it is) in McDonagh's The Pillowman (I learned he was in that completely coincidentally, by seeing his name listed in my copy of the script), I found a few other things, including the BBC and Masterpiece Theatre's 2004 TV series Casanova.
I could comment on how much I loved the costumes, or how interesting it was to watch the main character, or not really the character but how you're meant to perceive him, which makes it all the more interesting, change so subtly from hero to anti-hero that you barely notice the transformation until it smacks you in the face, but I'll refrain. For now.
While watching, my hands meandered over to a crochet hook and some yarn. After a few false starts (which I will lie and blame on my being riveted to the goings-on in the show, rather than the less interesting but true reason of my not being able to settle on a pattern), I found myself creating another doll, this one of Casanova himself. My style still declines to include limbs or facial features other than facial hair -- eyebrows in this case -- but appears adorable nonetheless. I also plan to make a Henriette, and probably a Bellino.

(I think his hair could use a bit more work. If work is done, I'll update the pictures. I'll also update the pictures if I splurge on Corel PSPyada-yada-yada, and can edit photos to a wonderful state of semi-realism again.)

After my experiences with this doll I decided enough is enough, and I really should draw up a pattern and follow it each time to make my plushies more uniform in their shape. I did, and I may post/sell it online after I've put more effort into marketing my own services as dollmaker. I'm not at that point though, so avid crocheters and DIY-inclined fangirls will simply have to wait. I'm seriously considering revising my pattern almost entirely, to make the dolls a bit larger and let them sit up more readily without assistance. We'll see how that goes, though.

I have another costume planned, with a post forthcoming after I get some much-needed sleep. Bon soir!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Basilio Hat in all its glorious glory!

Without further ado (also lamentably without good photos -- Corel PSPPX2, how I miss thee!), the Basilio (or Basilietta) hat!

(See my earlier post for the first stages of its construction.)

So, I finally covered the whole thing in a wonderful silk-like polyester I got from my grandmother a few years ago, curled the brim up, sewed the crown to the band and that to the brim (creating a funny little pillbox-type hat in the process). I made a cotton lining that's washable and snaps off in case my crazy 18th Century hair makes it all disgusting (I really need a wig -- though as of now that's pretty far down on my list of priorities).

The lining, snapped into place.

The lining and underside of the hat. Isn't that bright red needlepoint plastic oh-so-18th Century?

Oh, and of course, you can't forget to stick a giant feather on the thing to top it off.
The pictures don't do justice to the brim curl that characterizes this hat's namesake and  inspired the hat itself, but I assure you the curl is there, and it's awesome. (Though I might redo the whole project in the future, there's always things that could be improved upon.)

Neither can I resist making an elegant leg if I've got breeches, a blouse (apparently shoes aren't required), and a fancy hat nearby. Been doing it since I was 12 (playing Dodger in a school play. Yeah, that's before my voice decided it likes me as a coloratura soprano with an F6. Yikes.), and I ain't got no plans to stop any time soon. As it turns out, this hat works as well with breeches as it would with a ballgown, which is fantastic, since as of now I've got the former and only a vague idea of constructing the latter.
I would love to own a custom-tailored ballgown and act like a girl for once in my life, but giant French panniers aren't exactly built for city subways. I doubt I'd make it through the doors of the train, let alone past a turnstile. I should be able to find some adaptation of 18th C. womens' fashion that's practical today though, that's what I'm good at. Speaking of which, I've got another sewing project lined up. My belated birthday present (meaning Mum's paying for the materials, but I'm sewing almost all of it) -- a 1760s frock coat. (And getting the pattern to fit my tiny frame was some adventure, let me tell you.)

Til my next post, dziekuje et guten nacht.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


God, that sounds like the pretentious emo-kid title of a MySpace blog. Anyway, moving on.

I can't help but wonder why 90% of the blogs you find after my blog by using the "Next Blog" feature are those of devoutly religious women, army wives, or a combination of the two.

On the bright side of things, my new doll-crocheting technique is a stunning success! YAY! Pictures of my newest endeavor will be up as soon as the endeavor's done. As well as pictures of the hat.