Friday, May 18, 2012

The ill used Red Ridding Hood Corset...

Well after four years of abuse I think it might be time to retire my red ridding hood corset. I love the corset immensely the wonderful Michell over at Damsel dress made it for me, but because I'm so curvy it doesn't stay up in the back. I think I need to make myself a reinforced back with some shoulder straps. We shall see how this Frankenstein corset comes together. Stay tuned.... This might just be the project from hell. Oh and did I mention I want to wear it in exactly one month from yesterday???? Hum.... maybe I'll just make a waist corset.
Did I mention this all started because of a trip to the fabric store? I found the perfect fabric... >,<

Friday, March 9, 2012

Wearing History

Wearing History is doing a give away. They are releasing a new 1910 blouse pattern its simply smashing.
I'm really excited the pattern looks beautiful and I can't wait to see what else Wearing History will create.

In 2009 when I was going to go to an Edwardian event there were very few options for patterns for this era. I'm so happy that companies are starting to release more.

Don't get me wrong Truly Victorian has MANY patterns for all of the Victorian styles but I can never get the fit right on their patterns. The sizing throws me off.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

1912 Challenge...

March has somehow snuck up on me... One minute it was barely the begining of February and not its March. *SIGH*

I have got a 1912 corset on my cutting/sewing table and I have many things to get ready for the Celtic Faire in but one and a half weeks.

Before the Lovely Kim at VPLL took over the request for the patterns the other groups were recieving I was fortunate enough to get the Bodice pattern I really liked its been printed out (Pdf file) and is currently being taped together. I will have to enlarge the size, since the pattern is bust sized 36. (I am not a 36 by any means. :D) After reading many of the blogs about this pattern I believe I will lower the waist line a bit as well.

I am still waiting for my Groups assignment... (I'm group 26) and we haven't had the chance to get our assignment yet. Understandable since there are so many people in our Challenge. I can't wait to have a little more time and be able to try out some of these lovely patterns. :D

Friday, January 27, 2012

Edwardian Hat Tutorial Part 2

First things first: So I might have fibbed just a little... I finished the hat and I will be doing the second tutorial now... however! It just shows you how to get to a covered hat frame. It is not going to be decorated. I will post the decorated hat once I get paid and can afford the netting I want to put on it with the feathers I also have waiting for it. :D So I guess technically this will be a three parter... in a sense. I will post the finished hat as well as answer any questions that happen to come through either on here or on the various forums this is linked to.

OK, so when I left you last you had three pieces to your hat, the brim covered in wire, the crown top covered in a swirl of wire and the crown sides lined in wire.

Its time to get out your Millinery Needles because you are going to be doing some hand sewing. I would say that the cover of the hat is done half and half. The top is hand sewn and the brim is machine sewn.

This is how I covered my hat... the directions are different but I like the way I did it and I am happy with the results.

I started with the very top of the crown, I cut out a square of the fabric I am using (black silk) that was roughly two inches bigger than the circle.
I then started pinning and tucking the fabric in a circle, I did NOT cut the extra fabric, the reason for this will become apparent later.

This is what mine looked like once I pinned it all down.

I think did the crown band. I cut down my crown by 2". I took the fabric and folded it over the band and cut. :D

I then sewed the top of the crown on to the band. Like this!
I hand sewed the top of the crown to the band. I used tiny stitches. Not sure if you can see it. :D

I then took the top of the brim and laid it on top of the silk and cut out a square the same way I did the top of the crown.

After a quick run over with the iron...
I then rounded the edges so that it would be a bit easier to work with.

I picked a section and started pinning just like the crown.
Now its time for the center...

I cut the center and pinned it back like this:

I then sewed both the inner brim and the outer edge of the brim on the sewing machine.
** When you are sewing a hat covered in wires with fabric over it where you can't see said wires GO SLOW! If your needle hits a wire whilst going slow it will stop, if you hit a wire while going full speed the needle will most likely break and fly at you.

like so:
The top of the brim will look like this:
I know it doesn't look like much but when its done it will look great.
So now its time for the inside lining.
You are going to actually use the pattern for this step. (Shocking I know) lol
Using the lining pattern you are going to draw it out with chalk onto the fabric (love chalk!)
Then cut it out... ;D
Now you will need to sew to edges together... (do'nt sew the top or the bottom edge only the side and only one)
Next you will run gathering stitches along the side that is NOT even. :D So the straight edge will go along the edge of the brim farthest away from the crown... The gathering stitch will be two rows of basting stitches... like this:

Next you will pin the straight edge to the outer edge of the brim like this!
Once you get it all pinned in place you are going to gather it up. :D

When its done it will look like this! (pinned that is... )

I think sewed both the inner brim edge and the outer edge on the sewing machine.
So now that the brim is in tack I went back to the crown and "Frankensteined" the inside. Its not pretty so you are so warned. :D
Now that the brim and the crown are done its time to sew them together. I just pinned the top onto the brim eyeballing it until I liked where it sat. I then started sewing it taking stitches from the bottom through the crown.
Once it is all sew down you are finished! :D
And it looks like this!!! :D

Well, that's it for now. I hope you can follow my instructions and that you can create your own beautiful hats. Please feel free to ask any questions you might have I'm willing to answer whatever I can. :D

I think I should get points for finishing this blog early! Since I gave myself until Monday to finish this. :D


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Edwardian Hat Tutorial...

The Lovely and talented Tara Maginnis, creator of the Costume Manifesto, has a wonderful hat pattern on her site that is for an Edwardian hat out of Buckram.=

I have used her pattern many times. I have even modified her pattern to make a Victorian small crown hat. Her instructions are easy to follow and once you have made it you and know the fundamentals you can pretty much make any hat.

I admit I forgot a crucial step whilst making my newest hat and I'm hoping that it doesn't affect the final product. (I will of course tell you which step I missed and inform you how to do the step.)

So this will be a two part Tutorial the first part is how to make the buckram frame. (My way... I don't quite follow all the instructions but you'll see where I differ slightly)

* I HIGHLY recommend using at least a size 14 or 16 needle as I hit the wire at least a dozen times while making my hat and if I had had a thinner needle on my machine it would have snapped. ALSO! I wear regular glasses all the time so I don't feel the need to wear safety goggles but if I didn't wear glasses I would highly recommend them. I have had needles break and pop at me. In fact I had a scratch on my face once from a broken needle flying at my face.

First off, You will need:

The instructions and the pattern that you will increase. (Its really easy I promise.)
A LOT of thread to match the color of the buckram and the color of the fabric.
A lot of wire a minimum of 8 yards of heavy wire (I use 16 gauge jewelry wire)
a yard stick
a measuring tape
HEAVY Buckram (If you can't find heavy buckram you can use the regular and double it up which is what I have done for me.)
Fabric to cover the frame
Pin cushion and pins
Wire cutter
Pinking sheers (if you are using silk this is really important since it frays easily)
Regular scissor and paper scissor

(Optional) Chocolate for when your patience run thin. ;)

The essentials.

You will need to take the pattern and draw it out on some paper. This is actually pretty easy...
take the pattern and count the square in each piece, one square equals one inch. (that is how I did it... but now that I look at the pattern again I see that it is actually 1/4" = 1") But I actually did it 1 square = 1"

So the Buckram frame measures out like this:

Once you get the measurements you can then transfer these to a large sheet so that you can cut it out as your pattern. Like this:

This is how my pattern came out and I am very pleased with the size of both the crown and the brim.

So now that the pattern is traced off you need to cut it out and then cut out your buckram.

I use two layers of buckram because its not heavy buckram. I used about 2 1/2 yards of buckram. (I had originally four yards so its hard to say exactly how much. :D)

Everyone should be comfortable with pinning and cutting out patterns so I will skip this part for length sake. :D

Ok, so the step I accidentally skipped was this:
"B. Cut slash in buckram hat brim and overlap by 1 1/2". Zigzag by machine or whipstitch edges of overlap together by hand, as shown.C. Reinforce buckram as shown by zigzagging hat wire to buckram pieces. On crown top and brim make sure the wire of the rings overlaps at least 2" at the joint. Put wires on the underside of brim."

I didn't remember to do this but I am only putting one layer of Silk on top of it so hopefully it won't be too big of a problem.

How to sew the wire in: Excuse the music please. The radio was on. :D My machine sounds horrible but it is actually kind of hard to sew with a camera in your hand. I wanted everyone to get how you sew the wire on. You actually sew over it and sort of in case it in thread.

SO this is where you take all the wire you have and start going around the brim zig zagging it into place. I used size 2 stiches and a medium width to sew my wire in place. I don't have access to millinery wire so went and got jewelry wire that was 20 gage... thinking about it now I would have probably used 16 instead which is a thicker wire. But like I said light fabric hopefully it will be ok when its done. (If not I'll seam rip it and fix it. :D)

I never cut my wire until I have reached the starting point as it saves myself a LOT of aggravation.

I also double back over the edges of the wire so that it doesn't poke through the fabric. (since silk is pricey I'd rather not have it ruined.)

Continue until the whole hat is full of wires and can stand up on its own. I also went back and put some wires in between the ones in the pictures on the left.

This is how the frame will look after you have all the wires sewn into the buckram.

Next you need to repeat the same process for the crown. On the sides of the crown it is easiest if you sew it flat and then bend it into the circle you need. Below is a shot of the wire being sewn into the sides of the crown.

The crown top I sew in a "cinnamon swirl" lol! Here's a picture so you know what I'm talking about:
Since no one will be seeing my not so straight swirl when the hat is done I don't mind admitting that its not that perfect. However! It did stiffen the buckram like it was meant to.

I know the instructions say to put the whole frame together and then cover it, but I like covering each thing first and then sewing it all together. I think it gives a better line in the end.

So this is where I am going to end this first part and I will pick up next time with covering the hat.

Hope you can follow my ramblings enough to make your own Edwardian Hat. The second Part will be up by Monday the 30th of Jan at the latest. I have a lot of hand sewing to do. :D