Thursday, December 11, 2008

ooooooooh! Purty!

Looky, looky!!! Handbound eyelets! :o) *Draea is proud*

Ok, so this isn't all of them, but I am halfway done with all of the eyelets for my back-lacing corset! Only 7 are showing, cuz they're the prettiest. :oD

I have one more to do on this side (back-left side) the 10 on the other. Yay! Then to finish putting reeds into the channels and test fit. Then I will be edging the whole thing with the same spicy red.

Gotta go now, time for our very first SCA fighter practice! :o)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ack! My EYE...lets!

Rawr..once again, silly thing keeps flipping my images, neckache is up to you. :oP

OK, top hole is a satin stitch with 2 9mm jewelry jump-rings (one on each side of the fabirc) to strengthen the eyelet. Thinking this is a good idea for the corset holes, since it's gonna have a lot of stress on it holding my squishy-goodness in and up... :oD My thread kept breaking until I doubled it over (it is embroidery floss, split in half) so that's why my hole looks all hinky. I think I have the hang of that one.

The bottom is my attempt at a button-hole stitch w/o the jump-rings as guides or support, basically me just trying to figure out how to make the nifty little lockdown knots. I like that, I may use it for things that will show like my overdress front-lacing. (After a few more practice tries, of course!)

Oh yeah, and I managed to get a half-way decent close up of my outer fabric for my corset, just imagine it with the lines running vertically, orrrrr, give yourself a mini-neckache for the full visual effect!

Off to measure out my eyelets for the real deal!


Thursday, December 4, 2008

The First Pattern

OK, I give up on posting the pic right, six attempts and it still sits 90 degrees in the wrong direction, soooo...tilt your head to the left (not too long, it'll stay that way!)

The dimensions for this corset pattern are derived from the effigy corsetof Queen Elizabeth I and Pfaltzgrafin Dorothea Sabine von Neuburg's pair of bodies (ain't that a mouthful?!?) They are the only surviving 16th century corsets to work from. My pattern does not have the straps, mostly because I am out of practice sewing and might tackle that at a later time, but there are pictoral representations that show the same corset shapes with no straps.

The pinkish red lines were my original measurements (read :eye-balled guesses) and if you look really close, you can see my minor adjustment I made to the curve after pinning the toile to my scary dressform. Waiting on the UPS guy to get here with my boning material. Its icky out, and he's late....RAWR. Hope my stuff, er the driver, is safe. o.O

And she's done!

Ok, the experimental body double is done. And its just a little creepy. ;o)

As I was attempting to fit the corset toile(that's the flimsy blue thing) to the form I figured out some things that I could fix to make it better:
1.) Use the Poly fill along the outside of the form, that way I have some give to pull and pin things. Right now, the Great Stuff (This stuff hardened better than I thought it would!)is on the outside and the PolyFill is in the middle. So sticking pins in to hold stuff is a workout itself.
2.) I need a taller stool, this will work for now, but when I want to see how hems hang, gotta have height...The form stands the equivilant of about 5'3", more of my mom's height, not mine :oP (Love you!) So, I either need to find a taller stool, or I need to get a base made.
3.) I REALLY need to do this one over again, too many folds in the tape makes fitting correctly nearly impossible. Looks like its time to run to the store for more tape and stuffing!

And now...

It has decided to snow, again...but its like flour, super powdery...and as I watch Michael pull away for work, his poor little 4-cylinder Toyota "Tortuga" fishtails all the way down the street to the corner...I hope he gets concrete blocks to put in the bed of the truck today.

So, here I sit, alone again, yet another day without work...3 weeks with no subbing, except for 1.5 days in the middle of being sick and trying to make myself work anyhow...and getting sicker. Now I am not sick, just not working, apparently all the middle and high school teachers have decided not to take any days off after the holiday. I keep getting calls for Elementary, but I am not certified for yeah. I work tomorrow, YAY! World History and Gov't teacher at the HS around the corner.

Oh, yeah, for those of you that aren't my mom, I changed my mind about school. I am still going, just not for the MGD cert (multimedia graphic design) I love it, want to do photograohy on the side, somehow incorporate into everything I do, be nice to make extra money with, I may still take some classes to refresh my knowledge. But I have decided to apply for the graduate program at UCCS in order to get my Masters in History. I love to teach, anything else I choose as a career is not really me. There's a reason why I was called to be in classrooms; I have to heed that. I love history, and I am good and teaching it, figuring it out, love studying it, I am a GEEK. A geek with some creative talent and a love for things "out of the ordinary". I can't start the program until next fall, though. That's stinky. So I have to figure out something to do until then, and decide whether I am going to teach fulltime and go to school or sub and school. o.O

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Now the messy part begins.

So I started filling in my form. let's just say its taking way more stuffing than I think is really necessary...I mean, c'mon, I am NOT the pillsbury Dough Girl! (hush, Mom) While I am filling it I realize why it looks so "off" to me. The difference between Jessi's form and mine is the fact that we layered tape on Jess smoothly, without pulling, tight, but not squishing. Now, my dear Michael, in his eagerness to help (or get it over with, I haven't figured out yet) took my advice to make it tight a little too seriously I think. I got squished into many different positions, and none of them were too comfortable. The resulting form makes the "squished"ness abundantly clear, So...I am going to fill this one up as an experiment with materials and weights to see how to make the forms the most stable. Once I get it set, I will enlist the help of at least one person in the house that will allow me to be the nit-picky, controlling perfectionist I am about my projects. :o)

Any ways, here are the 1st in a progressive series of pics:

What you see here: my form filled(upside down) to about waist height with a fill of poly-fill (the stuff for pillows and toys in the sewing/craft depts of most stores) and Great Stuff (the foam that expands 3x its size to fill cracks, crevices, large voids(...appropriate, huh?) and balled up newspaper. None of these materials are really firm enough on their own to be sturdy enough for heavy dress-making. Mixed together, however, its seems to be working fairly well. I won't know for sure until its completely filled and dried, but I had to share :o)

What you don't see is a 2.5lb bench weight laid flat in the middle of the last layer of stuffing (approximately bottom of my ribcage) to help with the stability of the the form, I doubt that a flimsy, foam-filled squishy will withstand the pressures of corsets, farthingales, and brocade, another weight will be placed right near the bottom before I attach (somehow) a base to close it up and balance it.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

We are just shells of our former selves... :oP

Teehee, so here are the forms off our bodies. They still need to be stuffed, foamed, weighted and mounted. Maybe I will have mine up by the time my corset boning material is here. (her stuff is on hold til the grades come back up, apparently...the fact that the snotty, wanna-be-mini-thugs in the 8th grade think that she is "weird/crazy" means she doesn't have to do the work in class...)
Can you guess which one is hers, and which is mine??!? o.O
OMGEEEE...Where'd my bust go? I think we got carried away with the tape in the front...its awfully thick and well, smooshie...auck well...should be fine for the style I am making, since curves weren't "In" till 200 years later. :o)


So I managed to get through my duct tape ordeal after 1.5 rolls of silver and 1.5 rolls of blue...twice as much as miss skinny minny :o(. Oh Well. Poor Michael's arms and hands were tired from wrapping me and my knees were creaky like the floorboards of our old farmhouse. The form looks good, 'cept that I reeeeally don't want to admit how squishy I am, blech.

OMG, Isn't she GORGEOUS!

Yeah, I know I sent these out to a lot of you in email, but I wanted you to see them raw and finished. A month or so ago, I took some pics of my girl before she had her Chamber Choir concert at school. It was 6:30 pm and getting dark already since we're on the front range of the Rockies and the sun goes bye-bye early. I am going to do some editing in Photoshop to see if I can get it lighter and more clear, but I kind of like the way it looks now. :o)

Oh! and BTW, Chris, I think Michael thinks you have created a BlogMonster...

Step one...

Well, it SHOULD be step one, but I found out the hard way. Generally when creating custom clothes, especially when you have to draft your own patterns, its a good idea to have a dress form that is a good representation of you. I am not the "ideal" size and shape as is expected when using commercially made dress forms. My waist is long, I am voluptuous (I always said I was born 500 years too late for my figure o be truly appreciated). My daughter is almost as tall as me, and solid as a rock, even if she is skinny..when u see the pics, tell me if you think she weighs more than 100lbs (pssst, she actually weighs 130lbs, yeah, I know).

Aaaanywhoooo, So I told my dear Michael that I wanted a dressform for my birthday, he kinda gave me a weird look, told me to show him what it was...and I started looking. I find a few that are sort of within my price range, but apparently from all reviews, they are crap..garbage, not worth the time to put them together AND aren't made for people with curves, even if you can get the adjustment dials to work. *Sigh* There goes that plan.

So, being the obsessive person that I am, once I have an idea that I want to do something, it won't go away until I get it done, kind of like my craving for steak...nothing else does the job. So I started looking and thinking and scheming and then...*poof* it hit me! DUCT TAPE! I have used it to draft a pattern for Jessi's fitted bodice and it worked great. Maybe if I added a few more layers, and then filled it with stuff, it would do the trick! AND it would be more accurate!

Here are some pics of the first foray into Duct Tape territory...I started on Jess b/c taping yourself is just not fun, and having Michael tape me was out of the question, cuz the kids were up.... I didn't get the first part photo'd, cuz I was taping and Michael was playing, so you miss the part where she's laying on the floor like a giant worm after 30 minutes of taping just for the foundation layers. (I'll try to do better when its my turn, maybe...we'll see :oP )

So, according to Aimee...these pics are of me, and me 20 yrs ago...I am NOT 33 yet, Aimee, how dare you make me older than I am!!!! :oP

My new obsession.

Most of you knew me way back when I was a theatre freak that found any excuse to wear costumes for every day stuff. Some of you know me as a History teacher/buff/geek. Many of you know me as a worn out, frustrated mother-of-4 that doesn't get to have as much fun as I would like so I get moody. I have found a way to mesh the first 2 descriptions and alleviate the last (even if just a little bit).

I was looking for a way to "convince" my 13 year old daughter to keep her grades up, and nothing I have tried so far has worked. (We frequently have those momentous attitude clashes that most mothers and daughters do at some point, so I think she was failing out of spite..I mean, and F in Social Studies!?! American History even...has she forgotten what my profession is??). Well, her being the oddball, weirdo that she is...she has fixated her attention on one thing and one thing only...the only things that have mattered to her have been in relation to this topic only...magic, Harry Potter, Aragon, Faeries, Herbology, Shamanism, Wizards of Waverly Place, the Gemma Doyle series (Victorian Gothic...still magic). Since I lost all of my magical powers at the time of her birth, I have been unable to help her with that...sooooooooo

My new bright idea is and old idea...o.O The SCA, a.k.a The Society for Creative Anachronisms. I am not going to explain it, it would take me ages, its fun, go check it out She seems all excited, going to our first Fighter Practice, social gathering this Thursday...We've decided on 16th century Portuguese Upper merchant class personas...and therefore we get to creat and wear 16th century fancy clothes! (nice way to tie this whole ramble seesion together, huh?).

I am going to be documenting the process, the fun stuff and the tears of pain. Keep watching!

Time to step out of my old habit zone...

OK, I finally decided to create a blog so that I can keep everyone updated at their pace without clogging their emails with my silliness. Everyone that knows me knows that I like to show off things that I accomplish, make, develop, figure out, etc...and here is the place for me to do it!!

I keep getting asked "How are you?" "What have you been up to?" and as detail oriented as I am, texting it to my BFF (I love you Aim!) takes up at least an hour, and I always manage to leave someone off my mailing, here I gooooooooooooooo! (That's "Go!" btw, not Goo! That's icky)