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Yep, that’s right – all those pesky little hand-sewn eyelets are done and the straps are attached:

Though they started off a little shaky:

The bottom one that you can’t see very well was my first effort – it’s probably just as well it’s not very clear on the photo as it looks awful!!  I tried out a few different techniques: pushing the hole from the outside from the inside, overcasting or using buttonhole stitch, and stitching from the inside or the outside.  I found the best results came from: pushing from the inside to the outside (first with an awl, then with a wider knitting needle); I drew a circle around the hole; I used buttonhole stitch, pushing the needle from the outside and following the drawn circle.  After a couple of practice ones, they came out much better:

But before I could do the eyelets, I realised that I needed something to go behind them, since I’m attaching the lining after doing the binding.  So, I cut a couple of strips on the bias from the lining fabric (purely on the bias because of looks, I have to say!) and hand-stitched them over the folded over section of outer fabric.  Sorry, not very clearly explained, but here’s a photo:

So when the two sides come together, the stripes form a kind of chevron pattern:

So that’s the progress so far, all that’s left is stitching the ends of the last few boning channels, trimming down the seam allowance and then the evils of bias-binding attachment.  Even so, I think the finish line is in sight!

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For her Blog Birthday, the lovely Comtesse Olympe de la Tour D’Auvergne ran a giveaway – I was one of the lucky winners (remember, I said I had my lucky streaks!) and today I got home to find this fabulous prize waiting for me:

I’ve had a quick look through and it’s wonderful – lots of lovely photos, including some full-length pictures of garments I’ve seen parts of in Costume in Detail: yum!  I have some 18th century books and a little bit on the 17th century, but nothing on any other eras, so this book fills in those gaps and indulges my love of 1950s dresses and some Victorian bits and pieces – even better.  Thanks a lot, Comtesse!

But, before I can sit down and read it properly, I had a few things I had to do (both while watching season 2 of Daria!):

The start of a quick and dirty harem pant toile (complete with awesome photography!), using this belly-dance-tastic tutorial.

And tracing one of my Gent’s waistcoats to form a basis of my first foray into man-clothes – one of his Christmas presents (yep, it’s that late!) was an IOU for a home-made waistcoat and it’s also going to be one of the key pieces of his outfit for my masquerade Birthday party.  I’m a bit over-excited – he’s going for steampunk!  How amazing is that going to be??

So, I’ve done those two bits and now I get to snuggle down with my new book – and relax, aaaaah.

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I’ve mentioned bits and pieces that I’ve ordered and a something special for the Lady Luck Outfit, and at last it’s time for show and tell, with some things less exciting than others:

Fray-stop glue (wooo, exciiiiitiiiiing  ;P  ) and spray-on fabric stiffener – that’s a little more exciting as you can build up the stiffness the more you spray it and it washes out.  I think that’ll be useful for all sorts of things, like pleats/ruffs, hat decorations and perhaps even kanzashi.  I also suspect that it’ll be useful to keep bows in shape and for using fabric strips for cockades.

Ostrich feathers – fluffy!  Now I’ve seen them, I’ve decided they aren’t long enough for wearing in the hair (~10″), but they’ll be great for decorating a mini-tricorne or …

… masks!  These two are for moulds for papier mache – they’ve got pretty good shapes, though the black one (which I love!) needs eye-hole adjusting, but with that, it’ll be FAB!

Yay for the Tamina slippers!  I thought they were lovely when I saw them online, but they’re even prettier in reality – very pleased with them, indeed!  I’ve worn them around the house a bit, but I think I need to stretch the front very slightly as they dig in a little, but that’s no big deal.

And, finally – my super-awesome-special-pretty-surprise for the sash of the Lady Luck Pierrot:

I found this lovely on ebay – it’s an 18th century silver and paste shoe buckle that was at some point turned into a brooch.  I slipped a scarf through it to give an idea of how it’s going to look as the buckle at the front of the Pierrot sash.  I really love it rather a lot and am so pleased – it’s my first 18th century antique!

Wow, I really am too obsessed with that century.

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I’m away for a couple of days (it’s silly-looking cap and gown time, AKA, my MA graduation!), so while I’m gone here are some more inspiration/reference images, this time for my Tamina-type costume.  Click on the image for the full-size inspiration board:

The harem pants – the harem pants!!  They must be made.  I have some natural muslin, which I tried to bleach (I don’t want harsh white, but the natural was a bit too dark) but it didn’t seem to make much difference – it’ll do for a mock-up though.  I bought some white (so cheap!), which I think I’ll tea dye lightly, just to take the edge off the brightness.  I’ve also found an online pattern for the trousers – quite simple, really.

I think I’ll put a belt with the pants, just to add some decoration, something like this:

As for the top half, I’m a bit torn – I love that long, kinda empire-line blouse she’s wearing, with the embellishment down the front and around the collar, but I also love the little cropped waist-coat type thing, also decorated, plus I suspect that the sheer fabric blouse she wears beneath it would be more flattering on someone not as slim as the actress (alas!).

Or maybe I could go for a combination – short waist-coat over the embellished blouse?  And yay for the natural colours of her outfit: I think I can get away with making the cropped waistcoat from calico with embellished natural and gold details.  Similarly, the blouse could be made from calico or muslin or a combination of the two (calico bodice/sleeves with muslin below the bust line?).

Here are some more details of the blouse and waist-coatlette:

In my searches, I also found this gorgeous photo of the costume she wears when we first see her – properly princess-esque:

I do love the cloak she wears – that hood just drapes beautifully:

Maybe one day I’ll do this version of her costume (under-bust corset, hmm … not my usual thing, but really works in this case!) and ask (make) my Gent to dress up as Prince Dastan – his outfit looks relatively simple and rather fetching, methinks!  There are pictures from the actual costume creator, Penny Rose, here – gorgeous work – and an interview with her here.

(I know I’ve been posting a lot about writing lately, but I have also been sewing, it’s just I’ve on the slow hand-sewn parts of my stays at the moment and that’s not terribly exciting to post about!  There will be pics when they’re done, though!)

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I may or may not have spent most of today messing around on a new toy: Scrapblog*.

The other day I realised that the reason I couldn’t find a picture of the 1780s outfit I had seen in my dream because it didn’t exist!   My unconscious mind must have put together elements of different outfits I’ve seen and put them together.  Clever unconscious!  So I had planned to make an inspiration board/mood board type thing on Polyvore, but I found it was a bit of a pain to import your own images on there.  I hunted around for something else and found Scrapblog.  And here are the results of my efforts:

So we have a pointed-front blue pierrot type jacket with what appears to be gold trim (as modeled by The Duchess of Chartres and painted by Charles Lepeintre, 1776).  I’m not generally a fan of gold, but in this case I think it works very well with the blue.  I think I’m going to have a look at my fabric with silver and gold and see what works best – and what trims I can find!  I already have a pierrot pattern that has a straight front, so I’ll just make it into a pointed bodice.  And that’s where those lucky symbols you lovely people have given me will come into play: self-covered buttons embroidered with lucky symbols down the front and on the cuffs.  Yes, this is how it was in my dream.  I know, I have strange dreams.

Then the sash is from that pretty cream and black zone-front (I’m a sucker for a good zone-front).  I have a little something special for the buckle (yes, I have a pretty little surprise which will be revealed soon!) and I have sourced some red stripe taffeta.  The one thing I’m not sure about for the sash is whether one makes a strip of fabric and carefully hems it, or whether you make a double-sided sash of fabric (with or without interlining of some description – lawn/organza?)?

And lastly, a white self-stripe petticoat.  I had envisaged regular stripes between 1/2″ and 1″ as in the image from The Duchess and the Pehr Hillstrom painting, but I haven’t been able to find the right fabric with that kind of stripe; I have found a pretty white voile with groups of stripes in different widths, so I think that will work still.

The only bad thing is that having seen that still from The Duchess, I now want a really over the top big hat (which is 1780s correct), but (a) that’s probably not a great idea for my first foray into hat-making and (b) I definitely wouldn’t have enough of the blue taffeta left over for that.  I might have enough left for a mini-tricorn, a la Dunst’s Marie Antoinette, but I’m worried that might not look right with a hedgehog (mine probably won’t be a huge ‘hog) – has anyone tried a mini-tricorn + hedgehog combo?

There’s the basis of the outfit, at least – of course, there will be accessories!

* As for Scrapblog – I enjoyed playing around with it; you can pay for ‘credits’ to buy ‘stickers’ (place-able elements) and backgrounds and the like, but there are quite a lot of these things that are free, so I just used those and uploaded my images.  You can even have multi-page pieces that will work as a video slideshow.  There are various options for sharing your collage directly or, as I have done, you can export to a jpeg.  Worth having a look at if you’re interested in creating this kind of board.

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I can’t believe I forgot to blog about this when I first saw it – clearly I had a lobotmy that week – so here it is now and my gushing about how much I love it:

Yep, I said it – I don’t mean her (nothing against Lily Cole, it’s just not her I’m in love with), I mean her costume in this scene of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, specifically the pair of stays she is wearing.  Annoyingly, there are very few pictures around of the outfit:

Really, these pictures do the stays no justice – they’ve got this fabulous flowery/fruity thing going on and would make a great fae/goddess/woodland spirit type costume, or go for grapes and get ready for Bacchanalia!

Either way, I love the stays and want them.  I think I’m going to have to buy the DVD and get some screen captures.  The whole outfit is a nod to the 18th century, with that hair and the shift and the pantaloons she’s wearing could either be a Victorian lady’s bloomers or a 17th or 18th century gent’s breeches fancified.

If you haven’t seen the film, do have a looksee: it’s a lot of fun and if you don’t enjoy it, then you at least get to see these stays as they’re right at the beginning!

And yes, it says ‘part I’ up there – I think I’m going to give some film costume love every once in a while, so look out for more as and when the whim strikes me!

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