Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Digital Urban Blazer

Digital Urban Blazer
Originally uploaded by mirvana

See my previous post on using the Burda mens suit jacket pattern...

Digital Urban Corset

Digital Urban Corset
Originally uploaded by mirvana

Moving in a new direction...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mens Jacket; Burda Pattern Roundup

So I've been working on this really challenging sewing project lately, and I'm still far from being finished, but made a lot of progress with it this weekend. I'm making a mens blazer or suit jacket, single breasted, semi-fitted, partially lined, for the boyfriend. I've made jackets with lapels before, but they didn't turn out all that well, so I have been super-meticulous about making this one right. Lapels are really hard: they are usually several pieces, curved seams, and the dots must line up precisely, or it won't work.

I'm using this pattern, view B:

Burda 7918

I made some modifications to the pockets and I'm using my preferred finishing techniques, but otherwise am trying to follow it as designed/written. Have already put many hours over several days into it...and so now I think I've run out of steam and need a little break from it.

Quick Burda Pattern Roundup

Some other things that I made lately are just some comfortable everyday clothing for my own wardrobe.

Burda 7916 - a very easy t-shirt pattern with lots of variations

Burda 8316 - already made four garments from this one, two of each view, with some modifications. I used camo ripstop fabrics, and cotton canvas. Once you've mastered putting in zippers, pants are easy.

Burda 7678 - and I made view A in this one, very easy with the serger, and I'll prolly make a few more because I have lots of jersey knit in my stash.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

1870s Robe L'Anglaise

1870s Robe L'Anglaise
Originally uploaded by mirvana

...and having received the proper wig, I think I will rawk this 1870s robe l'Anglaise at DragonCon, as well.

1870s Robe L'Anglaise

1870s Robe L'Anglaise
Originally uploaded by mirvana

...and having received the proper wig, I think I will rawk this 1870s robe l'Anglaise at DragonCon, as well.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Japanese garb

Mavi and Stefan, Japanese garb
Originally uploaded by mirvana

I made the top layer robe that I'm wearing to resemble a Heian-Fujiwara period Uchigi. I used an iridescent fuscia-orange silk dupioni. Stef is wearing an outfit that we got from Tigr's Toggs.

My Firefly Kaylee costume

My Firefly Kaylee costume
Originally uploaded by mirvana

So this one is pretty much ready to go to DragonCon.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

All dressed up...

I've been making historical costumes for years now, and it's mostly been for SCA, but I did a lot of menswear for a black powder reenactor friend of mine, and I've drawn inspiration from other periods, such as Victorian, and early 20th c. for making my own goth and steampunk clothing...

So I made this wonderfully awesome c. 1730s gown from Reconstructing History #822 Open Robe Anglais with Polonaise Option. Open Robe Anglais

And I've worked with other patterns from this period before, but this one worked out really well, and I'd call it one of the better, more user-friendly patterns out there. This particular pattern is definitely not for beginners, and requires some advanced skills like draping, fitting, and pleating, but an experienced sewer like myself, who never attempted a gown from this period before, should have no problems. The only problem I have is figuring out where to wear it. I might have to "crash" an 18th c. reenactment event or something.

I have also used RH #410 Heian Japanese Lady's Informal Robes to make some Japanese garb that I wore to Pennsic last year, and it was so comfortable and easy to wear that I want to make a lot more of it. P1030158 purplekimono

I haven't had a chance yet to use RH #407 yet, but I'm eager to try it. I am waiting for the right fabric to come along and "speak to me."

That's typically how I work, which might be backwards from what most pro designers do. They come up with a design and do a sketch or have some vision of what fabrics to use, and they look for a fabric that comes close to their vision. I, on the other hand, I find the yummy fabric first, and it "tells" me what it wants to be. When I found that piece of printed linen that I used for the open robe Anglais, I knew it had to be an 18th c. ladies gown of some sort. I often don't have a choice in the matter. If the fabric says, "you must make me into an 18th c. gown," even though what I really need to work on is a sci-fi costume for DragonCon or some other convention, I end up making the gown, doh!

Speaking of which, I'm strapped for ideas on costuming for upcoming sci-fi cons: GenCon and DragonCon, which fall close on the heels of Pennsic. I have all the gear to do the sci-fi military stuff that we typically do, but I wanted to do something different besides that. If I were a sci-fi or movie character, who would I be? Any thoughts?

Check out Reconstructing History:

Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer Sewing

I got a new serger over the weekend and was itching to try it out, so I made a summer wardrobe out of some nice jersey and other fabrics I already had in my stash.

All but one of the patterns I used came from past issues of Burda magazine. The tank dress - very simple pattern, two pieces, with bust and back darts; disco dress - two piece top with bust darts attached to a 1-piece square skirt; t-shirt with back circle, also very simple pattern; the brown parka - a bit more challenging and complicated. The culotte pattern is a user-designed pattern that I downloaded from

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Burda Parka

I finished making this a while ago, but just got the cord to do the drawstrings. I don't like the puckering around the zipper, but otherwise, I think it almost looks store-bought!
[sewing] Burda Parka

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Open Robe Anglais

Just finished making this c. 1730s style gown:

Sunday, May 10, 2009

18th c. costume: chemise, corset, panniers and petticoat

18th c. Costume, panniers 18th c. Costume, petticoat

The 18th c. project so far
I padded out one of my old dress forms to make a toile in my size and shape, so I can proceed to fit the Robe L'Anglaise that I'm making to go over this ensemble.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Finished 18th c. corset and chemise

18th c. green corset
Made from an old couch cover and other scraps, and reed boning, which is very light. It's very comfortable, maybe too much so. I wish I could lace it tighter. For the chemise, I used real silk organza for the neck ruffle. :D

Saturday, April 04, 2009

On the cutting table: 18th c. corset and gown

So I've been working on a "big" sewing project, little by little, when I can find time, and its just something I've been wanting to do for a while. I finally have most of the materials I need together, and I've been trying to use as much from my stash as possible. It is basically an historical costume, but with a little fantasy thrown in.

I am almost finished with the corset:

For being a Simplicity pattern this is actually historically very accurate. I have a collection of historical corset patterns, and just decided to try this one because its relatively simple: has the least number of pieces and was easy to adjust for a large bust. Some of the other patterns I have from this period are dauntingly complicated. I might use the chemise pattern here, too, but I'm not doing these panniers. I have my own pattern for those, which I drafted from one of my historical costume books.

And for the gown, I have a bunch of patterns to choose from there as well, but I think I'm going to go with this one:

I have a felt hat blank waiting in the wings for this project, and I have the most awesome pair of Jon Fluevog shoes...will post photos soon, I promise!
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