Thursday, May 30, 2013

Project Runway Re-Creation #2 - The Planning.

 The second piece I fell in love with from Michelle Franklin's line. I love the skirt, especially the decorative part on the hip. Also the breast-plate piece is pretty awesome too.
This is the pattern I selected for the shirt:
The runway piece buttons up the entire back, but since I pretty much suck at button holes (I only learned to make them 2 years ago and have only done 1 other piece that required them), I am perfectly fine with this pattern only having 1 button at the neck. I probably will not attempt to put a collar on it because I'm not really a collar kind of girl and I can picture it without fairly easily.
The fabric for the shirt:
Honestly, I forgot that the green was more of an olive color, but it wouldn't have made a difference since the fabric store didn't have that shade of green. This hunter green is nice though and I already have thoughts and plans for additional colors to make to change it up.
This is the pattern I selected to use for the skirt:
It's not exactly right, but I haven't really looked closely at the pattern pieces yet to see if I will be able to alter it to the uneven hem line or not. Regardless, I still like the pattern and had been looking for an excuse to buy it. (I think it would make a great Pan Am costume). The chiffon flounce at the bottom I plan on making detachable so that I can change the color or just wear it without the flounce.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Project Runway Re-Creation #1 - part 1

When I saw this come down the runway on the finale of this season's Project Runway, I fell in love! 

It's a creation by the winner, Michelle Lesniak Franklin and her entire line was very Steampunk inspired. So, seeing as I had just purchased my tickets to TeslaCon (will be my first time attending), I knew I was going to need some new outfits, so I decided this would be a great opportunity to advance my non-existent patterning skills.
This is the preliminary sketch I made while watching the show:

This is the pattern I purchased for a starting point based on the above sketch:

This is the revised sketch after downloading every available picture I could find: 
This is when I realized would be learning a LOT more about pattern alterations. The pattern above was just 2 pieces for the dress.  

Using a bed sheet purchased from the thrift store I first converted the front piece to "cut on fold" so there would not be a center front seam. The back I eventually left to be cut as 2 pieces so I can put a zipper in once I make the top fitted enough so that it can't just be slipped over the head. Going through my reference photos, I figured out where to cut the pattern to create the seams

 I moved the side bodice dart up little and angled it differently and then added an under-bust dart to make the bodice more form fitting and create the front bodice seams I could see on the photo. (there are no pictures of what the dress looks like without the top vest so it was just an educated guess that they are dart and not princess seams)

Mock up of the bodice:

Adjustments to the initial pattern as I progressed:

 Starting to figure out the pleats on the upper skirt:

Added the lower skirt: 
(I've been using up what was once my quilt fabric stash.)

Continuing on to the sleeve:

I used the sleeve from this pattern that I plan on using for another re-creation once I finish this one:
After doing the test run, I need to lengthen it by 2 inches to get the cuff to start right at my wrist instead of ending there like on the pattern. I measured around my wrist and around where I want the cuff to end (about 1/2 way down my hand) and cut the sides of the cuff pattern. The non-doubled over width of the cuff is almost perfect once I take the seam allowance into account. I just have to remember that the cuff opening needs to be on the top side of my hand and not lined up with sleeve seam. I really like the way the sleeve is turning out. It has just a little bit of gathering at the cap. I will also need to widen the shoulders of the dress just a little bit so that it's not quite so wide-necked.

 So, now I just need to make a fabric selection for the main portion of the dress and then figure out the over-vest. Other things I need to not forget about when putting the final garment together:
  1. Don't forget to lengthen the sleeve
  2. Don't forget to widen the shoulders (and add seam allowance)
  3. Interfacing and lining on the bodice.
  4. Test transparency of main skirt fabric. flat line if needed
  5. Angle and trim more from front to back
  6. Practice seam finishes, the back seams will be visible, make them look nice.
  7. Invisible zipper on dress, exposed zipper on over-vest.
  8. Make a small purse to attach like original garment. Do this instead of worrying about making pockets; pockets might ruin the lines of the dress.
  9. Don't make sharply pressed pleats, trying flattening them by hand.
  10. Don't forget to mark on the mock up where all the pleat folds are.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Back To Blogging

I have recently told myself that with my new job (OK, been there for a little over a year now) and all the free time I have when I get home, there should be no excuse not to blog. So... I'm going to attempt to do a once a week update. That shouldn't be too hard, right? I mean I'm always taking pictures of what I'm working on with the intention of blogging about it, but I always seems to find something else to do instead.

I currently have about 7-8 projects I am either currently working on, thinking about or planning for, or got started and now they're sitting to the side because I got on to something else. So all the things are kinda like this:

1) Currently working on: A recreation of a finale piece from this season's Project Runway winner Michelle Lesniak Franklin. I absolutely fell in love with this when I saw it. This is being made for TeslaCon in October. Currently have the pattern figured except for sleeves (that's today's goal). Bought some grey suede-like fabric for the bottom layer on Saturday at Jo-Ann's off the clearance shelf (50% off red tag price & a 10% entire purchase coupon - Go Me!!!).... I just hope 1 1/2 yards is enough for that part. Waiting on some swatches to come in from a couple of online fabric stores for my options for the cream/ivory portion. If I don't like any of them I'm going to go with a linen-look fabric from Jo-Ann's. Will probably use some sort of suiting material for the over-vest (or whatever you want to call that). This has also been my first go at "franken-patterning" - blog post to come on this creation.

2) In planning stage: Another Project Runway finale piece from Michele Lesniak Franklin. Also will be made for TeslaCon in October. I bought a hunter green chiffon, but the vintage shirt pattern I bought to make it from should be easy enough to do in other colors and I have thought to attach the lower skirt ruffle by snaps so that it could be changed out to match the shirt or worn without a lower ruffle. Also, probably going to use the sleeves from the shirt pattern for the above dress as they look very similar.
3) In thought process: Steampunk Roller Girl for Teslacon. Did some research and have only found 2 other girls who have done it and only 1 of those went the direction I am thinking. There will be lots of knitting and leather working needed for this one.

4) On the back burner: A pattern that belonged to my Grandmother. My Aunt found several when cleaning out the attic for a yard sale. I have traced this pattern, made a mock up and have started trying to scale it down to fit me. I can't decide on a fabric to make it in. 

5) On the back-burner: Another pattern of my Grandmother's. This one is at the exact same point as #4: pattern has been traced, enlarged and mock up made. Also cannot decide on what kind of fabric to use.
6) In thought process: Again, another pattern from my Grandmother's attic. This one has just been ironed and put into the Ziploc bag for protection. I have to finish #4 & #5 before I will allow myself to go further on this one. 
7) In planning stage: Found the photo at an antique store(name on the back is "Minnie"). I have never seen anything from this time period with that kind of pattern for the shirt - it's AWESOME! Then I found this polyester fabric at the thrift store that was almost identical to the pattern in her skirt. There's only 3 yards of the fabric so I don't know that I can do it on the diagonal like Minnie's. Then I was going through my patterns I got for Christmas and realized that I had something that was practically perfect for recreating this.... when I get around to it. Would be good for TeslaCon but I don't really know that I will have the time and I haven't even started looking for the fabric for the top.

8) In planning stages (for about a year now): This 18th century fashion plate. I found this after I have bought some fabric that would have potentially become an alternate underskirt for my Marie Antoinette dress I made last year. The greens are a nearly perfect match and I was able to find the blue as well. I already purchased a Polonaise pattern to use, everything else just keep getting put ahead of this on the "To Do" list. I had intended on making for Halloween this year but now that I'm going to TeslaCon, I won't need it and I really don't think I have the time to fit it in with everything else I need to make.

So you see, I do have plenty to blog about! Let's see how much I can get done by Halloween!