December 12, 2012

Design Details - Carolyn's Black Satin Formal

Modified Simplicity 4070 for the bodice and a modified Simplicity 2398 for the skirt.

As you can see there is a lace overlay on the bodice but no lace on the skirt.  The sash and button accents on the back are going to be cream.  The cream ribbon sash will probably also be embellished in the center from with beads/sequins/feathers.  She loves sparkles.

The dress is floor length and has a natural waist line, which is the modifying we will be doing on the skirt.  The lace overlay on the back of the bodice has a zipper until the satin ends and then the lace will connect with snaps.  These snaps will be covered with creamy decorative buttons.  The only modification that will be done on the bodice is to add fabric at the shoulders to give more of a cap sleeve look. :-)

I can't wait to see this when it is finished.  I'm teaching Carolyn the basics of sewing through the experience.  For this reason we are skipping the boning in the bodice. :-)  Now for a shopping success story.  You know how fabric is expensive?  Yeah, and buttons?  Well, with my nifty 50% off coupons and sales we got all the fabric, buttons (like 12), ribbon, zipper and thread for $30.  What a steal.

Edit: We just had our second get together and the bodice is almost done!  Stay tuned for pictures...

December 11, 2012

A Puzzle ❙ time well spent

I'd had a burst of inspiration.  I finally knew what I was going to do with my dress and I wanted to get sketching right away.  I was busy and I was going to go hole myself up in my "studio" when a little voice piped from behind the loveseat:

"Hey, Jo, do you want to help me with my puzzle?"

Her back was turned and she couldn't see my shoulders droop and feet drag towards the exit.  She couldn't hear my thoughts saying "no, not now Emmy I'm busy.  Some other time." 

She didn't see my grimace as I realized what I would be missing.  She couldn't see my petulant face and repentant heart, she was still concentrating on finding that one special piece.

I realized that my little sister is days away from her 8th birthday.  What with my school and hers if I blinked I would miss her whole life.  I would wake up one day and a young lady would be my roommate, not the little girl I was so used to telling how to spell words while we wrote our various things late into the night or sang songs to and hugged during the thunderstorms.

I knew I should treasure this time I have with her.  Savor her crazy obsession with the candy cane striped socks with the fur on them and the crazy santa's elf hat she wears to hide that she hasn't brushed her hair and it's a rats nest.

I should remember the way the fire feels warming my back and the sound of her voice as she says "I've got another one" thirty times over.  I should never fail to encourage her with a "good one!" or "yeah!"

I don't want to ever put things above people.  I want to invest in people, and especially my siblings.  

And besides, I do love a good puzzle. 

 So I replied,
"Sure Emm, I'd love to."

December 9, 2012

Design Details - My Navy Gown

Here is the first sewing post referenced here.  I'm design a formal gown to wear for any number of things in the future but specifically to be worn to out next premiere.

Fabric: Navy blue Casa Collection lace form Joann Fabrics.  Navy blue baroque satin from Joann fabrics.  I meant to get taffeta so that it would have more body. (I wanted the skirt on the vogue dress below to stand out more) but silly me just went by the sign above the bolts instead of looking at the actual bolt.  If had thought about it I would have known just from the feel of the fabric.  Oh well, it may work out better now anyway bec

Vogue 8814 with a modified neckline on the left.  I bought the satin and lace with this one in mind.  I was so taken with it when I saw it the first time.  Because that is the case I know I have enough fabric for the full skirt.

McCalls 6029 is on the right.  This style on the right is very in now and very modest. I'm not sure how it looks on me or how it would look with a lace overlay.

This has no pattern.  I designed it with a 1920s feel and more modern back.  The skirt is a little fuller than it looks here and the sash is full with a full bow in the back made of the same satin as the under-layer.  It was in preparation for this bodice that I experimented with a lace table cloth and made a summer cocktail dress out of scraps.  It didn't have the right back though, I still need to work that out with a toile if I go with this design.

Opinions?  I'm torn and have only a month to work the finished product into my schedule.

December 6, 2012

Premiere Projects - Index

More people from this area were in our latest movie or are associated (think BlimeyCow associated ;-) with people who were, so us girls decided to make our formal gowns for the premiere together.

Don't know what a premiere is?  Check out the E Pluribus Unum Premiere.

After we decided that, we undecided it.  The one other seamstress is crazy busy and the other two don't know how to sew.  So, I'm doing most of it.  Here is what you're going to be seeing for the next month...

  1. Design posts about my dress - navy satin and navy lace

2. Arabella - eggplant satin and eggplant chiffon (maybe some beading?)

3. Carolyn's sewing progress - forest christmas dress to learn techniques

4. Design work - black satin and black lace with a cream satin embellished sash (and sewing progress when it gets started)

5. Post on my "mock up" dress in prep for this whole endeavor. :-)

Images are very loose representations of the actual piece from google. :-)  

December 1, 2012

PhotoEx 2012 Day 2: Sunday at Westminster, White Hall, Trafalgar Square, and the British Museum

Sunday dawned bright and sunny.  A special occasion, as I'd come to learn after spending a week in London.  It rains.  It is just a fact of life.  You bring your jacket with you everywhere, everyday.  I didn't have a raincoat, so I borrowed one from the family I was staying with the week prior to IPS.

Every morning IPS got together and had the schedule for the day explained as well as any significant and interesting historical facts about the places we were going that day.  I didn't start taking notes till Monday, but I believe Rowan was talking about the overall history of GB.  Then we set out for Westminster Abbey again.  This time to attend the Sung Eucharist service.  We were quite early so there weren't a ton of people and it was fairly quiet.

Madey and Anntonette (or Curls, as we call her) got coffee and then we wandered around the church.  Our wanderings were not in vain.  We came across the oldest door in the UK.  It was a thick oak door  and was built in 10-- something AD!  It didn't say anywhere to not touch it, so I did.

A little further on we reached a circular chapel with wall paintings from the 15 century.  Those you couldn't touch. :-P  There was an art exhibit of pictures of HM Queen Elizabeth II and all the different occasions she frequented the Abbey.  There were pictures of her as a little princess, at weddings, her wedding, her coronation, funerals and the dedication of the grave of the unknown soldier.  That photo brought me to tears.  Well, the memorial brought me to tears later, but seeing Her Majesty with tears rolling down her cheeks as well was very moving.

The grave of the unknown soldier sits right in front of the door.  His body was never identified.  There is no name, no rank, no title.  He now represents ever soldier, high or low, and is honored by having been buried with the Kings in Westminster Abbey.

The service was unlike any I had every attended.  Our new testament assemblies are nothing like the anglican church as far as structure goes.  The church was beautiful and the people/clergy reverent.  Unlike some "experiment Sundays" that I've had in my travels I was truly able to worship. I left with two distinct impressions: Reverence of the all powerful and mighty God, and a sober, almost fearful, distance.  I realized a little later when thinking over it that there wasn't much hope.  I don't remember any joy at being able to personally know the savior and delight in his work and words.  I wondered how many of them truly know the God of their traditions.

I'm not sure where my readers stand on the head covering, but I wear one during meetings of the church and am almost always the only lady wearing one when I visit other churches.  Just an interesting fact I thought I'd thrown in there.  :-)

Once again, there were no cameras allowed in the church during the ceremony so I didn't even bring mine that morning.  Just my Bible and notebook.  So there are no pictures to share of the many graves of famous people I saw/walked on.  Charles Darwin sound familiar?  We weren't able to venture to poet's corner or and of the other "corners" but there were plaques on almost every square foot of floor space.
This is a library.  wow.

After picking our gear up at the hostel the sky clouded over.  We trekked to the British Museum and split up among the cafes and vendors for lunch and a free-for-all in the MASSIVE museum.

Curls!  Isn't she cute?  :-)

Here is our whole group in front of the museum, minus Rowan, who was taking the picture.  See me?  I'm the second from the left in the back row.

Such cool architecture! I've got a thing for columns.  No, you know what?  I've got a thing for everything ancient greek.  And let me tell you, there was plenty of it in this museum.  I went around with Courtney and Kelly and I'm afraid I talked their ears off. :-)  Not usual for me.  But they had so many amazing artifacts from greece and it is a museum, so by definition there is loads of history.

Oh, and there is me with a caryatid.  Caryatid: A supporting column sculptured in the form of a draped female figure. You learn something new everyday!  Thanks Courtney for the picture!

I got to see the rosetta stone!  That stone is much bigger than I thought it was.  I was envisioning a tablet, to be honest.  This rock is probably close to 2x4x5 feet!  It must be heavy...

Hieroglyphics.  Yay for unit studies! :-)

2012 London Olympic medals - Gorgeous mosaics
More statutes - the timeline of clock, including these magnificent pocket watches.

There are many other pictures of all sorts of little things all over the museum but they were documentary pictures and not artwork.  And they would probably be boring to all of you, so I've refrained from putting them up.  You're welcome.

Then it is on the tube we go!  The London transit system has to longest/tallest/steepest escalators ever.  Easily 3 stories and possibly 5.  Remember to stand on the right.  Important people in a hurry run up the left side and if you're in the way they become very put out.

When we emerged above ground again we started walking down the street called White Hall and ended up at Trafalgar Square.  Judson was our guide here.  He showed us the Prime Minister's house and interspersed English traditions and culture throughout the walk.

Lots of picture-taking.

Lots of government buildings.

Lots of flags.

Lots of Monuments.

Lots of listening and learning.

As Judson was telling us about how reverent the English are toward their dead and how well they remember what has been done for them many of us were quite moved.  I would love to be in the center of London on Armistice Day.  I think I'm going to put it on my bucket list.

Judson telling us about how Churchill would be on the roof of this building during the blackouts and raids during WWII.  Just down that road in the Churchill Museum and War Rooms.

 Then it was off to Trafalgar Square!  The Heart of London.  I didn't know anything about Admiral Lord Nelson before I went to Great Britain but he is one of my heros now.  There he stands a top that column.

Of course, most of us U.S. citizens hadn't even heard of the Battle of Trafalgar let alone known its significance, so we got the 3D version.  

Oh, and it started to rain.  Here Judson demonstrates Nelson's unique sea warfare tactics.

Through those arches in the Mall (pronounced "m-oww") it leads to Buckingham Palace (pronounced "buck-in-um").

With Ashley.  Sweet friend from my Portland trip.

There is a rain drop on my lens and it blurs out big ben.

Brooke: always with a smile


Cute Ashley. :-)

The official center of London.

Pops of red through the grey atmosphere.