Monday, February 27, 2017

Port Townsend's Victorian Heritage Festival 2017

I can't believe I am typing these words! Last year we thought VicFest 2016 was going to be the last year. The planners wanted to retire and no one wanted to take it on. Happily some wonderful people have decided to keep the dream alive! So without further ado...........

The most wonderful, fabulous, awesome festival will be the first weekend in April 2017! Port Townsend's Victorian Heritage festival! say! Why would I want to go? Well, why not!! Here are just a few reasons:

March 31st (Friday)
Pub crawl!
What a great way to get acquainted with this fantastic Victorian seaport! Grab some friends and make some new ones along the way. Find some delicious eats and drinks. Don't worry about driving either. You can just stroll back to your lovely hotel room and sleep it off. ;-)

April 1st (Saturday)
Victorian fashion show! Come and enjoy an hour of beautiful Victorian costumes.
High Tea! More information on the teas will be available in the next week or so.
Historic building tours!
Historic presentations on neat stuff!
A ball and Contra dance! Show off your dancing skills and lovely costumes.

April 2nd (Sunday)
Before you have to leave us, spend the afternoon browsing antique shops and many other fantastic shopping venues.

What do I think is the BEST part of VicFest? can dress up ALL weekend! Yes! What a great way to truly immerse yourself in the festival. Or you can pick and choose what events you wish to dress up for. Of course those of you who enjoy history but do not costume, please don't feel left out. We want everyone to come and enjoy Port Townsend! :-)Please come and join us for a fabulous weekend! xoxo!

Here is the link to the festival information. Stay tuned to the site because they will be adding more information. :-)

VicFest 2017

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Simplicity 1026 Disney Fairy Godmother Costume pattern

Ok, so I wasn't going for fairy godmother but I HAD to make this dress! Look at how fluffy it is!!

I made this to wear to Venice is Sinking 2017 in Seattle. I decided I wanted to do a non historical costume that wouldn't require a corset. Simplicity 1026 has been in my stash for quite a while so I jumped right on in!

Princess seamed bodice with side poofs, skirt is separate and on a yoked waistband. Nice because it reduces bulk at the waist. Bodice is fully lined, boned and zips up the back. The sleeves are only set in at the underarm and the tops have elastic for fit.

My advice, before you start making any type of fitted bodice make sure you are wearing the undergarments that you will be wearing with the dress. I already knew I would be wearing my strapless bustier. After checking finished garment measurements I decided on size 20. If I had to take it in a bit that would be ok. I traced off my pattern pieces for the bodice and made a muslin. The fit was really nice. The only adjustment I made was taking in the very top of the front bodice so it hugged over the curve of my bust instead of gaping open. I had to do the same adjustment to my 50s strapless as well. I also shortened the skirt by about 2 inches. This is pretty standard for me across the board. I'm 5ft 4in. The sizing printed on pattern tissue is accurate and the bodice is very fitted. If you have fuller than average arms muslin the sleeves as well. Also, you are going to be lining and underlining this bodice. Plus adding boning. Make sure when you muslin you leave extra ease room for all those layers.

The rose gold fabric I bought from Fabric Mart during one of their sales. It is a silk/metallic blend. I was going to use it for the whole dress but I was about a yard short. Those hip poofs are major fabric hogs. Since the fabric had a pink undertone I bought some pink organza for the underskirt. The underskirt is several layers, fabric, netting and overlay/organza. The innermost layer of the skirt no one will see so I bought some cheap ivory lining fabric to use. The pattern doesn't really make that clear in the yardage info. Before I had bought any of my extra fabric I broke out the pattern, cut out/traced off and made my muslin. I also read over the instructions and fabric layout carefully. I needed to know what layers were going where so I didn't waste any money on fabric. It is very helpful to do this when you have multiple layers going on.

You know, this went together really well. I had zero issues. Instructions are clear and concise.

Changes I made:
In order to get the side poofs to stay fluffy I tacked 3 pieces of ribbon on the underside of each poof at the waistline. Then I draped up the poof and pinned it to the length of ribbon. Once I had the poofs how I wanted I tacked them to the ribbons. Otherwise one layer of netting wasn't giving me the volume I wanted. It may not be needed if you are using organza as your outer poof layer. I couldn't locate a separating garment zipper locally. Just big parka/coat zippers. So I used a closed bottom garment zipper and just pull the dress on over my head. I also decorated the stomacher with 3 big ass bows. I was going for a fantasy Rococo look.

Ok, so if you are expecting the dress to look as fluffy and full as the envelope picture you will be very disappointed. I made 2 separate petticoats for this dress. The first one was out of crinoline netting and the second was 2 layers. One layer of organza and one of netting. It's still not exactly like the envelope picture but at least it was closer. I use Simplicity 5006. I love this pattern. Initially I made view E for my 50s dress. So easy!!! You can save money by skipping the lace and binding the hem edges with double fold bias. Just sandwich the net in between and sew. It also makes a nice non scratchy finish for crinoline net. For this dress I made view E again but lengthened it about 8 inches. For the second petticoat I made view D using organza for the top layer and netting for the second layer.

Final summary:
This was fun to make! It's a bit of work but I would make it again. Definitely a pattern for intermediate and up. The seam lines on this bodice are really flattering for curves. I think they also made fitting easier for me, since I am large busted. The more curves in the bodice seaming the less shaping I have to do for it to fit my curves. My only gripe is the skirt yoke dips in the front and back. The skirt pattern pieces make no account for that dip and you will wind up with a hem that dips in the front and back. I thought I had fixed the issue but from my pictures I can still see a little dip in my hem. Oh well, I can live with it.

Me and Lady T.

 My beautiful bestie! Yes, I made her costume as well. It is a mash up of a couple different patterns.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

I made some Colonial doll clothes!!

I had a presentation coming up on women's basic Colonial fashion. My18th century wardrobe is fairly thin so instead of trying to make a wardrobe for me I decided to make one for my American Girl dolls. The first two patterns are PDF and Available on Etsy. The third patterns is a hard copy and also available on Etsy. For this pattern I bought the fabric kit as well. It has everything you need to make the full outfit.

First pattern: Highly recommend.

Thimbles and Acorns 18th century undergarments.
This is pretty much the full on 18th century undergarment wardrobe. I am keeping this basic so I only made a chemise, stays and a petticoat. There are panniers also included. These patterns are really fabulous. Well drafted, excellent instructions. Available on Etsy at Pixiefairepatterns.

Changes I made:
I sewed the boning channels in the stays but didn't use any boning. The stays aren't difficult, just fussy. I also hand sewed the eyelets. That is all.

Second pattern: Highly recommend
Thimbles and Acorns short gown. Pattern includes short gown, petticoat, apron and kerchief. I made no changes.

Third pattern: Highly recommend.
This pattern/kit is by Past Crafts on Etsy. The pattern is on heavy butcher paper and has great directions. The fabrics were good quality cotton.

Changes I made:
I used lace for the sleeve ruffle instead of fabric. That is all.

I had a really great time sewing doll clothes! It is like instant gratification.

 Round gown

 Short gown.