Friday, October 31, 2014

Cooking for Halloween

I know this is not costuming, but I love to bake a little something each Halloween.  This year it was tentacular cupcakes.  I have never played with any sort of fondant, but have always wanted to try the marshmallow fondant recipes I see online.  I made a quick batch following a recipe online (Homemade marshmallow fondant) which was pretty easy, although my husband did accuse me of killing the Stay Puft marshmallow man when doing all the kneading. I dyed the fondant with gel baking dyes and made some quick tentacles.  The cupcakes are mountain dew flavored.  One thing to note, marshmallow fondant does not seem to dry very hard, the tentacles are more like the consistency of gummy treats but still very yummy!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Regency stays

I have been working on a pair of Regency stays.  I wanted the stays to be long since I have a fuller figure that is really not conducive to the stays confined only to the bust. I also wanted the stays to be comfortable.  I ran across some amazing research by Sabine about short stays ('Short Stays' Studies) and thought these would be a perfect fit.  Short stays have very little boning while still providing the correct shape.   Sabine provides all the necessary information to make several different types of short stays.  I used her information and quickly whipped up a set using Figure C with full cup coverage. I boned only the center front and the center back to support the lacing. The stays were amazingly comfortable and surprisingly curvy. However, the curves did not show at all under my dress and gave me the correct shape even when sitting!  I am sorry I did not take a picture of my stays prior to starting the alterations (I was rushing to finish them before an event and then plain forgot after).  Thankfully others have gone before me and provided wonderful pictures of the unaltered stays.  Of course Sabine has pictures as well, but also have a look at the lovely work of Abigael of My Darling Dear and the Regency who is posted several times about her version of the stays (J.S. Bernhardt Stays, c. 1810-11Part 2, Part 3) and the always inspirational Before the Automobile who also made a lovely set of these stays (Shift and Stays for 1810). The pair I made looks very like those made by these two wonderful ladies.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the short stays were great, until I had to drive. After one wearing I determined I was going to have to add more support to be able to use these stays for my figure with my modern lifestyle.  I added more boning to each side to support the sides and added cording.  There is not a specific issue I hoped to solve with the cording, I have just always wanted to try it. Originally these stays were 2 layers in all areas except the gussets, so I could simply sew boning and cording channels. To add the cording, I used an awl to poke a hole into the channel and a needle and thread to lead the cotton cording through.  Here are a couple of pictures of the almost corded stays, I promise this time I will get pictures when I next try them on!

In this photo, the right side had had the boning and the cording added. I have just started the left side.

Here is a close up of the left side, where you can see the area with stitching but no cording added yet.

Embroidered pouch continued

I have been working on the embroidered pouch for my husband and am actually starting to enjoy the split stitch.  So far I have added all the red, green and yellow.  The remaining space will be filled in with blue. I have also been keeping track of the amount of time this project takes (I usually don't bother to do this).  Below shows how far I have gotten in 15 hours.

Friday, October 24, 2014

A bit of embroidery and Regency plans

I am working on some costuming right now, unfortunately none of it is ready to be photographed yet.  Specifically, I am working on fixing up my stays for Regency styles and hopefully a new Regency outfit.  I love my stays, they are based on Sabine's amazing post on short stays Short Stays Studies. The stays went together really well, were really comfortable and looked great under my dress, until I had to drive in them.  Unfortunately while driving the sides tried to roll which caused the boning in the center front to dig in really really badly and the back to bow horribly.  The stays are so comfortable if you can sit up like a lady and so uncomfortable when driving.  I am the only driver in my household and very few of the locations I get to place dress up in have a space to change so I usually have to drive in my costumes.  I know short stays were supposed to be very minimally boned, but I just can't manage this with my modern driving way of life.  So I am adding cording and a bit more boning to try and rescue the stays since they were so comfortable and looked so good under my dress.  I will post more when I get a bit further.

In the mean time, I am actually working on some embroidery.  My husband needs a new pouch for his SCA garb, so I figured this is a great opportunity to practice some stitches I am rather incompetent at. I need practice in stem stitch and split stitch.  For some reason split stitch completely confounds me, but I figure practice makes perfect.  I outlined everything with stem stitch and I am filling in everything with split stitch.  Here is a shot of the completed outline and the start of the fill work. The ground fabric is a thin linen scrap I had laying around and the threads are all silk. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Shoe lust

I love the new shoes by American Duchess.  I have several pairs from them already and they are all so wonderful and comfortable. However, the type of dress up I do most often is Renaissance and these shoes would fit right in.....  I already have a pair of the Renaissance heels (two pairs in fact as I needed both red and black).  I covet a pair of the oiled brown new Virginia Shoe.  I could not find a way to add a photo here but the link below goes to the beautiful new shoe.  They also have a buff colored leather one.

Virginia Shoe