Monday, May 9, 2011

Steampunk Adventures

This gentleman gave a wonder presentation on straw hat making from the Victorian era. He had antique hats on display too that were lovely!
Here is a Mother Daughter matching pair.
I loved this hat!
Here is a back view. I love the shape of this hat. Allowing room for fashionable hair style of the day: The Bun!
A typical daily man's hat from the era. All hand woven.
Such fine workmanship!
A quick try at plaiting ourselves, using whole straw strands.

While shopping for hats at our panel presenters booth, I found this lovely hat...
So I just had to buy it!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

DIY Under Bust From Homemade Pattern

I've struggled with getting a 'perfect fit' for several years. One solution; purchase patterns 'close' to my size and subtract or add inches. This works most of the time however when it comes to corsets in my costuming. It does not work at all! Happily I have found a solution. While searching a local charity shop recently, I stumbled upon a slew of brand new corsets/under busts. Mostly sizes far too small for me. Surprisingly I found one large size that was perfect in width but not in length, (I have a very shortened waist line). Solution; make pattern from store purchased corset (well in this case an underbust) and make adjustments on craft felt. It worked like a charm!!
First you need under bust to trace. I used legal sized copy paper, craft scissors, pen & measuring tape.
Then I trace it using about an inch gap from edge. This is where making adjustment to pattern to insure proper fit for my shape and size is fist done.
Once tracing is complete I...
 Pin the pattern to one piece of craft felt material.
Then I cut it out, using about an inch distance from edge of pattern.I also use fabric scissors to create smooth lines without fraying or tearing.
Once it's all cut out, I make adjustment to the cloth. Pinning and fitting upon my DIY dress form to insure proper fit. I reduce edging once I have a good fit.
Once adjustments are perfect I sew it. I bought this, nearly new, craft machine at my favourite charity shop for only $7. Yes it works perfect too! I use it on most of my 'craft' sewing projects. My costuming projects I use my regular sewing machine.
Once all sewn together I must add grommets. I found this set at Harbor Freight Tools for just under $5.
Using craft ribbon from local craft store I lace up my under bust.
And then make any adjustment that are required.
I'm very pleased with how it turned out. This is now a sturdy pattern for me to use.
I will use this to create more costumes using finer more expensive materials without risking them to mistakes. Craft felt usually runs about $4 a yard. Much more economical compared to $20 plus materials a yard!
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