Stitches West: Day Two - No Photography Allowed

Yesterday presented another fun day of Stitches goodness.  Upon arriving at the train station i bumped into Girl on the Rocks and had an awesome chattin buddy the whole way down to Santa Clara.  I learned all about Salt Flats, which were beautiful with the Sunset on the Way home, pictures at the bottom.

Upon arriving i found the "No Photography or Video Allowed" a bit odd for a convention.  Oh the pictures here are both purchase aftermath.  The convention seemed kinda light to me.  Also these have to be the largest aisles i've ever seen!  A Verb for Keeping Warm 's booth looked awesome and so did CoCo Knits, which was busy with beautiful baby stuff.  It felt great to walk around and see so many fiber artists that are wonderful people with new faces learning about their wonderful products.  New members for the Bay Area Goodness Yarn/Fiber cult (i should start that...hehehe).

It was awesome to walk around and see so many different kinda of yarn and knitting related products.  The skin care people still seem out of place to me...  I did control myself mostly and walked away with only "two" purchases.  The first is "Cotton Ice" in Black from Newton Yarn.  This has Victorian knitted sweater writen all over it!  Now i just need to find a bit more today...or it will become a shawl instead, stupid sleeves!  The second is "Yowza Whatta Skien!"Hand Painted, Superwash Merino, Colorway: Cleopatra, 1680 yards total *'-'*.  This was saying blanket in my ear while i was paying...but sweater hyas alo been creeping up the list.  Not my normal colors, but there's some black in there somewhere allowing me to see it.

Today is the end of Stitches West for me this year.  I have an Enterlac class @ 1pm and a TINY bit of shopping, involving a yarn hunt and beautiful shawl pin, to complete.  After that it 's back to the sewing mines with me 'til i head to NY for more fun on Monday.  Please enjoy the beautiful Salt Flats Sunset...


Stitches West: Day One - Setup with Tactile

Today was, but fun!  I have fallen in love with the train.  Well i fell in love with the train four years ago during my first trip to Japan.  The easy life of not going through customs or having people complain i have too much Shampoo in my bag.  I was very pleasantly surprised this morning as i boarded the Amtrak in Berkeley that train life in the states wasn't too far off.  Nice quiet ride with plenty of room for me and all of my stuff.  I worked on the lace edging for my Polonaise, that has yet to be created, the whole way there and on the way this evening.  I swear lace pictures will follow ; )

Today consisted of helping Tactile setup their booth at Stitches West.  The whole Stitches West thing is new to me and i had no idea what to expect.  OMG it's huge!  Like Fanime at the SJ Convention Center huge!  YEA!!!  Yarn, Fiber, crafty bliss!!!  So the setup began around noon and proceeded until 5pm when the students got to come in and browse the floor as early birds.  The booth is beautiful and i go back to tomorrow to improve my skillz of selling and writing receipts.

Before any setup as i await my cohorts

The Booth in *most* of it's glory

Basting Corest Panels and the Bloomers are Coming Alive

Tonight consisted of a trip to JoAnn's for some duck cloth for the inside of the corset.  Call me paranoid, but i don't want all of the silk and satin to come ripping part if i decide to move in my corset.  I found a nice medium weight black cloth.  All of the self corset panels have been basted to the cloth for stability.  Also the bloomers just few together.  Waistband didn't take 10 minutes to sew up and the legs in about the same amount of time.  Here is a picture of the progress.  Oh beautiful spiral binding how i love thee so.  I love living in Berkeley with Lacis a meer bike ride away.

The Corest is an adjusted Laughing Moon Silverado - #100 Ladies Victorian Underwear

The Bloomers are a drastically altered (nearly all shirring removed) Laughing Moon Riding Costume - #110 Ladies 1890's Sporting Costumes

The goal is to sew the complete corest over the next 3 evenings so i can work on the bias attaching while in NY next week, along with the lace i'm knitting for another costume.  Beautiful lace pictures coming.

Also - STICHES WEST!!!  Oh course this is this weekend, a crazy busy weekend, a weekend that also includes Wondercon.  Oh well.  You only die once...right?

Costume Update

Time isn't something i've had much of lately.  The weekend consisted of packed fun!  My brother and a friend of his were visiting for the weekend and we went to my first Roller Derby on Saturday night!  I had a blast!  The SF ShEvil Dead Girls' costumes are super cute!  Very women work camp/Alcatraz 30's/40's goodness.  It got me thinkin how much i've been missing working on costumes for others.  Yea, i barley have time to make myself a corset...but there is something to be said for group activities.  Time to start lookin for some new opportunities for costuming the world ; )

I the land of home i have made massive progress since friday.  The corset has been fit and the lining cut out!  The bloomers have been fit, new WB drafted, and lining at the WB has been cut out.  I still need to draft the cuff pattern...but i'm holding off til i get the majority of the bloomers sewn as i keep having different "perfect" ideas.  Must wait and assess.  I've very happy with the progress i've made and can't wait to move onto cutting the main fabric tomorrow and getting started on the sewing.

Step One Complete: Fabric Procured

The first step in the costuming process has been accomplished for two outfits...Fabric has been purchased!  I was getting worried that i wasn't going to have time to work on any costumes with all of my travels, but i'm finding things i can do here and there.  This evening involved a second trip to Mood in NY.  I could move in there, such beautiful things.  I was super happy to hear that they had an LA location as well, so i don't have to start flying here to buy fabric.  Everything was beautiful!  Everything had a match-ish silk taffeta, oh my kinda place ; ) 

Set One - The first is a beautiful Silk Taffeta with Deep Emerald Green horizontal threads.  A matching emerald shimmer solid Silk Taffeta was purchased for trimmings, bias', and other incidentals...oh god i want to make hats!!!  The project is the new corset and mystery bottom that i've been thinking about to give me a more appropriate "Day" Steampunk outfit with a bit of class.  Most of the costumes this year are going to be geared towards the Steampunk in an effort to have a decent wardrobe for the con in October up in Seattle.  The Mystery Bottom is leaning towards reasonably fitted bloomers and maybe fabric covered buttons up the cuff?  Who knows!  It was a skirt...prior to finding the perfect fabric.  I'm just not getting skirt from the voices in the fabric.  Planning the stripes to be vertical, instead of Horizontal, and with 60" fabric i think i'll be okie.

Sorry, sketches to follow...

Set Two - The second is a gorgeous Silk in Midnight Blue with Black horizontal thread groups to create small squares on both sides of the fabric.  A coordinating Black Silk with small slubs horizontally in the fabric was purchased for contrast, and again...hopefully a hat?  This will be in a version of the Past Patterns style #904: 1880's Polonaise with Walking Skirt.  The Polonaise will be in the Midnight Blue fabric and i've already started to look up knit and crochet lace patterns.  Crochet or knitting lace is a *perfect* NY airplane project, and i've got tons of those in my future!  The skirt is totally getting changed to a standard 6 or 8 gore skirt in the black silk and with a large ruffle along the bottom in the same fabric as the Polonaise.  Haven't decided if it's two ruffles or just the one will be able to hold the hem line...

Here is an image of the set as is from Past Patterns.  Not sure what changes, apart from the skirt, will be made for sure.  Planning the stripes to be vertical, instead of Horizontal, and with 60" fabric i think i'll be okie here too.


Dress Forms Oh My!

So if sewing and costuming is really in my future i will most definitely need to invest in a dress form.  I don't have any desire to take the time to make myself one.  I really just want to buy something, have it shipped, do a few *minor* adjustments and begin usage!  I've looked online at a lot of different forms.  I've decided that the "adjustable dial" forms aren't for me.  Being busty these forms never have the right shape and i don't want to have to "stuff" my dress form.  I came across a brand called Uniquely You.  Their forms are made from a combination of a foam base and an "overdress" that you can alter to fit your shape.  Once you "fit" yourself into the the forms over dress it will be your body ... the dress form version!  This sounds awesome.  It was reassuring to find Farthingales Fabrics endorsing the form.

Maybe a little too awesome to be true?  Has anyone used these forms?  What form do you use/love?

Gothic: Dark Glamour - AND - Seduction Exhibits @ FIT in NY

I had not been to the museum at FIT before.  Pretty impressive the shows they put on!  There are currently two different shows.  One they didn't seem to mind if i took pictures, where the other they nearly jumped me...  So we have purty pictures from "Seduction" i took, and beautiful pictures from "Gothic: Dark Glamour" that i've scrounged up from other websites.

The exhibit opens with beautiful corsetery examples from the early 1800's, paired with gorgeous chemises and slips.  They continue into the mid to late 1800's and show some garments with exquisite details.  The garments all appeared to be truly from the period and have been preserved by the museum.

"Gothic: Dark Glamour"
This exhibit was different. First it required going down an old metal staircase to the lower level, which took me more then a few minutes to find. Walking in you find yourself with three different shadow style windows displaying mannequins in various gothic/mourning style clothing. Some originally from the early 1900's and some from Lip Service's last season. A little odd...but they made it work. On the opposite wall there was a gorgeous display of accessories. Everything from silver bat necklaces to a real pig skin top hat that have a giant bat painted on the top and brim (shown below), crazy!!! After wondering if this was it a small someone go in a side door, there happened to be a giant room with tons of dresses and coats all on mannequins in the room! There were no signs and i would have never knew that was part of the exhibit if i was a bit overly daring at opening doors (they already yelled about no pictures so i figured they'd let me know if they didn't want me behind the door). Here are some pictures from the show. Beautiful stuff that was truly inspiring for my new costuming craze. I came back to the room and promptly ordered the show catalog book and it should be waiting for me when i get home. Now i just need to do some mannequin shopping...



Yarn Crawl (NYC): Habu Textiles and Yarn - AND - School Products

After being in new york for nearly one week i was finally able to get out of the office without a companion wanting to join me for dinner.  I had been waiting all week for this opportunity and here it was!  Two stores were on list as must see's.

First was Habu Textiles and Yarn's Showroom/Studio.  I have always admired their yarns.  Such basic fibers and beautiful finishes.  They are beyond hidden in a barley marked building.  It took over 15 minutes of looking at the different enterances to figure out *how* exactly to get into the building.  I felt like i was being tested.  That only the *worthy* were allowed into the Habu sancutary.  Finally i passed the test, said the magic words (signed in at the front desk), and was in an elevator climbing up to the eigth floor to Habu.  Finally after navigating the labyrinth between the elevator doors and the garden of yarn i was wonderfully rewarded with a 15% off sale!  There were baskets on the floor in the main room with beautiful yarns all begging me to take them home, alas i could not justify a $100 yarn purchase for a cami...but other things were justified ; )

* NS-2B - Wool Crepe (Grey)
* A-19 - 2/28 Frisbee (Black)
* A-165 - 2/30 Ramie (Denim Blue)
* N-61 - Printed Cotton Gima (Olive Green, Forest Green, and Purple) <-- This was screaming scarf from across the room!



Next was a short walk over to School Products.  I never get to either of these places on my NY trips because they both close at 6pm each night and have weird weekend hours.  I'm *super* glad that both made it into this trip!  School Products was all about the bulk.  Next time i want to knit a sweater i'm comin here first!  More one pound cones then i've sen anywhere else.  And really good prices too!  Unfortunately the suitcase was bursting at the seams when i arrived (2 week stay with only carry-on luggage, that's how i roll...hehehe).  The physical location was awful.  Another hidden on a random floor place, but it helped me to understand that new york is all about the hidden gem.  Extremely sweet owner, and very knowledgeable.  He told me all about how much he likes Stash in Berkeley.  THe story goes his wife wrote a knitting book a few years ago and on her book tour they stopped in Stash.  I guess it was one of their favorite places on the tour and kept in his memory...random!

* Hand Dyed Cashmere/Silk/Wool Blend Sock Yarn (Lavender and Olive Green)  <--Totally would have bought more if everything i had picked up wasn't 600+ yards!  I'll get you my little sweater...



Habu has definitly been added to the "Make Time for no matter what" list for NYC, and i won't plan another sweater without checking out School Products.  Now onto some knitting...