NY Fabric Mission a Success!

Saturday was perfect weather in Manhattan.  Light clouds that kept pretending like they were going to rain, just keepin all of us on our toes.  A perfect day for long walks...through the garment district!  Surprisingly enough i have never walked the NY Garment/Fabric district.  I am not usually here over the weekends and fabric shops are closed by the time i get out of work.  The trip had one main mission...to procure fabric for the walking skirt.  This mission was slightly complicated as i had a swatch of *georgeous* fabric that i really wanted to find 6 more yards of, needle in a whole barn thing.  Side missions included: 1) Finding a trim for the Black/Green Hat for the Crown/Brim   2) Finding Black Satin for the Bows on the Polonaise   3) Procuring other random must haves as i found them.

The walk started at 8th Ave & 40th Street wher i found Parons Fabrics West.  Lots of different Satin based fabrics in various weights and finishings.  After 30 minutes and my tea turning cold i have looked at *every* black satin in a medium to heavy weight steering towards the Shantungs and Taffetas and had not found what i thought i needed.  I did how ever find the perfect under garments fabric, a light weight black cotton with a shadow stripe.  Perfect to be under all of the glorious blacks/greys/purples/blues/greens that all of my garments are in.  Under garments project to comense once the Polonaise and walking skirt are complete.  Sneek Peak...here's the pattern i'm starting from...Edwardian Underthings by Folkwear Patterns #203.


The walk snaked through all of the Streets from 40th to 36th Street between 7th and 8th Avenue.  Lots of amazing trim shops, where they wouldn't let me take any pictures ;p  While inside one tiny trim shop looking at beaded nightmares i found a small plastic box with a bunch of beaded items all wound up made out of what looked like crochet thread.  After a bit of detangling i had discovered the perfect shawl!  I've been wracking my brain where to find one and here it jumped out at me, and for only $10!  That was defeinitly the *cheap* buy of the day.


After a few more shops i landed at Mood, where the georgeous (not enough) fabric came from in the first place.  A sweet woman looked and looked with no luck.  I began to persue the goods, asking for swatches here and there of things i thought could be comperable.  Evertually i gave up on comperable and decided to look for something i liked, i came to terms that the fabric swatch i was holding from before was hiding somewhere in their giant 3 floor store and that i needed to fall in love with something else.  So i did!  I found a medium weave Cotton Pique, and it was only $10 a yard which is super nice when you need 6 yards for one silly skirt.  Fabric was purchased and lots of other swatches came home with me.  There was a beautiful light weight black and burgandy stripe cotton that would be perfect for more under garments...but i need to fit and sew up on set before i'm allowed to buy fabric for another.  It will be incentive to get going on them so i can come back and get the fabric before it disappears on me!

All in all a good take.  Main goal accomplished, some side goals i didn't remember completed, and lots of exercise.  Now to get sewing and finish my corest before the Girl Genius on Saturday!

Bulk Updates and Where's dre_ah?

What have i been doing?  Well that's easy...COSTUMES!!!

Corset/Bloomers/1880's Hat - Black/Green:
* Corset - sewing the bias finished along the inside this week
* Bloomers - COMPLETE!!!  (Pictures below)
* 1880's Hat - *nearly* complete, awaiting a trim along the crown near the brim...pictures once fully complete

I've really enjoyed this set!  It's amazing how comfortable a corset *can* be when it actually fits versus just squishing you into something.  I can't wait to sew many more fantastic corsets in the pattern i've adjusted.  Who knew i loved making hats?  This was a fantastic last minute addition to the group.  It looks great!  I can't wait to make more hats!!!


Polonaise/Walking Skirt/(???) Hat
* Polonaise - Muslin fit, ready to cut the *good* stuff.  Need to purchase 1 Yard Black Satin Fabric for the bustle style flounce on the back sides (tweaking the styling a bit form the original pattern).  Lace?  Yes i've been a knitting machine!  I have nearly 75% of the basic lace trim complete.  From there i also need to knit the lace for the cuffs, but this may be a later addition to the costume depending upon "man hours" until the Sky Viewing event in April.
* Walking Skirt - Mission this weekend in NY to find the perfect 6 yards of 60" super fantastic-ness for this...no fitting required
* (???) Hat - need to pick a silhouette, Ideas anyone???  I have a bonnet, boater, 1880's, and top hat...hat patterns...and no problems buying more ; )   Planning to use the same fabric as the walking skirt to help with the accenting, but i also have 3 or so extra yards of the Polonaise fabric and could be open to something different.

Here are some pictures fom the original muslin fitting of the polonaise.  It was good through the body, but oh man did those armholes have problems.  I refit twice more just the armhole section and think i landed pretty close.  I gave the cap nearly 3/4" extra in height, dropped the armhole 1/2", decreased the across front/shoulder/back to "pick up" the sleeve back onto the body.  Not drastic changes, but enough i'm glad i always sew up a muslin before cutting $200 worth of fabric out.


Where am i? This is a common question asked of me, sometime i'm not quite sure. Today it's New York for more of training...next week?  Well still new york so i guess it's not *all* up in the air.  I am enjoying the trips, but will be happy when i get to spend more then two weeks sleeping in my own bed a month.

Somewhere in last week i managed to fit in a trip to Yosemite.  Beautiful!  And Sunday morning we awoke with 6"+ of snow on the ground, no snowing on saturday night so it was a pretty wild find at 9am.  Below are some pictures of the beautiful Yosemite landscape, falls, and morning snow.  This was my first trip and i can't wait to go back and do some more exploring in fairer weather.

Journey to the Land of Buckram: Phase One - Assemblage

Last night i cut out the Buckram and Fabric for the Hat to finish off the outfit of Corset and Bloomers currently in work for the Girl Genius Ball.  Today involved a fantastic afternoon of "Costume Salon" goodness with other Bay Area Costume Guild Members (GBACG) at a sweet woman's house in the city (SF).  I brought the Buckram and wire prepared to sew all afternoon, and I am very proud to say i did.  Nearly all of the Buckram has been sewn together.  I am working on the Truly Victorian 1880's Buckram Frame hat in the Tall Crown height, beautiful!  I can't wait to start covering it with fabric.  The crown is patiently waiting to be attached to the hat and then covered in glorious fabric.  Here are some pictures of the day's progress.


Steampunk Office Supplies Anyone?

While browsing for a new work journal i decided to checkout the very large display of Office Supplies at my local Staples.  Surprise!  They too have caught the bug with new antique styled Typewriter Key Office Accessories!  And relatively good quality too.  Apart from the over sized magnets (far left of bottom picture) the others are nice pieces.  The price doesn't scream buy me, rip me apart, and re-use me for a bigger purpose...but it does say Barrettes, Hat Pins, Cuff Links, etc. and some patience as everything eventually gets put on clearance.

Surprisingly they are not online...hmmm...

Knitting Victorian Lace

I decided a few weeks ago to knit lace for a Victorian Dress/Polonaise i hope to work on in April.  I have made good progress, so far about 9 feet.  I need about 20 feet for the dress edging...and about 4 additional feet in different heights for the cuffs.  This is a wonderful BART project with only a six row repeat, and clear indication where i am by looking at the last row.  The pattern is from "Victorian Lace Today" of the .  I finally managed to take a picture.

New Book gifted to me - "Softies"

A co-worker was in Japan for a few weeks recently and brought me back a fantastic present.  A book "Softies"!!!  I am already super in love with a couple of the different Plush Pals.  Looks like the sewing will be continuing for some time to come.  There is one amigurumi pattern, so the crochet will also be happening.

This is one of those new styled awesome craft books where it comes with patterns and is spiral bound so it can actually sit open while you use your hands for something else..like what the pictures show!  Such fantastic ideas!  My favorite after a quick flip is the "Wee Robot"  They actually recommend Overall hooks for "Antennae Ears".  Super cute!!!

The Opera and Homeopathic Medicine

The Berkeley Opera presented "The Tales of Hoffmann".  Billed as a "Steampunk" opera.  Well...it had some late 1800's inspired attire and lots of goggles.  Not totally a Steampunk poster card, but it did showcase the basics.  Very glad am i that there is more to the scene then goggles.  I don't like goggles is a giant understatement.  I dunno what it is.  I hated them when they came onto the industrial club scene in LA in the late 90's and haven't gotten over it.  It's just weird to watch everyone walking around with things that they wouldn't be able to see out of if they tried.  Believe it or not, but i really am a big beliver in the practical.  The show was fun, the singing was great.  I could have had a bit more tradgey or sadness,and a bit less love story...but that's pretty much how i feel about a lot of performances.  (You do *have* to love the Elton John glasses...)

The other part of the weekend involved lots of rest as i came home from NY having spent three nights coughing and blowing my nose in the hotel room.  I have *mostly* recovered.  Still not back into the swing, and then stupid Daylight Saving Time snuck up on me.  This never happens!  I always know when the little bugger is approaching.  All of this travel is definitly taking a toll on my oraginazation skills.

***Goal's for the week***

~ Bone Corest ~
~ Knit 10 feet of Lace ~
~ Finish Waist Closure on Bloomers ~
~ Make "Bias" taping for Corest Finishing ~

Stitches West: Day Three - Enterlac Learning, 50% off bulk yarns, and a Shawl Pin

My last day at Stitches West had a nice late start with a class at 1:30pm.  I decided since i had such an abbreviated schedule for the day i would drive, nice move.  I left about 12:15 and spent an hour listening to Lolita(read by Jeremy Irons, yea!) and not hitting traffic.  Parking was free, this was also a motivating factor.  I'm used to the $15 convention Center parking of Anime Expo, Comic Con, etc.  There even *was* parking when i got there about 1pm.  I spent the next 20 minutes being run around from building to building with no one able to tell me where my class was, very poor planning Stitches people.

Finally with the class located i picked a seat in the back.  I didn't think Enterlac would be terribly difficult for me to pick up, but i wanted to take a class and this was about it that was open when i registered a few weeks after the classes were announced.  The teacher Margaret ??? walked us through the theory of Enterlac, showed examples, and passed out very clear detailed instructions.  We did it together as a class stopping after each section.  I can now do Enterlac!  Here is my progression...

Step One: Knit Base Triangles

Step Two: Knit Right Side Triangle

Step Three: Knit Rectangles

Step Four: Knit Top Triangles to Finish off piece/swatch

Next was a trek back into the Market place to look for more "Black Ice" Cotton yarn for my Vintage Sweater.  Mission accomplished!  a couple of other things slipped into my bag too ; )  Blanket yarn!  I found a very pretty Black, Blue, and Off White that will make a perfect Snowflake crocheted blanket for my bed.  Also two pounds of a beautiful variegated dark color blend yarn that is screaming to be made into a throw for the living room.  Last stop was back to the Tactile booth to procure some items that had been whispering to me for days while i sat and wrote up others gorgeous purchases.  Some Fiber blends, Yellow Sock Yarn (not for socks), and ... the Shawl Pin.  I love this shawl pin, and now need to knit a shawl for it.  Good motivation!

All in all my first Stitches West experience was fun.  It seemed slow, and it will be interesting to see what the crowds are like at wondercon by comparison.  I'm so used to the crowded Anime Cons with small children popping out of every corner, this was a nice difference.  No classes next year i think, unless it's the Japanese Knitting class.

The Death Star has been Defeated!

The quilt is complete!  And has been for a few weeks, how time does fly!  Here are some pictures.  I am VERY pleased with the final result and can't wait to get started on a quilt for my bed, thinking the Ghastly Grimm Alphabet Kids?