Monday, April 25, 2011

Eventing Season! Time for a new to do list.

Ok so Egils is May 27 and The Rogue Renaisance Fair is May 14 We only need one outfit apiece for The Ren Faire so I'm not terribly worried just excited to go have fun. The list that follows then is for Egils. Today marks 35 days until the event and 25 of which can I reasonably expect to get things done. Each of those usable days has a block of time open that is approximately 8 hours but to account for other chores, my attention span and other distractions let use average it at six. That leaves approximately 150 potential hours of work.

Egils sewing to do list.
1. Finish Riley's purple shirt (80% about three hours work left)
2. Finish Riley's vest (35% estimated work left about 15 hours (will probably skip the decor for this event and cut it down to 4 hours)
3. Finish the tokens for the dance competition (65% about 1.-2 hours left.)
4. Make the scarf for the youth bracket's prize (5% about 6 hours estimated work.)
5. Find a teddy bear and garb it for the children's bracket prize. ( 0% estimated time about 6 hours and maybe another two for detailing I need the actual bear before making an estimate.)
6. Finish my surcoat and Gaelic chemise (75% about 3 hours left)
7. Make my cotehardie (0% about 20 hours work. ((may be backlogged until seadogs))

That's about 46 hours total assuming nothing explodes and the puppy lets me work.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Gypsy Garb

I got Riley to garb up and show off his new bright duds.

Fun With Color

The faire season is fast approaching and I am scraping the bottom of the fabric stash and doing whatever I can to make our garb work. This week that has included experimenting with dying and fading the fabric I have that is an appropriate weigh for garb but the colors were just a little off. I also redyed a shirt of Riley's to make it a nice saffron with curry powder. I did this because it was a dingy white that looked sloppy and gray with a few stains and because his persona is a gitano (Spanish Romani) and sloppy white is not a bright color.
Not as even of tone as I would like but not awful. Click for full size.

The other experiment was with bleaching some purple quilting cotton to a tone that at least looked like it could have been achieved with period dyes because the original color was fairly neon. After several hours of feeling sure that the threads were going to disintegrate before the dye did I finally rinsed it out and let it drip dry and left for the weekend. When I came home I discovered how dramatic of a change actually occurred.

Bleached on the left original on the right for comparison.
Now I just need to hope my iron works long enough for me to get those wrinkles out!
I like the result and it totally looks even better in person. The fading really brought out the texture of the cloth and made it seem a lot more earthy. It has a much more period feel to it now. It will hopefully make an amazing shirt with wonderfully garish puffy sleeves. At last my gypsy love will be wearing appropriately bright colors that are not red. I am also trying, rather futilely to darken the tone of a brown polyester cotton blend to make it seem a little less shiny and industrial. I'm hoping a couple more trips will fix it up.

So that's what I've been up to, that and job searching.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New Garb and puppy

So I haven't entirely been slacking but getting any work done with a six month old puppy is practically impossible. This is the adorable new distraction in my life.
His name is Zathras and he's a basset hound/ rat terrier mix (we think)

But my puppy as cute as he is, is not the reason for this blog. I have been working lately, I have been hand edging the surcoat and leaning how to cut and iron my own bias tape to finish it. (which hurts a lot) I also broke down and made a chemise out of the plaid fabric I had been keeping around for my Gaelic wear.

I will try to say the following without sounding like an insecure teenager. Women my size should avoid plaid like the plague and I should know better. But it's appropriate and it was an inexpensive fabric in colors that suit me so I decided to deal with it but I just wasn't prepared for how awful the following image is.

Oh, hello again puppy. 
I really really hate how this looks on me but it's better than being naked at event and it is still a good piece. I guess I should just focus on changing me rather than the fabric but ... gah!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I'm still here and getting work done.

So I have my new bodice pattern worked out and I'm working on the prototype and I'm also practicing my embroidery on it. which is significant since I haven't actually done embroidery since I was 11. It's not perfect yet but with a little more practice I will be back in the groove I think.

Embroidery on Blue Velvet Bodice

Also I am almost done with my surcoat and just have to figure out how I'm going to trim it. I'm tempted to just get some hem bias in a contrasting color and topstich over that. It's not the most complex trim but it would be pretty and fairly period.

Business start date is being pushed back until my mom gets me my money back. I'm still regular job hunting so I can start on my own anyway and Riley has me looking into ways to get back to school. So big things will hopefully be coming soon!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Scaredy cat has kicked me out of my sewing room! (And corset contest news)

So I got home from visiting family on Saturday and Riley had agreed to puppysit for a friend of his. Which was fun even if they weren't all that well behaved. (One of them kept trying to hump my leg and the other one was covered in fleas and the younger one peed on my floor right in front of the bedroom door.) Well apparently even though his cat is used to big puppies she is not used to being caught by them and it shook her up pretty bad. She's been panting and hiding in my sewing room (Where Riley locked her up to protect her from the puppies) since then although she's finally peeking her head out today so we're optimistic that I can get back to work soon. (This cat just has a personal vendetta against me getting work done.)
Well I tweaked my Damsel in this Dress corset design entry. I think this will totally solve the problem with the curls standing up and makes my design look different from Damsel's prototype so I thought that I would share it. Damsel is apparently re-considering her idea to host a contest for fear of legal ramifications I really hope she decides to do it anyway because I know me an a lot of her fans have been really excited for it.

Ondine corset design

my new design idea  

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Kind of sad

So I got really excited for my design for Damsel in this Dress's corset contest and then yesterday I saw this on her page.

Image property of Damsel in this Dress

For those of you who didn't see it this was my idea for the contest.
Design by Me: Bobbi Weth

I feel really unoriginal and silly now and have no clue what I'm going to submit for the contest. I still really want to enter but my backup design is not really a design so much as an easy mod to one of her existing designs to make it more visually flattering. I like it but I doubt it counts as an actual design.

Oh well back to the drawing board... and hours spent making a probably unnecessary collage of my idea to make it look prettier and more like a real corset.

I have conquered!

The craft room resembles a usable workshop now! There's still a ton of laundry and bins hanging around but those will take a while to be done away with. (The bins will stay until we get dressers so I can steal the shelving unit Riley is using for his clothes.) But I did get a couple of useful bits of shelving in. So I decided to show some photos of the new organizational apparatus.

New trunk for fabric so I can see them
The trunk over here is actually a really long, thin shelving unit that I put on it's side and it makes a great fabric organizer. Other than the skinned muppet trying to cover it up (Orange fleece that will be a blanket when I have more patience to figure out what I'm doing wrong with it) I can actually see most everything that I have at once. (There are some bulkier bits that are still in a bin but it's down to only one bin and the trunk for now)

This has let me inventory my fabric stock, which is pretty much useless as far as the business goes. All of it is either really neon or is some terrible kind of knit stretch. (Totally the downfall of fashion... well that and the invention of the assembly line for mass produced clothing... and discarding corsets... we just hate looking good don't we?) I do have enough usable fabrics to make and model the prototypes of my ideas but I can't actually make a stock until I get orders. That is a bit of a setback but I plan to stock up on basic colors in a good heavyweight cotton (Black, Red, Deeper Blues and Greens and browns) to make some simple pieces to sell at first.

Then I got Riley to put up some shelves for me. They are a really basic design that is actually pretty convenient.

ZOMG organized!
I have labeled most of what's in there for the curious. Not enough of most of what I need for the business (bias tape, threads and notions) But it's a good start. I have enough to make my prototype projects and show them of and to hope that someone will want one for their own.

The collection is pretty darn eclectic with the glue gun and the old fashioned (I'm talking 70s here) electric shears that belonged to my great grandmother. ( I inherrited a lot of my craft supplies from her ... including most of the neon knits ... oh the 70s ... they were terrible.) The shears are actually way better at cutting smooth lines than I am (I always show jagged edges no matter how sharp of scissors I use) and so long as I have a guide I can make much better lines with them. They are terribly loud and sound like I am torturing a beehive but I consider them a pretty good tool.

I have actually set a hopeful business start date of February first and I am optimistic. I even have a bulletin board set up with my goals to get ready on it. (ooh fancy I know)

The goals are as follows. 1-4 finish design example finals. 5 get my business cards printed to take to events, put in with orders for referrals and to, in general promote myself. 6 Get Riley to help me take good photos of my designs (Outside!!)  to use for my Etsy store. 7 to work out my referral incentives.  

What do these mean? Well 1-4 are pretty easy, finish making the examples of my clothes so I can get them modeled and photographed for my store. Most of these are things for Riley and I's SCA garb kits because both of us have had a bad year for misplacing or otherwise having to discard our garb. I also have a few projects for friends that will make these lists at a later date but these are the bare basics.

Goal 5 is pretty self explanatory and 6 is to put my experience as an amatuer photographer to use to flatter and sell my designs. The plan is to go out to one of the parks nearby to take photos and use the nice sunlight and beautiful landscape to create romantic and fantastical images to help invoke the feeling I'm trying to create with these designs. The last goal is to work out how to reward my first customers and to encourage them to refer their friends since word of mouth is the mainstay of this business. My basic plan is to give each of my first five customers five coupons to give to their friends that will give them AND their friend 5% off any one item. (this only applies if the friend uses their coupon) It's nothing terribly complicated but every little bit of encouragement helps eh?

Since this is primarily a sewing and project based blog I figure I should probably show you what I have been working on. So behold my first attempt at a surcoat as a WIP.

Wow I need an iron ... and something to cover that door up.
I guess that's enough ranting about my progress for now. Back to pretending it's Christmas Eve to make up for not spending it with my family.