Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Finished! Emma's Bonnet

Hi Everyone,

Here's another little project I finished recently.  It's a dog bonnet for my friend's beautiful adopted puppy, Emma.

Ain't she adorable, y'all?? 
Meet Emma!

This bonnet was based off of Honey's old calico one.
A little technical sketch and measurements of Honey's original bonnet.

Pattern drafted of the brim, body, and crown based on Honey's bonnet measurements.

The pieces, all cut out in black & white polka dot cotton.  I cut an extra piece of the crown in plain black cotton, which will be the lining.  The brim is "Cut 2"  in self fabric and "clean finished" along the front and side edges.
The bonnet coming together:  The body is bound in black  bias tape at the edges of the ear holes.  The brim is gathered and about to be attached to the body.  The body is gathered into the crown, and will be sewn after the brim.

Brim is stitched to the body to the wrong side with grosgrain ribbon folded in half and layered on top.

Outside View #1:  The brim and ribbon trim is pressed to the outside and topstitched in place.  The body of the bonnet has been gathered and sandwiched in between the crown self and lining before sewing.

Outside View #2:  Grosgrain ribbon has been applied as binding to the bottom edge of the bonnet.

Inside View:  As you can see, this construction method "clean finishes" the inside of the bonnet with no raw edges.  Built tough.  Built to last.....That's how I roll!

Close up of the bonnet's brim detail.  (Sorry for the weird  was a beautifully bright day!)  I created matching grosgrain bows that will sit on top of each ear.  Hella Cute!!!

And here's another view of the bonnet flat, with matching grosgrain ribbon ties tacked at the sides of the bottom edge.  The narrow plaid ribbon is tacked at the front and back sides, and sits under Emma's ears to hold the bonnet in place.

Finished!  A front view

....And a side view
Stay still, Emma!!!  The bonnet fits a little big all over, but she's gonna grow into it!

Emma and her lovely bonnet were going to make their debut at this year's Pirate Faire in Vallejo, until we found out that dogs were not allowed this year.
To bad, really...
Emma's a wiggle-worm of a puppy, but she's quite the well-behaved lady...except when she's trying to drink your out!  She's a big fan!
I'm a Miller Lite gal myself....but to each her own!

-Kathleen, In Oakland

Finished! Another "Commuter" Rosette

Hey Y'all! 

Sorry AGAIN for the lack of posts.....I'm workin' hard for the money over here, and there hasn't been a lot of time to blah-blah-blah about the fun projects lately....but they are a-happening, bit by bit!

Anyhoo, here's a lil' something I finished this week while commuting to work.  I take TONS of public transportation every day, and always have sewing projects with me to pass the time efficiently/keep hope alive. 
Mostly, I make rosettes.  Lots of this one here, which is a full cardigan knitted ruffle recycled from a old sweater...I LOVE the sparkly Lurex thread...It's so 80's!!  

The silver leaves are sold by-the-yard at Stone Mountain and Daughter Fabrics in Bizzerkley.  
They come in silver and a pretty, natural green ultrasuede.  I love having them on hand for stuff like this.  

The underside of the rosette is neatly finished with  an antiqued copper barette.  
I must say, these metal clips are wonderful, and can be easily worn in the hair, on a hat, or in the lapel of a jacket. 

More pretty things to come!!

-Kathleen, In Oakland

Monday, June 20, 2011

Back to WOOORK!! - 6/20/11

           Good Monday to you all!  Speaking of WOOORK take a look at this video!  I saw this on one of our friend and follower's FaceBook page.  Talk about effort!

           So now you can feel extra bad for thinking your job is hard and tedious all these years.  Now get back to WOOORK!
Philip - In Brooklyn

Monday, June 13, 2011

Back to WOOORK!! - 6/13/11

            Well here we are again.  Another weekend has ended and Monday has cleched her steely grip upon us.  Never you fear though, Sydney Guilaroff is here to help. 

            Sydney is shown in this fantastic press photo working on some wigs for "Marie Antoinette" starring Norma Shearer.  No prom tendrils up in here!  You know Wendy Williams is burning with envy!  WOOOOORK!!

Philip - In Brooklyn 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Back to WOOORK!! - 6/6/11

           Welcome back to work babies!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend as we have had.  If there is one thing that exemplifies WOOORK it's an amazing clothes horse that marries the boss! 

           Miss Norma Shearer, I respect this broad's moxy.  Not only was she a great actress and drop dead gorgeous, she also married Irving Thalberg.  Thalberg just happened to be one of the heads of MGM.  Come to think of it Norma was a contracted star at MGM.  Well itsn't that convenient?  You go girl.  Make sure your bills get paid.  The essence of WOOORK!!

Oh yeah... can we talk about that gown.... UGH!  Sadly I don't know much about this picture.  I downloaded it a while ago and didn't make notes of what it is in reference to... Help a brother out guys!

Philip - In Brooklyn

Friday, June 3, 2011

Cinch It: Making 18th Century Stays!

Hello Everyone!

Very sorry for the serious lack of west-coast entries lately. 
My "real" job has been all-consuming for the last couple of months. 
On to pretty things, like these STAYS I'm almost finished with!

These are made from Simplicity pattern 3635 I purchased for like, 2 bucks at Joann's a while back. 

Yes, I know, Simplicity patterns are not historically accurate blah, blah. blah....
Yes, I know about JP Ryan, Mill Farm, and alllll the others being the "better" patterns for this era...I get it....I angsted over it, then moved on.

But, I went with the Simplicity pattern for 2 very good reasons:
1.)  I saw decent reviews and pictures of this pattern all made up on that can be seen here.  Not bad!   And since this is my first attempt at anything stay-like, I figured it was a decent starting point.
2.)  Making even the simplest of corsets/stays cost MONEY.  Even if you have a pattern & fabric on-hand, the boning and additional tools needed can set you back.  ESPECIALLY if you wanna get crazy like I did and do "fully boned" stays with hand sewn eyelets. 

I used 2 layers of tightly woven khaki twill...the exact same kind used to make chino/khaki pants. 
Only 2 layers?  Seems thin for a corset you say??  Well, let me tell you, this shit is deceptively bulletproof!  Hand sewing on this fabric is a real bitch, but in a good way, because I know its STRONG!
The Front & Side Front Pieces, after stitch all channels for boning.

Later, when the stays are all done, I will hand-stitch a plain muslin lining inside to make it extra smooth & comfy.
All channels for the boning are topstitched in rose pink thread.  With a bias tape maker, I created my own binding out of a rose printed cotton.  I really dig how the khaki and warm pink harmonize together.
Front & Side Front pieces, with boning inserted and bottom edge finished with binding.  As you can see, I'm having a hard time getting that binding to lay flat where the self fabric is split to form the tab... I will work that out later.  I decided to finish the binding on each piece before joining them together, after seeing *real* stays constructed that way.

The boning I used is actually 3/8"-ish wide zip ties specifically designed to hold AC ducts together.  They are sold at Home Depot with the Air Conditioning supplies.  *Pls note:  These are NOT the same as regular zip ties.  They are slightly thicker, and much stronger.  Plus they are a whopping 40-something inches long and sold in a pack of 25 for like, 13 bucks.  I used over half the pack to full bone all the channels properly!  
Front & Side Front pieces with zip tie "boning" sticking out.  IMPORTANT:  All edges of boning were carefully cut to have a rounded edge in an effort to keep from poking through..  You can see the imprint of the rounded edge through the fabric.  I made sure the smooth side of the zip ties faced outwards for consistantcy.

I must admit, my whole life, I've been totally intimidated by the idea of making thread eyelets.  They just looked really, really hard to do.  Well, with this project, I was able to conquer that fear, and now I LOVE them!
ADVENTURES IN EYLETS!  The other part of this project I had to spend money on:  Japanese silk buttonhole thread and a good tapered awl make the process vertually painless!  Since 18th c. stays lace up a special way with just one tie, eyelets at the top and bottom need to be offset for the center front to line up properly.  I sewed the offset eyelets with pink thread to highlight them for this post...and lets face it, they look pretty too!
Here are the stays so far, folded in half and layed flat.  I deviated away from the original construction by closing up the center back with a seam, and moving the eylet closure to the center front.   Why? 
Because this is 2011, and I need to be able to get dressed all by myself! 
Lookin' good!

That's it for now!
Hopefully my next post will show off the finished stays!

-Kathleen, In Oakland
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