Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Victorian day dress p.1

Hello lovelies,

yesterday M. and I went out to do some pictures of my Victorian day dress. I needed to wear it longer than a couple of minutes at a time to really try to work out the mistakes I made. And boy there were a lot of mistakes.
We made the pictures in the park at Schloss Schönbrunn in Vienna. I still have to work on some of the pictures, therefore is this just one part of the pictures we made.
They turned out a bit artsy towards the end.

All the best,

Auris Lothol

Friday, 21 April 2017

Victorian day dress - skirt

Hello lovelies,

so this is part two of the Victorian day dress series. It was a very long ride (in my eyes, even though it only took me a month?) and I am very happy I finished it. I took notes on how I constructed the items and I will use this knowledge to finally start on my historical Ariel costume. Finally.

Actually the skirt is just a veeeery long rectangle. I set the front part in folds and the last 5 centimeters I pleated in cartridge folds.

The first skirt is without my undergarment, the second picture is with. It really makes a difference!

And to be honest, the skirt part was much easier than the bodice.
Again I have no pictures of my next work step, but what I did was sew the skirt onto a band. And that band is sewn onto the bodice. That was weird at first but it was in Janet Arnold book so I just went along with it. Of course that part is hand sewn for one simple reason. The stitches are on the lining and are not seen on the outer material.

I made a piping between the bodice and the skirt and it was really hard work to sew there. No wonder I didn't make any pictures.

The book stated that the dress was "lightly padded" at the seam. With no idea of what that exactly meant I just sewed in some horsehair braid.
I hand sewed it, of course.
The last thing to do was doing the last seam. I folded the lining "inside" of the skirt.
At that was it again.
The finished dress looks like that:

Have a nice weekend,

Auris Lothol

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Victorian day dress - bodice

Hello lovelies,

I am almost done with my Victorian day dress, I just need to sew the seam. Hooray. It just took me about a month and a lot of hours sewing by hand.

I found a nice cotton fabric at my local fabric store which reminded me of these dresses:

It's also beige and has a small flower print on it.
After I washed it in the washing machine I ironed it. And that was a loooot of ironing because I almost took 8 meters.

Top is the ironed version, bottom is the un-ironed version. What a difference!

I made the pattern from "Patterns of Fashion" by Janet Arnold book. It gave me a few headaches at the beginning but I could decipher out the instruction in the end.

I flatlined the thin cotton material with another layer of white cotton. With a big zig-zag stitch I went over the sides to prevent it from fraying. After that I sewed everything together.

For the back I made red piping and I used it for the back side seams.
It's a really dark red colour and looks brown most of the time.

The seams are stitched to the white cotton lining. The front seam has a casing with boning in it.

Sadly the bertha is a bit too big so I added a small half-round shaped something, no idea what it is called, to the sleeve. I got the idea from this dress. Look at the sleeves:

I have no pictures of how I did the sleeves, no idea why.
But I have a picture of the pattern when I made the mock-up.
In my opinion it looks like a gigantic atomic-mushroom.
What I did with the sleeves was cut the top cotton part and the cotton lining and work separately with them at first. First the outer cotton sleeves got a piping at the sleeve end. After that I sewed together the sides, first of the outer cotton, then of the lining. With the left side together I attached both of them on the sleeve part, then turned it around and went over both parts at the top.

Both sleeves are then attached to the bodice.

I tried out my sleeve poofs with the bodice and boy it looks so ridiculous. I love it.

I finally added the bertha to it. I was so happy when the folds aligned almost perfectly. Hooray.

Here again the bodice but this time without the sleeve supporters.

 And this is the end of part one.

All the best,

Auris Lothol

Monday, 10 April 2017

Lolita Teekränzchen April

Hello lovelies,

every second Sunday a month the Viennese lolita community meets up. It is a very casual meet up and every one is able to join us.
We also try to meet up at another location. This time we went to a cafe called Pure living bakery. It's at Burggasse and very easy to reach.
I ate a bagle with salmon and wolfed it down. So no pictures of the poor bagel.
The dress I wore that day was from Neverland called holy cross. The blouse was from Infanta and I made the hairdress myself. I wanted to use it for my Lucrecia cosplay but never did get to do it. At least I can use it for Lolita now. Hooray.

Out two group pictures. We didn't think about doing one standing when everyone was here. Of course. And I am really small.

Here are the close-ups:

 I tried to go for a renaissance look but I just look weird. Well, whatever.

And here are some more pictures of my outfit:

All the best,

Auris Lothol

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

1830s corset/stays

Hello lovelies,

the past months I worked on a 1830s corset/stays for my costume. I faced a lot of problems with the project because there was not a lot of source material and patterns. And I love to work with fixed patterns rather than creating my own.
In the end I based the corset on this corset/stays:
Corset, 1830–35, American cotton, bone, metal, Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art 2009.300.3031
 The corset, from what I could see, had gussets at the hips and two gussets on each side at the bust. It has shoulder straps tied to the corset with beige ribbon. The front has thread going diagonally going down from the sides to the middle. Additionally it has a busk in the middle.

With these information I did the pattern and in hindsight I failed so hard (again).

 This was the first pattern I did. It looks very long and indeed, it was.
The mock up looked good and even though my doll wore 2 bras it still didn't fit perfectly at the bust. For me, alas, it did.

So with the mock up looking fine I transferred the pattern to my linen and my satin fabric. No idea why all my corsets are pink but..they are...
I used thick linen for the inner lining. 

I hand stitched the gussets before sewing them with the machine. I tried to make it look really good at first.
Not sure if the hand stitched seams are visible but for the linen this method worked pretty well.

 This is how it looked like when all the parts were sewn together.
I inserted all the gussets and went to do the satin fabric.
The fabric was flat lined to another layer of linen.

So this was the corset with the double bra and all the gussets. I really had difficulties with the gussets.


I made the tunnels and as in the corset I  based this upon I wanted to do some diagonal casings. But they turned really bad so I only made two.

Then I stitched everything together with a running stitch.

I tried on the corset so many times and slowly I realized it was too long for me (and the gussets therefore not wide enough).

 Ignore my cute cupcake pyjama pants.

 I cut the corset for the last time and took away quite a few centimetres.
Afterwards all that was left was to put in the metal grommets, the binding and the corset spiral.

I used the pink satin material for the binding.

Here is the shorter version of the corset with a camisole underneath the top. I already did the binding for the bottom part. 
After inserting the corset spiral I did the top part, which was honestly a pain in the ass to do. 

My cat found my lap the perfect place to rest. They really don't fear needles.

To be honest at this point I was already so pissed off at the corset because so many things didn't work out that I was just like, whatever and didn't really care about wrinkles. I still don't. Nobody will see it anyway.

And this is how the finished corset looks like. I am wearing it again over a camisole but I remembered I still didn't have a fitting chemise....
So I guess I will do better pictures when I finally did a chemise for that era.
On the pictures it doesn't look bad but trust me, it does. All the corners of the gusset fray and the corset in general doesn't fit well. But I finished it and that counts, I guess?

Cost: I had all the fabric at home, I just paid about 4€ for the grommets.
Time needed: It took me about two months but it felt much longer...
 Satisfaction: 1/5

All the best,

Auris Lothol