pimpinett: (Default)
( Mar. 20th, 2009 12:42 am)
I made a pattern for the dirndl bodice, at long last, but I can't decide how to solve the front closure issue - buy one of those regular, wimpy busks to put in it, since the heavy-duty ones I generally use for corsets are definitely overkill for this project, or hook-and-eye tape, rely on an actual, functioning button closure, or simply skip the front closure altogether? Having to pull anything corset-like over your head is a pain in the ass, for several reasons, but what with the low-cut front and buttoned shoulder straps on this one it would work, if not as well as a front busk. It feels like a very lazy solution, but I decided that I'm going to have the side panels overlapping the center front panel instead of the other way around, like I first planned, and that complicates things a little. A couple of extra layers of fabric will be needed if I'm putting in a busk, and a lot of extra work.

I'm not sure I have enough of the grey leather for the entire thing, but I was lucky enough to find a matching fabric that I can use for the underarm panels if necessary. I had a look at the local leather shop a few weeks ago, and they had nothing that was even close to the right shade of grey, so it was a relief to find a nice fabric - it's a stiff cotton with a woven stripe, quite similar to that black cotton I used for the Red Cross button corset. One side is a silvery medium grey, the other side is more of a dark taupe, slightly darker than the leather but otherwise quite close in colour, with the same brown undertones. I have enough of it for a skirt, too.

The hat issue is still bothering me as well. I have looked at hundreds of dirndl, tracht and landhausmode pictures without coming up with anything good, and just hair is boring. Any input is appreciated.
pimpinett: (Default)
( Jan. 28th, 2009 11:54 pm)
The green shirt, so far:

Made pattern, cut out the pieces, zig-zagged edges, sewed the darts and then I decided that I wanted to flat-line it after all, so unpicked darts, cut out cotton twill lining pieces,  zig-zagged them too and re-did the darts. Great planning! Resulted in some stitch marks in the fabric, of course, but I will have to live with them. This is one of the reasons I think I'm a pretty bad seamstress. At least I am pleased with the cuffs and collar, for a change.

This is one of the sleeves, obviously, and one of the shoulder straps. There's another photo showing the rest of it so far after the cut. )
pimpinett: (Default)
( Jan. 23rd, 2009 11:02 pm)

Black and bright green shot silk taffeta, and the plan is a fitted shirt that is shaped a little like a vest at the bottom, so it can be worn untucked without looking bad. Black buttons, but I'm not sure which ones yet - I happened to buy 15 vintage metal buttons today with chipping black paint, because they're exactly the same as one of my favourite odd buttons but much smaller. The single one is over 3 cm across, these are only 1 - 1,5 cm. I don't think they are right for this project, though, the fabric calls for something slightly fancier, but definitely black buttons of some description. Sew-through ones, attached with a silk thread that picks up the green, probably.

Better photo of the fabric. I really like the depth and luster of the colour in shot fabrics, silk and otherwise, and this one is a nice twist on olive drab. Will probably be predictable and wear it with a black pencil skirt, seamed stockings and a garrison cap, if I have time I might make a new skirt and cap with piping out of this fabric. My old favourite pencil skirt never quite recovered from that incident during the Nitzer Ebb gig the fall before last, so it looks a bit shabby. The luxury of the silk should make it festive enough, and I can skip the cap for the first part of the evening.

My other batch of Ebay buttons arrived today, and I'll be damned if they are not uranium glass - I don't know why I didn't jump to that conclusion in the first place, but it's a very nice surprise. They are clearly the right shade, and the colour is in the glass, not achieved by a coloured metal film under it. I should try to do a blacklight test, somehow.

I think the point of the meme may be to illustrate how bad at least I am at coming up with something to gush about for eight days straight - I'd say I failed spectacularly. Well, well!

On Sunday we had lovely winter weather, cold and bright and sunny, so I went for a walk with my mother. Saw no less than two different plants in bloom, outside in Sweden on the winter solstice, how about that? A hellebore, of course (not one of mine, sadly, the Helleborus niger in my garden is one of those late-blooming strains and although it has small buds, they probably won't open until February or March) and a colchicum in my garden. Extremely late to the party, that one.

On Monday I started work on a slightly more casual wiggle dress in black cotton twill, which is fun. I've been wanting a uniform dress that doesn't show acres of cleavage for a while, and on Christmas day I'm going out, so I'll try to get it finished for tomorrow night. I'm really looking forward to that, the Christmas club nights are usually a lot of fun - people you don't see that often come home to celebrate Christmas, and all that. Kommando XY are playing, which is always a hoot, and Daniel and Anders are DJ:ing, so the dance floor will be everything I want it to be too.

Bodice and skirt cut separately, for once, rather like a shirtwaist with the bodice buttoned in front, a regular shirt collar, breast pockets, shoulder straps and a double cuff-like sleeve treatment. The skirt has an inverted box pleat at center back. I'll be using the grey plastic three crowns buttons and make a fabric belt for it, I have a couple of very nice vintage, chromed and grey belt buckles that I really should do something with. Not sure which belt buckle I'll use yet, though, both match the buttons well and I like them both. The buttons look almost exactly like the grey three crown one in the photo, by the way, apart from the different material.

Yesterday I discovered that the black twill I'm using is not the thin, stretchy twill I thought it was and planned on using, but a heavier one with no elastane content that I bought for using in the planned corset dress; bummer. I had completely forgotten about it and was sure I only had one large piece of black cotton twill, and so assumed that this had to be the the right fabric, even though it was a lot less stretchy than I remembered it. Stupid not to check properly, but oh well.

Now I'm going to do some work on the dress, and then go over to my mother and help preparing the Christmas dinner. We're having our usual peaceful Christmas; me, my mother, a good friend of hers and my younger brother. No other relatives, no drama and everyone doing pretty much what they want to do. I am enjoying my Christmas, I hope you are enjoying yourselves too. Merry Christmas!

pimpinett: (Default)
( Oct. 11th, 2008 11:31 pm)
Lots of projects on the table right now. We're going out next weekend, and it's a dresscode event, so I'm making some stuff for A. He's been bored with his wardrobe for ages but not really come up with anything he wants except three-piece suits, which is neither something I can throw together just like that nor something he can buy off the rack on the spur of the moment, so he hasn't made much progress. I made a zoot suit, a pair of zoot trousers and a pair of black jodhpurs for him last year, all of which he wears a lot when going out. He found a three-piece vintage morning suit with cutaway jacket that he wears sometimes as well and he has invested in some high-quality dress shirts with double cuffs, a number of nice ties, a couple of good braces, proper riding boots, a good pair of shoes and a great set of cufflinks; but he's very picky about his clothes and thinks that he wears the same things too often.

The dress code for this thing next weekend calls for either tails or fetish gear. We're not going to go strictly by the rules, he'll wear the cutaway jacket over an opulent, patterned black and gold jacquard waistcoat, a gold ascot tie and vertically striped trousers in the same gold and black colour scheme - I'm currently working on both the vest and the pants. He's going for a ringmaster effect, and the cut and style of the trousers and waistcoat refer to early 19th century men's fashions with high-waisted, fitted trousers, a fairly short vest and gaudy fabrics. I think he will look great, if only I get everything finished in time. I'm not really worried about him getting in; I doubt they'll be anal about it being a formal morning coat instead of a formal evening coat if the rest of it looks outrageous enough, which it will, by a mile.

And I will wear... )
pimpinett: (Default)
( Oct. 5th, 2008 02:50 pm)
It struck me yesterday that I think I have a white and grey, fairly heavy wool that's been lying around waiting for the right project for about ten years - winter coat weight, if I remember correctly, in a spreckled, salt-and-pepper kind of pattern and texture. I found it, or was given it or something, possibly grandma's leftover fabrics that never came to anything; don't remember, I just know that I didn't buy it. Anyway, I think I should stop waiting for the day when I'll want a white/grey salt-and-pepper coat and just dye it black. Must do some digging.

On a completely unrelated and probably too personal note, I had a "you know you're not well when..." -moment the night before yesterday - namely, you know you're not well when you're lying in bed watching TV because everything else is too exhausting, wearing double layers of wool sweaters under a duvet and two wool blankets, still freezing and moved to tears (literally) by Robert Altman's hilarious, but quite unsentimental Prêt-a-Porter because Sophia Loren is so gorgeous, and the storyline about the woman who shops designer clothing for her husband is so touching. Yes, really.

Still ill, which makes a decent excuse for posting this:

You Are Courier New

You have a deep appreciation for tradition and history.

You don't eschew modernity, but you do have a deep reverence for the past.

You are very literate. It's likely you enjoy writing and reading.

Some people may feel you're a bit cold, but you just have high standards for who you hang out with.

Normally I wouldn't post a quiz result, but this result was rather funny, at least when posted here.
pimpinett: (Default)
( Sep. 19th, 2008 12:47 pm)
I got the main fabrics for the dress yesterday - the pink dupioni, which is eye-wateringly bright in large amounts, and pink cotton to flat line with. There was a dupioni in the same red as the warp in the pink fabric, which I assumed would work as a contrast, until I looked at them next to one another. It doesn't work. At all. The hot pink brings out a strange, rusty tomato shade in even cool, true reds and it looks awful.

So bright red is off the list at the moment and I'm considering burgundy instead, but I am rather stumped at the moment. Will bring a pink sample and hunt for contrasting fabric tomorrow and next week. Bummer.

Also got some silver cord for the Panzer dress - have added some of it to the shoulder straps, and I'm thinking of putting the rest together with a small silver tassel I had lying around to make a sort of... yeah, whatever that cord and tassel thing draping between the collar and/or lapels and the shoulder strap is called on uniforms.*

Finally found a source (in Swedish) that gives clear and reasonably comprehensive information about the various three crown buttons, by the way; as far as I've gathered, the grey metal ones are M/1939, the gold and silver coloured ones are M/1960, a furlough uniform. The gold colour is the standard, with the silver ones used only by a few regiments, which would explain why they are harder to find, of course. I'm guessing that the grey plastic version is from one of the 1950's or 1960's uniforms, too - M/1959 or M/1968. Nice to get that sorted out.

*Aiguillette or possibly lanyard, it turns out; ägiljett in Swedish. The Swedish uniform regulation is very useful for this kind of stuff, apparently. And I did make an aiguillette sort of thing with the rest of the cord.

pimpinett: (Default)
( Sep. 11th, 2008 03:51 pm)
Sketch and fabric samples - voilá.

I'm not neat on paper without working hard on it, all my raw sketches look like this. A, who has an exceptionally neat and meticulous style of drawing with plenty of small, clear details, always mocks me for it, saying that my drawing look hairy. I say screw him and refer to my favourite comics artist Ulf Lundkvist, but I feel inferior too, just like when he pointed out that my singing voice is awful - not like I didn't already know that, but still. Well, well.

Anyway. The fabric samples are as close to how they actually look as I could get them, at least on my monitor; you know the drill. I will say that the satin is definitely a lighter pink than the dupioni in reality, a clear, bright hot pink with more of a faint yellow undertone than the red undertone this photo shows, but the colour of the dupioni is pretty close to how it actually looks.

I had another idea, by the way, but I'm pretty sure it's not a good one; beige dress, close to my skin tone, with hot pink lining in the bustle. I can't quite picture it, and I honestly have no idea how I would look in a beige dress, while I do know that hot pink works on me.

Am also considering lining the bustle with bright red if I make the dress out of the hot pink dupioni - that would be a great colour clash, and it's the kind of garish, awkward colour combination that appeals to me.

A friend of ours is celebrating her birthday with a theme party in less than a month. The theme - and the dress code - is her, which is a brilliant idea, I think. It's just causing me a bit of trouble, for although I love her style and we have things in common style-wise, I really want to do it properly, while still making a dress I can wear for other occasions, too - I could really use a good party dress, as opposed to all the too-campy and too-provocative club outfits I already have.

So what I'm thinking is... )
pimpinett: (Default)
( Aug. 30th, 2008 08:55 pm)
We went to the movies and saw Blade Runner: Final Cut last weekend, and my head is still spinning with shoulder pads - goodness, what shoulder pads! Am going to see it again with a very young friend who hadn't even heard of it, so clearly needs to take the chance of seeing it on the big screen. I'm happy that I did, it was a completely different experience than watching an old, worn VHS copy on a small TV. There were so many little details that I had missed, and the restored sound was good, too.

And oh, the shoulder pads...

The silver-coloured three crowns buttons have found a project at last, by the way - I'm completely disregarding all the things I actually need in favour of another little mock uniform dress. The fabric is a woven polyamide/lycra that I have used for a couple of similar dresses before, fairly stiff and sturdy but quite stretchy, up to about 40%. Black with silver piping, buttoned down the front with a single row, comparatively narrow collar and lapels, pockets with buttoned flaps on the half-length sleeves, buttoned shoulder straps and big 40's style shoulder pads. I will make them myself, modern shoulder pads are too soft and flat. The 40's pads I'm trying to emulate are built high, often 2-3 cm or more, but not extremely wide, they are tightly curved over the shoulder and stuffed hard.

I had only seven of those buttons and needed at least eleven for the project, so I went to the two remaining military antiques shops in town (after a detour to the Army Museum half a block from where there used to be a third one, where I poked and prodded another set of great shoulder pads in a female WWII Blue Star uniform) and asked for them. Found only two expensive ones at my first stop, but hit the jackpot at my second - seven large ones, two small ones, plus oodles of the also very pretty grey M/39 version of the same button, two sizes, in metal and plastic. I bought in the region of 40 buttons there and I'll go back for more. Was asked to show off the dress I'm using them for, too, when it's finished. I think I should, maybe.

I know that many sewers tend to collect tons of fabric. I've never been that bad a case of fabric hoarding, but I can't resist good buttons. They do take up less storage space than fabric, there is that to say for it..
The K came from the same place as most of the buttons, by the way. I have been thinking about the metal numbers and letters featured on some uniforms lately, and since K is my first name initial and they only had this one little letter lying around, it was obviously meant to be.



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