Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Costume College 2011 - Day 3

While I have not yet managed to wear any costumes to Costume College, I have participated in Sunday Undies each year. The first year I wore a light blue pinstripe Victorian styled corset (pattern LM100) I made in a workshop held by Lacis and taught by Carol Wood. Last year I wore my machine-washable corset (all the bones and the busk are removeable), which was drafted and modified from Corsets and Crinolines (#43, pg 84). So I decided that this year I should really finish up my stays and wear those.

I started my stays over two years ago, before my very first Costume College. They were drafted/scaled-up from a plate by Leloir. By that first costume college they were, for the most part, corded, boned, and put together, and I was partway through attaching the binding. I finished the binding some time ago, and they have spent the last year or so sitting around waiting for eyelet holes to tie the shoulder straps, and a couple more bones to stiffen the last few tabs. So in off times between when we arrived Thursday night and Saturday night I finished off those last couple things. I also finally got around to hemming my chemise (which has been sitting around, folded up and neglected, in its unhemmed state for the last two years). No pictures for now, since I didn't think to have one taken on my own camera.

After breakfast, I went to the 2D to 3D comic/anime lecture, found time to go by the costume exhibit, got distracted buying 3 gross of buttons at the marketplace, so was late to the Knotty Girl hair to wear class, and finally attended the hat blocking lecture and the electronics in costuming lecture. I spent the evening in the Hospitality Suite and had a wonderful time hearing about fruit-platter-hats and miscellaneous other items.

At the costume exhibit, Lynn McMasters had a nice display of hats up, with paper hair in the appropriate styles. Unfortunately, I didn't think to take a picture of the whole table. One of my favorites because of the bright colors:

I saw two examples of a black netting overlayed on gold colored cloth, and I really liked the look, in particular of the bodice/corset near the entrance to the exhibit (on the left below).

Many more pictures from the costume exhibit here.

This concludes this mini-series about Costume College. Previously Day 1 and Day 2

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Costume College 2011 - Day 2

On Satuday, day 2, I went to the Chinese Armor learning circle, which was neat to hear about. (Some pictures here.) This was immediately followed by the corset fitting learning circle; I now have some ideas to try to adjust the fit of my modified Edwardian corset.

Later I attended the Boutis Provencal workshop (resulting in Unfinished Project 2 of the weekend), "The Corset Unboned: Florentine Form", and "18th Century Fan Language - Fact and Fiction". I may or may not actually attempt to finish the Boutis Provencal sample we started on in class. While it may be nice to finish the sample and have it around, the overall idea is fairly simple so I may just jump to a final project (if/when I decide on a project to use it on). The Corset Unboned lecture was extremely informative as was the Fan Language lecture. In particular I liked hearing about the attempts to track down the original references and sources for the fan language (and finding out it didn't really exist in the way the later references implied). I think it would be awesome if the museum with the example of the 18th century parlor game coversation fan had reproductions made; it might be fun to have an event based on parlor games.

Friday night was the Gala: Creatures of the Night. I helped set up so I was able to get a few photos when the lights were still on before the doors opened:

I felt like a lot more costumes had lights this year (and lights which were used well), which was exciting to see.

More photos from the Gala

Previously, Day 1. Next, Day 3

Costume College 2011 - Day 1

This was my third year attending Costume College, and probably my most relaxed: I didn't even bother trying to think up or make any costumes; and I didn't spend the weekend working (no writing papers or revising my dissertation, like the last two years). I arrived late Thursday night with my friend. Friday I spent all day in the Regency era corded corset workshop (taught by JoAnn Peterson of Laughing Moon). We were guinea pigs for a new pattern: exciting! My gussets were inserted and all the grommets were set before the end of class. Stitching all the cording the lines is going to take awhile of course. So, Unfinished Project 1 (of the weekend).

The Friday night social featured the contestants of Project Funway. I only managed one still photo of one of the dresses.

Highlights of the night from my point of view were the teapot purse, and finding out about a particular Simplicity pattern. The teapot purse:

One of the marketplace vendors was selling similar teapot purses; I didn't like the sizes as much, so I may try to look for my own acceptable teapot at the numerous thrift and dollar stores nearby.

I saw a lady walking around with a blue coat on, then another lady walked by with the same coat style in different fabric. Look at the difference the choice of fabric can make to the look of a pattern:

This is Simplicity 2171 by Theresa LaQuey. I really like it. If I weren't right on the borderline between their size sets I would get it. Instead I may get it, or I may redraft something similar; I think one of the Francis Grimble books had some vaguely similar coats that I also liked.

More photos from the Ice Cream Social

Continued on Day 2 and Day 3

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Continuing Trend

My fabric design contest entry (mentioned a few weeks back) reached a new low in the number of votes received: 26. Total. From this I have learned that pirates are popular, and the theme of the contest is irrelevant. (Although supposedly they do attempt to filter off some of the really off topic entries.) Also, maybe this time I will actually learn not to bother entering any more of Spoonflower's contests.

In other, more positive news, I have been working on a charting app. I finally got frustrated enough with my current charting process to make something better. My process before for posting charts: Google Docs Spreadsheet → app script I wrote → LaTex → pdf (using pdflatex) → clip/paste into GIMP → get a png → upload to Picasa → link to from blog post. New process for posting charts: my web app → svg and symbol key → include svg in blog post. Unfortunately, inline svg images are not supported in IE and older browsers. I can also do: my web app → LaTex → pdf, easily enough; getting an image to link to from the blog post is the annoying part.

So I am thinking of only posting the svg versions on this blog, but eventually making collections of the charts available in pdf form. My plan is to start with the "Fish Napkin Patterns" in Lambert's book, My Knitting Book, vol. 2.

I have a long list of uncompleted projects, however, so swatching the patterns may take awhile. In the meantime here is the Double Rose Leaf Pattern - Revised (originally mentioned in this early post and also mentioned in my last post).

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Edging Pattern For a Hat

A couple months back I decided to make my mom a hat after finding a really lovely silk yarn (Louisa Harding Mulberry in 21/Claret). I started by looking through a number of hat patterns on Ravelry. I particularly liked For Joana by Agata Smektala, but my mom wanted a little more ruffle along the bottom edge. So I thought of doing something like the leaf edging along the bottom of this Greenleaf Cap by Freyalyn Close-Hainsworth, but perhaps using the Double Rose Leaf pattern. So I did a test swatch of half of the pattern with a faggoting stitch like edge as found in some of the edging patterns from Jackson's Practical Companion to the Worktable (for example, the pattern on pg 103).

The swatch and corresponding chart:

The green stitches in the chart highlight the leaf motif, and the blue stitches on the right indicate short-rows used for forming the curve.

I decided that the leaf pattern didn't curve and ruffle well.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Once Again

I went ahead and entered another Spoonflower contest. The theme this time was Rococo, and I'd already been messing around with 18th century styled designs, so I didn't make a new design specifically for the contest. Some time back I had visited my library and browsed through several fabric textile books. These included (among others) Printed Textiles: English and American Cottons and Linens 1700-1850 by Florence M. Montgomery and Americas Printed and Painted Fabrics by Florence H. Petti. I think the former of these two, Printed Textiles[GoogleBooks, Abebooks, B&N, Amazon], contained a nice selection of chintz and block-printed fabrics.

Anyway, I'd been working on some micro print designs for my Sylvanian Families at the time I visited the library, and so I used some of the stylistic features from a couple 1760-1780 block prints. Simplified, of course, for a smaller scale, and I arbitrarily picked some colors. I ended up with this fabric, the coloring of which makes me think of 'Hawaiian shirts'. When I saw the upcoming contest theme was Rococo, I decided to enter my design (on a marginally larger scale to show up better on the contest viewer). Yes, the styling is a little late for Rococo, and the coloring is very modern, but I have felt past contest entries always seemed overly loose with the theme anyway.

Well, after having looked through the contest entries, at least my entry has some relation to the 18th century. (I thought some of the other entries were interesting or pretty, but almost none of them made me think Rococo or 18th century. Of course, if I didn't have such a fascination of chintz, and I hadn't read through as many books on 18th century textiles as I have, I'd probably think better of at least some of the designs.) Look through the entries yourself and vote.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Simple Stitch Pattern

I wanted to test some of the stitch patterns from Lambert's "My Knitting Book, Second Series", as mentioned earlier. Being moderately lazy, I decided to start with a pattern with few stitches and rows per repeat: Open Pattern for a small Quilt is on page 49, and has only 5 stitches across per pattern, and two rows. The chart is pretty silly, but here it is anyway (second row is purled across the back side, so not shown):

The slipped stitch is alternately passed over two stitches and one stitch.

Also, I made up that symbol combination, but the intention should be mostly clear if you understand the somewhat similar symbol combination that occurs in the last image in this article on FluffBuff and is also explained by ShowYouHowTo.

For the swatch I cast on 14 stitches: 2 repeats plus 2 edge stitches on each side. I knit about 12 rows; for the first three pairs of pattern rows I slipped the stitches knitwise, and for the second three pairs I slipped the stitches purlwise. I decided I prefered the look when slipping the stitches knitwise (bottom of picture).

Monday, January 10, 2011

High-tech Fabrics

I briefly referenced Ecouterre in my last post. It's big on sustainability, and recycling, and reducing waste. All good objectives, but the posts I've found the most interesting tend to be the slightly more bizarre technology posts: energy generating clothes, clothes that power your gadgets, invisibility cloak, glow in the dark clothing, fibers that can emit and detect sound, and spider dragline from E. coli. Another site on technology and fashion, Fashioning Technology, has more focus on the lights and gizmos on or in clothing, and less about new textiles. Also, Syuzi Pakhchyan of Fashioning Technology appears to have a DIY Intro book [GoogleBooks, Abebooks, B&N, Amazon].

Now about clothing style, or rather visual elements; I'm currently liking the sleeveless (or cap-sleeve) ruffle look. Clothing grown from bacteria seems a little weird, and I don't care for the paper-like look of the material, but I think this shirt design is kind of cute. Similarly, I like the ruffles over the shoulders on this dress and the fabric probably looks pretty neat in person, but the rest of the dress isn't very exciting. Both of these are part of the Trash Fashion exhibit at the Science Museum in South Kensington, London.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Lace as Jewelry

I'm not much of a jewelry person, but someday I really should pick up a few things to accessorize costumes. Actually, somewhere between Margaretville and I-87 in NY there is an antique shop in some building (which also contains a cafe and some other stuff), and this antique shop contained several 'Victorian watch pins'. I was very tempted to get one when I passed through last summer, and didn't because I wasn't sure I wanted to spend the $40 at the time, and I've been kicking myself since then. I don't even know the name of the shop, or building, so even if I end up in that region of the country again sometime soon I don't know that I'd be able to find the place again.

Maybe I will sketch out something of what I remember of it. Which honestly isn't much beyond stones spaced circularly, and two tiers. (I can't even remember if the stones were green or maroon, now.)

Also on the topic of jewelry, I recently came across Ecouterre, which had a post about vintage lace cast in gold and silver. Some of the crochet and Cluny lace pieces are kind of neat (See WhiteFly on Etsy). Although really, the Cluny lace could simply be made in wire, and the crochet piece could be made in metallic thread (not quite the same end look, but I think it could still look good if done well). Still, the idea of casting the vintage pieces in recycled gold and silver is interesting.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Knitting Patterns On My Phone

Google has (back in late Nov. or early Dec.) launched an ebook store site. As part of this they now have an e-reader for android phones. Although the old scanned needlework books are still images, and not epub books (with adjustable font size), several of the ones I have looked at appear to have originally been printed on half or quarter sheets of paper. This means they are just about the perfect size for displaying on my Nexus One.

Above, a page from Lambert's "My Knitting Book, Second Series". I have started to swatch out some of the stitch patterns and edging patterns from this book, and intend to chart them as I did previously with a few of the patterns from Jackson's "Practical Companion to the Work Table" (pg 102, 103, 105, 126).

Also shown in the picture: the same page printed out on paper, and a baby bonnet I am making for my niece. I started the bonnet with the intention of testing out some of the patterns in Lambert's book; at the moment only two stitch patterns are actually going to end up being used. More details about the bonnet will likely wait until after I have finished the bonnet and charted the stitch patterns. Another picture, with the GoogleBook app in 'night' mode.

Between the original printing and font, and the digitization process, I personally think the night mode is a little difficult to read.