All my travails with fitting the sleeve/armscye of the Red Fox Vintage dress make me realize I need to understand better how these things are supposed to work. I can't use the Red Fox Vintage bodice as a sloper if the armscye is screwy, can I? So, after over five years of sewing clothes, hacking patterns, and altering things, I am ready to make my own sloper so I can make patterns that are right from the start.
Wow... so I'm a terrible sister. I draped this skirt for my sis in January 2018, and haven't done anything since then (yes, over a year)! Sometimes I find myself with half-finished projects which I want to have done, more than I want to do them! Terrible.
However, as it's been a while since I posted, let me show you the in-progress pictures and explain what I did. Normally, I switch to present tense for the project diary, but this project was so long ago, and the way I did it is not how I would do it today, so I'll stick to past tense.
So, as promised on August 21st, here I begin the chronicle of my Ahsoka Tano cosplay commission! Though it's all done now, I wrote this project diary while working on it, so expect present tense throughout.
Ahsoka Tano is a Star Wars character in the movie The Clones Wars and in the animated TV series. She is a figure in Anakin Skywalker's younger years: he mentors her when she's a young Padawan, before he becomes Darth Vader. My client C. wishes to dress as her for the Rose City Comic Con. This requires, at minimum, a costume including a dress, belt, and gaiters. Other accessories are the gray tights, armbands and gloves, headdress/hair, et cetera. Our time is short (what with work and all, I only have five full days to work on it between the start of the project on August 20th and the due date of September 8th), so the priority is dress/belt/gaiters. In a pinch, C. can improvise the rest.
Here's an update on my salmon striped dress, an early experiment in pattern drafting and an entirely hand-sewn dress. Previously, I had bemoaned my failure to get the neckline right on this pattern; the pull of my bra straps in the strap-catchers and the movement of my arms in the armscyes always drew the neckline in, and that created awkward bunching which I would have to fix by tugging the shoulders outward. Part of the problem was the wide neckline which made the shoulder straps sit too close to the joint of my arm, and part of the problem was that I didn't interface or otherwise stabilize the neckline while sewing it, so it "grew".
Recently, I realized that this dress was languishing unworn in my closet, even though I like it and always get compliments when I wear it. So I fiddled with the neck and pinned out the excess into two outward-facing pleats that mimic the other pleats and darts. I hand-sewed these pleats down, and the dress finally works!
I also finally got pictures of myself wearing it (many thanks to a random and confused tourist whom I press-ganged into doing the job), so I can analyze the pattern a little more. (I should subtitle this post "Finally!")
Talking with a family member the other day about how people curate their online content to create an alternate world where they always look nice, their house clean, their work polished, I realized that as much as I value integrity and honesty, I also "put my best foot forward" when taking pictures for this blog. If there's stuff on the table, I move it so you only see my pattern pieces, not my dirty plates. If I take several unflattering pictures and one flattering one, guess which one I post? This is natural, and not entirely a bad thing. (After all, do you really want to see my dirty plates?) But there's a downside to the illusion of perfection. When all our friends and family look so perfect online, we might get discouraged or feel shame for the world of dirty dishes we have.
Since the Kluge Job was a dud, today I'll highlight one of my favorite early successes! I made it from an embroidered yellow cotton I bought at the Mill End Store and a salvaged white cotton skirt with lace insertions and ruffles which I bought at the Goodwill Bins. (The skirt had two layers: the outer layer was stained, but I used the inner layer for this project.) I call this dress my highlighter dress because of its color scheme, like a yellow highlighter used on white paper.
Or should it be "self-made underwear"? Or does that sound like the underwear made themselves?
Much like camisoles, underwear use up tiny amounts of fabric and satisfy the urge to sew something even when I'm not feeling like (or am putting off) a big project. I first made my own underwear several years ago, when I was living off of sporadic temp work: I could not afford the money to buy new undies, but I could afford the time and scraps to make some.
I should note that this post contains no pictures of me in my underwear, so if you clicked from prurience, no such luck!
Quilting, dressmaking, and history plied with the needle...
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