Ladies in Red (part 1)
Well. Here we are again.
After the completion of our most recent Renaissance dresses, the Blue Bee dresses, I asked Rachel if we had enough dresses for festivals and faires. What a silly question.
Red seems to be the one color we haven't really explored, and is the other royal court color besides blue. We knew we wanted to stay away from a pink-red or orange-red. And after our forays into Italian and English styles, it was time to once again embrace our genetic heritage and go with a German style.
I took the opportunity to sketch out the costume design digitally for the first time - usually I use a pencil. I'm happy with the way it turned out - for my first time. But (spoilers), about from the time I clicked "save", I knew I'd be making changes to the design. So be sure to keep up with the twists and turns on this one, as I know this will be a multiple-post project.
Rachel is fantastic at using unexpected, budget friendly fabric in her Renaissance dresses. But I wanted to take the excuse to be very deliberate (and, I'll admit it, "boojee"). Linen was an obvious choice, but I wanted it to be a bit lighter in weight than the blue linen we'd used before, and I was after a particular shade of red. As I live in an, ahem, "fabric desert", about the only way to achieve this is to order swatches from an online store first.
I wanted a near-tissue weight linen for the shirt, and a light-medium weight for the dress. After finding what I wanted from Fabric-Store.com (which specializes in linen) I took a picture of the fabric swatches with a fork as background to compare weight and color.
Taylor, in Teal (part 1)
I had asked Kate to help with the pattern drafting, and after Taylor sent her measurements online a pattern was drafted. Kate could see right away that maybe not every measurement was accurate.
The bustline was way too high. Kate made her best guess based on standard pattern shapes.
The other change from previous patterns was the side seam. Taylor didn't want the bodice front lacing, but back lacing. In addition she indicated she wanted less of a column shape, but with English influences. The side seams were moved around to the back, and the lacing left at the center back.
And so we go from pattern to muslin! Even though this fabric mock up was made of leftover linen from a prior project. Kate also very wisely left heckin' huge seam allowances, with stitching lines where the original measurements indicated, and looser ones where she thought they might end up.
I had been in communication with Taylor about fabric choices in my stash of silk saris I bought online. Unsurprisingly to me, she liked the teal color best. However, it had a golden thread woven motif all over that didn't show up too well in pictures. I packed all of them, but Taylor remained steadfast in her choice. In addition I talked to her more about the design and we chose a secondary silk in grey with golden embroidery as an accent.
Last week we had a Royal Court photoshoot for photos to go on the website, and Kate and I were able to fit the muslin to Taylor. In addition to letting out the seams to the secondary larger option, the front was lengthened, the shoulders widened, the neckline lowered, and the armholes made bigger.
I am updating Taylor on Facebook with the important stuff. For this project instead of going from pattern making to finishing hems on each garment, I'm completing all the cutting first so my table can be free for construction from here on out. I took the above picture, but realized the piles of cut fabric only looked in order to me. So I labeled it. Here's to progress out of this chaos!
A Forest Retreat, Never to Repeat
After my last dollhouse assembly I took some time off to appreciate my renovated sewing room. But this little kit called to me with the fresh, green feel. Plus, this is the only kit with two floors that I've seen that is supposed to be viewed from all four sides.
If only I had known to dark path ahead...
I didn't take many assembly photos, but here are the small accessories:
So we're gonna skip to the finished photos. Enjoy them in this form, because the problems with this house in real life have soured my enthusiasm for this model.
1) The fabric for the couch shows ALL glue. Would have been nice to know beforehand...
2) The order in which the house is wired means that by design there is a chunk of wires exposed on the living room wall.
3) Some of the wires were too short to twist together, and pulled apart after the house was together.
4) Gluing and placing the stairs as the instructions stated made it nearly impossible to keep level.
5) The living room chandelier was impossible to glue straight, and it snapped apart several times before I got it glued up.
6) And finally THERE WAS NO BATHROOM IN THE DESIGN. (?!?!?!????!!!)
I did some redesigning of my own and after scouring the internet for a single listing of a 1/24th scale non-Victorian toilet a bathroom was installed. See the captions below for details.
The best pictures I added a filter to and posted on Instagram. Enjoy the slideshow without captions. The electric lights never did work properly, so I may tear all the wires out someday and just enjoy this as a non-lit house.
Twins each with half a brain in reality; the other half displayed here!