Thursday, August 25, 2011

rebeading the sleeves

I love my sleeves but I want to really make them pop

does this help?

on the right is the way the sleeve is beaded now, on the left the new way I am thinking of beading them. I was planning on the small clusters at the end of each diamond 4 in the middle- I'm also tossing around the idea of a small cluster at the bottom of the tail

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

in an odd space

While I will admit I am disappointed in not being listed among the winners, I do not begrudge those who were named. Rather I think I am more disappointed that I didn't push harder, do more, the disappointment lies with myself.

Don't get me wrong I adore my dress and am very proud of my work but like so many artists I see my mistakes and wish I could have finished more. There is a lot of beading I still want to add and I wish I had given myself more time to do it in.

I am so glad I took on the challenge and I adore the amazing work the other entrants completed. Bella has started an amazing thing, just like her website this could grow and inspire so many.

It's rather funny as I was dealing with my emotions today I thought of all those who have inspired me- (there are far to many to list here) when I received an email from my website from someone I had never met that read this blog. In it she told me I inspired her, it wasn't the first time I had some tell me that today. I never thought that I inspired others  and I have to admit that it touched me very deeply.

This whole thing started with me because I had dealt with some major emotional blows, I was deeply depressed and one of the things that brought me great joy had fallen to the wayside. I hadn't done any real sewing in well over a year. When Bella put forth her challenge I figured it was the perfect time to force myself to create again. It worked and I am grateful.

Currently I am looking at my dress and wondering what can I do next. I hope to bling this up and wear it to 12th night so any ideas I would be very open to it

Sunday, August 21, 2011


so the challenge is over but my work on this outfit isn't. I have so much I want to add to the dress, beadwork and embroidery. So keep watching this space more to come

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Final photos

So I started wanting to do something with my hair

I was going for this:
I got close- If I was willing to play with it some more I think I would have gotten it but I think I was close


Layer 2
the dress and accessories
you can see the jewelry box and banner I also made during the challenge

With the black veil

with the cloak and 2nd drawn thread handkerchief

and parasol

with zibellino and gold veils

with the 1st handkerchief and rosary

my favorite because you can sort of see the miniature of my son Neil in the costume I made him to look like Henry VIII's son Edward

For fun:

Friday, August 19, 2011

100th post!

15 hours left!

At this point I'm just doing extra stuff to the skirt of the gown- All my layers are finished!!

Layer 1
Camicia, Drawers, stockings

Layer 2
Petticoat, Pocket

Layer 3
Partlet, girdle, gown

Layer 4
Handkercheif (2nd not pictured) earings, necklace, hair pins, silk veil, sheer veil, black veil (not pictured here) flag fan, banner (not part of the challenge) Parsol, cloak, Zibellino

Thursday, August 18, 2011

another new project

Because I am not insane enough. Since I really don't have time to futz with ruffs (will make them after the challenge) I decided I could sneak in one more project before the deadline. Yes I am insane! so I have the dress in a stage of done but I am still adding to it, a parasol half painted and now I have started working on a mask for my Zibellino. Yup I'm nuts!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I have been looking for a nice umbrella to turn into a parasol! I found one today- as much as I love the periodness of my black veil I do get sick of the cousin it jokes I get when wearing it.

So I removed the orginal canopy replaced it with muslin and have started paintin my device on it! I love it so far the canopy is so big! It will be perfect!

should I tease you

With the pics of the dress on the dummy I took tonight or should I make you wait until Bella posts them on the 23rd??

Monday, August 15, 2011


so I have finished the pleating of the skirt. I just need to do the hem which I hope to take care of tomorrow. In all honesty once that one little step is done I could be done- but will I stop there?? Naw I have time to at least get started on one more piece. Yes I am insane!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Denver Post

I just finished the interview with the Denver Post! It was exciting. There was a ton of photo's taken! It's a shame they will not all be used in the article. Not sure when it will come out. There is talk of holding it until after the photo shoot with the finished outfit.  I am feeling very lucky and blessed at the moment!

Still need to finish the front of the skirt and hem it. Anything I get done after that point will be gravy!! I am in such a good mood now! It was so cool trying on the full outfit for the first time to see all the pieces coming together!

Thursday, August 11, 2011


the house is presentable and the skirt is now in the process of being pleated and attached. Most likely the front will not be pleated and attached tonight.

Why this furry of activity and why am I worried about the house and not the 9 days left for the challenge. As I mentioned before but you may have missed it-

The Denver Post is sending a reporter and a photographer to my house at 11 tomorrow morning. It's all about the challenge and this dress I am working on! I am so excited- I wish I had more of the dress finished but I am big on not working on the dress till the foundations have been made.

second handkerchief

finished the second handkerchief another linen piece with some simple drawnthread. I love it, its so girly


just whipped up a partlet I was hoping to get done! Yeah!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sunday, August 7, 2011

sleeve 2 nearly done!

I just need to bind the top and sew up the sides! I hope by tues. to attach the to the bodice and take another pic of the bodice and sleeves on the dummy!

last ermine spot done!!!

now to get working on finishing the rest of the sleeve!

ermine step by step

  • I had a stencil of my ermine spot
  • I draw the outline on my fabric
  • using a running stitch I follow my outline- attaching the fabric to a stabilizer

  • I then cut away the fabric inside the outline as close to my stitching as possible, without cutting the stabilizer underneath- which is why the stabilizer is so important you don't want the fabric to stretch or warp in any way
  • Then I do a zig zag to help catch stray threads around the outline. this helps it look cleaner in the end, and will give it a little more strength to hold it's shape later
  • I then use a wider shorter zig zag stitch to applique around the edges
  • cut away the stabilizer on the inside, trim the stabilizer around the outside an it's done!!

This can also be done by hand although for the time crunch I decided to use my machine as your cut away designs get smaller you will have to sew it by hand- trust me it will save you headaches later!! a simple whipstitch can be used to clean up the edges and I would suggest a buttonhole stitch to finish the outline- It holds up better and has less of a chance of shifting revealing the raw fabric edge underneath then whipstitch. You can fray check your cut edges before finishing but it isn't required. 

last ermine spot

I am starting the embroidery of the last ermine spot on the second sleeve........ thank goodness!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

today has been a rough day

I am feeling like I am draining fast as I am working on my umpteenth ermine spot. Beyond my closest family I only have you the readers helping to drive me on.

I am so close to the finish- I think that is when a lot of folks want to give up. You look back and see how far you have come and just can't believe the end is within reach.

I guess I am feeling very down and defeated today.

sleeve 2

I have been breaking needles like mad today working on the sleeve. Off to buy new needles and other last minute pieces to finish the gown

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

17 days

only 17 days to go- Panic is creeping up on me. The sleeves are still in patterning and I have a ton of embroidery to do on them as well as on the skirt. Since the majority of the skirt must be attached by hand I still have to find time for that.

I had great motivation at the start but lately it's been tough with school and my son driving me nuts and adding in a family trip which took me away from my machine. I don't know how far along I will be.

So my strategy is that of several stages of "done". If I only have the satin straight sleeves finished then that is a stage of done. If the skirt is attached but not embellished- that is a stage of done. and so forth. I really would like it if I could figure out the sleeves today and get started on them but who knows what might happen.