Friday 28 May 2010

The OUATITW blouse - the plan

OUATITW is, for your information, short for Once Upon A Time In The West, and Once Upon A Time In The West is one of my major film loves. (And major means this: When I first watched it, I cried at the end just because it ended and I didn't want it to, not yet. And because I thought, how on earth can something so beautiful even exist? I still wonder about that. End of fan-girly talk.)

Most people whom I know to love OUATITW vent out their love for it by means of clever talk about its cinematic greatness. I can do that, too, but it pales in comparison.
So I do it by looking into its costumes, among other things.

And now I'm going to do it by making a blouse in reference to it. Although I doubt anyone would notice if I didn't tell you.

I'm going to use a pattern I've wanted to use since August 2000 when it came out in an issue of Burda WOF. Quite impressive, eh? I was twelve back then. I didn't know OUATITW yet, I only knew of its existence and wanted to see it one day, quite badly although not yet badly enough. Anyway, I loved this blouse pattern, although I wasn't quite happy about the very low neckline slit.

Ten years later, I still love the pattern and still am not quite happy about the neckline slit. Unlike back then, though, I now know what's going to become of that pattern.

Something between this:

and this:

That is, I'm going to make it in that navy cotton sateen from previous post in reference to that rogue's shirt (He's not really important; I just like blue, OK?) and I want to drop the sleeve pleats in favour of something that'd resemble Jill's sleeves more. Some kind of smocking, I imagine.

Other changes will be: raising the neckline slit (I doubt it'd make much of a difference in the fit, really - the pattern looks fairly loose), most probably dropping the center back seam (no need for that either, I think), and not using elastic in the sleeves, because elastic in sleeves is sort of crappy. Instead, I want to give it this kind of treatment:

Especially because it seems something very similar is going on at the neckline.
(That is, by the way, the sleeve of my mom's wedding dress, homemade by her mom.)

It's not going to happen immediatelly. Right now I'm working on a chemise to go under my future regency dress (and other things, hopefully), and a pattern for my mom. I started tracing the pattern, though, to get a sense of accomplishment out of it. Because I've wanted to make this blouse for ten years. TEN YEARS. Did I stress that enough? And, you see, what amazes me most about this is the fact that my taste in clothing is still quite similar to that of my twelve-year-old self. Refined in some way, slightly shifted towards things I didn't realise were possible back then, but the basics are the same. It, somehow, makes me happy. Maybe because so many things have happened in the last year that I've recently wondered if I still were the same person... You do not have to worry about my happiness and sanity, though. I still am.

Oh and the sleeve pattern piece? Quite crazy, size-wise, if you ask me:

Yes, those are holes. It's because I hate working with tissue paper on patterns, and because this particular piece of non-tissue paper had got ratty over time, so I had to cut out the ratty parts. And because the sleeve pattern piece is so big that I had to glue other papers to the bottom. Really, it must be about 65 cm wide.

For the record, the pattern is blouse 111, view A, from Burda WOF 8/2000. And I'm cutting between sizes, because I am between sizes myself. I have high hopes for that technique, considering the simple fit of this. I hope I won't be disappointed.

Oh, and on completely sewing-unrelated note, I've just discovered Kate Beaton's comics - mostly historical comics - and I've read through her whole archive today. Quite a crazy thing to do. It made my day, and it killed my day.
If, by any chance, you want to know, the other webcomics I like are Sandra & Woo by Oliver Knörzer & Powree and the very, very irregular Adventures of Boromir by Katarzyna Chmiel. Both influenced by Calvin & Hobbes. And I like Rose is Rose, too. That says something about my taste in comics, eh? And that's about it.

Saturday 22 May 2010

New fabric

I went to a fabric shop yesterday. And bought fabric. Mostly fabric I have a project in mind for, which is awesome (considering the amount of fabric without a clear project in the future that lies around the house).
The only one I do not have a project in mind for is the beige remnant on top. I snatched it in the remnants bin, because it was lightweight cotton in a colour that could go with something I might make in the future... Maybe as bias binding. Or something else. We'll see.

The light blue one is a knit that is destined to become a dress.
The white lightweight cotton (batiste, I believe) is either destined to become part of a chemise, a slip to go under aforementioned knit dress and other dresses, or to be combined with a remnant of Marimekko "Heinä" batiste I bought some time ago, and become a dress. (Mine is a different shade of blue, though, closer to the knit above. And look! I have a fabric designed in 1957!)
The navy is the best. It's a lightweight cotton sateen. Part of it I'll try to overdye with yellow to a green similar to one on the saree, and it will serve as lining for my regency dress. Part of it is going to become a blouse I've had in mind since 2000 - because that's when there was a pattern I liked in a Burda WOF magazine. It will be a bit different, though, particularly around the neckline. But I'm sure I'll start with that pattern. That's good, too, those Burda magazines will finally find their use!

I'm still contemplating some lovely cotton voiles they had in the shop, though. I think it's called voile. I noticed a bright yellow with white polka dots, a dark, brownish yellow and a navy. I'm afraid I'd have to come up with a project for the navy one and come back for it. It could be lined with the sateen - I bought 5 meters of it, so maybe it'll suffice...

Wednesday 19 May 2010

Green Saree Regency - the plan 1

After having fallen in love with the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice (which was after having fallen in love with the book), my sister asked me to sew her a regency dress.
I decided to sew a regency dress for myself, too.
I browsed the internet for so long that I really don't remember anymore in which order I found out about the things I found out about. The result was - the best fabric to use, from what we could easily get, would be a cotton saree. Period.
Our source was this Czech shop:
My sister bought the sarees. I made her warm knitted socks in exchange for it.
She also bought the Sense and Sensibility pattern. Her dress is going to be just like that.
Mine is not. I always have to complicate things for myself...

You see, I'm not happy about the back of that dress. And not particularly happy about the shape of the neckline either. I want a slight boatneck neckline. Don't ask me why.
And as for the back, I fell in love with this style in the Metropolitan Museum.

See the interesting way the sleeves are set in? It's something called "grande aissette" or "assiette". (I don't speak French, but from what I could gather, it'd probably rather be "aissette". I think.) (EDIT: It's assiette) It dates back to medieval times, and it's strongly connected to the times of custom-fitted clothing. No wonder. I'm quite sure this project will involve a lot of custom-fitting. That's going to be fun and take a lot of time. Guaranteed.
Of course, with me wanting a boatneck neckline, the back pieces can't be so narrow, can they? Still, I love this straight-sleeved, grande-aissetted style much more than the puffed sleeves normally associated with Regency.
I also love the neat hand-sewing on that dress in the Met, and the colour. I can try at the handsewing, the colour maybe next time... because this is what I've got to work with now:

This was my first idea of what it's going to look like when it's finished - notice I forgot all about the boatneck:

"Háčky + očka?" means I contemplate closing it with hooks & eyes. I'm not keen on buttons, especially not buttons on the back of my dress. On the other hand, I'm not sure if hooks and eyes are any better in terms of ease of closing. Any other ideas? (Still, they're surely better in terms of comfort when sitting and resting my back on the backrest of a chair.)
"Šňůrka" means cord.

Here's my second, more refined draft, including the boatneck this time:

I'm completely happy with the way the back looks on this concept. I'm still not so happy about the front. It might be just my concept-drafting skills, or it might be something inherent to the design. What do you think? Should I drop the boatneck idea in the end? (Please, say "no"...) Or is there something wrong with the way the front is gathered? I think it's the case, but, for one, I don't think I'd like a plainer look, with all that business in the back.

There's more to be said about the plans and ideas I have for this, but I'll leave that for next time.