Wednesday, 22 February 2017

I am alive

I have definitely dropped off the sewing and blogging track lately. There are a couple of reasons or that.

1. I'm in the process of ripping out and totally remodelling my kitchen, and since I live in a small apartment that means that I have boxes everywhere, including my sewing area.
2. When I sewed the most, a year or so ago, sewing was a way of escaping from simply not feeling too well. (no I was not depressed or anything like that, but I wasn't too satisfied with my life either). I'm happier now, and then I do other things than sewing.
3. The other things I do take up most of my evenings. I simply have fixed things to do Monday, Tuesday, Thursdays and Fridays. Even if one of the things I do is costume related, and I will make a post about it later, I'm not very productive.

Still things are happening, and as a proof I'm posting this photo of my first petticoat for the the Lady Poe ensemble.

It's totally handsewn, because the small amounts of sewing I get done is when I have a project to pick up while I'm in the sofa watching TV.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

HSM17 - Firsts and lasts - 18th C pocket hoops

It feels great to finally be able to post a HSM challenge again. It was obvious for me to go with the pocket hoops for my Lady Poe costume for the challenge. I have 18th Century stays, but I've only worn them with bum pads, now all the focus is on the hips. Without the pocket hoops, well it simply wouldn't be a 1770's robe à la Francaise.

I hav simply followed the instructions on The Dreamstress' Panier-Along tutorial, so for that reason I haven't documented my work with the pocket hoops. The only change I made was to use steel boning instead of reed.
The HSM facts

The Challenge: January - Firsts and lasts
Material: 1 m cotton
Pattern: The Dreamstress' Panier-Along
Year: 1770
Notions: steel boning, cotton tape
How historically accurate is it? Everything is done by machine, and even if cotton existed linen would have been a more likely choice of fabric. Ca 50%
Hours to complete: one day
First worn: Not yet
Total cost: $17 for boning and cotton tape, the fabric was from the stash

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Lady Poe - the 18th century rebel pilot

I've mentioned this costume a few times already in my plans for the year, and here it's time to present it.

The idea for the costume started out with the fun idea of putting a starship in an 18th century hairstyle, and after Celebration Anaheim in 2015 I decided that I would do it for the next US Celebration. I didn't really have a clear idea exactly how, the original idea was to make an R2-inspired gown, maybe including blue hair and an X-wing in the hair. I didn't think too much about getting it historically accurate. Then the idea grew, I talked to some more people about it, and then  I realized that if I was going to spend a lot of time and money I wanted to make something that I would be able to use more than just once. That meant that I didn't want to make something white, with blue hair, but still being very easily recognizable as Star Wars, and that would still fit in with a spaceship in the hair. So the next idea was to make a rebel pilot. Bright orange is not a colour I would like to have on an 18th century gown though, but there are the TFA resistance pilots, that have a more reddish colour than the original x-wing pilots.

Basically I was hoping to combine this

with this

Here is the breakdown of my plan for the costume that I will call Lady Poe.

1. Underpinnings
I will use my 1760's brocade stays and one of my existing chemises. I will need to make pocket hoops and petticoats to go over the hoops, since all my 18th century petticoats are made to fit over a bumpad. I'm not doing a full pannier, so the costume will be an informal gown, not full court gown.

2. Hair
I have already bought a wig and the hair needed to make a full 1770's hairstyle. I'm scared, but I'm also looking forward to do my first full wig hairstyle. In the hair I will put a model of Poe's X-wing; Black One. The wig will be very dark brown, and hopefully look quite natural on me.

3. Robe à la Francaise and matching petticoat
This will probably be my main inspiration for the robe and petticoat. I'm not sure if I'm going to use a loose stomacher or the compere front though. It will be in silk and for pattern I'm going to use the pattern that I made for my pet en l'air.

4. Star Wars trimmings
To make it look like a rebel pilot it will need a lot of trim in the right places. The TFA flak vest, with the ribbed panels going down like a vest, will be turned into pleated ruffles down the robings. The belt and ejection straps will be strips of grey pleated silk. In order to translate the chestbox to this version I want to make the compere front or the stomacher with fabric imitating the switches and patterns of the chestbox. Finally Poe is the owner of the droid BB8, and I'm hoping to translate his round shape into the circular trim that can be seen on many 18th century petticoats.

In the summer I made this quick image of how I was thinking.

I can't put too much energy into the trim though because I want to remove it when I get back from Orlando and put some accurate 18th century trim on to the gown, so that I will have a working 18th century robe à la Francaise.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Historical Sew Monthly 2017

2015 was a good HSM year, but in 2016 I dropped all the challenges after the first few. I'm hoping to return and my goal is to complete all the challenges this year.

Here is the link to what HSM is all about.

And here are the challenges, together with my thoughts around them. For most of them I don't have any plans at the moment.

1. January: Firsts & Lasts – Create either the first item in a new ensemble, or one last piece to put the final fillip on an outfit.

It's an easy start. For my Robe à la Francaise project I will need both pocket hoops and petticoats that fit over the hoops. All my 18th century petticoats are made to fit over my 1780's bumpad.

2. February: Re-Make, Re-Use, Re-Fashion – Sew something that pays homage to the historical idea of re-using, re-making and re-fashioning. Turn one thing into another. Re-fit or re-fashion an old gown into something you would wear again. Re-trim a hat for a new outfit, or re-shape a modern hat to be a historical hat. Re-purpose the fabric from an old garment (your own or a commercial one) into a new garment.

I will simply go up into my attic and see if I find something that I'm not using, and if I can turn it into something new.

3. March: The Great Outdoors – Get out into the weather and dirt with an item for outdoor pursuits.

This fits with both the jacket and gaiters for my bicycle outfit.

4. April: Circles, Squares & Rectangles – Many historical garments, and the costumes of many people around the world, use basic geometric shapes as their basis. In this challenge make a garment made entirely of squares, rectangles and circles

I have no idea for this one, but it will probably just be something small, since I'm going to Celebration in April, and I'm hopefully working on my bicycle outfit for the rest of the month.

5. May: Literature – The written word has commemorated and immortalised fashions for centuries, from the ‘gleaming’ clothes that Trojans wore before the war, to Desdemona’s handkerchief, ‘spotted with strawberries’, to Meg in Belle Moffat’s borrowed ballgown, and Anne’s longed for puffed sleeves. In this challenge make something inspired by literature: whether you recreate a garment or accessory mentioned in a book, poem or play, or dress your favourite historical literary character as you imagine them.

I think I will force myself to reread The Scarlet Pimpernel. I still love the film from 1982, unfortunately the books are not as good as I thought they were when I was a kid. Still it's my favorite time period, and I will try to find something. I'm thinking one of Marguerite's fichus that are mentioned a couple of times would be a good project, without being too big.

6. June: Metallics – make something in silver, gold, bronze, and copper, whether it be an actual metal, cloth of gold or silver, or lamé.

I think that I will need to first find the material and then come up with an idea on what to do with it.

7. July: Fashion Plate – Make an outfit inspired by a fashion plate, whether it is a direct replica, or a more toned down version that fits the resources and lifestyle of the character you are portraying. If you want to stick to a period prior to the 17th century advent of fashion plates, either re-interpret a Victorian ‘historical’ fashion illustration as period accurate, or use an image from your period that depicts and idealised and aspirational fashion.

The Lady Poe outfit will not get it's final trimmings for Orlando, this is a really good challenge to finish off the Lady Poe with a proper accurate trim.

8. August: Ridiculous – Fashion is sometimes a little silly, and historical fashions can look particularly odd. Make something that was considered outrageous in its own time, or is just utterly ridiculous to modern eyes.

My thoughts immediately go towards some headwear. Maybe it could be a fitting challenge for something that will fit my 1520s outfit?

9. September: Seen Onscreen – Be inspired by period fashions as shown onscreen (film or TV), and recreate your favourite historical costume as a historically accurate period piece.

The question is if I will have the time/energy/funds to make another full costume. Ever since I was a very small girl I've dreamt about Marguerite's white gown that she wears at the garden party in the 1982 adaptation of The Scarlet Pimpernel. Maybe it's time to finally recreate it.

10. October: Out of Your Comfort Zone – Create a garment from a time period you haven’t done before, or that uses a new skill or technique that you’ve never tried before.

No idea yet.

11. November: HSF Inspiration – One of the best things about the HSF is seeing what everyone else creates, and using it to spark your own creativity. Be inspired by something that has been made for the HSF over the years to make your own fabulous item.

No idea yet

12. December: Go Wild – You can interpret this challenge as an excuse to make something that incorporates animal print, or wild animals in some way, or to simply make something wild and over the top.

No idea yet.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

2017 costume plans

It's the first day of the new year, and my hands are itching to start on a new project. I have plans forthe start of the year, but I've learnt that there isn't much use in making plans that go further than the summer. For this year I want to take more part in the Historical Sew Monthly, I will make a separate post about hat, so I'm hoping that will keep the sewing going throughout the year.

There are some events that I know about already that will influence my plans. First of all is the Star Wars Celebration in April, then in May I'm hoping that there will be 1900 fair at the Railway Museum in Gävle, then there is Comic-Con in November and finally the Star Wars Episode VIII premiere in December.

1. Lady Poe
My main project until April will be called "Lady Poe". The background to it actually goes back to my first time that I made 18th clothes, and me and some other joked about the fashion of putting full ships in the hair. At the Plastique Fantastique 2014 I did my take on it when I put an air craft carrie in my hair, and in Anaheim 2015 I told the friend that I went there with about it and how fun it would be to one day put a full starship in the hair. Then I decided that I would make a Star Wars 18th century gown, with starship hair for the next US Celebration. I've also said that I've always wanted to make a full robe à la Francaise, so I will combine the two.

This is one of my inspirations, I will make a fuller post about how I intend to Star Warsify it.

2. Rogue One Mon Mothma
If I get enough time I would like to finish the Rogue One version of Mon Mothma before Orlando as well, but I'm happy enough with my current Mon Mothma so I'm not going to rush it.

3. Bicycle Outfit
I want to continue to work on this. I have my shirtwaist and bloomers but I really need a new corset for it, my old 1880's has broken down. I also want to make a jacket and gaiters and add a proper hat.

After that I don't really have any big plans but I have a couple of projects that I'm thinking about, and some UFOs in the pile.

Possible projects

Blue squadron pilot
Rogue One introduced a new colour for the X-wing pilots, and I love it. I'm hoping that I will be able to reuse most of my current X-wing gear and only change the flighsuit, belt, ejections straps and gloves. I'm not going to do a lot of research for this but I'm counting on information and sources becoming available during the year.
Tusken female
Yes it Always makes an appearance on my list, and then I don't get anything done on it. I really would like to finally finish it this year though.
Ghostbusters 2016
Once again I'm not taking the lead on finding the resources for it, but I'm hoping to put it together from stuff that doesn't include so much work.
1520s gown
I got the underclothes done last year, I only need some inspiration to get the proper gown done.

Episode VIII Leia
The only photo that I've seen so far is of Carrie Fisher sitting down in something that looks like a dress, it's black with some ornaments or armbands on the wrists. Not much to go after, but I also know myself and I might not be able to keep away from it if more photos become available.

So there are my current plans for the year. It's heavy on the Star Wars side, but it's also because I'm going to fit historical projects within the HSM17 challenges, and I haven't really decided what those projects will be yet.

Friday, 30 December 2016

Favorite events of 2016

As I mentioned in my costume review I felt that 2016 was more a year of a events than a year of costumes, and I had some great fun experiences.

The first troop of the year was Nordsken in Skellefteå. I debuted my x-wing pilot, and had a great journey together with friends in the Nordic Legions.

For the first time I could take part in "Den ultimata historiska megapicknicken" (the ultimate historical mega picnic) on June 6th.


Me and Carolina were colour twins, only a century apart or so, and my blistered feet (from a couple days before) were greateful that my Kensington shoes are so comfortable. In the end this was one of only two historical events this year, so I really need to go to more events so I can dress in my historical costumes.

The main event of the year was Star Wars Celebration in London in July. Unlike when I go to American Celebrations I mostly spent the time with members of the 501st and Rebel Legion, and mostly the Nordic Legions. Since we are so spread out it was a long time since I had seen some of them though.
Me and Camilla has actually known each other since well before any of us joined the Rebel Legion. We did the first RL even in the Nordic Countries together though, and she is the reason why we switched the name from the Swedish to the Nordic Outpost, since it was a bit strange to have the CO of the Swedish Outpost living in Denmark.

In October I finally had the opportunity to troop at home, in Falun. I did two apperances at film music concerts, and I brought one of the nieces with me so I wouldn't be the only trooper.
Another small troop that I went to, that turned out to have big consequences was to appear at the Nordic Championships of the X-wing miniature games. To be honest the troop wasn't very exciting, the players were more interested in playing than seeing a pilot walking around...
...but I thought the game looked interesting, so back in Falun I got in contact with people playing it. Now I spend most Thursday evenings playing the game, and one of the persons I got to know works as responsible for gaming culture in Studiefrämjandet. We started to talk and we both agreed on that cosplay is definitely included in gaming culture. One thing led to another, and on December we had a first meeting for people interested in cosplay in Falun. There were quite a few people, both beginners and experienced cospalyers, that showed up, and now we are going to try and build a cosplay scene in Dalarna. On January 3rd we will have our next meeting where we are going to plan ahead for the coming year.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Rest in peace Carrie Fisher

I just got out of the cinema where I had watched the simple, but cute and enjoyable Sing when I got the news that Carrie Fisher had passed away. The net is flooding with obituaries right now, and if you want to read an official one here is the BBC news.

Personally I was surprised of my own reaction. I do not mourn people I don't know personally, but I felt truly sad about it. I had hoped that no news about her condition since her cardiac arrest meant good news in the long run. Still it's also very much a community thing, and Star Wars fans the world over are sharing their stories about her, and what she has meant to them. Princess Leia is someone who binds us fans together, and we are now grieving together.

Carrie Fisher was also a remarkable person, always frank about her mental illness and weight issues. I never met her, I didn't think it was worth the money to just have a quick hello with her, but I'm happy that I got the chance to listen to her on stage at Celebration Europe in Essen. Even if you recognized her stories from the countless interviews and stage shows she has made, she was still a true professional and made it sound all new again. If you have the chance you should go and watch her "Wishful drinking" right now. The last time I had HBO it was available there, otherwise you can probably find it somewhere else.

As a costumer Princess Leia has been important for me. I've loved making her costumes, even if I haven't always felt comfortable being quite as spunky and feisty as the original. People usually ask me how many women SW fans there are out there, and I've always been in circles where there are a lot of them. The Rebel Legion has always been the home of Leias and I think any organisations always get stronger when there is a gender balance. I'm sure that Leia will remain the uncontested queen of sci-fi.

Rebel Briefing Leia

Endor Leia

Classic Leia

TFA Leia - version 1.

1970's party Leia
Tudor Leia

General Leia Organa-Solo

Thank you for the smiles and pride you have brought a lot of Star Wars fans out there.