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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: Penny Shirt on: March 10, 2009 07:58:14 AM

I don't know how easy it is to get button-covers anymore, but I have some someplace with coins glued to them. You button the shirt, then clip the button-cover over the button.  I think it was a late-80s thing, hehe.
2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: Attempted 1940s Sun Top on: March 10, 2009 07:52:48 AM
If you have the kind of shoulders that are tilted forward (yay! 10hrs/day on the computer!), you might want to try taking a dart out of the neckline to get it to lie flat against your chest.
3  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: some recent stuff ... on: February 26, 2009 06:59:50 AM
I love the first shirt-- is that the lining peeking through on the seams across the bust?
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: Awesome WoW nerd hoodie (picalicious!) on: February 23, 2009 01:22:30 PM
Hm, I can see I'm going to have to get off my behind and come up with something for our guild's 4th anniversary... Time to go put the stick to our graphics designers, hehe!
5  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Discussion and Questions / Re: Summer clothing panic on: February 09, 2009 01:20:05 PM
I live in sundresses which I make from a very simple jumper pattern (drop waist, gathered skirt, no darts or princess seams on the bodice).  If you have a well-defined waist, you can play with the side seams a bit to get a more nipped-in look-- but the whole point of having an unstructured bodice is to get plenty of airflow.  Mine are just big enough that I could fit a lightweight tee under if I liked. And I make them well below knee length so I can sit cross-legged, but you can do whatever's comfortable. Oh, and I usually pleat them into a more flattering arrangement than a simple gather-- strategic pleating helps with the lumps and bumps.

Needless to say, make 'em out of cotton-- I had the most luck with quilting-weight batiks, since those're fairly crisp and easy to sew. Ignore any of the instructions regarding facings, and just use prefab seam tape to finish off the raw edges.  I don't use a pattern for the skirt-- just a couple of rectangles of fabric, with the selvage either at the hem (super lazy) or at the waistline to save time on finishing those pesky edges.

If you want to make peasant blouses, go for lightweight linen-- it's wonderfully cool.
6  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Re: stable full of animals - image heavy! on: January 07, 2009 01:51:53 PM
Haha, Penlowe, those are great!  Is that a longhorn cow I see?  Cheesy

And um... who's that big funny-looking kid playing the dromedary in the second pic?

BTW, I think we've used and re-used my kid's grey thermal long underwear for a plethora of costumes by now. Great stuff if you've got to look like a grey-legged sheep, donkey, bunny, etc.
7  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: Infinity + maxi + jewel toned dress = <3 on: October 10, 2008 10:51:27 AM
I like the straight skirt and the way the waist looks a bit higher than usual.

I have a few yards of 4-way stretch material sitting on my breakfront right now, waiting for me to get the courage up to cut it.
8  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Re: Does anyone hand sew clothing? on: October 10, 2008 10:40:41 AM
I have sewed most of the things I've made by hand, because it's easier for me to drag them along to friends' houses and work on them over conversation or movies.  My sewing machine and I  have never really made friends, and I use it for things like very long straight seams, and that's about it. (Note that sewing straight seams by hand is now second nature for me, but via the machine is just plain torture.)

It's worth picking up a book on embroidery or hand stitches to learn a few tricks here and there.  Books on couture sewing or period construction techniques will give you a peek at how hand sewing used to be done.  Books on using sewing machines may or may not help, because some of the things you do with a machine become unnecessary when you sew by hand, or vice versa.  I also recommend buying the 'variety pack' of needles, since there are times when the oddball needles will come in handy for you. Beeswax or Thread Magic or whatever to coat your threat is very nice to have.  And, I recently started using silk thread, which I absolutely adore.

So far I've made several jumper-style sundresses (you'd think that quilting cotton would give out, but it's been a few years now), a couple of rayon dresses, and various things for Ren faires.
9  CLOTHING / Costumes: Discussion and Questions / Re: Renaissance dress need advice (New picture added 10-8-2008) on: October 10, 2008 08:06:37 AM
That is a very cute bodice.

The short-sleeve chemise thing is cute, but you might want to also make a long-sleeve, more opaque, slightly more period-correct one to help avoid sunburn. They're fairly easy to put together and, if large enough. make it possible for you to change from street clothes into garb in the parking lot.  Grin

For the cream skirt... have you considered putting a band of trim on it?  If it were my skirt and I had the material, I would put a hem-band of the dark green trim on the bottom, to keep the bottom edge from showing the staining that you're going to pick up from the dirt.  (Since I cheat, I'd probably use dark-green bias tape, ehem.) Then I'd make a band of the dark-green material to put about three or four inches above that, giving the bottom of the skirt a banded look. That's relatively easy to do, and is very period without getting too fancy. 

You can trim your bodice with bands of the cream, if you like, too. Or make little 'wings' at the top shoulder part to serve as sleeves. While us Ren-faire wenches run around with our arms scandalously unclothed (except for chemise sleeves), there would ordinarily have been sleeves that tie onto the bodice.

Check out Margot Anderson's website for pics of what I'm talking about.  Another good source is Renaissance Tailor.
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