Tag Archives: Dress Diary

Costume School Final Year Project // 1. Inspiration

3 Apr

Hello dear readers,

Again, sorry it’s been a while! With all the best intentions in the world, life – or rather, school – got in the way of both my updating this blog and working on my Lady Mechanika project. Now that I’m in my final year of my costuming course, most of my sewing energy has to go into my final assignment, where we have to create a pair of historical garments for a man and a woman, from the underwear out. Part of our assessment includes keeping an art/progress/inspiration journal, and I thought I might transfer what I write in there to this blog, along with other pictures and information I find.

 

Our loose theme this year is ‘Historical Costume Inspired by Art’. That’s a huge topic! We can look at any era, anywhere in the world, from about 1400-1950. Believe me, too much choice is worse than too little in this case! It’s taken me a lot of thinking and over-thinking to narrow down my ideas. I had to create some constraints for myself.

•  I want to look at an era I have not previously explored. That rules out my favourite (Georgian), some Victorian, some Medieval.

•  I want to try some new techniques, ie. embroidery, a new historical method of construction, etc.

•  As we have to make corsets, I want to try a style of corset I have not made previously. Again, no Victorian, or 18th Century Stays.

•  I don’t really want to make another men’s suit jacket, as I have made a few over the past few years!

• Being on a very tight student budget, I am going to use mostly fabric I already have in my stash. If I have to buy, it’s gotta be cheap!

 

In the end, it was the high-budget production values of a trashy Hollywood film that pointed me in an interesting direction.

 

Extravagant ladies' costumes in 'The Three Musketeers' 2011

Manly Musketeers

I’m such a sucker for terrible swashbuckling movies. The 2011 version of ‘The Three Musketeers’ is pretty outrageous – I mean, airships?! – but as much as the American accents and cheesy action are good for a laugh, the costumes are gorgeous. So lovely, in fact, that I was rather inspired to go and have a closer look at fashions of the mid-17th Century.

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Costume Journal 2012 // Lady Mechanika

3 Jan

Happy New Year friends! Hope you’ve all had a relaxing and inspiring break – or not! For those of us who work in retail or hospitality, it’s usually pretty exhausting! But now here we have a brand new, fresh-out-of-the-box year… some assembly required.

This is a big one for me – I’m starting my third (and final) year of costume school, and while at this stage I’m not exactly sure how that is going to run for me, I do know that I want to devote more time and energy to my own personal sewing goals. After all, this is what I love doing, so why let procrastination ruin the fun?

So here it is, the big one, my personal Holy Grail for 2012. Something I can sink my teeth into, that will stretch my craftiness, my niftiness, my powers of fabric-persuasion:

 

Lady Mechanika

Lady Mechanika Cover #4

 

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White Christmas Ball Dress

13 Dec

Tired and sore feet and a sore head… must have been a fun night! This is what I wore to the Swing Sesh (my swing dancing school) White Christmas Ball! I made a dress & covered a pair of shoes for the event, because a girl always needs a fancy new outfit for a big night out. The pattern was McCalls 5036 from 1959, which I showed you in this post – I made it strapless rather than have a lace netting over the bodice because I couldn’t find a lace that was suitable, but I definitely want to try it again with lace included. The instructions looked really tricky to start with, but in the end I finished this quite quickly – it was the details that took a long time! Lots of pictures after the cut. Continue reading

Christmas Ball Sneak Peek

11 Dec

The Swing Sesh Christmas Ball is tomorrow night! I have been madly finishing my dress, petticoat and gathering my accessories… I just know I’m going to forget something! So here is a little peek at what I’ve been making. I still love my Ikea fabric and the dress turned out great, but you’ll have to come back and see it on Sunday!

PS. I am completely at a loss for hairstyles. I have hair past the middle of my back, which makes most 1950’s up-dos difficult. Does anyone know any good tutorials for evening styles?