Sunday, August 1, 2010

Steampunk, more like Steam Train

Because that's how I feel after continuing to work on this project. It's a slow process, but I still keep Chugga-chugga-chugging along. This continues to be the project that I've spent the most time on, re-roots excluded. Whenever I get frustrated and toss it in a bag and walk away, I end up walking back to it. Not sure why, maybe I've got too much time invested in it. Also too much financially. At this point I've spent more on this project than most. Which isn't a whole lot, but still, it's me, and I'm cheap.
Last time I wrote about it I had finished the new skirt and underskirt, and reinforced the seams on the armbands. Since then we've had a few steps forward, and a few steps backwards.
First a step forward, I believe that the current skirt is the final one. I've already reinforced the seams and added snaps. It hits right at the knee, and is both cute and modest. It really evokes the Lolita look that I was going for. At this point the only reason that I would even think about redoing it, would be if I found an amazing fabric that I just had to use for it. Other than that it's sticking around.
Now a step back; the underskirt is just a little too short. It's good because adds some "puff" to the skirt, but none of the attached eyelet material is visible under the skirt. I finished it, but I think I'm going to make a new, longer one. I'm not totally upset because I'm sure I can apply it to some other part of the collection. I mean, it's Barbie, wearing skirts is one of her things. So I'm sure at some point I'll need a short underskirt. When that day happens I'll be grateful that I had made it. So at least I didn't make something that I would never use outside of this project.
I also ended up remaking the corset. I was having issues with where the old one was hemmed. The way I did it, it was ending right at the waist, this just drew your eye to the spot where the greatest bulk was. It was like, Boom, bulky waist. The new one is longer, and creates more of a flow to the hips. It just elongates the torso, making the bulk less noticeable. But even though it's new, I have to make it again. I didn't take enough in on the under bust darts, and it's a little baggy on one side. Honestly, they go together pretty quick. I just have to motivate myself to a getting it cut out. I'm just procrastinating.
But on that note of procrastination, I've actually made some impressive strides in the shirt. I've actually made it again, with a different pattern. One that actually fits on the BB body. I think one of the big issues with it was that when I was doing fittings, I had a bunch of free fabric from the shirt in the way, throwing off the fit. Now that's not a problem. It's also giving me practice with sleeves, something that for the most part I've shied away from. Can't do that with this project. They went in pretty easily. But then after that I had the biggest issue... the collar. That collar has never worked for me. So far I've made three of these shirts, and I have yet to figure out how the collar goes in correctly. I seriously hated it, but I also couldn't just not have it. It's made of the eyelet material, and each time I've made it, it would refuse to lay flat.
This time I tried something else. In that bag of eyelet material there was a 6" piece that had come undone, so it was just the straight band of the eyelet fabric. So I used that. Taking it, I gathered it, so it was more rounded. Then I sewed it straight on to the collar. Taking white broadcloth I made a neckband and sewed that on top. It looks much better. It actually came out pretty nice, hopefully it will be the last time I have to make that shirt. I've already reinforced the seams and added snaps. Finger's crossed for me.
Since I had some idea of how the actual costume was going to look I was able for the first time think about what sort of embellishments I wanted to add. Steampunk is a fashion that is riddled with accessories. Which at that point I had none. Unfortunately I think that this outfit is going to be very minimal with it comes to things like that, unless it's a building process, where I keep adding to it. So far I've added nothing. But remember when I got that key and chain from Hobby Lobby? Well you've met our solo accessory. Originally it was going to be a chain that wraps around the waist, hidden under the corset. From that would hang some more chain, kind of a chain apron, with the key hanging off the side. I made it, goodness I dislike working with chain. It's very detailed work, I had to use tweezers to open and close parts of it. When I was done I looked at it, and didn't like it. The metal apron was just too vague and wasn't reading as anything cool. So I took it off, but used the length of chain to make a doll necklace to use as some point. so all that's what left was the key and the chain waistband. My brother looked at it, and thought that it would look much better with the chain outside of the corset. I did that and I like it much better.
So that's where Charlotte's costume stands at this moment. And while it's not finished I've already started the next phase of it... a matching outfit for Joe. I think I'm sick, there's got to be something the matter with me. Why would I make another one when I'm fighting with the first one? It's going to be harder since I have no patterns for G.I. Joe, and his hands are huge. Like no joke, they're about 2.5 inches in circumference. Right now his costume is just a sketch, but I did make him a pair of pants. They're black broadcloth with a line of black ribbon down each side. I haven't added a snap yet, but they're mostly done. But that was the easy part, I had a pattern that worked for them, everything else is going to need a lot of tweaking. Wish me luck, I'm going to need it.

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