Thursday, September 3, 2015

Custom Order: Prince Caspian Linen Shirt

This summer's all-consuming custom order project, mentioned in this post, was Prince Caspian's linen shirt from the movie Prince Caspian. 


The original and my version! 
My version isn't nearly as detailed as the original, which has insane embroidery all over the place and stuff that I didn't have time or the energy to do. But I think I did manage to capture the overall look of the shirt. For a good eyeball on what the original looks like, here's an amazing website that I used for research, as well as this AWESOME Narnian costuming blog


The shirt is constructed out of linen, with embroidery floss, piping, and buttons to add to the fun. 


It's hard to get the sleeves looking right on a dress form because so much of their shaping depends on an arm being in them. But trust me. They look good! 

So, for the sleeves, I had to learn two new techniques. 


Cartridge pleating, to set the sleeves in properly... 


...and honeycomb smocking, which I've never ever done before. It was insanely fun, by the way. I'll have a post about smocking up soon! 


The collar and neck facing featured piping, a three-button closure, and a tad of embroidery. 


And even though I didn't do all of the embroidery that is visible on the original shirt, I still did a ton! Proof: 


Below the neck facing...


Shirt front... 


Shirt back and sleeve cap... 


Back center embroidery... 


Front and back side embroidery...

*phew* 

So, that was my magnum opus of the summer. Hope you enjoyed taking a look at it! 

So, if you should so desire a Caspian Linen Shirt of your own, please contact me and we'll discuss prices and the level of detail you'd like. I would be most happy to craft this shirt again! 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

2015-2016 Academic Year Hiatus -- with a twist!


  From September 2015 until May 2016, I am officially on academic hiatus! A few things to note:

1. For the past two years, I've been just completely shutting down the shop AND this blog, but this year, I've decided to go with a bit of a twist... shut down the shop, of course, but keep the blog updated with (hopefully) weekly or bi-weekly posts. So keep coming back for some great posts, like the results of some summer projects that didn't make it on the blog yet, or tips and tricks for sewing and crafting! 

2. In addition to this, I will be more than happy to discuss custom order designs throughout the school year, but please note that I will not be able to return to my sewing studio until the end of May 2016. In any case, please continue to contact me through my email (address in the "Contact Me" page) or through my Etsy shop! 

3. And last but not least, thank you so much for a great summer of sewing, and I look forward to next year's offerings!  

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Italian Finds: Plaid Tirolese Dirndl

   The last of my Tirolese Italian finds is this lovely plaid dirndl. It's quite lovely, though for the sake of Oktoberfest, I'll be adding an apron to jazz things up a bit.



I really like the look and fit. It's very well suited to my figure; thus, I am happy. 


I love how the skirt is flowy and pleated without being frumpy. --cue touristy voice-- "Oh, I can just imagine Heidi running around in this dress..." 

--cue Austrians who make a racket off the tourist dirndl business-- 

"JA THAT'S JUST WHAT WE WANTED YOU TO SAY JA." 




Nota bene: The buttons seem to be an after-market thing. Like, somebody got it, didn't like the fact that the front only closed with snaps, and put in their own buttons/button holes. The fact that the button thread colors aren't consistent and there are unusable snaps on the inside of the dress opening kinda betrays this. 

You cheap Austrian dirndl manufacturers. You should have put the buttons in yourself. 

"NO BUT WE HAVE LITTLE OLD AUSTRIAN WOMEN IN THE TYROL MOUNTAINS MAKING THESE JA?" 

no. just. no. 


The back is really cool, too-- the bodice has the plaid matched and cut on the bias. REALLY cool. 


Plus, velvet ribbon. Tourists dig velvet ribbons down the backs of their dirndls. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Italian Finds: Wool Tirolese Jacket

This is my favorite of the finds from the Tirolese booth-- my beautiful vintage Austrian jacket. There is so much detail and fine craftsmanship packed into this single piece of awesomeness...



For example, just look at it. The bone buttons. The pocket details. The collar awesomeness. 



Here's a closer look at the machine-embroidery on the collar... AND the cool bone buttons. 

Bone. Buttons. 

Austrians be like, 

"JA WE WILL PUT BONES ON THIS JACKET AND IT WILL BE BEAUTIFUL JA TOURISTS WILL DIG IT AND THEN THINK WE WEAR THIS STUFF ALL THE TIME JA."

"BECAUSE OF THE BONES. JA." 

Actually, no. But seriously. The bone buttons are cool. 


They're even on the back and edge the cuffs. 


LOOK AT THAT BACK DETAIL. So incredible. 


Yeah. It's my favorite thing, pretty much, ever. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Italian Finds: Tirolese Wool Dirndl

One of the most exciting things about my Italian finds at that hallowed street bazaar was finding the Tirolese --vintage Austrian-- booth. Had I had more money, I would have cleaned them out. They had coats and dirndls and lederhosen and suits and yeah. I could go on. At any rate, I did pick up a few things... the first two of which I'm going to show you today. 



Introducing my beautiful, linen-and-wool dirndl, and the lace-insertion blouse underneath it!


Nota bene: those aren't button holes. For the longest time, I just assumed they were, until my mother and I examined it closer and found out that they're a design detail. So, like, 

"JA WE WILL MAKE THIS DIRNDL LOOK LIKE IT HAS MISSING BUTTONS AND IT WILL DRIVE PEOPLE CRAZY BUT JA IT WILL BE WONDERFUL"

 Austrian logic. I love it.



It fits me like a dream... even though I didn't try it on before I bought it. I just guessed. For the record, I wasn't going to try anything on while at a foreign street bazaar... yeah. 


Here's the sleeves of the blouse. Oh, funny thing: the bodice of the blouse is a ribbed tee shirt knit, while the sleeves are cotton, lace, and flax. And whatever those weird button things are. 

But hey. I love it.