Monday, October 24, 2011

Another Rose Printed Dress~

Over the past few weeks, I've been hard at work on this gorgeous dress commission. This lovely rose-printed fabric is super hard to find, so my client and I got to scavenger hunt across the web for a week or so in order to find it. But it was definitely worth it!
In addition to making her the dress, I also made one of my newest additions to my shop, the simple double ruffled skirt. However, this time there was on more step involved before I got to sewing: dyeing. In college, this was actually my favorite class, and I'm so happy I get to incorporate this into Elegy. For the solid colors in most of my clothing, I use a really nice, super soft cotton that has a slightly shiny finish to it. I think it makes my clothing look richer and more elegant, not to mention it feels just lovely against the skin. Unfortunately, it's only available in limited colors, so I got the pleasure of dyeing it light pink!

^^ It's always a good idea to do a test swatch, before committing to dyeing 5 yards of fabric.

^^ The finished yardage. This actually started out cream - there wasn't enough white at the fabric store - and I'm quite happy with the results!

^^ The aforementioned double ruffled simple skirt, finished. It can be found in my shop HERE. And onto the dress:

^^ The initial sketch. I admit, it's a bit hard to see all the details here /:

^^ I got straight to work on the skirt part first, being the most simple part of the dress.

^^A detail of the 6" wide ruffle, finished with 1" wide satin ribbon and 1/2" venice lace.

^^A peek at the bodice, and lining. (You can sorta see my new tag!)

^^Working on the bib. This was definitely the most challenging part of the dress, hands down. The bib had to have functional buttons, while the lower part of the bodice did not. I definitely spent the most work on drafting this pattern and figuring out how to put it all together.

^^The bib is in! The pin tucks are sort of doing whatever they please at the moment, because I haven't yet basted them down. The back has also been sewn on.

^^Almost finished! This is probably now my favorite collar ever. It's mega simple, and totally lovely. It's a double collar, with the lower one being laced, and they're both ruffled and stay closed with a 1" wide satin ribbon.
^^Alas, it's finished! This is just so dolly I could drool. The sleeve has been set - a simple long sleeve with a slight puff at the wrist, single button closure, and 2.5" wide ruffles, trimmed in lace. 

^^Check out that collar profile! Yum~

^^Extra long waist ties! (I actually went back and shortened these a bit, so as to not show from the front and appear sloppy.)

^^I know it seems I say this after every commission, but I think this may just be my greatest work ♡

^^Back detail :3

^^Sleeve detail~

 And that's it! I'm sure it'll look just lovely with the bonnet I made out of this material a few weeks ago~

Lately I've noticed that I only blog about once a week now. I wish it could be more! But I've just been so unbelievably busy these past several weeks, that I haven't really had time to (or update the Facebook page for that matter). I have a lot of things I'm working on, but I'm not complaining! I'm extremely grateful and incredibly thankful for all the attention and business I've been getting recently (especially after not getting a table at Ohayocon).

I also have another update/super good news concerning my plushies! It's still tentative at the moment, but I can't wait to share once it's final!~

Miss Chubi

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Branding Upgrade & New Shop URL

For the past few months I've been working hard on a branding upgrade/makeover for Elegy. As you can see above, I've already got my banner set with the new logo and colors. It all started coming together a few weeks ago when my cardstock die cuts and matching ribbon came in the mail; last week I got my new business cards in, and yesterday I got my logo stamp. And it ends today, with Etsy finally allowing shop owners to change their URLs! I definitely didn't plan this at all, but the timing works out perfectly~

^^The business cards, this time in a glossy finish. The colors came out a little off, but I'm still happy with them. 

^^My new hang tags! This is what I got the die cuts, ribbon, and custom stamp for~ I think hang tags really make a garment - that's already handmade, custom, and special - even more so. The purple is a bit off as well - the photos online looked a bit lighter, but again, I'm still really happy with them. I have a heart-shaped hole punch that I'll be using to thread some lovely black ribbon through, and attach to my finished garments ♡

^^Finally, my shop banner! It's pretty similar to the blog banner, but simplified. Since Etsy let us shop owners change our URLs, mine is now: <-- If you go give it a look, you can see my banner at it's bigger/actual size. Ah, it feels so wonderful to finally have been able to make this change! I remember Etsy stating they were working on this change way back in the spring. I've been religiously checking their news updates everyday since then~

I also have a bit of sobering news. If you've been reading my blog and/or keeping up with my facebook page, you'll know that I applied for a table at an upcoming anime convention in my area, Ohayocon. Well this weekend I got notified that I will in fact, not be participating. Of course I was really sad upon finding this news out, but I've since gotten over it and that's why I've waited a few days to reveal this. This was the first show I've applied to after all, so I suppose I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up as much as I did. 
But hey, there's always next year~

Miss Chubi

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ren Fair 2011

My boyfriend and I attended the Ohio Renaissance Festival on Saturday. It turned out to be "Romance Weekend", so that was a fun coincidence. However, it just seemed like a normal renaissance festival to me, haha. We started off the morning by taking photos of our costumes being worn, and then driving off while forgetting our tickets. Good thing I remembered like five minutes down the road! Somehow my boyfriend did manage to forget his cape though. But that wasn't a big deal, seeing as it got pretty hot on Saturday, and he wouldn't have worn it anyways.

^^My boyfriend in his outfit I made! The tunic is made out of 100% linen of course, the vest is a lovely upholstery material, and the pants are 100% cotton velveteen. Velveteen is now my new favorite fabric to work with ♡ It's like velvet, but not as hot or as thick. It's also really easy to wash and sew, and since it's cotton it doesn't stretch weirdly or anything, and it's iron friendly. Oh, and it feels really nice too! (I definitely have future designs planned for this material) He's wearing the boots I mentioned in my last post.. they're a lot shinier and more costume-looking in real life than in the photos on the website /: They still did the job though, and they're a lot better than anything he already owns. That pouch hanging off his belt on the left was also made by me - last year though.

^^Me wearing my Red Riding Hood inspired costume! I opted out of wearing a petticoat - turns out, linen is really hot. I actually didn't even try on this outfit at all until the night before, haha. This is also the only time I wore the wool cape. Didn't I mention it getting hot? Yeah, wool has no business being worn in the heat. Once we go to the fair, I made it just inside the gates when I realized we had to go back to the car so I could return the cape and keep from passing out.

^^The joust! Always a fun event ^_^ Except the seats we chose were facing the sun directly, so we had a hard time really seeing what was going on. 

^^This guy was new this year. We saw a sign in front of this set up that was covered in a tarp that said "Renaissance Heavy Metal" real big on it, which drew my boyfriend in immediately (you see, he's sort of a metal head :p) So we headed right to this after the joust, and it was pretty much amazing.

^^Turned out, this guy plays some amazing music with bells! It was really a beautiful and different sound, but nonetheless incredible. To hear some of his amazing music and learn more, you can visit his website HERE. I'm pretty sure my boyfriend enjoyed it even more than I did, and we ended up seeing him play like three times throughout the day. 

^^We endeed up purchasing one of his CDs. He had a bunch to choose from and we ended up going with this mainly because it had "Phantom of the Opera" on it. We really wanted to get a picture of/with him, but he was always so crowded that we never really got a chance to /:

^^But I did get a picture with this Satyr! We were taking a food break, and I spotted this guy in the distance (which wasn't too terribly hard seeing as he's like 10 feet, haha). He ended up coming near us and I flagged him down to get this picture :D

^^Later on in the day we got waved down by some really nice older couple to take our picture. Since I didn't have any of us together, I got her to take one with my camera as well. (Also, I totally look pregnant ;___; ugh.)

^^We ended up seeing the joust a second time, so we had some camera fun while waiting for it to start. We got much better seats this time in the shade! I really like our concerned faces in this one, lol.

^^Much better! I also like how my boyfriend is about 100x more attractive than I am.

^^Our Dame this time around. I've never seen a woman jouster in the three years I've gone, so that was pretty awesome. I also really liked her logo :3

^^Our spoils! This year I promised myself that I'd be getting a foxtail. Last year I saw them everywhere but didn't end up getting one. So this year that was definitely on my list. We also got... weapons ^_^ We didn't really buy anything all day - unless you count the 8 bottles of water bought sporadically throughout the day to keep from passing out in the heat. So it was in the last hour of the fair that we made out way back down to the pirate area. We ended up purchasing two swords - the black one is a replica from the movie 300, and the other one is model from the Prince of Persia video games. Someday they'll go up on our wall in preparation for the Zombie Apocalypse.

^^The dagger is mine, of course. Last year I got a pair of weapon-level scissors, so they'll go nicely with this dagger. All our weapons are dulled, except for the 300 blade - that one is pretty sharp and came with a sheath.

That's pretty much it! We had a blast, and were totally wiped out by the end of the day. It didn't show up in the pictures, but we were pretty sunburned too. I definitely fell asleep on the ride home because I'm like six years old, lol. I'm not sure what we're doing for next year - we'll probably just keep building on these costumes we already have, or maybe I'll actually do Pirate Lolita?! Hm.. we'll see ^_~

Miss Chubi

Friday, October 7, 2011

Red Riding Hood Costume

At the end of last week I had the sudden realization that my boyfriend and I were attending Renaissance Fair soon, and I had yet to make my costume! Oh, and we're going tomorrow, so I had a week to pull something together. 
Actually, that's sort of an exaggeration. Months ago - months - like back in the spring, I had figured out what my boyfriend and I were going to be wearing that way I wouldn't run into a last minute situation like this. Well, I stuck to that pretty well - I made 2/3 of his costume - the shirt and vest (which I don't and won't have pictures of until tomorrow at the fair) sometime in the summer. He wanted to be a generic hunter-man - easy enough. I, on the other hand wanted to attend in Pirate Lolita. Well, I found really nice striped fabric that would work awesome for an overskirt, and I was super excited to get to work on it. But I never did. When it comes to working on things for myself, I always put it off 'til the last minute because I feel.. I don't know selfish or something. Like I'm wasting time on myself when I could be working on a commission or something for somebody else. 
Anyhow, it was last week when I was reviewing what still needed to be done for this weekend, and I came to the conclusion that a Pirate Lolita and a Hunter did not make sense at all. That's when Red Riding Hood came into my mind like a bolt of lightning: the Hunter and Little Red - a perfect match!~

^^I started off by making a super quick sketch. Like super quick. I spent maybe 15 minutes on this? I didn't even bother to color it. Although it was tempting, I didn't want to go as a Red Riding Hood Lolita, because that's not very time or style appropriate for Renaissance Fair. 

^^Fabrics! Since I'm going for authenticity, I chose to stick with fabrics of that time. In my research, I found that cotton was actually a really expensive fabric in that time, and linen and wool were cheaper/more common. So 100% wool and linen is what we have here. I decided on darker reds, because I think it's more appealing/natural looking than fire engine red. I also decided on using an ivory colored linen instead of a stark, bleached white for the same reason ♥

^^It's not in my original sketch, but I sorta changed/modified things as I went. I decided on a different sleeve shape, and ended up trimming the cuffs and neckbands with this lace. Yes, I know it's cheap and ugly lace and I'd never ever dream of using this on a Lolita garment. And I have a ton of it, so I decided to use up a bunch. The lace was stark white, and since my linen is ivory, it looked really awful next to it, so I ended up tea-dyeing it. I've never done this type of dyeing before, but it was pretty simple. It worked wonderfully, and matches just perfect. 

^^I didn't take many photos during my process of making this, so this is pretty much all you get :p

And the finished piece: 

^^A front view. In these photos I don't have any sort of petticoat underneath. I may wear one tomorrow though... 

^^The hood is way oversized! :D I wanted a really dramatic hood shape, and I've definitely never made one this huge before ♥

^^Detail view of the cape. I originally wanted to have ties in the front to make a bow (as in my sketch), but honestly... I didn't buy enough fabric. This wool is $27/yd, and I bought 1 3/4 yards. I seriously had just enough fabric to make the cape. I think if I bought the full 2 I probably would've had enough to make the ties /: However, I still think the toggles do a wonderful job. (That's also part of the reason why the cape is the length it is, rather than being knee or ankle length.)

^^Front view without the cape. The neck actually turned out quite huge, lol. So it can definitely be worn how it's pictured, or off the shoulder. I'm not sure how I'll be wearing it yet. 

^^And the back. I hadn't planned on having a corseted back like the front, but as I was working, it sorta just happend that way. I'm glad I decided to it like this though - I think it gives it a nice shape, and really accentuates the waist. The underdress is actually really huge, and so it definitely benefits from having the lace ups in both the front and back. 

^^Sleeve detail. You can see how well the lace matches the fabric here. Speaking of huge, the sleeves are also really big. I think the circumference is something like 36"? It's really dramatic though, and I love it.

^^Ruffle detail on the underdress. As always, I do love finishing ruffles in matching satin ribbon ♥

^^Front detail. 

^^Wow, look at those gathers! This neckband was really big as well. I think the full circumference was something like 90" before I put elastic in it? So that's like 2.5 yards! Even with the elastic it's quite huge, so hopefully it won't be too much of a cleavage party tomorrow! However, I do suppose that'd fit in pretty well... lol. 

^^Back detail. Lots of grommets - 26 in total! 

Normally, this would be it. However, I do have more pictures to share... shoes! I ordered shoes for us a few weeks ago, hoping they'd arrive in time. Well, come to find out my shoes I ordered were not in stock, so I fully was not expecting to have them in time for tomorrow. Well, guess what? They came today! And just as I had finished up taking these photos :D I justified spending money on shoes because the boots I ordered for my bf were a pseudo early birthday gift (his is the 22nd, so close enough right?), and mine were pretty much the cheapest on the site - $38. I only have 2 pair of shoes: boots and flats, so it's not like I'm a shoe-whore or anything >_<

I'm really happy with them and I'll definitely be wearing them with Lolita coords :D (Although, I may be adding a bow or two to make them more dolly ^_^) And the heel is only 2.75" which is awesome when you're the same height as your boyfriend. If you're interested, I ordered my "Victorian Riding Boot"s from a site called, and they can be found HERE.

I do have a basket as well! I picked it up while I was at Joann's earlier this week getting supplies. It's pretty tiny, but it's better than nothing :3

*Whew* Well that was a lot of stuff. I also got new business cards in today with my new logo, which I'll be posting about later. Expect an update soon about our Renaissance Fair experience! :D

Miss Chubi