the best-laid plans…

I was hoping that this post would be more in terms of action shots…the plan was to go to the Renaissance Faire yesterday. But the weather was a little less than cooperative, and now we’re hoping to go at the end of September. In which case I will post some action shots. But in the interest of keeping up with this blog (and getting my dummy back), here is my almost-entirely recycled gypsy costume.

In its entirety, minus the thrifted boots and bangles.

This is the back of the corset– I found a $5 formal dress at Goodwill that was a two-piece looking corset top–with boning! and skirt. So all I had to do was remove the zipper and detach the skirt from the corset lining, sew the lining down, and add the grommets and lacing.

This blouse was free– a former sewing project in my recon pile, because the cut of the empire waist was just a little too high and the gathering a little too much to be flattering on me. But under a corset I figured it would be ok. It was originally long-sleeved, so I shortened and added elastic to the bottom of the sleeves.

The hip scarf was the teaser from the last post, as I’m sure you’ve figured out. This was a thrifted curtain panel, and the trim was a beaded coin thing that I’ve had in my stash for awhile and just didn’t know what to do with. I didn’t have enough to cover the entire edge, but since I’m stashbusting and it coordinated and I didn’t have to buy anything else, I can’t complain. I do have a good bit of this panel back, and will probably use part of it to tie around my head.

The bag was made from a thrifted tablecloth– I originally got two almost-matching tablecloths to make my skirt out of, but couldn’t get enough length that way. So instead, I figured a hands-free way to stash my money/camera/etc. would be a good use of it. It’s just a basic drawstring bag, self-lined in the same fabric, with a loop sewn into the back drawstring casing to string it on the hip sash, which will (hopefully) hide under my corset.
The skirt, of course, is the second tablecloth. When I realized I wouldn’t be able to get a long enough skirt with the two, I found a linen-looking (and surprisingly sheer) bedsheet set at a different Goodwill (where the boots also came from). I used the circle skirt tutorial from Wipster as a starting point for my skirt, though I think I did a bad job on my geometry since the hips weren’t quite snug. Which turned out to be an ok thing–rather than use a zipper, I decided to go slightly closer to authentic looking and rigged up a closure with an on-hand button and a hook-and-eye set.

So there you have it. Two other things:

1. Since I didn’t go to the Ren Faire yesterday, one of my friends that I was supposed to go with and I hung out anyway. She crocheted while I sewed and we watched the loooong version of Pride & Prejudice. Good stuff. I thought I finished this top, which is the last bit of summer wardrobe that I’m finishing this summer. Except then I put it on the dummy and began to suspect there might be a problem, and tried it on and realized that there is definitely a problem– you see that reverse batwing thing going on in the armpits? I know it’s probably my fault, because I didn’t exactly follow the BWOF instructions and just sewed the straps on without making them adjustable, and bound the edges with no facing. (Pattern Review suggestion.) But I need to figure out how to fix that. Seam ripping will probably be involved. Also pondering how to use this as a transitional piece– maybe with a cropped jacket? Say, maybe this one?

2. In the last post, I mentioned frustration with Joann’s at their not shipping my special order fabric. I found out yesterday after talking to one of the employees in person that the fabric had actually been backordered until August 21 (which I was originally not told– I was simply told “August”), and should come in within the next couple of days. Went home, and I swear that only 2 or 3 hours later, I got a call saying it was in! So I went back today to pick it up. That’s a relief. I also went a little crazy on fabric purchases– though some of them are justified. So here’s the rundown with my stashbusting project (which I am not counting any of my bedroom makeover purchases for, btw. I am primarily a clothing seamstress, after all, and this was not in the cards when I started!)

  • If I estimated right from the last time I actually marked it, I was at 6/8 of stash fabric used to new fabric bought. Most of this being from the miniwardrobe, and now being used up so no longer sitting in the stash. Good for me. Except for the shorts. I don’t think I previously counted the velvet that I had to buy for the wrap for my brother’s wedding, or the fabric I bought to line it. (both of which were hand-dyed by me, and the lining will not be used because despite being in the same dye bath as the silk velvet, the silk lining actually turned rose pink instead of chocolate brown. Therefore, I need to re-dye it and use it for something else, because I refuse to wear rose pink.) I also didn’t count the red knit I pretty much used up as a muslin, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t count the fabric I used up for my weekender bag. Or any of the fabrics I gave away via Freecycle. If I don’t count the Freecyclees, that puts me at 8/10. (If I do count the Freecyclees, then I’m at 20/10….hmmm, maybe I should go with that!)
  • Two of the new fabric purchases today: a satin to use to line the wrap, since the aforementioned silk lining would give it the effect of a chocolate-covered strawberry candy…not exactly the look I was going for. Need by October, also didn’t know when I started this plan that my brother would be getting married this year, totally justified purchase. Also, a brown knit that I’m using as binding to make one of my stash fabrics into a dress.
  • The others can’t be so easily justified. The first two came as a result of the Pattern Review class I’m going to be taking– figured if I’m going to go to all of the trouble of getting a very-nice fitting straight skirt muslin, I should probably use it to make an actual skirt. So I found two lovely pieces of suedecloth. I also found a sheer fabric that I fell in love with instantly and it perfectly matches one of the future skirts. So that puts me at 9/15 (counting the knit for the dress, but not the Freecycles), or 21/15 (with Freecycles and knit.) I think I still like counting the Freecycles better…



3 thoughts on “the best-laid plans…

  1. love the style…cute….I remember the last time going to the faire and it was a fun day, but HOT….with this unusual humidity we are having here in So CA it must be a broiler there this year. I am going to the LA County Fair on the 12th and I bet it will be aweful there too… 😦 oh well will have to stay in the “stitchery” building. 🙂


  2. Oh, love the ren faire garb! Great job using random finds, it really adds to the fun of the look.

    I posted an answer to your question about machine knitting on my blog – it's not much but I hope it helps a bit!


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