Crinoline Construction, Let’s make Simplicity 9764

I’ve been planing to start on this costume for how long now? I’m hoping to make and shoot a 1860’s ballgown all before university starts, is it ambitious? Yes but I’ve made a start!

The pattern we’re using is Simplicity 9764 which is apart of the fashion historian collection. It’s an eleven hoop crinoline making it perfect for historical dress and cosplay!
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I believe this pattern is currently out of print (no worries as it’s frequently rebranded and sold under new names) so the best place to get one is online. Places like EBay and Amazon are great places to look. I got mine on EBay for £15, unopened. I highly suggest you try and find unopened ones as you can never fully trust how well others look after their used patterns!

Materials you’ll need.

All of this is stated on the packet but here’s a quick run down.

•4m of a medium/heavy weight material. I used bleached Calico.

•24 of twill tape. This is what will be used to create the boning channels.

•27m of 12mm wide plastic covered steel boning. (I used 10mm because I couldn’t find 12mm where the shipping wasn’t insane, it makes no difference)

•Hooks and Eyes.

•Disappearing ink pen (Also know as friction/fabric pens)

•Thread (lots of it!)

•Fabric scissors

•Top stitching thread in contrasting colour

•Top stitching thread in white

•Tape measure

•Heavy duty Duct Tape

•Wire cutters

And of course a trusty sewing machine.The crinoline is made up of five pattern pieces. The waistband and the skirt panels.
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The pattern pieces are quite large so give yourself some room and cut them out.
0ff26e1f2a60f60028a0f6f578a16dbe3bc7ebc2_hqI like to iron my pattern after cutting them out, this makes sure they’re flat with no creases.
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Then pin your patterns to the fabric and cut them out!

MAKE SURE YOU TRANSFER THE BONING CHANNEL LINES OVER TO YOUR FABRIC BEFORE CUTTING!!!
I cut my fabric out before transferring the lines over and it was a pain to re-pin them and then trace the lines out. Make sure to use your disappearing ink pen for this!

Also check out my sweet purple fabric scissors. My last pair of scissors died cutting adhesive velcro, RIP.
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373a3534e462f8bdec6340935415230f569c8b4a_hqOnce all of the pieces are cut out sew them together making sure to take notice of the seam that’s finished with a narrow hem.
It makes a hella nice cloak when all the seams are sewn.
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Back to the narrow hem! This my first time sewing one and although the sewing pattern does explain how to sew one it confused me. I decided to look up a tutorial and found This Tutorialwhich is super helpful and simplifies it down with lots of pictures!

They’re pretty simple, once you know what you’re doing!
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This will become the opening for the crinoline.
Next up is the waistband and gathering the top edge. Straight away I’m going to say cut the waistband pattern from the petticoat (apart of the same pattern pack) and double the fabric. The waistband intended for the crinoline is tiny and and just a genuine pain in the ass. I tried following the pattern using the original waistband and it was too small, came apart and didn’t even look like a waistband. I just didn’t work for me, I probably did something wrong but I found the petticoat pattern to be a great alternative.
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///Note: I changed the waistbands over after completing the crinoline///

The next step is to gather the skirt up. Now the instructions say to use a long machine stitch with a heavy thread.
Basically two lines of basting stitches using top stitching thread. Make sure to use a contrasting coloured thread.
Now when I did this and stated gathering it all up and the top stitching thread snapped. And I’d used both a bobbin and a spool of top stitching thread so it should have been secure as hell. I brushed it off and thought it just twisted it accidentally which made the thread more brittle. So I sewed the lines of stitching again and it snapped again…
So I decided it would be easier and more reliable to hand sew the gathers myself. This surprisingly wasn’t as time consuming as I thought it would be!
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Once all of the gathering is in place and it’s gathered to your waist band size. Sew the waist band on!
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The bottom edge is hemmed and this creates the bottom two boning channels.
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The others are created with the twill tape.
This is the time consuming part! Yay!
On the WRONG side starting from the back seam pin the twill tape centred over the lines you drew to indicate the boning channel all the way round the crinoline leaving at least an inch over lap when you get back to where you started. Make sure to leave a three inch opening so you can insert the boning later!

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I highly recommend doing one at a time it’s a lot easier to manage and if you’re like me you won’t have enough (good🙃straight🙃long) pins to do more than one at a time!
Once the twill tape is pinned in place sew it on either side of the tape as close to the edge as possible.
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Then repeat that nine times and try not to lose your mind.
But if you do, that’s okay.
We have a weekly sessions you can attended. This week we have a box of kittens to cheer everyone up after we talk about our feelings.

It took me around 11 hours to sew the boning channels in (with breaks).
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It looks so pretty and drapy ahhh. The next day I started on inserting the boning into the channels. I got my boning from Sew Curvy Sew Curvy is run by a really lovely team and I recommend buying from them!

Onto the hoops!4c9a8d4ad469e644d464316b74fec1f6ac64f3fa_hqYou’ll need your wire cutters now!
Steel boning is pretty sharp even with the plastic covering. The sharp edges are sharp enough to pierce the twill tape and your base fabric so it’s best to cover them up! This also makes inserting it a lot easier as it won’t snag on anything. You can get caps to put on the end of boning but heavy duty duct tape works just as well!

The instructions does have a chart to indicate how long each hoop should be,
f30b8b2ff35be17aa8591dc3f2099e2bb29d931b_hqBut I wanted quite a full crinoline so I just inserted the bonging while still on the roll and cut it to size once it made the full circle. Do what ever you feel most comfortable with🤷🏼‍♀

Before inserting the boning I covered the end with the duct tape. I’d cut of a section wider then the boning and tape half of it to the boning.
fed228b3dd8d98f425c2e3224a4c451c168d9a37_hqThen fold it over and press the sides where the tape meets. And then cut the excess off the sides. And it’s ready to be inserted into a channel!

It’s pretty simple to guide the boning around the channel just be carful where any seams are. When the end meets itself again leave about an inch of overlap. Then tape the end you just cut and bind the two ends together using the tape. You should have some overlapping twill tape as well so pin that over the hole you left for the boning and hand sew in place.
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Repeat this eleven times!
Once you’re finished inserting the boning and sewing the channels closed there are just a few things left to do.

You’ll need to sew sets of hook and eyes down the opening and to the waistband to create the closure.
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And three laces needed to be sewn on the inside to each of the top three hoops. This will pull the front of the crinoline towards you more and push the back outwards for the 1860’s silhouette. This is of course optional if that’s not the look you’re going for!

Here’s a picture from the instructions to explain the process better!
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And with that you’re done! You have your very own eleven hoop crinoline perfect for any princess occasion!!

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I’m making the petticoat and corset to go along with the crinoline so look out for future posts on those patterns!

This was a lot of fun to make and was very different from the regular store bought patterns I usually follow. I’m super happy with the outcome of this and I’m so excited to get a dress over it. I’ve just got this costume and my Nightingale Armour to make before I leave for University I really don’t want to be stressing myself too much before then because I’m sure I have a lot to make when course starts. I think my worst nightmare at this point will be my dress form not fitting in my room!

Thank you for reading,
-Nivera

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Tutorial: Drawing Blueprints MacBook (free)

I got halfway through writing this tutorial using Auriel’s Bow as an example but gave up due to it being too complicated/detailed and just couldn’t be bothered finishing it. But a week later I decided to try again this time using the Nightingale Bow as an example. This was perfect as I’m planing a particular remake that will benefit from this blueprint, hint hint!

This tutorial will go though step by step showing how to use a MacBooks built in function and a free app to make blueprints for props. I’m not that great when it comes to using photoshop programs and I didn’t really want to spend money on buying one to then learn how to use. So when I stumbled upon these functions through some online forums I was more than excited to test their worthiness for making blueprints.

Tutorial Time

 

The first thing you want to do is download a free app called “Paint X Lite” from the App Store. You won’t need the full version for this.

Then you want to find a reference photo that show what you want to make at a flat angle. Its better your reference photo is flat as this makes drawing it out easier because you have a full view the prop.

Below I have included what is a good reference image looks like vs a bad one.

Notice how the second picture isn’t quite flat which obscures the outside lines, while the first picture is completely flat showing the overall shape as well as the fine details. I think its also important to note that if you can its best to get a reference image that has a transparent or white background. This will mean you use less ink when printing and don’t have to spend time whiting the background out yourself.

I got my reference image from the Skyrim Wiki which I linked earlier. The background is transparent which is a great bonus.
step 1

Then you want to save that image, I saved mine to a folder containing all of my reference images and progress pictures keeping things together.
step 2
You then want to open your image up and it will look like this.
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Next you want to click on the little briefcase icon at the top of the page. This is called the “Markup Toolbar” and its what you’ll be using to draw the blueprint.
step 4
Now because the Nightingale bow is mostly black using a black outline is going to be difficult. So for this I decided to use red as a base outline colour but any contrasting colour will work.  You can change the colour of the pen by selecting the two boxes (circled) at the top of the page and changing them to a contrasting colour.
step 5
To begin drawing your outline you have two options. You can use ‘shapes’ which is similar to Vector drawing. Or you can select ‘sketch’ which is just as it sounds but cleaning up lines is easier. Sketch is highlighted in blue which shapes is highlighted in red. For the first part of this tutorial I’ll be showing how to use the shapes option but I’ll switch to sketch later on. Use which ever suits you!
step 6
When using shapes once you click the diagonal line in the drop down box a line will appear with three dots on it, one on either end and in the centre. I’m going to refer to these as ‘side nodes’ and ‘centre node’, because I actually remember information from Year 12 maths!
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Mastering how these lines work takes a little bit of time but here are a few basic rules to get you going.
You can make the line smaller by clicking and dragging a side node closer to the centre node. This also works in reverse by dragging a side node away from a centre node making the line larger.
You can pick up and move the lines anywhere by moving your cursor over the line until it becomes a hand indicating that you can pick it up, you can then move the whole line anywhere. Alternatively you can just drag one side node to the spot you want it and then move the other side node into the position you want it as well.
The centre node it key for making curves. By clicking and dragging the centre node in any direction to create a curve. You can create tight curves by moving the centre node closer to one of the side nodes or gradual curves by keeping an Evan distance between the centre node and the side nodes.
Its all about experimenting! The lines are movable (within the same session) once you’ve placed them if you make any mistakes.
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For example above I have stretched the two side nodes to the outside of the bow over a curve. By clicking and dragging the centre node to the curve and moving it around until it lines up with the outline of the bow it forms a curve exactly like that on the prop.
step 10
By continuing to do this all the way around your prop it’ll be outlined in no time.

TIP, sometimes using smaller consecutive lines will make going around tight corners or sharp angels that much easier.

Here I have finished outlining the outside of one half of the bow and can start on the details inside the bow.
step 11
Before I start that though I’m going to change the line thickness to something smaller which will make the details that little bit more accurate. It also means that there won’t be any thick lines to overlap or get too close to one another.
step 12
You can change the line thickness by clicking on the icon that is just three lines in different sizes on top of each other. Self explanatory really!
step 13
Once you’ve finished with the inside details take a step back and appreciate your hard work. Or in my case prepare yourself to start on the OTHER half of the bow.
step 14
All done! It looks almost done but theres still one major thing to do. And thats get rid of the original colour on the interior of the blueprint. In order for this to print well it really needs to be white but if your happy with it at this stage then thats okay too!

Close out of the image, it will save on it own don’t worry! Then right click on it and click on ‘Open with Paint X Lite’
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Paint X Lite (I’m just going to refer to it as PXL from now on) will open up you image like it has done below.step 15
PXL is essentially Microsoft Paint for MacBooks. You’ll find most of MSPaints tools available on this version. By the way if you want to zoom you can’t manually zoom by using the touch pad but instead got to ‘View’ next to ‘Home’ and then click on zoom or unzoom. It took me far too long to work that out on my own…
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Unfortunately as there isn’t a layering system (at leat with the free version I’m unsure about the full one), the next task is to use the eraser tool and start erasing all of the original image but being carful not to erase the lines you have drawn. These lines can be touched up later so you don’t have to be overly carful, just as long as you know the general shape.
As I had to use a contrasting colour for the first outline I wanted to change the red lines to black as I find it reads better on a blue print. I also didn’t want to unnecessarily use up coloured ink. You can try and use the paint bucket tool to select sections of the outline to colour black but the method is time consuming and you’re better off using the next technique.
step 17
Here I opened up the image in mark up again and this time started using the sketch tool to draw over the red lines (I ended up drawing over all of the lines again).
The great thing about the sketch function is that you can draw the lines in any length and when you finish a line the side and centre nodes will appear meaning you can change the shapes it if you didn’t do something they way you wanted the first time.step 18
Another awesome thing is being able to draw curves more easily. Like when a drew the spiral pattern above it didn’t flex into a straight line instead maintaining the spiral design. Its also important to not the top left corner, sometimes if the line you draw is similar to a straight line it will flex into a straight line to undo this from happening just click on top box (the blue one) which will be the shape you originally drew and it will flex back into that shape. This also happens with drawing curvy designs and they may flex into circles, again just select the box that has a picture of your draw design and it will change back.

Then just keep drawing over the lines until your finished!
Nightingale done
Take a step back and marvel at your awesome new blueprint!
Making this blueprint took me around 3 hours, remember the level of detail and the size of the prop you’re working on will impact on how long it takes to draw it up. Once I had some music playing the process was kind of relaxing and not as bad as you might think. Its fun to do once you get the hang of using all the different tools.

But now you have your blueprint, how should you print it?

Well I have a tutorial for that too! Scaling/Printing Blueprints (Posterazor). It really easy and simple to use and doesn’t require any fancy maths or photoshop. Which is perfect for people like me who are terrible at that stuff.

And thats how I draw all of my blueprints up! I hope this tutorial helps with your own projects and if you use this tutorial I’d love to see the outcome!
If theres anything you think I can add or explain better please tell me, I’m always looking to improve my work and make documenting my work beneficial for others.


Thank you for reading
-Nivera

Making A French Hood

This week I made a French Hood. This was a completely hand sewn project and I learnt a lot!

First patterned out the hood by trying to scale up the pattern from ‘The Tudor Tailor’. This failed miserably and nothing was the right shape/size and I needed to start over. The second time I tried was far more successful. I referenced Angela Clayton’s French Hood Blog and drew these patterns directly onto my mannequin head that was covered in plastic wrap and painters tape.

What a drew was refined down to the correct shapes. In the second and third picture you can see the top part of the hood (I’m going to call it the brim) layered on top of the bottom part of the hood (I’m going to call it the cap).
Now because female mannequin heads are unrealistically small these patterns needed to be lengthened. I did this by finding the center point on both patterns and added 5cm to this space. For the cap part of the hood I also added 3cm onto the edge where it wraps around the back of the head.

Above you can see more clearly where the patterns were added to. These patterns were then cut out of paper.
Because I was unable to get buckram to transfer the patterns onto I used the next best thing which was two layers of heavy weight interfacing.
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Once the patterns were cut from the interfacing wire was needed to help shape them. This wire was whip stitch around the edges. I used a whip stitch for this. I don’t know what type of wire I used, I st(b)o(rrowed)le it from the school costume room but it works great and I had no issues with it.

This procedure was used on both the cap and brim.
Once the wired was sewn on they looked like this. They actually maintained their shape really well and I probably didn’t need to pin it to the mannequin head.

Next was the fun task of of sewing on the velvet to the cap and the satin to the brim. To sew these on I used a backwards stitch that didn’t go through the top layer and only through the interfacing. Similar to how I sewed the lining onto my bodice.

After this I whip stitched the back of the cap together. I used a lot of thread doing this to ensure it wouldn’t tear.
Next was embellishment time! I worked out the pattern I wanted and did a test run of this before sewing it on. I then put pins into the satin to mark out where each set of beads would go. Yellow pins marked where the glass pearl surrounded by tiny seed beads would lay and the multicolored pins (other than yellow) marked the three glass pearl formation.

My beading skill have defiantly improved since I did the bodice neckline. After this is was time to embellish the front of the cap which sits in front of the brim. I decided to keep this much more simple. I also did a fit test!! And learnt that for a french hood to be comfortable hair needs to be braided higher on the head so it sits in the hallow of the hood.
My modeling career will take off from here I’m sure.
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The Veil was next to make. This was also made from velvet. I drafted this by hand and actually got it right first time which I was very surprised about. I then transferred this pattern onto paper and my lovely can Sox helped in with this.

This was then cut from velvet with ambitious help from my cat again. I swear hes attracted to velvet. Every time I got it out he would attempt to roll on it. I had to use a lint roller on the hood after it was complete because of him.
I don’t have pictures of that step but after the bottom edge was hemmed it was whip stitched into place. Next I put some pretty lace that looks pretty accurate onto the bottom of the cap.
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Like most things this was sewn on with a backwards stitch that didn’t go through any layers it wasn’t supposed to.
Once this lace was sewn on the hood was complete!!

I am so so pleased with this project!! It’s gone so well and all of this is very new to me and I’m very excited by how much skill I have gained in this small project let alone the full ensemble. Due to weather issues the shoot had to be put off last week but will happen this week. I only have the blouse to finish and eyelets to sew for everything to be finished. I do want to make the gown and will try power though that tomorrow after those two things.


If anyone is interested in the patterns I made I can scan them with measurements and upload them to this blog post so let me know. I’m also participating in Inktober this year. I’m on track at the moment and my goal is to upload ‘A Week Of Ink’ weekly showing my creations over a week rather than making daily posts. So that will appear next Saturday!
This will be categorized in both ‘Young girl’s loose gown’ and ‘Tutorials’ as it could be used as a tutorial due to how photo heavy it is.

If you have any questions or critiques please comment! I can take it.
As usual Thank you for reading.
-Nivera