Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mary Kathleen Part 5 - The Finishing Touches

Finally! The dress is complete. So much sewing, figuring, drafting and cutting and sewing again and it was complete. That felt great! I had no idea what I was getting into when I began this ball gown.

Alas, there was more to do. I created the wig of mohair diligently trying to copy the style of the fashion plate. I think that was a success. The floral headpiece seemed quite easy after all the embroidery on the skirt. I did punch a comb of brass with a punch and attach the silk ribbons and leaves to a florists wire to make the accent complete.

The earrings simple creations made with an “S” hook to hang on her ear wires. I did have a problem with the necklace however. This might be interesting. I made the necklace originally on a gold chain. It looked beautiful. I do not know what doll’s do while I am sleeping, but that little chain went down into her neck! What? Each time her head turned or I shifted something it would get lost. Really! It took a week for me to figure out to add those pearls and resting that necklace. It NEVER occurred to me that the necklace would work its way into the neck join and the breast plate. The finished look is pretty and the pearls do add some richness to the “look”.

She now needed only to grab her dance card and fan. The carriage was waiting. One last look in the mirror….


The Dance Card

Friday, June 10, 2011

Mary Kathleen Part 4 - The Bodice

It was time to fit the bodice and I thought it would be much easier than anything I had done on the skirt. Au Contraire! The bodice on this dress also went through many variations. I wanted a nice tight fit and slim waistline, (who of us does not?), but found myself juggling seams and remaking constantly. I wanted the bodice to be authentic, but could not find the best way to achieve the result of the lining showing on the turn back. I looked at a Louise Hedrick example and the construction was not even similar. What lesson was I missing? I read “Costumes in Detail” and the Janet Arnold books and could not find the answers there. It was up to me to create everything I could see in the fashion plate and make the garment as correctly as possible. The neckline turned out beautiful. The chemise lace shows ever so little and matches the rounding wonderfully. The hooks in back alternate so there is no specific pulling in any one are. While there, I spoke with several experts and have learned that I should not have lined this bodice the way I did, as that is what is causing some bunching. This was the best lesson I learned. In speaking with those who know, that best way might have been to snip the lining at the center and finish off the edges of the cut area. This would have released any pressure and pulling from the inside. The linings would also have been apparent in the turn back and I would not have forfeited the style. Having completed this costume, I do believe I can take on other challenges with more success. I intend to try it. To date, however, this is the most complicated thing I have made.
I think it is time to get her accessories and a wig on, don’t you?

Kathi Mendenhall

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Creativity of Christopher Boffoli

I stumbled across this absolutely wonderful and charming pictures in my wanders one line. I knew I just had to share them with you. They are dolls right? Miniature for sure. Very creative and a wonder?- definitely!! I find myself wishing I were those little people. What a world they live in. I want to be the "person" mowing that broccoli.
The photo's are created and photographed by Christopher Boffoli. Christopher is a writer, photographer, filmmaker and artist. His work has appeared in newspapers, magazines and online publications around the world. He currently resides in Seattle, Washington, USA. You can find more of his photography on his website. This wonderful series is called "Disparity" He uses the little HO train scale figures as his people in there larger than life world. I just love them! Bravo Christopher!!