Sunday, January 19, 2014

Steamppunk for MiniFee, Part One

Seeing as FairyLand has embraced the Steampunk theme with two new LittleFees and a new FeePle65, I thought this would be the perfect time to start sewing a pattern from Adams-Harris called Steampunk for MiniFee.  To be honest, there is not a whole lot of steampunk in the design.  The three pieces are slightly Victorian in inspiration, but there is not a hint of science fiction.  No steam, no punk, just a very nice, slightly old-fashioned outfit.

I guess I'll have to jazz it up myself with accessories and trim, once I get all three pieces made. 

I made the blouse a couple of weekends ago in a pale blue fabric with white dots.  It's not exactly a dotted Swiss, although it resembles one.  The blouse has short, puffy sleeves and is trimmed in lace with a flower accent.  I replaced the flower with a bow, for no reason other than that I had a blue bow left over and saw an opportunity to use it.  Until I could start on the accompanying pants, I let Calandra wear it under a sleeveless dress.  Bad choice, because the blouse is now wrinkled.  Little things like that are hard to iron.  Not to mention my mini iron is a piece of junk.

Today I started on the high-waisted, cropped pants.  As always when I start a project with only a few pattern pieces, I figured I would be able to finish in time to take photos and blog them.  Not a chance.  First my thread knotted itself on the underside of my work.  Then my fabric started shredding.  I can't stand the liquid that stops fabric from fraying.  It always spreads beyond the place I attempt to put it and then it dries dark and stiff.  I'd just as soon take my chances with pinking shears.  How I wish I had a serger!  My thread then proceeded to knot itself on the underside of my work--again.  And once more.

Aside from the purely technical difficulties, I encountered an instruction I didn't understand.  Steps 1 through 10...easy-peasy.  Step 11 talked about fold lines.  I must have read that sentence over and over for 15 minutes straight, all the while folding the fabric this way and that to see if I could make it do what I thought the instruction was saying.  I finally had my ah-ha! moment, but getting there gave me a few more gray hairs than I started out with.  The pattern envelope shows only the empire-waist duster that covers the rest of the outfit.  A drawing of the other two pieces would have helped immensely.

I came close to finishing the pants.  I really did.  Unfortunately, near the end the sewing machine started making unwanted loops in my line of sewing.  I opted to take the stitches out, but by then it was getting dark.  Maybe if it hadn't been snowing outside, I might have had a few more minutes of daylight.  As it was, I couldn't see well enough by artificial light to continue.

The lighting conditions also played havoc with my photos.  Calandra's resin is called beautiful white.  Every time I tried to photograph her, the flash went off and whited her out completely.  The only way I could get a shot at all was by looking down on her from above.  So, very few photos.  I promise more when the outfit is completed. 

Now...what shall I add to it to make it truly Steampunk?

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