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Danathar Creations

the first knitting pattern i've created wholly on my own - a purple faux-cable beret.

instructions under cutCollapse )

pattern is copyright Danathar Creations 2009. free for personal use, including gifts. if you'd like to sell something made with this pattern, please contact me to get permission first!
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Airship Pirates, Abney Park
Danathar Creations
11 August 2008 @ 03:24 am
i'm finally getting back into the sewing room again! i spent the first months of the year in a mad knitting frenzy - and recovering from sewing a wedding dress in 3 weeks in december. i spent most of june traveling for a family emergency, and most of july sick. i discovered at the minneapolis aquatennial parade that my felix needleworthy bodice doesn't fit anymore - when i bought it, there was a two-inch gap at the front when it was laced at its tightest; now i have the front boning overlapping itself and it's too loose. (i'm shrinking out of my clothes, how novel!) we're also planning to drag bethmonkey with us out to fest this year, and she'll need garb (hers was in a "tragic milk accident" awhile back) - i have a chemise and skirt that will do in an emergency, but there isn't a bodice in the house that will fit. so that's two bodices i'd have to make. then there's the ever-growing household garb wish list - yoric77 specifically requested a lightweight doublet/jerkin for early in the season, to begin with.

about a week ago, i had a sudden thought: "oh crap, it's august!"

so once again, i'm doing mad last-minute sewing for fest.

i have fitted interlining pieces for bethmonkey's bodice, out of some hideous - but sturdy - upholstery fabric i was gifted with. i have the fabric picked out for both sides of the (reversible!) bodice, dark green and dark blue scraps that will be (fingers crossed) just big enough to yield the pieces i need. it's going to be a simple ren-peasant bodice, no wings or waist tabs, with diagonal side-back and center front lacing. this is temporarily on hold, since she will be going out of town for a few weeks and won't need it right away.

i have a draped muslin pattern for the main body pieces of yoric77's jerkin, based on a pattern in the tudor tailor (elizabethan men's peascod doublet - the open-front sleeveless jerkin variation). i also have the fabric picked out, but i still need to cut the pieces from the final fabric with a generous seam allowance, so i can do one more fitting before committing to construction. i may not have this for opening weekend, but it should be done for the second weekend.

i'm going a little insane with my garb. this is a further manifestation of the firm belief i seem to have that i must make things more complicated for myself. i decided that i should start with a corset, and base my bodice pattern on that. so far, so good - i got the 2 layers of canvas interlining cut and fitted, with boning channels sewn in (all 24 of them); i have the 2 (reversible) outer layers sewn to each other at the back edges, and to the interlining along the bottom of the boned waist tabs, and i have all 24 bones cut to length and inserted. i tried it on with safety-pinned lacing strips, and it seems to fit well! so it's about half done - now i have to stitch the top edge, trim and sew binding around the top and bottom edges, and pound grommets along the lacing edges at the back. but that's only for the corset.

i'm a little torn on what to do for the bodice. complicating matters is the likely fact that whatever i sew for myself this year is not likely to fit next year after surgery. i'm of two minds - i can sew a relatively simple peasant-ish/middle class bodice, or i can use some of the fabric i've been hoarding for years and make a middle/upper class bodice (i have a silver tall hat that's just begging to be worn). or if i'm really insane, i'll do both - but which first? and do i want to design it so that i might be able to take it in next year (seams at side, side-back, center back, and maybe side-front), or do i want to have slightly cleaner lines and just plan on selling it as a gently-used sample? *gah!* i have just about exactly 4 days to make up my mind and finish it.

maybe i'll bang out a simple peasant bodice for opening weekend, and plan to finish the velvet and brocade bodice - pieced to be taken in later - for second or third weekend. that would go along nicely with my plans to have yoric77 in a velvet doublet and trunkhose - with a new shirt - by labor day.

at any rate, i'll post pictures when i can. i may have a few paid projects (yay!) to work on soon as well - i've already been asked about one cloak. cross your fingers for me - we really need the money.
Current Mood: rusheddeer-in-the-headlights
Danathar Creations
12 March 2008 @ 12:20 am
(i do not own the rights to this symbol. i am making no money with these charts, and you shouldn't either.) 4 charted versions of the browncoat emblem from firefly ...

25 sts x 26 rows:

and three more...Collapse )

of course, the blue star should be knitted in black, but you can't chart a black symbol on a black graph and still count the stitches. gauge: 22 sts x 30 rows = 4" in stockinette, but could be used for any gauge with roughly the same proportions. i haven't knitted anything with these yet, but wanted to share.
Current Mood: awakeawake
Danathar Creations
05 March 2008 @ 04:52 am
okay, i mentioned on my personal lj that i'd been knitting, and promised to post some pics. so here they are:

this way to things made of pretty stringCollapse )

i'm TwiNkQ on ravelry, if you care to look me up there.

oh - and yes, i will take commissions for hand knits, but keep in mind that they *do* take a significant amount of time.
Current Mood: creativecreative
Danathar Creations
23 December 2007 @ 07:42 pm
i posted the preliminary sketches for this project at the end of november, and here's the finished project! it ended up consisting of the dress, underskirt, detachable train, and corset; we also did a shirt and sash for her groom. i didn't have the time during construction to get pictures of the process, but i did get some detail shots (and my full payment, thanks!) before i let her walk out my door with it all.

boned dress, preliminary sketch boned dress, preliminary sketch
this is the sketch that we ultimately went with as the basic design.
options for a detachable train options for a detachable train
we decided on the waistband train as her best option - it's pleated to a waistband, and attaches at the sides with hook-and-eye closures.
corset front corset front
boned-tab elizabethan silhouette in black twill, boned with plastic cable ties, bound with poly/cotton bias tape.
corset back corset back
back lacing of the corset, brass grommets. the strange shape at the bottom of the gap is due to the comforter i wrapped around my girlfriend's dress form, not to the shape of the corset - it sits correctly on the bride.
corset lacing, top binding corset lacing, top binding
detail shot of the back lacing and top binding. i attached a panel of fabric behind the grommets on each side in order to prevent the lacing and metal from irritating the skin.
back lacing detail back lacing detail
more detail of the back lacing.
bottom binding detail bottom binding detail
binding the bottom edge was challenging - especially where the tabs split from the body - but i learned a lot from it. i think the next time will be easier.
corset with underskirt corset with underskirt
the a-line underskirt is made of polyester lining material, with a front panel overlay of gold shimmer organza, which is bound at the hem with velvet to match the bodice of the dress.
underskirt waistband detail underskirt waistband detail
elastic waistband detail of the underskirt.
underskirt front hem detail underskirt front hem detail
velvet binding on the organza overlay; you can see the hemline of the black poly lining behind it.
bodice neckline detail bodice neckline detail
detail of the front neckline of the bodice - i'm pleased with how it looks on the finished dress, but gods! how many hours i had to futz with it...
front bodice detail, closures hidden front bodice detail, closures hidden
the point of the bodice where it meets the underskirt, as it looks when fastened.
front bodice  closures, exposed front bodice closures, exposed
pulling aside the flap that covers the hook-and-eye closures on the front edges of the bodice.
bodice back detail bodice back detail
decorative lacing on the back of the bodice, with train attached.
oversleeve shoulder detail oversleeve shoulder detail
pleated shoulder seam on the crinkle chiffon oversleeves.
oversleeves oversleeves
large bell-shaped oversleeves of crinkle chiffon, which fall nearly to the ankle at the bottom edge.
undersleeves undersleeves
trumpet-shaped undersleeves with a large flare from the elbow, in crepe-back windsor satin to match the attached overskirt.
sleeve hemlines detail sleeve hemlines detail
chiffon oversleeve has satin-stitched edge, satin undersleeve has rolled hem with gold accent stitching.
overskirt waistline detail overskirt waistline detail
crepe back satin overskirt is pleated to the bodice at the back, but has a smooth line along the front.
trim detail, overskirt front corner trim detail, overskirt front corner
the overskirt has polyester horsehair braid in the bottom hem; the trim turns a soft corner over the sharper edges of the satin.
train attachment detail train attachment detail
this is what the train looks like at the waistband when attached.
train attachment detail, exposed train attachment detail, exposed
pulling aside the pleat in the overskirt to show the hook (on the corner of the train) and eye (sewn into the waistband of the dress).
train fabric train fabric
i tried so hard to get a good picture of this fabric, and failed. it's shimmery black organza, with little clear jewels and tiny squares that sparkle with rainbows. it looks like a field of stars.
trim detail with flash trim detail with flash
trying to get a good detail shot of the trim - it's black and metallic gold gimp.
trim detail, no flash trim detail, no flash
pic of the trim with no flash - a bit blurry, but closer to the actual colors.
Judy's complete wedding ensemble Judy's complete wedding ensemble
including corset, underskirt, dress with split-front overskirt and two-layer sleeves, and detachable train.
joel's wedding shirt and sash joel's wedding shirt and sash
shirt and sash for her groom - the shirt is in cream-colored windsor satin (crepe back satin, the same type of fabric as her overskirt).
ruffle detail ruffle detail
detail shot of the ruffles on the front of the shirt.
neckline detail neckline detail
where the ruffles meet the neckline, with foldover collar and ties.
shoulder pleats shoulder pleats
pleats on the shoulder of the shirt, to help add material to the body of the shirt without having a shoulder hem at the elbow.
wrist ties wrist ties
sleeve is gathered to wristband to form a ruffle; this ties at the wrist.
wrist ruffles wrist ruffles
"top" view of the ruffles on the wrist of the shirt.

Current Location: twin cities, minnesota, usa
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Danathar Creations
16 December 2007 @ 04:14 am
these are three of the sewing machines in our household. i'll get pictures of more of them as time and accessibility permit, but these are the three i've been using this month. pardon the crap-tastic quality, but these were taken with my phone camera...

Gertrude - Singer Featherweight 221 Gertrude - Singer Featherweight 221
Cast iron, straight-stitch Singer machine. My favorite little workhorse, she'll sew everything from chiffon and silk to denim and leather. I've been sewing on her since I was 6, and I've done some unbelievable things with her over the years! Low-shank foot. Metal bobbin.
Agnes - Singer Touch-Tronic 2000 Agnes - Singer Touch-Tronic 2000
A really versatile girl, she's one of the first models ever to contain a computer chip. She's got 25 built-in stitches, adjustable by length and width. She is mostly cast-iron - still sturdy, but with a few plastic pieces. Slant-shank foot. Plastic drop-in bobbin, slit and black circles on top face.
Mary - Singer Quantum XL-100 Mary - Singer Quantum XL-100
Sewing and embroidery machine - one of the first. She uses memory cards, but has a scanner that can be used to input custom designs (via a blank card, that is). Low-shank foot, fat plastic bobbin with a hole in each face.

and some of the details...

Gertrude's model Gertrude's model
Featherweight 221.
Gertrude's foot Gertrude's foot
Short-shank foot.
Gertrude's bobbin Gertrude's bobbin
Slimmer metal bobbin, holes all around each face.
Agnes' model Agnes' model
Touch-Tronic 2000
Agnes' foot Agnes' foot
Slant-shank foot, snap-on capability.
Agnes' bobbin Agnes' bobbin
Plastic drop-in bobbin, black circles and slit on top face.
Mary's model Mary's model
Quantum XL-100
Mary's foot Mary's foot
Short-shank foot, with snap-on attachment.
Mary's bobbin Mary's bobbin
Fat plastic bobbin with a hole in each face.

Current Location: sewing room
Current Mood: lovedaffectionate
Danathar Creations
Long-ish story short: I've been asked to take a commission for a wedding dress. The catches: the wedding is on December 22 of this year, and the bride will be in India until November 30th. So we're talking about design choices and measurements via e-mail, hoping that I can get a muslin prepared to fit on her as soon as she gets back. She's sent basic measurements, as well as a whole bunch of pictures of dresses, detailing what she likes about each of them. (Yay, helpful customers!) these were the first three examples of what she likes:

Butterick 4571 - http://www.butterick.com/item/B4571.htm
Butterick 5007 - http://www.butterick.com/item/B5007.htm?search=5007&page=1
McCall 4889 - http://www.mccallpattern.com/item/M4889.htm?search=4889&page=1

She's not looking for a pearl-and-bead-encrusted confection of lace, thank the gods, but something simpler and flowy with a vaguely medieval or renaissance feel; mostly in black with gold accents. She's full-figured, but very much hourglass shaped - bust and waist are only a few inches apart, waist is about 10 inches smaller. Under the cut are the preliminary sketches I've just sent her, and descriptions of the options as clear as I can make them. Constructive criticism welcomed - I'm just starting out on this sewing-for-pay thing, and I hope not to have to learn everything the hard way.

So on to the sketches:

sketches and optionsCollapse )

Wish me luck!

x-posted to dressdiaries
Current Mood: rushedrushed
Danathar Creations
18 November 2007 @ 04:11 am
well, we finally began unearthing the sewing room! up until this past wednesday, it had been stacked floor to ceiling with boxes and furniture from the move (a year ago) that we hadn't gotten to sorting out yet. this is what it looks like now:

i still have some things to go through, but this happened none too soon - i just checked my e-mail tonight, and if all goes well, i'll have a commission for a wedding dress to begin work on! *crossing my fingers* the dress would be needed by the 22nd of december (yes, i *do* have a history of being insane enough to accept rush orders of this magnitude), and the woman it's for won't be returning from india until the 30th of november. but she seems willing to work with me on scheduling, and sorting out design questions via e-mail, and the three patterns she sent links to look like fun ... so i sent back a message stating my interest in the project and a guesstimate of labor costs.

... and just got a message back from her - it's a go! yay!

these were the three examples of what she likes:
Butterick 4571
Butterick 5007
McCall 4889

... so after i get answers to some of the questions i sent, i'll be trying to combine the common elements of those with any specific modifications she wants. for a starting point, the common threads seem to be a long loose skirt, 2-layer flowy sleeves, and a princess-seamed fitted bodice. all in all, about 20 pattern pieces. i suggested using the crepe-back satin i've been drooling over at jo-ann - if i can't buy any for myself, maybe i can at least find another chance to work with it. ;) velvet and chiffon are also in the running of suggested fabrics. i'll post more when i have design sketches to share.

this also means i need to get my @$$ cranking on the xmas gifts i'd planned to sew, since this dress will be taking up a lot of my december. (greenchimes has threatened to physically take the dress away from me at noon on the 17th and deliver it in whatever state it's in, so i'd better plan ahead as much as i can!)

... off to finish the neighbors' curtains!
Current Mood: excitedexcited
Danathar Creations
30 October 2007 @ 03:06 am
two things finished this week:

- "queen gorgo" gown for hakatrip, based on the movie "300", which i finished on friday an hour before the party to which it was to be worn was starting. i still need to sew a tag into it and get pictures taken, but after such a late delivery i wasn't going to make a further ass of myself for insisting it be done before leaving my posession. here's sort of what it looks like:

this is the *only* full-length picture i was able to find. even skimming through the film, we weren't able to improve on the information much - there's one shot, about half a second long, where the back of the gown is sort of visible, and it's still buried under her waist-length hair ... so i had to make this one up as i went along. i'm fairly pleased with how it came out, but wish i'd had more time to tweak the fit and drape (partly my fault for procrastinating a bit, partly just because it was a rush order).

i made the body of the gown of pale cream-colored linen, about shirt-weight; i made the straps from naugahyde backed with black craft felt for comfort. the belt buckles at the side with a brass buckle and grommeted holes, and the shoulder straps cross at the lower back to loop around the belt. there's a train of linen from one shoulder that drapes to just above the floor.

also finished this week...

- "rapunzel" dress for yoric77's cousin. i decided to do a medieval-style dress with a padded circlet headpiece, for the "princess" look. originally intended for halloween night, the deadline got bumped up to saturday afternoon the 27th. she provided the fabric: the pink fabric is a semi-sheer chiffon-ish type; i think it used to be curtain sheers. the white satin-ish fabric i recognized as having once been a bedsheet. there was some confusion and potential drama with the trim, which i won't go into here. it's what i was given to work with. and this is how it came out:

Heather's Rapunzel gown 1Heather's Rapunzel gown 1
pink and white semi-sheer medieval style gown; padded circlet headpiece with attached veils. sewn for halloween 2007.
Heather's Rapunzel gown, sleevesHeather's Rapunzel gown, sleeves
showing the fitted inner sleeve and the gathered trumpet sleeves on top - gown is one piece.
Heather's Rapunzel gown, torso and headpieceHeather's Rapunzel gown, torso and headpiece
easier to see the two separate veils in this shot, as well as the contours of the padded circlet.

to make this gown more "period", to satisfy my inner perfectionist, (and if i'd had more time/resources and been paid for it) i would have:
- used a different fabric (wool, cotton, linen, or velvet)
- used jacqard ribbon trim instead of the braid and satin ribbon pictured
- sewn the gown as two pieces, a closer-fitting undergown and slightly looser overgown, but with the same necklines and sleeve styles
- made the belt a bit longer, with a bit of beaded or embroidered embellishment; also weighted the cords in front with beads/tassels/a small pouch
- probably made the circlet a bit smaller, with more trim and with the veils secured more thoroughly (but hey, it's pretty good for a first attempt, no?)

but she's extremely happy with it - thinks it's "awesome plus cookies" - and that's really what matters. besides which, i got to learn a bunch of things:
- how to make a padded circlet headpiece (or, how i *can* make one, not necessarily how it *was* done),
- that i really really really love the elizabethan smock pattern generator even more than i thought i did, and it *was* a whole lot,
- that i shouldn't run my poor little cast-iron singer constantly for 6 hours attaching trim if i don't want to burn my foot on the pedal,
and last but not least,
- that i probably need to go shopping *with* people if i want them to get something specific for a design, at least if they're not terribly familiar with sewing terminology.

up next, in very rough order of priority (pending more orders with closer deadlines, that is):

- excavating the sewing room from underneath all our boxes and excess crap, and setting it up to be functional, so that i can stop taking up our entire dining room with my costuming fallout
- finish hemming the neighbors' curtains so they can give me more
- fun goth-y style straitjacket for gerbilfluff
- muslin lining for yoric77's cloaks, so he can start patchworking his flannel linings
- mock-ups for elizabethan corsets for myself and greenchimes (the first step toward noble garb!)
- a breast-binding garment for a friend (which will make an interesting challenge)
- various household repairs that have needed doing for years, which have been sitting around not getting done
- suit for "scarface" dummy, for gerbilfluff's "ventriloquist" costume (that's the batman universe, if anyone's confused)
- dr. crane's full-body "straitjacket" from batman begins, for gerbilfluff for convergence
- designs for our household to wear for convergence in july (tribble gowns - long story, chi's bakery dress from chobits for greenchimes, klingon animal - yes, the muppet - for yoric77)
- my re-creation/interpretation of jane seymour's 1536 french gown, from the holbein portrait, and all necessary underpinnings

and with that, it's past time for me to go to bed.
Current Mood: productiveproductive
Danathar Creations
20 October 2007 @ 09:31 am
i finished the "sharpay" coat last night, and delivered it next door. mom was thrilled, we'll see steffie's reaction when she gets home later tonight. some photos:

photos behind the cutCollapse )

next projects in line:

- pink medieval gown for yoric77's cousin h. she called yesterday to tell me that she's got the trim; she also asked if we could move the deadline up to saturday the 27th. it's do-able. i've got the pattern worked out, just need to clear the table and start cutting. i need to remember to leave an inch or two for seam allowance in the upper sleeves and upper body, just in case - i'm going to do a fitting on her when i go to pick up the trim (probably early next week, mon. or tues.) - then i can make any adjustments, add trim, and stick a fork in it. well, also have to put together a padded circlet with veil, but that doesn't need to be terribly fitted.

- "queen gorgo" dress for hakatrip - this should be fun. it's basically a couple yards of linen draped on the body, held in place with a belt and shoulder straps - i'll gather and sew to the belt and shoulder straps, for ease in wearing. it may or may not have a "cape" of extra linen hanging down the back - that will depend on finding more photos and/or hakatrip's preferences. meeting with her on sunday afternoon for measurements and discussion; dress needs to be done before friday the 26th.

- still gotta finish one birthday gift, but it'll only take about 10 minutes once i figure out where we're hiding all our zippers.

... then i can start working on any halloween stuff for our household. though i still have to keep moving on these...

- puppy coat for the neighbors (out of the leftover turquoise fleece - it may have to be pieced)

- hemming curtains for the neighbors (and apparently there are more on the way)

... and i really want to start work on my noble garb for next year, beginning with the corset - and on some "mundane" clothing for myself as well - so i need to get two short sleeve thigh length turtlenecks sewn for myself out of cheap knit, and see if i can persuade greenchimes to wrap me up in duct tape a couple times...
Current Mood: awakeawake