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Mozart Reimagined – Der Schauspieldirektor

24 Aug

Mozart Reimagined by Tyson Vick will feature photos illustrating Mozart’s “Der Schauspieldirektor”, a play about staging a play.

Mozart Reimagined features three photos by Tyson Vick illustrating the opera Der Schauspieldirektor

Mozart Reimagined features three photos by Tyson Vick illustrating the opera Der Schauspieldirektor

Mozart Reimagined showcases nearly 100 photos that bring to life Mozart’s operas through photography. I spent a decade building props and sets, meeting models and photographing across the country to showcase what Mozart’s music has meant to me. The book also features essays written about each opera from my own unique perspective. The book humorously points out plot-holes, gives insight into past and present performances, recites a little bit of History and overflows with my own passion for the music of Mozart.

Here’s an excerpt from the book which accompanies the Der Schauspieldirektor pictures:

“Mozart’s Der Schauspieldirektor or The Impresario is a one act comedy about a theater company. It was commissioned by the Emperor for some stately visit of foreign dignitaries, intended to show off the relative values of German and Italian operetta, and to decide which was preferred (Mozart wrote the German one, and Salieri wrote the Italian one). Both plays were performed at opposite ends of the same vast hallway, the audience turning their chairs at mid-point to watch the other. It is said that the Emperor himself came up with the plot of Der Schauspieldirektor, and the play actually comes across a bit like a bureaucratically devised entertainment, in that it introduces many different ideas and talents without ever really saying anything. Mozart only wrote four songs for the play, all of which appear towards the end, and showcase the talents of two sopranos who are vying for the position of Prima Donna in the company. ”

Mozart Reimagined features three photos by Tyson Vick illustrating the opera Der Schauspieldirektor

Mozart Reimagined features three photos by Tyson Vick illustrating the opera Der Schauspieldirektor

The photos were a hilarious family affair. Mother modeled with one daughter while the other daugheter, Lizzie, did the hair and make-up. You can see some behind-the-scenes stuff here.

The photos from this set are some of the most well documented and popular on this blog:

  1. My first post follows the making of the corsets for both ladies.
  2. The second post takes a look at my embroidery process, and brief reviews of some of the movies I viewed while sewing.
  3. The third post shows how I put together my Jacket and Gilet.
  4. My fourth post shows the inspiration and final pigeon breasted drawstring-front jacket.
  5. The fifth post talks about the hats I created, and features a step-by-step construction process.

I’m going to be giving you a preview of photos from every chapter of Mozart Reimagined over the next month, and then it will be time for pre-orders. I will be launching pre-orders on Kickstarter on September 14th, 2015! Until then, I wanted to give you a glimpse of some of the photos and excerpts from the book so you can see what’s in store! Subscribe to the blog for every update, or check back on September 14th for the launch of the book.

18th Century Hair & Wig Styling — The Book

6 Jan

Hello, everybody! There’s some exciting news! Kendra Van Cleave, author of the Historical Demode Blog, is writing a book on 18th Century Hair & Wig Styling!

She is currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo in order to publish the book! Crowdfunding is where you ask your fans and general public to support something you are making. In this case it is a historical hair styling book.

Kendra Van Cleave’s blog posts about wigs have been instrumental to my own wig styling for my Mozart Project! I have used her blog for reference on many wigs, and I’d like to share some of the creations I’ve produced through her thorough step-by-step process (obviously there was a little creativity on my part as well, but her book will feature numerous different styles, so you won’t need to be too adventuresome!)

Another view of my finished hat from the front.

I used this wig in my Der Schauspieldirektor photos.

One of the most elaborate wigs I’ve made was based on Demode’s Pouf tutorial, but I twisted the strands when pinning them up, instead of leaving them straight!

Gina in Costume as Madame Silberklang.

Gina in Costume as Madame Silberklang.

I used the tutorial on my wig for Countess-as-Susanna as well!

The Final Wig for Countess/Susanna

Here is the finished wig with the hat in place. (I added some more ribbon flowers at the back after I took this.)

You can also see the model wearing Countess-as-Countess in the image below.

Laura as the Countess, and the Countess disguised as Susanna, talking on Ye Olde Celle Phone

Laura as the Countess, and the Countess disguised as Susanna, talking on Ye Olde Celle Phone

You can see my high pouf below. This wig was styled on top of a wig that was already shaped this way, but the process was mostly the same.

The Countess wig

This is the Countess wig.

I created these wonderful wigs with the help of Kendra Van Cleave, and so I strongly advocate supporting her book! Please check out her indiegogo campaign here!

 

One Delightful Day – December 27th

30 Dec

On December 27th I took my Der Schauspieldirektor photos.

Some of my close friends came to do the shoot with me. Lizzie, who has worked on numerous Mozart shoots, helped find locations and did the make-up. Her mother Gina and her Sister Jenny, as well as Jenny’s King Charles Spaniel, Burly,  modeled.

Gina in Costume as Madame Silberklang.

Jenny in Costume as Madame Herz.

The Historic Philipsburg Opera House Theater which features backdrops from the 1880s, kindly allowed us to shoot inside their building. We used the light forest back-drop for our shoot.

Setting up Inside the Philipsburg Opera House Theater. Original backdrop from the 1880s created by artist Edgar Paxson.

This winter, it was colder in the theater than outside!

Lizzie does make-up on her sister, Jenny.

Jenny touches up her make-up.

Me and Burly.

Lizzie does make-up on her mother, Gina.

Ha-cha!

Burly is terrified of Opera.

Rival Singers.

Previous Posts About this Shoot:

  1. My first post follows the making of the corsets for both ladies.
  2. The second post takes a look at my embroidery process, and brief reviews of some of the movies I viewed while sewing.
  3. The third post shows how I put together my Jacket and Gilet.
  4. My fourth post shows the inspiration and final pigeon breasted drawstring-front jacket.
  5. The fifth post talks about the hats I created, and features a step-by-step construction process.

Der Schauspieldirektor – Costume Diary, Part 5 (Hats!)

23 Dec

My costumes are now complete for my upcoming Der Schauspieldirektor photo shoot. I have created all the costumes for this shoot myself. Previous Posts in this Series:

  1. My first post follows the making of the corsets for both ladies.
  2. The second post takes a look at my embroidery process, and brief reviews of some of the movies I viewed while sewing.
  3. The third post shows how I put together my Jacket and Gilet.
  4. My fourth post shows the inspiration and final pigeon breasted drawstring-front jacket.

I spent the last week making hats, wigs, accessories and padding. In this post I would like to share with you the hats and wigs I created. For my first hat, I drew mainly upon the image below for inspiration. But I also visited a charming site dedicated to historical hats with many great pictures called Hats From History!

Redingote gown — Velvet jacket and sash with tassels, satin revers, cuffs and train-lingerie tie and jabot-gauze with scalloped edge and checked embroidery. Gold buttons, powdered hair, hat of dotted gauze, ostrich, embroidery and flowers. Cane with carved bird and ribbon 1787.

I took a straw hat that I already owned, added milliner’s wire to the edge and covered the bottom of the brim with silk to match the drawstring bodice. I made a little buckle for the hat and adorned it with feathers.

My upcycled straw hat. I used a gardening hat and adorned it in the 1700s style! It is placed on top of a wig I styled myself.

As for my second hat, I documented the process for you! I used Butterick Pattern B4210, the Turn of the Century hat, with no alteration to the structure (Buckram, Milliner’s Wire, size, etc.) However, I did not follow the directions on how to decorate or line the hat.

My silk hat pieces cut out. The top of the hat has already been constructed in this image.

I put together the brim, sewed the wire to the buckram, and then decided the lining side of the hat should be pleated silk! So I took some ivory silk and laid it out on the buckram form to see how much I would need.

I laid out some ivory silk over the buckram brim, and did a rough pleating to see how much silk I would need.

Once I had figured out how much silk I would need, I stitched two lengths of fabric together and pleated them around the brim. I left excess fabric on both edges, because it is easier than making a mistake that can’t be fixed later if you come up short.

I pleated and pined the silk to the buckram form, then stiched the center and outer edges to hold them in place.

Once the pleating was stitched on, I trimmed the edges and cut out the center circle.

I trimed the outer edge and cut out the center circle.

Next, I sewed the blue silk to the opposite side to be the outer brim of the hat. This silk has a fusible interfacing to keep it forever flat.

Next, I sewed the blue silk on the opposite side.

It was then time to add the bias strip to the outer edge. I made the strip out of the same blue silk to match.

I used some bias tape that I made from my silk fabric to bind the edges and cover the milliner’s wire.

Next, I sewed the top of the hat to the brim. When you trim the seam allowances, you can turn them and stitch or glue them down so that there is extra hold inside the brim. The picture below shows the stitched and glued tabs. The pins hold the glued tabs in place.

Next, I sewed the top of the hat to the brim, and glued the notched tabs in place.

I cut a little circle of lining, and used an off-white grosgrain ribbon for the sweat band on the inside.

Finally, I added a lining and a grosgrain ribbon hat band inside the brim.

Now the finished form of the hat was complete, and I could choose how to decorate it. The hat all sewn together as seen from the top. No decoration has been added yet. I used ostrich feathers, a ribbon bow and a cameo pin to decorate the hat. However, the main reason I pleated the lining was because it was always my intention to show it off. I shaped the hat over the wig, as you can see in the images below.

My completed hat with feathers, etc. on top of the wig. I also styled the wig myself.

The way the hat is bent allows you to see the top and bottom at the same time! It’s very pretty! I used Epic Cosplay Curly Mid Part Wig, if you are interested.

UPDATE: You can also visit my steampunkmonsters.com hat tutorial if you’d like to learn how to cover an already existing hat form!

Another view of my finished hat from the front.

I also made some accessories. All the dresses from the 1790s have little tabs hanging from the bodices. I knew their history but not what they were called, so I asked Alisa. She used her Google Ninja skills and discovered that they are called Chatalaines, Equipages, Fobs or Macaronis! After looking them up to price them, I quickly discovered that it was necessary to build my own. I found a metal frame at Michael’s (Scrapbooking Section) and used a portrait of Mozart from a little book I got in the mail. I also bought some ribbon clamp ends, which I was so relieved to discover existed! (I always had a suspicion, but had never had my suspicions confirmed until now.) I bought mine from thunderrockalley21 on Etsy. I covered the portrait in a thick varnish to make it look like a painting.

My Mozart Portrait Chatalaine (Equipage, Fob, Macaroni or what you will!)

I used a basic grosgrain ribbon for the attachment as well as a pretty little hook to clip it to the skirt. That’s all for today! Next time you hear from my, my photo shoot will be done! Der Schauspieldirektor, here I come!

Der Schauspieldirektor – Costume Diary, Part 4

14 Dec

My costume diary continues as I create the outfits for the two rival Prima Donna’s in my upcoming Der Schauspieldirektor photo shoot. Having finished my teal jacket and gilet for M. Silberklang, I then moved on to my orange, pigeon-breasted bodice for M. Herz.

Previous Posts in this Series:

  1. My first post follows the making of the corsets for both ladies.
  2. The second post takes a look at my embroidery process, and brief reviews of some of the movies I viewed while sewing.
  3. The third post shows how I put together my Jacket and Gilet.

I have to make all the costumes for my photo shoot, and I was inspired by a page in the book “Fashion” by the The Kyoto Costume Institute which features two fancy ladies’ outfits from the 1790s.

The costumes from The Kyoto Costume Institute that have inspired the look for my current project.

The second outfit I chose to make was inspired by the pink-ish jacket next to the blue-ish jacket & gilet in the photo from Kyoto Costume Institute’s book “Fashion”.

The caption in the book says that the jacket features a lace-up belt and a drawstring bodice. It also says that the back is boned at the center back. Now, my first issue when tackling this project was that I didn’t know how to make a drawstring bodice, nor could I imagine how to make one, particularly because I was unable to see the jacket from the front.

After sitting and considering how to create such a garment, I decided to ask almighty Google, and Lo! Google directed me to A Frolic Through Time!

There is an article on A Frolic Through Time which describes through images how the drawstring bodice came into being (A Wild Drawstring Bodice Appears!), and how it evolved into the far more familiar Regency gown (Jane Austen-y times!). I looked through these many images to find one that looked like it may be related in design to the pink jacket from KCI.

Front view. Here we see Madame Seriziat wearing a drawstring bodice and holding what is presumably a threshing flail used for beating that smarmy little baby in the corner. Painting by Jacques Louis David, 1795.

The Frolic Through Time blog also provides a link to a Colonial Williamsburg site which shows an original drawstring front gown as well as a reproduction and a pattern.

This pattern held all the answers to my questions, and I immediately set to work. Below you can see the gown that that pattern creates.

White Cotton Gown with a drawstring front from the Collection of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

I used the bodice from Simplicity 4092, though I’m not so sure you can tell because of the thorough modifications — namely a 28inch strip of fabric in place of the stomacher, a good amount for gathering. If you make your own drawstring bodice, I recommend using 29 inches or less. I started with a longer strip, and it did not gather well.

Because I had to use all of my ingenuity to figure out how to make this jacket, I was unable to document what I was doing as I went. However, I did photograph the final garment for your viewing.

My finished orange drawstring bodice Jacket, with attached and pleated belt, cotton skirt and lace fichu.

My drawstring front jacket uses an orange shot silk (red and pale yellow cross weave). The jacket is lined with the same silk, however the sleeves are lined with anti-static lining. Has anyone else ever noticed that anti-static lining is the most static-y fabric on the market? However, sewing with it and ironing with it is a dream. It holds an ironed crease like paper, and makes the top layer of fabric easier to manage as well.

The skirt is cotton, and the fichu is lace.

Side front view of my own orange drawstring bodice. The bodice itself has no pleats, but features enough gathering to create a pleated and pigeon breasted effect.

The drawstring portion of the bodice is tacked to the lining under the belt. This holds the gathers below the waist in that position permanently. The lining side of the garment is one flat piece below the belt, while above the belt the lining is the same as the rest of the front in order to allow the drawstring to function.

The lining also features bones at the side-back and side front seams, as well as one below the waist, center front, to keep the front tab stiff.

One of my concerns was about creating an effective “pigeon-front” bodice. I am pleased to say that a drawstring bodice almost naturally creates the pigeon front effect, and with a little stuffing from the fichu can create a the perfect effect!

A detail of the pleated belt and shoe buckle ornament.

The belt is attached at the side back seams, and tacked at every seam around the bodice to hold it at the correct height. I used a shoe-clip buckle to adorn the front of the belt.

Back view of my jacket. It laces up the back because I couldn't figure out how to close a drawstring bodice of this period from the front.

During my creative process, I could not figure out a single way to close the garment in the front satisfactorily. In the KCI garment, I believe the whole bodice is one drawstring piece and the belt holds it closed at the waist, but how does one stop the gathers from shifting and poofing out below the belt, like some sort of sagging alien baby? So, to solve the problem, I just decided to use a back lacing closure, and use an inner structure that allows me to tack the front gathers down below the waist.

Sleeve detail with three brass buttons.

I decided to add a nice little sleeve detail with brass buttons and loops at the cuff.

Now that this garment is complete, I will move on to the hats and wigs. Each outfit needs a hat a wig and accessories, so there is still some work left to do before the shoot! Please join me again next time as I create these gowns and soon thereafter, take the photographs!

Update – All the Posts From This Series:

  1. My first post follows the making of the corsets for both ladies.
  2. The second post takes a look at my embroidery process, and brief reviews of some of the movies I viewed while sewing.
  3. The third post shows how I put together my Jacket and Gilet.
  4. My fourth post shows the inspiration and final pigeon breasted drawstring-front jacket.
  5. The fifth post talks about the hats I created, and features a step-by-step construction process.
  6. The sixth post shows outtakes from our photo shoot and the ladies in costume.

Der Schauspieldirektor – Costume Diary, Part 3

10 Dec

My first costume is nearly complete! All that is left is the hat!

I have created an embroidered Jacket and Gilet (a sort of waistcoat) for my upcoming Der Schauspieldirektor photo shoot. In my last post I wrote all about the embroidery on this jacket and gilet, and in the post before that I shared the making of my corsets for this shoot.

I have to make all the costumes for my photo shoot, and I was inspired by a page in the book “Fashion” by the The Kyoto Costume Institute which features two fancy ladies’ outfits from the 1790s.

The costumes from The Kyoto Costume Institute that have inspired the look for my current project.

After all my embroidery was complete, I began sewing my jacket together. It came together very nicely. The jacket has a front layer of silk, fusible interfacing, one layer of cotton interfacing, and a lining layer of silk with fusible interfacing. The gilet has one more layer of cotton to secure the boning. This makes the outfit look a bit plush, and I believe I used much more interfacing than the original as seen above.

The jacket sewn and turned, without sleeves.

I have a nice pattern for period sleeves that I adapted from the Simplicity Pirate Coat  #4923. I made up my own cuff pattern on the spot, and sewed the sleeves together.

The jacket sleeves getting ready to be put in.

After that was all put together, I set to work on the gilet. Because I drafted my own Gilet Pattern, and the inside had to be boned (“Do not ask for whom the bone bones, it bones for thee!” — Bender Bending Rodriguez),  I had to decide how to best sew the garment together.

One side of my gilet is seen here. I turned the who piece, boning and all, through the tiny hole at the top back, which was quite a process!

I had to decide which seams to sew together and how to turn the garment. The curved side seem, and front boning meant I could not easily sew it like a typical vest (in a Y shape). I decided to sew everything except the top arm seam, and turn everything through a tiny 3 inch hole. It took a while, and the boning had to be reset in the channels afterwards, because it twisted about during turning, but I think it was probably the best way to go about it.

Then I combined the gilet, added eyelets to lace it up, added buttons to everything, et voila!

My finished Jacket and Gilet!…

My jacket and gilet is seen here, finished. It features 30 buttons with embroidery. It was inspired by the piece from Kyoto Costume Institute.

I knew at the embroidery stage that I hadn’t rounded the bottom of the gilet to get that unique “u” shape in the original, so mine comes more to a point. But since I wasn’t aiming for exact reproduction, I am quite all right with this.

My jacket from the back. I decided on a functional back, rather than a decorative back.

When we tried the jacket on my aunt, I decided to add ties to the back of the jacket to keep the front flat against the bust without having to run a pin through the jacket.

Here is a detail of some of my embroidery and buttons on the gilet front. I embroidered and covered the buttons myself. There are 16 buttons on the gilet alone.

When placing the buttons, I tried to cover as little embroidery as possible. I only had 16 cover buttons in the size used on the gilet front, though I think it could stand two more at the top (one on each side).

A view of the lapels of my Jacket and gilet.

My lapels are a bit pointier than the original garment as well, and the gilet doesn’t open down the front as far. If I were striving for more reproduction quality, I would pay attention to these things next time. However, I think it looks very lovely.

Sleeve detail of my jacket. I used my own collection of cover-buttons, and chose this smaller size.

I am pleased with this garment, and now it is on to the next one! I will go to work as soon as I finish this post!

I will have more posts on that next time! Stay tuned!

  • Buy the Kyoto Costume Institute’s book “Fashion“.

Update – All the Posts From This Series:

  1. My first post follows the making of the corsets for both ladies.
  2. The second post takes a look at my embroidery process, and brief reviews of some of the movies I viewed while sewing.
  3. The third post shows how I put together my Jacket and Gilet.
  4. My fourth post shows the inspiration and final pigeon breasted drawstring-front jacket.
  5. The fifth post talks about the hats I created, and features a step-by-step construction process.
  6. The sixth post shows outtakes from our photo shoot and the ladies in costume.

Der Schauspieldirektor – Costume Diary, Part 2 (Now With More Embroidery!)

6 Dec

I have just finished my week long embroidery spree as I create a jacket and gilet for my up comming Der Schauspieldirektor photo shoot. You can read about the play in one of my previous posts, or follow my costuming progress in my last post on the corsets I made.

I have to make all the costumes, and I have decided to costume my models  in outfits inspired by a page in the book “Fashion” by the The Kyoto Costume Institute which features two fancy ladies outfits from the 1790s.

The costumes from The Kyoto Costume Institute that have inspired the look for my current project.

There is no pattern for the aqua blue jacket and gilet (a gilet is a sort of vest), and so I had to draft my own.  Nobody actually seems to know what the back of the garment looks like.

A reproduction of the teal blue jacket and gilet was made by the company Reine des Centfeuilles. I used their photos of the garment they made as my reference pictures.

This image shows a reproduction of the Kyoto Jacket and Gilet created by the company Reine des Centfeuilles. The website features more views of this garment than the Kyoto 'Fashion' book, and so I used their images as reference to create my pattern.

The Reine des Centfeuilles reproduction is very beautiful, and when compared to the original, shows that they re-drafted the embroidery pattern. Much of the original KCI (Kyoto Costume Institute) garment is worn and the embroidery is missing. The sleeve is also a much smoother cut on the RdC (Reine des Centfeuilles) reproduction.

Lapel detail of the reproduction created by the company Reine des Centfeuilles.

My own embroidery is only suggested, or inspired by, the embroidery on the RdC garment. I did not have any satisfactory ways to transfer an embroidery pattern to my own garment, and so I did not feel the need to do something with such a diverse repeating pattern as the KCI and RdC jacket and gilet.

Collar detail of the reproduction created by the company Reine des Centfeuilles

I printed out these images, took some muslin, draped it on my aunt, and while looking at the image, I cut out the rough shape of the muslin (I used part of a simplicity pattern for the side and back of the gilet.) I did not document this part of my journey, because 1. Documenting my work, interrupts creative focus, and I cannot easily create while documenting my process. Unless, of course, I feel completely at ease with what I’m doing. and 2. There is no sufficient light to take pictures at my aunt’s house at night.

Here is the muslin mock-up of the jacket front. The side seams are broken because I cut off the back to use that muslin for the collar pattern.

I drafted patterns from my muslin mock-up and cut out my silk, which I then interfaced to add support to the embroidery.

The cut and interfaced pieces of my own gilet pattern in "Sea Foam" silk... (Seam Foam is a fancy way of saying teal blue.)

My first step in embroidery was choosing a color! I chose embroidery floss DMC 3033 and 712, these numbers are merely the technical way to say “Ecru”, which, itself, is just the fancy way of saying “Off-white”. Then, I started to zig-zag embroider all the edges of my cut out pieces.

I started with zig-zag embroidery around all of the edges of the pieces.

This process was completed by eye. I only measured the distance from the edge of the garment, and then I guessed at how far apart each zig and zag stitch should be. It’s not an exact science. Nobody cares how far apart the zigs and zags are… or if they do, they should probably be locked up in a home for the bewildered.

Here the zig-zag embroidery is finished on the gilet front pieces.

The zig-zag stitching took around two and a half days, and I watched, like, 10 movies while doing it. I just have to say that “Revolutionary Road” is a stupid movie, and the only difference between it and “Death of A Salesman” is that in the one, the salesman just dies normally, and in the other one he rips out his placenta and bleeds to death. Good times.

However, I can recommend the latest Pirates of the Caribbean (the one with mermaids). It is the only pirates film I enjoyed, and I particularly liked the end, where Jack is trying to escape from Penelope Cruiz, and she keeps coming up with outlandish excuses to get him to stay.

I cut out little vines out of heavy interfacing to "couch" embroider over, so that I didn't have to transfer a pattern.

I did not have a good way to transfer an embroidery pattern, and therefore did not see fit to draft the pattern from the RdC version. I decided an easy way for me to work would be to couch embroider my vines. Couching is where you take a cut out shape and then embroider over the top of the shape, encapsulating it in the embroidery floss. To make my shapes, I used heavy interfacing.

Here, the couching pieces are laid out on the gilet front. I glued them on with Aleene's dry cleanable Fabric Fusion glue.

I cut out many pieces using only two different shapes and laid them out in different formation on my jacket and gilet pieces. I then spent a few days couching over my vines.

I watched mostly “Leave it to Beaver” during this stint, with another 10-or-so movies thrown in. I just have to say that the original Rollerball is an idiot, and its non-plot is frustrating all the way through.

So, the sports players play rollerball, and the “bad guys” keep changing the rules, such as “today there will be no-time limit”, which is just as head scratchingly bad as it sounds. Can you imagine baseball or soccer with no time limit? But instead of getting bored and chillin’, like they would in real life, the Rollerballers decide to kill each other.  End film.

Maybe it was just too deep for me.

I far preferred “Dan in Real Life”, which is about a single dad with three daughters who goes to a family reunion and learns to love again. It’s cute.

Here is a close up of the couching embroidery, where you can see how the thread is sewn over the vine shapes.

I drew a little pattern to help me remember where each flower, leaf and vine would go, and then started adding fancy things to the vines. However, I didn’t like the embroidery leaf that I did, so I cut out some interfacing leaves to couch over as well.

After sewing one leaf in, I decided to cut out some leaf shapes to couch over as well.

I then spent the rest of my days adding flowers and sprigs and watching more “Leave it to Beaver.”

The parents in “Leave it to Beaver”, Ward and June, always make me laugh. They’re really funny. I like it when Ward accidentally locks June in the closet, and when June tries to deal with her kids hanging out with white-trash. I like how sometimes Ward says sexist things and then they both snicker, as if they’re in on a joke that the writers aren’t.

This is my second time through the series, and I’m starting to get the sneaking suspicion that Ward’s dad was a physically abusive bastard. I think that Ward and June have this secret running joke about how much of a dick the guy was. Maybe it’s just the difference between the 50s and today, and I’m reading too much into it, but they never talk about Ward’s dad without smirking a little, as if they think it’s funny how much of a tool the guy was. My strongest evidence to support this theory is that they never mention the guy when Wally and the Beaver are in the same room… as if they don’t want their kids exposed to their dead grandpa’s douche-baggery…

Sneaky parents…

Here is a close up of some leaf and flower embroidery added to the couched vines.

I embroidered for many days, and no matter how many exciting adjectives I add to any given sentence about embroidery, it really just isn’t that exciting of a thing to describe.

“I nobly raised the shining embroidery needle high into the air, and then with a gallant thrust — Wham! — I plunged it deeply into the sturdily interfaced silken fibers.  The needle screamed, surging through the silk, spreading the threads aside, like when Moses parted the Red Sea. A sinewy trail of embroidery floss quickly followed behind the needles’ ever-vigilant eye, streaming through the puncture hole as if it were a snake crawling into its sinister hole beneath a gloomy rock. Suddenly, the needle turned upward in my hand, and with another violent thrust — wham! — it ripped once more through the fibers…”

In this image you will see one finished lapel, and a cuff in progress.

After 7 days of working between 8 and 12 hours a day, I finished my embroidery!

Here are the finished pieces. From Left: Gilet Front, Jacket Collar, Jacket Front.

My next step will be to sew all these things together and see if they actually make a wearable garment!

Come back again next week to find out how far I have progressed — and maybe some of these things will actually start looking like clothes!

Update – All the Posts From This Series:

  1. My first post follows the making of the corsets for both ladies.
  2. The second post takes a look at my embroidery process, and brief reviews of some of the movies I viewed while sewing.
  3. The third post shows how I put together my Jacket and Gilet.
  4. My fourth post shows the inspiration and final pigeon breasted drawstring-front jacket.
  5. The fifth post talks about the hats I created, and features a step-by-step construction process.
  6. The sixth post shows outtakes from our photo shoot and the ladies in costume.