Janet Jackson Concert Clothes WIP 5

Janet’s outfit is in full swing around here! We’re getting further into the fun stuff. Now that the vest is done and all beaded up, it’s time for the jacket. I sewed up a version of the jacket in a linen of a good colour, but I didn’t like it.

Not – at – all :(

The fit was off, for one thing, but that’s fine. Tweaking is par for the course. Of greater concern was the fact that I didn’t like the look of the linen. It was too idk, rustic? It has too much varigation in tone and altogether too much texture for me. Anyway, pfft! Outta here, lol!

So I swan-dived back into the sea of fabric that hides my studio on some days, to find something better. Find something I did too! A delightful crepe backed satin in champagne. Now I haven’t lost my mind or anything, I’m not using the shiny side, I’m using the back side. There is no reason not to use the backside of fabric. Sometimes that is the only way to get the exact look that you want!

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The outfit as a whole is taking shape now, finally.

Time for the jacket beading….

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Sleeves first :) and then on to the front….

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I realized that in order to dress the doll effectively and without putting too much lateral pressure on the delicate beads, I needed to add a cuff opening to the sleeves. There will be a lot of feathery lace on the shirt sleeves that will have to get in there too.

Speaking of feathers, I am using feather charms for Janet’s belt, but was finding it difficult to find ones small enough. I found some I thought would work well, and they would have, but then, I found some smaller ones, and now I’m even happier with them ;0

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You can see in the above pic that they are quite a bit smaller!

Here’s how the main elements of the belt will look…

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I have some off white cording that looks just like the real belt and a few other findings and so on, so I’ll be tackling the belt next I think. Just the belt, shirt, boot covers and necklace to do. Sounds like a lot, and I guess it is really, but I think it will go fairly quickly…. ONWARD!

I found a great trim for the really wide lacy shirt collar! There was a shop out in the country near the lake where we spent many a gorgeous summer weekend. This place was liquidating old sewing department store stock. Woolworth’s maybe? Probably from the seventies or some such. Something like that. They had hundreds of spools of various laces and trims, many of which aren’t manufactured any more. Much to the chagrin of my beloved companions, I would drag us all in there and peruse the bins of spools of trims. Heaven! I found many things there, lots of which I still have. The perfect solution for the collar was one of these vintage finds. I gave it a clean, thinking it was a little darker than I wanted. What a difference! I didn’t realize just how yellowed this vintage trim had become. (Now I’ll need to wash it all, lol!)

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This nice clean white trim is now worthy of Janets’ shirt :)

That’s where I’ll pick up next time. Thanks as always for visiting!

~awsumgal

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Janet Jackson Concert Clothes WIP 4

Well hi there!

This is WIP 4. If you’re still here, you’ve got sticktoitiveness :)

With the patterning done and refined with my muslins it was time to sew it up in the actual fabric. Let’s start with the pants….

I mentioned last time about the look of the dolls joints in stretchy fabric and how i didn’t like that so well. My commissioner wants as much flexibility and pose-ability as possible, so I came up with a win win :) I’ve done the pants in a knit with stretch, but I’ve self lined them to give them some heft and structure without any compromise to stretch and pose-ability! Woot! Of course this necessitated a pattern adjustment form woven to knit.

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They’re a little long, but they are as yet unhemmed…..

On to the vest :)

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Starting with darts of course, cause that’s what you do! I always press the darts for the cleanest look. The bottom leading to the point will be a more pleasant curve when lined…

Speaking of lining, it sure doesn’t look like much in mid turn, lol!

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I swear though, there is a vest in there somewhere :/

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Ah yes, there it is – and some pants too!

Time to give the vest all of it’s fun bits. Let’s start with the buttons. I’ve adapted fancy head pins for her buttons because they look the most like the full sized ones.

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Bam! There they are. (It’s always so much faster on the blog than it is for real. Like all those cooking shows where they put the raw roast in one oven and then pull out a fully cooked one out of another 10 seconds later :)

Buttons need, well you know, buttonholes :)

Here’s a look at that:

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Some overedge stitching and boom baby,

All buttoned up :)

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And now for the beads I spent so much time making. Side not, I haven’t stitched up the side seams of the vest yet because leaving these open allows me to start my threads from the inside. No tails hanging out all over the place! When the beads are all on and I’m finished fooling around in there, I’ll stitch up the side seams.

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These beads are finicky! They are too narrow holed for any beading needle that I own, or have ever seen! Of course, I made them, so I can’t complain too much. As a result, I need to thread my fine beading needle for the silver small seed beads and the stitching in the fabric and then unthread the needle and hand string one of the homemade beads and then thread the needle again and well you know, repeat. It’s a little time consuming I’ll admit, but it looks pretty good!

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Enough chit chat, back to the beady saltmines, there’s work to be done :)

Thanks for reading and enjoy your day!

~awsumgal

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Janet Jackson Concert Clothes WIP 3

Good day and welcome to Janet’s 2006 World Tour Concert Outfit – only smaller – WIP 3 :)

In case you’re new to this project, here’s what I’m doing:

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With the beads all shaped and whatnot last time, it was time to put them aside while I construct the jacket and the vest to which they will be sewn. I had them nicely sorted into their groups and didn’t want to have to resort later, so I’ve stored them in their own little labeled boxes…

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That way, none of these tiny bits will migrate while I’m not looking!

The patterns were the only thing going for a couple of days. I’ve plotted the pants, the boot covers, the jacket and the vest. The only one left to do is her shirt.

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I started with the pants which have a centre front seam, no pockets and are, of course form fitting. Just a side note here: I can see that Janet’s real pants are stretchy, I mean she’s dancing in them. So, of course they’re stretchy! On the doll however, I often find that form fitting stretchy pieces don’t look very good because (if they fit) they hug the doll tightly enough that the jointing shows through, especially the hip and leg jointing which I don’t find aesthetically pleasing. The doll isn’t going to be performing all of Janet’s moves anyway. Of course she’ll be able to pose but I may not use stretchy fabric :)

It’s funny, I always think I’m going to modify an existing basic pattern that I already have, but I never do. It’s either not close enough, or it’s not for the same doll and I wind up deciding it will be easier to start from scratch, so I do, lol!

After drafting the pant, I made a muslin up to test the fit and the seam placement. The first go round was pretty close.

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You can see in the pic that the crotch isn’t quite there enough, so I made some changes to the fit there and refined where the seams hit front and back and adjusted the waist height and then sewed up another test.

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That’s better, although a little pinch needs to be removed from the CF seam. (The crotch won’t have a pull in it after the seam allowances are clipped properly on the real pants.)

Moving on to the vest. Making sure the bottom edge points fall in the right places, adding just a little bit of “ease” because it goes atop the shirt. I employed little darts too :)

The muslin looks good but for the button up crossover point. You don’t often see it come to a point on the bottom edge of the center front button band. Usually it’s a straight across overlap the width of the button band. Of course, “usually” is not always, and I realized after sewing up the vest muslin that I would need to change that bit to match the original. I inadvertently gave her a bit too much chest room too (Antoinette’s bust is modest :) and so I needed to shift the center front back a bit at the top of the vest and lower the vest’s neckline too to accommodate the really big lacy collar which is quite prevalent in the original. Also it’s important for me to point out there is still a small seam allowance on the jacket and the vest and that when sewn up fully, both will be shorter. Same with the pants, waistline too will be lower which makes it a little too low, so I’ll have to add a bit of height there before I cut into the actual fabric :)

Then I sewed up the jacket muslin and made some refinements to the bottom edge at the front so that it hits the vest just right in terms of length. The jacket is cropped obviously, just like the vest, but the vest points have to show below the jacket and the jacket can’t come too close together in the front. It’s not designed to ever close.

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And that’s where I paused. The boot covers need a test sew and the shirt still needs to be drafted. After that, it will be time to cut into the final fabrics and get seriously sewing :)

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

~awsumgal

 

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Janet Jackson Concert Clothes WIP 2

I made some measurable progress yesterday on this cool outfit. I started by drafting patterns for the jacket and vest. I chose to draft the sleeve as a two parter, with upper and under sleeve. I chose this because bulk under the arms is zero fun in my book. Also, it’ll give me a good guide when I sew on the sleeve beads :)

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Speaking of the beads, I’ve learned that they are sometimes called rice beads because that’s generally the shape they are. In a full sized jacket like Janet wears, they’re probably wood, maybe bone. Of course in the much smaller size I’m doing there aren’t any tiny wood or bone beads like this. I found something that was almost the right size, but it wasn’t off white. I would have had to paint it and that likely wouldn’t last. Also, I need two different sizes. I thought of bugle beads, but they don’t taper at the ends, so , no. I had to come up with a different solution. I decided to make my own.

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I used oven bake clay, because I can customize the colour easily and make the beads just the right size and shape. You can see in the above pic that I am mixing two colours together :)

I need 56 small wide-ish ones and 22 longer, narrower versions. The best way to make them as similar as humanly possible is to roll out the clay for all of them as evenly as possible and then mark the length of each bead. Here’s the tricky bit. I want to be able to sew these on to Janets’ costume. I would rather not glue them. I want to sew them like they are really beads, so they have to be hollow. There’s no way to hollow out something tiny after the fact. The clay would just chip and shatter to nothing with even the most gentle method. So clearly I had to fashion the beads over an inner core that could be removed later for stringing. I probably could have used thin cotton thread, or possibly a thin beading filament (although both of these may have disintegrated, melted, or flamed in the oven!) Wire seemed the best choice. I needed something very thin though and most consumer wire is pretty flimsy when thin :( The wire needed to be unfailingly straight. I thought of airline cable, but it’s too fat. Then I spied a broken guitar string!

Yes, I know I should clean up more. (See my previous post about Marie Kondo and her Konmari Method – The Life Changing Method of Tidying Up!)

Too short for my guitar but plenty long enough to roll some clay onto! Bonus, it was the high E string, the narrowest gauge on the guitar :)

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Here it is on the pan waiting to get cooked :)

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I carefully cut them off the wire and apart after they had cooled some.

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Then I made the other size and cooked them too…

They are imperfect of course and need a little refining….. don’t we all!

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So, I sanded the tapered edge of each little grain.

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When I was satisfied …..

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I stung one set to see how it would look :)

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I think it’s going to work! Oh happy day :)

With that squared away, I’ll go and draft the patterns for the pants, shirt and boot covers and then sew up some tests :)

Hope you enjoyed reading! Thanks for visiting….

~awsumgal

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Janet Jackson Concert Clothes

Well, the Skull case is on it’s way to it’s new home where I hope it will enjoy many miles of exotic travel :)

Time to start on my next project. From the large to the smaller, this time it’s a concert outfit from Janet Jackson’s 2007 World Tour done to fit an Antionette doll. It’s a delight of cream and ecru pieces. Pants, shirt, vest and jacket with loads of concert flair thrown in! The boot covers, and the belt and necklace … it’s going to be fun and challenging.

Here’s a pic of what I’ll be replicating.

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Lots of fiddly bits, beads, feather shapes and lace :)

I’ll begin, as always, by studying carefully, the original. After looking at the concert videos that my commissioner sent me and scouring the internet for photos, I studied, sketched and made technical notes so that I’ll have something concrete to refer to as I go along.

So now that I have a pretty good understanding of what she has on, I will begin drafting patterns too :)

Some notes and some notions are gathering ….

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Well, enough blathering! Back to work with me :)

Thanks, as always, for reading,

~awsumgal

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