Sunday, May 31, 2015

"Heaven's Gates, Hell's Flames" Drama

So, I wrote this last week, but got too busy to add pictures, edit, and post last Friday. So, pretend the date on this post is Friday, May 22nd. :D ;)

This week has been super exciting! About two months ago I had signed up to participate in a drama at a local Church. After not hearing anything about it for a month, I assumed that they had already gotten all their cast and had missed my name on the sign-up sheet. But Last Wednesday we got a call telling us they were meeting Friday. I auditioned and got a part. So exciting! Saturday was all day practice. Then Sunday we had Church and a lunch all together and then started running two full dress rehearsals. The first performance was Sunday night. *whew!* We planned to have two more performances. One Monday night and one Tuesday night. We were super excited when they decided to extend it to include Wednesday night!

At first I wondered how they could put it on with only 2 days to practice, then I discovered that it was a series of short skits strung together, so each of us only had about a 10 min. part to keep track of. It was pretty neat how it all came together! :)

The Crucifixion Scene

Each day before we began practicing we had a devotional and prayer. And before each performance we gathered and laid hands on and prayed for each group of actors and crew. You could feel the Spirit of God in the room as we did so. The time has been a spiritual blessing to me, and it was so encouraging to see the number of people who came to the Lord through the drama!

Inviting fellow students to Bible Study

I played the part of a young Christian high school girl who is trying to witness to her fellow students. One of the students pulls a gun and shoots several people. When I step in to stop him, he shoots me and I die still pleading for his soul. Then I go to heaven, get a martyrs crown, and meet Jesus face to face. I loved the part! It had so much opportunity for the dramatic! :D

Acting in dramas that tell the gospel and affect people for Christ is one of my biggest dreams. It's been a huge blessing to participate in this!

Talking to the "shooter" about Jesus. (Before he pulled the gun)

I started getting a hoarse voice after the first performance, but praise the Lord! I was able to sound normal each time I got up on stage! :)

Standing between the gun and a fellow student.

Something we discussed at one of our devotionals that really impacted me was that as God's child I am HIS masterpiece, my job is just to open my life and let Him flow through me and change me. I CAN do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.

Being crowned by Jesus.

I have been extremely blessed by all those who participated. The family of God is so much larger than what I see on a daily basis. I've so much enjoyed meeting and working with more of my brothers and sisters in Christ! :)

Friday, May 15, 2015

1940's/1950's Navy and Plaid Suit Outfit

This was my first ever 40's/50's suit outfit.

The skirt was made from my outfit for the Scottish Festival we put on. After the festival I realized that although I loved the outfit, I had little use for it anymore, and decided to use the yards of material in the skirt to make a more tailored skirt that I would have more chances to wear. I'm glad I did! The only unfortunate thing about the skirt is that the material is a 100% cotton, not the best material for holding pleats and staying unwrinkled. Which means a LOT of pressing every time I want to wear it! *whew*

I really liked this jacket pattern, and it only took a little tailoring to give it the 50's fitted look. I also changed the pockets to welt pockets. The jacket is made from a piece of Navy Velveteen. I love the color and the soft fuzzy feel!

Ages ago, before we ever knew how much I would get into sewing and retro clothing my Dad bought a whole bunch of buttons at an estate sale for really cheap. There are so many neat buttons in that collection! I think a lot of them are vintage, but I'm really no good at dating buttons. Heh. They've come in handy for many projects. I barely ever need to buy buttons. :) The two buttons on this jacket are from that collection.

I designed and made a matching hat similar to some I had seen from the 40s/50's. It's a simple design, just a circle with a band attached and folded up. It worked! And... oh look! There's another one of those buttons on the hat! :D

The shirt worn with the outfit is a shirt Mom has had for years. I love all the detailed pleating at the collar and cuffs! I'm lucky she doesn't mind me borrowing her clothes, and that we're pretty much the same size! Comes in handy! :)

I liked the entire outfit so well, that I used scraps to create it in miniature 18" doll size. :)

About a year ago I wore the jacket to a Literary Ball. I didn't know I was going to be able to go until about 3 days before the event. I was on my way back from a costuming adventure and it was right on the way home! Perfect, except one thing... I hadn't packed for the trip with a Literary Ball in mind, and was rather limited in my clothing options... I ended up wearing this jacket with a wool plaid skirt that I found in a thrift store (yay for thrift store finds!). I decided it was close enough to say I was "Anne of Avonlea". :) I had fun dancing and visiting with old friends!

A dance at the ball.

 Me with "Miss Stacy" and another "Anne" in attendance.               Talking with a friend.

Pictures were taken by my ever patient mother. :) Pictures from the ball were taken by Brandon and another friend at the ball. :)

Friday, May 8, 2015

My Sewing Journey

I began sewing when I was very young... about 5 years old, and small for my age at that. I loved to take a needle and thread in my hands and CREATE something! Of course at that age the most important thing to sew was... doll clothes! My Barbies and Babies absolutely NEEDED sensible and fun clothes... so with my grandma's and my mother's help I learned to sew a simple doll skirt and shirt. I was too little for a machine so all of my first projects were hand sewn. I never could find patterns for the doll clothes I wanted so I began to design my dolls little skirts and such. Very simple, but creating the foundation I would need to change and design patterns for myself in the future. When I was 9 I finally got to use that tantalizing sewing machine. I loved the speed that it had! How quickly things went together!!! My first "real" projects were skirts for myself.

Then came the "Laura Ingalls Wilder" phase. I had discovered a love for history and with it the wonderful world of Historical Clothing! How I loved to study it and longed to make them. I ambitiously chose a "prairie" dress as my first project to follow skirts. What was I thinking?! Jumping right into sleeves and zippers ( I still had so much to learn about historical accuracy!) :D. How I laugh at my beginnings. I cried and rejoiced by turn through that project. The blue fabric I had was not quite enough... so I shortened the skirt and found some black material to add the extra length... and to add touches on the bodice. After I painstakingly cut it out, I discovered that the pattern was used, and the bottom of the bodice had been cut off... too late was the discovery made. The damage was done and I had no more blue material... 

The black fabric once again came to the rescue, and I added a built in belt of the black.

Here's the Dress- All finished, and completely worth the struggle to my young soul. :)
(I was a little on the dramatic side with my poses! :D)

I soon discovered the Renaissance Faire and Medieval Fantasy styles. I made myself the chemise, the 2 skirts, the apron, and the stays, that I thought were "authentic" Renaissance, and fairly reveled in the flowing lines of my "medieval" dress.

                        Renaissance Outfit                                 Medieval Dress                      Tying one of the many strings.

With my siblings and some friends, I put together a "Scottish Festival". I had read about William Wallace in school and thought Scotland's the greatest history ever at that moment... plus I loved plaid! One of my sisters, a friend, and I undertook to teach our other friends how to sew for that event and researched food and activities. We discovered English Country Dance, and sword fighting! Such excitement! 

It was a crazy year! I was turning 16, and working very hard to complete my high school work in 2, rather than 4 years. My oldest sister was getting married that year, and we had the festival too! I suddenly discovered the meaning of busy! :)

                  The girls found a convenient log on which to relax.                    My outfit for the Scottish Festival.

The next year we got our Homeschool group to join is in putting on a Medieval festival. We once again taught many people to sew and had a blast planning!

    Sword Fighting with Dad.                                                 Archery!              
The whole group

The year I turned 19 I was super excited to be involved in our local Christian High School's production of "Little Women". I played Marmee and made my own costume, as well as "Father's" and "Aunt March's". It was so much fun! Getting to act was a lifelong dream finally come true! :)

The Cast of Little Women

           Me surrounded by "My Girls" during practice.                    And reading a letter on stage.       

The next year I was unfortunately too old to act in the high school play, but I was asked to be one of 2 costumers for "Pride and Prejudice". I had never shopped for so much fabric or sewn so many costumes in such a short time! It was super fun and also a great learning and growing experience.
The cast of Pride and Prejudice

Dancing Scene in Pride and Prejudice

Little did I dream that 2 months later I would leave home for 4 months to work on a historical movie called "Beyond the Mask"! And what an amazing adventure it was! I met a wonderful group of people and learned a ton in those 4 months! 18th century was a favorite time period already and my interest in 1770's fashion only grew through the project. I was super excited that I was allowed to take home one of the gowns we made for the extras!

       Here it is! And with a new petticoat (skirt) I made recently for a Masquerade Ball. :)

Since Beyond the Mask was Set in the 18th Century we did a TON of hand stitching on the outfits to make them as accurate as possible. We would gather on the couch and stitch in company or sometimes we would pull out a movie and watch while we worked.

The Extras Costuming Team on the 4th of July. We dressed in some of the costumes we'd made and marched off to enjoy an evening of fun at the local park's Independence celebration. :)

Part of the Main Characters Costuming Team, Dressed in extras costumes... which still needed all of their "trimmings" :D

More of the costuming team. :) This is STILL not everyone together... it was hard to find a time when we were all there and available to take a picture! :D

Beyond the Mask taught me a ton about accurate historical clothing. I was inspired to do more research on many time periods. 2 1/2 years later I'm still learning and practicing to get those "just right" historical looks. I've grown to love Pinterest! The wealth of historical costume information there is nearly overwhelming at times!

Retro clothing has become my greatest sewing interest as I delve into creating clothing from the 1950's, 1930's, and 1940's. I am really interested in making some 1970's impressions someday too! :)

And now here I am, taking another plunge and starting a blog! I hope you all enjoy following my journeys! :)