mandie_rw: me in late victorian dress holding book (natformbeige)
I decided to be clever this afternoon, and work on the dinner dress bodice mockup while I had my corset on already. I'd already cut mockup #2 longer when I discovered it to be far too short-waisted (as [personal profile] mala_14  warned me!), so I just had to sew that together and do a try-on.



Well...despite adding 3" to the length of the body, and 0.5" to each shoulder seam, the damn thing was still at least 2" too short, possibly more. (Is this pattern for people with a 5" long ribcage or this where the notion of freakishly small Victorians came from?) The armscye was still way too small, and the angle of the shoulder seam was totally whack. I wouldn't expect a scaled pattern to fit me right off the bat, but sheesh, was this pattern made by a paint-huffing monkey? Or maybe it was made for a paint-huffing monkey.

Anywhoodle, I decided I have neither the time nor the inclination to pretty much take it to bits and completely refit it...if I wanted to do that I'd have draped a pattern on Mabel from scratch. I didn't want to do that. Truly Victorian it is! Which always takes some tweaking, but which at least I know aren't made by aforementioned paint-huffing monkeys.

So, til I get hold of that (and since I only ordered my wools from FFC just over a week ago, so who knows when those will show up), it's sew-something-else time! I probably ought to do things like finish the skirt that's been hanging over the back of my chair for a week and a half, but I may start something Gettysburg-related instead.

mandie_rw: (1860ssunset)
I have been sewing! Some boring stuff (like "this dress has been unhemmed for almost a year, should probably get around to hemming it"), some less boring stuff like the overskirt/train on the dinner dress, and quite a bit of plotting, because who doesn't love costume plotting?

RE: dinner dress progress, specifically: the train is all done and the dust ruffle is basted in, and I finally forced myself to mock up the overskirt drapery. Somehow that was a hump to get over. Why? Dunno, I didn't really think it was going to be that hard... Either way, I did that this afternoon, so tomorrow hopefully I can get those pieces hemmed and maybe stitched on to the waistband. The train will go over those pieces in the back, and it'll all need one or two ties to hold it back where I want it. But I can't imagine that will all get done tomorrow.

mandie_rw: (naturalform1)
Was reminded that I'm supposed to be a good example by finishing my dinner dress well ahead of time. Haha. O, yes, that's a thing I should be sewing. So, I made the train today! Well, not that it required a lot of "making", per se. Just a lot of hemming, which I decided to do by hand because short of bag lining, I couldn't think of a way to machine it and not have it look horrid. (, I was not bag lining a train. Especially one that's black but lined in two different colors of cotton.)
train laid out flat
Exciting train is exciting! ;)

Black taffeta would have been my first choice, but I had 4+ yards of black shantung in the stash already, so I went with the second choice. (The same silk will be used for the side drapery-paninier-things, to hopefully not look to obviously like "I didn't have enough of this striped silk, can you tell?") I ended up cutting it about 60" long - a respectable but not excessive length for a dinner dress I think. I lined it with two different cotton remnants from the Remnants Bag (yeah, I stock up on them every so often at work!) that don't match, but I don't care...because it's a train lining. (I would have preferred black, but no black cotton rems in the bag. So ivory and white it is!) I got it all hemmed today, and will figure out the dust ruffle tomorrow. Have to go spelunking in the lace drawer...I think I have some fairly wide nylon-but-respectable-looking lace that will work.

mandie_rw: (naturalform1)
My petticoat provided enough fluff at the hem that I'm able to squeak by without doing any hem facing, happily. I finished fussing with all the ties and elastic this afternoon; also decided it needed just a little bit of bum-padding to look good. The swags are a wee bit uneven, not helped by the skirt-wrangling I was doing immediately prior to taking pics of it. Definitely don't care enough to re-swag, though.

(Haphazard? What do you mean, haphazard??)
skirt 1  skirt 2

skirt 3
Well, alright, the front drape in particular is a bit wack...I'll think about redoing it.

And the innards, in case you were curious. I've discovered I like using a mix of grosgrain and elastic for the ties, especially the ones at knee-level. Makes it easier to walk! Never seen that on an original, but then I haven't really done a close inspection of skirt tiebacks (and I honestly don't care that much), haha.
inside skirt 1  inside skirrt 2
On to the drapery and train! Maybe! (I know asymmetry was very popular by this point, but dang, I'm really a symmetrical kinda girl! So I need to see if I can wrangle anything asymmetrical that I don't hate. Not perfectly confident in my abilities there, but...)
mandie_rw: (naturalform1)
Got all the tapes and ties sewn into the dinner dress skirt today! At least, I think I got them all sewn in, haha. I still need to try it on with the petticoat to check that everything's doing what I want it to. I am currently suspicious that the skirt might want a stiff hem facing to hold it out just a little more than it's currently able to do on its own...but, again, petticoat needed to double-check that.
mandie_rw: (chintz dress spring)
Oooh I'm so posty! Well, made much easier by the fact that neither of them were about new dresses, just the events that I didn't have time to write up while I had my summer class. They're not terribly exciting (and mostly already recapped here), but here's the Reading air show post, and the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion picnic.

I also did end up sewing a bit this afternoon: sewed the closures on the waistband, tacked up the swags of striped fabric, and started marking/sewing the tapes/elastics into the skirt. Got that about half done, and should probably be able to finish that tomorrow. After that I may derail the dinner dress sewing train for a day or so, just to finish off the pin-dot 1940 dress that has been draped over the back of a chair for three weeks (that I was reminded of tonight because I wrote out the Reading post)! Or maybe not. Heh. It's definitely warm enough to wear it now...

mandie_rw: (naturalform1)
I celebrated the end of summer session by doing nothing but sewing today. Or, well, sewing-related things, anyway. Mostly worked on the dinner dress, but I also unpicked everything that needed to be unpicked to hopefully fix the awful fit of the beige cotton print dress bodice. Took the collar off, took the sleeves off, took out some boning, and took out the side seams. Yay, that's going to be fun...later.

But, decent dress progress was made. I:
- scaled up a bodice pattern from Fashions of the Gilded Age. I was going to just buy the TV pattern, but I'm feeling miserly at the moment, and I have those books, so, might as well use them, right?
bodice pattern in book  bodice pattern in book 2
Read more... )

I don't think I'll have time to sew tomorrow (work, then Philly Orchestra concert in the evening), but I should have a good chunk of time free on Sunday. Maybe I'll try to get a mockup for this bodice fitted? We'll see.

mandie_rw: (naturalform1)
Went to Robin's today for stitch-n-bitch (as opposed to the original plan to go to a Rev War reenactment at Monmouth, since it was close to 90 with 150% thank you); all Victorian today! I brought my dinner dress skirt, and got the black lace sewn on, and the box-pleated silk flounce about half pleated/sewn on top of that.

ivory flounce on victorian skirt

I'll press it flat once it's done...I like flat pleats better for this. If I were only going to sew the flounce down at the top I'd have just zipped it through the machine, but since I'm tacking  in down in three lines, and these gores are pretty...gored, I think it's easier to pin and hand-sew as I go.

And now I don't get to work on it til after I'm done with all my classwork! Hmph.

mandie_rw: (naturalform1)
One more week of class to go; it really is a full semester's-worth of work crammed into four weeks. Not that it's hard (or easy! good to know I'm still capable of undergrad-level learning, once I got back into the swing of it, haha), just time-consuming. But regardless of the week of work I still have to do, I decided to give myself a day off today, as I had the day off work. And that meant sewing! Woo!

Sewing day at Robin's on Sunday, and I can't bring my sewing machine on the train, but everything I need to work on is for Belvidere, aka natural form, aka mostly machine sewn. So I spent my day today mostly doing prep for that, so I'll have handwork to do. I cut out the basic underskirt for my dinner dress earlier this week, out of white cotton sateen, and I sewed it together today. The handwork will be pinning and pleating a 10" cream silk flounce to the hem of said underskirt, and tacking the pleats flat. I'll cut a scalloped skirt of the black and ivory striped silk to go over that; it'll be constructed separately but I'm going to sew them to the same waistband and sew the loops for the ties/elastics through both layers.

(I did make a sketch of this dress, as it's much more of an amalgam of several dresses than I usually do, but I'm embarrassingly bad at sketching, so you don't get to see it.)

Prep work also included hemming said cream silk flounce...on the machine, but still sooooo booooooring! And it's only an 80" skirt hem, so even with a 3:1 ratio, it could have been much worse. Still terrible. I started with the TV 1878 underskirt pattern, and trimmed off a bit here and there, as I want that extreme nipped-in skirt you see just from 1880-beginning of '82 (the width of the skirt at the knees is slimmer than the hips, then flares out at the hem. Very much a hobble skirt, just tied in with tapes rather than a straight skirt like thirty years later in the 'teens), and the TV pattern as-is has too much volume for that. Plus I really wanted to be able to fit all the panels on two lengths of 44" sateen, so... ;) I used all scraps of ivory silk, and managed to get it all out of the same ivory, except for a 25" length that is just slightly off, and therefore will go in the back under the train!

Also I made most of another plain gathered cotton skirt, just need to buy a zipper of the correct length tomorrow at work. We got in a new Disney Beauty and the Beast fabric at work  - it's all the "stained glass" from the prologue and the finale, and although I'm not mad for Disney like a lot of my generation is, Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorites (yay Stockholm syndrome...?), and I do love those stained glass illustrations. was on sale, it came home with me, and I want to wear it Sunday to sewing day. We'll see!

September 2017

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