Thursday, November 24, 2011
Boy, was she right!
I had finished two 1860s dresses before this one - a green work dress that was unlined and only slightly fitted, and a cotton ball-gown with a lined, fitted bodice. So, having done it once, I figured I had it down.
Then I gave a call to good ole' Niamh O'Conlon. She had me fitted in no-time, though truth be told we were probably a little too enthusiastic getting a snug fit. More on that later.
|My problem, of course, being that whenever I need help sewing, the person helping me ends up doing most of it, and I just end up making the same mistakes later . . .|
|Next time I'm going to ignore the pattern and make the sleeve, modified pagoda-or-not, much roomier.|
|You know, one of these days, I'm gonna learn how to effing sew . . .|
|Once I procure more ribbon, I'll be doing this same idea around and then up the side-seam of the sleeve to the shoulder.|
It took a couple more sewing sessions with Niamh before the sleeves were attached well (it took me a couple tries) and we'd figured out the waist treatment. I decided to defy historical accuracy and go for large, dramatic box-pleats, a distinctly late-60s style. At that point it was starting to actually look like a dress, though the closure, as you can see, was ominously snug! I think this pattern needs some serious re-adjustment next time I make it. I think I'll go for the B-cup pattern, the C was too baggy, and tightening the darts didn't seem to help much.
I put my hand to the details, and came up with a collar, belt, and buttons. Pinned-in, I could feel the excitement/panic rising!
I made the collar from scratch - I'd like to find a good pattern to work with next time, because it really does fold weird around the curve. I should have cut it out on the bias, methinks. Live & Learn.
Embroidery to match the undersleeves - just for the fun heck of it and it to make me feel better for being incompetent with the larger concepts of seamstress-ry.
A hop, skip, and some frantic car-sewing later, and I had finished the belt, bow, and minimal trim on the sleeves. I'd also managed to make some hat-pins, a matching reticule, and trim a straw bonnet Samantha bought for me last summer, which I think I will put in a different post. It's amazing what an immovable deadline can do for a project!
Gettysburg was fantastic! An amazing time-traveling adventure with Samantha and her lovely friends - so much inspiration for later! My dress was definitely not in the same league as those of the costuming-geniuses I got to hang with, but I was proud of it, and proud that I'd paid attention to period construction and trim tips so that I could hold my head high and help contribute to the 1863 atmosphere with the best of them :-) All thanks to Sami's inspiration!