OK, it's been 3 weeks and I have made absolutely no progress on the dress. I had to set it aside for a Halloween project. So I guess I will tell you about that project instead.
I show my Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and for the Halloween show, they were having a costume contest for the dogs. And of course, they had to be the Three Musketeers!!! Cavaliers - Musketeers, what else could they be. We decide that a blue tunice with white trim and cross, and a hat will do the trick.
A quick internet search fails to find anything resembling a doll sized Cavalier hat, so we run to JoAnns... no doll hats. Michaels... no doll hats. I guess no one makes dolls anymore. But I do find some craft weight felt squares and some feathers, so will make hats myself. We also pic up a Burda Pattern for dog blankets and a shirt. Back home and we start in on the hats.
It takes a couple of tries with making the proper pattern, but I finally hit on a hat shape that looks awesome. ( Click here for a .pdf of the hat pattern. ) I add the feathers, and an elastic chin strap, put in on Rexxar.... and everyone converges to eat the feather off his head while he rolls around trying to get the evil brain-sucking hat off his head. OK, this is going to take some getting used to.
We had some scrap stretch velvet for the tunics on hand, perfect. Backed it with some grey fleece for body. Bought some white flannel double fold bias tape for the trim. Found a pretty cross embroidery program online, and the tunics are all ready. We attached the tunics to a dog harness to hold them on.
Long story short, we were the hit of the show!! Had a hard time keeping the hats on, especially all three at the same time, but it was worth the trouble. The pics we took at the show didn't come out for some reason, but we dressed up the next day at home to get more pics. After shooting about 100 pics, we got a few that where cute. I don't know how pet photographers get group shots, I had a hard time running heard on just 3 dogs.
So here they are!!!! Happy Holloween!!!
First off, let me just say "WHAT THE HECK WAS I THINKING!!?"
I spent most of Saturday and some of Sunday babysitting my ebroidery machine between doing lots of nothing. I now have a whopping 3 yards of double ruffle strips. That is just about 1/2 of two ruffles. Unfortunately, that doesn't add up to a whole ruffle. Good news, I should have 2 ruffles done by next weekend. Bad news, at this pace it will be closer to 7 weeks to get a full seven rows of ruffles.
I am having an interesting problem with the embroidery. The left hand side is staying straight and beautiful. The right hand side is a problem child. For some reason, it is traveling to the left, making the gap narrower and narrower. My best efforts to combat the problem and move it back to the right are barely holding it straight. Often failing to do even that. It can't possibly by anything I am doing wrong, so I must concede that there is some intangible flaw in the fabric that is causing the contant shift. I only wish... There must be a lighting issue or a perspective issue with my glasses that is making it impossible for me to line up the start/stop points correctly on the one side. I really need to figure this out or I will run out of room between the ruffles. Not to mention that is not following the stripe in the fabric at all. Another issue, this is going to take a lot more thread than I anticipated. I may have to order more, as I think there was only one spool left at the store.
I found 100 yards of yellow lace on Ebay. I will have to gather it myself, but it should work out well. I am almost hoping that I don't win the auction thought, as just after I placed my bid, I found and even better lace. Story of my life. I highly doubt that someone else out there is desperately looking for yellow lace to outbid me, but you never know. I may decide to buy the other one anyway. We'll see. I also found a narrow yellow ribbon at Michaels, I might use it to top the ruffles.
Over the next week, I will keep plucking away at the ruffles. Next weekend I will start on the bodice. I know the main bodice pattern for the dress is good to go, but I really need to test my sleeves before I can release it as a pattern. That is really the whole point to this dress, to test the sleeves. So tell me again why I am spending 7 weeks on ruffles when all I need is sleeves? OH yeah... IT'S GOING TO LOOK AWESOME!!! Oh, please, please, let this be awsome. If this dress suddenly turns into a pale blue silk, you'll know that something went horribly wrong.
I love the idea of a dress diary, and enjoy reading the how-and-why journey of other people's blogs. So I have decided to make the foray into my own diary. Usually, I don't think about writing a diary until the dress is almost finished. But this dress will take some time, and here I am at the beginning.
So here is the plan, an 1861 Raphael Evening Dress. I ran across some fashion plates of this dress while looking for something else. The first plate was Petersons November 1860, the second was Petersons January 1861. It was love at first sight, and I knew right away that I need to make a pattern for this dress. My sister jumped on it as well, and was able to coombine the two plates into a fabulous illustration for the new pattern. Originally, the dress on the left, the polka dot one, had only 5 flounces, but Laura changed it to reflect the 7 flounces I want the pattern to have. Here is the converted pic:
If you saw some pretty summer sheer dresses at your reenactments this summer, and now you want one for yourself for next year, we have the pattern for you! Light and airy, with a half-high lining, it will keep you cool and comfortable on the hot days in the field.
TV447 - 1863 Sheer Bodice
I guess I forgot to list my latest pattern for our Edwardian line!
This is the 1903 Plain Blouse - TVE41. It has the pouch front, center closure, and the sleeve full at the wrist; all popular features of the Early Edwardian styles. It is a perfect match for with the 1903 Trumpet Skirt - TVE21
You can find more details at the Edwardian section of the Truly Victorian catalog!