Susan's Sewing Gallery

Show off your creations, projects or other ideas
Madame Borgia
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Susan's Sewing Gallery

Postby Madame Borgia » Tue Aug 24, 2004 4:18 pm

Hello everyone! I've really enjoyed looking at the photos of dresses that you all have made. I have decided to post a few pictures of a dress that I made for Costume Con 22 in Atlanta. It was my first costume con and I had a ball! I wish I could have made it to Costume College, but alas, it was a bit too far for me to travel. :(

This dress was based on an 1877-78 gown that I saw on www.antiquedress.com. According to the provenance that came with the original gown, it was worn as a wedding dress.

The patterns I used were the 1878 Fantail Skirt, the Hermione Overskirt and the 1881 Dinner Bodice, which I altered and moved the buttons to the back.

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Greeneyed Gypsy
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Postby Greeneyed Gypsy » Tue Aug 24, 2004 4:28 pm

The dress is great!...What did you think of working with satin? I am just trying to finish a satin dress myself....not enjoying it, Im trying to make a facing bias and it slides all over and tunnels on me giving the finish a pulled diagonial look...not lovely! So I have finally ripped it all apart and lined all the satin with cotton...I am hoping this helps. I love the patterns you have used for this dress! I never thought to do these very bowed dresses as two pieces! I keep trying to think how I can use my Tea gown pattern for one.
Thanks so much for sharing!!! :D
Josie
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Madame Borgia
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Green and Gold Gown

Postby Madame Borgia » Tue Aug 24, 2004 4:37 pm

Here is another gown that I made, also for Costume Con 22. I call this one the "Gold Rush Entertainer's Gown". I'm not too sure how authentic all that fringe is, but hey -- it was fun to wear the gown! :)

The main fabric that I used for the train and skirt was a changeable green/gold taffeta. There's something so wonderful about the way taffeta rustles! The patterns that I used were the 1885 Bustle Curiass Bodice, the Butterfly Train and the front part of the August Overskirt.

Thanks for looking at my sewing efforts!

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Miss Elisabeth
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Postby Miss Elisabeth » Tue Aug 24, 2004 4:43 pm

OH I LOVE that dress :!: :!: :!: :!: :D :shock:

It is SOOOOOO very pretty!!

from another lover of the South, :wink:

Elizabeth
Madame Borgia
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Evil Satin!

Postby Madame Borgia » Tue Aug 24, 2004 4:58 pm

Josie Wales wrote:What did you think of working with satin? I am just trying to finish a satin dress myself....not enjoying it, Im trying to make a facing bias and it slides all over and tunnels on me giving the finish a pulled diagonial look...not lovely!


Thank you for your kind compliments!

I find satin very difficult to work with. The brocaded satin that makes up most of this dress was a heavy bridal fabric so it had enough body to it that it behaved pretty well, although it did want to ravel and pull something awful! I staystiched the edges of the pieces and that helped a great deal. The navy fabric I used is a taffeta, which took the seams and darts without complaint. I shudder to think about trying to do my front panel with satin.

When I was first beginning to sew Victorian dresses -- about a year ago -- I wanted to make an ivory and red gown. I chose ivory satin for the bodice and I will NEVER do that again! I ran into the same problems that you did, plus the satin never looked smooth once I finally did complete the bodice. I recall asking why on the old message board and Heather telling me that it will always look rumpled because of the shine of the fabric, and the way light reflects off of it.

On the other hand, it drapes wonderfully. I like the look I was able to get from the Hermione Overskirt. I can't get it to behave on a bodice, yet I have seen other photos where seamstresses have used it to perfection on a bodice, so I guess it can be done. But as for me, I'll save it for skirts and overskirts. :D

And speaking of bowed gowns, I would love to make this one some day: http://www.antiquedress.com/item5001.htm I bet your idea to use the tea gown pattern would work for that one!
Madame Borgia
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Fire and Water Gown

Postby Madame Borgia » Tue Aug 24, 2004 5:55 pm

Elizabeth wrote:from another lover of the South,


Thank you for your compliments Miss Elizabeth. And yes, we Southern ladies just love our fancy dresses, don't we? :D

And, here are some more pictures. When I'm not wearing my gowns, I keep one out on display on my dress form. This is another one that I made for Costume Con 22. I call this one the Fire and Water gown -- yes, I have to name every dress that I make!

The patterns that I used for this gown are the 1872 Vest Basque, and the 1870s Underskirt. I am fascinated by this fabric -- it is a changeable silk that shimmers from a turquoise to a burgandy, hence the name "fire and water". This is probably the most extravagant gown I've made. But hey, if you're going to make a gown, make it right, I say. Although it is expensive, silk is the most wonderful thing to sew with. Unlike a synthetic fabric, it minds its manners and does not do naughty things like slip and slide.

Alas, this gown manifests the one point of construction that I am not yet proficient at...shoulders and sleeves! I did the best I could with this, and hope to improve with each gown that I make.

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Koshka
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Postby Koshka » Tue Aug 24, 2004 11:17 pm

Madame Borgia, I remember you :)

Costume Con was wonderful :)

So, since you're sharing your lovely bustle gowns, thought I'd share the one I wore to Costume Con in the hope that you'll recognize me (I hope you don't mind me sharing in your thread!). We were in the bustle class together, I believe :)

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The skirt is the 1885 underskirt and the bustled apron overskirt. I took the pattern from an original I own for the bodice.

I also made an evening bodice to go with the skirt.

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In that picture you can see some of the makeup that didn't make it off from my ghost costume from the Hogwarts social the night before :)[/img]
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Postby Miss Elisabeth » Wed Aug 25, 2004 7:15 am

Those are pretty too!

Oh and the pictures aren't working in Kathrine's post.
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Postby diana » Wed Aug 25, 2004 9:18 am

Madame Borgia: Your gowns are lovely!

I want to make sure I have this correct. You made the bodice for the first gown you posted out of satin brocade or taffeta?

I made this 1872 vest basque out of satin brocade and velvet and boy! I'll never use those 2 materials together again! Trying to sew both materials together, they slipped and moved so much (even with tissue paper between them!) I finally ended up hand-basting the 2 material pieces together, so they would stay together properly when I ran it through the sewing machine! It was a very time consuming outfit, let me tell you!

So do you think brocade and taffeta are easier to sew together? I didn't have any problems sewing the plain velvet overskirt at all.



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Diana

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Postby diana » Wed Aug 25, 2004 9:20 am

Madame Borgia: by the way, I would love to see a picture of you in your new Hermione overskirt outfit.
Diana



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Postby Heather » Wed Aug 25, 2004 1:47 pm

Diane,

It's the velvet that was giving you trouble. The pile on the velvet will slip sideways when you run it through the preasure foot, which makes it wriggle like crazy. This doesn't happen when you sew velvet to velvet, as the piles mesh and don't move. Velevet is the worst fabric in the world to sew with so everything else you use will seem easy in comparison. Ok, there is one worse fabric, Chiffon.

The best way to sew with velvet is to release the tension on your pressure foot to almost nothing. This will help by not smashing the pile sideways. Then hand baste or pin your seam every 1/2 or so. It's a real pain, but it will help.

Brocades and taffeta are a dream to work with. Just make sure you don't stretch your fabric on the bias cuts and you will be fine.
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Postby diana » Wed Aug 25, 2004 2:56 pm

Thanks for the tips, Heather!

Can't wait to get my order and try varying the pieces as you suggested.
Diana



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Postby Greeneyed Gypsy » Wed Aug 25, 2004 4:48 pm

Ohhhhhh my.... those dresses are LOVELY!!!
I love the way you used all that color in them!!! I'm still color shy anything more than two and I get twitchy.
Koshka I saw the way you recreated your velvet bodice on your web site...it is lovely! You did an excelent job of it!!

That red and blue taffeta dress made from the vested basq is dreamy! and the red and gold is ...well...I am running out of adjectives!!! Amazing...

I have some Taffeta (blue) that I have not cut up yet for fear...but now that I keep hearing how nice it is to work with I think I will get brave about it! I just hate to think of trashing such pretty and somewhat more costly fabric...Calico is easy to toss !!
Josie

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Madame Borgia
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Postby Madame Borgia » Wed Aug 25, 2004 5:40 pm

Koshka wrote:So, since you're sharing your lovely bustle gowns, thought I'd share the one I wore to Costume Con in the hope that you'll recognize me (I hope you don't mind me sharing in your thread!). We were in the bustle class together, I believe.


Yes we were! And I DO remember you and your lovely bustle gown. Congrats on your win in the Historical Masquerade at the Con! Regretably, I didn't get to stay and see you on stage, but I did read your documentation on your site. Fabulous work! I'm sure your cat was "helping" you throughout your sewing. :D

Whenever I'm at my parents house, my four love to investigate whatever the current project is! And I don't mind sharing the thread at all...no one in my circle of friends is a costumer, so I'm always happy to find other folks to chat about sewing with. The more, the merrier!

diana wrote:I want to make sure I have this correct. You made the bodice for the first gown you posted out of satin brocade or taffeta?


Thanks for the compliment, Diana. :) It's satin brocade and tafetta. The ivory material is the satin brocade and the navy is the tafetta. Both were synthetics. The things that I like to sew with the best are silk, brocade, tafetta and cotton. I find tafetta really nice and it took to the satin brocade well. The fabrics were similar in weight and hand and that helps I think. My first attempt with a satin was done using that stuff JoAnn's calls "baroque satin" and I won't do that again! Heh!

Josie Wales wrote: I just hate to think of trashing such pretty and somewhat more costly fabric...Calico is easy to toss !!


I know how you feel! I was trembling with trepidation when I started to cut the silk for my gowns! I knew I would be in trouble if I made a mistake, because I couldn't afford to buy any more fabric! Can't wait to see the photos of the gown that you will make from your blue tafetta.
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Postby Koshka » Wed Aug 25, 2004 8:52 pm

Yes we were! And I DO remember you and your lovely bustle gown. Congrats on your win in the Historical Masquerade at the Con! Regretably, I didn't get to stay and see you on stage, but I did read your documentation on your site. Fabulous work! I'm sure your cat was "helping" you throughout your sewing. Very Happy


Thank you :) It's too bad that you couldn't stay! I really enjoyed the masquerade, even though I didn't get to see it till later. Seeing so many costumes on display is really wonderful :)

And yes, Koshka (my cat) helped out a lot. Very helpful little guy, he is :)

Oh, another wonderful thing about silk? Cat hair doesn't stick to it. Truly amazing and very nice!

Whenever I'm at my parents house, my four love to investigate whatever the current project is! And I don't mind sharing the thread at all...no one in my circle of friends is a costumer, so I'm always happy to find other folks to chat about sewing with. The more, the merrier!


Same here. I don't know what I'd do without online costumers. I don't know anyone who sews. You have to talk about it with someone though! Just something you naturally want to talk about :)

Let's see, I think I have 3 dresses to update my site with? I've been bad lately :)

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