Sewing Anniversary Dress Diary (IMG heavy)

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Andrea L
Inquiring Mind
Posts: 212
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:51 pm
Location: Florissant, Missouri

Sewing Anniversary Dress Diary (IMG heavy)

Postby Andrea L » Sat Jul 16, 2011 11:08 am

I wanted to do my own dress diary of sorts for my first big project that I’ve been working on for a couple of months now.

I just had my one year anniversary of sewing at the beginning of July, so I’m making my first full victorian outfit to commemorate it…and have something totally awesome to wear by Halloween. I had already made a TV bustle petticoat and chemise, and a LM Dore corset mockup, so I was ready to put all that to good use. My first part of the project had nothing to do with sewing. I stripped and painted a pair of boots I got off of ebay that were a bone color and I wanted them to be white. If you’ve never done this before, it’s not difficult, but it requires a different type of patience than sewing does. It took me about five coats of paint to get everything completely covered. I used Angelus paint and polish. Also pictured is what was left of the original parasol cover after I took it apart. I'm a messy crafter. You would probably cry if you saw my sewing room. :oops:

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For fabric I didn’t know what I was going to do at first, and then one night I saw this cotton quilting fabric and snagged all six yards of it. I also found a solid blue that matched the darker blue, and boom. Fabric’s out of the way. I bought a 15 yd bolt of the Ocean color Kona Cotton, just in case. Also pictured is the buckram frame of my hat before I covered it. Didn't realize until later that I was using the wrong type of buckram...but oh well. It'll work.

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Since I don’t have a stash, everything had to be bought. So I worked on projects as patterns and supplies came in, and the accessories came first. First off, a parasol. I followed the tutorial on the Belle Alley forums, and it was super simple to make. The hardest part was trying to get the top knob off of the parasol! So that was a couple of nights’ worth of work. I recently put on a band of double lace, so this is what it looks like now:

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Then onto completely uncharted territory so far, a hat, the TV pattern, short crown. It was a new challenge, but since I’m good with hand sewing, it wasn’t too difficult. Took me about a week, week and a half, and it was all hand sewn except for the bias tape for the hat band was (very awkwardly) sewn on by machine. So this is done, minus decorations, but I got some little white and yellow flowers for it and some semi sheer white fabric.

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Next, the skirt. It took a few evenings to cut it out, serge, and sew. I’m using the TV201 skirt. Since this is an 1870s skirt, and I have developed what might be an unhealthy obsession with pleats, I couldn’t leave the skirt bare. So I went the crazy way of Madamekat and her super awesome black dress and made a boatload of pleats (but not as much as she did!). Two rows of 6in pleats for the hem and even more for the overskirt, sleeves, and collar. Which, after learning a trick, only took me a week to do. Only. Yeah. But it is well worth the work. Trust me, if you're hesitant about pleats, it’s the prep work that is the bad part. Narrow hemming 22yds of fabric, twice, is not fun by anyone's book. And here’s a tip: masking tape is your friend. Not only to hold your pleats after you’re done with them but use little strips after each pleat, no matter what type of pleater you use. It prevents the fabric in the pleater from pulling out when you move the rest of it. I'll try to post a picture of that when I make more pleats for the non-skirt stuff.

Here’s a picture of the hem of my skirt with the first row of pleats sewn on:

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I’ve played around with the overskirt, enough to know I want it a few inches shorter (to better show off my pleats!), but other than that, I haven’t touched my floral fabric other than to prep it. Next project…my first official corset! Once the rest of my supplies get in. I'm nervous...
7brides7brothers
Costume Afflicted
Posts: 37
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:01 pm
Location: Rapid City, SD

Re: Sewing Anniversary Dress Diary (IMG heavy)

Postby 7brides7brothers » Sun Jul 17, 2011 6:31 pm

I love the blue color that are you using! Can't wait to see pictures of the final product!
Andrea L
Inquiring Mind
Posts: 212
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:51 pm
Location: Florissant, Missouri

Re: Sewing Anniversary Dress Diary (IMG heavy)

Postby Andrea L » Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:09 pm

I absolutely love the color too! It was just pure luck that I found that floral fabric that had that color in it. I had gotten a pack of silk fabric swatches some time ago, and one of them was silk crepe similar to this blue but richer. Incredibly sexy fabric...for $50/yd. *sighs* To torture yourself, go oogle at it. The color's sapphire.

http://www.nyfashioncenterfabrics.com/gensym-135.html

Project's coming along. I finished up the basic sewing of my corset sans hardware, so that might get put away for the rest of the week. Still looking for the inspiration for my hat decoration so I can finish up something completely. I'm out of my creative comfort zone...
Andrea L
Inquiring Mind
Posts: 212
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:51 pm
Location: Florissant, Missouri

Re: Sewing Anniversary Dress Diary (IMG heavy)

Postby Andrea L » Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:31 pm

Update on something, though I am messing around with a (unsuccessful) bodice mockup, here's something that actually looks semi decent. My corset! LM Dore. Front and back views:

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y143/w ... 21crop.jpg
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y143/w ... 22crop.jpg

The gap in the back is too wide for my tastes, but luckily my original mockup met in the back, so it's only a matter of not taking off so much of the back panel next time. Corset's made with cotton twill outter, flatlined with heavy duck, and lined with muslin. I'll get coutil when I make a corset that's worthy of coutil.

The reason why it doesn't have binding is because I fail at math and logic. If the corset is 13in long in the back, why did I buy a 12.5in bone? :bang: So rather than waste shipping on two bones, I'm waiting until I buy the boning for my bodice to get it.

My skirt is done except for the hook and eyes, and I decided to just keep things plain and have the two rows of pleats.

My hat has a little bit more stuff on it, white trim and a bow (not sewn on yet). I plan on adding something else in the back, maybe longer tails to the bow, but I haven't done that yet. The flowers were just there to see what using all yellow would look like. Also shown are one of my hatpins. Bought the hatpins off of Etsy and are 7in I'm pretty sure. Beads and other notions from Joann Fabrics.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y143/w ... G_0097.jpg

And a close up of the hatpins
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y143/w ... G_0093.jpg

I'll get back to work on the bodice and overskirt tomorrow...
Andrea L
Inquiring Mind
Posts: 212
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:51 pm
Location: Florissant, Missouri

Re: Sewing Anniversary Dress Diary (IMG heavy)

Postby Andrea L » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:51 am

After my long learning curve with my bodice, I can now get back to work on things!

A quick photo of what I had finished about a week ago. Not very bustle-y because I didn't adjust the ties on the petticoat that much and I hadn't put ties on the overskirt.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y143/w ... 91crop.jpg

My overskirt now, after I spent a few days making more pleats. In comparison to time, it took me about three evenings to cut, serge, and sew the edges, but only one and a half evenings to make the pleats. Prep work SUCKS. But you already knew that. ^_^ Anyway, the pleats are 2in tall 3/4in pleats.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y143/w ... 09crop.jpg

I'm still not happy with the drape (I don't like that underside showing) so I'll mess with it later. Next, I spent a couple of evenings cutting out, flatlining and serging every seam of my bodice except the bottom front (for final adjustments if need be). Here's what it looked like when I stopped last night:

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y143/w ... 0313-1.jpg

And last but not least, my covered buttons! Fray Check or the like is your friend with this. Use it. The buttons are...1/2in I believe? And I used a quarter as the guide for the fabric and a dime (may change to a nickle) for the sewing line guide. You just run a tiny gathering stitch around it, like making ruffles by hand. No glue needed, but you can use it.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y143/w ... 0316-1.jpg

I hope to finish my bodice, overskirt, and corset binding by next week. Then I can spend my last two weeks with finishing touches and maybe make a reticule. We'll see.

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