1881 "Project Runway" dress diary

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Andrea L
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1881 "Project Runway" dress diary

Postby Andrea L » Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:26 pm

So I sort of talked about this in one of my other posts. My sewing teacher wants all of her students, by Spring Break (so sometime in March) to make a collection like the collection that the finalist do on Project Runway. We have to do at least five pieces plus a hat or purse/bag. So I decided that I’m going to make two full outfits, a three piece suit (plus the blouse) that a woman would wear in 2011, and a “three piece suit” that a woman would have worn 130 years ago in 1881 (faux vest bodice), plus a hat, purse, recovered parasol, and maybe gloves if I have time and patience.

The first night that I was thinking about this project, lavender and pale yellow popped in my head and hasn't left, so that's what I went with. I’m using kona cotton thistle and maize.

This dress was my initial inspiration:

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y143/w ... 0azrk7.jpg

I fell in love with the pleated panels in the back. I’m going to try to imitate that for the back of the overskirt. And I decided that would be one of my threads, pleats or showing turns of contrasting fabric, like cuffs.

Patterns I'll be using:

TV121 (NF petticoat)
TV221 (Tie-Back Underskirt)
TV 420 (Curiass Bodice, day, full sleeve)
TV 305 (Bustle Apron Overskirt, backwards...I'll explain why when I start working on it)
Folkwear Vintage Vest, Version C
Vogue 8679 Jacket
Simplicity 2562 Wide leg pants
Lynn McMasters’s Natural Form Bonnet covering it with straw braid purchased on Lynn McMasters’s site.
And...I suppose I need to make bloomers before I forget again. I might make the combo undies if I have time.

I won’t bore you with the details of the modern clothing because we’re here for the Victorian pretty! Though I might post the final outfit when I'm done. At this point I’m done with the pants and blouse and cut out the vest.

So since I don’t have any of the NF TV patterns yet (birthday present, hope hope) I decided to start on probably the most daunting task, the bonnet. Or really, putting on all that straw is daunting. So after an hour taking apart the straw hat, an evening of wiring the frame, and two days very VERY slowly sewing the straw on, this is what I have so far:

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y143/w ... 0446-1.jpg

The single hardest part is getting that darn straw to turn from the top to the side, which involves steaming the straw but not so much the buckram gets too soft. After that, it went by faster. And by faster, I mean not that fast, but it's a matter of comparison.

I probably won't be posting much of this until after the end of the year since I'm working on all the modern stuff right now other than the bonnet, but it'll pick up after that.
MaryGode
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Re: 1881 "Project Runway" dress diary

Postby MaryGode » Thu Nov 17, 2011 5:33 pm

Oo-oo-ooo, I can't wait to see this develop! Lavender and yellow is going to be lovely.

Regarding straw, when I work with real straw, I flat out soak the stuff. Hot water, for maybe twenty minutes. I let it dry to just damp before I work with it, but it's much more malleable, and isn't so wet that it bothers the buckram. I may never go back to real straw though, after how nice the paper straw worked on the pink pork-pie hat.
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. ~MarkTwain
Andrea L
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Re: 1881 "Project Runway" dress diary

Postby Andrea L » Thu Nov 17, 2011 6:21 pm

I'm so excited too! I can't wait to get started on the dress! I'm going to try my hand at making a fully pleated skirt, since I kept seeing a ton of those in 1881 fashion plates. The overskirt I'll be winging it since it'll be my own design, so I hope it turns out okay.

I was SO happy I stumbled upon that hat pattern! It wasn't on Lynn McMasters's site, and I was thinking it was a discontinued pattern. But it's the exact opposite, so new that she hasn't put it on her website yet. I kept seeing this exact bonnet in a ton of fashion plates too, along with hats like Beth from Denise Nadine's site.

So for your daughter's hat, did you use a buckram frame for that or did you mold the hat so the sides turned up? I assumed you just shaped it.

Though it's tedious, I am falling in love with straw hats. I'll probably make an EB one after my year of making NF dresses.
MaryGode
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Re: 1881 "Project Runway" dress diary

Postby MaryGode » Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:13 pm

I made a buckram frame for the top and sides, but I did the brim just by hand stitching the spiral of straw braid out from the buckram frame under varying tension to make the shape. That paper straw has a cotton string running down both sides and I could pull on it like a gathering thread to control the curve. Just another reason I love the stuff.
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. ~MarkTwain
Andrea L
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Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:51 pm
Location: Florissant, Missouri

Re: 1881 "Project Runway" dress diary

Postby Andrea L » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:54 pm

A bit of an update...

I'm in the final stages of my modern jacket, so the modern stuff is almost done. I have the petticoat and underskirt cut out, and I still need to cover the brim of my bonnet. Things are coming along pretty well for a month's time, especially with my right wrist acting up.

So today I found myself stranded in the little sewing class area in Hancock Fabrics with little to do since I forgot bobbins for my machine. I decided to start altering my TV curiass bodice, but I had no paper…so I used some paper towels that were left on one of the tables. Gotta do what I gotta do!

This is the first time I’ve altered a pattern other than for fit, so I don’t know the “right” way of doing it, so I just winged it. I wanted to make the vest shorter than the “jacket” so it looks more like a two piece garment. I may change the length and hem of the vest, but I’m happy with the width for now.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y143/w ... 0502-1.jpg
(the numbers on there are the final width of the vest panel, FYI)

I also wanted cuffs, so that was next:

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y143/w ... 0505-1.jpg

And the back part sort of came on a whim. I wanted to show more turn of fabric, so I decided to see what it would look like to turn up the back bodice piece to the waistline:

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y143/w ... 0507-1.jpg

Not sure if I’ll keep it, but it’s a thought. I’m still in the planning stages.
ljt
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Re: 1881 "Project Runway" dress diary

Postby ljt » Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:42 pm

Like the back turn up idea. At least it was paper towels and you didn't have to use tp from the restroom.
MaryGode
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Re: 1881 "Project Runway" dress diary

Postby MaryGode » Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:18 am

Next idea might strike at a New Year's Eve party and she'll be eyeballing the cocktail napkins. :D

I'm tentatively for the back idea, but I'd want to see how the proportions played out visually in the neck-to-waist length versus the length of the tails.
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. ~MarkTwain
Andrea L
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Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 7:51 pm
Location: Florissant, Missouri

Re: 1881 "Project Runway" dress diary

Postby Andrea L » Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:31 am

ljt wrote:Like the back turn up idea. At least it was paper towels and you didn't have to use tp from the restroom.


That...would have been interesting. Don't know if I would have gone that far!

MaryGode wrote:Next idea might strike at a New Year's Eve party and she'll be eyeballing the cocktail napkins. :D

I'm tentatively for the back idea, but I'd want to see how the proportions played out visually in the neck-to-waist length versus the length of the tails.


Only if I happen to have my pattern pieces with me at the time!

I might make the turned up part lower if I decide to do it. I was also thinking about splitting the center back to more simulate a jacket back...but I may wait until I make a NF bodice that looks more like a jacket with lapels and everything. I want some interest in the back other than the overskirt since I'm trying to branch out into more technical stuff, bit by bit. I'm more drawn to the architectural aspect of dresses, dresses that have complex designs or complex draping, more so than a ton of frills in a simplistic design. Too bad the former is a more difficult route...

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