So close

Jul. 29th, 2013 05:45 pm
elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
Just turning under and stitching the sleeve lining, and then the seaside dress is done! I still have the hat and bag, but phew! It feels good to be so close.

Here are couple bodice details before I pack it up. Machine topstitching is brought to you by HolyCrap, I'm Leaving For My First Costume College In 3 Days!

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4 days

Jul. 27th, 2013 11:01 am
elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
Four sewing days left, here's my to do list:

- hooks/eyes and buttons on bodice
- set sleeves in
- pleated collar
- stitch trim ends down

- skirt pockets
- skirt bow/tails
- waistband
- hooks & eyes

- trim hat

- make canvas bag

I think that's it, though I may have some shopping as well. The seaside dress bodice is looking AWESOME. I got the dark linen trim and soutache on it, plus the back pockets, and it's so cute I'm gonna explode.

I did have one minor scare with fitting: During this whole process, the bodice has been just a smidge big, but I figured that was insurance. Well, I did some fiddling at the front to make the lower CF corners happy and make the stripes match better, and suddenly I could barely get it closed! I tightened my laces slightly and measured, which helped, and I placed the hooks and eyes close to the edges, and now it fits and looks utterly painted on, but in a good way!

The only thing bugging me now is that nobody I know from LJ will be at the Tea, when I plan to wear this! 

Cuff luv

Jul. 26th, 2013 08:18 am
elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
I finished the sleeves yesterday, and I am so in love with the cuffs!

seaside cuff 003

seaside cuff 002

No time for notes; I'm definitely feeling the sewing crunch here. But it's staying positive and fun instead of crazy-making so I don't mind!

5 sewing days left!
elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
I couldn't be bothered to put this back on the dressform, but I'm so excited about how the finished soutache trim looks, I just had to share!

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Thank you

Jul. 21st, 2013 09:34 am
elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
Thanks, everyone for reassuring me on my skirt! I've backed down from the ledge of crazytown and I'm going to leave it as it is. Even if it's not perfectly perfect or exactly like the original, it still looks pretty awesome and I shouldn't mess with it, lest I screw it up. So thank you.

So the next step for it is applying the soutache. Yes, it did finally arrive! I got 2 colors of blue, hoping that at least one would work, plus two shades of white/off-white. One of the light blues looks best to me. It's lighter than the original, but I think it blends nicely with the chambray and navy shades in the dress. It's rayon and a little bit shiny, but not too bad.

I did a test swatch and found that my grooved piping foot applies it nicely, if I move the needle over a bit. So 2 rows will go on every skirt band except the narrowest, which gets only 1.

I also got the bodice together, and I just need to get all corseted up and try it on again before I do the edges, then trim it. I've also done a sleeve mock, which might need a little fiddling, we'll see.
elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
Here are skirt bands take 2.

They look okay, but only after they were totally done (why does it take that long to notice?) I saw how different the angles are from the original. Mine looks long and narrow where the original is wide, plus my side corners are much higher than they ought to be. This is because when I screwed up the first time, I didn't take EVERYTHING out and re-do it, I just moved the side corners back. I wasn't thinking about the overall angles and proportions.

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And here's the original for comparison:

2006AA0865_jpg_l 2006AA0870_jpg_l

I really don't want to rip it out again, and I'm not sure I would even have time before coco if I did want to. But I also don't want to have it bug me forever.

So please, someone tell me I'm talking crazy talk, and to just leave it, okay?
elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
I ripped and re-stitched the left half of the front skirt accent bands and they are looking WAY better. No more crazy diamond in front; the bands angle farther back like they are supposed to.

I really want to finish the skirt today (except for the soutache, of course, which I still don't have) and at least get a start on the bodice, even if it's only cutting.

After this dress is done, I still have a straw hat to trim (I steamed it and bent it into shape yesterday) then a simple bag, and I think that's it.
elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
I've been steadily plugging away at those bias bands. I finished all 3 horizontal ones and 2 of the diagonal ones. Then I put it on my dressform to pin in the last one and take a look.

Fine from the side, but. . .

004

Crap!

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The accent bands are WAY too close together at the top, and they're making a weird narrow diamond shape in front.

I tried moving the top of the smaller two back a little, which helps:

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But still not quite right. You can see in the original that the top end of each band is well behind the hips, and the vertical section is barely visible from the front. I had it pretty darn close when I pinned it in the first time, but you can guess what happened next. I was using the skirt seams as my guide for placement, and I must have accidentally moved one seam forward.

When I thought about ripping out and re-doing all those tidy, finicky little mitered corners, I thought maybe I would just leave it be. But I realized I only need to rip (and re-miter) the vertical sections, then I can continue the line back another few inches before going up to the waist. I think I left enough excess length on each end to make this work without having to piece in more linen.
elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
Or, Whatever Did I Do Before I Had This Dressform?

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I am loving this project so much! Thanks to everyone who talked me into it.

The bottom band is sewn down, the diagonal one is (obviously) just pinned. The finished one will be a little wider but I think the placement is good. There are 3 horizontal skirt bands and 3 diagonal ones, all in graduated sizes. I guessed at the scale for the bottom one, and when it looked right, I used that scale on the the photos I printed, figuring 1/16" = 1" and in that way figured the sizes of all the other bands and the spacing.

Still no word from Farberbraid on my trim. I wonder if it will ever arrive? If not, I might use white or grey soutache instead, from somewhere I can get it from faster!

I think I've admitted defeat on the bodice. I'm on mockup 4.1, and it's looking like I will probably not solve some of the fitting issues so I'm just going to go ahead because this is as good as I can get it. Still, 4.1 is an improvement on the previous 3. I need to remind myself, when working with Truly Victorian bodices, always start with a full bust adjustment (and re-orient that darts afterward) and back length adjustment, and add to the armscye to make it smaller.
elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
Well, I sewed and tried on #3 yesterday.  The full bust adjustment was obviously totally necessary because now I can actually git it closed in front without pulling. I don't know why I didn't do that first, but I guess I thought I could add enough bust room in the side seams. Ha.

Still, so many things were out of whack. The FBA scooted the darts too far over and I forgot to re-position them. The back length is continuing to drive me crazy; the whole thing rides up and the back makes a length wrinkle and the shoulders float. It works when I pull it down but then it just rides right back up again! I've already done length tucks so this time I just re-positioned and snugged in the waist to help keep everything in place. I also let the hips out (again) to help stop the riding up.

The FBA also made the front darts HUGE, because all that space has to go somewhere. I am working with an 11 inch difference between my bust and waist, which is really nice and curvy and looks great, but it's hard to fit.

I spent yesterday on fitting and pattern work, then cut out #4, which I will sew and fit today.

At some point I might just have to decide that wrong is good enough, because there's just over 2 weeks left and I don't want to be pulling sewing all-nighters the day before hopping on a plane.

I put the skirt waistband half on - enough to properly level the hem while still leaving it open to add the tails. I need to buy a matching solid to make hem facings, then I will start applying the indigo linen contrast bands; thankfully these were cut on the bias in the original.
elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
Mock-up #1: Almost there, but a little extra length, tightness across bust, and multiple tiny tweaks.

Mock-up #2: So, SO much worse than #1! Waist WAY too high in back, tons pf pulls and stress wrinkles. Ugh.

For mock-up #3, I made a full bust adjustment in front and a wedge adjustment for length in side back. Also added lots of hip room and lowered the waist back down.  Haven't actually sewn it up yet because I ran out of time!
elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
I think the skirt is working out (crossing fingers).  I need to finish seam allowances but then I'm kind of stuck until my trim arrives.

I ordered 40 yds each of light blue soutache and narrow braid from Farberbraid. I hope one of them works, but I won't know for at least another week.

I can't attach the linen accent bands until I level the hem, I can't level the hem properly until the waistband is on, and I'd prefer not to do the skirt waistband until I can make the back sashes (so they can all be sewn together) and I can't complete the sashes until the trim arrives.  Although I could always just baste the waistband in order to hem it and so on.

Anyway, I've moved on to the bodice. I finally printed all the source images so I could have them in the sewing room with me while I work (duh). I'm using the Truly Victorian basic 1870s day bodice pattern as a starting point, and making changes from there. I'm making the mock-up today and plan to fit it tomorrow; hopefully it won't need too many changes!
elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
I fiddled with the seaside skirt a bunch yesterday, and narrowed it down to a smoother shape, with no hem ripples in front or sides and only a few ripples of fullness in back. But it started looking so flat! So much more late bustle than early bustle. I just love that huge early bustle full skirt look. So I went to look at some fashion plates to get a really good idea of the shape I wanted.

Hm. It turned out that the huge early bustle shape I was envisioning was hard to find. My inspiration dress is dated 1872, and there really seemed to be a much smoother, almost triangular skirt shape at front and sides than I thought. See here, here, and here. Gored at front and sides for sure.

Definitely not the straight lines of late bustle, but narrower than I thought. Yay, because that's about how mine is looking right now.
elizabeth_mn: (blue silk back)
I put this together yesterday. Yes, I went with plan C - this is the new fabric.

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It's over my red silk lobster bustle and two petticoats: the white muslin one I made to go with the cupcake dress and a really old unbleached muslin one with tons of ruffles.

I got it together and I really like the way it looks, but then I realized the problem. It's too full!

When does this ever happen?  I am cheap and tend to skimp and skirts being too full is not usually an issue. I've had this article stuck in my head for a couple months, and I keep thinking "when in doubt, go bigger.  Add an extra panel.  More is more!"

Well, usually it is. But the problem is that now the skirt is too full for the trim to lay correctly. My inspiration dress is here. I'm assuming that the overskirt is simulated; the description says it's separate but doesn't it look like it's just applied trim?

Anyway, I could either cut some of the fullness out of the skirt or I could make a separate overskirt. I think I need to stare at it some more before I decide.
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