Sunday, June 17, 2012

Bustling around

My dears,

I so need to apologize. It has taken an eternity since my last post.
But only a few weeks ago I finally got back to the sewing table, besides shortening a couple curtains for my new apartment and some repair things.
The weeks prior I was busy getting stuff done for the apartment and the whole move and work stuff has had me emotionally exhausted.

Anyway, I'm back to the Natural Form era. Last year I had started stitching up the pieces for an 1880s day bodice made of a pattern from "Fashions of the Gilded Age".  So I went on with a fitting, while I first thought that it fit quite well, a closer look showed that the waistline was way too high just as the back neck was. So I had to alter the pattern a few times to make the waist sit where it belongs and the neckline look like it is supposed to. Fitting the sleeve was another adventure including a few tries and I guess at least one more try will be needed before I can cut the real fabric. And also then I will leave enough seam allowance for security ;).
This is the last status of the bodice mock up.

You might remember that the whole ensemble is to be made out of the grey wool of my dressmakers exam fabric. The one where I got the last bits and that won't be available anymore. Well, I have about 3.3m left of it plus a few leftovers and scraps. Plenty enough for the bodice, but what to do with the rest?
In the beginning, when I got the fabric I had planned to make a simpler modern day (godet)skirt, but I don't think I would even wear it. And as the fantailskirt looks rather plain, I decided to make a small overskirt.
You, who have experience with bustle dress patterns know that those overskirts usually eat up a lot of fabric. You can eayily fit 3 or 4 yards into one bustle skirt. So the challange was to fit the overskirt and the bodice into those 3.3m wool flannel.

The final bodice pattern I can only make after the overskirt is done, so I can fit the bodice hip over the new skirt volume. But with the current pattern pieces I was able to determine that I would need at least 0.6m (thanks to the scraps where I can fit narrow pieces into), better leave 1m to be safe. That would leave me with a whole 2.3m for the overskirt. Insane? Maybe a bit, but not impossible to manage.
I only wanted a small overskirt, an apron in the front and some bustling in the back. Luckily I am a small girl, so one width of fabric should do for each part. From my apron try out with the Burda bustle pattern some years ago, I knew that the apron could be made of something around 0.7m fabric. So, from the remaining 1.6m there should be a way to drape something nice.

I got out my treasured BOMULL and started draping, I also took reference to a few overskirt patterns from "Fashions of the Gilded Age" to get a few basic measurements for darts and pleats. The apron was quickly made, as there are only a few pleats on each side.
For the back I took the opportunity to try out the butterfly drape explained here on Foundations Revealed. I added some side pleats like the butterfly train of Truly Victorian has to add some volume.
This is what I got from my first draping tries.

 I liked this quite much, so I made a pattern for the apron and stitched it up. Unfortunately the pleats would not stay put as much as I wanted them to, so it took a few more tries to see how I need to fix them on the final piece. The butterfly was a bit easier, yet it is always challanging to manage folding 75cm down to 15cm for each half of the back.

Because of the butterfly drape the closure can't be in the center back, so I want it on the side and have the front and back piece overlapping a few centimeters.
The pictures of where I tried on the overskirt don't look very spectacular, but I hope it'll look nice in the final fabric. For the back bustle I'm gonna add a layer of net for some extra volume and stiffness. The pieces are cut and tomorrow there'll be some stitching.

Okay, I guess that's it for tonight. Stay tuned for the next post, hopefully to be come soon.
Thanks for reading and your patience. You guys rock!

P.S. I reloaded my fabric sale and added quite a few things. Have a look and tell me if something catches your eye. Shipping preferably within Europe only.

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