Thursday, June 28, 2012

Steampunk Mermaid Skirt

It began with a simple pencil skirt pattern that I cut a triangle shape out of the back, just under the curve of the booty.  Then followed a 9-inch ruffle.  I despise zippers with a passion, so I planned to use a button back closure.

Of course, somewhere around the time I was stitching the last bit of ruffle into place, I realized I should have put the wider, longer ruffle on first.

I went back and corrected this issue.  Heavy upholstery tassel trim will hide the rough edges on the ruffle.

The next issue to tackle was the lining.  I ended up making a mini pencil skirt out of the same fabric and using it as an extra wide waistband on the inside.  I figured it was easier than trying to do facings on the buttonholes.

This got tacked on the inside, and buttons fudged onto it.  This skirt is an exercise in approximations and guess work. I knocked it together in about 24 hours.

Monday, June 18, 2012

A few 18th century gowns

I have been working a very demanding job, and I have had very limited time for sewing.  I did however sneak a few projects in under the radar.  This is the re-cut bodice of the navy blue anglaise I made last May.  I added the sleeve flounces too.

In its future: fine linen sleeve flounces with white lace, and much more pleated ribbon trim.
I think the higher back looks much more polished than the lower cut one I originally made. The silk move so beautifully.  I need to engineer more excuses to wear this gown.
I tracked down a sutler at the Rock Ford event in Lancaster PA - the very same sutler that I bought the ribbon around the neckline from at an event the previous August.  I got an additional 15 yards.  My intention is to do the same pleating around the sleeves at the elbow and down the front.
This project was envisioned as something that could be dressed up or down, and would work for a middle class impression.  It's made of gray cotton sateen - or more accurately, a cotton sateen bed sheet from Target in 'grey'.  I ended up cutting the sleeves a bit short after I decided I didn't like how they looked fitted around the elbow.  I cannot seem to find an extant example with sleeves above the elbow.  If i cannot find documentation, I will have to re-cut the sleeves, or at least add an extension.  I'm not thrilled with them.

I think some self trim may be in the future of this gown as well.
Ideas for self trim include a wide pleated trim around the neckline, and possibly something to hide the gap between the bones in the front.  This might look better a la polonaise, and with a matching petticoat.