“Sew 17th century Challenge” – Photoshoot

For the photoshoot I got some help from my friend, modelling my new 17th century outfit.

She wore the 17th century bodice, skirt, coif and fur over my quilted petticoat, accessoriced with a string of pearls and a Violine.
Here are the result:

Gerard_ter_Borch_(II) - The_Concert ca. 1675

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IMG_8086Model: Annika Siljat

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“Sew 17th century challenge” – The finished ensamble

And here it is at last, The finished “Sew 17th century challenge” ensemble:
800px-Gerard_ter_Borch_d._J._004Inspiration pic (like you don’t know by now…)

Skirt
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 + Coif (headwear)
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+ Cufs20150802_204328_resized

 + Fur shawl
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 + Bodice (part 1, 2 & 3)
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= the finished ensamble:
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The facts:

What: Reproduction of Gerard Ter Borch’s “The Concert”

Pieces: Skirt, cuffs, coif, fur shawl and bodice

Time: About 60-70 hours

Cost: About 400 Sek (60Usd)

Final thoughts: I think this challenge was great and I loved making all these pieces, and stepping away from my usual time periods.
I’m allready planing some new 17th century outfits.

Sneak a peak from the photoshoot:
IMG_8003Modell: Annica Siljat

“Sew 17th century Challenge” – The Bodice (part 3 – Finishing)

And here comes the final part of the making of my new 17th century bodice. (Part 1 & 2)

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 Once the outer fabric, lining and sleeves where set it was time to deal with the tabs.
(Every stay makers dread)

I started by cutting them open and then I pinned the three layers together, and basted 
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I ran into some problems when turning the front edges under, and no matter what I did they came out awfulIMG_7829This is seriously my third re-do, and unfortunately the best of my tries.

I had no idea how to fix i and the problem caused me to loose steam (and love) for the project.

After some nights to cool of and think, I figured to just hide it.
So I went trough my stash and found some lovely golden lace, to see if that would do the trick.IMG_7831 IMG_7827
In the end I decided not to use the lace, even though I still think it looks stunning (maybe something for a later date).

Once I excepted the less then perfect front, it was time to start covering the tabs.
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20150801_135414_resizedI used red cotton bias-tape cut to a smaller size.

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Starting to look like something….
But a lot of work remained.

The last thing to do on the bodice was to make all the lacing holes.IMG_7867I use pins to mark the distance before I use my chalk-pen
IMG_7916Practice makes perfect.
Ok, not yet perfect but pretty decent looking eyelets if I may say so myself.

Then the only thing left to do was to try it on a last time…20150804_224828 Crap…

Yup, that’s the sad truth – the bodice I to small, and not “If I lace a bit harder it might work” to small, but “There is no way in hell I can close this sucker” to small.

Luckily my inspiration painting’s only shows the back of the bodice, so hypothetical there is a chance the girls wear a open laced bodice over a stomacher – far fetched I know, but at his point there was no way I would redo it or try to ad to the sides. And logically they must have size shifting back then too, right?

So I will make a stomacher for this bodice before the next wearing, but for now I’m considering it done.

The finished bodice:
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Just the facts:

Challenge: nr 6/HSM15 – Out of your comfort zone

What: A 1660s bodice

How it fit the challenge: This is my first venture into 17th century, and even though I made both bodices and stays before the way this garment combines the two was a new experience for me.

Pattern: “1660s bodice lining” from Waugh’s “Corset and Crinolines”, with some alterations.

Fabric: 1,5 m red polyester “silk”, 1,5m white cotton/linen blend for lining and 1 m un-bleached sturdy linen for interning and foundation.

Notions: Thread, button-hole thread, 15m plastic whalebone for boning,  5m cord for lacing, 60cm white bias-tape for edging the sleeves and 3 m red bias-tape for binding the tabs.

How historical accurate: So so, the bodice is made 50% on machine with all the outside seams made by hand. The fabric is modern but the shape and look of the garment is good for the time period. About 7/10

Time: A lot! probably about 60 hours – I worked on this for most of the summer.

Cost: About 300Sek (45Usd)

First worn: At old town beginning of August for photos, and I’m thinking on using it next weekend for a “all times” dance recital.

Final Thoughts: I’m so happy with the look and feel of it. My only concern is the size – Why do I keep making things to small? And no, I have not gained weight – I’m just constantly over estimate my “squeeze factor”, and underestimate the difference boning and extra fabric layers make to the size.
And if it ever is to be worn again I might have to redo the front, or just slap some trim over it…

“Sew 17th century Challenge” – The Bodice (part 2 – foundation)

Lets continue on with the bodice:
(read the previous posts in this series here: costume analysis, skirt, coif, fur shawl, bodice part 1)

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The first thing to do (once I had a working pattern) was to make the foundation for the bodice.IMG_7433So I cut two of every piece in a sturdy unbleached linen, and basted them togeter.

Then I penned the boning channels (using some of my books as guides).IMG_7435

I stitched all the channels and then attached the pieces to each-other.IMG_7488

Then it was time to ad the boning.IMG_7507I used synthetic whalebone, and cut each piece to match the channels.
The whalebone itself is not as strong as metal or reed, but it is lightweight and in a fully boned bodice like this the thin quality is to prefer (in my opinion)

The one thing that worried me most was the “shrinkage” almost always caused by adding boning.
The thinness of the whalebone was really necessary to keep the difference in size as small as possible (the thicker the bones the bigger the size difference).IMG_7508You can clearly see the difference from left side (boned) to right side (un-boned) in this picture.

Once all the bones was inserted, I put it on for a try.
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IMG_7524It looks awesome, and with some minor adjustments (like adding a few more bones to the front and back) I was good to go.

I love how beautiful the interior is before being covered up.  IMG_7786

Then it was time to start on the exterior fabric.

After keeping my eyes open in my local fabric store since January, in June, I finally decided to take the 1 hour trip to the next towns fabric store (which is awesome by the way).
And I did not regret it.

Not only did I find lots of delicious taffeta’s and viscose, I also found this perfect dark red synthetic silk. 20150808_121343_resizedIt’s a bit darker in real life

Since the fabric was a bit slippery and thin, I decided to stitch it together using my sewing machine before adding the strengthening and decoration hand finishing on top.
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Then it was time to cover the foundation in red faux silk.
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I’d accidentally made the outer layer a bit to big at the side seam, and tried to pin it down to fit.
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After some fiddling I decided to let it be for now, and to take the excess in later if needs be – better to big then to small.
(a very wise choice as it proves later on)

The linen lining was a bit easier to fit into the bodice.
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Once the main bodice pieces was basted down I started working on the sleeves.
Drafting the pattern using my books as a guide.
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Then I just basted the red fabric to the interning (aka lining), stitched the seam together  and pinned the pleats.
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I pleated the sleeves by hand, and sewed chains of thread to keep the pleats in place.
And finished them of by folding some self fabric trim round the lower edge. IMG_7815The sleeves ready to be set.

Then I set the sleeves to the bodice and finished by binding the arm holes using bias tape.IMG_7833

Next up – the finishing touches

“Sew 17th century Challenge” – The Bodice (part 1 – The pattern)

The last piece I needed to complete the “Sew 17th century challenge” was also the main piece – the bodice.
Read about the other garments here: Skirt, Cufs,Coif, Fur Shawl
And to make this post a bit lighter I’ve cut it up in a few manageable pieces.
First up – The Pattern

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When researching the bodice I found several different patterns*, and after some narrowing things down, I ended up with two finalists to make into mock-ups. Both from Waughs “Corset and Crinolines”

The first pattern I picked was “1660s bodice lining”
It has the perfect neck scope and shoulders, and the much need lacing down the front.
The only thing I’m missing is the tabs down the hips.1650 waugh

I scanned the pattern, opened it in Paint and changed the printer settings to 400%
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Then I cut all the pieces and taped them together. IMG_7342

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I traced the pieces and made some alteration to my measurements.IMG_7354

Then it was time to bring out the cotton sheeting to cut the mock-ups.IMG_7356

I added boning at some vital places, and my pre-made lacing strip to the font, to get a more accurate fitting.
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IMG_7396I really liked how the pattern fitted my body – both comfortable and strong.
I also like the look of the off-the-shoulder sleeves, even though I can hardly lift my arms.

The next pattern to try was the “1680s court bodice”.
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I printed, attached and sewed the pieces in the same way as before.
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IMG_7378I love the shape it gives me, but It’s not nearly as comfortable as the previous one.
I’ll have to move the lacing to the front on this one, and to do some serious editing to the sleeves and neckline.

Hm, which one to choose…

In the end I opted for the “1660s bodice lining.

IMG_7406Creative mess, right?

So then it was back to the drawing table to ad some tabs to the otherwise perfect pattern.
IMG_7390I even tried it on with my (at the time) almost finished skirt.
Pretty rough, but you get the idea if the shape.

*I found patterns for 17th century stays and bodices in almost every book covering this period: Waugh’s “Cut of Womens Clothes”, Arnold’s “Pattern of fashion” and “Seventeen-Century Women’s Dress Patterns” by North & Tiramani.

Next up – making the foundation…

“Sew 17th Century Challenge” – Costume Studie

Once I picked a picture to recreate for the “Sew 17th century challenge“, it was time to take a closer look.

Gerard Ter Borch, “The Concert” (ca 1655)

The picture shows the back of a girl/women playing an instrument (possibly a Violin played in the knee) and in the background an older woman playing the Keyboard.
The room is dark and the focus lies on the neck of the younger girl and the contrast of her fur collar to her glowing ivory skirt.
Gerard_ter_Borch_(II) - The_Concert ca. 1675
At a first glance I decided I needed to make at least three pieces of garments – Bodice, skirt and chemise.

The bodice seams to be made in a red fabric with only a subtle shine to it, in contrast to the much more reflective skirt fabric. This caused me to believe the skirt would be made in a silk satin, while the bodice perhaps is made in some les shiny material. I would still guess silk though.

The skirt seems to be relatively easy, with the pleats and folds clearly running from the waist.

A closeup (and lightening) of the girls neck shows the irregularity of the fur collar and her lovely intricate braided hairdo, as well as the drop-shaped pearl earrings..8720ccafa4d9c913a35d3afff6c9d5d4There is no way to know how the fur is attached to the bodice or if it in fact is a loose collar/shawl.
To ad to the wear-ability of my outfit I decided to make it as a separate piece.

The sleeve of the bodice ends about the elbow and shows a turned up white cuff, presumably from the chemise.266914_original

The bodice itself is made in the boned rigid way of the 1660s with big poufy sleeves tightly pleated to the arm holes. 12312767024_07604ef369_hThe waist is slim and tightly held in the rigid bodice, who ends in square tabs at hip level. You can even see the slightly un matching binding on the edges of the tabs.

The front of the dress is a mystery, but one thing is for sure – it must have some kind of clouser.
The common practice during this period seams to be back lacing bodices, but since the back seems to be whole, the opening must be in front. The Glass of Wine (detail), c.1661, Johannes Vermeer.This girl (who seems to be about the same economical status as our girl) have a front lacing bodice.

An other question who need to be debated was the be or not to be trimming on the bodice.
Most of the portraits I studied seems to have at least some trim to them (see picture above). But considering the dark room, coarse collar and the sadness of the subject, I think an unadorned bodice is most true to the over all mood in the painting.

Researching this painting I also found several different versions of it:d9a2c29499ebe536179483f306c6de00Different light and a gentleman by the Keyboard.

a7b8748dd1f65cbda205d1aa1c337d07Keyboard becomes table, gentleman closer to girl and girls hand and neck in different position.

mhf0376Still no Keyboard, but lady reading by the table, and the shadow of a man (?) to the left.
(sorry for the small format)

I have no idea which of these paintings is considered the “original”, but if you search for on Wikipedia this is the result.
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Same settings, but lighter then my first version.
(klick on image to enlarge)

“Sew 17th Century Challenge” – Finding my Painting

Last fall Isis from “Isis Wardrobe” started the “17th century Challenge” to encourage more interest and recreation of 17th century fashion.
(As she explain in her blog post (see above) the idea comes from Maria of “In deme jare cristi” who started the “Manuscript challenge“.)

I immediately liked the idea, since I’ve been pondering on making a 17th century dress for some time and this seamed the perfect excuse.
(This project also fit perfectly into the HSM15 challenge “Out of your comfort zone” due in June)

The rules for the “Sew 17th century challenge” are simple:
*Pick a painting or original garment from 1600-1699, and upload your picture to the Facebook album
*You got 1 year to recreate the painting (every piece of clothing) as close as you can considering, skills, time and budget.
*Present your garment in the Facebook album and tell a bit about the process.
(read the in dept rules at “Isis Wardrobe”)

So this winter I took a good look at what internet had to provide in terms of 17th century fashions.

While searching I discovered some of the typical styles in (women’s) fashion painted in the 17th century.

The extremely elaborate court robe:

(c) The Royal Hospital Chelsea; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Catherine of Braganza (c) The Royal Hospital Chelsea; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

The goddess drape:1671 Louise de Kérouaille by Sir Peter Lely “Louise de Kérouaille” by Sir Peter Lely (1671)

The crazy as panniers court dress:1660s Ines de Zúñiga, condesa de Monterrey by Juan Carreno de Miranda “Ines de Zúñiga, condesa de Monterrey” by Juan Carreno de Miranda (1660s)

The “simple” high waist:1632 yellow dress“Yellow dress” (1632)

The extremely elaborate high waist:Susanna Temple ca. 1604-1669 (later m. Lady Thornhurst and m. Lady Lister) by Marcus Gheeraerts, 1620sSusanna Temple ca. 1604-1669″  by Marcus Gheeraerts, (ca 1620)

The crazy as embroidery:  Portrait of Margaret Layton, attributed to Marcus Gheeraerts, c. 1620. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London“Portrait of Margaret Layton”, attributed to Marcus Gheeraerts, c. 1620. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
I would love to make this one from the recreation of this fabric some day, But not right now. 

The 16th century lingerer:Frans Pourbus the younger, Portrait of Margaret of Savoy, Duchess of Mantua, 1608Portrait of Margaret of Savoy, Duchess of Mantua” by Frans Pourbus the younger (1608)

The “Poor” people dress:Mother Combing Child's Hair by Caspar Netscher (1669)Mother Combing Child’s Hair” by Caspar Netscher (1669)

The rigid and “simple” dress: Peter Lely. Portrait of Elizabeth Wriothesley, Countess of Northumberland, and later Countess of Montagu, 1668. “Portrait of Elizabeth Wriothesley, Countess of Northumberland, and later Countess of Montagu”, by Peter Lely (1668)

The rigid and lace decorated gown:Portrait of a Lady by Gabriel MetsuPortrait of a Lady” by Gabriel Metsu (ca 1660s)

Even though I can see something charming in almost every one of these fashions (maybe except the “crazy as panniers” – I mean what is that), but I’m definitely drawn to the 1660s “simpler” styles of dress.

So focusing on portraits from that period I still had to narrow it down to just one favorite.

Elizabeth Capell, Countess of Carnarvon, ca. 1665 (Sir Peter Lely)Elizabeth Capell, Countess of Carnarvon by Sir Peter Lely (ca. 1665)

(c) Enfield Museum Service; Supplied by The Public Catalogue FoundationPrincess Henrietta Anne of England (1644–1670) by Jan Mytens (1665)

While both lovely, I knew I wanted to make something a bit more basic and les fancy.

Not loving the dress color, besides I could never get over how bald she looks in the mirror.Woman at a Mirror 1650” Woman at a Mirror” (1650)

This one would be perfect if I could ever find those golden ribbons (yeah, as if…)The Glass of Wine (detail), c.1661, Johannes Vermeer.The Glass of Wine” (detail), by  Johannes Vermeer (c.1661)

Perfect!
Gerard_ter_Borch_(II) - The_Concert ca. 1675The Concert” by Gerard ter Borch (II) – (ca. 1675)
Yep, That’s the one

You can find my Pinterest board for the “Sew 17th century challenge”here.

1850s Paisley Evening Bodice

While working on the Paisley skirt I had trouble deciding what kind of bodice I would make to go with it, a daytime or a evening bodice. And with a long vacation from work ahead of me, I thought “why not make both?” And so I did.

Starting by drapeing the low-cut, of the shoulder, evening bodice.IMG_9737

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Working on the daybodice and evening bodice at the same time, I made pretty good speed, cutting and sewing the mock-ups. I also minimized the amount of times I needed to put on the corset by trying on both of  the mock-ups at the same time.IMG_9974 IMG_9979
The fit was a bit underwhelming, and I ended up lenghten the bodice at the waist by 3 cm, re-shaping the shoulder, changing tha bust seam and adding another 5 cm to the front tab.

A pic to get a sence of how it would look.IMG_9954

After cutting all the layers out, I basted the twill to the paisley, and started to sew the pieces togeter.IMG_0020

For the evening bodice I decided to use piping in the seams. I made my own using cut bias-strips and cotton cord.IMG_0022The piping serves to give the garmnent a more finished and historical look, and at the same time makes the eye accept the breaks in the print better. So apart from the extra work making and putting them in, it’s a win win situation.

IMG_0026Piping basted to the seam-allowence.

IMG_0031Bodice from the inside with piping in all but the side seams.

Then I tried it on, to test the fit.
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As you can se it dosen’t really close in the back. That was fixed by letting the bodice out a bit at the sides, and re-arranging the back edges.

I then started on the lining, sewing boning chanels in the seam allowence.IMG_0065

And then I sewed the lining to the bodice, turning the whole thing inside out. IMG_0066

Then it was time for the sleeves.IMG_0067I gathered the bottom into smal cuffs, and stitched a gatering thread at the top, to make it easy to insert into the arm hole.

Then I cut the seam allowences down and covered the edges with a bias-strip.IMG_0073

And as you all know,  if you don’t have enough to do already, you make sure to give youself some more work…IMG_0082While cutting the sleeve allownece I accidently manadged to cut a piece of the sleeve away. (if you look closely you can se the hole (big as a thumb) right by the seam about half way up the sleeve.

Crap!
I had not enough fabric to cut another sleeve, and I was almost finished with it anyway, so I decided to mend it.IMG_0084Using a smal scrap of  fabric, matching the print, I stiched the hole up. Turning the edges over both on the outside and the inside. And now it hardly shows at all.
Phew.

Then I continued on with the eyelets.IMG_0069Lots of maked eyelets to sew…

I worked on them, one at the time, while waching series on tv.IMG_0075I must be getting better at this, since several of the holes actually look pretty decent.IMG_0076

I then put in the bones, and stitched the lining shut.IMG_0079

The final thing I had to decide was which trim to use. I had several metres of a golden fringe, and a smal piece of the brown fringe left.IMG_0092I like the brown the best – which ment I could’t make another row of fringe on the jacket :-(.
Well I can always buy more later, if I decide I whant some more.

The finished dress:IMG_0423

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Just the facts:

Challenge: 14 – Paisley & Plaids

What: A 1850s cotton evening bodice.

Pattern: None, draped my own.

Fabric: Hard to tell, since I cut the skirt and daybodice from the same fabric at the same time. But if I had to guess I’d say 0,5 m of paisley, twill and lining.

Notions: Thread, buttonhole- thread, 5 m cotton cord for lacing, 5 m cotton cord for piping, 4 m syntetic whalebone, and 1 m of brown syntetic fringe.

How historical accurate: I don’t know – I made it to look the part. But it is made using modern techniques and material. Even though a cotton evening bodice was probably what the les whealty women wore, I’m not sure she would have chosen such a loud print.

Time: Same as above – not sure, but my best guess is about 10 hours (the eyelets took a great deal of time).

Cost: I estimate the cost to about 100 Sek since everything was from stash.

First worn: Only for photos. But I do hope I get the chance to attend a Dickens teamed bal of some sort…

Final thougts: I like the bodice and it fits quite well, even though the eylets are a bit smal and needs an awl for lacing.
And I could not wear my new chemise with it since it bulked and showed to much. Did they use special evening chemises in the 1850s?

1850s Paisley Day-bodice

After finishing the 1850s skirt for the 14th HSF challenge I started on the jacket.
I knew I wanted a fitted jacket with a bit of a peplum and a sculpted neckpiece on top, like the ones in Nancy Bradfeilds “Costume in Detail” DSC_1449 (1)

Draping the pieces on my dressform.
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And the neckpiece.
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I then cut and made a mock-up, and let it rest upon my dressform for a week when we were abroad on vaccation.
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Coming home again, I put it on to check the fit.
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It did needed some changes (hard to se in this pick due to the pining I’ve made on the inside), but for the most part it worked pretty good.

IMG_0009Trying out the sleeve pattern.

IMG_0013The biggest change I neede to make was to lover the wasit and to take it in a bit more.

Here you can see the new lower, and the old un-picked waist placement, and the amount needed to be taken in at each seam. IMG_0014

Then it was time to cut the pieces.IMG_0017I needed to ration the fabric very carefuly to make sure I had enough to get the print matched on each piece. It was a bit tricky but I manadged to fit all the pieces pretty much the way I wanted.

I’m particulary proud of the center back (which unfortanly won’t even show beeneth the neck piece).IMG_0018After basting the interlinig to the paisley, I sewed the pieces together and tried it on.
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This time it looked rater good.

When I was sure about the fit, I cut all the wide seam allowence down, and trimmed away all the exess fabric at the darts.IMG_0064Huge un-cut and cut dart.

Then it  was time for the linnig, which I putt in using the “bag method”. and to make sure all the edges would turn nicely I made notches in the allowence of all the curved seams.IMG_0094Notches on the neck-seam.

All this trimming and notching left my sewing room a mess. IMG_0097Lots of thread and fabric scraps.

I also took the time to under- stich the neck and hem to make sure the edges was nice and crisp, and would not be able to peek out.
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Then it was time for the boning. Well actually I should have done this before putting in the lining, but forgot and thous needed to do it the harder way, trying to avoid getting the lining intangeled with the chanels.IMG_0123anyhow, I sewed the boning chanals to the seam allowences using self made bias-strips. Then I cut, shaped and put in the plastic whalebone, starting on the sleeves.

IMG_0120The jacket almost done, inside-out, on my sewing table.

When the bones and the sleeves were inserted and the lining was sewed down nicely it was time to deal with the clouer of the garmnent. I used several self covered buttons and stiched them to the front. IMG_0072But since I didn’t had the energy (nor time) to make buttonholes I put the buttons on the outside, and stitched hooks and bars underneat to use as clouser.

And lastly I pinned and sewed on the brown fringe to the edge of the neckpiece.IMG_0142This is the only fringe I’ve ver used, and I love how it’s sewed at the end to prevent the fringes from getting caught in your stiches. When finished sewing you just cut the stich away, and you have a nice straight fringe. It’s great.

The finished dress (Jacket and Skirt)IMG_0144

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Just the facts:

Challenge: nr 14: Paisley & Plaid.

What: a 1850 daydress (bodice and skirt).

Pattern: None, draped my own using “Costume in detail” as a general guide.

Fabric: Two bedsheets with duvet covets from IKEA, 1,5 white cotton sheets for lining and 1 m cotton twill for interlining.

Notions: Jacket – Thread, 3 m of plastic boning, 3 m of self mde bisatape, 12 buttons, 14 pair of hooks adn eyes, 1,5 m of brown fringe. and only thread and hook and eye for the skirt.

How Historical accurate: So so. I think it does look the part but I’m not sure about the messy pattern. Cotton is legit and paisley was a popular pattern during this time, but I doubt that the dressmaker using cotton in her daydress would have had a sewingmachine.

Time: About 15-20 hours total.

Cost: 300 Sek (48 Usd) for the whole dress.

First worn: Ony for photos so far. I meent to wear it at a victorian picknic in july but the weater was way to hot for all the layers, so ended up using another costume instead.

Final thoughts: I’m not totaly happy about how messy the print looks made up in this dress. And I could have spent some more time getting the pattern to mach up and also making the neckpiece fit better.
All in all I think it was a funny project and I hope I get to wear it sometime.

1880s Evening Gown – Sewing & Construction

In my last post I told you about my trouble with the pattern for my opera gown. Now I will tell you about the sewing and construction of it, and also show you the finished gown (bodice and train only).IMG_5007

So after I got the mock-up to fit properly I brought out my fashion fabric. The dress is made in a polyester golden brocade, which both feels and behaves a lot like silk. IMG_5304

I bought 6 m of it on sale before christmas, and now it was time to lay it out on the floor. IMG_4980

I also cut the lining, adjusting the lenght of the train to the 4 m long ivory cotton. IMG_4987

The different layers (lining, fashion fabric, interlining (cotton twill) and paper pattern piece).IMG_4988

Then I marked all the darts (as usual being very bad at marking the notches), and basted al the layers together. IMG_4989

I recently learnt a new trick, on how to sew darts on fabric and interlinning which I wanted to try. You simply baste the layers close to the darts, then sew inside the dart, very close to the original sewing-line.

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This way you can easy get a nice looking dart without any bulk, and the stiching won’t show once the dart is sewn.

I then sewed the whole bodice together, and dressed in corset and bustle for a try on. IMG_5021

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Hm, not great. Some changes are needed. Like taking the armhole and shoulder seams in a bit. I also need to re-shape the front a bit, and make the neck opening a bit lower and bigger.

Once all the changes was made, it was time for the buttonholes. I started by practice on a piece of scrap fabric, and it looks pretty decent (if you ignore the green thread).IMG_5070

So, on to the real deal. Marking the spaces and finish covering the buttons.IMG_5076

The buttonholes took about 3 hours (guess I’ve becoming faster), and when finished I sewed on the buttons. I’m really pleased with the way the front bodice looks, and are happy I took the time and money to buy 5 extra buttons. IMG_5079

Then I pinned and sewed on some boning chanels (made from leftover cotton stripes) and put the cable ties in.IMG_5086

Then I once again got dressed to try it on.

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And even though it fit much better now, it still needed to be reduced a bit at the shoulders.

But the waist and the front clouser looked fantastic (if I may say so myself).IMG_5122

Now it was time to make the piping for the neckline. I used a cotton cord and some leftover fashion fabric (cut on the straight grain).IMG_5125

Pinning those pesky corners, making sure they look neat, and cuting the seam allowence to get the piping laying smoothly.IMG_5124

Then I sewed on the lining. I folded the allowence and sewed it on by hand at the neckline/collar and buttonhole stand.IMG_5127

Then I started on the back pleats. Using the pattern as a guide and treating the two layers (fabric and lining) as one, box-pleating the three back seams.IMG_5128I then attached the pleats to the bodice sewing into the interling by hand.

Next up was the lenght – cuting and heming the train.IMG_5145

After sewing the lining to the train from the inside, I snipped the seam-allowence, IMG_5148

and pressed them flat, making sure the lining was a couple of mm smaler, les it would peek out.IMG_5149

Heming the train would have been an easy step, if I’ve cut the lining long enough. But no, I had to skrimp on the fabric, leaving me no other choise but to piece the train (using scraps) to the desired lengt.IMG_5457

Then I mesured/draped the train to get the right placement on the laces for the “poufines” in the bustle back.IMG_5451

When wearing the dress you simply tie the stings together to get the right lenght on the train. IMG_5454

When the bodice was finished I brought out the fabric I saved for the apron, and got to work draping it on the dressform.

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I also decided the dress needed some more decoration. And finding this fringe trim the day before the bal caused me to re-visit the sewing machine, and using 8 m of it on the hem of the bodice, train and apron. IMG_5247(And since this was a last minute change, I haven’t got any picture of the trimmed dressed).

Even with the dress finished I’m not totaly happy with the neckline – the fabric is being pulled in some ugly directions at the neck, caused by some fiting trouble.IMG_5363But It is to late to do anything about it now, and the bal room will be faily dark…

So here it is, the finished dress/bodice.IMG_5412

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IMG_5152Train un-draped

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Train draped leaving the sides straight/down, and then with sides tied up.

IMG_5166Train totaly draped (walking lenght).

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Facts:

What: A 1880s trained evening bodice.

Pattern: Truly Victorian 462 (totaly re-modeled)

Fabric: 6 m golden polyester brocade, 4 m ivory cotton lining, 0,5 m ivory cotton twill for interlining.

Notions: Thread, buttonhole thread, 15 buttons (which I covered in fabric), 2 m string for piping, 3 m string for busteling/draping the train, 8 plastic cable ties for boning, 2 m self made cotton bias tape for boning chanels, 8 m brown fringe trim.

Time: 25 hours

Cost: About 800 Sek (120 Usd)

Things I would do Different: I would definitely have draped my own pattern, and taken the time to do multiple mock-ups to get the fit over the shoulders and neck just right. I will also have changed the lines of the side/back piece which curved shape now causes it to pull a bit. And re-placed the straight boning with spiral boning in the curved side/back seam, for the same puporse.

Final Thoughts: I love the dress. I think it is cool yet elegant and I did get lots of compliments on it at the bal. The unusal neckline makes it so interesting and viasualy pleasing.

I would love to wear it again – perhaps at a steampunk convention, paired with brown throusers and some cool accessories.