Sunday, November 23, 2008

Up next... the sleeves!

I've nearly finished the dress; all that's left is the sleeves which have to be pleated to fit the armholes. In my last post I showed the underskirt; as you can see it looked nicer on its' own than
under another skirt. If I have time I will remove the skirt from the waistband and rearrange the pleats so 12 inches at the center front are unpleated and the remainder of the skirt is pleated.
If I don't have time, I'll just live with it. Boo didn't comment about it so it's probably not a big deal. Now for the overskirt. I knife-pleated a 3-yard + wide skirt to fit my waist, and the end result is nice and swooshy. I also think that the knife-pleating looks and hangs nicer than the cartridge-pleating I used on the underskirt, but maybe the added weight and better drape of the fabric helps. I love this fabric; it's a silk-rayon blend taffeta that is washable, stain-resistant (on it's own, no weird chemicals are added) and drapes nicely. It also dosen't cost a fortune - always a plus. My only quibble is that it dosen't press into creases very well but this is probably related to the fact that it dosen't wrinkle easily. So on every edge that I want to be crisp I had to hand-sew some very tiny stitches about 1/8 of an inch away from the edge. I did this on the center front sides of the overskirt and all bodice edges.

Now for the bodice... I used the pattern for a high-collared bodice from The Tudor Tailor's pattern for a fitted English gown. It was tricky to fit because of the shape of my shoulder-neck area, but I got some useful advice from the Tudor Tailor Reader yahoo group and I'm quite happy with the end result, fit-wise. But for other-stuff? I'm not sure that this style is well-suited to a shiny material because I can see where my corset ends in the photo. Boo assures me that it's not noticeable in real life, but photos don't lie. He also think it looks like body armor. It fits quite well and has minimal ease, so I think that the shininess is the contributing factor. Stiff cylindrical corset + shiny close fitting layer which shows no curviness = body armor. Oh well, it'll have to do, I'll just wait to see what mom says. I do love the cut of the bodice and have every intention of making another one in a wool or velvet in the future. My final quibble is that the front edges don't meet using ribbons to close it, so I'll have to sew in some hooks and eyes under the ribbons to make the edges fit flush against each other. I *LOATHE* sewing in hooks and eyes. I added a modesty panel under the center front so that the corset wouldn't be visible under the gapping at the center front.


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