May 3, 2015

Lattice Gown Revisited

Remember this old thing?

After 6 years (and a lot of butter, bread and cookies) the bodice to the Lattice Gown doesn't quite fit anymore.  I have a little bit of each of the original fabrics squirreled away, and with very careful design and perhaps some piecing, it might be possible to make a new one. 

Question is, what should the new bodice look like?  Should the lattice design from the skirt be echoed in the top?  Where, and how?  Should it include the evil gauze of evil? 

The fashion plate I based my skirt on.

The original fashion plate that inspired my skirt (above) has the latticework across the bertha of the bodice.  It didn't strike me as something I liked at the time, but now... maybe?

October fashions, 1837 France,
Journal des Dames et des Modes

I found this green dress while researching for my Romantic Era Gown.  I like the idea of a relatively simple lattice front, though the sleeves are too early era for my elliptically-shaped skirt.

I might split the difference between the green romantic dress and this one.  I'm not digging the tassels, but the shape and design is well within the right era, and I like the look of the lattice work.

April 27, 2015

Reveal: This is Pure Insanity

Luna approves of the current fabric selection.

Remember the circular ruffle tester I posted last week as a teaser?  Well, there are a LOT MORE of those ruffles in my future, because my crazy ass decided to replicate the Cinderella gown from the live action film!

Yup, that one.

This is an enormous undertaking.  I've spent the last few weeks researching obsessing over how the dress was made, and I'm determined to get as close as I can to the original (well, without spending $200+ per freakin' yard to get the exact fabrics).  I've already bought about 90 yards of fabric, and I've my eye on another 60 yards, at minimum.  Estimates put the original dress at 270 yards total, so even that is short of the mark!

I've already started experimenting with dyes and different fabrics, and have
had some interesting surprises along the way.

 I've already got a whole Pinterest board of research and screencaps, and I've gone a bit cross-eyed staring at any photo that shows the under structure of the dress.  Of course, I'll be sharing all the trials and tribulations as I go here on the blog.  I've already learned a few new techniques, and I can only imagine how many more I'll pick up along the way!

Early experiments in blending fabrics are looking good!

Speaking of crazy large projects, my friends/neighbors have an awesomely insane project of their own.  They're opening a vintage clothing store/event space in Oakland, and they need help to make their dream come true!  Watch their awesome video, spread the news about the OverAttired Kickstarter, and donate if you can.

April 20, 2015

Teaser: Circular Ruffles

Care to guess what my next project is?  Hint: this isn't the final color, this is just me testing ratios and techniques with the fabric I happened to have on hand.

The material is silk organza, and there's fishing line running through the bottom edging to give it more oomph.  This little tester is only 12" wide at the top, but the bottom hemline measures 100"! That's a LOT o' ruffle packed into a small space.

April 6, 2015

Completed Marsh Corset

Woohoo!  The second article is published!  I think the combo of leather and coutil turned out pretty great.

If you subscribe to Foundations Revealed, go take a look at the making of the final 1878 Marsh Patent Corset.  If not, here's some of my favorite articles on the site; take a look and see if a subscription looks more interesting!  (Some are viewable for free, others you'll need to subscribe to access).  If you'd like to subscribe, please use my affiliate link here!

Y&N Diagonally Seamed Corset, Part 1 and Part 2 
Laura's Jelly Fitting Method (shows how to create realistic squishy boobs for your mannequin)
Matching Stripes in Corsetry (Ah-MAZ-ing)
A whole series of courses on bra making
CAD: Corsets are Digitized
Hats and Bonnets from Modern Hats
Draft Your Own Corset Pattern

March 23, 2015

1878 Marsh Corest Patent

A few months ago, I responded to a post by Foundations Revealed asking for people to take on corset patent challenges.  Last week, the first of my two articles on the 1878 Marsh Corset Patent was published on their site!

It's subscription only, but I have been a member for years before I started writing for them and highly recommend it!  In addition to weekly articles, you get access to their whole back catalog of articles; quite a steal.  If you'd like to subscribe, please use my affiliate link to sign up- Foundation Revealed: The Corset Maker's Companion.

Take a look and let me know what you think.  I can't wait until part 2 goes live; I really like the way the final corset turned out and can't wait for everyone to see it!

August 24, 2014

Orange Regency Sari Gown

I made and wore this last fall for Maggie's Regency wedding, but despite turning out well it's been hanging around unworn and unloved since then.  I finally got the chance to pull it back out and give it another spin around the dance floor for Gaskells last weekend.

You might recall this beautiful cotton sari from one of my last ebay sari buying binges.  The fabric is a beautiful cross weave of orange and wine threads, which gives it a subtle sheen that changes depending on the light.  It's a bit odd to photograph, because the color comes out completely different in every shot!  In person the color shift is much, much more subtle.  It's covered in a small repeating block print, with a pretty floral border all along the bottom edge.

Wine colored warp threads and bright orange weft threads.

Finding matching thread was a bit of a challenge.  Which part of the fabric do you even attempt to match?

The left thread matches the warp strands, the right one matches the weft,
and the middle seems to match the overall color mix the best.

I settled on doing a fitted back with a gathered front and 3/4 sleeves.  I dressed my Uniquely You in my stays and some rice boobs (a la Lauren's Bean Boobs) and got to work draping.

I ended up with a fitted underlayer on the front of the bodice, with a second layer gathered over the top of it.  All the pieces are on grain, with the exception of the side panel, which was cut on the bias.

Late night mock ups are no fun for anyone.

No idea why the front is longer here.  Pretty sure it got chopped off later.

I knew I wanted to use the border for the lower edge of the skirt, and for the bottom sleeve edge if possible too.  Besides looking pretty, doing so allowed me to use the selvedge edge at those spots, saving me from having to hem all that nonsense.  That was an excellent bonus feature since I was on a major time crunch to get outfits done for both Curtis and I in time for the wedding!

Making use of that border and the selvedge edge.

Not a fan of the jumper look, good thing I'm adding sleeves!

I had wanted the lower edge of the bodice to go up in back rather than being level all around, but was limited by the width of the sari fabric.  Had I raised the back waistline further, the hem of the gown would have been far too short in the back!

Underpinnings for this gown include a shift, my gravity defying corded stays and a petticoat with tucks (woefully un-ironed in these photos, sorry).  I dyed my American Duchess Highburys a soft yellow to complement the gown.  For the daytime wedding I wore my giant blue and orange silk bonnet, but for last week's evening ball I turned a scarf into a turban and stuck a feather in it.

Gravity defying indeed.

Bonnet for daytime...

Turban for night!

I love this gown!  It's comfortable, lightweight and cool, and doesn't require too much in the way of crazy underpinnings.  Hell, I managed to get into my stays and fully dressed almost entirely on my own for the ball; I only needed a bit of help with the last few hooks and eyes up the back.  I have a feeling this dress will be one of my staples whenever I need something pretty and easy!

And what the hell, how about another Regency Ladies Wedgie Society shot?  :P 

So hard being a lady, ya'know?