I realized that I think its time I really start to blog in earnest. What have I done with my day so far? Well for about two hours I have sat on my ass in front of the television and watched game shows. I could have been blogging...at the same time. Hey, this lady does not like to miss her Price is Right.
I will now use this time to talk about the carriage dress which is what I mentioned in my last post.
When I realized I was going to Washington in March, I wanted to have a really fantastic and warm outfit to wear whilst there. I actually ended up making a couple of outfits to wear, because there was going to be a tea and then an outing to Whidby Island, and I couldn't wear the same thing twice. Duh. I chose to have to wool outfit for the outing because it is cold in March in Washington. And there was a ferry ride across the sound. That mess is cold, I lived on the Pacific ocean for a while, I know the drill.
I was on the fence about how to do the pattern across the front, I needed some sort of template because I didn't trust myself to do it without. It ended up being "well now you are screwed because there is no template just eyeball it." Which I ended up having to do. Now for the cuffs and collar I had my wonderful graphic designer fiance help me with the template, and he did an amazing job printing me off something I could use.
You are probably asking yourself..well, that looks neat but how did you magic it from the paper to the fabric? Again, the Doctor comes through with an age old before-the-computer-graphic-design-trick. He is 15 years older than me, don't hate.
|Step one, with a typical, number 2 pencil rub it on the BACKSIDE of the paper liberally|
|Make sure its a decent layer the size of the pattern you want to transfer|
|Step two, lay the backside of the paper pencil side down on the right side of your fabric. Proceed to take the same pencil and draw on the lines pressing firmly.|
|Step three, try not to look at the imperfections and stab your own eyes out, and go for it.|
With that done, it was time to then spend what felt like the rest of my life sewing on yards and yards of worsted wool soutache braid.
Now there is a trick to working with soutache braid to get it to form these wonderful loops and it is incredibly time consuming. And hard on your hands! Soutache is formed by two cords with a twill weave of the fiber around it. You trim off an edge, and take ONE of the cords depending on which way you want your curl to go, and pull that string until it starts to pucker and loop like you see in the above photo.
I spent two weeks of at least 8 hour days sewing on soutache braid. My hands and eyes were so tired by the end but I was VERY pleased with the result.
What you cant see because it seems I have no in progress work photos of it is the hem has a simple loop pattern along it. That took forever.
Once all the pretty work was done it was down to get to the nitty gritty - the structure that holds the whole thing together and gives it its proper shape and look. Because the fabric of the garment was a light weight wool crepe, it needed something to help hold it up with all of that trim on it - so I interfaced the fronts with canvas and then pad stitched the living hell out of it.
I probably could have pad stitched it more but it did its duty and looks pretty snazzy too. I then did the same thing to the collar and included some narrow 1/4" bones to help the collar to really stand and be imposing to show off the trim I worked so hard on.
Then when that was finally done and I was on my death bed from how long it took to do all of this nonsense, it was time to assemble. I chose to do a petticoat and matching spencer instead of a full bodice on the skirt, only because I was lazy and felt like that was A LOT of bulk, and would likely never wear the skirt without the spencer. In hindsight I may go back and get more fabric to make a dress bodice on the skirt, because it is a fantastic gown to wear in the winter. So I made a waistband, and two straps set at an angle towards center back to keep them from falling off of my shoulders.
At long last the gown was done! I needed a hat. I decided to make a nice imposing shako in a sky blue to match these lovely sky blue/robins egg blue gloves I had, yellow and blue always look wonderful together. The Doctor is incredibly at putting together patterns for hats for me, he has the brain to wrap around the shapes of millinery which I do not have, it seems..so he knocked me out a paper model and I used it as the pattern!
Yeah..I also have my spencer on inside out to do the darts. What up, I'm awesome.
Yeah, I cheated and glued the bias tape onto the frame over the wire. What. Don't judge me. I hate millinery.
At long last it was finally time to throw it all together and go take pictures!
|Here you can kind of see the loop pattern on the skirt.|
|I made the tassels myself out of wool embroidery floss.|
|I paired it with my vandyked chemisette collar and it looked rather fetching.|
|I wanted buttons on the outside loops as well but it looked too cluttered.|
He really isn't all that helpful in hindsight.