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Sewing Progress Update

1840s is almost done! I finished the cartridge pleating yesterday, and sewed it on to the bodice. I think it looks good. It's probably a little fuller than the average skirt of the time, since I used three 53" panels, but then again, I'm larger than they were then anyway. I finished that at nearly 10pm last night, so decided to skip trying to start the hem. I think I'm actually going to do that tomorrow, since I should probably starch the petticoats first. So that's on tonight's list - starching petticoats and making the low neck sleeveless chemise for the gala dress. 

Pictures on instagram, as usual!

The to-do list is back to feeling pretty reasonable
  • Thurs - Starch all my petticoats
  • Thurs - Make evening chemise 
  • Friday - Hem 1840s skirt
  • Friday - Figure out a smaller hat option for the Edwardian dress, so I don't have to bring my giant one down there
  • Friday - Add lace to the dining scarf I ordered (?), which should arrive Friday
  • Friday - Add hooks and eyes to my FG petticoat
  • Saturday - Check hairpieces with my current hair color this weekend, and buy more options if necessary. 
  • Sunday - Pack
  • Make a balayeuse for the gala gown? (if time - I can't figure out how much it really needs this, either)
  • Put bows on the gala reticule (I purchased ribbon for this, but I do not love it. I think I may actually wait to add the bows and ties until after I get to CoCo, in case I find something better in the marketplace)
  • Add bars to my FG belt (I think I'm going to do this while I'm getting dressed at CoCo, because I would have to put on the whole outfit in order to know where to put the bars.)

*Sigh*

How does time disappear so quickly? I don't know why I was feeling at all confident over the last two days, but that feeling is wearing off. Mainly because I am still working on the silly 1840s skirt. I don't know why it's going so slowly. All the pieces are together, and I've cartridge pleated about 3/4 of it. Tonight, I will finish the cartridge pleating, attach it to the bodice, and, ideally, hem it. But I'm honestly not sure how easily I can mark this hem, since it's attached to the bodice and my dress form doesn't wear bodices correctly...  


So, my to-do list is basically the same as yesterday:
  • Finish sewing lace on 1840s neckline; attach and hem 1840s skirt
  • Make evening chemise (and go to Joanns for more muslin for it)
  • Figure out a smaller hat option for the Edwardian dress, so I don't have to bring my giant one down there
  • Add lace to the dining scarf I ordered (?), which should arrive Friday
  • Starch all my petticoats
  • Hand-wash my Anna shirt and tights
  • Add hooks and eyes to my FG petticoat
  • Check hairpieces with my current hair color this weekend, and buy more options if necessary. 
  • Pack
  • Make a balayeuse for the gala gown? (if time - I can't figure out how much it really needs this, either)
  • Put bows on the gala reticule (I purchased ribbon for this, but I do not love it. I think I may actually wait to add the bows and ties until after I get to CoCo, in case I find something better in the marketplace)
  • Add bars to my FG belt (I think I'm going to do this while I'm getting dressed at CoCo, because I would have to put on the whole outfit in order to know where to put the bars.)

Jul. 16th, 2019

I didn't get nearly as much done on my skirt last night as I had intended to, but I think a lot of that is because I decided it would make more sense to add the tier to the petticoat first. Once the petticoat was finished, I started on the skirt. I have all the panels and the pockets cut out, and two panels are flat-lined with organdy and assembled, but the organdy was being a butt, so I had to basically reshape the organdy into the square panel it should have been, which took a lot more time than I had anticipated. I also sewed the lace on my sleeves, and pinned the neckline lace into place. Tonight I will flat-line the third skirt panel, and ideally, finish the whole 1840s dress.

My to-do list is now:
  • Make evening chemise (and go to Joanns for more muslin for it)
  • Put bows on the gala reticule (I purchased ribbon for this yesterday, but I did not love it. I think I may actually wait to add the bows and ties until after I get to CoCo, in case I find something better in the marketplace)
  • Make a balayeuse for the gala gown?
  • Figure out a smaller hat option for the Edwardian dress
  • Add lace to the dining scarf I ordered (?), which should arrive Friday
  • Starch all my petticoats
  • Hand-wash my Anna shirt and tights
  • Double check that my Fairy Godmother belt has hooks and eyes, and add hooks and eyes to my FG petticoat
  • Pack
  • Check hairpieces with my current hair color this weekend, and buy more options if necessary. 
Oddly, I'm feeling so comfortable that I'm starting to add normal life stuff back into my schedule this week. I hope that doesn't come back to haunt me by the weekend...

Sewing plans for fall

Now that I'm most of the way done with CoCo sewing, I'm starting to think ahead to what I want to sew in the fall/next year. This is what I've thought of so far. 
  • Halloween -- definitely something Disney. I think at this point, it's between the pink and white striped Mary Poppins returns bustle dress or an 1890s Ariel, either with the pink dress or the white wedding dress. 
  • November Disneyworld Dapper Day Trip -- I plan to rewear a lot of what I have already made, and only make one new thing, which I think will be a Dapper bound Rapunzel. 
  • Dickens Fair on the final day -- I hope to have my burgundy velvet fashion plate dress done by then, because I think it would be perfect to wear at Dickens. (This fashion plate, which hangs above my dresser and taunts me every time I see it)

Other things for later next year:
  • Ikea print working class 18th c
  • Daniel Deronda riding habit


Though I'm sure I'll come up with a ton more ideas at CoCo!

Tags:

The gala gown is done! I finished the last 10 mins of hand-sewing yesterday morning. It's been so "almost done" for so long now that I never worried it would be finished - it was just the tedium of that last little bit of hand-sewing left to do that was driving me crazy. Once I finished it, I also made a matching reticule, that just needs some bows and the ribbon ties. And now the dress form can be used for my 1840s dress!

I got a ton done on the 1840s dress over the weekend. In fact, the bodice is completed, other than that I want to add narrow lace onto the bottoms of the sleeves and the neckline. Since this is a brand new pattern (McCalls 7988), and probably no one else has sewn it yet, here's my notes/warnings:

  • This pattern has enough ease in it that although I originally added more width to the pattern to get to my normal pattern size, I wound up taking most of that off (though to be fair, I always forget that my 1860s corset makes my waist a ton smaller than my 1870s corset).
  • The side front seam needs way more curve if you're at all busty.
  • The boning in the CF is the stupidest idea. Don't do it. I did it, and then wound up taking it away, because it literally made the bodice pull away from me, and it poked up weirdly above the apex of the bust.
  • I should have dropped the shoulder down more. I forgot about it in the mockup stage, so I wound up cutting and assembling the silk before I remembered. It makes this pattern less accurate for the 1840s. 
  • The sleeves in this pattern are weird. Like, it calls for two sleeves, each with their own ruffle, one shorter than the other, instead of putting both ruffles on one sleeve. The sleeve is a weird shape that didn't fit nicely in the armseye, so my finished sleeve is a very different shape. Also, those ruffles are huge. I know she based this off the one orange dress in the Met, but that is the only one I could find with such huge ruffles. Most dresses of this era have 1-2 much narrower ruffles. I wound up completely doing a different sleeve. 
  • The bodice has no side seam (the side front and side back are the same piece). I wound up making it work, but I should have just cut it with a side seam, because getting it to fit would have been easier. 
  • For some reason, this bodice is bag lined instead of flat lined. I really have no idea why. 


That said, it does make up into a very cute pattern, and it was very simple to assemble, other than the sleeves (but again, I did not use the pattern or instructions for the sleeves). Here's what mine looks like: www.instagram.com/p/Bz7PH8rgV-q/

Of course, when my pattern arrived on Thurs night, I realized that I was out of organdy to line the skirt, so I placed a rush order from Vogue fabrics that should hopefully get here today. *fingers crossed!* Once I've washed that, I can cut out the skirts. I'm hoping that I may be able to have the dress completed by the end of tonight, or at least close!


This is my CoCo to-do list, at this point. I'm honestly feeling pretty comfortable right now, which I really hope I don't regret saying...

  • Make evening chemise
  • Put bows on gala reticule
  • 1840s dress needs skirt, lace at neckline and sleeves
  • Add a tier to my Victorian child ruffled petticoat, so that it will work for the 1840s dress
  • Make a balayeuse for the gala gown?
  • Figure out a smaller hat option for the Edwardian dress
  • Add lace to the dining scarf I ordered?
  • Starch my corded petticoat and organdy bustle petticoat
  • Pack
  • Check hairpieces with current hair color next weekend. Buy more options if necessary. 

The gala gown is basically done. Like, so close that it's annoying. Basically, I just need to tack the pleats on the sash in place in a ton of different places so that they stay put. But that's it. I'm probably going to give it a time out for tonight, though, just because it feels like it's going on forever. 

Instead, I have two other options for tonight. If the 1840s pattern arrives today, I will start on that. If it doesn't arrive today, I will dye my hair, and make a chemise and reticule to go with the gala gown. If both of those go quickly enough, I may also make a bib for gala dinner. We've been planning to do that for ages, so this year we made it facebook official so we'd actually remember. I still haven't decided what I'm making it out of, though. I'm thinking probably just cotton trimmed with cheap lace, so that I can throw it in the washing machine. 


So anyway, I leave for CoCo in 13 days. This is my related to-do list by then:

  • Tack sash pleats on gala gown
  • Make evening chemise
  • Make reticule for gala
  • Make a bib
  • Make an entire 1840s dress
  • Possibly make a balayeuse if my trained petticoat isn't cutting it.
  • Figure out a smaller hat option for the 1910s dress so that I don't have to bring my giant one
  • Dye my hair, and test hairpieces next weekend so that I can go buy other ones if none of my current ones match (this is the problem with having red hair, because all the 27s and 30s are totally different from each other)
  • Pack
I think that's it?

Jul. 10th, 2019

All the wide lace is sewn on! That took soooo much longer than I had anticipated. And the sash is about 1/4-1/3 attached. My 1840s pattern also said it arrived in a city 10 mins from my house this morning, so I'm hoping that will get here soon. If it does, I will switch to that for now, but I'm not holding my breath. Otherwise, I really really hope to finish the gala gown tonight. 

Jul. 9th, 2019

I finally got a shipment notification on the 1840 McCalls pattern, but it's not supposed to be here till end of day Friday, so that may not work out...

In gala gown news, I assembled most of the sash and bow yesterday. I still have to figure out how the front ends will work, but the rest is ready to be sewn to the dress. I'm guessing I'll have to tack some of the pleats in place, too. And I sewed more of the lace in place, though I still have some left. 

I'm staying at the office between work and my tap class tonight so that I can work on hand-sewing. My hope is to finish all the wide lace, and ideally, move on to attaching the sash, but I only have about two hours, so I guess we'll see. I've decided this is probably the last dance class I'll attend before CoCo, too, since I could really use that extra time to sew. 

CoCo Progress and Potential Line-up

*Sigh* Still working on the dress. I am apparently the world's slowest hand-sewer, so although I worked Wednesday night, Thursday evening/night, all Friday, and Sat afternoon, it is still not finished. And yet, for most of that time, it has felt so close!

I made and attached the last ruffle on the skirt train, sewed on 25 hooks and bars, tried it on, took in the back a little more (again), moved about 8" on either end of the bottom two ruffles .5" lower to fix the hem length, finished the sleeve hems, and made and attached my two pleated sections for the side-fronts of the bottom of the skirt. And then for the past 2+ days, I've been sewing on the lace everywhere.

I have most of the lace sewn around the front opening/neckline, about 3/4 of the lace sewn on the hem, and about 1/2 of the vertical lace pieces where the front skirt meets the back section. All of that lace has to be carefully pinned in place and hand-sewn on either side, which I've been doing while it's hanging on the form. I still have to add the narrow lace on the sleeve bands and across the front of the neckline. And I still have to make the sash that goes around the knee-level, which is also edged in lace, plus the bow for the back. 

I was really hoping to accomplish all that by last night, so I'm definitely off-schedule. I may have to skip dance classes this week to make up for it. On the other hand, I ordered the new 1840s McCalls pattern last Wed morning, and it still hasn't even been marked as shipped, so that may not be able to happen at this point. (It was supposed to arrive sometime Wed-Fri of this week). At this point, I'm going to keep working on the gala gown, and also make a chemise for it -- ideally, I'll finish both by tomorrow or Wed. I also have to make a bib at some point, since we decided to make those for Maggianos this year.

If the pattern hasn't arrived by then, I may just try to make my own 1840s dress, and not use the pattern. I can probably use my go-to Victorian base pattern, with a shirred-front bodice and a straight-panel skirt, and then I would just have to figure out the sleeves. Honestly, that might be easier than using a new pattern anyway. And if I run out of time to finish that, then I think I might bring my old LWD Regency with the red velvet spencer, since I haven't worn the spencer at CoCo and the dress has had a couple changes since the last time I wore it there. 

So this is my potential line-up:
Thursday night: LWD Regency with spencer; If I finish the 1840s dress, then I will wear my cotton 1910s dress here instead
Friday day: Anna Frozen Fever
Friday night: Fairy Godmother bustle
Saturday day: Plaid bustle
Saturday night: Natural form bustle
Sunday: 1910s cotton dress; If I finish it, I'll wear the 1840s instead. Either way, I probably need to bring an apron for the 18th c hair products class. 
*Sigh* I wrote out half this post and then my computer crashed and didn't save the draft....

So, as per usual, my sewing did not go as planned yesterday. Of the 2+ hours after work that I was supposed to be hand-sewing, I wound up spending about 1.5 hrs working on putting together my set for my two 4th of July gigs tomorrow. Finding an hour worth of singable pre-1965 patriotic music is hard! So I only wound up hand-sewing just over half of my hem facing, and that's it, which was a bummer. 

On the other hand, after tap class, I came home and made the probably stupid decision to stay up late and sew. I finished pressing the 2nd row of pink pleats and sewed it onto the skirt. 

It was at this point that I looked at the taffeta remaining, did all the math, and realized that while I have just over two yards left, I need about 3 yards to do everything left in the pink (sash/bow around the base of the bodice, side front pleats, and one more skirt ruffle). Shoot. 

So now I have two options:
Option A: I could nix the 3rd pink skirt ruffle, and either undo the 2nd one, turn under the top with the serging and reattach it; or cover up the serged edge with bias made of the stripey fabric (though this second choice would mean that the top ruffle would probably look slightly wider than the bottom ruffle). 
Option B: Face the sash and the side front pleats with organza, which I will probably dye to match first. This should save me nearly a yard, and I think I can eek the rest out of the other two yards, if I have a smaller seam allowance on the top ruffle and put the bow on the lengthwise grain instead of across grain. 

Any opinions? I'm leaning towards Option B myself. Assuming I go for option B, I may try to dye the organza today, but that is the only sewing work I would wind up doing, since I'm having a game night tonight and have to clean the house after work. 


In other news, I checked at Joanns again yesterday for the new McCalls pattern, and not only do they not have it in yet, it's not on the Joanns website, which means even their corporate whatever hasn't gotten it in yet, so it could be weeks or more before it gets to stores. And then today, it went on sale for 3.99 on the McCalls website. Since I am already clearly fixating on this project, I decided to order it directly from McCalls, even though with shipping it was nearly $9 (I never spend that much for patterns, especially not a big 3 pattern!). It says 5-7 business days, so that should mean somewhere between Wed-Fri next week, which is definitely cutting it close. But hopefully by then, I will have the gala gown and a new chemise done. And hopefully the pattern fits well and goes together easily! 

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