February 5th, 2020

Sewing Update

Whoops, I haven't posted since last week, and I actually did a fair amount since then!

I gave up editing that hair tutorial video I was talking about last time. I'll reshoot it at some point, but probably not till at least the end of this month. I did shoot, edit, and post a different video last week, though, which takes you on a tour of one of my two oldest pieces - an 1860s handsewn cotton dress

I've also worked quite a bit on the 1874 velvet dress. I had finished (or so I thought) sewing in the bustle tapes last week, but I wasn't getting the drape I wanted with them, so I took the back ones out, and will re-sew them, plus add a few others. I think I need to sew them in while it's actually hanging on the form. I solved the new draping problem while I was trying to figure out the path/drape of the sash piece that goes around the middle of the skirt. I mocked it up with some wide ribbon, and I think I like where it is now. I also decided it does need a crinolette. For now, I'm using my frankencrinolette (aka, my farthingale hoop with the hoops reduced, and the Jane short lobster bustle on top), but I think if I have time before CoCo, I will try making an actual crinolette. I doubt it will happen before VicFest, though, since that's only 1.5 months away, now. 

Both waistbands also now have hooks and eyes, and all the buttons and buttonholes are on the bodice (though I have to admit, some of those buttonholes are very not pretty. (ugh, velvet) 

I also cut out the sleeves and began their assembly. After flat-lining the silk taffeta with supima cotton, I sewed up the seam on the inside of the arm, then laid out my grid for the velvet ribbon. This wound up taking me way too long, because I was trying to make the ribbon lines match on the other seam. Despite the fact that I did baste that seam shut afterwards to make sure the lines lined up, I must have been a little off in my application of the ribbon, because while about 85-90% of the ribbon lines up, there are a few that don't. Oh well. Anyway, once I put all the ribbon on, I did that seam back up, and they are now ready for cuffs and to be set into the armseyes. 

I determined (with the help of the hivemind) that the best course of action for the neckline piece is to do a separate chemisette. I still have to figure out if I have any fabric light enough. (I'm kind of guessing I don't.) And I have to actually make the skirt sash piece, which will be out of the silk (probably backed with some of the supima) with the velvet ribbon on top. And figure out how to attach it to the skirt, of course. I'm thinking just tacking it every few inches or so. 

Before I make the ballgown bodice for this dress, I'm going to make my Tissot-style day dress, because I really want that finished for VicFest. If I don't finish the ballgown bodice, I can always re-wear my natural form bustle gown for the ball. 

Pictures of all this progress, as usual, on my instagram!

Oh, and in theatre news, we opened my current show this weekend (a day late, since there was a power outage at the theatre on opening night), and I've now been cast in two dream roles for my next two shows! So I'm all set for theatre through the end of June, but luckily, I don't start rehearsals till mid-March, which means I have 1.5 months of sewing time in the evenings. :)