Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Ballgown for Taylor P., Part 3

Yesterday, Taylor came over to see me while I was working on her ballgown.   The bodice is determined to be a challenge, but I am equally (or more) determined to conquer it!  But before I did any more to the bodice, I want to finish the skirt.  So here is the progress update on that:

I cut the emerald green satin into panels, the same way as the mint green had been done. (Happy St. Patrick's day, by the way!)  Both sets of panels were sewn end to end along the short sides until I had one long emerald (E) green and one long mint (M) green piece.  I had to move into another room for the next step: I laid down the M, put the E over top of it and pinned along the top.  End to end, it spans 5 yards!
Anyone have a football field or gymnasium I can borrow for a second??

I'm using flat flower head straight pins to hold it.  My friend Deidre got me hooked on these things a few years ago and I love them!  I ran into a problem though- all those yards of fabric used up ALL of my flat pins!  ALL of them!!!  
Mass o' fabric ate my pins!!!

And I need more pins to hold places in some other pieces!  What to do?  That's right!  We took a break and went to Hobby Lobby for more M thread and MORE PINS!  (And KFC, cause it was suppertime and we were hungry!)
A now full pin cushion, and peace was restored to the sewing universe.

So today, I'll be basting the two long panels together at the top, creating a waistband, gathering the skirt to fit the waistband, hemming the skirt, sewing the back seam, drawing up the overskirt with the ribbon trim, and finishing it all out. Whew!  I'd better get busy!  

After I had put all of my new flat flower pins into the pin cushion, I turned it around and found that Taylor had left me this:
Who wouldn't love to work with this cute thing looking on?? :)

It completely made my night and I will use all of the other pins in the cushion before I mess up my cool Pin Cushion Happy Face. :o)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

An Under-hoop petticoat for Taylor P.

You can have the most beautiful costuming in the world, but if the right underthings are not... well, under it, the effect is less than ideal.

An under-hoop petticoat is one of the most basic pieces of 19th century under clothing.  Worn for modesty, and in winter months, warmth, petticoats help fill out the correct shape of the clothing, as well as keep the dust and dirt off of the lady wearing them.

I made Taylor P.'s today, using a twin size dust ruffle/bed skirt with an eyelet fabric ruffle.  Here is the monster before I got it under control:

I laid the thing out flat in the floor and cut it in half lengthways, then cut the end ruffle off:

Now it's much more manageable!

The next steps were unfathomably easy:
Sew down the raw edge of the short side, sew the short sides together about 3/4 of the way up, to make a back seam, sew down the raw edge of the long side and fold and sew again to make a casing, knot a length of satin ribbon and thread it through to make it drawstring, and it's done!
Sewing down raw edges.

Finished product! :)

The whole thing took me the better part of 20 minutes (ish).  Now it's off to make supper for the children, and then back to work on more of Taylor's things later tonight!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Ballgown for Taylor P., Part 2

Things have been moving a bit slower on Taylor P.'s ballgown than I would like.  We had a minor issue with the bodice pattern, but I've figured out how to resolve that and now it's time to catch up to where we need to be, construction-wise, on her wardrobe.  The ballgown, while beautiful, isn't her only wardrobe piece that I'll be creating, so the sooner I work these kinks out and get her ballgown made, the sooner I can start on her other things. (The Pagoda sleeved day dress is next, so stay tuned!)

I did make some progress on the ballgown yesterday, though.

I spread the mint green satin out on the dining room table (which doubles as a cutting table for me!) and measured out 45" four times.  This gives me 4 panels which, when sewn side-by-side together, will give me the main body of the underskirt.

What you don't see: the enormous mound of fabric piled up on the floor at the end of the table!!

Measure 45", cut, repeat (x3).

Voila! 4 panels of gorgeous, flowing satin, ready to be taken up to the machine and stitched.

Tomorrow I will cut the emerald green satin in the same manner, for the overskirt, then put together a mock-up of the bodice to make sure it will fit her before I cut any more satin.  Once she has okayed the fit of the mock-up (which I will send to her via her boyfriend who is driving up to visit her), I will cut and construct the bodice and hopefully we shall be doing a photo shoot of her wearing her ballgown in about 3 weeks, when she can make it back down this way.