Monday, May 16, 2011

A Ballgown for Taylor P., Part 5- FINISHED!

It's complete!  It's ready for her to wear Saturday night!
I won't even go into technical stuff here, I'll just jump right to the photos.

Because I know that's what you want to see. ;)

[Bear in mind that these photos were taken at night, so the light isn't perfect.  I'll be doing a full photo shoot with her in it hopefully on Thursday.  If not, I will at least take it outside to get shots of it in natural light.]

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Ballgown for Taylor P., Part 4

I was going to have another day dress post, but I had some major issues with it so I put it aside until my blood pressure came back down and worked on the ballgown instead.

The ballgown skirt has been easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.  The bodice has been a nightmare.

First, the skirt:

Remember how last time I had the two huge panels of satins laid out across the floor with the Emerald green (E) over the Mint green (M)?  Remember how I pinned them across the top and it ate all of my flower pins?  Well I basted them together so that I could get my pins back.  Then I gathered it.  Yes, all of it.  Here it is, gathered, and put on Her Ladyship without a waistband.  Holy crap, all that fabric was HEAVY!
Ignore the sewing machine cord, please.  Couldn't find an extension cord anywhere.
I got a waistband on it and pinned it down for hand sewing on the inside later.

Next I sewed the E green braided trim onto the ruffled organza trim and then sewed those pieces in three places, at the front and on the two side seams (which, when gathered, ended up about halfway between the front and the actual side of the gown.)

I hemmed up the E overskirt and then pulled up the E into the trim to create a ripple effect:

This was hand stitched into place.

After that, I took some similar organza trim and made "fans" to accent the pulled up sections.  Each "fan" was topped with an organza flower with pearl cluster centers.  These were also hand stitched onto the skirt.

The skirt just needs the M underskirt hemmed up to walking length, and the waistband whipstitched into place and a closure on it and it will be finished.  I put it aside to see about the day dress but ultimately decided that the day dress will get my attention all day Saturday.

So that's when I tackled the ballgown bodice.

I'm modifying the pattern to fit my design, and that presented some... challenges.  I called in the reserves (awesome seamstress Aunt!) to help me through some of the parts that had me stumped, and together we conquered it.  I'll spare you the gory details, but for a few hours it was ugly.  Seams being ripped out and done over again.  Pins everywhere.  But we finally got it tamed.

I finally got all the right pieces in all the right places.

No, you aren't seeing double.  That's the bodice and the lining.
And the bodice and lining were matched up to be sewn together as one piece.
The skirt isn't the only part of this monster that kept nomming all of my flower pins!

Next: the bodice will be adjusted at the shoulders; the trim will be sewn together and then on.  The sleeves will go in.  The eyelets will be set in the back.  Laces will go through the eyelets and it will be done!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Day Dress For Taylor P., Part 2

It's been a busy day today, working away on Taylor P.'s day dress.  I'm jumping right back in tomorrow morning at 8 a.m., so this post will just be a quick one with some pics from today.  If all goes well, I will have the final dress finished tomorrow night and photos up ASAP. :)

But today:

I got the bodice and the bodice lining cut out and each sewn together (sides, back and front.  Not lining and outside sewn to each other yet).  I'm going to widen the neck line a little bit, and mess with the armscyes some, to give Taylor a little more freedom of movement.  The front is not finished out yet; it will have a contrasting inch wide piece at the closure and come to a point.

I had the sleeves all cut out and ready to be ironed and then... the power went out.  A dead tree fell across some power lines around a mile from our house, so we had no electricity for around 2 hours.

So, I took the skirt outside to the swing and did the hand work on it.  Two large flat clasps at the waistband, and 3 medium size hook and eyes to keep the back slit closed.

That's it for my quick update.  I'll have LOTS more tomorrow afternoon/evening! :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Day Dress For Taylor P., Part 1

I've made a lot of progress on Taylor P.'s day dress here in the last few days.  I cut out the panels and sewed them together.  Then I pleated all those masses of fabric (180 inches of it) into a mere 38 inches.

Half of the pleats pinned in.

Pleats from the inside.  Marked every inch so I don't lose my place. :)

All the pleats finally sewn in!

Her Ladyship models the skirt that only needs a waistband and hem to be complete!

Close-up of skirt (sans waistband).
I decided to close it with a ribbon tie, rather than hooks and eyes or a button closure.
Tomorrow I'll finish up the waistband, hem it up at the bottom and add the trim!

My New Helper

I apologize for neglecting to post any new entries lately, but it hasn’t been for lack of accomplishments.  I’ve been at the sewing machine, at reenactments, refereeing my children and remodeling a bedroom.  Oh, and preparing for a huge craft fair that’s in exactly a month and I’m not quite ready yet!
I’m working hard to finish Taylor P.’s day dress, ballgown, unders, and haversack in time for Resaca.  Some days it seems like I can’t get anything done at all, then other days I am sewing like a madwoman and my family knows I am IN THE ZONE! :)
As simple as it may seem to take her measurements, cut the pattern, and sew it together, it’s not always a piece of cake.  With her in north GA and me in West GA, meeting up for fittings was proving to be inconvenient, time consuming, and expensive.
So I brought in a little help:

This is Her Ladyship, the Duchess of Fitsright.
I was picking up some supplies at Joann’s when I found the dress-forms on sale for $100.00 off!  So I brought Her Ladyship home and already I can see a difference in getting the fabric to do what I want it to do and KNOWING, rather than guessing, that it’s going to fit Taylor correctly.

So. Much. Better!