Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Dress Of Dread!

This dress has certainly been one of dread. From fitting trials to my little brother chopping into a piece I didn't have any material to replace it with to getting black nail polish on the front of the bodice...Oi! I've nevermore been so happy to have something concluded.  But after all the longer the wait the more jubilant the inauguration, no?
 The material is a reproduction print. I can't remember exactly who made.. :-/ lol Needless to say I've been working on this gown for quite sometime. If I recall correctly I used Past Patterns 702 as a base for the bodice.
 Lil sis and I spent hours fiddling with the fit. We had to re-cut the armsyce quite alot. Let me just say that's no fun. We also re-positioned the side and shoulder seams. And just downsized it in general.
I'm still not quite satisfied - I believe it needs a tad of padding around the front armsyce. But its a huge step up from where I've been, seeing as I've previously not had any of the proper lines. I daresay I absolutely adore having a dropped armsyce as restricting as they can be. 
I used tucks for the waist treatment on the front bodice. I only had enough ease for 2 very thin ones, but alas they do the job on my less then slight bust. 
The skirt has layered directional pleats. I thoroughly tried to be sure all the stripes were making a pattern. I of course used a deep hem facing. Those can be life savers for sure. I also employed wool hem tape for the first time. I'm totally in love with it!! 
The sleeves are made using a basic slim sleeve pattern - the simple sloper that I base most of my 1860's sleeves off. The bottom section is cut on the bias to allow for alittle extra movement seeing as they are rather snug. The puffs are just rectangles with alittle chevron action going on with some of them because I ran clean out of fabric and had to piece all of the them. There is like 8 or so pieces for each sleeve. Directional stripes are no longer my friend. lol ;) I also did some extreme piecing to have enough piping for the neckline, armsyce, cuffs, and the bottom of the waistband.  

All in all, I believe I'm sufficiently content with the visual display. I decided I was going to take my time and put the proper efforts in so it would look as good on the inside as the out. There's nothing more pleasing then clean, over casted seams. :D

And then the little details that seem to enhance the whole ensemble and make it look properly integrated!  
The belt is silk taffeta. I first cut a strip of cotton duck the width I desired my finished belt to be. Then I cut the taffeta wide enough to wrap around the duck, plus 1/2 an inch to fold under. Next I whipped one long side of the taffeta to the center of the duck and wrapped it around folding the other long edge under 1/2 an inch and whipping it down over the previous side. 
The rosette was a beast. I cut a circle foundation out of duck, slightly smaller then finished size I needed. Then cut a circle of silk half an inch bigger on all sides. Which I then centered over the wrong side of the foundation, folded the extra material over, and stitched it into place. I next cut several strips of silk on the bias. I pleated mine (53 tiny things to be exact). However you could gather it as well. I set my strips in layers because I wasn't pleased with how they laid as one continuous thing. Lastly I made a covered button and set it in the center (the wood forms from Needle and thread rock btw.) 
My bow is made out of cotton velvet. Cut in 3 pieces - the bow and 2 ties. This was the inspiration....
Lastly my faux gutta percha reproduction earrings made by Mandy Kallal. I love those things. They complete the ambiance in my humble opinion.  
And there you have it, my dears.... ;)



Sarah W said...

Beautiful! You always were a good seamstress, and you continue to improve :)

Issy said...

It's a gorgeous gown!! I wish I had half your sewing talent! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! That's AMAZING! I wish I could sew like that!

Brooke said...

Thank you dears!! I am quite flattered. :)

Anonymous said...

Do you know where I could find some period correct fabric at an affordable price? Where do you get yours?

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful dress :-D
I wish i could sew as well as you do :-)

Brooke said...

Thank you! :)

Nora Roisin said...

I'm glad you posted after so long, and I really like the dress. Plenty of dresses in photographs aren't absolutely perfect, and it feels right, which might just be what really matters.

I like the velvet bow and the belt, but especially the bow...

(Amorette from Sewing Academy)

Lauren said...

Wow, Brooke! This is smashing. And you're right, all the accessories make the whole thing look just right. Mainly, I wanted to let you know that when I Googled "directional pleats" a picture of YOU came up in the top 4 preview images! I was like, "Heeeey! I'm friends with that girl!" I don't know what goes into ending up in one of those few photos, but it was sure fun to recognize your in one of your amazing dresses, even in just the view from the back!

Anonymous said...

Oh I do love how it looks :D
I just wish you posted more often!