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Both school work and a nasty cold prevented me from getting much done on this dress. I did get the underskirt made and nearly done. I made both sets of pleats, but I haven't sewn the lower set down yet (it's pinned in place).

It's very bright in my sewing room today, so the color looks a little bit washed out.


see another view here )

I had to do the pleats without my Perfect Pleater because I've come to realize it's bowed. I didn't realize until I tried to make pleats with a stripe in it. Immediately I could tell that the pleats weren't straight, and it matters when there is a stripe. Oh well. It wasn't so bad. I listened to Anthony Trollope's The Duke's Children while I pinned and pressed. The white ribbon I secured with double stick fusable iron-on tape before I pleated. There was no way I was sewing down a ribbon (would have required upper and lower edges, which already have decorative "pick stitching") to that much material. Yup, call me the lazy seamstress!
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I've been sewing up a storm, but they are secret projects for the Steampunk World's Fair, so I can't reveal them until May. Anyway, The Croc dress and the Madeline dress are just about finished. I found myself with Judy over at Jomar yesterday and came across a lovely black cotton with white stripes for only $2/yd. I picked up 7 yards and looked through my "striped dress" photos to see if any spoke to me. This one did:

From The Age of Innocence, this is a gown May wears on two occasions while "visiting."



another view )

Since I wanted to make the underskirt out of plain black cotton to save the striped fabric, and I was out of plain black cotton, I started on the overskirt. Here it is shown over an old petticoat that has seen better days.

click here to see my progress )
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So I wasn't able to say much about the summer Victorian gown project until the party was over, but now I can post about it.

I became enraptured with a white gown that Tissot painted several times. Then I saw this fashion plate that was very like the Tissot gown, but fancier. Perfect!! It's definitely much girlier than what I usually make.

Beth had many yards of a white stripe cotton gauze she gave me for the project. The gown was made from Truly Victorian patterns. The overgown is the Tea gown pattern...modified. It's flatlined in pink cotton. The gauze skirt is the fan skirt (without the fan or train) and the pink cotton underskirt is the tie back skirt.



...and here I am wearing it )

New gown

May. 26th, 2010 12:25 pm
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I'm making my summer Victorian gown and have decided on another Natural Form. I can't reveal the design yet. Beth gave me a ton of this great sheer white on white striped cotton. I washed it and it twisted up like nothing I've ever seen! It was like a long Fortuny gown when I took it out of the dryer!

Well, I finished ironing it all by the time Lord Goring admits he is going to propose to Mabel in "An Ideal Husband". Yay, so that's done.

Now to run some errands.
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Yesterday evening I made an underskirt from the TV 225 Fantail skirt. Today I put on trim! Here it is:



I had to lighten the photos to show detail, but it's jet black.

Wanna see more? )
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Well, I got the boning in, attached the facing and tacked it by hand, made and attached the collar and hand sewed the collar lining to the inside of the bodice, then marked for button holes. I had to stop at this point because I don't have enough buttons to finish, so I'm going to move on to a skirt I want to make.



I'm looking forward to getting to the trim, but I want to do the buttons and button holes first so I can be sure the placement is perfect.
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As previously mentioned, instead of a proper coat, I want this as a "jacket bodice", so I cut it out from the TV tea gown pattern, cutting it off at the hem where it said "lengthen or shorten here" since I want the underskirt to be seen.



Anyway, when LL came over on Sunday, we held up the trim to the partially made garment and realized it needed something. It was too plain. We looked at the fashion plate and saw that there was a silver-grey trim underneath the braid, so off to Jomar we went! I got 8 yards of this really lovely medium weight satin for $1/yd

see the photo here if you want to )
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Beth sent me some inspiration images last night to try to jump start my desire to work on something. She sent me this and I freaked:



I have all that black cotton velvet and braid trim from Jomar. I don't even need to buy anything, so this is a perfect project to work on. Right now I'm trying to decide if the back center panel should be of the left over black on black dragon brocade or if the whole thing should be velvet. I'm making it as a jacket/bodice rather than a true coat. This will be for club nights when it's 10 degrees out, like now.

Can't wait for Beth and Jess to get here later today to see my progress and give their input!
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Since I am waiting to choose buttons, I decided to play with the pleaty thingies. Here they are done and sewn down. I had two 3/4" black satin buttons in my button bag and pinned them to the pleat points to see how it might look. I LOVE it! Looks like 3/4" is the right size for the pleat tips. I fear any smaller and the pleat tips will show. I held up my usual 5/8" and it seemed too small - didn't look right. So here are some 3/4" buttons pinned on:

madamemodiste: (Default)
A few years ago I received 3 yards of a lovely black on black brocade from [livejournal.com profile] bauhausfrau. It has finally spoken to me after seeing an extant bodice purchased by [livejournal.com profile] cfilson.



The front of the extant bodice is a high collar, double breasted front - otherwise plain. Mine, as a ball gown bodice, will be low necked, off the shoulder with a single button front, and I have no idea how to do the pretty back kick pleat, so it's just a slit. I cut the hem higher than the original to save fabric, and I think it'll be ok with out the "skirt". It's really those pleaty things I'm hot for.

I'm thinking of doing an overskirt of black satin taffeta with an asymmetrical swag of the brocade and black lace since I have little left and can't get a whole overskirt out of it. Sort of like the middle dress in this fashion plate. Again, not quite sure how to accomplish that, but I figure I'll fuss and drape until I'm happy.

So far the bodice is together and hemmed, and the boning is cut and sewn into boning channels. Next I must sew the channels to the seam allowances, do buttons and button holes. So buttons...black satin or the usual "jet" buttons from Joann's I usually do?
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Since we last visited this bodice, it needed to be lifted up at the shoulders because an unsightly horizontal wrinkle appeared over my bust when I wore it. (http://madamemodiste.livejournal.com/107735.html see 2nd photo for unsightly wrinkle) Done!

Then it desperately needed some trim. I poked through my Jomar trim finds and picked a matte sequin trim braid to be placed over black net lace ruffles. I also decided to fill in the open sleeve with a double ruffle of the net lace.

Just need to tack down the sleeve ruffles! Should I add the sequin trim around the hem of the sleeve, too?

test shots

Nov. 30th, 2009 01:59 pm
madamemodiste: (Default)
OK, so here is a test of ideas...

With a grey silk sash to tie in the grey hem pleats:



and here is a velvet NF era overskirt I already have, to give an idea of the skirt with a black overskirt:



But ya know, there's no reason I can't also have a grey overskirt. That way I can put it with this as well as any black underskirt. Just a thought :)
madamemodiste: (Default)
As a treat to myself and a way to avoid homework, I made a Natural Form era underskirt. The inspiration was a 2 yard remnant panel of a fancy fabric I found for $8 at Jomar this year. The fabric: it has horizontal rows of looped tassel fringe about 2.5 inches long headed with black sequins on a black lace base. After seeing the popularity of horizontal trimmings on natural form era gowns, I thought, "Oh, the work is already done for me! All I have to do is baste it on the skirt fabric!" and off to work I went.

So now it's put together, but now I'm afraid it's awful. I'm having one of those Project Runway moments when you look at your garment and realize it might be terrible. Does it look like I ripped a tacky curtain down from the dressing room in a Victorian burlesque hall and made a skirt?? Tim Gunn's voice popped into my head, "This worries me. You have a lot to think about." Is it too textured? Does the fringe make it look furry? I don't want a skirt that looks like it was made for Sasquatch at the Oscars.



So now I think I need to use trim to "cut" the heaviness of the fringe panel. Perhaps a pleated sash of grey silk from the upper hip, across the front, to the lower calf of the opposite side? (See this fashion plate for the general idea. It seems all sorts of drapery and sashes were combined at once! http://www.bustledress.com/cgi-bin/z.pl/reset/article.lisa.20090326-05.html)
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I totally forgot to show a photo of my completed NF era evening bodice! You remember, perhaps, that the sleeves were extremely sleevil, but I conquered them anyway.



(since I was working on two different projects at once I had the wrong skirt on the mannequin when I took this photo)

And here I am wearing it to the Drac's Ball!

madamemodiste: (Default)
So I began cutting out fabric for an evening bodice that can go with either this new overskirt or any of my other NF skirts. So I have to make it from an all black taffeta so it can mix and match. That means I need to make removable trims to match each skirt. It will have an open square neck, short draped sleeves (sort of like the girl on the right) and a long pointed back hem.

*************

And in an unrelated note, here is a pretty fashion plate from the New York Public Library online catalog.

madamemodiste: (Default)
It needs a waist closure and a back hem, but it's done. Unless I decide to add lace trim to the pannier hem.

The underskirt used here is the same one that goes with the Lady Dragon gown (TV 221).



See More Here )

What I really like about this overskirt is it can be worn with either proper Victorian underskirts, or to jazz up any long skirt.
madamemodiste: (Default)
I've been slowly working on a new NF overskirt from the TV 326 Hermione overskirt pattern. I'm doing the panniers and back in black taffeta, and the front apron in that black and red stripe taffeta I got recently. It's turning out cute, and I hope it doesn't make me look huge (and not in the good way).

Here's a sneak peek

madamemodiste: (Default)
LOL! No attempt at stripe matching, but as I said to someone else this evening (morning?), it's nothing a good bow and a strong personality can't conceal. Took me a while to get the notched collar as I was attempting to follow the directions and they were a wee off on the collar (which is weird for a TV pattern, and how I got into trouble because I trust every word). Once I ignored what it said and trusted my own instincts as well as some advice from Heather herself, the collar came out fine.

Then J and I drank wine and watched "He's Just Not That Into You . OMG, that movie is SO GOOD!! I was all "eh" about it from the previews, but really, go see it. J enjoyed it, too (no, really, otherwise he'd have been making jokes about turning it off like he does when I watch The Age of Innocence, and wandered away to play video games)

Oh, right, the dress! I also put all 20+ yards of the organza trim into a pot to tea dye it, but it totally didn't turn out like my test strip. I apparently needed more tea, but I put in all I had, so oh well. It barely stained this time, but that might be on the bare edge of "good enough" as I just needed it to not be glaring white. Anything but glaring white. Time is of the essence, so it'll have to do.
madamemodiste: (Default)
I finally got around to holding up the white box pleated, black rolled hem organza I have for this dress, and I realized my precious linen is really ivory. Oh no! The white is GLARING. What to do?

Tea!

Lemon tea!

No, not to calm me down, to dye my poly organza trim. I wondered if it would take the tea dye, but it did. Yay!



See the difference between the tea-dyed test strip of organza and the glaring white organza? Yay, I'm so glad it worked!
madamemodiste: (Default)
Well, between household chores and enjoying the weather, I didn't finish the bodice of the Lady Dragon dress. It still needs sleeves, boning, buttons and buttonholes, trim, and a hem. Oh well! But I did finish the skirts.

Here are some PHOTOS from yesterday afternoon. )

We also took some photos of me wearing them (paired with a brocade corset), but we left the camera in the car, so I'll post those later.

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