Thursday, May 5, 2011

Marathon Costuming -- 64 Days to Build an 18th Century Gown

And the story ended....
Finally finished if you count tacking things at the same time you are trying to get out the door. The even was glorious, the people amazingly draped, the setting just lovely--kind of felt like I was on a movie set.

Lots of things to go back and fix at a later date, but all in all I was pleased. Here are some photos:

(I didn't notice the crooked trim...ugh...thats what I get for tacking things on as I'm trying to get to the ball....)

Ok...I have no idea how far I am not but wherever I am it is not far enough.

Updates are:
Scored awesome shoes on ebay. Silk dupioni with a very good look to them, not of course totally period correct but the gist is there.

Also scored great glass pearl choker with a rhinestone detail in front, but no matter how I tried to photograph it -- it didn't work.

Basic dressed is 70% put together. I LOVE working with silk taffeta. I looked to see what retail would cost me and I was even more thankful to my friend who brought this back from Thailand. Now one of the biggest challenges was the fact that the fabric is only 40" wide. I had to change the cutting lines on the side panels. Thankfully I'm short and smaller so there was just enough with some left for trim. I am only using a panel for the under petticoat, since only a portion will show.

I also had to shorten the waist since I'm so short waisted. I had to make a draped mock up of the pattern piece then pin and sew all the crazy darts. I used that draped piece as a pattern and got a surprizingly good fit.

I am wondering if they will have AC...I really don't want to sweat in this thing.

Here is a pic of the pinned version:

and here are pics of the under part that the dress is built on (the blue, the green are undergarments), I was able to get a pretty good fit:

Day 1

Somewhere along the way I lost the momentum I had after the stays and underpinnings were completed. I've known for almost a year that in July the Costumer's Guild would be having an 18th Century salon.

I have no doubt that I will be sewing the night before for sure! I'm also seriously tight on money right now but remembered that I had 10 yards of silk taffeta that was brought from Thailand for me. It is this beautiful dark blue, like a deep deep blue sapphire. It has a wonderful texture, crisp and ten yards of fabric weigh almost nothing! I love silk. I've had it for the last 9 years tucked safely away for the perfect dress.

The pattern is one from JP Ryan:

Pattern is ordered and should show in a few days, I need blue cotton to flatline parts of the dress and that will be had at my favorite fabric store, Fabrics R Us for about $2/3 a yard.

I have no idea what I'll trim it with since I'm broke, but I'll figure it out.

Here are some dresses I really like and will use as inspiration. My fabric isn't patterned so I hope to do some really snazzy trim, but this is all a first attempt (which better be damn good bc I'm not going to be able to replace the