Sunday, December 28, 2014

Birthday Bustle - Complete (mostly)!

Dress finished (mostly) just in time for the annual GBACG Bustle Tea!  I still have some scraps of silk to keep making petals for trim, but otherwise used every bit and even had to add some slightly different silk and some synthetic that is the same color.


At the Garden Court

 With my Ladies in Red after the tea.

And a little Skeeball after that.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Adventures in pleating

The corset is finished. I'd still like to further refine the top, which is not giving me quite the shape I want. Maybe time for bust gussets instead of general shaping.

I made a pleating board using some internet tutorials. The basic process:
Two pieces of poster board, hobby/paper craft knife, ruler, spray glue.

Mark lines for your pleats on the larger poster board. I found a sequence of 1 inch, 1 inch, 2 inches worked well.

Use the knife to score, but not cut through the poster board.

Pleat the poster board, spray the back with glue and firmly affix it to the smaller piece.
You now have a board where the pleats open on one side. The idea is to stuff your fabric into the folds, the iron them so  they stay.

I found that using blue painters tape helped each part stay together until I was finished.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Birthday Bustle - new corset progress

I have many perfectly good corsets.  In fact I have an entire box full of corsets I've made over the last 8 years. But, I tried on a friends' corset with hip gores and through the power of engineering it gave me a bit of a fashionable figure.  I'm usually shaped like the rectangle in Vogue pattern's Figure Flattery guide (THE RECTANGLE: Balanced on top and bottom, but boxy, with little or no waist definition.), so only garment shaping* is really going to get me a fashionable figure.  Also, its my birthday and who doesn't want another corset.

I went off to copy my friend's pattern (since I know it fits!), which is fairly Edwardian/1890s-1900.  I added to the top to bring the corset to a mid-bust finished edge like my other 1870-1880s corsets.  The hip gores have a piece of 6 inch elastic that I was only able to find at  Some places in the garment district in LA might have it but nowhere in the bay area had more than 4 inches and I wasn't sure if I could just sew two 3 inch pieces together.

* I suppose better diet and exercise would also get me there but corsets seem easier.

Black coutil on teal silk/cotton sateen

The corset is a one layer corset with applied boning channels.  I flatlined some lovely silk/cotton sateen with coutil for my base layer and used bought boning strips for the boning channels.
Craft bond is great for flatlining
Boning channels sewn
Currently the boning channels are sewn and the busk is inserted.  The elastic gores and the hip gores went in surprisingly well.  The front gusset, not so great.

Still to do:
  • cut boning to size and tip
  • make lacking placket and put in grommets (fortunately I own a hand press)
  • Possibly fancy the whole thing up with some nice black lace.  Not historic but would be pretty.
  • Bind the whole thing
I'm thinking of maybe switching to the pleated underskirt tonight in an effort to at least get the dress started.  I've only got a couple more nights of sewing before the round of holiday parties really starts, including one I'm hosting.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Birthday Bustle - Progress!

First new undergarment finished!
I'm not entirely sure what the undergarments for the film gown looked like.
 This gorgeous book, Coppola and Eiko on Bram Stoker's Dracula, published in 1992, has one photo of a bustle. But there is no indication of which dresses it was paired with.
The bustle has exposed boning at the top and a cascade of ruffles to the floor.
Rather than re-invent the wheel, I decided to use Truly Victorian's Petticoat with Wire Bustle, as a pattern with additional ruffles.
And here's my version.
Next up: corset!