I know this is probably not the best way to begin a post, but I sure hope I don't actually put 86 pictures in here. And if I do, well then I'm sorry :D (ok, maybe I'm not sorry :P)
So now to really begin.
For the past, I don't know, maybe 3 or 4 Civil War events we've done, I've worn this outfit: a white blouse (now too tight across the bust) and a large (I mean large!) plaid skirt. Now this was, a decent outfit, and I really like it. But who doesn't want to wear a dress? And hey, I need to be dressed down some times too, not every event is an upper class plantation owner's daughter's impression. Thus, the need/want for a dress :D.
|that's me up on the porch|
Originally, I had planned on wearing the dress without a hoopskirt. The hoopskirt I wore with my skirt/shirt outfit had a 120 circumference, and considering I'm 5'4" with a 26 inch waist, that skirt was HUGE. And my hoopskirt was an epic fail buy off ebay. :/ But I think I was on the phone with Bascha when I had the idea to put tucks in it to draw up the length, and poof the skirts more. And deep down I wanted to wear a hoop, so I made it work. And it works really nice, because with a hoop, the dress is at the 16-17 age marker, making me not quite courting age, and that makes my mom feel better :P
The pattern I used was Past Patterns 701 Gathered/Tucked bodice pattern. I really wanted coat sleeves, so this was nice that they had that option. I had to alter the pattern by doing what is called a Full Bust Adjustment. My bust was a size 20 and my waist a size 10. Because it's just "the girls" up front, not large ribs, I needed to fix it to fit that. The instructions I used were taken from the Sewing Academy, and if you are in need of this alteration, you can also read the steps here. I did take pictures of the whole process, which I will share with you. :D
So here's what I did and how I did it. I did this to a size 12 pattern.
The bodice back has knife pleats and an inverted box pleat in the center. I stitched the pleats along the edges for several inches, just to make the back not too balloony. :P
For the seam allowances, I used a method called overcasting, which is like whip stitches over the seam allowances to help prevent it from fraying. I then stitched it down to the bodice. For the armhole seam allowances, I just trimmed them really short and then overcasted the edges.
I sewed piping along the neck edge, the sleeve edge, the armholes, and the waistband. For the cording I used cotton yarn.
I was able to wear my dress today for a Living History we had, and that was really cool. Here are a couple pictures without the petti's showing :) Sadly though, no one got a picture of Bascha and me together :( I got to wear my new bonnet though ('nother post coming soon!).
|Past Patterns 701|
|view B, with coat sleeves|
|first I marked about 4 o'clock on the armhole (the triangle you see)|
|then I drew a line up the middle of the pleat, extending it about 1/2 inch past|
the marked pleat
|then I drew diagonal lines from the tops of these "pleat lines"|
to the triangle at the armhole
|then I slashed it on the lines|
|I figured out how much I needed to add to the bust (about 6 inches), and then did some|
math to find out how much I need to add to each pleat. I think I ended up doing almost
an inch. I'd have to go check my sticky note though :D
|then I taped this down to a new sheet of pattern paper.|
|this is the new pattern piece. And the lens cap was there to give the|
camera something to focus on.
|This is what it then looked like, very full (the Left side is the properly|
pleated side), and still with excess waist fabric. This is what I get for having a 14 inch
bust/waist difference :O
Because I had to add so much fabric to the bust part of the bodice when I altered it, I also had to add this to the waist. I had read once, that to make your waist look smaller and your bust look larger (with a plaid), you could take the waist and make it larger, and then when you dart/gather/pleat it in it will give the illusion that you're larger chested. I am already very large chested, and I'm not unhappy about that necessarily, but I did not want to make it even more noticeable. I'm not really interested in "increasing" my bust. :P So before I cut my dress out, I cut a lot of the waist off int he pattern piece, and then my mom pleated it while it was on me. I think it looks fine. Here's the fitting.
The skirt is 5 yards, and like I mentioned earlier, is gauged.
|the 3 stitching lines|
|I did a hem facing...but I think it was too small. It was only 3 1/2 inches.|
oh well. :P I used a running stitch to finish it off.
|the outside of the skirt where the running stitches of the hem are visible|
|Pinning the bodice back tucks/pleats|
|the sewn bodice back tucks/pleats|
|side seam seam allowance|
|armhole seam allowance|
|the sleeve cuff is piped|
|the sleeve cuff split is piped|
|the armhole piping|
|the inside of the sleeve, showing the hook (thread eye is on|
the outside of sleeve)
|I know it's kinda hard to see, but this was the finished|
dress the first time I put it on. You can see my petticoats are
eek, sticking out. It's partly because I unfastened them when buttoning the dress...
|the buttons :) The bodice came out very well, and fits smoothly. My only|
problem was I made it a little long in the waist, so there are some wrinkles there
that are not stress lines, just extra bunching. :O But the bust
fits well I think. :)
|Brittany and me|
|Rachel and me|
Today the guys and girls danced, and I thought I'd put a few pictures on here for you to see as well. I danced a wee-bit, but I lost my breath pretty quick and had to quit. The ones of Taylor (the girl in regency, with her hair down) are my favorite-she was just having a ball!
|Lining up for a Scottish Country dance|
|Taylor and Caroline|
|Our wonderful Violinist :)|
|a few soldiers sitting on the porch and one of my little brothers.|