Monday, November 26, 2012

There's hope.

Just a work-in-progress pic to remind me that I am moving toward bodice-dom!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

What was I thinking? Or was I even thinking AT ALL?!

Having cut out all my linings, interlinings, and the fashion fabric for my day bodice I am now confronted with the fashion fabric for the dinner bodice. Can anyone remind me why I thought it would be a good idea to make my first bustle dress in an UNEVEN PLAID?

(Pounds head on table)

Worse, an uneven plaid with a strong HORIZONTAL STRIPE?




What's that you say? It'll be pretty?!


OK, take a deep breath...

I WILL start on my bodices for TeslaCon. I WILL!

Right now.

A picture is worth, well, a whole lota words

See? Side to side ribbons holding my bustle tapes together so it doesn't look hideous from the outside!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thank goodness for portable posteriors!

I have been deep in the mire of a rather spectacular FAIL with the bustling of my second skirt. I started by approximating the placement which worked so well with the plaid silk, but...


Then I tried moving things around to lift the center lines considerably higher (in an attempt to rid myself of that rather horrible set of side to side folds) and...

Double Yuck!

I've been moving the pins, and trying it on, and getting Clarence to give opinions and take pictures, and taking everything off and trying again. Over and over.

Only to arrive at yet more YUCK!


I had read the very good suggestion of draping your bustles on a dress form but since I don't have one I was stuck in the fitting loop until it occurred to me that maybe I could rig something up...and thus my Marvelous Fitting Assistant was born! (OK, created!)

Yes, that is a pillow and my bustle pinned to a high-backed chair. When in use the front of the skirt is all rucked up but it is full enough not to be a problem. And being able to make adjustments and see the changes first-hand makes a huge difference!


As it turned out, my problem was that the tapes depending from the waist band onto which the outer puffs are attached were sliding to my sides and stretching the skirt fabric into flat folds. I simply attached two short pieces of ribbon horizontally to connect and draw together the opposing points. Easy-peasey!

As Clarence commented, now my butt has a bow on it.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bustle skirt #2

In a lovely brown on brown striped linen from my stash.

I'd still like to play with the bustling, and come up with a few more outfits, but since one daytime and one nighttime outfit are my bare minimum list of things I *have* to make for Teslacon I'm going to move on to bodices. Which means I need to go dig through the stacks of still-packed boxes from our move and find my corsets...

What fun. (Sigh)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A blast from the stash

Something like 15 years ago I found an whole lot of organza ribbon in a wonderful pumpkin pie color, CHEAP, and bought it up. I stitched it up with some lace and black cotton with the intention of making a flounced petticoat but it never got finished and I have been dragging that too-pretty-to-throw-away-but-basically-useless pile of fabric around with me ever since.

I am now quite flushed with the glow of virtuous accomplishment because it is a useless pile no longer!

My bustle petticoat in progress...

I put on my bustle and had my honey measure the waist to floor length front and back (which is 13 inches longer, by the way), took off 21inches for the finished length of the flounce, added 4 inches for a 2" tuck to cover the seam, added seam allowance and cut I piece to the front length and one to the back. I sewed those pieces into a tube (with an opening at the left side for getting in and out) and here we're pinning in the darts and back shaping/gathering to fit.

Even with the tuck turned the wrong way (up!) I'm pretty happy!

Only 14 days to Teslacon 3...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

OMG, It's a skirt!

In fact, it's a skirt with a big poufy butt!

I still have all the handwork to do to finish it (waistband, hooks and eyes, ribbons, etc) but look, it's a skirt!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Another bit of progress

All three rows of lace are now stitched on my skirts so I thought I'd post another picture. The uppermost row is the lace just after it has been stitched and flipped over, the middle row is partway through the pinning process (I match up the corners of the pattern above and below the place I will sew the tuck, 1/2 way up the lightest row), and the bottom row is all done!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Back home and back to work

In order to cut out my skirts without making a separate set for the plaid skirt I basted in the tucks and hem before I cut it my pieces. This move allowed me to simply place my pattern pieces on the fabric, cut as usual, and when I removed the basting stitches my seam lines already had all the fancy angles I will need to get my tucks to lay flat on angled seams.

To make my lace emerge from underneath the bottom edge of the tuck I attached it by zig-zagging the upper edge of my lace to the fabric which will lie just behind that edge when the whole thing is finished.

The striped fabric which you can just see through the lace (above) is going to be the face fabric when the tuck is complete (see below).

I stitched the tuck so that the black lace will fall above the black stripe on my skirts. This first row of lace/black is also the hemline for my skirts. (I should mention that I reversed the direction of the back piece from the pattern. I want a straight hemline with a black stripe so I put the extra fabric which accommodates the bustle at the top of my skirt instead of the bottom. I put in some extra in order to accommodate my larger bustle too. Yet another experiment!)

I like a deep hem so I included an entire pattern repeat when I cut the fabric. This stitched up into the top of the fabric behind the tuck. It's completely invisible from the right side. Nice!

And now, back to the ironing board!