Monday, May 4, 2009

Adventures in Cranford....

I've been kind of stuck on the Blue Holly Dress since my last post about it, since I need her body for pattern drafting, and there are a couple of bits I'm not very sure about. I'll keep pondering, and work it out later, I hope. (The two main sticking points are 1-front closures size/type/color/attachments and 2-how the heck do I deal with the gold undersleeves?)

I posted to [info]costuming the other day, and got some really great pointers for starting out on my Cranford dress. Also known as the Purple Monster. (I need to post pictures of the fabric I got for this project....haha!)

Since I'm feeling uber-sewey, and can't work much on Holly's dress, I decided it was high time I start working on my dress for CC'09. (YAY!) I already have the corset squared away, so next step are petticoats. "This will be easy!" I thought. No. Not at all. I pre-washed all my fabric, and started hacking away. At this point I felt a sense of dread......"Oh noes! I'm doing this wrong, I just know it!" Since I had already begged the almighty LJ for help with the dress, I felt dumb going back again and saying "Um...yeah. I need underwears! Help?"

So I turn to my trusty bookcase. "I have some awesome books I know will help!"

"PoF2", not really. "Corsets and Crinolines", you'd think, with a title that includes 'Crinolines'....but no. "Let's see, what else to I have?" "History of Underclothes". Not a chance! Sheesh.

*Tearing hair*

"Ok, calm down. The internet has everything." *trot to minitop*

You would think that there would be a wealth of information about crinolines/flounced petticoats. Well, there is.....but not what I want. "Crinolines were used in the 1800's"......"Wear at least two petticoats, and preferably at least one flounced petticoat"......."Here's my awesome flounced petticoat I made, isn't it awesome?!"

"Well, yeah, it is awesome, but I need to know how to make one! After many, many hours of fruitless searching, I hiked back to the Lair (aka Sewing Room-O-Doom) and turned to my fabric pieces that I had so rashly hacked apart with little sleep, late the night before. I sighed. Again.

The base skirt portion itself is no problem. (If the base to a flounced petticoat is supposed to be 85" or so.) I start pulling out all the strips that I had cut for the flounces. "Oh NOES!!!!" I had cut them far too wide, and the exact same length as my base petticoat. "Not much flouncing there" I mumbled and sewed the pieces back together. *grumblegrumble*

"Ok, now what to do about the width?" Cut them in half? No, that is too small. Chop them at 2/3 and have yards and yards and yards of 4" wide strips of white cotton? That is wasteful!

It was then I came upon a cunning plan. (To which I have absolutely NO basis in historical fact.) "I'm gonna use the selvedge edge as the edge of an inside ruffle, and make each of my ruffles TWO layers!"

I seemed to work just fine! It's a smidgeon heavy for what I'm used to (and I'm not done yet!), but I have no idea what it's supposed to feel like!

So onto the pictures!

The bottom most two ruffles are completed! I am going to add 1-2 more above that. (And I finally used some of the 105 yards of lace I got on eBay for next to nothing!)

And here is one of the double-ruffles flipped up. I gathered about 1/2" down from the fold, and sewed it on at the same line.

The bottom most layer is flipped down, and the upper (lace) layer is flipped up.

I have no idea if it will work or not, but I sure hope so!

I've been on the prowl for accossories and bits for the Cranford Dress. So far, eBay has been far too willing to empty my pockets. I've won on some awesome stuff!

Straw hat!!! The crown is rounded, rather than the sharp edge of the stovepipe bonnets of the time. I'm going to try to figure out if I can steam a crisper edge to the crown. If not, I'll just wear it as-is and be happy that I have a hat. The trimming is actually off-white, which will go well enough with the dress. I am still hoping to track down some purple silk velvet ribbon to use as trimming on the bonnet and for a belt, though. (see below!!!) In the movie, Mattie wears her bonnet quite plain. I think I'd rather keep mine fairly plain, so I can use it with other future outfits. I really do want to try covering a bonnet at some point, and go all out with the trimmings, but I don't think this is the right project for it.

Also got about 4 yards of this pretty vintage lace. I'm sure I can get the age spots out with some OxyClean. I'll be using this lace for either a brand new cap, or possibly add it to one of the ones I'll hopefully win in the next few days. Remind me not to try the Cranford lace cleaning solution.....we don't need any cats in boots with digestional troubles!!

........If you don't know the reference to lace/cats/boots/digestional this, it is hilarious!

I also won this pretty antique (period-correct!) collar. If it's in usable condition, I'll use it with the dress. If it's not, I'll figure out some pretty way to display it, and use it as inspiration for a new made collar. (It's so pretty!)

I'm bidding on two antique caps (in seperate auctions). I'm really hoping I get at least *one*. Depending on their condition, I may just wear them. If they need special attention, I'll display them and use them as inspiration. (I've been wanting forever to collect antique clothing, and it seems I'm getting a pretty good start!)

This ribbon might be too light colored to be able to to used for a belt...but it's so pretty! (The listing says it has a stiffened backing, probably to be used specifically for a belt) I stopped myself from buying some darker purple that would have matched wonderfully, and it was gone within 24 hours. I'm still wiffling on whether I should get some or not! (If I do, should I get just enough for a belt, or should I get enough for some bonnet trimming as well??)

And I'm also bidding on one other thing.....not necessarily for the Cranford Dress, but just because I think it's pretty and made of 18th century fischu awesomeness....

No comments:

Post a Comment