Saturday, March 14, 2009

RVIoD Updates...

My linen has arrived!!! It's absolutely beautiful, I love it! I really cannot wait to dig into working on the camacia, embroidery and construction.

But I am paranoid that I am going to make the wrong decision and mess things up, or go off the deep end and spend tons of time and effort going down the wrong path.

I've been futzing around with the pleating and smocking for the camacia for the RVIoD dress, and I continue the thinky thoughts....

In these experiments, I've come to the conclusion that the neckline is probably not smocked, nor is the decorative edge the same weight and/or fabric as the sleeves (Added bulk from embroidery, perhaps??). I am leaning more and more to the option of embroidering a neckband, and pleating (or gathering) the neckline of the camacia to the band. The neckline looks like it has 'depth' and a heft to it.

(Me messing around with embroidering with gold and silk threads.)

I've been digging around in my books for any support for a heavily embroidered, seperate neckband, and I'm coming up empty. But then again, most of the information that I've found so far are 80-100 years or so too late for the period I'm looking at. I'm still on the lookout for any period (early 1500's) embroidery patterns that would sufficiently mimic the neckline and/or sleeves. (If I do indeed end up embroidering the neck band I will most likely be using various shades of yellow silk and gold thread)

On the other hand, I think the smocking is going to be PERFECT for mimicing the look of the sleeve cuffs. I think there are 7-8 vertical gold/yellow rows running up the sleeve. Whether they were originally part of the fabric or embroidered, I don't really know, but I will most likely have to embroider them, as I am pretty sure I'll not be able to find the right fabric to use. I will most likely be using only silk on the sleeves, since the gold tends to get scratchy.

Unfortunately, both the sleeves and the neckline are not good enough resolution to try and parse what the actual pattern is, It's guesswork from here on out!

I'm pretty sure that the cuffs are embroidered with plain squares. In PoF4, I'm kind of digging the embroidery and lace patterns on pg. 111 from a smock....(If I use these, they're at least documentable, not some crazy thing I made up from looking at the portraits.

I'm thinking the lace pattern may translate well to the neckline embroidery...

And a possible pattern for the verticals on the sleeves. (With or without the flowers on the sides?)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sunday = Funday!

I got even *more* done on the stripey vic! Sunday I started work on the gold silk underskirt, and got quite a bit done, considering I took a break and went on a movie date with hubby. (Alice in Wonderland was awesome, btw.)

I'm a total n00b when it comes to serious skirt draping, and anything Victorian, so this is all a new experience for me. Hopefully I don't mess it up too much. I had some awesome eyelet I wanted to use for the petticoat, but the pattern didn't have a straight hem, so I made some stuff up. Fortunately, I think it worked out OK, because it would be much easier to do the pleats on the underskirt against a nice, straight hem.

So, this is the basic shape of the skirt, the way the pattern said to construct it. The orange line is the gathers would be to fit over the bustle, and the train bit hangs over the bustle, making a nice straight hem at the bottom. Problem is, I want my hem to be all on the straight of grain. (I don't know if there is a specific reason it's a bad idea to do it that way, but I'll let y'all know if I have problems with it down the road. Right now, it seems to be fine)

So, I flipped the pattern piece upside down and backwards, and now the straight of grain is all along the bottom edge of the skirt, and the curve is gathered into the waistband. (I think this method gives slightly more area to be gathered into the waistband, but it wasn't terribly noticable)

And this is what I end up with! Nice parallel-to-the-ground skirts, with no curves at the hem! "Uh, but Noelle, your overskirt is far too short, and looks kinda silly"

Never fear, my dears! I acutally *meant to do that, I have *a cunning plan*.....

Pleats! (Lots and lots and lots of 'em) I spent the entire pre-Oscar and Oscar ceremonies ironing and pleating and pleating and ironing. I made a handydandy cardboard jig to make sure all the pleats were nice and even - made things so much faster and neater!


After I got all the pleates pressed and pinned, I sewed a stay stitching line so I could pin them to the skirts and check out the final product:

I'm trying to decide what to do with the pleats after they're sewn on. I need something to cover the ugly stitch, and right now I'm wiffling between some red velvet ribbon, and making some bias out of the gold and tacking that on. Hmmmmm *ponder*

I still have the striped draped apron-y thing to go, but it's coming together, I think! (Forgive Bertha, she doesn't quite fit, so things are wrinkly and kinda crazy)

Ok, still do to on this outfit:

1. Buttons/buttonholes. Yes. I am a chicken.
2. Hat/trimming I'm starting to think I might do a different style. I'll have to see how I feel when I come to this bit.
3. Hooks/buttons on bustle/petticoat/underskirt
4. Finish underskirt - sew down waistband, pleats
5. Make draped apron
6. Make corset cover
6a. Make new corset? (Technically my old one is OK, but I wanna new one!)