Friday, May 1, 2009

Yay! I'm over half-way done tacking the pleats into place. The front half of the skirt has regular box pleats, the back half has double-stacked (organ?) pleats. Next step is to attach it to the bodice. (Then after that, I'll need Holly's body for the sleeves! Well....I could probably start tackling the ties connundrum. Still makes me twitch.)

Peekshurs of the skirt-y-ness... )I only have the pinned section to go!!!

This is looking from the outside of the skirt. The opening is going to be 1/2" out from the right hand side of the bodice. (If you can see it, the upside down pin on the left marks the bodice edge, the valley to the right is where the opening is)

And this is the inside of the skirt. I'm tacking twill tape to the front 10" or so to hopefully keep the nice straight line of the skirt across the opening. (Also to reinforce the hooks and eyes that will eventually close the skirt)

Aaaaand....the opening. The left side goes behind the right, I'll be adding hooks and eyes to the inside, and to the outside. I am hoping that I'll be able to tuck one of the hooks neatly behind the pleat that creates the invisible opening. The opening is actually quite a bit longer than shows in the picture.

I don't think I've mentioned it before, but I cut the skirt so the selvedge was at the hem. I flipped over all of the excess (about 10" or so) to the inside, and that became the padding for the pleats.

Um...yeah! I think I should be done with the tacking by late tonight, and start on the skirt attachment tomorrow. I'm totally fired up to get this done, I have so many other projects that are running around in my little brain!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Blue Dress Update....(Gold undersleeve edition)

Because I'm procrastinating ripping off the skirt, I'm going to post about the gold undersleeves!

I started out witha regular sleeve pattern slit it up the middle....

I had originally thought I would seperate the pieces evenly, but after looking at the full size paper pattern, I decided it would be better to open only the bottom....which left me more or less with a large rectangle. I ended up with a cuff that was just about double the width of the regular sleeve.

I turned up and ironed the cuff to create a nice finished edge of the ruffles...

Then, I box pleated through the entire width of the sleeve. (This took......forever. and ever. and ever.)

One down, one to go!

Both sleeves finally creased, pinned, and stay stitched....the wrist is stitched at the edge of the turn-up, and the forearm stitch is about 3" above that...

The ribbons are pinned in place over the stitching. One end looped and became the button loops. On the outside edge, I angled out the pleats to create a placket for the sleeve opening.

Close-up of how it all works...

And the loops/placket

And this is what it looks like on! YAY!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

More Blue Dress Updates (Bodice Edition)

We had to get the Italian Sports Bra done before fitting the bodice.

The bodice draping went fairly smoothly.

Again, this is my favorite view of the bodice. It's pretty fun to try something new, no?

I more or less arbitrarily decided to do a sharp angle on the back rather than a scoop. It seems to play nicer with the squareness of the neckline.

Refining the pattern and making a paper copy for future use.

I spaced off taking any pictures of the actual construction....*duh* but anyway, it's a layer of cotton duck sandwiched inbetween the inner and outer satin layers. I stitched the back of the neckline, the curve of the armcye, and 3/4 of the bottom of the bodice.

And here is the bodice on Holly. (I don't sew down the shoulder straps until I've done a final fitting.)

And the back....look at Holly's teeny waist!!!

I spent forever and ever getting the dumb organ pleats to stack neatly and end up at the correct waist measurement. I've gotten about 6" into the stitching, and I'm thinking of pulling the skirt off again.

I really love how the pleats end up...

The opening is invisible, since it's between to sets of pleats with a placket behind. (Go me! I can't believe I got it to all end up so even. The left side is the side that has the opening......invisible!!! The right is wonky, because it's pinned and not sewn on yet)

What I am not pleased about is how the pleats line up to the bodice.
On the left side, the edge of the bodice lines up perfectly with the valley of the pleat. on the other side, the bodice edge is exactly 1/2 through the pleat. I might take out what I have done so far and even out the 'opening' part. The opening is exactly 2 1/2 pleats wide, so I would shift the skirt over so each bodice edge is 1/4 into a pleat on each side. Maybe. I have do decide how much it makes me cringe.

Next up, tomorrow I will post about the gold undersleeves! Sneak peek --

Monday, April 27, 2009

Blue Dress Update...Weekend Sewing Madness!

Teh Holly came down late Friday afternoon. We tried to get the shopping we needed to get done before everything closed, but we ended up not getting anything done.

I stayed up way too late working on drafting a pattern and getting started on things, so the next morning, I woke up late, pushing the shopping trip even later. Beth-a-Val met us at the fabric store, as did my mom with a multitude of cupons in hand. Much shopping ensued! Holly, Val, and I went to lunch, and we finally headed home to dive into the project in earnest. Valerie spend the bulk of the afternoon generally being helpful and conversational.

By the end of the weekend, we had a working undergarment, bodice, skirt, and undersleeves, (pictues below) all of which are in the hand-finishing stage at the moment.

(The 'wall of inspiration')

Holly and I agreed that whether the portrait dress needed supportive undergarments or not, we'd be making something to hold everything where it should be. Thus was born the "Italian Sports Bra". I used the Eleanor Toledo bodies as an inspiration. I ended up cutting off the bottom of the bodies (right above the side gores)

Beginning of the fitting....I wanted to keep some softness of the bust, so the only thing boned is the center front.

Flipping up the bottom of the bodies pattern where the gores begin. Yep! This will work!

and the front of the mock-up, shortened to match the back

The pieces cut out

Front of the bodies, constructed, with boning down the front. The bias is sewn down around the edges, hasn't been tacked down yet...that's the woobly bits around the armscye and neckline!

I love this really shows off the rounded, soft line I'm looking for. The straps are going to be pulled slightly tighter, the pins couldn't take the pressure!

Next up.....tomorrow, I'll post about the bodice.