Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Hufflebustle - Underskirts

When I was designing the Hufflebustle, I had settled on the Frosted Yellow silk from Renaissance Fabrics to complete my fabric ensemble for the gown.  You may remember I was waffling on how much to get (I needed less than a yard for the bodice center front), and by the time I got around to ordering it they only had six yards left!  So of course I bought all of it.

My plan was to make a solid yellow underskirt to change out with the checked one, mainly inspired by this fashion plate:

And this one:

But then the fabric arrived, and I fell in love with it hardcore.

Pictures do not do it justice.  It's like sunshine woven into fabric.  It's like butter and honey combined.  It shimmers and lives.  I love it so much.  And I was gazing at it (maybe petting it a little) and happened to glance over at my adorable daughter playing on the floor and had a sudden vision of her wearing a historically accurate 18th Century Belle gown made from it!  Granted, she'll need to be a few years older before I can make it for her, but I feel like I NEED to make it.

BUT I still want that solid yellow underskirt!  What to do, what to do?

Then I remembered I had four yards of pale yellow cotton - a bit paler than the yellow silk:

So I decided to make the underskirt from it, and cover only the parts of the skirt that will show beneath the overskirt with the silk.

I assembled the full cotton skirt (TV263) first, to get a sense of which pieces needed to be covered with silk.

Then after making my bodice mockup, I laid out the bodice pieces and the skirt pieces all at the same time, making the very best possible use of the fabric:

I used the skirt side panels and the lower 12" of the skirt front, the center front "vest" piece, collar, and tail facings of the bodice.  I managed to get them all in just over a yard and a quarter, so I still have nearly five yards left for a future Belle gown for Reptar!  Which makes me extremely happy, because she looks so good in yellow.

Anyway, I took the cotton skirt pieces apart in order to flatline the silk side panels.  I attached the lower front piece this way:

And folded it down over the bottom before re-assembling the skirt.

Oh, and I also added pockets in the side seams, because why shouldn't my skirt have pockets? They'll be covered by the overskirt, anyway!

Of course, I was not planning on wearing the solid yellow underskirt to the event for which I was making this gown.  So why was I spending so much time on it?  Good question.  :p  I made it first partially to serve as a mockup in case there was anything I needed to change (there wasn't) and I cut out the silk pieces because I wanted to cut them out at the same time as the bodice pieces in order to get the best use of my fabric.  And I re-assembled it in order to make sure my pockets were the right size and shape (I drafted my own pattern) and in the correct place.  I wouldn't know for sure until I tried it on, and I wanted to put pockets in the micro-check underskirt, too.

So next I cut out the pieces for the micro-check bodice and underskirt at the same time.  Once again (it's kind of my mantra) I went for the absolute best use of my fabric:

Look how close my skirt pieces are to each other!!!

I was pretty stoked about the fact that I got my underskirt and bodice out of my five yards of fabric, when the underskirt pattern called for four yards all by itself, and the bodice pattern called for 2 3/4 yards!  I get really proud of myself when I accomplish "impossible" feats like that.  (Granted, my silk was 54" wide, not 45", but still.)

I made the waistband and pockets from solid black cotton. 

I'll blog about the bodice next.

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