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.