|The skirts are just pinned in place to get a feel for length.|
First I finished the bodice of the sheer gown by adding the sleeves. I bound these with the bias strips mentioned in my previous post. I stitched the bias to the right side of the sleeve edge by machine, with a 1/4" seam allowance. (This is the same method I used to bind the neckline edge.)
I pressed the bias out over the seam allowance:
Then folded the edge over twice, pinning it to the underside of the sleeve:
And slipstitched by hand along the fold.
To get the correct sleeve shape, I laid out the front and back petal pieces over my sleeve pattern (Simplicity 4055) with a slight overlap:
And trimmed away the corners, following the sleeve curve as a rough guide.
I carefully matched up the fronts and backs and made sure the back overlapped the fronts:
Then I stitched a double line of gathers and drew them up to approximately the same fullness as the blue sleeves:
|Aren't they adorable?|
On to the skirt! Those of you who read my indecisive post on my ballgown will know that I was having issues with this skirt. In the end I decided that to forgo length and make the sheer skirt the same fullness as the blue dress. To that end, I cut/ripped more rectangles of the solid white voile, and pieced them together using insertion lace in place of traditional seams. I had found this excellent tutorial on lace insertion, and used it to create five lines of lace joining four solid white rectangles to the white striped skirt. I then added three rows of a different lace in between each pair of joining lace rows. If I'd had time I would have cut the fabric beneath these rows and stitched them open, as well. Perhaps I will still do that someday.
Here are photos of my lace insertion:
I joined the solid rectangles to the striped fabric at the selvage edge:
To mark the layout for the lace stripes, I cut a tiny snip at the middle of the top of each rectangle, and pulled one thread down the length:
Sometimes the threads broke, but once I had smoothed the gathers out I could still see the line well enough to sew the lace over the top on the straight of grain.
Once the skirt was ready I gathered it up at the sides and back and pinned it to the bodice.
I was glad the fabric was so light and sheer, since I had to gather a huge amount into a tiny space. I wanted the back to be as full as possible. I had used the selvage edges of the solid white fabric as the center back of the skirt, and since I had about four inches of the insertion lace left over, I stitched it to the top of the right side of the skirt back to use as a makeshift placket.
I kept the gathering stitches in this time, as I decided that I liked the look of them below the waist seam, and I thought they could help keep the structure of the skirt. I pulled the threads to the inside and tied them off before trimming the excess, and then bound the waist seam with the last of my bias strips to contain all the raw edges.
I sewed three buttons to the right side back and made three corresponding thread loops to the left side:
I had wanted to make the sheer skirt longer with a row of puffs and several rows of tucks, ending with the eyelet trim for the hem, but there was no time. I sewed on the eyelet, but I can always remove it and add the tucks and puffs in between later on. But for now, the sheer dress was done!
The day dress went rather quicker, as all I needed to do was gather up the skirt and attach it to the bodice, add a placket, fold the bodice lining to the inside and slipstitch it over the waist seam to contain all the raw edges, and add buttons and buttonholes.
Somehow I ended up using two different thread colors for the buttonholes... It was 7:00 in the morning by this point, so it's a wonder I have buttonholes at all! :p
I learned that although my dress form can be adjusted to the same bust and waist measurements as me, it does not have the same underbust measurement, and my day dress would not close all the way:
It fits me perfectly, though! :)
At long last, here are the two dresses as I wore them to the ball - layered on top of one another:
|(I pressed it better than this before I wore it.)|
The Challenge: #6 - Stripes
Fabric: 3 yds light blue cotton, 2 yds white cotton voile, 1 yd white striped cotton voile, approximately 1/4 yard off-white quilting cotton
Pattern: Revised Simplicity 4055
Year: roughly 1810-1820
Notions: 3 yds 4" scalloped eyelet edging, 4 1/4 yards insertion lace, 10 yds scalloped lace, 3 white shank buttons, 3 blue buttons
How historically accurate is it? I modified the pattern to make the shoulder seams more historically placed, and did most of the finishing stitching by hand. The construction was all done by machine, though, including the lace insertion. So maybe 85%.
Hours to complete: About 600. :p Ok, not really, but it sure felt like it! Probably 80-100.
First worn: March 23 for a Regency Ball
Total cost: Everything came from my stash, so not a dime!