Friday, September 30, 2011

Marie is on her way!

She doesn't look very exciting now, but it's a good start... See below.

So far I have most of the bodice done. The false stomacher and upper sleeves are three layers: black cotton for lining (what I had on hand), black dupioni and the sequined lace, flatlined on top. The lower sleeves are the mesh from the skull t-shirt. I cut them out at the shoulder and machine zig-zag stitched them to each armscye. I used the zig-zag so the mesh has a little give. I'm machine stitching a lot of this one... Quick quick quick!

As for changes to the JP Ryan pattern, I squared off the neckline and monkeyed a bit with the front so I could flatline the lace. I basically just cut up the pattern pieces in a upside down triangular shape and then added a seam allowance where they would rejoin. For the upper sleeves I shortened the JP Ryan sleeve and took in the width of it so it would be more form fitting. 

So far the bottom edge is left undone. I have the tulle skirt to attach, but first I want to add more layers of tulle. Only two looks kind of bleh. I'm working on the black dupioni petticoat, too. So now I'm just waiting for the rest of my trim and lacy bits to come in the mail.

At first I thought the sequins were wayyyyyy too bright, but after working with the real silver spangles on the garters, I decided that metal trim on an original gown would have been shiny to start, too, not tarnished like we are used to seeing hundreds of years later (not as shiny as plastic, obviously, which is what a lot of modern metal trim is made of, unfortunately). Take the gown below, for example. When we look at it today, the metal lace trim looks very dark, but when it was new it would have sparkled, especially in candle light... LOVE this dress!

Origin: Great Britain (probably)
OL: 73"; Waist 22"; Textile width 19 1/2".
Silk, silver and silver gilt; linen sleeve and bodice lining;
silk sleeve ruffle lining (bottom ruffle only.)

A little something interesting from the Williamsburg emusem website:

"Gown of heavy white silk woven with metallic silver gilt (gilding now largely worn off) running from selvage to selvage, creating repeated dots, 3/16" diameter, with self-color sub pattern of vertically undulating vines. Gown has fitted bodice with deep low neckline, outlined with narrow silver lace. Edge to edge front opening, now fastened with hooks and eyes. Bodice front is encrusted with silver lace and gimp giving the effect of a stomacher. Fitted sleeves ending in double self fabric ruffles edged with silver lace. Skirt has wide side hoops, and is open at front to reveal matching petticoat, #2. Sack back, with pleats falling from narrow area of shoulder into a train. Bodice and sleeves lined with white tabby linen, fitted in the bodice and dipping to deep point at center back waist; side seams left raw, apparently restitched."

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