Thursday, May 2, 2013

Not too shabby for a days work...

Ignore the million pins. I love pins, ps.

Oh, don't you just love when a new project takes enough shape to actually look like what you're supposed to be making? It's so exciting.

Yesterday, because of crap fortune, I had the good fortune to be stuck at home all day, which, to me, means sew day. So, get this, my husband's car had the carborator? catalytic converter? (I know zip about cars - something important with a "c") removed (ahem stolen) off the bottom of his car! How crazy is that? Since his was getting fixed, he took my car and that's how I ended up stuck at home.

Poor me, I know, all day long with nothing to do but sew... :D

So, I started working on a base skirt for my next project, the red and black, Tissot inspired dress. After lots of pinning and brainstorming and deciding which direction I wanted to go in, I've come to envision the dress as a late 70's, natural form, kind of casual ensemble.

The elder sister, by Tissot.

In the painting, the woman is sitting on an outside step, which obscures the details on the dress, but also leads me to believe this is a more casual dress. Day, afternoon, house - whatever you want to call it.

I browsed my patterns and settled on Truly Victorian's TV225, TV326 and TV420. Personally, I really like to work off a pattern and go from there. I sometimes drape, but I like to make it easy on myself. I started with TV225, the 1878 Fantail skirt. There was some debate over using TV 221 (the tie-back underskirt from the same year), but that fabulous fantail train won out.

Who isn't a sucker for a bit of train?

Testing out the length and style with pattern paper.
I love using this stuff!

I traced and cut the patterns, tested them out and then went for the black cotton I had. I picked out a red and black print cotton for the bodice and overskirt, so I wanted black cotton for the skirt underneath. Unfortunately, after washing it, I'm 99.9% sure it's not 100% cotton. It just feels, well, weird.

The perils of buying online.

I was pouting and kicking myself until I went to iron it post wash. The wrinkles came out like a dream! I think I can live with a little poly in it... but shhh! Don't tell!

I will have to find some actual, for sure, without a doubt, 100% cotton for the trim, though, so it will hold the pleats without a battle.

Here she is, inside out, to show the lining and seams. It is lined with polished cotton (hence all the pins in that top pic). At the back of the knees, there is a channel of self, single fold bias, for a drawstring. I just love the shape of that skirt!

Oooo now picture that with ruffles... yum!

However, I have hit a wall. In order to fit the darts, gathers and pleats, I realized a really need a properly shaped petticoat. So, I will be waiting to finish this until after I make up a petticoat or two. Next up I will also be facing the hem with a serious layer of crinoline and lots of pleated ruffles. Something along the line of this hem...

From Full Color Victorian Fashions: 1870-1893,
 edited by Joanne Olian

Now, enough typing. Off to go make a petticoat!


  1. Hey, me again! I loved your new project. The "inside-out" is incredible. All the structure. Thanks for showing me that as well.
    Have a great day ahead. When you have a project like that to work on, it's not so bad to be "stuck" at home! ha ha

  2. Lookin' fab! Can't wait to see what it looks like with all the trim on :)
    Have you tried a burn test? And where on earth did you find polished cotton? I can never seem to find it.

    1. Thanks! It crossed my mind to burn test it. Maybe I'll do that.

      I found the polished cotton a while ago, on eBay, I think. It's not that brown, super shiny, 19th century stuff, but it is definately a heftier, sheeny cotton in not-too-obtrusive cream. It doesn't stretch really, which I think is it's greatest attribute.

  3. You sure know how to think positively through a crappy situation!

    That inside out picture is awesome; now I understand the construction so much better, I feel like I should wear a lit light bulb above my head.

    1. There's always a big, bright, silver lining :)

      I'm so glad the inside out pic were helpful to you. That's the whole point of sharing! Cheers! :)

  4. Wonderful! Looking forward to seeing photos of you modeling the finished outfit~