Friday, August 28, 2015

The patriotic bustle dress with Truly Victorian Patterns

1870s patriotic bustle dress-Truly Victorian Patterns used TV 261-R underskirt, TV 305 bustled overskirt, and TV 401 blouse waist.

In the spring I was at the fabric store and noticed a nice display of red white and blue fabric. What caught my eye was the striped double gauze cotton. It was LOVE at first sight. I just knew I needed to make a red white and blue bustle dress. Because why not!! So for months the RW&B striped double gauze and the RW&B clip dot fabric have been languishing in my sewing room. Waiting... For inspiration.

The reason I like the bustle dresses of the 1870s is because the short waisted look was in fashion. And being naturally short waisted I find this style easy to wear. Plus I like all the frilly fluff.

TV 305 bustled overskirt. This is an easy to put together overskirt that doesn't use up too much fabric.  I cut out according to my waist size (36). The only alteration I made was to shorten it by 2 inches. This went together fairly quickly with attaching the ties and draping the bustle being the most time consuming part. The closure is on the left side back. It also uses a placket as part of the closure. I had no issues with this pattern.

Overskirt

TV 261-R underskirt. This is just a basic underskirt, very easy to sew. I made the no frills version without the poofs. I normally shorten about 2 inches to get a walking dress length ( I am 5ft 4 in). I have made this underskirt before and I love it. No complaints.

Underskirt

TV 401 blouse waist. This is a really pretty blouse that goes together fairly quickly. I made the tuck in version with the neck ruffle. My original plan was to make the blouse out of the striped fabric too. Well of course I ran out. So I used the RW&B clip dot cotton that I bought at the same time. Both the neck and sleeve ruffles are cotton organdy. As with all her bodices, there will be alterations. I cut size G back and size H front. My standard alterations on her bodices are 1/2 inch high round back adjustment and removing 2 inches of length in the upper chest area, above the apex. This brings my armscye to 18 inches around, and that is exactly my measurement. I did take liberties with the sleeve ruffle. For me, the original ruffle is overwhelming. So I shortened the ruffle quite a bit and instead of doing the puff/gathers at the top, I just attached the ruffle in the standard fashion. I was going for a more 3/4 sleeve length. I struggle with long sleeves, they annoy me. This blouse pattern is very straight forward and I had no issues sewing it. I like the fit and it is quite comfortable to wear.

The 1870s Patriotic Dress

I am also enjoying my jaunty lil' red hat and trusty navy blue canvas belt. My only regret is not having enough striped fabric to make more bias ruffles for the underskirt. But bias anything is a fabric hog. Another epiphany, I am going to start making the overskirts first so I can use less of my fashion fabric for underskirts. I will make the top part (that won't show) muslin, and the lower part fashion fabric. That ='s thrifty!!

I am pleased with how the whole outfit turned out. It is a whimsical summery dress.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

ElsewhenMillinery PDF Cloche hat pattern The Sybil

I love hats! And I do enjoy making them. I have several patterns by ElsewhenMillinery on Etsy. This is the first of her patterns I have made. With this pattern you will be using millinery wire in the brim. If you haven't done this before or made any hats ever, then I would probably go with an easier pattern first.

In most of her patterns she is asking for mid weight fabrics. I used a lightweight silk taffeta. To give the fabric more body I underlined it with mid weight cotton canvas. The hat body also has a lining. I used a light weight cotton lawn.

What I really love about her patterns is she goes up to a size 25. The 20s cloche was meant to sit way way down on your head. Well this chick Mimi has a big head, 23 1/4 inches. Her instruction are very thorough. And she does discuss sizing and how the hat should fit on your head. I made the size 24.

The whole process of putting the hat together is very straight forward. However, if you make the view without the bias binding on the brim you will be stitching a wired brim to the hat body. I chose to do this by hand instead of trying to wrestle it on my sewing machine.

The finished hat is lovely and it fits perfectly. I forget I am wearing it because it is so comfy. My advice is to read through all her instructions before you get started. Look at all the pattern pieces and don't forget to add seam allowances. I would highly recommend her patterns.




Saturday, August 8, 2015

Butterick 6093 Downton Abbey dress

I just finished making this dress in time for a Downton Abbey themed garden party at Dunn Gardens in Seattle.

I chose view "A" because I think the envelope picture of view "B" is ugly. However, The Pragmatic Costumer made a revised view "B" that was fabulous.

This is a fairly easy dress to sew. I would not say it is for a beginner, but if you have a few dresses under your belt and can do some pleating, sleeves and a zipper, go for it.

Sizing. This runs true to size as far as the finished measurements go. I graded several sizes together to make my dress. My FBM is 42 inches D cup. High bust is 36. I did not want to do a FBA (full bust adjustment) so I did a cheater FBA. I cut size 14 in the neck and shoulders. Size 16 on the side seams.

But wait! If Mimi's bust measures a 42 how can she cut a size 16 and not do a FBA? Size 16 is for a 38 bust. Well, you see all those gathers on the under bust of the dress. Those are your friends. I just used less gathers for my under bust seam. Simple!

I do have a D cup and we know most patterns are designed for a B cup. But I found there was plenty of room. Now, if you needed to do a FBA you would just rotate the FBA dart down into the under bust gathers. Still easy, but I was super lazy.

Skirting the issues:
Where I could have gotten into big trouble is the waist/hip area. Luckily I read The Pragmatic Costumers review BEFORE I cut my fabric. This dress is a very columnar style. And even though my hips are never a fitting issue for me, on this dress they would have been. So I sized up the skirt to about a 20 (44 hips). My hips are 43, fyi. I sewed the darts and did the pleating. And I just used less gathers on the bodice once I attached it to the skirt.

There were some changes:
View "A" is a fabric hog. I did not realize it is a double skirted dress (over skirt and under skirt). TWO WHOLE SKIRTS!!! Duh! Well of course I ran out of my floral fabric...And no more to be found either. So I needed to think outside the box. One of the things I did not like about this pattern is the vent on one side of the skirt. I understand why it is there, but it is a very modern solution for the narrow skirts of that era. So I decided to make the under skirt a separate garment. I used the provided underskirt pattern and added a few inches to the back seam. I used a simple drawstring waist to finish it. By adding that extra fabric to the back I did not need the side vent for walking. My under skirt has ample room but still kept the column shape of the time period. My underskirt is also a false bottom skirt. I wasn't going to go buy 2.5 yards of fashion fabric when I could buy .75 yards and use muslin for the top of the underskirt. No one is going to see that part of the skirt anyway. You can't see in the picture but the visible underskirt is a light green and white check linen.



The quick and dirty round up:
Make a muslin. If you are over a D cup you may want to do a FBA. Really pay attention to the waist/hip size and make adjustments. I give this pattern a thumbs up and it has gone in my favorites drawer. I will certainly make it again.

And......


Yes, Sean Bean...since you asked...Ahem 

I do not currently have pictures, but I made Truly Victorians Edwardian undergarments. Drawers and corset cover. I only wore one petticoat (gasp!) My favorite easy short petticoat from the Mantua Maker pattern 1880-1890s petticoat. I am not wearing a historical corset. Instead I chose to wear a off the rack Orchard brand mesh under bust corset, for comfort. A regular bra and of course a chemise. Gotta keep the corset off the skin.