Saturday, 16 February 2013

Green ensemble, part 1

Hello again.
I haven't finished any more 1780's/early 90s underwear, because I was quite ill last week, with a horrible cold/ flu thing.
I should have finished the bum pillow at least, but I didn't. So the stays were my submission for the under it all challenge. The bum pillow is almost done, but I have temporarily lost all interest in it. My attention has been grabbed by another costume, but more on that project later.
Since I don't have a post-able amount of sewing progress, and I haven't posted anything in a while, here is a post about a costume that I started a few months ago.
It started as a random bodice that I drew to go with this sketch of my quilted petticoat (which is partly done and is taking forever, I'll do a post on it sometime).

The pattern is not to scale, The border actually takes up about 1/3 of the petticoat. She looks creepy, why didn't I draw a face?
I though the bodice looked neat, so I made some more sketches of it, and drew some pattern pieces and plans for construction. I wasn't planning on actually building it (I like to draw and plan out costumes just for fun), but then I found some green canvas in my mother's stash which was perfect for the interlining, so I decided to make it.

Here is a slightly better sketch. (you can click any of these pictures for a bigger view, the files are rather large.)
I added sleeves and leaves. I still don't know if I'm going to put leaves on the bodice, and the petticoat here does not represent the one I'm actually making, there isn't an over-skirt either.
That's the general look I'm going for though, big and green with lots of texture. I'll be making the bodice, as well as a petticoat with a ruffle around the bottom. The bodice has 6 pieces, 3 are panels with hemp boning, and the other 3 are canvas boned with zip ties.
There are 3 fabrics for the bodice and 1 for the petticoat.
The canvas isn't actually that grey, and the silk is a bit darker than it appears in this photo. The cottons look fairly accurate though.
I'm planning on basting the lighter cotton on top of the darker cotton, sewing wobbly lines all over it with the free motion foot, and cutting some of the lighter cotton away so that it looks like seaweed. Then maybe scruffing it up a bit with sandpaper and decorating it with pearls and seed beads. These pieces of decorated, textured fabric will then be used to cover the panels that are boned with zip ties. You can sort of see the wobbly seaweed lines in this sketch.
I really must draw some clearer diagrams.
The pattern pieces are based on the magical pattern piece that makes bodices fit (as long as they are more or less cone shaped), the same as the 1790s stays.
1, 3 and 6 are boned with zip ties. 2, 4 and 5 are corded.
The beginning of piece #3, two layers of canvas basted together.

Piece #6, with the boning channels sewn and the zip ties cut to length.
 I drew the channels with the help of a quilting square, which is marked with masking tape so they are always the correct width.
Piece #6 with all the boning finished.
 The bodice is progressing slowly, the structural bits are less than half done.
The back piece is boned and 3 of the 6 corded panels are done.
And that's all for now, I'm splitting this into a bunch of posts because there are so many different pieces. Part 2 will be about the corded panels. The cording is curved, and a bit tricky to sew in, so they get a whole post to themselves.


  1. Mira, I'm really amazed by your drawing ability and your creations.

    Sorry you've been sick with that yucky flu and cold. I hope that you are feeling better. I'm looking forward to seeing this new fantasy dress of yours.

    1. This dress won't be finished for quite a while, but I am mostly recovered from the flu.

  2. Your project is coming along nicely, especially considering that you were ill for several days.

    Excellent sketches too!

    Judging from the last photo in the post, you may also be reading Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

    1. Yes, I am reading Frankenstein, and it's awesome.

  3. Your drawing is so lovely and your design is very creative!! It's looks like its going to turn super cool, I can't wait to see it!

    Btw am a big fan o your blog and work :)

    1. Thank you, I'm hoping the design works out, panels 4 and 5 are going to be very difficult to sew together.