Yvaine Stardust Blue Bustle Dress Part 4 Bodice and Train

This part was complicated. Specifically the bodice. I have never made a bodice that fits closed over a corset before. It was a challenge. But one I managed to complete. I used my body form to drape the muslin on and get the bodice shape I wanted. I should have made the sides a little more rounded out, but I didn’t think to do that. Next time if I have to remake the bodice I will.

A little tangent before we get started. I believe there are two different versions of this gown. I do have pictures from the movie that does support this. The back of the gown has two different closures. Not the method of closure. The back for the final gown in the ending battle has an open back with parts of the corset sticking out at the center top. But when she dances with Captain Shakespeare and Tristan Thorn the back of the bodice is completely closed with no corset peeking out. There are also no gaps between the bodice openings at the back. Not even a gap for lacing. Also the trains appear to be slightly different. Not much but enough. In the concept art for this (I think it was the concept art) shows a longer train that is rounded at the bottom with a ruffle edge coming out between the layers.

Photos are screen grabs from the movie.

The bodice I chose to make is the completely closed version, it is similar to a late Victorian Evening Bodice. The shape of the neckline and the bottom edge are very similar. The sleeves are not so much. At least I haven’t come across that sleeve before. (I am not happy with my sleeves, I patterned and sewed them the day of the con. Big surprise there.) The bodice has three different visible fabrics and a twill for the strength of the fabric. The center front is the same material as the draped skirt. And since I used the liquid woven for that I used it also for the bodice. I don’t know what kind of material that was, the tag says polyester, I believe. It feels like a satin faced chiffon to me, as well as the people who asked to feel it at the con came to the same conclusion. Very lovely and a great depth to the fabric. Depending on the light it looks anywhere between a navy cobalt blue to a black.

The velvet bits are black. I know that isn’t accurate to the character, but I couldn’t find a blue that felt nice against my skin. So I purchased 3 yards of black for this gown. It feels so luxuriously soft, and when you drape it over your shoulders from the cold it feels great. (I went on a walking ghost tour. It was quite fun.)

The sleeves are made out of a mirror organza that I had on hand. It was difficult to work with. Very slippery.

To begin the actual work of the bodice, I forewent the mockup. I had two days to work on this as well as the train, and a necklace. So I made the bodice without a lining. I flatlined the bodice fabric with twill before I sewed any panels together. And when the panels were sewn I didn’t make any boning channels except for the final two back panels. I made the boning channels and hand sewn the eyelets on it. The seamstress in me wanted them sewn, depending on the piece you are making hand sewn is much prettier than metal ones. As well as more historically accurate. Considering I haven’t sewn many eyelets before this, my 1750’s stays are hammered eyelets.

When I had this all ready to go I put on the entire gown starting with the undergarments. And then the bodice. It was too big in areas other than the bust. So I had to take in the front at the waist and the sides as well as the stomach area. But other than that the fit was great. I took it off and took in the waist. Sewed the seams down and I added boning channels to the front. The only panels that are boned with any kind of boning are the center front seams and the back panels. Since the corset it completely boned I wanted this one semi boned. I also ran out of boning. And I need to order more. With all that done I sewed on bias binding made from the liquid woven. I would have liked to hem the edges inward instead but I am afraid I didn’t make my seams wide enough for that. The final thing to do on this was the sleeves. So I put it away for later and got to work on the train. Which in all honesty was the easiest thing of all.

Train:

For the train I used the black velvet, a blue stardust swirly galaxy kind of print in cotton, and the ruffle edge I used the satin faced chiffon as before. This was easy to pattern. But due to the width of my velvet I couldn’t have it as wide as I wanted it to be. I draped the fabric on my mannequin with all the layers that would be underneath the gown. I pleated the fabric at the same intervals as both sides to keep them even. When this was completely finished, I rounded the bottom edge of the fabric.

I set the pattern aside and got to work on the pleated ruffle edge that sticks out at the bottom.  I sewed the fabric down the middle to keep everything in place. Ironed the long strip of fabric to get the edge sharp and crisp. Now set this piece aside and get back to work on the fabric.

My lining stardust fabric was not wide enough. To compensate for this I cut the fabric in half and sewed the lengthwise together at the sides. This made the fabric wide and long. Cut the velvet piece with the muslin pattern we made. Then use the velvet to get the pattern out of the cotton. Put the fabric right sides together before you add the strip to it. Pleat the strip of fabric to the inside just dividing everything to be neat. When you have everything pleated you can pin it all together and sew all the edges minus the top edge that you need to use to fold the fabric inside out.

The opening edge should be at the top for the waistband. To make the waistband I followed a similar method as my bustle pad. I flat lined the velvet with the cotton for strength. I normally would use twill in this case, but the velvet is thick enough without it. Sew the waist ties to the inside of the waistband before you attach the skirt to it. Decorative top stitch all the layers together. The decorative stitching is amazing and looks pretty. It isn’t historically accurate, but I love adding this stitch to my costumes. At this point you are completely finished.

Pardon the scraps of fabric everywhere.

Necklace:

I cobbled a few pieces together to recreate a similar piece. Mine doesn’t have the animals, just angel like wings on each side. And the gemstone I used in the center is a tear drop and not oval shaped like the actual necklace. I also added a painted edge to the gemstone on the outside. I mixed silver and gold to get the correct shade to the metal used. That looks like this:

There you have it. A mostly complete Stardust costume minus the wig. And for those of you that follow me on Instagram I did complete the blue bustle gown in six days. Not the underpinnings. But the pleated skirt, draped skirt, train, bodice, and necklace. If you have any questions let me know. If you have any suggestions of future characters or historical pieces let me know in the comments below.

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Yvaine Stardust Blue Bustle Dress Part 3 Pleated Underskirt and Draped Skirt

By pleated Underskirt I do mean the portion that sticks out at the bottom and sides. I am going to assume that they didn’t waste all that taffeta to pleat the whole skirt and only have the side stick out.  And in some pictures it even looks like they ran out of taffeta and only had a small section of pleats sticking out the side from the top. It is hard to explain and these are the least photographed pieces of this project

My first bit of a challenge was my lack of fabric. I miscounted the taffeta I had for the pleats. I thought I had 5 yards, but it looks like I only have 4. That leaves me with just enough to make pleats in the gown. The floor pleats, the pleats at the shin, and the pleats coming from the top to the side. So before I could pattern those further I needed to have the underskirt bits patterned that this will attach to.

For that bit of the underskirt I went online to purchase a cheap but pretty taffeta. I bought it on Fabric.com. It was like 2 dollars I think. Great deal. I bought ten yards. And when it came in, what I got wasn’t like a taffeta that I have seen before. It wasn’t stiff, or textured any different like stretch taffetas that I own. It sure is pretty though. The color does have a depth to it.

That concludes my plan for the skirt. Both fabrics match each other real well. As you can see in the picture below.

To pattern the skirt I didn’t want to add too much bulk in the waistband because of the two petticoats and the bustle pad. So I created a yolk. It was easy. I just draped my fabric along my mannequin, drew out the shape of the top of the waistband, as well as the sides. Then marked four inches below as I wanted the skirt to start four inches lower. Transferred the markings to my pattern paper added a 5/8 seam to it. Instead of fusing the fabric like I normally would I lined it against twill and some cotton. The waistband will only be lined with a stiff cotton. For less bulk.

For the majority of the skirt I used the previous pattern from my petticoat and added some width to the sides of it to make it a little more flowy. I cut these pieces out of the two dollar taffeta. I am saving my fifteen dollar taffeta for the bits you will see, that is the pleats. I don’t have enough for the overskirt, but we will go over that part with the draped skirt next.

For the pleated fabric I had four yards. The long section at the one side is on me roughly 27 inches long. Which is about half my fabric length. The bottom pleated section needs to be 9 inches in width. I marked and cut this out three times to make a section that was 12 yards long. The second ruffle section 10 inches wide. But since I needed to remove the section for the side which I removed a yard and a third for that leaving me with two yards and a third but times three.

Sew each of the respective sections together creating one long strip. I sewed the seam down using a decorative stitch. And then proceeded to hem the fabric using a decorative stitch as well. For all edges that were cut I used my overlocker to stop the unraveling threads from getting worse. Do not tear this fabric lengthwise. It will not work. I tested it on the swatch/sample I requested because I knew it could tear width wise on grain. But don’t tear it lengthwise. You will need to mark out the measurements and cut them out.

After all the edging was completed I pleated it by dividing the fabric in four, and then I kept dividing and pinning each section until all sections were as even as possible. To make sure it matches up with the hem of the skirt pin the pleats to a grosgrain piece of ribbon that is the same length plus seam allowance of the skirt edge. It was very simple just very time consuming.

To pleat I used bridal satin pins. Pinned the top of the fabric, the bottom, and two in the center evenly spaced. When all sections were pinned off I ironed the fabric. To help set the pleats iron them with water and vinegar spritzing the fabric with a spray bottle. It smells, but the smell does go away. The vinegar will help, at least in all the research I’ve done that is what I found out.

I did iron it a few times throughout the process just to make sure that the pleats stayed put. After that I attached the strip of pleats to the hem of the skirts. Both at separate times. And once they were attached they were sewed down using the same decorative stitch. They will likely never be seen, but just in case it needed to be even.

This is the top section with the pleats done. Bottom layer not photographed.

With all that down I just needed to pleat the long section, all edges besides the top have been hemmed. I made the yoke out of the taffeta that the skirt is made out of, used a twill as the strength. For the waistband I used a fusible interfacing to stop any warping. The material was too finicky for me to deal with it in the time I had, otherwise it would be lined with a cotton or twill.

Sew the waistband to the yoke, I made a tie waistband because it will be under a bodice anyways. To finish it off I sewed the yoke to the skirt body. Use decorative topstitching in all these pieces. Just for a matching effect.

This skirt doesn’t sound very complicated now that I look back on it, but I was stumped as to how to make a bustle gown out of the four yards of taffeta that I owned and use other items that I previously owned or could readily buy. If you have any questions feel free to ask. This is one of my more favorite pieces, though not completely historically accurate, I did the best I could in a weeks worth of time.

Draped Skirt.

The draped skirt is the easiest you can imagine, even though it took the same amount of time as the pleated skirt. But that was because of my inability to measure the width of the pleats correctly. Since I only had 4 yards of a beautiful taffeta that I was going to use I needed to purchase a close enough color match at Joanns for this. As my time was seriously hindered. I found a near perfect match in their Casa winter collection. I purchased the liquid woven in this deep blue shade. I made sure to get eight yards in case.

The main length of this skirt is just a long rectangle that I hemmed. The waistband is also a long rectangle as well. Roughly 36” long, I want it to overlap and 4 inches wide. The waistband was interfaced before I attached it. I normally would line it with a cotton or twill, but the fabric was slippery and the time didn’t allow me to fiddle with it as much as I would have liked.

The longest time spent on the draped skirt was attaching the skirt to the waistband. I first gathered it down by hand stitching. And when I pinned it to the skirt to check the look of it, it was fluffy. I don’t think I am describing that right. But it was poofy at the top and a little billowy. I wanted it sleek and flat at that area because the bodice should cover it. So I tore out all the tiny gathers I made and pleated it to the waistband. But I ended up running out of fabric about ¾ of the way through and unpinned to restart. This time I had too much fabric left behind. So I repined and started over. Third time was the charm. I completed it and then sewed the waistband on like usual.

For my Red Riding Hood costume from OUAT I sewed down the pickups and pulls of the skirts. For this I didn’t I wanted it to be able to use for different costumes if I wanted to. So what I did was find a section that I liked the pickup to happen and I safety pinned it to the part I liked from the inside to the inside so you don’t see the safety pin. The waistband is also safety pinned on. Considering I lost weight since I wore Red last year, I need to take in all the skirts for it and make a new corset for the costume. (If you want me to write up a post about creating her corset I can.)

With that done, I am finished with the skirted portions of this costume. The next post will be on the bodice and the train. I hope you enjoyed the process. Sorry the pictures aren’t here. I didn’t have time to take pictures of everything I wanted to. If you have any questions or suggestions let me know in the comments below.

Yvaine Stardust Blue Bustle Dress Part 2 Petticoat

This part is all about the petticoat. It’s fairly simple. That is I thought it would be. But let me show you this mess I made while figuring out the lengths each layer was going to be in this tier like petticoat. There are three layers, the layers are tiered kind of like a layer cake dress. But they have a high low kind of hem to it. Once you have the pattern for the top layer you can just add the inches to the petticoat as you see fit.

I messed up quite a bit in the measurements. It wasn’t until the final two times of placing and pinning that I finally pulled out 4 measuring tapes total. All pinned at the waist with the length I wanted them to be. Have the larger number at the top by the waist while the one is at the ground.

You need one tape in the front, one at the side, the final at the back. The fourth is just if you need to check the lengths and widths. You may not use it if you don’t think you need it. Below is a picture of my actual measurements used.

Place ribbon or twill tape at the marks on the tapes at where you want the layer to end. Keep in mind that it will have to be shorter if you add the ruffle edge at the bottom of the tier. I started in the front and then placed it at the back. Then adjusted the front and back until I had the kind of drape I wanted at the sides. Now pin this to the side tape. All my ruffles are the same length and width. So I made sure to make this 4 inches higher than I wanted it to end. Then put a mark on the tapes where the ruffle ends. Plan the distance from the ruffle edge to the next ruffle edge. I made mine equal all distance around. Then added my ribbon at each marking on the tapes where the next set of ruffles will go.

I followed the exact same path for the final tier, but making sure to make this one have a sixteen inch ruffle. When all the measurements were written down I went to work on something else. Coming back to my dress from I realized I wanted the back to have a little more of a longer train. So I started completely over with those measurements minus the front and had the outline I wanted. This was just in case I couldn’t make the second petticoat.

To make the pattern from the outline I placed a long and wide piece of muslin against my dress form and placed it at the waist with a curve and a few pleats to get some cute gathers at the waistline when done. The easier process for marking out the length would have been to choose a dark colored ribbon, one I could see through the muslin. Instead I used light pink which made it harder. I kept having to lift the muslin before I could mark. Which is doable but tedious. I cut this out. Marked out the waist. Then smoothed the edges before I made a mini mockup with the other muslin. I gathered it down and tried it on my dress form. The length and waist were great. The gathers looked cute at the waist. The hem draped beautifully.

I then transferred it to paper, twice. On the second copy I added the extra inches for the second layer. Transferred this to another paper. Added the extra length for the bottom layer. That is the easiest method I found. Fairly quick as well.

The big issue came up after this.

I have had a little mishap while making the tiered petticoat. The cotton wasn’t wide enough for me to cut the tiers into the shape I needed. So I kind of pieced them together out of all sorts of pieces. Even not on grain to get what I needed from the length available. As the store was out of the pattern I purchased the cotton in and I wasn’t going to mix the floral with paisley. Or something else completely. I already have two different fabric/patterns in this, I don’t need more. The flounces are all made with this gorgeous white with gold arrow like patterns made from a rayon.

By pieced I mean the bottom layer which I cut out first is in three pieces. The middle is in five pieces and the top layer is in three pieces. Not bad. But I forgot to add seam allowances on the pattern paper. Lack of sleeping, but that shouldn’t be too much of an issue considering the petticoat is bigger. The most important thing I discovered is… The rayon white and gold tears on the grain!!!!

Fabrics that can tear on the grain are amazing for when you make ruffles in a petticoat or just ruffles anywhere. When it tears that eliminates the need to mark and cut out exactly 4 and a half inches two or three or even nine times depending on the amount of layers you have to your petticoat or skirt. And if the ruffle layer is more than five yards you can get pretty frustrated. I know. My first proper petticoat was 9 yards in just the ruffles. I didn’t know the fabric, shantung I believe, could tear on the grain. Not just that it was five layers. Which meant I marked out five ruffle widths up to nine yards in length! It was insane! I began to hate it after the first hour. If that wasn’t enough shantung is slippery to work with and frays like crazy. The cutting out was just as miserable. I have a scar from the callous I got on my knuckle.

Enough of that mini tirade, lets continue peacefully.

For the flounces of the top two layers I cut the final edge on the selvage to not only save me time but to also have a semi curly hem. I didn’t think it would be curly, but when I washed and ironed it the fabrics selvedge created a type of lettuce hem. Otherwise I would have used horsehair braid on all the layers.

The bottom flounce that is sixteen inches long has horsehair braid in the hem. I normally prefer the horsehair braid to be a good 2 inches in width, but for this petticoat I just grabbed the braid that was an inch. Since it is on the ground I didn’t feel the need to have it wider.

When all the different sections were cut for each layer I sewed the respective layer pieces together. Then flattened the seam and sewed it down. I followed the same instructions with each layer. Tore out each ruffle section and for gathering, which will be far prettier on this petticoat with this material I made basting stitches that I proceeded to pull to get the gathers nice and pretty.

Hint, when you get to the bottom ruffle sew the hem first with the horsehair braid. When using the braid you sew it down on the outside at the bottom first and then fold it under and stitch the hem. Much easier and I believe this is the process one should follow anyway. Plus it beats pinning the hem up twice. And will hopefully give it a little durability when it drags on the ground.

The ah-ha moment was over at this point. I didn’t expect the rayon to be as slippery as it was. It has a great feel, very soft, but it kept slipping as I sewed the gathers to the edge of the tier. My stitching isn’t straight, but by now I know that I am not happy with it and there wasn’t any way I was willing to sew it straighter. It isn’t that noticeable and it doesn’t bug me enough to redo this. It is pretty though and that is all that matters. After you sew the gathers to each tier you can stay-stitch the seam down so it is more sturdy. I usually just do a long running stitch for this, but I wanted it to be pretty so I went with the decorative stitch and used the same light pink embroidery thread for it.

Almost done at this point. Sew up each front seam inward once. By that I mean fold inward each side of the front and then sew it down. So when you sew up the center front seam and open seams up before sewing down all the edges are on the inside. Then when you pin the fabric together at the front sew it up and sew the seams open. This will make the opening at the top much nicer and it will lay flatter. That’s how I sew up every petticoat. Or skirt that doesn’t have an elastic waistband. When preparing the waistband you want to interface the cotton to help keep its shape. This will need to be cut with the grain of the fabric. Not on the bias. You don’t want this to stretch.

The final step is to sew all the layers together and to the waistband. Add your ties and you are good to go.

I have quite a few images of the final piece. Making up for what I lack in the making of portion.

Yvaine Stardust Blue Bustle Dress Part 1 Corset and Bustle Pad

Corsets can usually be interchangeable between garments due to them being underneath for most projects. Unlike most of the ones I have done. Like Jill Valentine from Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Selene from Underworld, as well as Red/Ruby and the Evil Queen from Once Upon A Time. The majority of the corsets I have done are all on the outside. The only two that were truly base corsets was the first corset I have ever made. Which let’s just say there was room for improvement. Lots of room. And the third corset I made, which fits, but not as well as it should anymore. I have lost weight over the two years between these corsets. And I wanted this to have a more accurate silhouette to the century the bustle is from.

With the corset I combined two patterns together. A modern one based on that era and an old pattern from that era from Norah Waugh. It was harder than I thought to draft the pattern out of Norah Waugh. I have never scaled up a pattern in my life. I just create them myself with drafting or flat drafting. When this is done I cut a mock-up out of muslin and tried it on. It was way too large. The modern pattern I used to get the shape from was not the measurements it suggested. I cut a size 16 even though the pattern says I am an 18. But I still could have removed a panel from either side it was that large. I tried the whole pinching and pinning to make it smaller, but halfway through I gave up and started from scratch.

Here is what my materials looked like, minus the lace. I forgot to add the lace before the binding.

I cut out the pattern out of three fabrics, the decorative, strength, and the lining.

I sewed the pieces together. I didn’t make a mock-up of this, I just hoped it would fit. I figured if it was too big I could take it in and too small I would start over. But it is the same process for making a mockup and I wanted to cut out one step of the process. I added metal eyelets for time convenience as I had four weeks to finish this whole project from start to finish.

The busk was added as well. Remember to put the loops on the right side and the hooks on the left. When you are wearing it, not when it is on the ground.

As you can see from the back it looks too small, but when I put it on me the gap in the back is only an inch apart. But there is an issue with this. The front bust part flattens my bust and is too big at the top as it flares out. That was an easy fix. I consulted a friend who suggested I drape the breast piece against myself instead of flat drafting it like I did originally. I did that and it was a success.

Here is an example, the right piece was the before and the left piece is the after. The left is a much better fit. I trimmed down the edges later.

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And the next step would be to add boning channels as well as cut and tip the bones. Which is a fairly easy step, I did cut myself a little with a bone. I wasn’t being careful. But it is only the third time and I have made about eleven corsets at this point. So not bad. Just be careful.

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I decided to go with a pinkish coral for the bias binding. The smart way to make a binding is to cut it on the bias. That way it can curve with your edges. I just bought about five inches and cut two strips of an inch and a half. I wasn’t willing to buy a full yard and make it on the bias for just a corset that will be worn a few times. (Boy am I wrong on this part. This is my most worn corset that I have made.) Once I make one to wear for a while I will do that. I hand stitched the binding on the inside with a ladder stitch.

Here is the finished product.

Bustle Pad

The bustle pad was fairly easy. I have made a bum roll before. But never have I made a three tier bum pad. And I cannot guarantee that is historically accurate of the time. I am aware the majority of them wore bustle cages. But I decided to go with the pad. As I wanted a more natural form to late bustle era gown. I feel it is between two eras. Not full bustle, but not natural. Like I said hard to pinpoint.

To start I measured across the back:

Waist side seam to side seam: 16.5 inches

Hip to hip: 19.5 inches

Waist to below bum: 14-15 inches

Waist for ties: 33.5 inches

With those measurements I drew out the largest piece. And then gradually got smaller until they looked about this:

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I cut them all out of a paisley printed white cotton, the same I used for the lining in the corset.

I didn’t take pictures of the large one in the process because I was unsure how it would work. When I was done and liked the outcome I took pictures of the process on the smaller ones.

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And here it is.

Pin lace in between the layers of the bustle pad facing inwards with right sides together.

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Sew them down and overlock the edges.

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I proceeded to put right side out and stitch the edges in place. Mark out measurements in about two to three inches with a heat remove pen. And stitch down this line. The stuffing will go between these layers. Then iron out the ink.

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Then fill with the stuffing and put a pleat in the center.

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The small bustle pillow will be the one stuffed the most.

As you can see above I made a small error in my measurements. It was easily fixed by starting over and just cutting down the middle layer. Sew the sides shut until you have a two inch gap to stuff. Also photographed pinned to my dress form.

To pattern the waistband because of the pleats we added to take in the top of the waistband I used the bustle pillow. I set it on my pattern paper and drew out the top edge. And made a kind of triangle. I used a small seam allowance. Interface this waistband so it has a less chance of warping.

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Then I sewed it to all the layers of my bustle pillow. I pulled out my heavy duty sewing machine for this because the layers are on the thicker side. It is a little difficult to get the stitching just right. And it was a little thick to hand sew myself. I hand basted the layers of the bustle tiers together. And with this I don’t think I could have gotten the needle through.

At this point you are almost finished. Just need to add the waist ties. If you remembered to add them between the layers of the waistband you could skip this step. I forgot to add it then. So I added it later. Good thing too because I only have cream twill tape and cream grosgrain ribbon. Not white. It would have looked horrible if it wasn’t in the same color.

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Here is a look at my not so pretty stitching at the waistband. I am a little upset about it, but it was hard to get all that stuffing underneath the presser foot of my machine. And I can technically rip it out and redo it at a later date. But I won’t. I am quite proud at how it turned out. Here is the form with my Anastasia petticoat underneath.

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I won’t show a picture of the front just yet as you can only see the ties in the front and the sides.

Also made in red…

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More pictures to come of the silhouette in the next post about the petticoats. Which should be out next weekend.

If you have any questions please let me know.  Thank you for reading.

Yvaine Stardust Blue Bustle Dress Concept and Materials

After being in love with the movie Stardust since I first saw it I knew I wanted to own her dress. It wasn’t until this year when I rewatched it that it occurred to me that it might be something I could make. I just needed the materials to do so. Since then I have been collecting taffeta and researching bustle dresses. Searching for a deep dark blue velvet.

Now I haven’t researched much about bustle dresses, but the setting of the movie differs greatly to the setting the book takes place. More importantly the time frame. The book takes place mostly in 1856 when the character is supposed to be roughly 17 at the time. And the blue bustle gown she wears is definitely not what they would have worn in the time frame. Bustle gowns don’t really come about until 1869 to 1889. But other than that the gown is lovely. It is hard to pinpoint the year this gown comes from. It is not a natural form bustle at all. So there has to be some support in there. 1883-1886 is where I would place it. Now that could be completely wrong. I am not a historian, this is just what I have come across. If you find the information wrong please let me know.

With all of that in mind I have never worked with this era before. That means I need all new undergarments. Starting with the corset, bustle pad/bustle cage, petticoats, (chemise and pantaloons if I have time), and then I can start on the dress. I will be the first to admit, I didn’t photograph this project as well as I would have liked. I am fairly certain I have only a couple pictures of the process. But I will write as close to detail as possible on how I created this costume.

I started with 5 yards of a cobalt blue taffeta, it is a stretch taffeta, but the texture is lovely. And then that was discontinued when I went to get more the following week. I went to Anchorage the week after and purchased an indigo blue, they only had 4 yards, but they assured me that it was still available and had not been discontinued. Plus the store in my town had 2 or 3 yards of it in stock. When I got home I purchased that amount and figured I would try to order it online within the week. But a couple weeks past while I worked on other costumes and before I knew it when I went to order it they had limited quantities. Meaning they couldn’t guarantee that I would get full yards.

So, I went to the internet. Having already spent $150+ on the taffeta that I could not use I needed something on the cheap side. I decided to check out fabric.com. They were having a sale on their fabric, specifically the taffeta. I purchased ten yards right away. But what I got in was not taffeta. It is nice fabric and the color is amazing don’t get me wrong, but it is not taffeta. The texture and structure is completely off. It is more like a static lining that you can get at JoAnn’s. But I will use it. Most likely just for the base pieces and lining. I can use the cobalt blue for the ruffles and the outer layer of the skirt.

That leaves me with the deep rich blue black velvet. I searched my local stores. They had two different kinds of blue velvet. Both stretch. Which wasn’t something I was looking for, but I can work with stretch if it feels nice. Those didn’t feel nice. The pile was only soft in one maybe two directions. And all swatches I ordered online were not having any promise on softness. I wasn’t looking at prices so much as the feel of the velvet. I am very picky when it comes to velvet. So, considering the color is so dark it looks black I am going to go with the soft black velvet. It is $30 a yard, but worth it if it has to be against my skin.

Materials:

Corset- 1 yard floral, 1 yard twill, 1 yard cotton, spring steel bones, spiral steel bones, Corset laces, busk, eyelets, thread, cotton for bias binding.

Petticoat- 1-8 yards of white patterned cotton?, 3 yards of white and gold rayon, twill tape, interfacing, thread, horsehair braid?

Taffeta Skirt/overskirt-10 yards taffeta (Cheap for everything underneath), 5-6 yards taffeta (nice for everything you see), 4 yards liquid woven, thread, horsehair braid?, interfacing, drawstring?, hooks and eyes?

Velvet Skirt-2.25 yards of black rich velvet, thread, cotton lining?, lace, twill tape?,

Bodice-3/4 yard of black rich velvet, ½ yard liquid woven, spring steel boning, spiral steel boning, embroidery floss, jumprings, organza sleeves,

Other Needs- Necklace, shoes, wig.

2018 Make Nine – New Look 6509/D0594 View A & D

This is my second and third make for the year. I know it is quite late and I should have at least half of them done by now. But I have slacked off and spent the time working on embroidery for a costume coming up. You probably won’t read a making of post until after the event has happened, but I have already begun writing them. Right now I am at 175 hours and I have just gotten to the halfway mark on the skirt. It’s monotonous, but I enjoy it to a point. That point has past and I want to be done with the skirt so I can get to the construction of the garments. I just want to feel like I am getting somewhere instead of being stagnant.

Back on track. I have decided at the beginning of the year that I wanted to make two of the items from New Look, actually I have three makes on my list, but only two from this pattern. It’s a romper and dress set. Both Sleeveless. Button closures on the straps and a back zipper.

I started with the dress. I began this project a few months back if you were on my Instagram. The pattern sizing only goes up so high in the bust and the bust is just a little too tight. I could do an FBA, Full Bust Adjustment, or I could just use a stretch fabric. Back then I was in such a hurry to get stuff done I put it aside for a few other things on my plate. But I picked it up with renewed energy to get to work. I still wasn’t ready for an FBA so I decided to use a stretch cotton for this piece. I have never used a stretch cotton before, but it was such great fabric to work with. I’ll definitely look into more prints in the future after I go through my stash.

Materials needed to begin:

Notions: Thread, 14” invisible zipper, and 2 buttons ¾”.

Dress: 45” at 1 and ¾ yard or 60” at 1 and ¼ yard of Batiks, Challis, Gingham, Denim, and Linen to name a few. (I used a meter of stretch cotton, I didn’t line it as I was treating this as a wearable mockup. And the fabric is thick it isn’t transparent.

Lining- 45” at 5/8 yard (I used the lining for the pockets as my fashion layer has a bit of weight to it that won’t be needed for the pockets.)

Interfacing-20”-25” at ¾ yard of fusible interfacing.

I didn’t take many photos of the process making the dress. I got more photos making the romper.

I began placing my pattern pieces on the fabric, using a fabric saving method. I don’t like to waste fabric by following the instructions unless it is absolutely necessary. Transfer all markings including darts, dots, and notches.

The first thing I did was to sew up the darts on both the front and back of the skirt and bodice. Then I sewed down the pockets and added the interfacing to the places marked on the bodice where the buttonholes are meant to go. That’s to help the fabric from pulling when you wear the garment.

(This is my first and second time adding pockets into a seam in the garment. It wasn’t tricky until I finished the garment and the pockets don’t lie flat. Maybe I need to stitch down one side of the pocket to a seam? I don’t know. I’m working on more garments after Padme.)

Both the bodice and skirt were assembled according to the directions and then attached together to prepare for the zipper. I didn’t add a lining as I didn’t want the stretch cotton to lose its stretch. The bust is too small for that. I should have test fit the straps, when I sewed up the straps I didn’t have enough room in them. I think the bodice doesn’t come up on me as high as it does others, I’m not a tall person. I’m 5’5”. No reason they shouldn’t fit. Because of this the buttons pull slightly, even with the interfacing. Next dress I make I will be sure to add some length to the straps. That and do a full bust adjustment.

Everything came together very quickly. It took me no more than 5 hours to make this. I didn’t set a timer, but once I cut it out it was a quick sew.

Next I added the zipper to test the fit. The bust was great, everything else was loose. It may look great in the photos because the fabric clings to my sweaters or tank tops underneath, but it’s fairly loose in the waist and hip area.

The bottom was hemmed with a 1/2″ hem.

The top was folded down and stitched into place with a zigzag stitch to keep the stretch. Here is where I noticed the top back pull away from me. It’s too loose in the back, even though my top measurement is 18, it’s my bust that makes it that size. When I remake this I will need to grade in the back so it’s flush against my skin but not tight.

 

 

Materials needed to begin Romper:

Notions: Thread, 14” invisible zipper, and 2 buttons ¾”.

Dress: 45” at 1 and 5/8 yard or 60” at 1 and ¼ yard of Batiks, Challis, Gingham, Denim, and Linen to name a few. (I used a meter of stretch cotton, I didn’t line it as I was treating this as a wearable mockup. And the fabric is thick it isn’t transparent.

Lining- 45” at 5/8 yard (I used the lining for the pockets as my fashion layer has a bit of weight to it that won’t be needed for the pockets.)

Interfacing-20”-25” at ¾ yard of fusible interfacing.

The Romper was harder, and I’m still struggling with if I like it or not. I also didn’t follow directions, maybe it would have been easier if I did, maybe not. It wasn’t particularly hard. I’ve made pants before. And I have made the dress. The only iffy part was the cutouts and hemming them. If I had lined it that wouldn’t have been an issue. But I didn’t. And I won’t, not for this one.

I started with the darts once again.

And then went into the pockets. For the pockets I sewed at the ¼” seam instead of the ½” seam. And then the pants were sewn together at the inseam, which is the inner leg seam. Front to back on both sides. Only the inseam. The Center front seam will get sewn when both front and back pieces connect.

Lay both sides on top of each other fashion sides touching. Stitch up the center front seam all the way to the back seam until you reach the notch. Don’t sew past the notch as that is where the zipper will be located.

Fold the pants inside out again and sew up the side seams of your legs including the outline of the pockets. I added a rectangle of a waistband on because I forgot to cut the pattern pieces out of the paper and I was too lazy to go back and find it. Because of this I made a little mistake and my stitching isn’t exactly the best.

I assembled the bodice the same way as the previous bodice. I just have more images here to share with you because I remembered to pull out my camera. I did make an error while assembling the back of the bodice. I sewed the pieces the wrong side together and had to cut the bodice apart because my stitches were so close together and such a well color match on the black that I thought it was useless straining my eyes to unpick the seam. It worked in my favor. The back of this piece fits me better than the dress.

For the cutouts instead of lining this I decided I would just make a facing. And by facing I just cut rectangles out and sewed them up in the place. The rectangles were trimmed and folded back, zigzagged into place. After the buttonholes were placed I stitched the bodice and the shorts together matching up seams and the back. The zipper was installed and I could try it on.

The fit was good. I have the same issue with the dress and the romper, the straps aren’t long enough, or they pull. I think it is the stretchy fabric that makes it that way. But I loved the stretch of the fabric.  I also discovered that I love the romper, just not sure it flatters my shape well, maybe if I used a more flowing fabric I would feel better. That is a goal of mine for the future.

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Would I make this again? Yes, once I get the FBA done so I can make it out of regular woven fabrics that don’t require stretch. I love it. And would love to get to make this out of other cottons and other materials. I’ve never done a full bust adjustment before, but I am excited to learn with you guys. If that is something you would like to see let me know.

Snow White Designer Collection Pictures

These photos were taken by my brother. We hadn’t realized at the time that the lacing in the back had slowly come undone. But that’s alright. These photos were taken after Taikai Con last year before I had the chance to add the lace trim.

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Almost every photo taken was great. The only downside is the laces in the back aren’t done up, so no back shots. (Apparently I love looking to the left. Maybe that’s my good side, haha.)

This photo was taken by T. B. Photography. One of my favorite photos of Snow White taken.