Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Trimming a Gown

I know I said I was going to talk about the painting but I thought since I just had to re-do the gown on my last few postings I'd continue with that. It's my sewing room's fault. No, really.

Okay, I have to confess. I have a sewing room all to myself which is cool except you sometimes can't see the floor. It's a small room but with way too much fabric and stuff, and did I mention the dolls? Hundreds of them. They are all loved and I wouldn't sell any of them except I can't move in that room most of the time.

So every once in awhile I clean it up and when I do I find the most wonderful things. Like the cream and red floral gown that I was working on. Lovely isn't it? I thought so too until I put it on the dress dummy and thought "hmmm, something is not quite right." I then put it on and guess what? See where the skirts attach to the bodice? Are you wondering WHY the skirts are so far back? Me too. And then I remembered. This was suppose to be a jacket with a full short skirt now a gown! That's what happens when you start a project, it gets lost for two months and then when you find it you forgot what the plan was.

Now, I could have just worn it that way, with the skirts towards the back. My new love is the 1780+, all those lovely transitional gowns. Skirts headed towards the back at that time but the print...not quite right for that.

What's a girl to do? You got it. I opened the bodice up, removed the skirts, made them come closer towards the front bodice closure, re-sewed everything back into place, finished the trim and viola! Ready for the hem tomorrow.

The trim is a simple reversed box pleat that I put around the neck line and the edges of the sleeves. I based it off an original in the Colonial Williamsburg collection. It is a lovely pink silk that I've gotten to see several times over the past few years, up close and personal. The ladies in the milliners actually made a copy of it as well. Got to hold that one.

Anyway,to make the trim I used a rotary cutter with a scalloped edge. Fiskar also has a scissor that will do the same edge. I'd love to have a pinking iron but have yet to find one that actually works well. (if anyone knows of someone who makes them let me know). It works well on cotton and on silk, even linen if you press hard enough.  With the silk though I use fray check.  I know, it's not period, but when you spend that much money on fabric why in the world would you want it to fray into ugly strings?

Tomorrow I'll post the instructions and the photo. Right now I have to go get rid of these hiccups.

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