I was so excited to finish this dress so as soon as I had free time on the weekend I was back into it.
First job was to sew down the bias trim on the top skirt layer and put in the zipper - all pretty straight forward really... then the real job started - the underskirt.
The lower half of the underskirt is made up of a 9 metre long piece of fabric that is pleated in one inch pleats and then sewn to the circle skirt that makes up the top half of the underskirt. I sewed together the four lengths I had cut to make up the 9 metres, and then hemmed it. Definitely wasn't going to be doing that afterwards! Then I prepared myself to spend an indeterminate amount of time pleating:
Yes, I moved my ironing board in front of the TV and put on Land Girls. I really enjoyed it! The plot was predictable and the acting was mediocre... but the clothing!!! THE CLOTHING!!! There were several things I completely fell in love with, its worth watching for that alone.
Anyway, after a while I had no pins left in my pincushion, and this pile of pleated fabric...
...which I then pinned to to the circle that makes up the top half of the underskirt. This also took some time. By the time I got that job done I was pretty addicted to having a DVD on while I did what I was doing, so I set up my laptop on my sewing bench and continued to work on the skirt.
Can I say that sewing the underskirt together took a bit of patience. It wasn't difficult, but it was A LOT of fabric to manipulate through the machine. First pass I sewed the layers together, second pass I sewed self made bias tape around the raw edge, then the third and final pass I sewed the bias taped seam up to the circle skirt.
By then I was tired of having to deal with that much fabric, so I spread it out on the floor in the lounge room so I didn't have to think about it for a bit...
So much fabric!!!! Miss Stella came in for a lie down and I felt like joining her!
I didn't get to ignore the underskirt for very long because the next job was sewing the bodice lining to the underskirt. But I did get to ignore it for a bit longer because first I had to measure the lengths of the boning that I needed and get them cut. This meant a quick trip up the road to my parents place (thanks Dad!).
I also needed to change DVDs because I'd finished Land Girls.
When I purchased Land Girls, I also purchased seasons 1 and 2 of The Paradise. I love Victorian England almost as much as I like the 1940s and 1950s! But anyway, back to the sewing!
I sewed the bodice lining to the underskirt, and then I inserted the spiral steel boning into the casings and sewed both layers together at the top. I then took great pleasure in turning it all the right way out and putting it on my headless helper. I do need to do a bit of hand sewing (I need to sew the bodice lining to the zipper tape, and I also want to sew both layers together at the waist seam), but its pretty much finished!
there are two petticoats under there...
On to the bolero!
The pattern I used to make the bolero was a different shape at the front to the original, and I had to cut a fair bit away to make it the shape I wanted. I did this by putting the lining layer on my headless helper and attacking it with my water soluble texta. This is how much I cut off:
This bolero is pretty straight forward to put together I just sew the darts, put the lining and the outer fabric together at the shoulders and the sides, insert one inside the other, sew them together turn them through, and finish the bits I didn't sew together.
Ok, so that sounds complicated. It really isn't!
Oh, and the best thing about this design is that ITS REVERSIBLE!!!
Here is the finished outfit:
It was such a labour of love, but damn its impressive to look at!!!
Sadly I have nowhere to wear this dress at the moment... anyone want to throw me a party? But seriously, I'm working on coming up with a scenario for photos, because I know you really want to see what this looks like on!!!