Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Aristocratic Dress Part 2

And I'm baaaccck! 

Sewing the dress took longer than I thought it would, mainly because I had to add a princess seam to the front of the bodice. I made the pattern slightly too big for me, so had to take in the front by 5cm (!) to make it fit nicely. 

Once I had the bodice pieces cut out and sewn together, i added the plackets and ruffles.
Each ruffle is three times the length of the bodice. This creates an enormous ruffle. Both ruffles are actually sewn on to the left hand placket. I thought this would make them look more even when the dress is fastened. The ruffles are very fluffy, so I may go back and press them down gently.

On to the sleeves. I used a puff sleeve pattern, and altered it to make it wider at the bottom, and long enough for my arms. I didn't take any pictures of these steps, which is a pity, because I'm very proud of the sleeves. 


Each sleeve is finished with a French seam. The gathers at the wrists are actually created with elastic inside a casing. The casing is made by sewing a wide ribbon to the inside of the sleeves. I used turquoise velvet ribbon; you can't see it from the outside. I bought this ribbon when I made a Giselle cosplay and I finally had a chance to use it. 

The skirt part of the dress is actually three circle skirts sewn together to make an enormous black doughnut. I used French seams to hide any raw edges.

Based on tutorials and guides that I have read (I highly recommend Rufflebutt's tutorial, to get this type of skirt to be very ruffled, horsehair braid is a must-have. I bought some from ebay; however, I bought very wide braid. This meant that after I sewed it on, I had to stitch it down at the top to prevent it from flopping forwards. I was able to do this on the machine (just as well, because I would go mad if I had to do this by hand). I sewed at least three metres of skirt hem. It could be neater, but I'm not going to redo it just yet. Must breathe!
Very wide horsehair braid

I gathered the huge skirt and sewed it on to the bodice. This took a lot of concentration, because the skirt kept bunching up as I sewed, and I had to move it out of the way to stop the wrong parts of it being sewn to the bodice.

The final step was adding buttons, button holes, and a collar. The collar is just a ruffled strip of cloth with a button hole. I sewed it on by hand. 

This is the finished dress. It took about three weeks to make, on and off. I'm rather pleased with the result. 

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