Friday, October 24, 2014

Gothic Satin and Velvet Skirt and Bustier

I always wanted to try my hand at a gothic dress. I was partly inspired by doxiequeen1's gothic dress: , and I also had some nice fabric I wanted to use. I bought a satin dress from 50c in a charity shop. It had a gorgeous pattern, something like a brocade material would have. I looked on the internet for inspiration, and decided to make a satin skirt, and a satin and velvet bustier. Originally this was going to be a one piece dress, but I thought two pieces would be more versatile. Unfortunately the bodice doesn't fit me very well: it's just a bit too loose; so I'm selling the outfit on etsy: 
Here are all the bodice pieces. I used two layers: fashion fabric, and twill as a strength layer. Corset type tops need a strength layer due to the stress of being laced shut. Without the strength layer they can rip. 

The first step was assembling the bodice. This is based on a Burdastyle pattern. I pinned everything together carefully and sewed it. I then added boning channels using scraps of cloth: you can see the channels in the picture on the right.

Once the strength layer was ready, I started on the fashion layer. The central panel is satin with interfacing, and the rest is velvet. I was very lucky because I already had all the fabric that I needed. I had a piece of black velvet left over from Harley Quinn, and it was just big enough for this bodice.
My cat Pearl (it's the name he came with; I wanted to call him Othello but he wasn't interested) came in to help. I try to keep him out of the room when I'm sewing in case he swallows thread or gets pricked by a needle. It's surprisingly common for cats to swallow needles, thread or both.
 The final stage was adding grommets to the back. I use grommet pliers to set them. they're not as good quality as hammered grommets, but they do look nice.
The skirt was a little tricky to make. I didn't have very much fabric to work with. I could have been lazy and made a gathered skirt, but I knew that a circle skirt would have a nice drape. I found this amazing website that helps you calculate the radius of your circle skirt and how much fabric you'll need: . I drafted a half circle skirt in two pieces. I made the front shorter than the back, added some side gores for volume, and then added the curve in the front.
The rest of the process was quite boring. I sewed everything together and also sewed bias tape along the bottom, then hemmed it. I made a very simple gathered skirt to act as a lining. Finally I added a waistband and zip.  

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