18th Century · Progress

The test…

So, once upon a time, I gave myself a challenge – to make a dress out of stripey fabric, and make the stripes match. I’ve heard that’s difficult. Apparently, rumours were true. However, I’m pretty pleased with the result! I’ll try to recap how I went about making the bodice for my 18th century gown.

First of all, I had to mark on the pattern where I wanted the cutaway front to go. I wanted to make the illusion of a separate stomacher-bit, like you can find in many period paintings, including the inspiration for this dress. I wanted the stripes to go parallel to the cutaway sides, and to meet in the back, creating a v-shape.

When all was drawn and cut (took a while, and I had to do it twice, because I momentarily forgot the concept of seam allowances the first time around), i started with the back, attempting to create said v-shapes.

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It took time. Lots of time. And pins. It usually does.

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Oh yes, and this was all hand sewn, because my sewing machine broke and I couldn’t afford to fix it or buy a new one. So sewing took time too…

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All seams done and pressed!

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LOOK HOW CRISP I WANT TO CRY FROM JOY. I wish I had a really nice explanation on how to do this, but I don’t. I just tried and failed for hours.

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The cutawa-bit attached and seams pressed.

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Time for the lining! I used a thin cotton voile, because I was afraid the garment would be lumpy and thick. In hindsight, that was a mistake, but hey. You learn. I attached it, right sides together, to the neckline and front opening of the fashion fabric, turned and pressed.

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Closeup of front neckline before turning. The gaps on the top of the front opening is so that I can get a ribbon through.

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Turned and pressed! As was I, almost, at the time.

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To avoid the lining being visible when you wear the garment, you roll the seam a little towards the backside of your garment, before staystitching them together.

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… another seam, around the neckline.

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I am a stripe convert. I see stripes when I dream at night. Striiiiiiipes…

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