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A Fabric & Trim Haul

It’s that time of year where I post another ridiculously huge birthday haul!  Like last year I bought a few random things but decided to spend the vast majority on fabrics and costume supplies. My birthday was a couple weeks ago, and the day before it my dad and I went shopping in the NYC garment district where all of these lovely things came from!

I know not everyone likes hauls, but I got a positive response when I did this last year so I decided to bring it back! If you don’t care for this type of post, i’ll have a “The Making of” post up on Monday which might be more to your taste. If you do like hauls, i’ve done two before, which can be read here and here.

Lets start with one of the less exciting cuts of fabric, and we can build up to the really good stuff. This is 120″ wide home decor weight damask. One of my favorite stores in the garment district (Zahra Fabric) has started stocking this whole collection and sells them for ten dollars a yard, which is pretty damn good considering the weight and width of this fabric. This is actually the exact same fabric I used for my Dewdrop Dresses, just in a different color!

I plan on using this for a medieval style dress and headpiece, similar to what is shown here and here.

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Funnily enough, I spent several minutes between debating between this fabric and another in a red color scheme. I finally decided on the orange/gold material because I have so many red dresses in my portfolio already and none in this shade. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized it’s very similar to the fabric i’m using for my tudor project.

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From the same store I got two yards of brown velvet. These are for the sleeves of my tudor project. A lot of the fabric I originally purchased (about three yards) was damaged and had to be discarded. I didn’t have enough fabric leftover to make the sleeves and was unable to buy more of the original fabric.

Velvet was commonly used for sleeves and I think the warm brown color goes well with the orange/gold I used for everything else!

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Speaking of velvet, I bought a lot of it! The red velvet is for another 16th century project, based off of this painting. Unfortunately my streak of buying damaged fabric continues with this red velvet. The first few yards were damaged from the machine that bolted it, so I got those for free. But I didn’t realize the damage continues down the entire length of fabric. So that is annoying and will be troublesome to work around.

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The black velvet is for a design which might end up being part of my Monarch [butterfly] Collection. I haven’t mentioned that series much on this blog because I haven’t actually finished any of the projects relating to it. I have about five WIPs in this series and instead of focusing on those i’m buying fabric for  a new one. Oops. This is the rough design for the dress I’d like to use it for.

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The next few pieces of fabric were bought for an Orchid inspired dress. I have four orchids now, they sit next to my desk and I love seeing them everyday. I get really inspired by things around me, so it was only a matter of time until I took inspiration from them!

This is the original sketch but I’ve made some design changes since sketching this. The actual dress will have a similar shape and bodice design, but it will look much different.

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I bought more of the 120″ wide home decor fabric for this project. This time I went for a simpler pattern which is made up of alternating off white stripes. I also got four yards of off white silk organza to use for the bodice and trims. I don’t usually shell out the extra money for silks but I got a good deal on this one (four yards for thirty dollars) and really like that it is matte.

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For the purple parts of the dress I bought four yards of silk taffeta. I found a few gorgeous two toned taffetas, which were very tempting, but I ended up going with this one because it has a beautiful weight and texture to it. I was playing around with it in the store and I knew I could drape and sculpt it into the exact shapes I wanted.

Both of the silk fabrics I bought were from Amin Fabrics. I didn’t even know they sold silks until this trip, but i’m not surprised, that store has everything which is why it’s one of my favorites!

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Another one of my favorites is Hamed Fabrics, but I only got six yards of fabric from them. Two of those yards can be seen on the left. It’s a woven fabric made up of many neutral colors with metallic ribbons weaving through it. Not the type of fabric I would usually reach for, but I thought it was really interesting! I’d like to work this into a menswear inspired ensemble if I can, and maybe pair it with some black wool i’ve had for a while.

The fabric on the right is from Cut Fabrics Inc. It’s a beige chiffon (with stiffness to it which makes it almost resemble organza) with silver stripes. They had this in lots of colors and I regret not getting more. I think this would make really nice puffs for underneath paned sleeves.

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Also from Hamed Fabrics I got a green chiffon with silver woven through it. Again I probably should have gotten more of this, I think I got three or four yards, which isn’t enough to make a full dress. This is what happens when you don’t have a list!

I got this to make some type of fairy inspired dress. I purchased an interesting string of beads at Beads World in the same color, which I plan to turn into a crown. I’d like to use this fabric to make a dress that matches it, but I have no clue what it will end up looking like.

I also got a few yards of a lightweight striped cotton. I’ll probably use this to make a smock or chemise to wear under something. Not the most exciting purchase but basics are important too!

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The next few fabrics are from a store I usually avoid. It’s called “Day to Day” and tends to have higher prices than I’d like to pay. This week they had a big “everything must go” moving sale (but they may have been using that as a ploy to get people in – one store has had a sign like that up for three years) so I went in.

I think of this store stocking exclusively home decor fabrics but they had tons of lace too.

The “home decor” fabric I got is a pale blue taffeta with an embroidered floral design. I’ve seen versions of this fabric in Joanns with red/gold color combinations and never been fond of it. But I love this color and I think it will eventually be turned into a gorgeous 18th century ensemble!

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In the same store I got some white embroidered mesh. On my last trip into NYC I got taffeta and glass stones to use for a 17th century gown. That dress will let bits of the chemise showing at the sleeves and neckline, so I bought this with that in mind! Not historically accurate, but it’s so pretty and will look much nicer than linen.

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The last thing I got from that store is a gorgeous piece of pink lace. I wish I had gotten this in another color too, but I didn’t have any reason to. This lace was marked at $145 a yard. After twenty minutes of haggling I managed to get it for forty dollars! Which is still a a lot for a single yard of fabric, but the detail of this fabric is incredible and I think it was worth every penny. I don’t have a project in mind for this but i’m sure i’ll figure something out!

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The final two pieces of fabric are for another original design. This one is a little weird. It was actually inspired by a vulture.  They are called Bearded Vultures and their diet consists almost entirely of bones. They are mostly cream colored and grey but can develop richly colored plumage from rubbing dust and mud on themselves. And when they do, it’s gorgeous. The coloration they have in that state, and the amount of texture their feathers have were the inspiration for this piece.

I don’t have a good idea of what this costume will look like just yet. I’ve done a few sketches but I don’t feel ready to share them. I think it’ll be a fitted gown but i’m still debating. However this idea was cemented in my mind so much that I bought a few fabrics for it!

The first is this peach colored laser cut chiffon. It’s so fluffy.

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The other is a piece of tablecloth lace. It’s woven from red and black threads so it has a very interesting color and sheen to it. The color is what made me want it, but I really like the lace pattern too. And as a bonus, it was super cheap! Like, five dollars a yard cheap which is a steal when it comes to lace.

(even if it’s made for tablecloths)

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And that’s it for fabric! I’m happy with what I got but the in store selections weren’t that great this time. Usually I have problems restraining myself in certain stores because I like everything and could easily drop two hundred dollars in them. That didn’t happen at all this time. Which makes me think the selections are better in the winter, because around Christmas I saw sooo many fabrics that I fell in love with.

Anyway! Onward to trims and beads!

I went back to Beads World. This time I got seed beads for my 18th century dress. It has lace on the hem which I plan on beading by hand, so that is what the pink and off white ones are for. The gold ones are because I wanted more gold beads, even though I didn’t really need them.

I also got a dozen clear glass montees for my tudor project (I ran out). And two dozen black montees for another tudor project. This time i’m going to be more historically accurate, which means using stones that imitate things they were actually capable of using at that time..

Oh and I got a small bag of green sequins for the previously mentioned fairy inspired dress. Because it will probably end up being sparkly. Most of my projects do.

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I had a few impulse purchases in beads world, too. I got two bags of green montees which are imitation opal. I believe these are trying to imitate “Ethiopian Welo Opal”, but i’m more familiar with them being called “Fire opal” or “White Dragon’s breath”  because I spend to much time on etsy and those are the names indie jewelry companies use!

Either way, they are gorgeous in a way my camera couldn’t capture. They have a milky green base with lots of flecks in them that shine white, pink, blue, and gold. I’m not sure what they will be used for, but i’m excited to use them!

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The last Beads World purchase is the weird strand of beads which i’m going to make into a crown. To me, these look like something you would see in the ocean. But i’m pretty sure they are plastic and dipped in metallic paint.

For my purposes, that doesn’t really matter. They are going to make the most gorgeous fairy princess crown.

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I ended up going into yet another bead store. I couldn’t find the name of it online, but they were selling montees for half the price Beads World does! I wasn’t expecting to find these there, otherwise I probably would have gotten more. I’d never seen them in this store before, so i’m not sure if they will be there permanently. I got a bag of large red ones, teardrop shaped brown ones, and two packs of small blue ones.

I also got two bags of orange sequins for the black velvet butterfly inspired dress!

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At a random trim store ( I couldn’t find the name online) I bought a yard of alencon lace. This is for a wedding dress idea i’ve had for ages. I have enough lace for the bodice, but not enough to trim the sleeves with. This lace is similar in design and should work for that purpose!

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In the same store I got two yards of an embroidered lace trim. I’m not sure what this will be used for, but it would look nice on the bodice of a dress. I could also see it running down a set of sleeves!

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I bought some leather “bias tape” – it’s actually small strips of thin pleather with the edges turned over, similar to singe fold bias tape, but I don’t think it would go around curves very well! I got this with my vulture dress in mind, for trimming the edges of  bodice panels.

At Pacific Trims I got four yards of ribbon elastic. I’ll use this for gathering sections in sleeves, which will create delicate little “puffs” I have a Renaissance project coming up that I need this for.

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Also at pacific trim, I got some fake fur trim. I think this was six or seven dollars a yard, which is kind of ridiculous when you can buy a full yard of sixty inch wide fake fur for $12 at Joanns. But fake fur is miserable to work with, and I don’t want to put myself through that.

I’d rather make fifty yards of bias tape from chiffon. Yeah. That’s how much I hate working with fake fur.

Plus this is really nice! It doesn’t have the typical fake fur sheen, and it isn’t super thick. It is already attached to strips of cotton and the perfect width for trimming sleeves! This will be used for the medieval style dress I linked photos of earlier, and i’ll pair it with the orange and gold damask.

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The final two trims I got are from M&J trims. I usually don’t go into that store since it’s a bit overpriced and the employees are very…attentive? But not in a very positive way. In a way that makes me feel guilty for browsing. But they have a fantastic selection and I knew they would have what I wanted, so I went in.

I got exactly what I needed and was out in five minutes – yay! All I needed were feathers, which they have a pretty great selection of. I got a yard of peach colored goose feathers.

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And two yards of smaller, softer, black and red ones. If you hadn’t guessed, both of these are for my vulture inspired dress.

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And that’s everything! Holy hell this was a long post. I didn’t mean for it to be this wordy. I’m passionate when it comes to talking about fabrics and trims, I guess.

Speaking of that. I made a video of this haul too. I’m quite nervous in it and don’t seem as excited about what I got as I actually am. It was my first time filming myself talking and i’m hoping i’ll get better with more practice.

If you are interested, it can be watched here!

Thank you for reading!

 
 

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Making Half-Boned Stays, 1776

So I guess this counts as another Stay Study post! But I’ve decided to drop that title since I failed miserably at keeping up with that series. It was supposed to be a study of stay patterns from the book “Corsets and Crinolines” by Norah Waugh, with the final project being a fully boned set of 18th century stays. But that didn’t happen and I haven’t even mentioned the series for a whole year. Oops!

But this post is about making a set of stays from the book “Corsets and Crinolines”!

I’m making these stays for an 18th century ensemble that I’ve had in the works for the last few weeks. I already posted about making a shift for this project, and this is the next layer! I decided to base my pattern off of the one shown below.

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I copied that pattern onto paper and made a few alterations. I added a half inch to the back, and a quarter inch to the front. I also took it in a little at the bust and removed the horizontal bones. I realize those add extra support to the bust but I didn’t think they were necessary for my body shape. After making a mock up I chose to lower the neckline as well.

The alterations were really minor, other than being slightly to small this pattern is pretty much perfect for me.

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I traced the pattern onto twill canvas (a cheaper alternative to coutil) and added half inch seam allowance around the outline. I used the twill pieces as a guide to cut out the front layer of fabric, which in this case was lightweight muslin. I added seam allowances to the muslin too, so the muslin layer ended up being a bit larger than the twill layer.

Then I marked all the boning channels with a colored pencil and pinned the layers together.

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And it was time to stitch all the boning channels! I used a beige colored thread because I was running out of ivory.

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When the boning channels were sewn I went ahead and added the boning. I used a mixture of flat steel bones and plastic boning, with the steel bones placed at the center front, center back, and sides. Only one of the diagonal boning channels has steel in it.

I tipped the metal bones the way I usually do, with athletic tape dipped in nailpolish!

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Then the seams were “bound” which means the seam allowance was turned inward and sewn down with a whip stitch. This is why I cut the muslin layer to have larger seams. The muslin can wrap over the twill seam allowance to create a finished edge with less bulk…which sounds very confusing but makes sense during the process!

The finished edges were stitched together with heavy duty upholstery thread.

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Here you can see what the bound seams look like on the inside. At this point I trimmed all the edges and covered them with bias tape binding.  I managed to get really smooth curve on the top edge, but I wasn’t so lucky on the lower edge.

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The lower edge has tabs. Tabs are horrible things which I hadn’t encountered before. I knew they wouldn’t be fun to finish, but they ended up being way worse than I had expected.

I waited until all the other edges were finished before cutting them out to prevent any fraying.

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I pinned and sewed bias tape to the front edge, then turned it under and sewed it to the underside. I gathered all the sharp curves because I figured I could get smooth edges that way. I was wrong!

My biggest problem was not looking at how other people do binding. I realize now that most people use really small binding (a quarter of an inch wide) and mine was twice that width. When the binding is very thin you don’t have to gather it over curves, so looks much smoother.

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But I persevered! They don’t look very pretty, but they are functional! At least I’ll know how to do a better job next time.

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In the photos above you can see the eyelet holes are marked, which should be a clear hint about the next step! The back edges were turned over and sewn down. Then the eyelets were punched out with grommet pliers, made larger with an awl, and stitched.

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And it was time for the final step: lining! The lining was cut using the same pattern. All the edges got turned over and pinned down at once. Usually I try to attach my lining in sections to avoid having a million pins in a garment at once, but this time it was unavoidable.

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But I managed to stitch it down without pricking myself to much. Okay, that is a lie. I pricked myself a lot. But I didn’t get any blood on the stays!

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So that’s it! They are done! I’m pretty happy with these because they actually fit. My last two attempts at making stays ended up in the trash – one was uneven and too long in the waist, the other was too big and never got finished. So this being functional is a huge improvement haha.

And even though they aren’t the prettiest thing in the world, all the things I don’t like about them can be resolved if I make another set. So I feel like I learned a lot!

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Here they are worn – I took these kind of quickly and didn’t end up with a front on shot, which is dumb. But there will be more photos taken of these at some point, i’m sure.

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There are about four inches open in the back when laced to the point where they are supportive. Which is perfect! It also means I could lace it a little tighter if I was aiming for any waist reduction, or if the stays stretch over time. In this picture they are laced the modern way instead of the historically correct spiral lacing. I find it a lot harder to get an even gap with spiral lacing which is why I did it this way.

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I think that’s everything! Thanks for reading!

 

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Making a Cinderella Inspired Dress, Part One

It has taken me a while, but here is the first post about making my Cinderella inspired dress!

I was originally going to make a dress inspired by the live action ball gown (and I still intend to) but got distracted during fabric shopping by this lovely light blue and silver glitter organza. This fabric really doesn’t suit the dress from the live action film, which is why I decided to also make a version inspired by the dress in the animated film. Which is what this blog post is about!

I purchased the glitter organza from Joanns and have paired it with a satin backed metallic grey fabric, which I bought ages ago at a shop in the NYC garment district. I’m also using a metallic fashion mesh (also from Joanns) and grey polyester organza (from onlinefabricstore.net).

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I had planned on reusing the pattern I made for my Halloween Inspired dress to make this one. After taking another look at pictures of Cinderella I decided against it, but I didn’t change my sketch to reflect that. The sketch below was my original plan, which just so happens to look nothing like the finished dress.

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Once I figured out what the dress was actually going to look like, I draped the pattern. I did a horribly sloppy job of this, but I have an excuse! I was paranoid about accidentally snipping the petticoats so I didn’t trim excess fabric. Plus I chose really ugly scraps of material, it was practically doomed to look from the start!

I draped this the way I always do – pieces of cotton get pinned over the form and pulled tightly. Then seam lines are marked and the process is repeated!

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This is what it looked like after removing it from the form and trimming away excess material.

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That got transferred onto paper and seam allowances were marked. I also labeled the center front and center back. And that was it! I had a pattern!

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I used that to create the mockup, which also features really ugly fabric! The mock up was too big so I took it in quite a bit. I also lowered the neckline and extended the basque waist.

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This is the new and improved pattern!

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I used that as a guide for cutting out the bodice pieces from the satin backed metallic fabric. Once they were cut out, I laid the pieces underneath the glitter organza. I pinned the pieces to the organza and cut around them.

With the pins still in I basted the layers together. I did this by machine because I was feeling a bit lazy that day. The point of this is to keep the two layers together during assembly, and it’s easier to sew the layers together than to deal with random pins sticking out everywhere.

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All the pieces got sewn together, and I had something resembling a bodice! When it was assembled I pressed the seams open, then used my sewing machine to stitch 3/4″ away from each edge. This will be used as a guide for hemming the edges.

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Speaking of hemming, the next step is doing just that! All the edges got turned inward by three quarters of an inch and sewn down.

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Then it was time to work on the lining! The lining pieces were cut out and assembled. I’m using polyester shantung for this, since i’ve had it in my stash for ages and wanted to use it for something.

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On the interior of the lining, after being assembled, the seam allowance between the center front panel and side panels got turned under and pinned down. I’ve always called this a flat felled seam but I know that isn’t the right term. It’s like a mock felled seam. But with the other edge pressed flat. Yeah.

Regardless of what it’s called, once the folded edge is sewn down it will create a channel for boning!

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I also stitched around each edge, 3/4″ away from the edge. Like I said before this is for marking the hem allowance.

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With that done, I cut plastic boning to the right length and inserted it into the channels. Then I turned all the edges inward and sewed them down by hand.

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And it was finally time to attach the lining to the bodice! I pinned the layers together, starting from the centermost points and working my way out. I left the center back edges open (the lining will be sewn to hide the zipper, after the zipper is attached).

I also left the bottom edge open, well, kind of. I used large basting stitches to keep it in place, but it won’t be sewn down properly until after the skirt is attached.

For all the other edges (the neckline and arm holes) I attached the lining with tight whip stitches.

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Now it’s time for the sleeves! I spent so long trying to figure these out, and even contemplated scrapping them entirely. But after a few hours I figured out a shape I really liked – and a very simple way to achieve it.

Each sleeve is made from two rectangles of organza. The rectangle gets pinned in half, and the pinned edge gets sewn shut.

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Then each end is folded into three 1/2″ knife pleats, which point towards the folded edge.

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Then one end (this end will be at the front of the bodice) is folded into another knife pleat, this time facing the raw edge. That gets sewn securely so the pins can be removed.

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Lastly I tacked one of the pleats down, by hand, on the underside of each sleeve. This prevents them from losing their shape and flaring out into full rectangles.

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Each sleeve was pinned in place, with the folded edge facing outward and the raw edge being hidden by the interior of the garment. Well, that was my original plan, and that’s what is shown below, but I ended up changing it to make it more flattering. I felt this made my shoulders look very broad, which I didn’t like.

What I ended up doing was having the sleeves extend over the strap, with the raw edges tucked into the neckline.

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The sleeves were whip stitched on and the bodice was complete! It looks pretty puckery in the picture below,  but those disappear once the bodice is worn and tension holds the edges taut.

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So that’s it! I also have a video showing this process, it’s posted here if you are interested in watching!

Thank you for reading!

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2015 in Disney, The Making Of

 

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Making an 18th Century Shift

I’m starting on a new historical project, which means it’s time for another set of foundation garments! I’m going to be making an ensemble inspired by this painting, which means I need proper 18th century underthings. That will consist of a shift, stays, bum roll, and a quilted petticoat. 

The most boring garment for this project is the one i’m talking about today: The shift. I used the pattern posted here which was really helpful!

I was originally going to use cotton gauze for this because it’s fantastic stuff. Super cheap, very lightweight, comfortable to wear, and easy to work with. Unfortunately it’s also very delicate, the tudor shift I made from cotton gauze has already required repairs at the seams.

So I decided to use a few yards of medium weight linen that I’ve had for ages. It’s a little heavy for a shift but it worked out okay!

As I said above, I followed the pattern and measurements listed on this site but I added an inch in some places because I’m assembling it with french seams. I also made the sleeves a little wider because my arms are wider haha. The rectangles are for the side gores (will be cut in half on the diagonal), the larger squares are for the sleeves, and the smaller squares are underarm gores (will also be cut in half).

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Then you need a very large rectangle to make up the body of the shift. I ended up cutting mine down by four inches because it was so wide, and even after doing that it’s still huge! I know they are supposed to be loose but this is a little too loose.

Sorry for the dog – the blanket was in a nice little pile but apparently she wanted it to be a big pile.

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She was upset that I didn’t have a bed set out for her. It was in the washing machine so she had to sit on a blanket like some wild animal. She glared at me for two hours before going to sleep.

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Anyway! The gores got attached to each sleeve with french seams.

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And the larger gores were attached to the sides of the shift, also with french seams. I’m going to stop mentioning that part, because every seam is a french seam on this piece!

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The sleeves got attached.

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And the side seams were done up! I made a small slit at the neck so I could try it on and make sure it fit alright, which it did. The body was pretty huge on me but the sleeves fit nicely.

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For the hem I rolled the raw edge over by a half inch and basted it down.

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Then turned the edge up by two inches and whip stitched it in place.

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For shaping the neckline, I cut a small slit that allowed me to get into the garment, then I laced my stays overtop. Once everything was arranged nicely I used a pen to (roughly) draw out where the neckline should be on one half of the shift.

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I took that off and marked the neckline with a colored pencil. I cut half of it out, then used the cut pieces a guide for the other half.

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I folded the raw edge inward by a quarter inch, then folded that edge in by a third of an inch. I whip stitched the edge in place to create a channel for ribbon. I also left a small opening at the centerfront where I can thread ribbon through.

Beneath the opening I stitched two eyelets, where the ribbon can be poked through and tied into a pretty bow!

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This is what it looked like with the ribbon in place! I used a bobby pin to thread it through the channel. I use bobby pins to threat my corsets too, they are very handy!

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The final thing to do was hem the sleeves. I had already turned them under by a half inch but they had a raw edge on the interior and were too long. So I turned them under by an inch and a half and sewed that.

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And it was done!

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I had hoped to have some worn photos but it’s been a very overcast day, which means my sewing room doesn’t get much light and the photos don’t turn out very well. I’ll include worn photos in my blog post about making the stays which should be up next week!

In the mean time, here is how it looks on my dress form.

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I’m pretty happy with it! Not the most exciting project but it only took a day to make and it went really smoothly. I’d use the pattern again to make one with a different neckline…Though I would probably make it sixty centimeters wide, not eighty. And maybe use lighter fabric.

Thanks for reading!

 

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Making a Cinderella Inspired Petticoat

I thought this post would be fast to write. I was wrong. Somehow I ended up with fifty photos and two thousand words written about this project. Oops…

..

Speaking of this project, it’s a new one! I saw the live action Cinderella film a couple weeks ago and really enjoyed it, especially the costume design. It was stunning. Have I mentioned that I want to be Sandy Powell when I grow up? Because I do, she is really great.

I loved everything about the blue ball gown in the film. The shape, the color, the size, it’s gorgeous! But if I was going to put that amount of time (hundreds of hours) and money (hundreds of dollars) into a project, I would want to do something more original or something inspired by my favorite paintings.

So instead I decided to make a short party dress inspired by the gown in the film. This will fill my need to make something blue, sparkly and ruffly, while not eating up months of time.

 And because I fell in love with a silvery fabric (it was on a really good sale – irresistible!) I’ve decided to make a dress inspired by the ball gown from the original animated film as well. So that’s TWO Cinderella inspired dresses. And of course they require an obnoxious ruffly petticoat to go underneath them, which is what this blog post is about!

This was my fabric haul. I also had some glittery organza bought many years ago, and ordered a yard of silver lamé online. In total, seventy dollars of raw materials for two dresses and a matching petticoat – not too bad! That includes notions and beads as well, but i’ll share those in another post since they weren’t used for this petticoat.

My materials for the petticoat included: ten yards of blue netting, two yards of opalescent lamé, three yards of glitter organza, one yard of silver lamé, a yard of polyester shantung, a WHOLE spool of thread, and two yards of hooping wire.

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When the fabrics were figured out it was time to decide on the layers and do some petticoat math. I’m making a petticoat with has six layers, and each layer has three tiers.

The first tier is a piece of netting that gathers at the waist and gets longer towards the back. The second is a strip of netting which gets gathered at the top and sewn to the first tier. And the final tier is made from fabric strips, with a rolled hem and gathered top.

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The normal “petticoat math” is that each tier should be two or three times wider than the last. So if tier one is three yards wide,  tier two should be at least six yards wide, and tier three should be at least twelve yards wide (before gathering).

Unfortunately I ran low on fabric and had to make some sacrifices which resulted in some of my strips being shorter than they should have been.  I have a few very non-ruffly ruffles on certain layers :(

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There are six layers (labeled 0-5 because I made a mistake and was too lazy to rewrite things haha) worn over a hoop base. Each layer gets longer and wider as they go. A few layers are the same length but most are a half inch to an inch longer than the last to account for the volume the layers beneath it provide.

I wrote all my petticoat math out before. And I had a list of everything that needed to be cut and from what fabrics.

Before cutting the the fabric for the layers I decided to make the hoop base. This is just to enforce the elliptical shape of the skirt and also prevents the skirt from getting tangled in my legs. This isn’t a big problem with shorter skirts, but I figured it couldn’t hurt either.

I made a pattern very similar to pannier patterns, with a flat front and large back. But instead of the flat side facing my hips, it would be at the front.

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I rolled the bottom edge over by a half inch, then over by one inch. This creates a channel to feed hooping wire through.

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I did up the front seams and added the hooping wire. Now you can really see the shape!

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The top got properly gathered and I had a functional base!

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On a whim I made a four inch ruffle from netting and sewed that onto the bases hem. This will give me the correct length to start building off of.

I could have made the fabric part of the base longer, but then it would show if I decided to spin in the skirt. And the whole point of this petticoat is to have majorly wonderful spin factor, with most of the volume coming from ruffles.

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I should also mention that the petticoat base has a eight inch slash down the back which will be how I get the petticoat on and off.

This is it with the netting ruffle sewn on!

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Now it was time for cutting the netting! As I mentioned above I wrote out everything I needed to cut ahead of time so I could do it in one go. When each piece of netting was cut it was put in a pile, then pinned to a label. I think I’ve said this several times before but it’s still true,  organization is VERY important in petticoat making.

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I also cut out all the strips for the soon-to-be-ruffles. For these I used a sharpie to mark all the lines, then zoomed through them with good scissors. I’m still scared of rotary cutters, which is unfortunate, they would have made this process a bit faster!

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When the fabric strips were cut they also got labeled right away!

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After all the cutting was done it was time to begin sewing! Actually that is a lie, before sewing anything I made ten bobbins of thread. Which didn’t end up being enough, I think I went through eighteen before this project was finished.

When it was time to sew the first thing I did was sew all the netting strips together with french seams. Then they got pinned back to their labels. I repeated this process with all the fabric strips because it’s way easier to get that out of the way at the beginning.

And then it was time for hemming. A lot of hemming…

I did a one quarter inch rolled hem, by eye, for all of the fabric strips. I don’t have a hemming foot for this, so I do it manually by running the fabric through the machine twice.

First the edge gets turned over by a quarter inch and sewed down.

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Then it gets turned over again and stitched down as close to the edge as possible.

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And this gets repeated for about a hundred yards of fabric! I’m not even exaggerating with that number. These are the lowest tires for layer one and two (the shortest layers) fully hemmed.

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Once those are hemmed it’s time for gathering! There are lots of ways to make ruffles, but I do mine by pushing the fabric underneath the presser foot as I go. These don’t make the most visually pleasing ruffles, but it’s relatively fast and gives me a lot of control over how dense the gathers are.

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And that gets repeated until sixty yards of fabric strips are turned into pretty little ruffles.

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Then the ruffles are sewn onto the strips of netting.

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Ideally the tops of these would be finished with bias tape or a serger. But because this petticoat is for personal use and I don’t need it to be super durable, i’m just top stitching the ruffle to the netting.

Except for layer two and four, because lamé is is so prone to fraying. Those layers have organza ribbon topstitched over the raw edge.

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And that gets repeated until all the ruffles are attached to netting layers!

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This process took me a few days and I didn’t have enough desk or drawer space to store my piles of ruffles. So they got pinned onto my then unfinished, uniquely you dress form and I had this bizarre looking ruffly statement piece in my sewing room!

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The tops of the netting strips were gathered down and sewn to the top layer of each tier.

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And lastly, the tops of each layer get gathered down to twenty five inches. Now you can see some real progress as these get built up over the form!

This is layer 0 with a glitter organza ruffle.

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This is Layer 1, also from glitter organza. You can tell that it’s longer than the last layer, which was intentional.

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Layer 2! This layers ruffle is made from silver lamé.

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Layer 3, the last layer of glitter organza ruffles.

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Layer 4 is made from the opalescent lamé which I love. It’s so pretty. At this point I realized a little problem, the back of the dress actually had less volume than the front! Which is the opposite of what I wanted.

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So I decided to make my petticoat be two separate pieces. The second piece would be attached like a backwards apron, with the tulle being heavily gathered in the back instead of all the way around.

Which meant I could finish off the waist of this skirt! Some of my measurements were a little off on the tiers which resulted in me having to lower the center front and back to get a smooth hemline. This meant I couldn’t do a traditional rectangular waistband, instead I had to make something curvy with a pointed back and front.

But that’s okay. Curvy waistbands are pretty fancy and I think it ended up looking intentional.

I draped a mock up waistband over the petticoat, then copied it to paper and added seam allowances.

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I cut it out from polyester shantung and backed it with fusible interfacing.

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I used my machine to stitch a guideline a half inch away from each edge, then turned those edges inward.

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The edges got stitched down and my waistband was complete!

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I stitched it onto the petticoat and it was almost done! It wasn’t close to being done.

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Once I declared it finished I realized it was very flat near the waist. This is bad. I wanted a lot of volume near the waist. Not only does added volume near the waist give a more accurate silhouette, it also makes your waist look smaller by comparison. And I wanted a really small looking waist.

So I cut strips of leftover netting and stitched them together. Then I hemmed them with half inch wide horsehair braid and gathered the tops down to ten inches. I made two of these, one for each side of the skirt.

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 I hoisted up the top three petticoat layers and pinned them out of the way. I find this picture so amusing, it looks like a petticoat disaster gone wrong.

Am I doing it right? 

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 I pinned the horsehair additions to each side and sewed them down. These added soo much volume, I love it!

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And now the skirt had a much different, less A-line shape, which was perfect!

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That was before adding the second petticoat, which i’ll talk about making in a second.

 This is WITH the second petti overtop, it adds a lot of volume to the back!

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Now it came to making the second petticoat…or petticoat fluffer…or reverse apron, whatever you call it! All I did was cut a large rectangle of netting which the lower two tiers got attached to (these tiers were originally assembled for layer five). Then the top was gathered down to around twelve inches.

I made the waistband from a strip from a rectangle of shantung.  It was folded like double fold bias tape, but cut on straight grain.

Here are the folded strips. The top one is actually the lining for the first petticoats waistband.

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Then eyelets were stitched on both sides.

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Because of how it was folded there was a pocket between the layers. The raw edge of netting was inserted into that pocket, then it was sewn shut. And it was done!

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And because I didn’t show it earlier, here is the first petticoat with the lining pinned in place. It got sewn on shortly after, then eyelets were stitched in as a closure.

I was originally going to have it button closet, but i’m wearing this over a corset, so there is some size fluctuation depending on how tightly i’m willing to lace, which wouldn’t pair well with buttons.

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And the question i’m sure is on everyones mind, does it pass the twirl test? I think it does but i’ll let you decide for yourself, because I have a short clip of it in action posted here.

Final Notes: After draping the skirt to go over this, I don’t think the back has enough volume. Eventually i’ll make another horsehair/netting ruffle and sew it onto the “reverse apron” which will fix this. I would have done it before posting this, but i’m out of white horsehair and pink would look out of place!

Also the method covered here can be used for a full length version of Cinderella’s petti. Though I would highly suggest using a small hoop as a base, which I did with my Christmas Angel Petticoat. Otherwise the petti will tangle between your legs really easily. You should also use petticoat netting or organza for construction, they are both stiffer and provide a lot more volume than the crappy netting I got from Joanns. They can be bought in bulk here.

I think that’s it! Thank you for reading!

 

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Uniquely You Dress Form Review & Comparison

Sorry for the lack of posting this week, I came down with a cold and spent the last few days under a heap of snotty tissues. But today i’m feeling much better, so I decided to write up something that is long overdue – a dress form review. I recently made the cover for my Uniquely You dress form and thought it would be a fun thing to post about/review!

A Uniquely You dress form is a body form made from soft foam. When you buy one you also purchase a cover, which you alter to tightly fit your body. When the cover is put over the foam it conforms to the shape of the cover and you have a body double! Or that’s the claim.

Since it is made from foam and cotton it is a pinnable form. You do not have to worry about stiff plastic (adjustable forms) or sticky pins (tape forms). It’s also pretty affordable as far as dress forms go, the total cost was under $200 which is half the cost of a professional form.

The major appeal to me was the flexibility of the foam. Since it squishes (similar to how a body does) you can dress it in foundation garments and it will change shape. Then you can fit and drape overtop of tudor bodies, stays, or corsets, which is really great!

Overall I have mixed feelings, which I will go over in this post. This will also show the process of fitting the cover, and at the end i’ll compare it to my other dress form.

I bought a dress form in the size “Small” and a cover in the size “4” from this site.

Here is the size chart from the website. My measurements are 38″ (bust) 28″ (waist) 38″ (hips). I feel like I made the right decision size wise, but the dress form is at least two inches larger than the maximum listed size and will not compress to the smallest listed size.

I used a measuring tape and pulled as tightly as I possibly could and the form would not go below twenty six inches in the waist and thirty five inches in the bust.

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The form itself arrived in a big box and seemed to be in good shape!

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tumblr_nh7m8r8Q6U1qlijqyo2_1280In addition to the form, I also found a metal stand, cotton cover, and instructions in the box. There are very detailed instructions on how to fit the cover which I ended up ignoring completely. I didn’t use their fitting method, nor did I use the help of someone else…oops

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 This is the cover inside out – it has large seam allowances that range from 3/4″ to 1″ depending on the location.

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 And right side out.

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My first attempt at trying the cover on didn’t go so well. I’m pretty sure it’s made for someone who has 32″ hips because there was a good six inches of gaping between my waist and hem, with no hope of zipping it closed! But I had prepared myself for this before purchasing and was fully expecting to add gussets at the hips.

If I ignored the fact my rear was hanging out, the fit was really pretty good. That is why I chose to ignore the instructions, I felt all the steps were unnecessary when it already fit quite well.

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 I ripped out the side seams (from the waist down) and started fitting it by pinning the bust seams, underbust, and waist.

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 I found leaving the hips unfitted during this process really annoying. So I removed the side back seams from the waist down. I tapered the ends into the waist but let both seams out by a good inch, leaving me with 1/4″ seams on each side. I put the cover on again and pinned the side seams all the way down to the hem.

I managed to get six inches out of the four seams, which meant I didn’t need to add gussets! Yay!

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I was pleased with that, so I used chalk to draw the new side seam, then removed the pins and sewed up the sides.

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With the side seams fitted I continued on! The bust seams got taken in and I lowered the waistline. The final step was taking in the shoulders by a quarter inch.

That finished the cover – I was really pleased with it! Especially because I didn’t follow the instructions. It only took two hours and I managed to do all the pinning/fitting without help.

But the process was far from over. I decided to carve down the foam at waist because I wanted to use corsets on this form that cinch down to twenty four inches. I also carved down the bust.

I wasn’t using a very sharp knife so it’s a bit…lumpy haha, but good enough!

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Getting the cover onto the form requires three hands, two to pull the edges together and another to pull the zipper down. But with two people it ended up being pretty easy, even though there was a lot of tension. Unfortunately I still wasn’t done.

The form had my measurements, which is good. On the not so good side, the bust was way too big. Instead of the cover pushing them up/in, it spread the bust out and pushed them down. So it wasn’t very similar to my shape at all.

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I removed the cover and trimmed a lot more foam…still not quite right, and much lumpier, but it’ll have to do!

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Here is the finished form. I’m happy with how it turned out considering the issues with the forms shape, but it isn’t the most brilliant thing ever.

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I also wanted to show that the Uniquely You dress form has a very wide front silhouette and a slim profile. Unless you pad the form, there is no way to change this. For example, my other dress form (on right) has the same waist measurement but looks much larger from side, and smaller from the front.

Because the Uniquely You dress form has a completely flat front, AND the foam doesn’t redistribute itself (it just presses inwards at the sides) there is no way to change this without adding padding to the front. If this matches your shape that’s great, but it doesn’t match mine!

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Overall Thoughts: I think there are some major flaws with the design. The form you receive is a block with boobs, seriously. It’s a rectangle with giant breasts. There isn’t anything wrong with that shape, but it isn’t a shape most people have. And it’s very difficult to compress the form into a shape other than the one it naturally has. It’ll take some carving to create a prominent waist or smaller bust, even if the form cover fits you correctly.

Because of that I would not recommend this form to people who are curvy below the waist. If you have a smaller waist, bigger hips, or a small bust it isn’t going to work for you right out of the box…at least it didn’t for me! Which sort of defeats the purpose of having a flexible form.

I also wouldn’t recommend it to people who have a larger profile (or carry any weight in your stomach) because the flat front doesn’t lend itself well to that.

It also will not squish down to the smallest size they advertise. Which I think is pretty terrible, the size chart needs some updating in my opinion!

And the stand is really terrible, the form doesn’t stay up and after fiddling with it for a few minutes the plastic ring cracked.

On the positive! This is a really neat idea. It will definitely work for the reason I purchased it, since I can layer stays and other foundation garments over it. Having a form with a historically accurate shape will be incredibly useful for drafting and fitting a couple future projects, as well as displaying them.

However I do not feel this is an accurate double of my body, and I don’t think it’s a good stand in for a professional dress form. Unless you will be changing the shape of the form (with foundation garments) I think you are better off buying a hard foam form and padding it to your shape.

How does it compare to my other dress form?: My other dress form is a display form, which I purchased from here. It’s made from hard foam and has a cotton jersey cover. It shipped really quickly, is cheaper, and has a much stronger/better build than the Uniquely You form.

Since it is a display form it doesn’t have a prominent bust or butt, nor does it have natural looking curves. It takes padding to get the shape more accurate to a human body.

I’ve had this form for over two years, and I love it. It matches my measurements pretty well and is really easy to drape on. It isn’t the quality of a professional form, but it’s worked out really well for me and my needs.

It has a very different function than the Uniquely You form, so i’m glad I have both. But if I had to pick one, I would go for the display form!

Other dress form options: (I have no personal experience with) 

Duct Tape Forms

3D Printed Forms

Professional Forms

Adjustable Forms (hard shelled) 

Thanks for reading! A “The making of” post should be up at the start of next week!

 
17 Comments

Posted by on April 3, 2015 in Reviews & Hauls

 

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Making a Pleated Navy Gown, Part Two

The draped dress continues! Part One is posted here, it talks about making the lining for the dress, and though that was successful, it wasn’t looking very pretty. Today i’ll be adding the satin faced chiffon and making it look much better!

So this is the mess I left off with. The first step towards improving it was creating side panels from chiffon.

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But the chiffon is too delicate to keep the shape these panels require. So I backed them with a medium weight fusible interfacing.

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The edges got turned under, then the side seams were sewn.

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I removed the bodice lining from the dress form and pinned the side panels over it. I rested the bodice over an ironing ham to make sure the shape was right!

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Then the side pieces were sewn on with big basting stitches, these will get removed later on so the sleeves can be attached.

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Here is what it looks like on the form! Once it was pinned in place I could begin draping the chiffon overtop.

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I had this weird assumption that this part would be easy. I was wrong.

Granted my only experience with draping comes from watching Rami Kashou and Austin Scarlett do it on project runway, which apparently isn’t enough of an education to make my attempts turn out brilliantly on the first try.

After two – or maybe three, it all blended together in a big mess of frustration, hours I had something that looked decent! And kind of symmetrical. Not really symmetrical, but it was close(ish).

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I used large basting stitches and white thread to secure down all the pleats. My first plan was to sew them down by hand, which I did on the left side. After trying it on I realized it looked TERRIBLE. Even the tiniest stitches created a lot of puckers and it lost the effortless look I was going for. So that got ripped out.

You may notice the back left side looks a little weird. Because I was doing this in a dim room and didn’t realize I was working on the wrong side of the fabric, so that had to be ripped off and re draped.

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The back up plan of keeping everything when it should be involved ironing the crap out of it and hoping the pleats would stay in place, which totally worked!

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Now it was time to move onto the skirt! I cut out another large rectangle, but I made it a couple inches longer than the gabardine layer I cut for lining. I wanted to make sure the gabardine wasn’t visible at the hem, and since I wanted the skirt to drag it made a lot of sense to leave it extra long.

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After cutting the skirt to the proper length I had a three inch wide strip leftover. I folded that strip in half and ironed it so there was a sharp fold. Then I stitched the side with two raw edges onto the raw edge of the skirt.

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I treated it like you would any hem tape and turned it inward to the wrong side of the fabric, so the raw edge was hidden. I pinned this in place and then spent a few hours hemming the damn thing, doing my absolute best to avoid puckers.

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When that was finished I stitched the top of the skirt to the gabardine layer. Then I pleated the top into three quarter inch wide pleats. Two thirds of them face one direction, and one third faces the other.

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I attached a gabardine waistband to the skirt and turned the raw edge under so there was no added bulk at the waist. Then the raw edge was finished with home made bias tape to prevent fraying.

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With all that pinned to the dress form I had something resembling a dress!

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Now it was time for sleeves! The original plan was to have an undershirt made from brocade with fitted sleeves. I made the undershirt but I eventually realized the print was a little busier than I wanted, and I wasn’t happy with how it looked under my dress.

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So I scrapped it, and decided to make sleeves from ivory jacquard. Coming up with a pattern was a huge pain because the bodice has pointed arm holes, which are really difficult to set a sleeve into. The end result aren’t very pretty on the upper arm, but they are functional enough.

I didn’t take any pictures of the process, but here they are!

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Overtop of those sleeves I wanted draped sleeves that were open at the tops and nearly hit the floor. I was expecting this pattern to be quite complicated, but after cutting my remaining chiffon into two panels (40″ x 60″) and playing around I realized I could create a really pretty sleeve without cutting them at all!

This is just a rectangle pinned around the arm hole, and it falls really nicely.

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So I went with that! After making sure both rectangles were the same size I used a crayon to mark guidelines on the raw edges. The raw edges got turned inward by a half inch, twice, to prevent fraying.

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I stitched them down, which was time consuming since this fabric is so delicate.

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But the end result was really lovely. In this photo they are just pinned, but they got stitched on properly soon after. Both sleeves were sewn onto the lining, then the side panels of the bodice – which were previously basted in place, were stitched around the sleeves to hide any raw edges.

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The skirt got sewn onto the bodice, then I made a waistband to cover the raw edges. I wish I had enough chiffon leftover to make a blue sash, but the only remaining fabric was a 1/2″ wide strip of salvage. So Instead I used a piece of brocade. Brocade also got sewn on to create a collar.

Lastly I stitched eyelets into the back of the dress, I had originally stitched a zipper into the back but it wouldn’t zip smoothly past the bulk the pleated skirt created. But that’s okay, I like eyelets!

With that finished, the dress was done.

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Here are some worn pictures! I used the salvage strip of leftover fabric in the wig because I didn’t have a matching headpiece.

I think in the future I would like to add some boning to the centerfront and sides, which should keep the front smoother and allow me to lace it tighter at the back. Right now it isn’t very flattering. But before making any changes i’ll try it on with my pair of bodies or stays, which should give a similar result.

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So that’s it! Not bad for something I made in four days from things in my stash.

Thanks for reading!

 

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Making a Fluffy, Feathered Dress, Part Three

This is the final post in a series of three, the previous two posts talk about making the dress and underskirt for this project. They can be read here. This post is about making the bodice overlay and sleeves!

(I’ve been calling it a reverse cardigan but “bodice overlay” sounds better so that is the official title)

My goal with this project was to create a dress with a lot of texture. I planned on achieving that by layering lace/chiffon/jersey/sequins and making it cohesive with a layer of mesh overtop. But I ended up disliking the effect, since the mesh muted the texture rather than adding any.

Which is why this overlay is removable instead of being attached to the dress.

The first step was draping. I wanted to make the overlay seamless, because seams in sheer mesh look pretty awful. Luckily the mesh i’m using is stretchy which makes that possible, but the mock up fabric was not. So I draped it with a single dart at the bust, then removed that when transferring it to paper.

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I seem to be missing a bunch of photos for this post, including ones of the paper pattern, which is a bit annoying! You will get a good idea of what it looks like later on so I guess it doesn’t matter much.

After transferring the overlay pattern to paper I cut it from the mesh. Then I pinned lace around the neckline.

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The lace got stitched on, then folded inward to create a nicely finished edge. This material doesn’t fray but the edges will stretch and pucker if they are left unfinished, which I didn’t want.

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I hand stitched the edges down, then trimmed the excess lace.

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I repeated the process on the arm holes. I had originally planned on french seaming these, but this ended up being easier and faster so I went with it!

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Then it was time for sleeves! My first sleeve plan was to make large bishop style sleeves from the floral mesh. I was so confident in that plan that I cut that sleeve pattern out. It looked like this.

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But after gathering them and pinning them onto the dress form I changed my mind. I felt that made the dress too top heavy, and the sleeves being cut from the same fabric as the skirt made the whole thing less “elegant” – even though that isn’t a word I would use to describe this dress.

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So I tossed that plan. Instead I cut slim fit sleeves from the plain mesh.

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They got the same treatment as the dress bodice. I stitched the ruffled jersey on first, then I sewed fussy cut bits of floral mesh overtop along with the few remaining scraps of lace.

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And that got covered with sequins! I made them more dense towards the wrist to create a gradient effect of sorts.

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After a quick try on I realized I made the sleeves a little short. So I added a ruffle, which is my answer to lengthening everything.

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I stitched the sleeves on and did up the side seams and bam, a functional bodice!

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Dress Watermark

But it was still missing closures at this point. Before wearing it I added two ties several inches apart, which looked like this!

These looked really pretty when done up on the dress form. But on me they looked really awkward and made it look like I had rolls of back fat. Soo this will have to be changed out and replaced with an extra mesh panel and zipper before ever leaving the house in it.

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I also cut out a waist tie! All of these are really wrinkly because this fabric irons horribly and I was too lazy to steam it before cutting. Which is bad, don’t do that!

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And that was it!

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I feel like the skirt should be an inch shorter. And that strap thing needs to be fixed, but other than that I really love this dress! I think it’s very cute all together. It is probably a bit too bridal-y to ever wear anywhere, but still significantly more practical than most things I make.

Thanks for reading! And if you enjoyed this post, I have a video that goes along with it. It can be watched here!

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2015 in Original Designs, The Making Of

 

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Silvery Blue Dress, Photos

I finally got around to editing all of these! So here they are, finished photos of my silver/galavant/renaissance inspired fantasy dress! I really need to think up a better title for this dress, but i’m the worst at naming things.

This dress was inspired by Madalena’s wedding dress in the show “Galavant” and has a few qualities to it that remind me of early Renaissance gowns. I made it from materials I had around, which included five yards of a shiny “mystery” fabric and a matching brocade. I made it in about two weeks, and it was a really enjoyable project! More information about the inspiration and construction process is posted under this tag.

These photos were taken during one of the many snowstorms we got this year – which are quite inconvenient, but make for some pretty pictures!

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I mentioned in the last post about making this dress that I would like to add a liner to better support the skirt, because the flowy fabric doesn’t hold its shape. I’d also like to make a better petticoat to pair with my renaissance dresses, since I have many dresses with this shape and no specific petti to support them.

But aside from that, i’m really pleased with this dress and how the photos turned out!

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2015 in Completed Costumes, Renaissance

 

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Making a Pleated Navy Gown, Part One

Today (well, yesterday) I was supposed to post about finishing my Fluffy & Feathered dress. Unfortunately I didn’t get around to taking the photos required for that post, so that couldn’t happen. However, I have a new project to talk about, which is always exciting!

Right now i’m not in a very positive place project wise. I’ve hit a lot of roadblocks with my tudor costume and realized I have to accept that it won’t turn out the way I wanted. That is a very frustrating position to be in, even if it is part of learning.

After two days of moping around and doing a whole lot of nothing I decided it was time for a procrastination project! I was aiming for this to be a forty eight hour project, but due to some setbacks it ended up becoming a seventy eight hour project. Oops.

My main inspiration for this dress was this painting, and how Saints were depicted in [early] Renaissance times. I’ve wanted to make something soft and draped for a long time, so this seemed like a good opportunity! I decided to use navy satin faced chiffon for the dress and brocades for an undershirt.

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Since chiffon is sheer and far too flimsy to make a dress with this shape I’m lining it with navy gabardine – I’ve had this fabric for a good two years so I was happy to find a use for it!

I had five yards of gabardine and seven yards of chiffon for this dress and I used almost every scrap, so that worked out well!

This is the sloppy little sketch I did before starting.

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Step one was draping the bodice! I still really need to make a proper write up on how I do this…but I really don’t have a specific method, I just pull the fabric around until it fits the form tightly. Then I draw the seam lines and trim any extra material.

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After I was happy with it I removed the fabric from my dress form and ironed it. This is what it looked like when laid flat!

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 Which got turned into this.

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 Unfortunately since I was trying to make this quickly and because I worked on it at night, I wasn’t very good about photographing the process.

Luckily it is pretty easy to explain! I started by cutting the pattern from gabardine, which will be used as the bodice lining and as a base. This post is going to be almost entirely about working with the gabardine, since I had to completely assemble a skirt and bodice with it before even touching the chiffon. The chiffon gets draped overtop of the gabardine later on.

Once the  pattern was cut I turned the edges over by a half inch – I used my machine for this, which is kind of rare for me! Once the edges were finished I assembled the pieces. Below you can see the collar pinned in place, ready to be attached.

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 This is the bodice lining finished! I used an ivory jacquard for the center piece.

DSC_3167 And here is the first fitting. In my rush to make this I neglected to do a mock up, so I was thrilled to see it actually worked!

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Then it was time to start on the skirt. I chose to make the skirt a rectangle since those are fast, easy, and an effective use of material.

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I decided to hem the gabardine layer with horsehair braid to give it a bit more volume. This is cheap, kind of crappy horsehair so it didn’t add much “oomf” to the dress, but it certainly didn’t hurt!

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And here it is on a dress form! I’m intentionally leaving the hem very long, because it was quite common in paintings from the middle ages. And it helps differentiate it from my other dresses, which I like.

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The last step before beginning work with chiffon was adding the lace up front panel. Since I was working under time constraints I decided to just stitch it down instead of making functional laces.

The panel is cut from jacquard, then I used a piece of lace as an overlay to add texture.

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The lace was gathered overtop the front panel, then stitched down.

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I made marks every three quarter inches down each side, then cut pieces of leather covered cord. These will serve as the “laces”. I used a tiny stitch length and backstitched over the ends of the cord to make sure they were secured over the markings I made earlier on.

This was the end result!

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Ok so it looks like a big mess. But I promise it turns out okay!

Thank you for reading, and hopefully I will be better about posting next week!

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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