Sunday, 16 October 2011

Plans? Pah! ;o)

The irony of writing about planning my work, and my work having other ideas about that, is not lost on me!  Now instead I can write about the importance of a final fit, especially when working on a tailor's dummy.  Oh, and also about "painstaking: (n) the application of careful and attentive effort", it was the word of the day yesterday.  

The Dinner Jacket:
I decided on a ruffle round the neckline and down the front closure of the jacket, using the twill of the skirt.  I do not like the collar suggested in the pattern.  I cut two lengths of twill, approx 32" by 4", gathered them lightly and pinned them to the jacket. 

Although very roughly pinned, on Miss G (if not in the picture maybe!) this looked lovely and suitably Victorian.

So, off we trotted upstairs to attempt to get into everything - I am now a certified contortionist! - had a "final fit" and learnt four things:
1) what looks good on Miss G, definitely doesn't look good on me; instead of the ruffles looking stately Victorian, it was more a case of girl dressing up in her mum's clothes;
2) Miss G has far broader shoulders than me; I knew this already, but in a jacket with this much detail and so little "give" it was very quickly apparent that more adjusting to the shoulder seams (and therefore the armholes) was required as the back of the neck stood proud from my body and there was bunching at the front;

3) I'm slimmer than Miss G, and a little more flexible/adjustable!  Finally the jacket had bosoms that fit instead of puckering at the top of the boning, however the centre front edges would have be trimmed back by about 1/2" each side, otherwise the overlap would be too great;

A natural light photo, to give a truer indication of the colour of the fabric.
4) and the neckline also would need to be adjusted; the pattern mentions an Evening Neckline, I would interpret that to suit.

So, new work to do: the shoulder seam needs to be taken in by 3/4" at the neck, tapering to the armhole, the armholes need to be adjusted by a few millimetres along the back seam, and the neckline will be less rectangular and more V-shaped, a detail that both matches historical images and suits the adjustments to the front panels.  It all then needs to be repeated on the lining.

As points 2-4 of my plan didn't go quite as hoped, and I was an hour or so behind schedule, there was no time to get the jacket fit and lined; my one step further on before moving onto the LBD.  Not to say that I was disappointed, I like the changes to the jacket and it will fit very nicely when it's done, but I had to move onto the LBD if I stood any chance of wearing it the same evening.

The LBD:
Earlier in the week I recycled some of the spare taffeta from the 10yr old's Halloween costume onto the LBD.  I had removed the old skirt, but it was too short, the taffeta served to lengthen it and offered a nice tonal and textural contrast to the raw silk.  I gathered the fabric and pinned it to the bodice, keeping the same empire line that I had used with the tulle.

I then cut a "belt" 30" long, 4" wide, sewed the length, pressed and turned it.  I pinned it in place, below the bust detailing. 

Everything was handstitched in place.

I then hemmed the skirt, handstitching for an invisible finish, ironed it all and it was done - with 20 minutes to spare!  With hair and makeup done, my lovely satin mules, Cinderella (the dress that is, not me!) did go to the ball!  Lots of photos were taken; hopefully there will be one that I can post.
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