Monday, May 25, 2015

1880s Walking Skirt

I have begun a large endeavor: sewing an 1880s Walking Dress. I am using various patterns from Truly Victorian patterns.  The skirt is TV 225, the fantail skirt.
I purchased yards of fabric from a seller on ebay.  The skirt is a basic midrange blue.  It is 100% cotton (I cannot afford silk which is traditional) and is only about 36" wide.  It is probably from the 1970s or 80s. The rest of the outfit will be done in a blue and white striped cotton from the same purchase.
Here is the skirt side view. I flat lined the entire skirt, except the pleats, with white cotton muslin.  it gave the skirt much more body.

A little more side view.


Front view.

This is pretty much straight on the back. The Skirt gathers at the back to give that lovely sweep so common in 1880s natural bustle dresses.
The pattern worked up easily. I Hope you enjoy this sneak peak.

Im-Perfect Pleater

I am working on a three piece 1880s walking dress ensemble.  More about that to come later!
However, I needed an easy way to pleat 300 inches of fabric for the pleated bottom edge of the skirt.  I am NOT spending money on a pleater. So I started looking up how to make a homemade pleater board. I found instructions here.
Following the instructions I started by measuring and scoring one inch increments. Then I had to fold back and forth to make the pleats.

Then I cut a file folder into one inch strips and tucked one inside each pleat, on the back side.

Then I covered the entire back with duct tape. That seals the folder strips inside and fortifies the strength of the entire pleater.

Here I am using it with 100% cotton fabric. Looks pretty good.  You can then press directly on the pleater.

I did not find the whole thing very effective.  Problems occurred when the fabric would not stay neatly in each pleat fold.  I found my pleats varying in size and not straight, top to bottom.  So I reverted to the old fashioned way of measuring, folding, pinning, and then pressing the pleats.  Oh well, I tried.

I have finished the skirt of my ensemble and will post pictures of that in the next few days.
Thanks for looking.

Ariel's Corset

I have started on the task of creating my own version of Disney's The Little Mermaid, town dress.  I began with the corset top.  I had purchased two yards of beige sueded upholstery "faux" leather. It was a remnant for $4 and was the spark for this project.
I used Simplicity 2172 as the basis for the corset. I modified the bustier top by cutting it down from the top line about 3 inches. I made a mockup out of denim first for fitting.  As I am making it for my daughter I was able to try it on her.  Too big.  I copied out the pattern again in the size 6 and cut down the upper line. 

Then I cut each individual left and right out of the faux leather and out of a crème colored denim for the lining.

I sewed the suede pieces together.  Then I sewed the denim ones.  I then pressed and carefully lined up the sections, wrong sides together. I sewed a quarter of an inch away from each seam to make channels for boning.  I cut the faux leather into bias strips and then bound the top.
I then used 14 inch long zip ties as the boning, two per each seam.
I then bound the bottom edge.  The eyelets are two part grommets in size 0.
Here it is on Daughter.  It is not laced up very tight as it still seemed too large for her.  The lacing is grosgrain ribbon.

It fits well enough.

Maybe a little large in the bust for her.

Overall I am happy with the way it came out.  Very easy to sew on my basic Brother sewing machine. I used a Jeans needle and basic Coats thread.
Let me know what you think about this corset.