Dienstag, 9. September 2014

The yellow dress - or how I ended up making another corset

Oh my! I only wanted to make an easy dress for challenge #17 Yellow, but somehow things are not working out for me... When my Grandma was moving into a retirement home a couple of weeks ago we had a lot of things to sort out including clearing her home. Aside from some nice things to find (all the old photographs and bedlinen to make nice things of and her bobbin lace equipment) it was a rather big mess.
But I found some yellow fabric for the upcoming challenge...
Her old curtains. Her flat had very high ceilings so the fabric has a reasonable lenght.
I am pretty sure it is an all synthetic fibre, but since yellow is not exactly my colour (just like pink back in february) I don't care. It has actuelly a nice touch and is light but floating. And it comes with a matching lining fabric.

So now that I had some yellow fabric, I went back to my pattern pile and searched for something easy-going to make out of lots of yellow curtains.

I chose this dress from Frances Grimble's "The Voice of Fashion"






It is a 1903 Afternoon gown and to me it looked easy enough- only 7 pattern pieces...
I really can't tell anything about the curtain fabric, but it is light, soft and I somehow have the feeling this will be a cotton-candy dress in the end. Yellow cotton candy, of course.









BUT, a new dress always starts with the undergarments... I have made the TVE01 Edwardian corset last year and I sure wanted to go with it to save time and material. But it is from a time when I wasn't able to affort anything and simply made everything out of cheap cotton musling to be able to sew at all... You can Imagine a corset from muslin, can't you?
Not exactly the right thing.
This one
 

The shape is allright and it is fully boned using flat steel, but the fabric is just too thin to do the hard work and I felt that the bust line was too high as well:-(

So I had to make another corset before I could start with the gown...
Usually it is a kind of quick job for me to make a busk front corset so I thought I could pull this one off within a few days and then turn my sewing room into a yellow mess.
No.
I am still working on the corset and it is not behaving to my favour AT ALL. I keep finding me shouting at it, as a matter of fact. I can tell that this is annoying me a lot and I already see me skipping the challenge before I even started on the dress!!!
So I am writing this post to inform you all of my plans for challenge#17 to keep me going and not giving up.

Since I didn't even start on the dress pattern I can at least show you some of the process pictures from my edwarian corset nightmare...

 I used the same white silk taffeta I used for my big hat last week and flatlined it with strong white cotton jean. Both fabrics are from my stash. The pattern wasn't a problem and all pieces went together easily. My troubles started with the busk. I never had any problems inserting a busk. But with this corset I couldn't get the busk nobs to go through the fabric. It took a lot of strenght and patience (which I didn't have) and the result didn' please me. Then I noticed that I forgot to include the lace in the centre front seam, so I had to open up the fresh seams and do it all over again!!!
Arrgh!!!!

Centre front seam with busk, lace and ribbons for the bow.
 The boning channels are made on the inside using twill tape. Every seam is sewn from the right side. I pinned on the inside and stitched on the outside to have perfect seams. Even though this (side-)project annoys me it still should be perfect.
 

 Then the real trouble started: After inserting the grommets on the first side and everything went really neat and pretty I discovered I started from the bottom and not from the top. Now I have a 1" gap from the bottom and a 1,5" gap on top. WTF???
Keep calm I said to myself and then discovered I didn't catch the lage on the top grommet. What is going on with this lace????
I seriously had to undo the top grommet really really carefully (silk fabric after all) and do it again...

 







At least the finished grommets look ok. Even though the gap on top annoys me. We'll see if I have to add aother grommet later, or if it will work out fine.














The boning and busk are recycled from my old corset. I pre-shaped the side boning, since flat steel isn't that flexible. I made this new corset about an inch shorter thatn the old one and still I had to cut four new steels, because the old ones were too short. I have no idea why...

 








My Test piece. You know I would never go without;-)
 And here we have a first glimpse on the new corset. Still not finished... I am doing the flossing currently. Then I will ad the binding and some suspenders and can finally start the yellow dress...


I made a quick set of falsies (Bust Enhancers) to go with the corset. Made from two of great-grannys cotton napkins. She even stitched her initials on them, but they are on the side of one of the cushions.


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