First a quick status update on last weekend's goals, which were to:
- Make an official pattern for the bodice (for future reference) – DONE
- Complete the bodice interlining (two layers of fabric, plus boning); – DONE
- Cut out the main fabric layer and lining fabric layer for the bodice; – DONE
- Cut out the skirt (main fabric and lining) for the dress; – DONE
- Machine sew the skirt for the dress; – PARTIALLY DONE
- Make a decision on the sleeve fabric. – NO
- Wash the white linen for my new shift – DONE
- Cut out the partlet; – NO
- Any and all possible hand sewing. – finished the waistband on the petticoat
I've just realised as I was typing this up that I should have sewn the two skirt layers together before putting the machine away on Monday. Darnit! Once that's done, I can do a temporary pleating job and hang the whole lot on the mannequin for the hems to drop. I need to do that with the petticoat anyway, so perhaps that's this evening's job.
Now, onto the pretty bit of the post. I realised that I haven't shown you the fabrics I'm using for this project yet! So, here they are:
Green: Petticoat. Grey: main dress fabric. Russet: dress lining. The grey is a lambswool blend; the other two are linen. The green was white when I bought it; the stuff dyes beautifully.
I need to email Herts Fabrics
to see what wool they have in stock for sleeves. The sleeves are separate
to the rest of the dress, and can be a contrasting colour. I'm thinking a mustardy yellow might be fun?
Oh! And the shoes!
Pretty convincingly Tudor looking, eh? I'm really pleased with them – they're very comfy, too. Another view? OK:
See the label? Yep, Clark's. Not a reenactment shoe at all, but very comfy, and they definitely have the right 'look', as long as you stay away from the crepe soles. I'm really pleased with this find; reproduction shoes would have cost about the same, but these really can be worn with my jeans, and ordered without a special fitting, to boot.
Currently, I'm working on the bodice of the dress. The front is
lightly boned: three strips at each side of the centre, one at the side
seam, and a diagonal armpit-to-bellybutton bone just to keep things in order:
What you see in that photograph is the interlining for one of the side pieces, lying on top of its own lining and outer fabric. The interlining is two layers of heavy canvas, stitched together to act as a single piece, and with the boning channels created by more lines of stitching. The bones are lying on top of the whole thing, and further back on the table is the interlining for the back of the bodice, folded in half, with its lining.
Each piece of the bodice will be completed separately – interlining wrapped around with lining and main fabric – then the finished pieces will be whip-stitched together. This feels like a really scary construction method, cos the whole bodice is basically held together only with your own hand-sewing, but it's worked in the past, and I'm sure it'll work this time. It also avoids nasty, bulky seams involving eight or more layers of fabric.
Speaking of boning, I'm using giant cable ties. And when I say giant, I really mean giant:
(The scale on that tape measure is in inches, by the way.) I use tin snips (also pictured) to cut them to length, and to round the corners.
I spent at least two hours faffing with the bodice last night, and I don't think I'm any further on than I was at the start of the evening. Oh – my mistake – I have marked the positions of the lacing holes. I need to punch those through the interlining before I go much further with the bodice, so I'll try and do that tonight, too. Then I have no excuses for not making more progress.
And that's about it for now. See you on Friday for the weekly Tudor Check-in!