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Author Topic: Non So Piu Cosa Son, Cosa Faccio  (Read 2409 times)
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Miss Maddie
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« on: January 05, 2014, 03:00:35 PM »

I don't know anymore what I am, what I'm doing, as Cherubino so delightfully would sing.

This is a kind-of dress check to see if what has been done is to amaze the welkin with its awfulness. Disclaimers:
This is my first dress.
The gores are probably not the most accurate (for 1865?)
The fabric is supposedly "homespun", meaning, presumably, that the home spinster is fond of spinning out dishcloth material.
I didn't check the print before I bought it, so it probably isn't best.
Again, this is my first dress. Also, the pictures are rather funny, because my little sister volunteered to take them and didn't know how to use my camera.

With all that said, what can be done better the next time around, in your most delightful opinions?






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Elizabeth
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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2014, 03:11:29 PM »

Actually, for a first dress, it's got a lot of good stuff going for it!

I think the biggest "well, consider this other thing next time" elements would be to possibly switch back to rectangular panels rather than gored panels, so the formality of the skirt style matches the formality (or lack thereof) of the fabric and bodice.

The length on the bodice looks quite good. It's not too long, which is often a problem with first dresses. You could move the pleating closer to the center front, so that the outermost pleat is about where the innermost pleat is right now, and that will narrow the whole look in the waist a bit, and give a more period line to it. It'll let you keep the sides very smooth and fitted, and that's always pretty.

The center back fullness is handled well, but skewed away from your center spine, so that can be either fixed on this dress, or watched closely on the next.

You may find, when you move the front pleats toward center, that the whole side bodice is actually a few inches big! I'm thinking it is, because the shoulder drop is pretty large... it could be reduced a few inches, and still be very period, and narrowing the whole bodice from center bust toward the side would also eliminate most of the little fold of fabric just above the bust.

Now, for wearing this particular dress and using it for 1865? I wouldn't worry about that reformation at all. I'd just re-seat the front and back fullness to a better alignment, and any extra in the upper body can be written off as the working class re-using a previously-worn garment, or you have changed shape. Smiley

The skirts could use a few petticoats under to boost the shape; the length is fine for a young lady, in my opinion. If you find you need to rediscover some length, pull out the turned hem, and switch to a faced hem, and you can "find" another 3" of skirt length, it looks like.

If the neckline is pulling at all, take off the binding, skim off about 1/8" at the center front, and tapering to nothing at the shoulder, and re-bind.

I think you've got a great start--this is a dress you could easily use for any everyday lower working class look!
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Elizabeth
Frau Burau
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2014, 11:15:30 AM »

Miss Maddie~ please pat yourself on your back for a well done first job!  We all start somewhere and you already are headed in the right direction.
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Miss Maddie
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2014, 12:09:15 PM »

Thank you very much, Elizabeth, for all the advice! I relocated the gathering on the bodice (according to my sister the gathering in the bac is FINALLY centered, though it took three tries), and it now is ever-o-much more flattering. Hopefully I can post new pictures either today or tomorrow, and be assured that they will be taken with more than the one poor unstarched petticoat thrown on above. Smiley

And thank you, Frau Burau, for the encouragement! Now to go and amaze the universe with me lower-class dress's beauty! Hee. Hee. Smiley
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BetsyConnolly
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2014, 02:57:47 PM »

Maddie, the fact that you're asking questions and thinking critically about what you can do to improve is great. It will serve you well throughout your years of historical dressmaking. I've been reenacting for twelve years and sewing my own dresses for seven, and I have always made it my goal to improve with each dress - even if it's not perfect, it's another step on your journey of historical accuracy.

Don't forget to pat yourself on the back, too. You sewed a dress! Well done!
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Betsy Connolly
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Miss Maddie
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2014, 08:28:18 PM »

Okay,new pictures.


Front. Are you fonder of these configuration of gathers? I think it's prettier.


Back. I am the one who is crooked, not the gathers (I think): no helpers were around so these are selfies. And I Do Not Take Selfies.
 

With all the petticoats I could rally from about the house, all madly starched (starching is fun! Why cannot everything be starched???) Also, the shape is formed by museum-issue drawstringed petticoats, with most of the gathers pushed to the back. I can't put them on waistbands, but I waistband all my own works. Is the shape decent?

The only thing that I really think I need advice on is the waistband closure. I did not do a dogleg because I ran out of fabric (eeps), and it keeps gapping on me, which, though it only shows a thousand layers of petticoat, isn't very proper. And this shall be worn in public, dancing, on Saturday..so it would be nice to remain Modest. Have you any worthy aid?



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EKorsmo
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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2014, 08:51:15 PM »

Lovely!  I think the bodice gathers look very pretty, as does the skirt shape.

In regards the opening, do you have any scraps that could be pieced to extend the waistband?  In the short term, I've been known to cover gaping skirts with an apron (not good for dancing), or to pin the edges together so no white shows through.
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Elizabeth
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2014, 02:00:06 AM »

The entire skirt can be reset to have some extra fabric right at the front; essentially, you leave about 1" of the overlap side of the skirt extending beyond the center front of the bodice. When the skirt is all attached, fold that little excess to the inside and whip it down. This puts the front skirt placket overlap edge on the *inner* crease of a 1" deep fold, and helps stop those gaps.

Plain old straight pins are great to keep the edges together if you don't want to reset the skirt just now.

I think you'll also have an easier time of it when wearing a well-fitted corset. It keeps the torso very stable, so the clothes are under less pressure from the shift and shove of normal human movement, and that will help keep the waistband area from wanting to collapse and squash around.

The gather placement is much prettier, fronts and back! Good work!
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Elizabeth
BethT
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« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2014, 02:26:37 PM »

Wow!  I thought it was pretty good in the first few pictures, and the second set were so much better!  Very nice job, Miss Maddie!  I really like your gather placement, and I think that the petticoats make a great improvement.  After the dogleg closure is finished or your skirt pinned together, if you add a nice white collar and a pretty ribbon at the neck you will look terrific. Cheesy  I can't say enough as to this last.  Here is a picture testimonial:

My sister in the finished dress I made for her, without a collar and ribbon:



Myself in the same dress with a collar and ribbon, though it's kind of a light color and therefore not too noticeable; even so it makes a world of difference:



(though this isn't as good a testimonial as I had previously thought, seeing as the picture without the collar and ribbon is really poor quality.)
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Gen. 3:21
The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
 
Thus began fashion.
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