Friday, April 15, 2011

Renovating My Sheer 1795 Morning Dress: Sleeve Design

First toile: my assistants
 The first toile was too narrow when I basted it to the bodice. Of course, it's regular old quilting cotton, so it doesn't drape, but you can see below that it doesn't have much excess to create the folds of the reference sleeve.

So, I widened the sleeve further. Because the voile is 32" wide selvage to selvage, I made that a convenient width to work with. That also meant I could simply combination stitch the selvages together with a 1/8" seam and dispense with further seam finishing, a period solution.

Here is the original Sense and Sensibility pattern sleeve, laid atop my first toile. The change in shape, which is closer to full sleeves as patterned in Janet Arnold, is to create sleeve fullness.

Now here is the final sleeve, as cut out in the voile.

Voile is a pain to cut. It does not like to cut neatly, but pulls out of shape with the barest movement. That won't matter when sewn into such a full sleeve shape.

I sewed the seams and began the two rows of stroked gathers for each sleeve last evening. Creating the two rows of gathers for each sleeve I expect to run an hour total. I am getting to be so used to stroked gathers that they move fast.

We're getting there...

It always helps when your son hands you a bouquet of yard violets clamped in his round hand.

For those of you across the pond, common violets here are pesky, free-seeding little plants, without fragrance but with such a rich color that I haven't the heart anymore to root them out, so they speckle our lawn with clots of deepest blue purple.

Violets symbolize modesty, faithfulness, affection, watchfulness, and the color relates to Easter. What a gift.

I should ribbon-embroider my silk gauze shawl with violets. In fact, that is what I will do. So there.


MrsC said...

Natalie you are SUCH a tease!! Not one photo of you in any of this for positive months! You are the Mistress of Suspense!
I love th eidea of violets. Just don't get carried away and turn it into a dress a la Mae West as featured in The Dreamstress' Rate the dress a while ago ;-)

ZipZip said...

Dear Mrs. C.,
I had a monstrous hair-and-face day. No showing it without a certain Medusa effect.

Now I have to go over to the Dreamstress and see the Mae West wonder...

Very best,