Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Steampunk Black Dress: Houston, We Have a Bodice

Here it is. Unpressed, untrimmed, but functionally complete. The black bodice, which is really black and cream, and therefore in most lights looks gray.

The vee necked front, with three-quarter length sleeves.

Yes, yes, the neck is a little high. It has to support a standing pleated lace collar...

The back, showing how the coat-style sleeves curve towards the front, as if to shake hands or kiss.
My one concern: there is too much ease in that sleeve, so that I really had to do quite a bit of gathering. That should not be. Not at all. There should be a very little ease.

Oh deary dear. I am afraid I'll have to take these sleeves out and recut them with less of a sleeve head. I did choose the right size in Heather's pattern. Wonder why there is so much ease? Hmmm. Think I'll ask on the Truly Victorian site's bulletin board.

The combination of lining and interlining gives the entire bodice such structure. My 1850s bodice feels this way, and the 1870s bodice looks this way: although it lacks an interlining the polished cotton and taffeta are both crisp structurey sorts of fabric.

Peer closely at the image above. Do you see a cutting mistake? Do you? There is one...

Yes, I cut one side of the back on the wrong side of the fabric. It's hard to tell because the change is so minor, but there is a wrong side and a right side to the fabric. Oh well :}

Below, the inside. The bottom is faced with a bias strip, the neckline fashion fabric turned in and hemmed. As I'll tell you next post, that was the one step I believe another method would have looked better, although this one does the job.

Below, what we now call piping and was then called cording. It was a lot easier to do than I thought, although it took two extra steps.

That fabric is not nubby. It's perfectly smooth. What you see is a pattern of tiny triangles in black, woven in with the cream ground. It's beautiful fabric.

Oh, and the fashion gods must have thought me hubristic, because yes, the sleevils were a terrible plague. Again, later, after the pain is gone but the memory's fresh, I'll tell you all about facings, piping (cording), and the silly, silly, silly, silly sleeve mistakes that cost me time most unneccesarily.

Meanwhile, I have cut out the underskirt and will seam it up shortly. Then it's the overskirt, and lastly, the trim. If time grows short before the Halloween party, I can trim the dress conservatively and save the real frou-frou for later.


MrsC (Maryanne) said...

It's looking luverly!! It is a beautiful fabric indeed.:) Sleevils - such an appropriate word!

Jenni said...

ooooh...it's gorgeous! Well done!

ZipZip said...

Thanks, Jenni!
Those sleeves are really bothering me, though. They have to be recut :(