Friday, May 2, 2008

Susan's Purple Dress- Part Two

All's high time for an update on my recreation of Susan's Purple dress...
In my last post I had just finished cutting out the bodice. During the process of bodice assembly, I realized that some of my seam allowances were not big enough. This meant going back over several seams and taking them in.
The blue fabric that I'm using as the middle layer is the same as the underskirt materical. It is very slippery, and waterproof, which makes it almost impossible to iron. Therefore I zigged down all of the seams to keep them flat.
I used a very narrow boning that was incased in black fabric. This made it rather difficult to thread through the tube casings, so I had to sew down each end to keep the boning from slipping out of it's cover. Once that was done it worked like a charm.
I ended up doing eight differant pieces of boning. Lady Eowyn had suggested six, but I felt that the extra side front piece was needed to ensure proper support.
I had to cut out the peplum pattern twice. I realized that I should draw the final shape I wanted first, and then add the seam allowance around it. Worked perfectly!
Here you can see a sewn and ironed peplum piece
This was my first idea for the peplum trim, but it was much too shiny and complicated so I went back to JoAnn's and got some duller cording.
On this picture you can faintly see the duller cording, as well as the beginning of my attempts to figure out how to attach the peplum to the bodice.

All pinned! (Yes, there is a bit of overlap in the back pieces. The illustrated movie companion shows this)
Then I basted the pieces down in the front
Ironed them, turned the whole thing inside out, sewed down the iron crease (while the basting held the pieces in place), turned the thing right side out, and tacked the lining down to the inside with hand stitches.
Very nice results.
Still to come:
daffodil applique
and the very complicated sleeves!

And then...Caspian's Brigandine!


Mamselle Duroc said...

Very nice indeed! I'm just amazed at how beautifully it's coming along... and in complete awe of your drafting skills. I'd be scared to tackle such a big project without a pattern!

Elenatintil said...

Thanks mamselleduroc! I was a bit nervous...especially with the boning, as the last boning project I did without a pattern didn't work at all. But this is turning out very nicely! I'm if I can only draft the sleeves right...

Anna Mittower said...

Nice work! Onto the sleeves right? I've been working on those forever. My seamstress cousin had a good tip for me. Take a normal long sleeve pattern and then cut it up and alter it. Just make sure that you get the seams in the right place. My photobucket account has a picture of a period coat sleeve which I'm sorta following.

Elenatintil said...

I always have the most trouble getting the top curve correct- especially with the fitted sleeves. Although since these are coat sleeves and have the slight bend they may work better. (I was an alterations assistant for men's coats, so I have a lot of experience with this style- although I never expected to use it on a dress for Susan Pevensie!). I'm also trying to figure out exactly how I'm going to do the fake undersleeve...

Basically what I've learned over the years, though, is that I just need to take things one step at a time, and give each step the time it needs.