Friday, 22 April 2016

1790s Open Robe Costume Update: Part 1

Literally as soon as I got back from Florida I started planning and making this! It's a very exciting project that will go with my 1790s chemise en robe and a turban, and is completely different to anything I've done before. For one thing, I've made my own pattern, and therefore I don't have any directions to follow other than the things that pop up in my head. I'm so used to working with patterns that this has been quite a challenge for me (a fun challenge).

I used the pattern that I made last time, pinned, cut, and sewed together all of the bodice pieces. Then I added darts to where they were needed, under the arms. I forgot to photograph this stage, but I made a long, flowing piece that went from the middle back of the bodice to the floor, getting gradually wider as it reaches the floor. I did this by using a measuring tape as a guide, after I pinned the back bodice to the fabric.

After the bodice was sewn together, I used my muslin as a lining and sewed it in completely by hand, using whip stitches. This took a couple of days and a lot of patience, as usually I don't like hand-sewing and will do anything to get round it.
This project actually took a lot of hand-sewing, including in adjusting the lining to fit properly (the muslin armscyes were different shapes and therefore I had to do a lot of fiddling and patching to get them looking halfway decent), sewing the armscyes, sewing the bodice to the skirt, and doing the lining.

Today I was fiddling with the armholes to get them to behave, but only succeeded in doing one and couldn't face anymore hand-sewing. So I moved on to the skirt.
I gathered two pieces of the material by hand (ugh) and placed the bodice over the right side of the gathering, with the lining side against the right side. Then I backstitched the bodice in place - which was very difficult for my hands - seeing as I would be placing trim over it, strengthening the area and making it look prettier.

That's all for now, though I may go back to it tonight if I can deal with the armholes and the other side of the skirt.

The bodice before I attached half of the skirt.

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