Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Almost there!

Today, I'm putting in the hemstitches on the half-robe/shortgown (I really need to figure out which is which. Or if they are the same). Then, all I have left is the linen lining! That has a little piecing to be done so that the front overlaps properly, and then it is set. I might add a little skirt to the bodice lining, too, but that is optional and might not make it on before the deadline.

The past few days, I've worked on sleeves. I hate sleeves (insomuch as one can hate an element of design.) I mostly hate drafting patterns for them; I have no aversion to wearing them. I cut out and basted on three muslin sleeves before cutting my final fabric. I don't have much of this fabric left (only the lower half of the skirt, and a few scraps here and there), so I couldn't afford to fly by the seat of my pants like I usually do.

I had originally intended to add a 2-piece sleeve to this garment (as per 1790s), but I found more research than not which indicated that the sleeves for this type of garment should be cut as one piece. I found this (below) example in my Costume in Detail book:

Bradfield, Nancy. Costume in Detail: 1730-1930
Costume & Fashion Press/Quite Specific Media; 2nd edition, 1997

My pattern ended up looking like this:

Which mocked up like this (pardon the splatters all over my bathroom mirror. I had no idea it needed a cleaning so badly! I guess bathroom mirrors are like glasses - it takes a startlingly long time to notice that they are actually dirty, but then it is fairly appalling...):

Must say... this short gown does not exactly emphasize a slender figure.
And I don't have a terribly slender figure to begin with, so I look just
rather broad. Oh well. I still quite like it.

It was a LITTLE snug over the chubby part of my bicep, but I just fudged a little into the pattern when I cut it out of final fabric. I had to piece together my sleeves, and I added a linen lining with the lower part pieced in as fashion fabric (as per the Costume in Detail half robe). If you look closely at the picture below, you can see that the outer sleeve is pieced just above the wrist, and there is a little triangle under the arm. I'm actually pretty pleased that this garment will be so pieced, as I feel like this sort of thing would have been scrapped together back in the day.

LEFT: right sleeve and lining turned right-side-out.
RIGHT: left sleeve and lining turned wrong-side-out.

Penelope, my 100lb Lab/Pit Bull mix faithfully lay next to me as I cut and basted and cut again. When I say "next to me," I mean directly in-between myself and anywhere I needed to go. That is her habit. But I love her too much to make her move out of the way (it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside to know that she always wants to be nearby, so I leave her be).

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