The Demode Court Dress for CoCo meet-up was delayed by one year. This was a very good thing for me. I had originally thought I could drape this without a pattern. I now know this was wrong. Maybe another time. This is my first attempt at anything earlier than 1850 and I went right for something remarkably difficult. Not only that, though, I chose an inspiration dress that is a victorian fancy dress. I'm on my own to figure out how to make all the trim look 1770's. Or even something sorta kinda like that.
Earlier this year I caved in and got a pattern. Mill Farm. I got it because it was cheap and I knew that I'd have to do a lot of modifications. While the shape of the pattern is accurate, I find it confusing. More confusing than it needs to be, mostly because there are no pictures or drawing in the instructions.
Step one. FBA. I couldn't find any help online for increasing bust volume for this kind of dress, so I made it up. It actually worked pretty well. Robin helped me fit and there were only modest changes. But I was laced too tight. When I checked the second muslin it was too small.
I 'fixed' it again and went ahead and cut.
Kendra's post for help in getting it put together because I really had NO IDEA. None. Pretty sloppy the first time through but it worked and won't show at all. I promise to do better with the proper petticoat. Really. I have a picture but is is trapped in a device with a broken power cord.
So I have cut my cheap poly taffeta for bodice, petticoat, sleeves and skirt (including the pleated francaise back). I chose cheap fabric because I wasn't sure I could do justice to a project this size and I just couldn't spend a ton of money on an abject failure (remembering the disastrous Edwardian tea dress here - no link for the obvious reason).
I managed to put everything on - pinned together and fraying - just to make sure that it did, in fact, actually fit. Here is what I learned:
- Wow! It is really shiny!
- The bodice fits pretty darned good (there is a pin in the center back because it was a little big)
and the creases mostly go away when I turn up the edge of the bodice.
- The length of the petticoat is fine. I can do a little hem. I can now sew it up for reals including that 'doing a better job' part.
- Wow, it is REALLY shiny!
Next, I need to start deciding what I want to do about the decoration. Because it is time to start decorating the stomacher and front of the petticoat. I have to wait for Robin to get back from travels to fit the sleeves and the pleated back. I'm just not THAT flexible. Not in stays. My dress form is useless for this because it is nothing like my body. It is smaller than my measurements but the shoulders and back are larger than me. An expensive hanger. But very helpful for deciding what trim combinations I like. So there's that.
Fun fact - if I wear rubber soled shoes and drag my feet on the carpet, I could probably electrocute someone in this thing. More to come soon.