Friday, July 6, 2012

Fitting Marathon - L & R

Imagine, if you will, fitting multiple garments from multiple eras....  It was a whirlwind of activity as we took advantage of the July 3 early close in stock markets to fit everything that we were working on.  Every surface was piled in fabric.  The floor was scattered in pins.  Robin's foot was a sad and pained thing that swelled and throbbed.  And we got a LOT of stuff done.

What we did, and what we learned while doing it:
Petticoat - multiple layers sewn to a yoke for mid 19th century outfits.  I'd sewn the top layer including lace on the bottom flounce and just needed to attach it to the yoke.  Robin pinned it to the yoke, allowing a level hem.  We also experimented with a 'bum pad'.  Yes...I pinned a throw pillow to my butt..
1850's skirt - with the petticoat pinned, the skirt hem could be pinned.  Well, actually the waist.  We both had already trimmed near the bottom of our skirts, following the plaid, so we adjusted the hem at the waist.
1850's bodice - THIS was interesting.  Being small boned but fat, I cut the back of my bodice roughly 5 sizes smaller than the front.  I expect to have problems matching shoulder and side seams as a result.  I had already fit a muslin and cut and sewn a new one.  So this should have fit nearly perfectly.  HOWEVER, when I was sewing the new one, I couldn't remember if I'd matched the shoulder seam at the neck or armscye. I chose to match at the armscye leaving excess at the neck (we're talking 2 inches of excess).  When I put it on with all my underthings, NOTHING FIT RIGHT.  Poor Robin! (When she does stuff like this, it makes me doubt my initial fitting abilities, thinking "I can't be THAT bad, can I?" until I find out that she's jacked up something on her own  Dude!  I didn't jack it up!  It is entirely impossible to know what to do with all that extra fabric. It wasn't THAT BIG the first time.) Luckily, before too much had been done, we decided to re-stitch the shoulder and our optional bust dart and see what happened.  It was all the difference.  Seriously.  Suddenly, everything fit.
Elizabethan underthings - I finished them.  I put them on.  The farthingale was too long so I'm taking a big tuck all the way around between two hoops.  The corset straps needed grommets, so Robin marked where they were supposed to go and I put them in (and yes, one of them is backwards).
Elizabethan bodice - Robin had taken my measurements and I compared those to the pattern.  It seemed odd and didn't make sense.  I decided to cut the pattern size that went with my corset size and add a bit to the seams on the front and side back.  Turns out I didn't need them, and Robin pinned them out.

Robin: I'd taken the train into the city so that we could both use one car to get to Lisa's house. I lugged my cage crinoline, petticoat, corset, drawers and chemise just for the fitting of the Victorian stuff. I also had to carry my Vic skirt and bodice plus the Ren corset.  Talk about a pack mule.  With my slowly healing foot, carrying that stuff almost killed me.  And then, the fitting sessions did me in entirely.

Lisa adjusted my Vic skirt from the waistband. Adjusting it over a hoop skirt that sways uncontrollably is a nightmare.  I had to take frequent "foot elevation" breaks,which slowed the process.  Adjusting from the waist is a total pain in the fanny (and the foot) but sometimes it's the only way.  Standing still while someone fits you is pure torture, with or without injuries.  We were so tired we forgot to take pictures of Rob's skirt - but you can get a glimpse of the plaid here. (And WHAT is that LOOK on my face??? You'd think I'd discovered something nasty in my tote bag!)

The Vic bodice was interesting.  I was worried that it would be too tight in the back as I'd made 3/4" seams there, but Lisa ended up taking it in even more in that area (Rats!  I'll have to take the piping out to resew that!)

The Ren corset was easy as it was only strap placement. (Except that Lisa get the right shape and I just become a cylinder cuz my ribs won't squish and there's not much room between the ribs and the hip bones )All in all, it took us 5 hours, but it had to be done in order to continue our projects. We were mentally exhausted but pleased.  And I just LOVE my pink binding on the Ren corset! (Worn here with Victorian underthings.)

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