I’m still working on my 1853 purple dress but *Real Life* has prevented me from doing much, and now I have that “blasted cold” that everyone in the US seems to be sharing. So I only have short bursts of energy but at least I can sit and do handwork.
A third portion of my dress, the tablier, is finally done. I had to draw a pattern for it, using the width of my skirt under it as guidance but not quite as full since I was only going to do some pleating on its own waistband. It’s a separate piece from the skirt, worn like the later bustle overskirts. Since it’s a fashion plate, I’ve no idea how they expected it to be done so I used my “artistic license” to come up with my own version.
I planned to make it out of four panels, with the curved section being the seamed parts. I cut two pieces out of muslin and gave it a try. My first pattern was waaay too long, so I folded up the edges to a better length. I also made sure it was wide enough to meet in the front center and the sides. Then I cut the four panels and test pleated them over my hoop and petticoats. It still needs another fuller ruffled petticoat but first things first.
I was looking forward to making the pleated trim that goes around the edges and first was going to just hand pleat them. I cut out and ironed 6 inch wide lengths of my fabric, turning the sides in.
In retrospect, it didn’t need that much turned under but I didn’t want fuzzy edges popping out. It didn’t require any finishing and was the lazy way. I probably could have just turned a narrow edges under and sewn them because the final velvet ribbon trim would cover that. Oh well, live and learn. It did give it a nice weight though.
I remembered my Quick Pleaters I’d purchased last year at Costume College and got to use those for the first time. I have the small set and used the 1/2 inch size one. They’re available here on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Quick-Pleater-Mini-Set-Include/dp/B00II8V7NK
They’re a bit thick so once you pull it out of the pleat, it’s a tiny bit bigger but it’s so nice to have consistently same width pleats.
This site has an instruction video using it on the lower right. http://www.jodeesinc.com/products/quick-pleater . They show it being pleated at the same time you’re sewing. My preference is to pleat and pin, iron, then sew.
After all my pleating was done, I sewed half inch black velvet ribbon along both sides, sewing just on the inside since the outside edges would be sewn to the tablier. What I didn’t take into account was they were straight, the tablier was curved, so I couldn’t sew them flat onto the tablier. I sewed it on the outside edges then tacked it at various points of the inside edges. That seemed to work, although I received numerous suggestions of other ways to do it that would require a lot of ripping and redesigning. Fudging won.
And I tried it over the skirt, which is just bunched up under it since I haven’t finished it’s cartridge pleating.
For a bit of distraction I dug through my antique jewelry stash and came up with a brooch for the lace collar.
Since I have very little energy to do much I decided now was a good time to finish cartridge pleating my skirt. And Chloe decided it was also lap time. So we both benefited. Next step will be figuring out those sleeves.