I’m a few days late but here is the second part of making this floral lacy dress! Part one shows the process of making the bodice and can be read here. Today i’ll be talking about how I made the sleeves and skirt.
I went back and forth about what type of sleeves to make for this dress. I love huge frilly sleeves but the neckline of this dress has so much detail that big sleeves would take away from it. So instead I settled on small sleeves with a little bit of lace, which ended up being very similar to the ones shown in the painting I used for inspiration!
To create a pattern I measured the arm hole, measured my arm, and used a lot of guess work when it came to the length and slopes.
I made a mock up from broadcloth and liked how they looked enough to turn them into a paper pattern which was used to cut them from my floral fabric!
I also cut the pattern from muslin. I pinned the muslin and floral fabric together, then sewed around the top and sides. This created three finished edges and saved me from making bias tape and sewing french seams later on.
I folded the fabrics inward by a half inch on the lowest edge to create the appearance of a finished edge and pressed them in place. Then I pinned lace in between the two layers.
Then the lace was into place, this is what the sleeve interior looks like! I usually don’t make sleeves that allow for this method (It can’t be done on puffy sleeves without adding a lot of bulk) which sucks because it’s so easy and looks so nice.
I did up the only remaining seam and the sleeves were done!
I sewed them in place with small straight stitches, then went around the outside with a whip stitch to make sure they are secure.
After the sleeves were done I sewed together my lining and pinned it in place. Aside from attaching the panel of buttons I think this is the only machine sewing on this costume.
The lining was completely hand sewn in place. Once that was done the bodice was finished! The lining on this isn’t perfect but it’s pretty close, it’s the damn basque waist that always screws me up.
Since the bodice is done it’s time to talk about the skirt! Like my last two 19th century dresses, the skirt is made up of one big rectangle. Because I didn’t have that much fabric this skirt is only one hundred inches wide, which makes it look a little weird over petticoats.
I marked out the hem line in pen.
I did a sort of strange hem on this dress, the selvage was rolled over and basted in place, then the new edge of the fabric was rolled over to create a two inch hem. I used a cross stitch for securing this hem, since it’s kind of fun to do and you don’t see any stitches from the exterior of the garment!
Then I gathered the top of the skirt. They aren’t large enough to be called cartridge pleats, but I used the same method just with quarter inch wide stitches. There are two rows of gathers, each a half inch apart. I left sixteen inches ungathered in the front, which was turned into a four inch wide box pleat.
I pinned the skirt onto the bodice and sewed it in place with a whip stitch. This took ages and I ran into so many problems, my thread was so tangly and broke a half dozen times during this process.
After the skirt was stitched on I sewed it up with a french seam, I left a six inch opening in the back to make this dress easy to get into. The opening closes with five small snaps.
Once the back was all figured out the dress was done! I’m really pleased with this dress. It’s so girly and lacy, just looking at it makes me smile. I’m also proud that I managed to make this dress from start to finish in forty eight hours, without sacrificing the quality of the finished garment.
I think I might do more forty eight hour challenges in the future, hopefully they will all be as satisfying as this one!
I have a whole bunch of photos of this dress laying flat, but no worn images just yet. I’ll post those next week along with a write up on how I made a matching headpiece.
Thanks for reading!