Making a Pink Sateen Ball Gown, 1860’s Inspired, Part Four

Here it is, the final post about my lacy 19th century confection! If you haven’t already, definitely check out the first few posts about this project. They can be found here, here, and here. They will make this post a lot easier to follow!

The final thing I had to make for my dress were bows. I didn’t have enough material left over to make them as large and frilly as I wanted, but they still turned out okay! The first step was cutting out the rectangles…

DSC_5378

Then the slightly longer rectangles were trimmed so the sides ended in points.

DSC_5811

I didn’t have very much lace left over, so I ended up trimming these pieces (which will be the tails) with the offcuts from cutting the lace to be more narrow. Not ideal but better than nothing!

DSC_5812

And what little lace I had left went onto the rectangles that make up the bows. Since only one side will be visible I decided to only sew lace onto half of each rectangle.

DSC_5810After it was sewn on I ironed the edges inward. Now this is where I should have hand sewed the edges down to finish them nicely.

DSC_5813

But I didn’t do that because I was feeling lazy, so instead I used strips of fusible interfacing to keep the edges down. Not my best work, and I kind of regret not taking a few hours to sew these properly, but I had been working on this project for soo long at this point and saving an hour of time was too tempting to resist.

DSC_5814

I gathered the tails down with two rows of stitching that are an inch apart.

DSC_5816

The rectangles for the bows were folded in half, then sewn together and gathered down in the same way.

DSC_5818

Then I pleated the bows to make the centers smaller.

DSC_5822

Look at all of them!

DSC_5823

The tails were tacked onto the backs.

DSC_5824

Then I cut much smaller rectangles out which will make up the centers of the bows. The edges of these were ironed inward and finished with interfacing (does that even count as finishing?). To make them a bit prettier I sewed on bits of alencon lace trim.

DSC_5825

All finished! I love bows, they are cute.

DSC_5826

Somewhere along the way I finished sewing on the scalloped panels, which left the skirt looking like this.

DSC_7492

Then I trimmed twelve inches of fabric off the back of the skirt, since there was a big gab between the scalloped panels there that didn’t look good. I finished the raw edge of the back panels with lace tape, which was sewn on by hand since dragging this skirt through my sewing machine is really difficult (it weighs eight pounds!).

I also sewed up the back seam (this time I did use my machine) leaving the top ten inches open to make it easy to get on and off.

DSC_7508

And now it was time for attaching the bows.

DSC_7510

There was still a slight gap between the scalloped panels, but nothing a bit of lace and a bow can’t fix.

DSC_7511

Here is a close up of it before the bow.

DSC_7513

Tah dah! I used a bit of the leftover chantilly lace and sewed it between the panels. Then slapped a bow over it and it’s perfect!

DSC_7514

I cut out the waistband from the skirt offcuts, then fused interfacing into it to keep it smooth. The edges were all turned inward by a half inch.

DSC_7516

I sewed it on with a half inch seam allowance.

DSC_7517

Then folded it over the raw edge and pinned the other side to the line of stitching. This means the bulk of the skirt will be in the waistband, but since the skirt was pleated (as opposed to being gathered) it doesn’t look too bad.

DSC_7519

This edge was whip stitched down.

DSC_7520

The skirt closed with four hooks and bars.

DSC_7534

Quick fitting to make sure everything looks okay. The waistband was perfect, the only problem was a bit of visible petticoat the back seam where it was left open. To fix that I sewed in a modesty panel and the skirt was finished!

DSC_7529

DSC_7532

The skirt needing a modesty panel reminded me to add one to the bodice. Which reminded me that I still hadn’t finished sequining the bodice, nor had I fixed the gap in lace on the back of it. Luckily, much like with the skirt, a bow fixed the gap in lace and upped it’s cuteness factor!

DSC_7523

DSC_7544

And that’s it for the dress! But are we done yet? No. Of course not.
DSC_7561

For accessories I bought a necklace (which probably isn’t accurate) from forever 21, and a pair of lacy shoes from Funtusma (definitely not accurate). Unfortunately the petticoat issue forced me to wear higher heels with this skirt instead of my pretty boots but i’m determined to wear them with a different costume someday.

The final thing I needed was a headpiece. In the 1860’s evening caps or headbands were the most popular. I made mine a combination of the two. It’s made from interfacing strips with wire sewn into the edges. It’s covered with bias tape made from the sateen and has a chantilly lace ruffle across the back.

DSC_5986

I covered the top with alencon lace trim that was further embellished with sequins, faux pearls, and pink seed beads – the same beads used to detail the bodice and sleeves.

DSC_5983

Then I used some fake flowers and metal beads to add volume to the sides.

DSC_5987

Now it looked weird, which means it’s perfect because these headpieces were pretty weird.

DSC_5988

And that’s actually it! Every piece is complete (and fits)! Which means it’s time for some worn photos. I’d love to get more photos of this in a better environment, because (shockingly) it against a white backdrop with dim lighting doesn’t really do it justice. But for now these will have to do!

Angela Clayton Evening Gown 1860 -7891

Angela Clayton Evening Gown 1860 -7876

Angela Clayton Evening Gown 1860 -7872

Angela Clayton Evening Gown 1860 -7901

Angela Clayton Evening Gown 1860 -7872

Angela Clayton Evening Gown 1860 -7892

Angela Clayton Evening Gown 1860 -

Angela Clayton Evening Gown 1860 -7878

Bonus: My dress compared to the one that inspired it.

Untitled-2

And compared to the sketch I made before starting – it isn’t too far off!

Untitled-2ed

That’s it for today – thanks for reading!

Making a Cotton Sateen Regency Bonnet

Usually I post about making a dress, then post about making matching accessories. But today I felt like blogging about making this bonnet, so i’m doing things a little backwards.

I’ve recently finished a regency themed dress made from a red and white floral fabric. I showed a little preview of it in my last progress report, and a blog post about the process will be up in the coming weeks. The dress has a bright print but is very simple in design, which makes it an excellent candidate for accessories. I decided to pair it with a bonnet made from cotton sateen and a pair of white shoes. This post will be about making the bonnet and decorating the shoes.

I’m not very familiar with bonnets from the early 1800s so I did a bit of research. It seems cotton caps were more common than bonnets, but I didn’t think those would be very flattering on me or look nice with the dress. After a lot of searching I found reference images that I liked. The first is on the bottom left of this print and the second is shown here. My plan was to combine the brim from the second image with the cap/banding of the first image.

Here is my sketch illustrating that plan…I draw really badly sometimes.

DSC_6996

The brim and back of the bonnet are made from interfacing with wire in the edges. The outside will be covered with red cotton sateen and the interior will be white. I also chose to make the cap portion flexible and made entirely from fabric, with no base.

DSC_6994

And I have some fake flowers and pearls which I wanted to use as decoration.

DSC_6997

With a bit of a plan in mind it was time to get to work!

I never really know where to start when it comes to bonnets, so I tried to drape the brim shape on a wig head. That process looked a bit like this…

DSC_6999

When it was removed from the form it looked like this!

DSC_7000

I made it a little bit larger to account for the fact that my wig head is smaller than my head.

DSC_7002

And I had a pattern! It looked about right when I held it up to my head, so I used the pattern as a guide and cut out the interfacing. This is heavy duty felt weight interfacing, which i’ve used for headpieces in the past. I should have used buckram, but I still haven’t ordered any.

(it’s on my list, i’ll get to it someday…)

The interfacing sat weirdly on my head, it looked much different and way larger than the newsprint layer. So I cut several inches off each side. I don’t regret doing this, but I wish I hadn’t cut off so much. My bonnet ended up being a little bit too small and sits farther back on my head than I would like.

DSC_7004

Using my sketch as a guide I drafted a back panel which will cup my neck and attach to the brim. This also got cut out of interfacing.

DSC_7005

Then I whip stitched wire to each edge. This allows the bonnet to be shaped.

DSC_7006

To cover up the wire and texture of the interfacing I sewed flannel over the top side of each piece. I did a really awful job of this, but that’s okay, no one will see it.

DSC_7126

The top layer of the back piece are bands of cotton sateen. I made these bands by sewing three inch wide strips of cotton sateen into tubes, then turning them right side out and ironing them.

DSC_7125

The bands got sewn on but I left the top and bottom edge open. The lining got tucked into the open edges and sewn down. Eyelet lace will eventually be sewn under the bottom band, and the top band will hide the raw edge of the lace used for the cap. So  these were left open for the time being.

DSC_7133

This is the interior.

DSC_7131

I decided on the wider eyelet lace since it matched the color of the dress better (the other was a little too yellow) it was pinned underneath the bottom band.

DSC_7135

And all sewn down! It looks a little ripply right now, but when it’s bent more tension is put on the bands and they look smooth.

DSC_7137

I skipped a few steps here, oops The brim was covered with flannel and cotton sateen. Then I cut out a piece of poplin to the same size as the brim with a half inch seam allowance across the bottom edge. I didn’t like how the poplin looked on its own, so I covered it with a gathered layer of silk organza. Then the bottom edge was tucked underneath and pinned to hide the raw edge. Here you can see it pinned in place.

DSC_7013

I whip stitched around the top edge and the sides to secure the layers in place, but I left the bottom edge open.

DSC_7138

DSC_7139

I made a little bit of bias tape (I had maybe an inch leftover when this was done!) out of some lace. I sewed this around the top and side edges to finish them nicely.

DSC_7140

DSC_7141

Now the two pieces were mostly done and could be sewn together. Here they are pinned in place. I sewed them together with thread that was doubled up. I was sewing through two layers of stiffened felt so I used a big needles and pliers to help guide it.

DSC_7142

And when that was done I cut out the cap. I took a few measurements and then guessed what the shape and size should be. Not the most professional method but it worked!

DSC_7145

The bottom edge was gathered slightly then tucked between the top band and the layer of lining. I sewed it in place with small whip stitches.

DSC_7146

Then the top  layers was gathered slightly towards the center and pinned between the brim and the brim lining.

DSC_7147

DSC_7148

Here is a shot of how it looked inside.

DSC_7149

And after everything had been sewn down! After all that work it was finally starting to look like a bonnet.

DSC_7152

DSC_7153

I made up some ties from strips of cotton sateen. These got sewn just inside the interior of the bonnet. And then it was time for decorating!

The roses I planned on using for decorating were a bright orangey red which didn’t really match. So I used a watercolor brush and some copic inks to darken the edges to a deeper shade.The one in the middle/slightly towards the left is unpainted so you can see the difference.

DSC_7010

I glued those on along with the pearly strands of white flowers, and it was done!

DSC_7238

DSC_7243

I think this bonnet is very pretty, and i’m happy with the shape and construction. But I made it too small, so I don’t love how it sits on my head. I also need to add another tie, or combs to the back because it is really unflattering on my jaw when it is tied tightly, but it tends to shift and fall when it’s tied loosely.

I attempted to take photos of this worn but the lighting went to crap and I didn’t end up with usable images. But I did get a bit of video footage of me wearing it (I was filming it for a costume spotlight) and that can be watched here!

Now onto the shoes. I actually plan on making a pair of Regency slippers from leather and velvet in the near future, since I want them to match a dress i’ll be starting soon. But I didn’t make these shoes, I bought them from amazon, you can see the listing here.

They aren’t very comfortable or well made, but for $18 I wasn’t expecting a lot. I bought them because I really liked the pointed toe, and found the silhouette to be quite similar to shoes from the early 1800s.

DSC_6995

Funnily enough the model of these shoes is “Angie – 18” which is my name and current age, which is kind of a weird coincidence!

DSC_7011

I made some bias tape from cotton sateen. It was folded in half and glued down around the foot opening with the creased edge being visible. I used E6000 to secure it and a few dozen binder clips to keep it in place while the glue dried. The raw edge was trimmed with pinking shears and dipped in fray check to prevent it from unraveling in the future.

Then I made cute little bows for the front.

DSC_7217

Here they are with the bows attached! I glued on some of the pearl/white fake flowers as well. I’m really happy with how these look.

I just wish I had used a little more precision with the glue gun! There is some visible glue which i’m not very proud of. I might try and fix that in the future, but even if I don’t it’s not a big deal. I doubt anyone will be getting that close to my feet, or even see these underneath my dress!

DSC_7221

DSC_7245

And that’s it for the accessories! I’ll talk about the dress that goes with them soon.

Thanks for reading!

Cotton Sateen Corset, 1860s

This was a surprise project from November.  My plan for November was to make two nineteenth century themed ensembles, which didn’t end up happening. But I did make this! Which kind of counts.

I was in the mood to do a lot of machine sewing and stitching dozens of boning channels seemed like a good way to cater to that mood. So I decided to make a corset. I used a pattern from Norah Waugh’s “Corsets & Crinolines” and altered it to fit me.

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 4.02.31 PM

I have plans to make several gowns from the later half of the 19th century, including one dress which is already in progress. Making a proper early victorian corset to wear under them has been on my mind for a while, even though it wasn’t a main priority.

During the time period i’m aiming for corsets were mostly used for support but definitely transitioning into giving some waist reduction as well. I didn’t want anything too major, but I was aiming for a defined shape and two inches off at the waist, which is pretty easy to achieve on me because i’m squishy around the tummy.

After I got the pattern drawn out I made a mock up. This was made following the pattern exactly…just with an extra inch of material on both sides of the back, because I don’t have the 23″ waist this pattern was originally made for!

DSC_0484

I ended up taking it in a bit at the bust and hips and raising the neckline by a half inch. I left a few fingers worth of room at the top and bottom because the shape from the boning will push fat down/up to create the defined waist. Which makes your waist measurement smaller, and your bust/hip measurements larger. In the past I haven’t left room and been left with spillage around those areas, which isn’t very pretty or comfortable.

When my alterations were done I cut the pattern out from a very finely woven pillowcase linen. This previously belonged to my grandmother and it feels very different from linen i’ve seen before, but it makes a great backing for lightweight foundation garments.

I marked out all the boning channels on this layer.

DSC_0485

I cut the top fabric from a deep red cotton sateen.

DSC_0486

Then I had the brilliant plan to sew all the boning channels with cream thread, because I thought it would look fantastic. I’ve seen corsets done this way and they were lovely.

Clearly I need to stop browsing pinterest before starting on projects – just because master corset makers of the 19th century could stitch high contrast channels beautifully, doesn’t mean I can.

(Spoiler: I can’t)

These are just the straight boning channels.

DSC_0496

When those were sewn I marked out the curved boning channels.

DSC_0497

I sewed those as well, then assembled the corset by machine.

DSC_0511

DSC_0512

When that was finished I cut out the many pieces of boning. I’m using mostly steel, but some plastic in the curved seams where I don’t really need two strips of metal side by side.

I should also mention that I replaced the busk with four pieces of boning, which should have pretty much the same function.

DSC_0517

All the boning was labeled, then tipped with tape and dripped in nail polish. I let them dry overnight before adding them to the garment.

Here is the corset with all the boning in place.

DSC_0518

And here it has the edges turned over! I did a quick try on and it was too big on the lower edge at the very front. It was gaping away from the body, which wasn’t good.

Luckily is was an easy fix, I  just whip stitched darts into the front, each one took in a little over a quarter inch of material on each side.

DSC_0519

The fit seemed much better, so I moved forward! The next step was sewing on some lace and stitching the eyelets. I think these compliment the cream colored stitching quite nicely.

DSC_0582

Then it was time for lining. I was dumb and forgot to cut out the lining at the same time I cut out everything else. Since my pattern doesn’t include seam allowances, those have to be marked out with a ruler after the pieces are laid out.

I could have saved myself an hour if I used the cotton sateen pieces as a guide (since the seam allowances were already drawn out on those).

The lining was assembled and sewn in by hand, the same way I always do it.

DSC_0564

It still seemed like it was missing something, so I made some matching piping and attached that. This was a huge pain and I ended up stabbing my right thumb with the needle during the process…which led to an infection under the sewing callus i’ve developed. So that hasn’t been fun, but I think it’s okay now.

I actually really like how the finished product looks, even though it isn’t my best work construction wise.

A few people gave me some great tips on tumblr so I think my next corset will be much better quality thanks to that! Apparently fusing the fabrics together helps. And so do better quality fabrics. The thought of ruining silk shantung with my sloppy stitching makes me cringe a little, but if the end result is better i’ll give it a try!

DSC_0809

DSC_0810

And the fit test – without a chemise so I could show off the fact I don’t get any spillage from it. People more experienced with corsets than I would probably disagree, but I really like the fit of it. I got what I wanted – a defined shape and a bit of reduction.

My photo from the front disappeared somewhere, so here it is with a bodice I have in progress being worn over it! I know it’s really terrible to tie things at the front, but i’m completely incapable of tying tight bows or knots behind my back.

Photo on 12-5-14 at 12.07 PM

A little bit of back creasing, it could probably do with a modesty panel, but aside from these photos it will never be worn without a chemise, so i’m not too concerned!

Photo on 12-5-14 at 12.03 PM

Thanks for reading!