Friday, June 3, 2011

Oh Pioneer

So I finally started working on my pioneer dress.  Which means I finally figured out what I wanted to do for it.  Well kind of.  After looking around for so long trying to find information I decided to just do what I wanted basically.  It doesn't need to be 100% accurate.  I had a wide range of dates to choose from really: 1847 - 1858 so that made it difficult since there were changed to little details over that time.  What I had a hard time figuring out was whether I had to do a pointed waist or if it could be straight.  In the end it seemed to me that a lot of work dresses had straight waistlines, throughout this time period, even if pointed was popular, so I decided to go with that since I didn't want to do the pointed bodice.

So I draped a fitted lining and then came time to figure out whether I wanted to have it gathered or darted over that.  In the end I went with gathers, which I actually hate now that it's done, because I read so much that cotton dresses were *always* gathered and not darted.  Which I don't think can be 100% true, but whatever.  I boned the fitted lining since I'm not going to be wearing a corset with this dress for the event.  I may make a very light corded corset for it later, but I just don't have time for that right now.  Plus, I'm not sure how many pioneer women actually wore corsets all the way across the plains.  I'm guessing not many.  Though they would want some support.

I also had a hard time figuring out how to do a dog-leg closure actually.  Then yesterday I had the brilliant idea of making it more like a "round gown" from the 18th century and having the front skirt panel tie on first, then the bodice close over that with the back of the skirt attached to the bodice.  I got this all attached this way last night and am pretty happy with it.

This whole project has been a little rushed and sloppy actually.  I've only worked on it about 2 and half evenings and right now, all I have left to do is the hem, one sleeve and the front closures.  And that includes the time it took to mock-up/drape.  I need to have this done by tomorrow morning.  And I also want to make a corded flounced petticoat.  So hopefully tonight I can get the dress finished and do the petticoat too.  Oh, and make a little pinner apron.  I also wanted to get together a plain straw bonnet, but don't think I'll have time for that, so I'll either wear the cloth bonnet I already made (which I also hate) or just wear a plain straw hat.

Then when that's all done tomorrow I can go back to the wedding dress full time!  We've finished all the mock-ups and fittings, so now it's on to the actual dress!  I'm hoping by Sunday night to have it pretty much totally assembled, minus of course all the hand finishing.  Then I can focus on the lace and the belt!  Oh man.  My life is so crazy right now, so sorry for the lack of posting!

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