Pioneer Progress

For once in a long time, I had some time this week to just do what I wanted.  Had the whole week off (or rather, I’m in between temp jobs and I didn’t have to go in this week) and very few obligations.  Since I couldn’t join the Dallas ladies for Costumer’s Lost Weekend, I decide to throw one of my own.   Sewing it was!

Friday, I got the bodice for my dress mocked up.  I used the “yoke” pattern from Laughing Moon #190 to do the flat yoke at the top and my 1830s bodice for the rest of the lining, with an extra dart in the front to make it more appropriate for the 1860s.

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It looks like a mess here, but the pattern came together great once I had it straightened up, ironed down and traced.  And yes, that is a gray-purple twill on the outside of my corded corset.  White would have been more period, but where’s the fun in that?

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I cut out the pieces Friday night.  This is always a stressful step.  Never know what’s going to happen, once you get those pieces cut out.

I put the whole thing together today.  Pieced the lining, gathered the blue calico and sewed it down to the lining, and mounted the piping to the yoke seams.  I used the “burrito” method I use on quilt bags to assemble the yoke sections.

French seam the sides, and all my ends are neatly enclosed, ready to face the harsh conditions of the trail.

I tried to make the gathers as small as I could, and only cut the top pieces 1.5X the length of the lining, but I still wound up with fairly large-looking gathers.  I’m not entirely happy with that, and spent quite a lot of time fussing with it today.  I had to make a few tweaks to the pattern itself because of this.  It is a very forgiving style though, with plenty of room to “fudge” things.  Overall, I really like the way it turned out, once I turned the bodice edges and added the waistband.

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Tomorrow, I’m going to attach the sleeves and collar, and also do the cuffs.  I need to study up on the dog-leg closure for the skirt.  Another thing I realized today is that I’m going to have to make at least one more petticoat.  The petticoats I made in March for my 1837 dress aren’t cooperating with my hoop.  Looks like I did the math wrong on circumferences.  Still need to work out those ideal skirt/hoop ratios… but regardless, I don’t want to start the skirt without that last petti made.

(I admit, I will be cheating on that petti and using my narrow-hem foot on the edges, but I am not hemming eight yards of lightweight cotton by hand.  I am just not going to do that thing.)

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