In my last post I told you about my trouble with the pattern for my opera gown. Now I will tell you about the sewing and construction of it, and also show you the finished gown (bodice and train only).
I recently learnt a new trick, on how to sew darts on fabric and interlinning which I wanted to try. You simply baste the layers close to the darts, then sew inside the dart, very close to the original sewing-line.
This way you can easy get a nice looking dart without any bulk, and the stiching won’t show once the dart is sewn.
Hm, not great. Some changes are needed. Like taking the armhole and shoulder seams in a bit. I also need to re-shape the front a bit, and make the neck opening a bit lower and bigger.
The buttonholes took about 3 hours (guess I’ve becoming faster), and when finished I sewed on the buttons. I’m really pleased with the way the front bodice looks, and are happy I took the time and money to buy 5 extra buttons.
Then I once again got dressed to try it on.
And even though it fit much better now, it still needed to be reduced a bit at the shoulders.
Then I started on the back pleats. Using the pattern as a guide and treating the two layers (fabric and lining) as one, box-pleating the three back seams.I then attached the pleats to the bodice sewing into the interling by hand.
Heming the train would have been an easy step, if I’ve cut the lining long enough. But no, I had to skrimp on the fabric, leaving me no other choise but to piece the train (using scraps) to the desired lengt.
When the bodice was finished I brought out the fabric I saved for the apron, and got to work draping it on the dressform.
I also decided the dress needed some more decoration. And finding this fringe trim the day before the bal caused me to re-visit the sewing machine, and using 8 m of it on the hem of the bodice, train and apron. (And since this was a last minute change, I haven’t got any picture of the trimmed dressed).
Even with the dress finished I’m not totaly happy with the neckline – the fabric is being pulled in some ugly directions at the neck, caused by some fiting trouble.But It is to late to do anything about it now, and the bal room will be faily dark…
Train draped leaving the sides straight/down, and then with sides tied up.
What: A 1880s trained evening bodice.
Pattern: Truly Victorian 462 (totaly re-modeled)
Fabric: 6 m golden polyester brocade, 4 m ivory cotton lining, 0,5 m ivory cotton twill for interlining.
Notions: Thread, buttonhole thread, 15 buttons (which I covered in fabric), 2 m string for piping, 3 m string for busteling/draping the train, 8 plastic cable ties for boning, 2 m self made cotton bias tape for boning chanels, 8 m brown fringe trim.
Time: 25 hours
Cost: About 800 Sek (120 Usd)
Things I would do Different: I would definitely have draped my own pattern, and taken the time to do multiple mock-ups to get the fit over the shoulders and neck just right. I will also have changed the lines of the side/back piece which curved shape now causes it to pull a bit. And re-placed the straight boning with spiral boning in the curved side/back seam, for the same puporse.
Final Thoughts: I love the dress. I think it is cool yet elegant and I did get lots of compliments on it at the bal. The unusal neckline makes it so interesting and viasualy pleasing.
I would love to wear it again – perhaps at a steampunk convention, paired with brown throusers and some cool accessories.