Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Medievalish Dress

Is finished! (Unless, of course, I decide that it needs further alterations. lol)Your going to have to wait until I wear it to Silver Leaf on Sunday for pics of me wearing it, though. I didn't take step-by-step photos for a proper dress diary but will try to summarize what was done.
I used Butterick 4827 (sz 14-20) and cut it from some red silk curtain panels lined in cotton that I had found on clearance. I cut the silk and cotton as one and treated it as one layer during construction. Since I have narrow shoulders and a large bust I cut the shoulders and neckline at a sz 14 and bust and flared skirt at sz 20 which allowed for no ease at the bust. Since I have thin arms and wrists I cut the sleeves from the sz 14 pattern. I did not use any interfacing nor did I use the lacing "plackets" called for in the instructions.
I made the dress up pretty much as directed except the I did the facings with just a layer of the silk and stitched my lacing eyelets through the dress, lining, and facing layers on either side of the back opening offset for spiral lacing. I fit the dress over a modern minimizer bra not being brave enough to try for self-supporting. The dress fit well across the bust point but gapped badly above and was loose below. I took in the princess seams going into the armseye about 4" total to eliminate the gapping and curved the seams from the bust to the waist in a bit more for a better fit. That part was relatively painless. I ran into trouble when I attempted to fit the sleeves into the armscyes. Even though taking in the bust had decreased the opening of the arm hole it was very difficult getting the sz 14 sleeves to fit the opening and they just didn't look right. I ended up cutting a second pair of sleeves in a sz 20 which were MUCH easier to sew in then tapered them quite a bit for my small wrists. The sleeves aren't anywhere near as fitted as I've seen in paintings or garb galleries but will wear them as is this weekend then decide if I want to take them in any further. I did include the small train on the back of the skirt but hemmed the front to just skim the ground rather than puddle. I just didn't want to keep lifting my skirts or trip on them as I walk on the uneven ground at faire. I finished the hand stitched eyelets today and tried the dress on over a linen smock and added a belt. In the photos I've seen it seems the ladies wear their belts slung low across the belly. When I tried that the dress bunched up a bit under the belt being that it flared from the waist. I took in the front seams a bit more to make the torso fitted to just above the hips and that helped the dress to lie smooth under the belt.
Now I am ready to move on the the headwear. I'm leaning toward a hairnet, barbette, and fillet but that might change before Sunday.


Linda said...

CINDY! That is super gorgeous!!! You have some serious talent there girlfriend!!

croppin carla said...

Cindy you always do such lovely work.......totally dig this dress. Hey if you ever come here for Bristol Faire, I could meet you, but you would have to let me borrow a dress so that I could walk next to you and look lovely too! LOL