Sunday, October 2, 2011

Stripey Bustle Skirts and the Red Contouche!

Whew! It has been a busy week!  It feels like it's been so much longer, so much has been going on.

I started work back up on the red francaise, and it's going swimmingly. I managed to find the rest of the fabric in The Stash, and it was enough to make the front of the petticoat. The back of the petticoat is a burgundy taffeta which is slightly darker. I'm not worried about it, though, since it won't be showing.

My original intention with this dress was that it would basically be a copy of the teal gown in the Madame Pompadour portrait. Up until this point, I've pretty much stayed true to the portrait, but after removing that horrible white lace that I had added, I decided to stray a bit from the painting. This is how the gown looks without the lace.  Needless to say, it's much better!

More trim! The ruching hasn't been tacked down yet, but this is how it's looking. The sleeves are also in the works now, but haven't been finished yet.

This is how the gown was when I went to my regular night out with my friends last Friday. That's when my dear friend Chance, the Lord of Lace, said he was going to have a Poe themed dinner the weekend of the 1st.  Well, of course I had to make something new for it!  Besides, I only have one complete bustle ensemble, and that just wouldn't do.

I had fallen in love with the Steampunk Bustle the Dreamstress made a while back. I have a weird obsession with black and white striped fabric, and when I saw it, I had one of those, "OMG!" moments. And with that luscious bronze satin?  Heaven!

So, I based my skirt off of her bustle. Instead of building the framework into the design, I just had it as a regular skirt, and I brought the ruffles in the back all the way up to the waistline. 

It was definitely slow going. Each ruffle took over 2 hours to make, and the striped satin was hard to come by. Joann's usually has it in stock only at Halloween, and it goes fast. I bought all that my nearest store had - a whopping 1 1/4 yard. :-/  I managed two ruffles out of it. I had checked my other local store, but since they were on the verge of a move, they hadn't even received any Halloween fabrics. The closest store that had any in stock was at least an hour away, so a trekking I did go, and I bought the entire bolt, which was all of 5 yards. Thankfully, it was enough to get me to where I was going! 

I absolutely loooooove this skirt. There's some amazing movement in the ruffles when I walk, and it's sooo fluffy!

The original plan was to make an overskirt and a bodice to go with it, but with the time constraints I was working with, I had to retool the design. I nixed the overskirt, and changed the bodice design to something simpler. The skirt had eaten up so much of my time that I only had half a day left to make the bodice, so I neglected to actually do any fitting while I was making it.  As a result, the bodice is waaaay too small in the bust, and oddly too large in the waist. Ugh. Still, I was able to sew myself into it before the evening. Of course, it being too small assured that I had MASSIVE amounts of cleavage, so I threw on a cheap capelet and didn't take it off all night.  Still, the skirt was amazing. And, I had actually bought the entire bolt of the bronze satin because of the original design I had in mind, so I have plenty left over to make a new bodice!

This is the only picture I have from the Poe dinner so far. I'll post more as I get them!

Also, I'm completely in love with my hair from that evening.

I used a long brown wig and braided it with a bit of the same bronze ribbon that I had used for the skirt. I pulled my own hair back and clipped on a curly ponytail fall, then pinned the braid in front of it. I decorated it with a couple of silk orchid sprigs and some hair crystals.  I think this may become my standard fancy hair for Victorian and Steampunk stuffs.  :D 

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