Wednesday, 6 May 2009

The Gown

Well, it's been some time since I last posted, and some time since I've done some serious sewing, so I shall do my best with going into detail, but hopefully some pictures will make up for the lack of words.

So, the gown. The bodice was made the same as my under-kirtle's bodice, apart from: the neckline was made an inch lower (so the trim on the kirtle could be seen), the armholes were made bigger, the front piece was adjusted to make it front lacing. As the gown didn't need any structure (boning) as such, the back of the bodice not have any interfacing in it at all, although the front pieces do as boning is needed either side of the eyelets. Like the kirtle, I used synthetic whalebone from this company. Seperately, the linen lining, interfacing and the wool top fabric were all made up by sewing along the side seams. The interfacing was sewn along the seam allowance onto the lining of the bodice to hold it in place before sewing it onto the wool along all edges apart from the bottom edge (please note, bones were inserted into interfacing by this point). The bodice was then turned the right way out.

The skirt part of the gown is a fared skirt and was made from 4 panels - 2 panels for the back and 1 panel for either side of the front of the bodice. The panels were cut out of wool (top fabric) and linen (lining) and both were made seperately, but had the front seam left open. They were then tacked together and pleated to fit the bodice before tacking and sewing into place. The skirt was sewn to the wool of the bodice as the weight would prevent the wool from wrinkling. The centre front seam was then sewn, first the lining then the top fabric, leaving about a 7 inch gap (from the raw edge) to allow movement for putting on. The lining of the bodice was then folded over the raw edge of the skirt and sewn in place. I then made a placket and sewed it onto one side of the gap in the front of the skirt.

This is as far as I have got with the gown so far (apart from the sleeves which will come later). The next job to do is to make some eyelets. I will do the eyelets so that the bodice can be straight laced - and, fingers crossed, make it suitable for earlier years, such as the women in this painting of the More family. I will then hem the skirt making it slightly longer than the kirtle and then sew on a guard using black velvet trim.

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