Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Blue Bonnet and Bodice Fitting

The late 1850s blue bonnet frame is finished! Thank you to my friend lana/Lily for helping design the trim placement. I have a lovely garden on my bonnet!

The frame was constructed from Miller's Millinery Late 1850s Low Brim Bonnet.

Actually it sits rather high above my small head. I had to cut an extra bias strip of the blue silk and gather it up to fit the inside brim so the white inside frame was not visible when wearing.

I absolutely LOVE my 5" wide yellow ribbon for the ties and trim. The wider your bonnet ties the more fashionable you are in society during this period. You can make your own wide ties by cutting straight strips of fabric and sewing a narrow hem (1/16" to 1/8" if possible). The ties will be pleated up narrow and sewn on the outside at the bottom brim points.

I will also add more ruched lace inside the brim at the jaw/cheek line for that "mutton chop" look so popular in the 1860s. What were they thinking of adding trim just to that area??

1844 Summer Dress progress:

Last weekend while at the Civil War Re-enactment at Prado Dam in Chino, CA I took advantage of being with sewing friends and had my 1844 bodice mock-up fitted over my 1830/40s corset.

The bodice started from the Truly Victorian 1845 Day Dress pattern. I've redrawn the stripe lines to match my fashion plate. My grainline will follow these. Because I've changed the grain slightly I will have to make a 2nd mock-up to double check the fit.

I'll be using some of the tips in the Flat Lining eBooklet to stablize my bias front pieces. You don't want those bias edges stretching!

The pattern was quite long on me around the hips and at the center point. In fact, you'd have to have quite a long waist-to-hip torso to keep it that length and look good. You can see how much I will be taking off.

Here is the plate and fabric again to see the stripe direction I'm going for. I love this fabric.

Remember when you are following a fashion plate the sketches, then and now, are not drawn to human scale. The proportions will be (usually) longer. So pay attention to how the design mock-up looks on YOU. Don't be so focused on your fashion plate that you forget to take your own body shape into consideration with good fit.

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