Monday, January 24, 2011

THe nightmare is over!

WOW!  Its all I can say...the Zone front Polonaise from hell is finished.  I'm starting to like it.  I think! LOL. 

I have been so lax in updating the progress of the dress so I probably will do a few different posts.  I don't want to make this one to long.

So I perused my last entries to see where I had left off on chronicling the polonaise....I have been very bad!  lol.  Well I ended up getting the Peach petticoat finished and spent hours upon hours on hand sewing running stitches and gathering and tacking the 10 meters of ruffle that went on the bottom of it.  I also pinked both the top and the bottom edge of the ruffle.  I think in hindsight I will be trimming off the "hairs" that have developed on it and using some Fray check, just so that the edges can stay nice and fresh.  I added the ruffle because the petticoat was about 3 inches too short, for my tastes anyways.   I know I could have gotten away with the hem being short as most of the fashion plates and extant garments I've found show the gowns to be ankle length, but I wanted to be able to hide my shoes since I have nothing that remotely comes close to the typical Louis style.

I had to make a new bum roll as the one I currently have is for a Victorian bustle and wouldn't work.  I went with a petal shape as I wanted the back of the skirt to be supported when I gathered it.  I thinks its pretty cute!
I had so many problems with this dress and I was frustrated with myself both in my draping and fitting.  Although in my defense one can only do so much with a mannequin and pin to oneself is a bit tricky.  I tried the gown on when I was almost finished, all I head left to do was finish taking the rest of the trim on the zone.   TO my dismay I had almost no movement in the sleeve.  It was too tight across the bicep and pulled when I tried to move.  I also forgot to add any kind of seam allowance to the neckline and the result was it was to wide and showed the straps of my stays and part of my chemise underneath.  The whole top felt very uncomfortable.  I had just enough fabric to re cut the sleeves, but only after I altered a pattern for a modern sleeve into the shape of a 18th c type sleeve.  After I had done about 6 or 7 new sleeve mock ups and finished tweaking as much as I could I re cut the new ones and sewed them in place.  I also realized that I had cut the armhole to low on the bodice which contributed to the pulling on the bicep and limited range of motion.

Before I did the sleeve however I cut apart the top of the bodice and made new straps to widen the shoulders so it didn't fall off the shoulder.  I wish I had stopped and taken pictures of it, but I was frustrated and annoyed I just wanted to get it done! 

So then I finally get the sleeves done, the rest of the trim attached and I try in on for the final fit.....AND  IT DOESN"T!!!!!!!

Oh my F"N GAWD!!!!!

I took it off, threw it on the floor and kicked the bathroom door a few times....okay...ALOT!  I'm happy to report the door is solid and still in one piece.  I have to be honest I contemplated cutting up the dress into a thousand different pieces.  Yes I was THAT insane with frustration and anger.  After I calmed down I looked at the best way to fix the dress...AGAIN!  I ended up taking it in in the center front.  It was the easiest way.  While I was taking it in I also decided to put in a piece of boning to keep the front straight so it wouldn't wrinkle.  I hate sewing hook and eyes so I found a piece of hook and eye tape and used that and hand sewed eyes instead of the eyelets I did before.  The eyes worked so much better.

The stays also had a transformation.  I cut the straps off and ended up sewing pieces of fabric in between the tabs.  I found that when I was wearing them it was digging in where the tabs opened up.   I also noticed that when they settled into place at my waist they were too short.  more of an under bust version rather than over bust.  I also had to take them in so they were tighter, since I had lost weight since I first started making them.  I most likely won't finish this set of stays.  They were a mock up to begin with so I know the changes I'll have to make to the "good" pair.

When I finally got to put on the gown an all of the accouterments I left out the chemise.  I don't like the way it fits...I plan on reworking the pattern into something that's not so voluminous.

In the end I finally got a gown that can be worn....Which I did to my first 18th c event.  More on that with some nice pics of myself and the hubby all decked out....

Stay tuned!

P.S....I forgot to mention that during this horridness of constructing, deconstructing, wonderful boys decided to have a chocolate pudding war (my sewing room is the dining room since it's the only room in the house with a table) and slopped it all over the dress.   I managed to get out the chocolate, but boy was I mad....

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