Painting showing chemise poking out

Painting showing chemise poking out

Today was just for finishing touches as is the last class before we have our costumes ready for the photo shoot in the beautiful surroundings of  the Wallace Collection.

In the class today, I made a toile of the cuffs and fichu as I only had a limited amount of lawn to use.  I also had a fitting and Claire went over some of the final details like ruching the overskirt, attaching the bodice to the overskirt and putting in a placket on the bodice.

Softening – cuffs and neckline

These cuffs would be made of cotton lawn and would be set just inside the bodice sleeve to give the impression of a chemise poking out.

I started by draping some of the lawn to see how much I would need for the gathers.

Working out roughly how much lawn to use

Working out roughly how much lawn to use

Taking some measurements and working from shapes Claire had explained to me, I drew a pattern and cut it out in scrap fabric which was a similar weight to my lawn. The cuff should be baggier at the bottom than at the top and the seam on the inside of the arm (same as bodice sleeve).

Cutting a toile using pattern piece for the cuff

Cutting a toile using pattern piece for the cuff

Checking the cuff toile in the bodice

Checking the cuff toile in the bodice

I also made a toile for the fichu which I tried during the fitting. It was a lot smaller than some of the others, but I didn’t want anything bulky looking. Claire gave me a little cotton lace to add to the bodice to soften up the neckline.

Cutting the cuff in lawn

Cutting the cuff in lawn

Using the fichu toile to cut the lawn

Using the fichu toile to cut the lawn

Fitting

To remember for the final fitting:

  • make sure you have the costume shoes on (or at least heels with the same height)
  • no t-shirts/tops under corset
Final fitting. The overskirt has been tucked in to the pocket slits.

Final fitting. The overskirt has been tucked in to the pocket slits.

Ruching the overskirt

Several methods can be used depending on the style or fabric you are using:

  • rouleaux loops from inside to out
  • tapes on the underside
  • tacking stitches

I am going to use rouleaux loops made from the same fabric as the overskirt and bodice.

Attaching the bodice to the skirt

  • swing stitches
  • stab through
  • button elastic

Button elastic method:

  1. cut elastic with one or two holes, depending on the size and stretchyness. Cut half way between the one button hole and the next. you will need one for each bone or seam. I used 3 on each side. More on the side and back than on the front.
  2. Machine zig-zag stitch the edges to stop from fraying
  3. use double thread to sew in place
  4. place them so that they finish 15mm-25mm above the waistband
  5. during a fitting work out where to place the buttons on the underskirt
  6. use a flat button on the inside of the underskirt
Zig-zag stitching the button hole elastic

Zig-zag stitching the button hole elastic

Placket/modesty panel/ eyelet guard

Use top fabric and drill layer.

When used behind hook and eye fastenings, the placket can be about 5cm wide and is placed on the same side as the eyes.

If used behind eyelets the placket should be wider to take in to account how tight the lacings will be done up and how close the panels will go together.

Homework

Finish the costume ready for next week:

  • Under petticoat – finish waistband and hook.
  • bodice – lace on neckline, button hole elastic, placket, cuffs
  • overskirt – finish waistband and make rouleaux, buttons to attach to bodice
  • fichu – cut and hem
  • pockets
  • cockades
  • shoes
  • hat
  • mop
  • dye under petticoat

Things to bring to the Wallace collection

  • costume
  • small sewing kit with coloured thread, extra fabric, safety pins.
  • packed lunch, snacks and drink
  • no  jewellery
  • make sure you are not wearing nail varnish