Right then!! Moving along at a nice rate of speed.....figuratively speaking. I got the bodice all finished and am quiet pleased with it. Now on to focus on the skirt. I finally figured out why this project has taken me so long. I am not too thrilled with the simplicity of the whole thing. The dress in the painting is beyond stunning and it gave me that awesome little "zing" when I first clamped eyes on it, and it still does. However, how simple it is, is really throwing me. I'm used to ruching and pleating and trim galore and and and and....you get the drift. So, it is just taking me a while to rework my mind to simpler things.
That said, I spent Thursday, yesterday and today working on the skirt and the trim around the hem. I knew that I wanted pleats...the trim in the painting is really hard for me to see, so I am totally going to improvise and "Gina" the hem. Which I did. So, 6.5" pleats made and sewn on. What next? I new I wanted something new and different. Something I had never attempted before. I did quite a bit of researching into the fabulous trim of the Natural Form Era and finally new that I wanted a "fan/shell" sort of thing going on. Next step...find a tutorial. I looked....and I looked....and I looked...and I looked...and I looked.......
I found some super lovely samples from a Candice Kling, and I understood that she gives classes and lectures on how to manipulate ribbon, and has many books on the subject, which is essentially what I was attempting to do. But, I don't have time to wait for a book to get to me from heavens knows where and I don't have time to take a class! Back to the internet I went. I found a piece of ribbon that was manipulated in the way that really blew my skirt up. After studying it for a bit and a lot of trial and error, I finally came up with something that I was super happy with!!
Bodice and underskirt complete!! Huzzah!!!
This is the look that made me so happy...little fan/shell looking thingies!!!
I thought that a glass pearl would look lovely at the pleat points met and would also finish it off!
Fan Trim Tutorial
Step 1: Cut fabric or get ribbon ready.
I wanted quite a large trim, so my fabric was 3" wide. I also cut the strips on the bias as this was less bulky than trying to use a tube sewn strip of fabric.
Step 2: Fold strip down like above image and iron the fold flat.
Step 3: Take strip and fold up, making sure the fold on the bottom is even with the horizontal edge underneath.
Step 4: Mark pleat points.
On the left side of the folded up strip, mark 5 points. I measured 1.1".
Close up of the 5 points. The distance between the bottom right hand corner and the subsequent points if 1.1". Don't know why, it's just what worked!
Step 5: Begin pinning marked points to bottom left hand corner.
Pinch the place where the first marked point is and place in right on the left hand corner. Pin.
Oh yes....you will also want to pin down the bottom right hand corner as well. This will keep your fan from flopping around.
First marked point is pinned to left hand corner.
Continue pinching and pinning marked points to the bottom left hand corner. You can use the same pin for all 5 points.
Just keep pinching and pinning...
Pin until all 5 points are at the bottom right hand corner.
Step 6: To start another fan, fold strip over like above image and simply go through steps 3-5 until you have a strip of trim the length you wish.
Finishing the trim off.
The above images were taken on my ironing board so you could see clearly what I was doing. For the dress, I actually made the fans directly on my skirt.
To finish the fans off, I tacked the 5 points junction and placed a pearl at the point.
I also decided it would be best the place little stitches in between each soft pleat towards the edge of the fan so that it wouldn't flop around.
Well, now it is time to concentrate on the overskirt and bustling in the back. I have decided that I don't want a long train for the back as I don't want it to get overly dirty and I certainly don't want it to hide my hard work on the fans. For the overskirt, I want quite a long apron like in the painting...
Well, have a most blessed day my friends! I think I will take a nap.