Saturday, August 30, 2014

Mourning Dress - Embellishments Part 2

Today I spent most of the time at the Railroad Faire at Ardenwood.  Tons of fun.  The Railroad people had a couple of old small engines pulling cars with lots of guests in them.  Lots of kids!! The model railroad people had their models all set up in the farmyard and in the granary!  And wouldn't you know it, I forgot my camera.   And!  The music box people had music boxes, big, little and in between set up on the lawn and in the house.  And of course, the calliope was in the gazebo give the whole place such a fun atmosphere!

And the house!  My gosh did we have gobs of people to give tours to, especially in the late afternoon.  By the time I was done and the park was closing my feet were really hurting!

So, I let my feet rest when I got home by sitting and pressing the pleats again for good measure. Then I sewed them to the bottom of the skirt.

So, here is the skirt with the pleats attached to the bottom........really hard to see anything in black!

Close up view
 And then I decided I would try an embelishment of gathers on the front of the skirt.  I am going to baste them on first.

I may not like how it ends up looking,  but I got the idea from a couple of period mourning dresses.  You have to look really hard to see it.  It looks like it is on an apron but I don't plan on doing that.

Here I have it just hanging on the skirt to see how it looks.

Then I plan on doing something with the sleeves.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Mourning Dress - Embellishment, part 1

Today I cut out the strips for the pleats at the bottom of the skirt.

After sewing all the strips together and hemming them, I tried out my "Perfect Pleater".

It does make it tremendously easier than trying to do all that pleating by hand alone.

Almost done with making the pleating.  I pinned the pleats together because I want to steam them all again before attaching them to the skirt.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Mourning Dress- Problem solving

The last of the details are pretty much done, but I did have some problems to solve.

Remember, I was worried about the lining showing on the bottom edge of the bodice.  Since the dress is black and the lining was ivory, the "look" would be ruined.

A little bit of the lining can show and really looks bad on the black.

I was at the point of no return.  I had trimmed edges and I was afraid it would not "go back" the way it needed to if I tried to replace the lining with a black fabric. to fix it.  I tacked extra wide bias tape (black) all along the bottom edge of the bodice.

I am happy with it.  It solved the problem and doesn't look bad.  But, lesson learned.

The sleeves
I pressed them again and it looks a lot better.  I am ok with it now.

The sleeve length
I shortened the sleeves.

The buttons
I dropped by JoAnn's fabric this morning......they don't have any more of the buttons that I need and I need at least 2 more packages of them.

I looked for JoAnn Fabrics around the bay area but they were pretty far away.  Then I came across a site.  They had the exact buttons!  So they have been ordered.  They probably will be here in about 2 weeks.

So, I have all the detail that need to be done except the embellishments!  Pleats at the bottom of the skirt!

I pulled out my "Perfect  Pleater".  I am going to have to read up on how it works.

This 3-day weekend is the Railroad Faire at Ardenwood !

Pans/Pandas: Thank God for these doctors!

Psychotic Teenager Misdiagnosed as Bipolar Had a Curable Autoimmune Disease

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Took a Break!

We went to Pacific Grove yesterday and came back this afternoon.  This is one of my most favorite places in the world!  We went there when we were courting, on our honeymoon (52 years ago) and many, many times as the kids were growing up and since then!  I regroup and renew there.  Just breathing in the salt air is refreshing!  I would have stayed longer if I didn't have other things on my calendar!

Ahhh!  Lets enjoy the ocean views!

That is a scuba diver in the water

The pelicans, cormorants and terns were having lunch

I love the reflections!

Mmmmmm, just like I was still there.  I can still hear it!

Back at our motel a couple of the local deer found their selves on the wrong side of the fence.  The deer think they own the whole town...well, I guess they do!

"Open the gate!"

Tomorrow I will let you know what I did on the Mourning Dress Bodice last night!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mourning Dress...Update!

I have been working on the dress in between earthquakes, staying with my granddaughter and a lot of other little things.

I took pictures last night and for what it is worth, here they are:

I did put the sleeves in...

And I worked on the pleats in the back.

"Dolly" is sized for Jen so the bodice does not fit her as it will me...and the buttons are not in yet.

Then the lining was put in.  I used a piece of soft cotton fabric from my stash.  After wearing a bodice lined with a lining fabric for the Murder Mystery event, I decided for a tight bodice, the feel of the lining fabric on a warm evening is not comfortable.

Unfortunately the lining is an ivory color. Now I am worried about it showing on a black dress.  When I chose it I was so sick of trying to see what I was doing with all that BLACK, I just gravitated to the lighter color.  I did check to make sure the lighter fabric wouldn't show through the back, but I didn't think about under the pleats in the back, along the bottom edge of the bodice and the sleeves showing.

Oh, well.  Problem solving.

The sleeves don't quite sit well at the seams like I want them to, so the hand stitching on the lining around the sleeves will have to come out so I can fix the sleeves.

I am not really happy with the pleats in the back so I am going to take all the stitching holding them down and redo.

The buttonholes came out well and I have to add the buttons.

When I get those things done I am going to add the pleats on the skirt and maybe a few other embellishments.

Monday, August 25, 2014


I just put in 18 buttonholes!

Now to get 18 matching buttons.  I have 12 so hopefully JoAnn's will have the rest.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

What a way to wake up!!

So, did you feel it?

That is the common greeting after an earthquake in the SF Bay Area. If you did, I hope it was kind to you. I was in Niles, a part of Fremont, CA with my granddaughter while her parents are in Seattle for the weekend. Niles sits on top of the Hayward Fault and I have worried about that. In fact, one of their friends has evidence their master bedroom is smack on the fault. USGS has checked out their property. They live just a couple of hundred yards away from where I was sleeping this morning. It was a rock-n-roll situation about 3:30 this morning, I figured about a 5, if epicenter was near. Unfortunately, it was a lot bigger at the epicenter, Napa, CA, in the wine country of the north bay area. Thankfully it happened when there were not a lot of people in dangerous areas, although there were about 90 people hurt.   


I have been moving

along on the Mournig Dress Bodice.
The interfacing was basted onto the fashion fabric to make everything very stable.

Then all the main parts were sewn together.

I decided to layer the top of the vest with a rather heavy lace I had in my statch. I had just enough. And while looking for the lace I came across some pipeing so I decided to add that to the "jacket" edges at the vest.

This pattern has the look of 2 collars, one for the jacket, one for the vest. So the collars are basted in.

Then came the boning. I had gotten a different kind of boning a while back. This kind is made of a plastic web and can be sewn, so I tried it out.

So that is where I am so far.  Today, I will be attaching the sleeves and installing the lining!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Mourning Dress Bodice

Yesterday I did a big push forward on the bodice.

The night before I had cut out all the pieces of fashion fabric, interlining and lining.  Then, while watching TV in the evening with my dear hubby,  I basted all the interlining pieces to the fashion pieces.

Oh, and I also had to mark all the spots I usually use a fabric pen on, with tailor tacks....nothing else shows on BLACK!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Good morning!

Good morning! The Patterson House Fremont Facebook page posted this nice picture of the house and I just had to share it!

I am off to walk Don Edward's this morning, then will start to put the Mourning Dress bodice together.  Kind of scary to me.  I've done this pattern before but I don't remember if I marked the pattern with all the changes I made then.  I think I am just nervous because I have Jen's dress on the back burner and I want to get to the embellishment of the Mourning Dress skirt and.... lots of other things!  Lots going on!  

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Bodice of the basic Mourning Dress

Today I finished the skirt hem.  Hems are great "watching TV" projects.  I have the button and button hole to finish yet.  And when I finish the bodice I will go back and embellish the skirt.

So,I have been thinking about the bodice of this dress.  It has a "vest" look to it. It was a common style back in the day.  The vest itself is sewn in so you can't change it easily.

This is an example I found of this style.

I  have these 2 laces so maybe I will use one of them for the vest.

In the mean time, I am still mulling over what frufru I am going to add to the skirt.  I have to find that pleating thingy.  Hopefully it is where I think it is!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Starting the Mourning Dress

Wow, the eyes are trying to adjust after working on all those white projects and now going to pure black.

The skirt has been cut out and sewn, and only the hem and the button and button hole need to be done to finish it.

 These are the patterns for this project:

 I added 2 layers of netting to the back of the skirt to give some support for the bustle.

Here is a side view...

Front view...

 And back view.

I had cleaned up the sewing room after the petticoat project.  But I think I am the messiest seamstress.  And though I clean up often in the midst of a project, it still is constantly messy!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Next . . . .

I have some busy weeks coming up so....I have to figure out the next project to work on.

I really want to tackle Jen's Bustle Dress, but time-wise, my brain is telling me I need to get started on the Victorian Funeral Dress.  The Bustle Dress is for December.

So, here goes....I'm committing to the Victorian Funeral Dress.  I need it for the end of October.
The period is 1895 when George Patterson passed on.  But, I am going to head a bit earlier.  I want to add some Fru Fru to it.  I haven't ever really done that because I am usually at the turn of the century when most skirts were rather plain compared to earlier times.  When I made my bustle dress, my first, I planned on adding on pleats, etc. later but haven't gotten around to it.  And now I like it like it is.

I have some fabric I bought at JoAnn's that has a shiny side and a crape-looking side.  I bought extra for adding pleats.  I did try to find some good old fashioned crape but couldn't find any.  They have what they call crepe but it not the same as crape.  It was spelled with an "a" to distinguish it for funerals.  This crepe is like cotton gauze for summer clothes.

I am going to use the same top as I used for both the burgundy dress and the bustle dress.  It gives such a nice line....and I have my pattern figured out already.  I will probably use that design for Jen's bustle dress too, so it will give me a review before I tackle hers.

I have some black lace that may work for the vest area.  And I have a little thingy I bought  quite awhile ago for pleating and have never used it, so that might be an adventure!

I am going to use the same skirt pattern that I used for bustle skirt.  It has an option of just full in the back or pulled up into a bit of a bustle.  I hadn't planned on adding an apron but I do like this look:


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Petticoat is done - for now....

The overlay is attached to the petticoat but the bustle bones haven't been added to the petticoat yet.

This is the boning kit for the bustle.

This is what it looks like under the overlay. If you look closely you can see where the bones go.

Bones 1 and 2 have been inserted completely and # 3 is part way in.

Bone #4 is now in but it is on the under side where it is hard to see.  It goes in a rainbow shape from one side to the other.

The ties on the inside need to be added.  I just pinned temporary ties and pulled them a bit to see how long I should make the ties.

This is from the wrong side.  You can see the rainbow shaped #4 bone and the ties that have been added.

When you tie the ties taut it curves the bones and makes the bustle.

A quick show of the bustle on "Dolly".  Jen is quite a bit taller than me so nothing will be dragging the floor on her!

This is what it looks like from the front.

The overly is tacked down along the sides.

I have the button closure to put on, but I will do that after Jen tries on the petticoat.

When the ties are undone the whole thing lays flat for storage.  Isn't that nice!

Yesterday, Cajun Zydeco was great fun.  The lawn area in Ardenwood's Deer Park is very large but you could hardly see an inch of it.  People were all camped out listening to great music.  I went back there to check out the food too!  There is a lady that always sells cookies and other deserts.  I count on her to have her sugarless cookies, but unfortunately she wasn't there yesterday.  Well, I compensated myself with a nice piece of Key Lime Pie!!!  And let me tell you, it was nothing like the Key Lime Pie that Weight Watchers sells!  It must have been 10 points!  But I figured it in to my point budget....I also had steamed artichoke with crab and shrimp sauce.......YUM.  A lot of great people went through the house and we all had a lot of fun.

I am torn on what to do next.  I am pulled to start on Jen's dress, but really I need to do my mourning dress first so I don't have to worry about getting it done in time.  I have a balloon fiesta to go to!