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The Ramblings of a Seamstress, Gardener, Chicken Keeper, and Housewife

Proof of My Adventures (and Misadventures!)

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Faces of Impressionism and New Bustle Dress

Saturday the DFW Costumer's Guild visited the Faces of Impressionism exhibit at the Kimbell Museum.  We dressed in late Victorian and Edwardian fashions and had a wonderful time seeing all the artwork!  The museum was very busy and the exhibit was actually at capacity nearly the entire time we were there.  Lots of people were interested in us and our fancy dresses.  Some of them even thought we worked for the museum!  The staff there were very welcoming and even took some photos of us.  I found this one of nuranar on the museum's instagram:

Ginger on Kimbell Instagram

Before we entered the exhibit, we stopped for a group shot.  I think two people had gotten there early and were already inside, but this is most of us:
Big Group

It was amazing to see all that stunning art with friends.  Getting a glimpse into the everyday life of the era is pretty fascinating.  I know there's a lot of little details I'm missing because I'm too busy mentally deconstructing the clothing of the subjects.  I was so caught up in the hat and facial expression of one lady that I totally missed seeing there was a tortie cat under the table until jenthompson pointed it out to me!  I think that means I need to spend more time around art.

I managed to finish up my friend's outfit just in the nick of time - I put the last stitch in the hat just minutes before she arrived to get ready!  I'm really happy with how it turned out.  She was thrilled too, which made me feel great about it.
Chris and I

I think I shared the shift and bustle already, but they're LM100 and TV101, respectively.  I ordered a roll of hoop steel and cut/tipped everything myself.  Hoop steel is much easier to cut than corset boning!  I saved time by using my serger and ruffler foot as much as possible .
Bustle Side

The corset is also LM100.  I won't say any more about it since I'll be doing a Historical Sew Monthly write up on it next.
Corset Angled

I didn't feel like doing any math or draping, so I ordered patterns for the skirts and jacket.  The underskirt is TV261-R 1885 Four-Gore Underskirt. It's very basic and went together nicely.  I was afraid I'd run short on the twill so I took a cue from our foremothers and used broadcloth for the parts that the overskirt will cover.
Underskirt FrontUnderskirt SideUnderskrit Back

The overskirt is TV362 1884 Wash Skirt.  It's an embroidered faux silk I picked up on red tag clearance a couple years ago and it's been burning a hole in my stash ever since.  The fringe was a lucky find at Hobby Lobby, also clearance.
Overskirt FrontOverskirt SideOverskirt Back

The jacket is TV463 1884 French Vest Bodice.  I shortened it by an inch, shortened and tightened the sleeves even more (4 mockups later...) and did almost all the other fitting adjustments on the paper tape dummy.  I made it while my friend was wearing her corset, so the fit was really close to perfect.  I drafted some cuffs to mimic the collar and give it a more finished look.  I think I also broke a couple cardinal rules of Victorian bodice-making in that I didn't flatline my pieces because I used twill with 1% lycra.  That's right - it's stretch twill!  My friend found it really comfortable and was able to drive with no impediment to her range of motion.  Success!
Dress FrontDress BackDress Cuff

The hat's base pattern is Lynn McMasters' Universal Oval Brimmed Hat.  I used the boater brim and crown, but made the crown twice (maybe more) as tall as the pattern called for.  Then I slashed and overlapped it until I got the look I wanted.  I drafted a new (round) crown tip using math.  I made the base from theater weight buckram and millinery wire, then covered it with cotton velveteen.  The brim is edged in bias cut silk.  A quick trip to Hobby Lobby yielded some flowers and feathers that match the embroidered dress fabric perfectly.  The interior of the crown is lined in gold satin, but I didn't bother with a pic of that.
Hat FrontHat Left SideHat Back
You may have noticed that the center back seam doesn't line up right with the actual center back.  This was a lesson to me in why truing your lines is so important after altering your pattern.  Ah well, in hindsight I would have made that a center front seam and let the feathers hide it anyway.  I love this hat in spite of all that!

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Everyone looks so beautiful! What a terrific outing!

Thanks! It was a great event.

Hm.... stretch twill. That's pretty genius! I think you both looked perfect. :)

I wasn't sure how well it would work, but now I'm a believer. I don't know how well a reeaaally stretchy twill would work (the 3% and up types) but this was pretty great.

What a great event!

I can see why your friend was so happy, that outfit is wonderful with all those rich colors.

Thank you! I'm a sucker for jewel tones. :)

Chris looked SO fantastic! I love everything that you made for her. The embroidered fabric that you used was just gorgeous with the purple. She's one lucky lady to have a friend like you!

Aw, thanks! She's so much fun to sew for. She pretty much lets me make whatever I think will work for her. I've got a bunch of that embroidered fabric left still, so it may make a return appearance!

Wow, what a cute outfit! You all look great!

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