Sunday, May 12, 2013

The "Mother" of all dresses and why I hate toiles so very, very much.

The current challenge is literature, and when it was announced I was stoked. I had a million ideas of what I wanted to do from all of my favorite historical books. I thought the hardest part would be narrowing down my decision to just one dress from just one novel.
I settled on Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell. My initial idea was to make Molly's gaudy "over-smart" plaid silk dress, but I realized that there was another member of my household who was also in need of new clothes: My mother.
When I got my new corset, Mom got one too and as a result, none of her old costumes fit properly over it. I got the bright idea to make her a dress and she graciously agreed.
In the book, Hyacinth Kirkpatrick, who is in the later stages of mourning for her husband, is described as looking very good in lilac, violet, lavender and grey, and continues to wear her half-mourning garb as a way of saving money. My mother's fabric stash yielded up the perfect offering

The piece is a grayish-lavender silk/cotton sari with silver trim that I gifted Mom for Christmas last year. I found it on Ebay (big surprise). As you can see Esca is helping to make it a costume.
                                                                Closeup of the border.

The greatest challenge I have faced so far is fitting the bodice toile. The pattern I chose originally was Period Impressions 1830's Day Dress and Pelerine, but the pieces didn't match up which made fitting it impossible, so back to the drawing board went I. It seems that most of my time nowadays is consumed by the making of toiles. I have no problem fitting them, but I do so hate cutting them out as only available space for laying out fabric is our living room floor and it all that time on my hands and knees has done little for my back. I have high hopes for the next toile though. Good ol' Truly Victorian, you rarely let me down!

Next post: The saga of the Hyacinth dress continues

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