The Seam-Stressed Seamstress

The Seam-Stressed Seamstress: Halloween Adventures 2012 - Victorian Mourning dress and trying out some millinery (?)

Well hello everyone! I have been away for far too long and wouldn’t you know it, I’m running behind on a project once again! To make things even better, there is a hurricane coming towards my state!! (Why do you do these things to me, God!?!?) I have been trying to make my Halloween costume and so far I have made good progress. I was even able to make quick costume accessories for my friends! (one was no-sew and that made me happy!) So, without further delay, let me tell you what I have been up to with my Victorian mourning dress!

First off, I made the bustle skirt. It’s the same one I used in my last steampunk project, just without the bottom ruffle. I did the pleated ribbon along the bottom hem for reinforcement as well as a decorative touch. I have to keep reminding myself throughout this project that mourning dresses do not have a whole bunch of details. They were suppose to be plain. I’m used to jazzing things up and putting ribbon all over things, so this is humbling. 

The bodice is a whole other story. I’m using Butterick 4954 and let me tell you, it is not easy. First of all, this thing is HUGE! I made a size 16 thinking that it would fit to my measurements  but I am swimming in it. It wasn’t until later, after some digging on the inter-webs, that I saw that you need to size down with this pattern. Second, what is the deal with that back pleat?!?! I could not make sense of what they wanted me to do with it. So I ripped it out and said screw it! At this point, I may just throw the sleeves on it, only line the front and call it on this project. If I line all of it, I’m going to have to play with the lining until it fits properly and I’m not comfy with that this late in the game. The Lesson: Make An F-ing Mock Up!! (I’ll never learn).

Finally, since I have been stressing over what to do about a hat, I found a large floppy brim wool hat and tried to stiffen the brim. (Anyone who does real millinery  please be kind, I am just dabbling and do not know any better) I got the idea for this technique from this site.

I had considered other methods. I do have spray starch and I can do an old fashion mix of cornstarch and water. But I figured I’d try this method first. I have to wait for it to dry now. I don’t have very high hopes, but my last resort shall be wire and buckram…which I want to avoid. 

Alright then, wish me luck and pray that I live through this hurricane (and that it does not fall on Halloween)