Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bodice work and trim decisions

Wow, somehow I got a lot done again!  By George I think I may finish it in time after all!

After futzing with the bodice for a while I finally decided the pattern I was thinking of using just wasn't what I wanted.  Instead I went back to a pattern I've used before, for the Daniel Deronda archery dress in fact.  The under "ball" bodice for that was a slightly altered version of the bodice to Simplicity 4479 (their non-liscensed version of Christine's Masquerade dress from the Phantom movie) by Andrea Schewe.  So I did a muslin of the bodice and tweaked it and made up a version in the diamond fabric.  I liked it for the DD dress and I like it for this, it's very flattering and gave me the bodice shape I was wanting for this outfit. 

Then I monkeyed around with trim options, pinning things on the bodice and fiddling with some dagged bustled over skirt ideas.  At first I thought I didn't want any over skirt but after playing around I think just a back drape with dagged edges would look cool.  As far as trim goes I think I've finally got it figured out.   I'm going to trim  the dagged overskirt the same as the underskirt and I think I'll put black velvet ribbon on top of the bodice seams to emphasize them.  I'll also use a bit more of the crazy expensive beaded lace I used on my Marie Antoinette "black masquerade" costume - a front motif and beaded net sleeves.  (And I was psyched to see I can probably eek out trimming for one more future dress from the few scraps I'll have left after this.)

Fancy dress skirt & neck ruffle

I'm really getting a lot done on my fancy dress costume!  Here are the skirt and a cute little neck ruffle I made.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bicorn finished!

So I got out a bunch of my trims and finished the bicorn this afternoon.  Ostrich feathers from ostriches online, two metallic "Christmas" trims, red velvet ribbon, black marabou and a mask charm - all from my stash!  Now I just need to decide if it's a "fore and aft:"

Or an "athwart:"  My husband likes the fore and aft better but I think it might depend on my hairstyle - I think down would look good with athwart and up with fore and aft.  What do you think?


So I finished the bicorn construction last night.  I still need to trim it up (and line it) but I'm pretty happy with it.  I also have to figure out if I'm wearing it athwart (side to side) or "fore-and-aft."  I'll take some pics when the trimming  is finished and let you help me decide. 

Since it is such an odd hat I took a picture of the side view before the final side brim was added so you can get an inside view of how this whole thing goes together. 

It's a hat that needs quite a bit more steaming and shaping of the buckram than I'm used to get the swooping shape it needs. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Me so bicorny!

Okay, corny is more like it.  In any case I thought you'd be interested to see my bicorn progress since it seems not too many people I know have made one of these from scratch.  I used the pattern in From the Neck Up enlarged to 200% for a mini size, it's the picture to the left.  By the way, if you're thinking about making hats this book is the hat making bible and is very worth getting.

I didn't take construction pics I'm afraid, but my basic steps in making a buckram fabric covered hat are:
  • cut 2 sets of pattern pieces in buckram and fuse together to form one set of pieces.
  • zigzag millinery wire to one edge of each join - so tip, crown bottom (where it joins the brim) and brim.
  • mull - white glue a pieces of flannel onto all buckram pieces that will be covered with fashion fabric.
  • cover with fashion fabric then sew pieces together.
  • sew bias strips to brim edge to cover millinery wire.
  • make and sew in lining, attach combs or loops to pin on head if needed - always leave the lining for last, as my friends know many of my hats are unlined because I ran out of time!
Bonus: I discovered you can actually mull the pieces at the same time if you layer flannel, buckram, fusible, buckram, pressing cloth then flip it over and add another piece of flannel in place of your pressing cloth.  Be sure to ALWAYS use a pressing cloth when fusing buckram, it's so porous you'll ruin your iron if you don't. 

After that I cut out some silk shantung and glued it to the mulled pieces with a thin layer of white glue I let dry a bit to the just tacky stage.  I cut the crown part on the bias and stitched the cb then pulled it over the stitched crown. 

Now I'm in the process of sewing bias strips to the edges of the outer brim.  This hat is a bit complicated and I thought the best construction method for it would be to finish each piece then sew them together, you can see all the pieces ready to be put together to the right, the crown and top are pinned together, the strange eye shaped piece will be attached next then the outer brim which is the traditional "bicorn" shape.  You can get an idea of how it will look when I'm finished in the pics below.