|Du…Du Hast…Du Hast Mich|
You know those projects that just don’t want to be made, and give you trouble all the way through to the violent end?
This is one of those.
It started with the waist of my pattern being too short (a common problem for me), so I thought, stupidly, that I’d drop the shoulders to fix the waist. When I did that, it made the armscyes too large, which in turn resulted in the sleeve heads being too shallow, and the shoulder straps pulling off the shoulders.
Hours of work unpicked, shoulders came back up, sleeve (only one) went on over mannequin arms like I should’ve don in the first place, but the waist is still two inches too short!
|Put those sleeves on the right way, Noob!|
The real culprit here, besides my complete lack of good draping skills, is my dress form. In reading “Period Costume for Stage & Screen: Patterns for Women’s Dress 1500-1800” as well as “Couture Sewing Techniques,” it is very clear how important an accurate dress form is *before* building the costume or gown atop it.
So while Franken-Lilly, in her second incarnation, was better than any other form I’ve tried to use before, she needed more adjustment. I used the measurement guide in “Period Costume for Stage & Screen” to once and for all accurately measure my body in stays – more than just bust/waist/hip, these measurements include nape-to-waist, underbust, high hip, shoulder width, etc.
Out came the hand saw, and off came more of Lilly. She needed to come down to less than my corseted measurements, to then be wrapped in batting, and able to achieve the right measurements and shape.
I also added on an invention of my brilliant mother’s – Bean Boobs.
|Bean Boobs in stays.|
Bean Boobs are THE BEST THINGS EVER – they are knee-high stockings filled with lentils, pinned onto the chest of the dress form. The brilliant thing about them is that they conform, move, and shift very closely to the way real boobs do, so when you are lifting and squishing boobage with stays, you can now accurately represent that. IT WORKS.
With the Bean Boobs in place, I measured down the 13″ in front, and the 15.5″ in back from my measurements chart, and marked the waist with a chalk pen, then placed the waist of my stays there, knowing it was the correct length of waist.
Now I have no excuse to fail so epically at draping anymore!
As for the jacket, I think there is hope – I can lower the waist seams in back down the 2″ they need by taking the pleats in, and readjusting where they flare open. The sleeves also need some adjustment – there is too much volume under the arm.
I don’t expect it will go any more easily, though! Lose some battles I may, but I’ll win the War of the Polonaise Jacket!!