When I saw this come down the runway on the finale of this season's Project Runway, I fell in love!
It's a creation by the winner, Michelle Lesniak Franklin and her entire line was very Steampunk inspired. So, seeing as I had just purchased my tickets to TeslaCon (will be my first time attending), I knew I was going to need some new outfits, so I decided this would be a great opportunity to advance my non-existent patterning skills.
This is the preliminary sketch I made while watching the show:
This is the pattern I purchased for a starting point based on the above sketch:
This is the revised sketch after downloading every available picture I could find:
This is when I realized would be learning a LOT more about pattern alterations. The pattern above was just 2 pieces for the dress.
Using a bed sheet purchased from the thrift store I first converted the front piece to "cut on fold" so there would not be a center front seam. The back I eventually left to be cut as 2 pieces so I can put a zipper in once I make the top fitted enough so that it can't just be slipped over the head. Going through my reference photos, I figured out where to cut the pattern to create the seams
Mock up of the bodice:
Adjustments to the initial pattern as I progressed:
Starting to figure out the pleats on the upper skirt:
Added the lower skirt:
(I've been using up what was once my quilt fabric stash.)
Continuing on to the sleeve:
I used the sleeve from this pattern that I plan on using for another re-creation once I finish this one:
After doing the test run, I need to lengthen it by 2 inches to get the cuff to start right at my wrist instead of ending there like on the pattern. I measured around my wrist and around where I want the cuff to end (about 1/2 way down my hand) and cut the sides of the cuff pattern. The non-doubled over width of the cuff is almost perfect once I take the seam allowance into account. I just have to remember that the cuff opening needs to be on the top side of my hand and not lined up with sleeve seam. I really like the way the sleeve is turning out. It has just a little bit of gathering at the cap. I will also need to widen the shoulders of the dress just a little bit so that it's not quite so wide-necked.
So, now I just need to make a fabric selection for the main portion of the dress and then figure out the over-vest. Other things I need to not forget about when putting the final garment together:
- Don't forget to lengthen the sleeve
- Don't forget to widen the shoulders (and add seam allowance)
- Interfacing and lining on the bodice.
- Test transparency of main skirt fabric. flat line if needed
- Angle and trim more from front to back
- Practice seam finishes, the back seams will be visible, make them look nice.
- Invisible zipper on dress, exposed zipper on over-vest.
- Make a small purse to attach like original garment. Do this instead of worrying about making pockets; pockets might ruin the lines of the dress.
- Don't make sharply pressed pleats, trying flattening them by hand.
- Don't forget to mark on the mock up where all the pleat folds are.