Lace Dance Dress

I finished this dress months ago and have worn it to two events now, so I think I should just accept that I’m not going to get any better photos. I do think it looks much better in person–but of course the only time I remembered to get photos was when I was already sweaty and shiny in the middle of a ball. Oh well!

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This is another McCall’s 7160, View C. This time it’s in a lovely wine-colored rayon jersey (that seems to no longer be in stock) with a black lace overlay (the sleeves left unlined). If I’d bothered to get swatches first, I might’ve gone with a brighter color to contrast better with the black lace. But, again, oh well! The belt is just a length of wide satin ribbon held in place by a couple of thread belt loops. Of course, it has pockets.IMG_7235

 

Anyway, it looks kind of limp and unexciting in these photos, but that circle skirt swings nicely when dancing. (Someone was taking a video of at least one dance this evening and I keep hoping it gets posted somewhere, but nothing has materialized yet.) Plus, I can scrunch it up in my suitcase for easy transportation to dance events–no need for a garment bag.

Pinewoods 2016

A few weeks ago I attended Pinewoods Scottish Session II; it was my first time at Pinewoods and I had lots of fun! In addition to some practice clothes, I made two special-occasion outfits especially for camp. The first is this dress, which I wore to the Highland ball.

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(Please ignore the sneakers.) Okay, it’s not very ball-gown-y, but since it was made of embroidered cotton lawn it was very comfortable in the extremely humid weather. And it has a surprise on the back:

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What you can’t tell from these photos is that the skirt is also delightfully swirly (I’m wearing a ruffly petticoat underneath).

The dress began with the bodice block that was fitted to me during the Workroom Social Dressmaking Intensive, which I modified by moving the zipper to to the side, adding ribbon loops to the back side seams for lacing (there’s also a bit of elastic at the waist in the back panel to keep the skirt from sagging there), lowering the neckline, and replacing the sleeves with flutter sleeves. The skirt is a long half-circle skirt, gathered at the waist.

The second special-occasion outfit was for the themed ball–the theme this year was “Under the Big Top.” Naturally, I just shoehorned this into my interest in Victorian costuming and dressed as a steampunk circus performer (ring leader?).

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(Ugh, this is the best front photo I have, sorry!) I already had the mini top hat and shirt, so I made the bloomers (from this YouTube tutorial), bustle (just the back part, shortened, of Truly Victorian’s Wash Overskirt), and corset (the long view of TV’s Victorian Corselets, but constructed following regular corset methods, including adding a front busk).

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The hair falls are just yarn looped over hairbands (in what is apparently called a lark’s head knot), which are then slipped around buns.

So there you have it: two very different looks for Pinewoods 2016!

Dance Practice Tank & Skirt

I’ll be going to Pinewoods for the first time this year, and I recently glanced at last year’s schedule and realized that I’d need clothes for FIVE evening dances PLUS four days of classes!

Now, I’d known I needed more bras, specifically some sports bras, and had come across the Brazi Ladies’ Bra and Dress pattern. After confirming that I could make it entirely on my serger (no stretch/zigzag stitching necessary), I grabbed it and made a test bra out of leftover red roses fabric. Well, turns out that particular fabric is too soft and stretchy to make a bra on its own (yes, I researched sports bra and activewear fabric AFTER I sewed this up), but it was so comfortable and fit well over my regular cross-back bras that I added a black panel to the bottom and voila! A tank top!

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The skirt is a basic half-circle skirt, with a high-low hem for some additional interest. The waistband is just some 2-inch-wide black elastic. This was super fast and easy, requiring only one vertical seam, joining the elastic into a circle, then serging the elastic to the waist of the skirt. I didn’t finish the hem and…I’ve pretty much decided to just leave it that way. The fabric is a silky and drapey rayon/nylon/spandex ponte knit.

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Now that I’ve done more research into activewear fabrics, I’m ready to try making that Brazi bra out of the right materials. I wonder if I can actually manage a tank top that’s supportive enough to not require a separate bra so I can pack less….

And I’ve really got to finish my ball/party dress, but I’m on the zipper insert stage and ugh. 😛

(In other news, I moved a couple of weeks ago, hence the new photo location!)