Tudor Gown, Thus Far

Hereye, hereye, here on this very hour we shall recant the tale of the Tudor Gown That Somehow Weirdly Was:

It began on a day awash with chilly air and drunk in Dayquil, where upon the couch I slumped, watching a veritable marathon of Castle. When suddenly, I perchanced upon this particular pattern.

Ah, quite lovely, but I am a steadfast lover of the Bustle, and the Hoopskirt of Plenty. I could not, would not advert my eyes from their loveliness (Especially since they glared so accusingly, half finished, from the corner)

But low and behold, there I was, heavily self medicated, and cutting out the pattern. Soon, twas done and well, hello there. There was a length of appropriate fabric here! A dark blue corduroy which I would never use in almost anything else.

In a strange mood I looked over my stash. Interfacing, yes. Boning? Why I had basket reed right here. White for the sleeves? Yes, indeed. Random fashion fabric for outersleeves and triangular opening? Of course? Dark blue thread? Why, right here.

Okay, okay. I get it. I guess I'll try to make it.

So over the last two weeks I have been trial-ing. I do every piece, every bit, slowly and methodically and so far, we are doing quite well.

The begining:

Here is the front, with its three layers, the fashion fabric of royal blue corduroy, the white interfacing and the black lining. 

The 1/2 inch reed boning I used to do this: 

Then following directions like a good little girl, I assembled the bodice. 

Lady Blue is such a good model, is she not? 

Anyway, the sleeves caused me hardship. Apparently, you need to cut out the draping bell sleeves in both the corduroy and the inner fabric. After construction you pull up the sleeves, reversing them so you see the contrasting fabric. Well, thats all well and good but I barely had enough corduroy for the dress, let alone the sleeves! 

However, I figured and plotted and found that you dont actually SEE the outside of the sleeves. Or at least, I IMAGINED you wouldn't. So, I used my contrast fabric, a bit of grey/black cheap velvet I had in the stash, and did some sleeve Frankenstein-ing. 

The corduroy on the outside and the velvet on the side of the sleeve closest to the body. In this way, if a bit peeked out at the casual observer they'd see only the corduroy! Problem though. To do it I had to canabalize two sections of the gown itself. I rationalized it this way though: I dont wanna do the cartridge pleating. Seriously. So the back of my dress has pleating that matches the front and aint nobody gonna tell me no different. 

So there. 

Anyway, back to the dress. 

Sleeves attached and folded back, a tad bit difficult because of the bulkiness of some of my seams.

AS pictured here modeled on my lovely mother. Next step, embellishments!

Now, having embellished and sewn the top up nicely, even pounder in some eyelets, it was time to tackle the skirt. (Technically, according the the directions, it was time to make the outer, removable sleeves, but I seem to be completely out of white lace so that is postponed. )

My sewing machine griped mightily, I felt as if I was battling a dragon, with the noises it was making. But after many initial mishaps, I finally got the skirt done and sewn to the bodice.

You can also see the begining of the outer sleeve which I started

The underskirt isnt quite uh, sewn yet at all actually. Lol. The sleeves need be added, as well as the all important underwear which I am doing second. (Ive tried starting the underthings first, as in my bustle dresses, but I fall out of inspiration and they languish. Doing it backwards this time to see if I can trick myself) 

Still to do: 
Add underskirt
Finish Sleeves
Add embellishment to oversleeve to hide bulky seams. 

But look how pretty it is on my momma!

And of course I tried on the dress myself, lacking the hoopskirt and underskirt, to test the bodice. 

I found out that the dress is wide in the shoulders and thin in the waist. Im hoping the addition of the corset will help even this out, and if not Im in for some seam ripping and some more eyelet stomping. Ugh. Back view  to illustrate: 

Im hopeful for some awesomeness in the coming couple weeks though! 

Ciao ciao all! 

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