At last! After only a month and a half post-event, you get to see The Dress.

But first, Teslacon was amazing- a wild ride for sure!- the type of ride you’re not sure if you’d go on again, but you wouldn’t trade the experience for the world (partly because you can’t anyway). I caught up with many friends, paraded many outfits, and did much people-watching and enjoying of other outfits.

AND…. yes, I finished the green dress. It was completely reinvented from my original post due to the time crunch and the weight of the fabric. I may end up making a velvet and fur trimmed cape or mantle at some point, since I have so much left.

But, not to meander from my point….

THE SKIRT-
First, I finished the skirt (recall, it was on the dress form that was set to my corseted measurements, and with the corset, bustle and petticoat I planned to wear also in place so that all fittings would be accurate to how it would be worn). I also set the height to reflect the shoes I planned to wear with the outfit. Since I knew the back of the jacket would cover the opening at the back of the skirt, all I needed to do was choose how to decorate the hem. I decided on something relatively simple- a wide velvet hem with a piped edge. I made the velvet piping first, and I’ll admit to NOT making it on the bias, simply because the application would not be curved. Saved a bit of time.

I decided to use the selvage edge for the bottom of the hem band since open velvet edges are such a mess- the only cut edges are now on the interior of the hem, and not making a fuzzy mess of anything! (The handheld vacuum was my BFF during any and all velvet cutting during this project!)

THE JACKET-
Next I was on to the jacket! As mentioned in the last post, I chose a jacket I’ve made before since the mockup was already done and ready to go. I made some adjustments as I laid out the pattern, based on the differences I knew I wanted for the back of the jacket.

After cutting the fabric and lining, I stitched them and ironed the seams, then checked for fit. It looked good, so I moved onto laying out the boning for the interior of the bodice and whipstitching them in by hand. Boning your bodice is important, as it will help hold the shape and resist bunching.

As you can see in the last image above, I had set the sleeves in after stitching in the boning channels. I (planned for) used two pieces of the skirt’s velvet hem for the cuff decoration on the sleeves, stitched in the lining and then basted the two layers into the armhole. I checked placement and fit, then stitched the sleeves on. I had bought decorative buttons for the jacket front and cuffs, but those went on last.

I lined the underside of the jacket’s tail in velvet, and also the collar and a band down the front (I stitched in a spring steel 1/2″ bone to add stability to the front closure. A thin band of velvet edges the bottom of the jacket, stitched in and hidden beneath the lining.

With the simplicity of this look, in addition to the felt hat base I’d purchased, I decided to style the hat and final look along the lines of a “Victorian meets 1940’s film noir” feel, complete with asymmetrical, sassy mesh veil on the hat.

FINAL TOUCHES-
In addition to the four buttons I found in an antique store (LARGE silver buttons with a blue-grey background and a latin motto which translates to “there is no room for more than one king in the world”) I bought seven small ones to match that I found on Etsy. I always like to have special details on the back of my outfits, so in addition to the velvet revers and button, I added a silver celtic knot that was once a vintage shoe clip to the small of the back, and an embroidered set of silver laurel branches to signify victory. For extra sass, I planned a plunging neckline to be accented by my rhinestone bra. Because it doesn’t have to be period! I paired it with the small purse I made to accompany my green velvet ballgown several years ago, and added a fun steampunk accessory on my forearm.

And, voilé…

 

Thanks for keeping me company on this journey into procrastination… I’ll come up with a new project soon!

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