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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Actual Pogress!

Well, I suppose I’m not going to be one of those bloggers that you can count on to post regularly and frequently. I actually have made progress on my ACC project, though. My Spanish farthingale is done! I may decide at some point to replace it because it may not be wide enough at the bottom, and I ended up having to cut away part of the top, so the waist is a bit large. But I’m certainly happy with it for my first try.

Last time I blogged about it, I had cut out and mostly sewed together the “skirt” of my farthingale. It took me some time to decide how I wanted to stiffen it–what to use, whether to make hoops or a spiral, etc. For some arbitrary reason I prefer the spiral, so I sewed the final seam, leaving enough of an opening that I would still be able to get it on.

I had a few spools of fish tape (something electricians use) on hand because I planned to use it for my Victorian cage crinoline, but I decided I could spare one for my farthingale. Good thing because I can’t afford to spend much money to finish either project.

Then when Grandma passed, I acquired a lot of the odds and ends of her sewing stash, about a zillion spools of thread, a lot of pins, and–more significantly to this project–several packages of single fold bias tape in assorted colors. I decided to use them for my boning channels because it would save me the time of cutting my own strips (let’s face it, I’m rather behind) and possibly the money to buy fabric for it.

So I picked a spot down the skirt that seemed reasonable for the first hoop and pinned one of the bias tapes in a circle at that level. Then at the point where the ends of that circle overlapped, I angled the bias tape down until it seemed like there was an appropriate gap between the first two levels of the spiral (pinning as I went) and kept the spiral with that amount of gap going down the skirt.

As I ran out of each bias tape, I simply overlapped another one–it took three. When I got close to the bottom of the skirt, I eased the gap, so that the bottom was another level circle. I sewed the bias tapes on so that the ends of the fish tape would be able to double back into the spiral.

Since I had already decided to use un-matching bias tape, I thought I would embrace the quirkiness of my farthingale. I sewed the channels on with various un-matching threads, then used some really bright yellow muslin I happened to have for the waistband. It’s a little silly, but it makes me giggle. And no one will ever see it under my gown, so there was no reason to avoid the craziness.

So, yay! I have one piece of my ACC project done. I wish I had more completed, but I’m still pleased with any progress, really. I’ve begun my chemise, but that is going to be my handsewn piece, so I won’t be done with that any time soon. But with my farthingale done, I can begin work on my skirts, so I will be working on those as well.

I’ve also made some good progress on my Victorian corset, so that will be my next blog post.

Since I’ve been watching a lot of Star Trek (Next Gen and Voyager) as I sew like mad, live long and prosper! ;)

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