Monday, March 14, 2016

My Sister in Law's Green Dress

My sister in law saw the dress above in the Dangerous Liaisons Met book and had to have it. I had asked her to pick out a dress so she could go to the Francaise dinner with me. The dress she choose, she loved the color and the look so...I had to make her everything for it - the stays, the smock, the pockets, petticoat, and the dress.

I ended up using a lighter colored silk - it looked dark on the monitor but it was the same price as the stuff in the store so... I'm actually really glad I bought the silk on the internet. The color was off but my sister in law still loved it. She said she liked the lighter olive much more than the darker green we originally saw. The fabric itself though was a dream to work with. It was more like a silk taffeta than a dupioni and no one could really see the slubs (there were a few but they weren't obvious). For $12 a yard, it really was a great buy.

I thought I had taken a picture of all the underlayers, but apparently not. The smock was a basic a line tunic with short sleeves out of a linen cotton blend I got at Joanns. If you can find their linen/cotton blend (with no unnatural fibers) at your Joanns, get it. It's fabulous stuff. It's cheap (particularly with the 50% off coupons I get all the time) and it is correct for most periods. I use it all the time in my renaissance and medieval chemises.

The stays I used gray linen from Ikea. Ikea has the heavy, course linen in very drab colors. However, it's great for making stays or using as an inner lining. I machine sewed the channels with a green thread and used green bias tape along the top of the stays. The eyelets were also green - as it is my sister in laws favorite color. They are front opening stays using a spiral lace. I used a mix of cable and duct ties for the boning.

The pockets:

This was before I sewed it all together but after I completely the embroidery on one. I had a large piece of purple linen in the scrap pile. Although I know my sister in law loves green, I thought the purple linen with green embroidery would work well - turns out, it's her favorite color combo. :-) I drew out the embroidery design using the Frixion markers the dreamstress spoke about a few weeks ago. I love the markers. They are perfect for everything. Need to mark a seam? Eyelet placement? Buttonhole placement? Mark out your embroidery pattern? They work on everything. For this particular project, I used the yellow marker on the dark purple background. I learned that if you leave it out overnight to dry, the marker will get brighter. This was insanely useful as I would draw the pattern I wanted at night and finish it the next morning.

Once you are done with the embroidery, just iron over the project. The lines really do disappear. I've so far found the black marker is a bit harder to iron out than the rest but I bought all the colors so it's not a big deal at all.

Photo courtesy of In the Long Run Designs
Courtesy of Mom :-)

The final dress! And my sister in law with her camera strap. :-) I was going to do her hair in a hedgehog but when the curls fell out like that, I just put a big green ribbon in her hair and called it done. The curls were too cute to play with. I sewed together the same trim I used to make my Elizabethan Ruff a couple of years ago to make the cuffs on my sister in law's dress. Despite it being a different color, I wanted it to match the original dress as much as possible. Once I sewed the raw edges of the trim together, I half pleated/ half gathered it to the cuff of the dress.

The final verdict: My sister in loves her entire outfit so much, she's been wearing it when her friends come over now to show of her "favorite" sister in law's work. :-) Okay, so I'm her only sister in law but still! She loved the dinner, loved talking to everyone, and is super excited now to go to Fort Fred. I'm going to teach her how to make her own petticoat since she wants to learn how to sew. However, I do need to make her her own jacket. :-)


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