Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Still fussing with it, but it is a dress at this point.

The skirt has been on for a few days now, so I technically have a dress, and I've been trying it on and fussing with fit and the way the train drapes. Today's project is to take off about two inches from the top of the shoulder strap. While it technically fits if I stand very, very straight, I think trimming them will be more comfortable in the long run. The straps are individually finished and then whip stitched together, so it shouldn't be a big deal to make the adjustment.

I'm also considering another row of trim on the bodice both for looks and to further anchor the lacing strips.

The biggest issue is the drape of the train. I don't know if the petticoat is not full enough or the hem isn't stiff enough, or what the issue is, but the train just seems a little blah. The skirt is basically the shaped layout of the Eleonora Pisa dress (Thanks once again to Katerina de Brescia for all her fabulous online information at Purple Files so I didn't have to take sketches from Moda di Firenze and figure it out myself.)  I knew I wanted more fullness, so my panels are larger to allow for deep pleats. There is about 7 yards of 60 wide fabric in the skirt.  Which is why I can't figure out why it feels so skimpy.  I'm going to add a bit more stiffening to the hem and perhaps try a farthingale/bumroll.  I know what you're thinking, "Italians didn't use them." Not true actually.  Vecellio mentions them in use in 1590. While they weren't in use earlier, in this late style I could utilize one.  I feel like I'm already wearing tons of individual pieces though and already plan to add partlet, ruff, and shoulder ruffs, so I'm hoping a little more stiffening will get me what I'm hoping for.


  1. Have you tried using box pleats for the skirt, to give it more fullness in the train? It looks great so far, and I love the ribbon contrast. :)

    1. The skirt is cartridge pleated with both a heavy layer of felted wool and a layer of flannel padding the pleats. I don't think box pleats would add more. It has a reasonable amount of fullness and spring from the bodice. Maybe I should have lined the skirt.