Monday, August 8, 2011

Renaissance dress progress

I've made some nice progress on my Renaissance dress. The entire bodice is done including the giant sleeves.

I decided I wanted more of a contrast on the sleeve so I bought some new green material for it. I'm really happy with it. I guess I just like red and green dresses.

The sleeve fabric has this really great swirly vine pattern. The shine looks much better against the bodice than the matte finish of my original choice.

I love the section of fabric I choose for the front of the bodice. I've never sewn with a print where I had to worry about print placement, but I'll definitely keep it in mind for future projects. It just takes a bit more planning in the cutting stage. I did not, however, match across any other pieces.

And the back! The grommet placement marked on the pattern was really odd. They had you put them where the boning was. Weird. Anyways, I just scooted them over and voila.

The pattern suggested serging or zig-zaging the edges, but my fabric was really fray prone and it looked really sloppy. So I did red bias binding. Not the most historically accurate, I know, but it looks really sharp.

Putting in the sleeves was a real bear. There was lots of unpicking stitches and yelling at my machine and fighting with the 2 yds of fabric hanging off each sleeve. But they are in and that's all that really matters. So I'm going to be taking a bit of a break from this project and work on some little side projects.

What do you do when you have a challenging or fickle sewing project? Keep plugging along? Take a break?


  1. Its looking very pretty.

    Okay when it all seems to be going wrong...I usually stop until the following day. I have also learned not to tackle new or difficult things after 3pm cuz it just doesn't get easier for me after 3-lol

  2. I really like to green fabric too! Can't wait to see you in it.

  3. Definitely take a break! Even for one day. I'm going to make a couple of Renaissance gowns later this year, so I'm looking forward to your progress. What is your pattern?

  4. Laurie,

    I used Simplicity 2621 for the foundational garments and Simplicity 2589 for the dress. So far, they seem to work really well together except that the back of the corset is higher than the back of the dress, so I had to adjust the dress pattern. I liked this pattern because (besides being a beautiful dress) it came with a head piece pattern to cover my short hair.

    Can't wait to see your gowns too!

  5. I wish my sewing skills were good enough to tackle a project like this, Im only good for making vintage skirts and dresses haha! but It looks great so far! :)

  6. Stephanie, it so pretty and looks so professional. Yes, a break maybe in order. Sometimes I plow through a project and it looks like I did. You did great lining everything up, looks really good.

  7. wow you picked some gorgeous fabrics for your outfit. You are wearing this to the Renaissance festival in Ohio right? Are there a lot of people that go to it dressed up? I've never been and really want to go to it this year and was also thinking about making an outfit for it.

  8. Caitlin,

    I am going to the one in Ohio. There are plenty of people dressed up (in varying levels of historical accuracy)plus there are tons of people who work there all dressed up. It's so much funner when you dress up but it's definitely worth a trip either way! I did a much less complicated dress last year and I didn't even get started on it till September so you still have time if you want make one. It'd be cool if we ended up there on the same weekend. :)

  9. Wow. You are amazing! I can't wait to see you wearing it! :-)