Saturday, March 3, 2012

Steampunk Wonderwoman? (TV221 & TV 326)

Burgundy Underskirt (TV221)
The underskirt went together nicely and quickly. I've made this pattern before, and so I knew that I could get it done quickly. I left off the optional ruffle, which made things go even faster. The results are a good, if very basic, underskirt. 
TV221 front
TV221 rear view
TV 221
Striped Overskirt (TV 326)
The overskirt is made from Truly Victorian #326 (Hermione Overskirt). I used a tone on tone blue striped home decor fabric. When I got into the pattern, I realized that it recommended a fabric with a crisp hand to emphasize the pleats. My fabric has some body to it, but it's not what I'd call "crisp". Oh well, it is what it is. 

This pattern looks great in the design drawings, and I was a little worried about how I was going to manage all the pleats and layers. 

As it turns out, the pattern is deceptively complicated. By that I mean that the results look very complicated, but the pattern is very clear and straightforward. If this is the first time you've ever sewn pleats, this is not a good place to start, but if you are experienced with pleats, it should be fine. 

The apron

The most challenging part of the pattern is the pleating in the center front apron. There are a totaly of five pleats that meet in the same place, so when there are all stacked on one side, that's 11 (eleven) layers of fabric to sew through.
apron pleats
 I got really nervous, given how think my fabric was, but my machine handled one side like a champ. 
pleats sewn in place
Then things got really tricky because the two halves of the apron must be sewn together at the center front. Now, there are 22 (that's twenty-two) layers of fabric to get through. My machine made it, barely, with a lot of hand cranking and making several attempts to get through the fabric at each stitch. Once it was sewn together, I graded the pleat seams like crazy and actually tacked down the seam allowances to smooth things out.
 sewn allowance sewn open
Then end result looked really nice, even though my fabric is far thicker than the ideal fabric.
finished apron center pleats
The other two pieces went together smoothly, and the waistband attached without too much hassel. I did use heavy duty thread to hand sew the inside of the waistband to help support the weight of the skirt. All told, I think I spent about 8 hours working on this, and that includes tracing the sized pattern pieces. This pattern really pays off for relatively little effort.

The finished ensemble
TV326 over TV221 front view
Side view
Back view (note, there is no bustle under these skirts)
Developing Ideas:
William looked at this and said "Steampunk Wonder Woman?". This could be a possibility. Stick a few stars on the bustle, get a gold lasso and a tiara... hmmm... we'll see if that idea goes anywhere. 

Next up...
I am torn. If I start the jacket for this outfit, I'll be closer to getting something one, but it will be awhile before I can get some fitting help. On the other hand, if I start the mourning skirt, I'll have three costumes in progress and I might be in danger of not finishing any of them. 

I'll have to think on it some more. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i am currently working on my steampunk wonderwoman cos-play for comic-con! it was so fun to come across your blog. i loved reading about your graduation preparation :) i am so very new to pattern sewing i thought i was gonna have to toss it last night, i am using simplicity 1819 and i am only on the bustle right now. My bustle pillow was easy but i am having to change all sorts of things since i want to the bustle to be different fabric from the main skirt. i cant even imagine the jacket at this point. day by day! i am so glad to see you kept with your blog all this time, it is wonderful! relicsloft