A couple days before my shift, I got the idea to make a dirndl to wear. I found the Folkwear costume online, got the pattern printed out at the Office Depot up the street, and started to work.
I found everything I needed in my stash, from the fabrics—purple corduroy for the bodice, the flower lawn for the skirt, and the linen for the shirt and apron—to the 6 hooks and eyes and 1/4" boning. Boning. I had boning in my stash.
I only had a couple days, and not full days either, to work on it. But I thought I could maybe just do it.
Nope. I worked my shift in a comfy jersey superhero dress.
After making my own 1/4" bias binding, sewing it around the neckline and armseyes—one side of which was by hand for Pete's sake—gathering the skirt, and sewing on all those frigging hooks eyes, I discovered the fit of the bodice totally sucked.
- I sewed them hem of the skirt before I sewed the side seams. God, it was so much easier to control the fabric and get an even seam! I left enough unsewn at the sides to be able to sew up the side seams and then finish the hem.
- I didn't want the poofy sleeves of the Folkwear patterns blouse. I wanted fitted sleeves. So I was looking through patterns and looking around my sewing room, and then it dawned on me what I wanted was pretty close to the chemise I sewed for my Jane Austen outfit that turned into my nightgown and that then finally ended up in a bin for refashioning. I shortened it and added a ruffle along the bottom, and ta da! I had a blouse like I wanted and a petticoat.
- I sewed the gathered skirt to 1" twill tape and then attached the twill tape to the bodice. This was brilliant, worked like a charm, and will be duplicated whenever appropriate. I got the idea when I was thinking how uncomfortable the waist felt to me when I was to wear a gathered skirt. I realized you sew right sides together and then the fabric falls back on itself, doubling the bulk at the waist. Then the twill tape occurred to me. It was a billion times easier adjusting the gathering along the length of the tape than doing it without the stability of the tape or when pinning it on the bodice. I had a nice long, straight, stable place to work instead of cramped on the inside of a round bodice.
One thing I will do differently is either sew a zipper in, because why the heck not? Hooks and eyes? Sheesh. Or sew a pattern with front lacing. That way, I could have some flexibility with fitting, pulling the laces tighter if I needed it, or loosening them if I needed that. Like this: