Dress of the Court of Saxony

Last night was sewing night. Edith dropped by late (10:30-ish). She (again) matched up the straps and pinned them (this time we used safety pins so they won’t fall out). I marked the length of the brustfleck (7″ tall x width of the white insert) and then she helped me to mark where the top of the skirt should be falling. It’s about 2-3 inches higher than where the bottom of the bodice is now.
I spent the rest of the night (in between helping her to futz with her bodice) replacing the bones in the current bodice with shorter bones (the shortened bodice means I need shorter bones down the front). Lastly, she helped me to measure the length for the skirt.
At this point the only bones I have left to shorten are the “lacing stays”. The new shortened bodice actually works better with the shorter, original (temporary) lacing strips I had earlier (back when I first raved that temporary lacing strips are the bomb). I think tonight I’ll remove the current lacing strips and add the old ones (by hand since I can no longer sew through the bodice since I’ve attached the fashion fabric)(future note: futz with the length of the bodice -before- you attach the finished fabric).
Up next: the skirt.
Edith and I discussed it.. I could wear the dress without sleeves.. but I can’t wear it without a skirt. So the skirt part’s next.(less than two weeks until Purg at this point)
Despite Etaine’s insistence that “cartridge pleats are the only right pleats for this dress” I think I’m going to use pipe organ pleats.

  • I don’t agree that cartidge pleating is the only right pleat. A lot of the dresses have big rolling pleats that aren’t indicative of cartridge pleating. It doesn’t -look- like cartridge pleats and cartridge pleats don’t behave that way.
  • Due to time pressures I really want to be able to machine sew the pleats. Not possible with cartridge pleats.

(Email about pleats and options. To summarize: pipe-organ please are of questionable historical veracity but they may be necessary to achieve the look of some Cranach paintings)

I love the guarding layout in the inspirational picture above. I measured it in pixels (the number on the left) and then scaled that to fit the length in inches on my dress(the number on the right). My finished dress needs to be 40″ long in the front to just hit the floor.

So the plan is to start with a rectangle of fabric (45 7/8″ by ??? bottom of bodice measurement * some multiplier for the pleats. Still need to figure that out) and add the guards to it (hidden stitch on one side, top-stitch on the other. When there’s time (probably after Purg) I’ll go back and replace the top-stitch with a hidden applique stitch). Then pleat it. Trim the top to the correct length then attach it to the bodice. At this point I’m not planning to tape my pleats.
I plan to attach the skirt directly to the bottom of the bodice using a french seam. Plan: Match up the skirt to the bodice with the insides together. Sew a seam all the way around (leaving a little slit under the laces). (if I put the dress on at this point I’d have seam allowance all around the outside of the dress). Flip it so the outsides of the skirt/bodice are together, pin aggressively to hold the pleats in place and sew another seam that encases the first seam allowance (don’t be skimpy. You don’t want bits of the first seam allowance to stick out). Ta-da. If necessary, tack down the french seam to keep it from flopping about (possibly not necessary).


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