I am working on a Victorian dress for this year’s round of SASS banquets. I’ve got to have this finished in a month and a half as we’re doing our first shoot the second week of June. This has actually been in the works since last fall, but the sewing room remodel project kind of upset the schedule. It’s taken me a while to get organized into the new space and figure out where I left off, and the dress is a little bit worse for wear from being moved around so many times with just pins holding everything together. The second problem is that I switched to my new sewing machine in the middle of it, so I’d say it’s not my best sewing effort since I have been trying to get used to the machine as I go. There are tension problems in a couple of places that I didn’t notice until it was all sewn up (fortunately, no where that stress will be an issue) and some of the spacing and stitch length isn’t right. However, I have learned that sewing is a process of flow…. and you have to go with the flow sometimes. 🙂

I had a bit different idea in mind when I started this dress, and after seeing the first few rounds of ruffles on the train, I decided to keep to the ruffle theme and so, box pleats which were going to be on the front turned into a tall ruffle instead. All of the ruffles are edged with handmade bias tape in a contrasting fabric to the main ruffle color. The colors are subtle and hard to see in the photograph although much more vibrant in person – for the pattern I have a striped silk taffeta in colors of peach, taupe, cream and golden yellow, while for the solid I have a silk taffeta in a plain golden yellow. This is a very different color choice for me as I usually tend to like darker, richer jewel colors, but it has been fun to work with. And I am loving silk taffeta…. this taffeta is SO crispy and nice and keeps whatever shape I make out of it.

So far I have just the underskirt finished. I am about 3/4 of the way done with a pannier overskirt using a Truly Victorian pattern, which I intend to drape differently via the use of ties than is indicated in the original pattern. I am as yet undecided about which bodice style to use. Is it a ball gown with a low neckline and short sleeves? A promenade dress? A dinner gown? ….