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taupe-robe-a-la-francaise-done-2

You know, I couldn't decide between two stomacher styles...

So I made both!

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I am so pleased to finally be done with this gown. I really love it! I think it turned out exactly as planned. Well, okay, 98% of plan. Well, no, okay, 89% of plan. Whatever. IT'S DONE!

I guess I have to reel back to where I left off-- I had the sleeves done, and SO MUCH came after it, that I'm afraid you are in for a mountain of photos to scroll through. Sorry. I can't help myself.

First I had to connect the gown at the shoulders and sew down the remainder of the bodice furbelows around the back of the neck...

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Then I had to get the main bulk of the furbelows onto the skirt...

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Making some pleats...

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I felt like I was furbelowing for days. That was a lot of work! Getting it even and balanced and pleasing to the eye was no small feat!

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Checking the scale...

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Thankfully I did not run out of beaded trim! I think I made it out with about 8 inches to spare. After using nearly 50 yards of this stuff willy-nilly, having only 8 inches left is a miracle!

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I had to pre-puff the skirt puffs, I just couldn't draw a wiggly line on the gown and then tack them on like I did for the underskirt... I had to see it and space it with my eyes,  I wasted too much time trying to get it mathmatically right. I have a pretty good eye, I think it worked out for the best!

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There, all the front furbelows on... pretty!

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Sewing the front to the back at the sides...

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Pinning and sewing together the pannier humps...

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Cutting the discreet hidden pocket slit, have to reach into those pannier pockets somehow!

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Handsewing on the pearls to each pinch pleat...

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I still wasn't totally happy-- the original gown I'm "inspired by" had these beautiful chenille-looking tassels-- and, well, there was no way I was going to find or make those. I thought about making tassels from thread, then from beads, then from fabric edged with beads, and all sorts of cockamamie ideas that sucked.  Finally I started digging around in my room and the pearls were staring me in the face. AHA! PEARLS! So, I made pearl tassels.

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I just love the way they turned out! They swing and dangle nicely, too.

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For the stomacher I had two strong ideas, but wasn't sure which to make. I printed some museum extant stomacher photos and pinned them to the dress to get a faint idea as to what would look good-- recognize them? LOL!

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I liked the jewelry/pearl idea. *cough*pearl whore*cough*

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But, I also loved the silver embroidery idea. So, I cobbled together a stomacher embroidery design using commercial components. I arranged them to suit the stomacher shape and voila! (We just won't be talking about how long that actually took me, how many samples I had to stitch out at four hours each, how much thread and stabilizer I wasted, how many needles I blew through, how much fussing I did-- not to mention the scary-ass fact that I only had enough fabric left for ONE real stitch out. If I screwed it up it was game over and I'd have to do something else without embroidery... and I really really REALLY wanted the embroidery.)

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There it goes, my one and only shot at doing this right! I was nervous the whole time it was stitching out. What if it buckles? What if the thread snarls up? What if it fucks up so much I just can't save it? AAAAIIIIIIII!!!

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It actually turned out fairly well! (cue Jaws theme music here)

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Shit! It puckered. I don't know why, clearly my skills need improving. Maybe I had it too tight in the hoop and after it relaxed it wanted to be in its original form, and puckered. It was a big ol' Puck You! to me. Gah! But, I had come too far to give up. So, you wanna know how I saved it?

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I blinged the shit out of that motherfucker. I glued pearls and Swarovski flat backs all over the damn place. Pucker? BLING! Snag? BLING! Empty spot? BLING! BLING! BLING!

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The other stomacher I just made some bows, and added some rhinestone buttons and pearl dangles. I think it gives her a very different look for the same dress! I really had to make those bows out of garbage scraps-- I really wanted to make the second stomacher, but I had practically nothing left! Just scraps! But, I managed somehow to make it work. Tim Gunn would be so proud of me.

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Those buttons always make me laugh-- I've had them for about 15 years, and I thought they were old vintage lovelies, and were a one of a kind set. Ha! Walking through Fabric Depot there was a whole rack of them. Well, at least I know where to find replacements if one falls off!

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The sleeves have a little crystal and pearl thing going on, too.  Those were actually a pair of my old Trifari earrings, I haven't worn then in over twenty years (shit, has it really been that long? I'm so old!) and I thought they would be perfect right there-- and they are! They are probably pretty happy to be foxxing about again.

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Whoa those big black snaps are hideous!  Thankfully no one sees them when they are all snugged together. They sure do a great job, though!

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I had to hand sew those suckers on.  You know how I adore handsewing. I wanted to use the machine to tack them on like I did on the gown, but these were domed and had the inverted knobby thingamajig and just wouldn't do it. Hand sewing! 20 snaps! 6 holes each!  Bah! I ran though about 47 Alias episodes on Netfix getting them done.  Of course black thread would have been better. I made a bad choice... but I'm NOT doing it over!

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So, there we go. All done. It isn't hemmed, Lucia will need to have that done once it reaches her-- hemming is always better in person! I wish I could deliver it to her in person, but, well, Italy is rather out of reach at the moment. *drifts off dreaming of Italy...*

Date: 2013-10-02 06:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mrq-laurellen.livejournal.com
I LOVE the embroidered stomacher. I wish I could get my machine to work with metallic thread like that; it eats it no matter what I do.

So pretty... it inspires me to make something...

Date: 2013-10-02 01:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starlightmasque.livejournal.com
Thanks! It took a lot of experimentation. I bought some beautiful Robson-Anton metallic thread and couldn't get it to stitch more than 10 times before shredding, no matter the needle or the stabilizer. Finally a combo of an 11 embroidery needle, Guttermann thread and a slow speed did the trick, very minimal shredding, maybe 3 or 4 imes for the whole thing-- win! Took forever, though!

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From: [identity profile] mrq-laurellen.livejournal.com - Date: 2013-10-02 03:07 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] starlightmasque.livejournal.com - Date: 2013-10-02 03:50 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2013-10-02 06:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katexxxxxx.livejournal.com
Lovely! Ingenious use of snap fasteners! (In true 18th C style, Su used pins on her Mme De Pompadour gown. They work very well too)

Date: 2013-10-02 01:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starlightmasque.livejournal.com
Pins would be so easy for me! But, not so easy for my lady-- she will need to dress by herself, and dress quickly without the eye of someone else to get it even. Snaps to the rescue! I actually spied these big style snaps on one of the Elizabeth Swan gowns, and thought it would be a good idea.

Date: 2013-10-02 10:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jenthompson.livejournal.com
Its quite a masterpiece! Bravo!!!

Date: 2013-10-02 01:45 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-10-02 12:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] isabelladangelo.livejournal.com
Gorgeous! I admit, I like the bow stomacher better. To me, the embroidered one is pretty but it's so different from the rest of the dress that it doesn't blend well. The bows blend with the rest of the pinch pleats and pearls on the gown itself causing the eye not to focus on the stomacher, but the whole gown.

Date: 2013-10-02 01:55 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-10-02 12:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] newgarb.livejournal.com
♪FABULOUS♪

Date: 2013-10-02 01:56 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-10-02 01:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ashamanja-babu.livejournal.com
It's beautiful! Congrats on finishing!

Date: 2013-10-02 01:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starlightmasque.livejournal.com
Thank you! I love finishing a big gown, it feels so good!

Date: 2013-10-02 01:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ghost-ofa-rose.livejournal.com
Wow! This is amazing! You should be very proud of yourself. Honestly, you created a gorgeous gown. And I'm totally in love woth the embroidered stomacher. If you don't mind, I'm so going to copy you somewhere in the futere and make an ambroidered blingy stomacher. I think I need more pearls in my life :D.

Date: 2013-10-02 02:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starlightmasque.livejournal.com
Thank you! I have no doubt you would make a really spectacular one!

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] ghost-ofa-rose.livejournal.com - Date: 2013-10-03 11:53 am (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2013-10-02 01:51 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-10-02 02:01 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-10-02 02:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] virginiadear.livejournal.com
Omigosh, I'm breathless! I think it's possible that I might, for the first time in my life, pass out from breathlessness.

Gorgeous. Fabulous. Spectacular. Breathtaking.

WOW.

Date: 2013-10-02 03:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starlightmasque.livejournal.com
Oh, ha! ha! Thank you! You guys really know how to make a girl feel like a million bucks!

Date: 2013-10-02 03:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] my-stitching.livejournal.com
Truly spectacular! Good job!

Date: 2013-10-02 03:41 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-10-02 03:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bauhausfrau.livejournal.com
What a wonderful job, it looks just smashing! I love the two different stomachers and am kind of agog at the embroidered one, it's so luxe. I imagine the whole thing just glows in candlelight.

Date: 2013-10-02 03:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starlightmasque.livejournal.com
Thank you!

It is pretty sparkly-- I used three sizes of stones, they were just plain clear. I was worried it would be too Oksana Baiul, but it actually has a brilliant twinkle without looking too fakey.

Stomachers are going to be a part of what I'll be selling next year-- small quickly completed items (well, quick compared to a full gown!) that I can go bananas with on the decoration. Looking forward to it!

Date: 2013-10-02 04:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] demode.livejournal.com
Beautiful!!! Love the bling save, because the bling is what pushes it to stunning!

Date: 2013-10-02 04:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starlightmasque.livejournal.com
Thank you! Sometimes big blunders can turn into soemthing awesome!

Date: 2013-10-02 06:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tsuruko-sensei.livejournal.com
Gorgeous! I love the idea of having two stomachers. And your save on the puckered areas worked quite well. Amazing the cool things that can come out of fixing a problem.

Date: 2013-10-02 06:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starlightmasque.livejournal.com
Thank you! I wanted her to have a few options to switch the look up a little bit, it worked out rather well!

Date: 2013-10-02 09:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-aristocat.livejournal.com
Its really beautiful!

Date: 2013-10-02 10:20 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-10-02 11:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blaze2242.livejournal.com
Magnificent. I also love BLING as a solution to imperfections. That's me when I do illumination. 'Hm, something's not quite right... clearly I need more GOLD!'

Date: 2013-10-03 02:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starlightmasque.livejournal.com
Thanks! Gold and pearls and gems, oh my!

Date: 2013-10-03 12:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] katanubis.livejournal.com
Absolutely gorgeous! I really like that you made her 2 stomachers. It really changes the look!

Date: 2013-10-03 02:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starlightmasque.livejournal.com
Thank you! The lady I made this for does a lot of events, and it's always a bummer to wear the same thing. Glad I could make it a little versatile for her!

Date: 2013-10-03 12:55 am (UTC)
ext_482226: (Default)
From: [identity profile] mandie-rw.livejournal.com
Beautiful!! And I love the bling save on the embroidered stomacher - and it was serendipity, too, because that sparkle makes it really perfect!

Date: 2013-10-03 02:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starlightmasque.livejournal.com
Thank you! It looks really pretty in person-- I wish I was a better photographer!

Date: 2013-10-03 02:00 am (UTC)
ext_41593: (costuming)
From: [identity profile] tudorlady.livejournal.com
This. Is. Glorious. I wish it were mine!

Date: 2013-10-03 02:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starlightmasque.livejournal.com
Thank you! I wish it was mine, too!

Date: 2013-10-03 02:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reine-de-coudre.livejournal.com
wow! really, really stunning!

Date: 2013-10-03 02:43 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-10-03 02:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] madamekat.livejournal.com
It is SO beautiful! Please don't ever stop and keep sharing and inspiring the rest of us!

Date: 2013-10-03 03:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starlightmasque.livejournal.com
Thank you! That means a lot coming from the Queen of the Francaise. I would like to join you for a Francaise Dinner someday!

(...and, I think the rest of you inspiring me came first!)

Date: 2013-10-03 03:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rose-bertin.livejournal.com
THIS DRESS IS BREATHTAKINGLY GORGEOUS!!!

And I LOVE the embroidered stomacher! Would you be willing to send the design over so I can run it through my friends embroidery machine and make a pretty one for myself? I've always wanted one!

Date: 2013-10-03 02:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starlightmasque.livejournal.com
Thank you!

I'll be selling stomachers next year, I'd be delighted to make one for you!

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From: [identity profile] rose-bertin.livejournal.com - Date: 2013-10-03 05:38 pm (UTC) - Expand

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From: [identity profile] starlightmasque.livejournal.com - Date: 2013-10-03 05:51 pm (UTC) - Expand

Date: 2013-10-03 08:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladyxjade.livejournal.com
OMG I LOVE IT

Date: 2013-10-03 08:35 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-10-03 10:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dragonfly-sidhe.livejournal.com
Oh. My. God. I want you to bling the shit out of some motherfucking thing for me. /dies from the shiny awesome.

Date: 2013-10-03 10:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starlightmasque.livejournal.com
I totally did a spit take with my coffee.

Thanks! I'll bling the shit out of any motherfucking thing you want!

Date: 2013-10-04 06:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theladyrebecca.livejournal.com
That looks amazing! And I honestly can't decide which stomacher I like better - they're both gorgeous!

Date: 2013-10-05 10:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] starlightmasque.livejournal.com
Thank you! I couldn't decide either, so I made both!

Date: 2013-10-06 12:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fittzwm.livejournal.com
Spectacular! BlingBlingBling for the win!!

Date: 2013-10-06 05:47 am (UTC)

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