Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Historical Sew Monthly #11: Silver Screen

I bought fabric to make a swiss waist way back in July, and that is long time for me to have something sitting around that I'm excited about!  It went rather well, and I got to practice my flat-drafting skills once I lost the mockup that was first based from Koshka the Cat's diagram. The improved one that was improvized worked much better.

There were two reasons why I went with red; this painting:

And, rather accidentally later on, this...

I was inspired by the red against the white; I wasn't particularly wanting to go for that exact look, although I have been told by two people that I look like Mary Poppins. Oh well, it's way better than Scarlett O' Hara!

Something that was also new that I hadn't really done before was piece many tiny pieces to make bias tape, to be made into piping. I don't know why, but in the past I have hated cutting bias strips and would rather cut into a large chunk of fabric just to avoid piecing teeny pieces together. But I'm glad I tried it, even if it was a pain. Sorry, I don't have a picture of the back! It doesn't really fit Penelope, there's at least a 2'' gap in the back. 
I saved handsewing the eyelets for last, which wasn't really a great idea because I stayed up until 11:30 to get it done. In the end, I'm glad I did push to have it finished, because there was only one event this year that I could wear it to before next year. The red helped to break up the white expanse of the dress, and I was not asked once if it was a wedding dress. It also helps to hide my partially ineffective dog-leg closure (still practicing!) which tends to gape just a little. I got all that ruching done in the car to Seattle!

What the item is: Swiss Belt

The Challenge: Silver Screen, inspired by Mary Poppin's outfit. 

Fabric: 1/2 yard silk taffeta, lined with cotton sateen

Pattern: Drafted myself

Year: 1860's

Notions: Thread, plastic zip ties

Total cost: $18

How historically accurate is it? Giving myself a pat on the back with 90%; the hand-gathering  and hand sewn eyelets were labor-intensive

Hours to complete: 15

First worn: 9/26, to Museum Comes to Life, but I hadn't added any trim yet. 

It was a really fun little project, and I would love to have one for basically every outfit! The Dreamstress makes an excellent point that, during the 1860's, boned pointed belts were usually called just pointed belts, swiss belts, or just waists. The term swiss waist evolved a little later when they came back into fashion in the 1890's. Personally, I prefer to think of this style as more of a pointed belt, because there are a lot of swiss waists of the period that were very tall, almost like an entire bodice, and they tend to be lumped together.

Coming up: how to draft your own swiss waist to your measurements!

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