So here's what we started with...
I did really like where the buttons were placed, but to be honest I put them there to kind of hide a place where I futzed the back of the dress. The first go-round I could not get that nice little peak in the back these dresses are commonly known for. I was being incredibly lazy and did not make the best effort to make it as nice as I'd like.
So... I decided to rip the seams open and re-do where the skirt attached to the bodice. I am also going to confess that I did not do it the correct way by sewing the skirt to the lining and then sew down the facing. It's shocking how much better things they work when they're done right. Don't tell my mother I said that.
Ta-da! Unfortunately I cannot get good pictures with this fabric, but you can see how much better the seam looks on the back, especially the nice point in the center-back. Yay! I was so much happier with how the dress was sitting. Also, I had a kind of revelation with pleating - turns out, direction does make a huge difference. Part of my other goal was fix how the fabric hung over the skirt supports and I realized the pleats really do need to go towards the center peak to create that lovely flow.
I also needed to find a way to fix the front of the dress so that everything came together smoothly and had a nice finish. I bought a lovely length of scarlet silk that will make the belt and I have some cotton muslin on the way to make an airy petticoat that seems so popular in the period fashion plates. My excitement has definitely returned with this piece and now I'm getting even more eager to wear it for the first time. I was thinking about trimmings for it, but I think beyond the red belt I'm not going to fuss with it too much. I think the striped fabric is enough. And of course a fabulous hat.
To which I will add this fabulous hair style. Even though I was able to do a pretty good approximation of a pouf a few months ago, I still remember the nightmare that was my headache afterwards. This is a much more manageable look and something I'm able to fix up in about 20 minutes. I tell you what, though, I have no clue how these ladies lived without Aqua Net!
I'm working on a late 18th century mourning gown, as well as going back and working on my pet-en-l'air a bit more. I also have been working on my 19th century stuff, and have started with a pretty straight-forward linen pelisse. It still needs a bit of work and I need to do a pair of stays, but we'll get there.
Until next time!