I literally did not leave the house this weekend. And other than meals, sleeping, and taking 30 mins to exercise in the living room, I pretty much didn't leave the sewing room. On Saturday, I started messing around with the 1890s shirtwaist. I figured out the patterning for the shirt fronts. I started with an armseye/side seam shape from the new 1890s Butterick (ugly pink dress) pattern, but expanded the width to the CF by about 3x the pattern width. I knew I wanted tucks down the front, but didn't know how many. So I fiddled around with the pattern until I got all the tucks in the right place, then cut off the excess, sewed all the tucks in place (5 in the CF), and cut the neckline following the pattern shape. Then I did the same thing to the other side. Oh, and since I wanted to see how this would all look in the actual plaid, I took a risk and did all this fiddling with the actual fabric! I also pinned the three back pieces in that pattern on their seam lines, matching up the armseye, and keeping everything else as one large flat pattern, because I knew I wanted gathers in the CB at the waist.
After I figured out all the shirtwaist body pieces, I switched gears to the mermaid tail, because that way I wouldn't have to change my serger thread twice. I serged off everything that I had hacked off during the fitting on Thurs, hemmed it, then added three tiers of the pre-ruffled organza at the bottom. While I was doing that, I was also waiting for the snap tape that I dyed turquoise to dry, because naturally, this is a rip-away mermaid tail. Once it was dry, I added the snap tape (ps - sewing snap tape to two layers of sequined material is annoying as anything), and I finished off the waist with bias tape. Done!
Then I moved back to the blouse. I sewed together the body pieces, then started on sleeves. I couldn't decide if I wanted a 3/4 sleeve or a long sleeve, so I used the leg-o-mutton sleeves from the Butterick pattern to start with, but I increased the sleeve head by about 2-3" on all sides, and dropped the width down to below the elbow, in case I decided on the 3/4 bishop sleeve. I flatlined the first one with organdy, made it up, and decided I hated the leg-o-mutton part. So I chopped off the bottom of the sleeve and made it up again. Too much pouf (I know, I don't think I've ever said that before). So I took it all apart, and took about 1-1.5" off all around the head, plus narrowed the sleeve under the arm just a tiny bit. Success! Of course, that meant that I had to take it all apart again and use it as the pattern for the other sleeve.
Once I had those assembled, I used a cut-down version of the cuff that comes on the old Butterick eton jacket pattern as cuffs for my sleeves, which worked quite nicely. Then I did all my buttons and buttonholes (16 total!), and moved on to the collar. I used a collar from an old early 1980s blouse pattern I have, increasing it to my size, adding about .5" in height, and turning it into a pointy collar. (I had pulled that pattern out a bunch as I was making the blouse, since it was kind of similar to what I was going for, but in a smaller size, with smaller sleeves, and with a totally different front tuck arrangement.) I hate sewing collars, but I wound up being able to complete this one with only a couple errors, both of which I was able to fix without undoing terribly much. And for me, that's really something!
I tried it all on with a vintage clip-on bow tie that I picked up at an estate sale a few years ago, and it went perfectly with this blouse. I had sewn gathers into the waist edge for the fronts and CB, pulled them up to fit while I was wearing it over the corset and petticoat, and finished off the bottom edge with bias tape, machine stitching it down because it's going to be tucked in and no one is going to see it. The other modern thing I did on this that made me happy was use a variegated thread that was pretty much the colors of the plaid. I enjoyed watching it change color as I sewed the whole shirtwaist. Anyway, I'm quite pleased with how it came out, and it makes me want to wear it in an old ice cream parlour and/or on Main Street at Disney. The funny thing is, I realized after I finished everything just how close this plaid is to the plaid of my 1890s suit, as you can see by the hat in the 2nd picture.
I probably won't get to sew too much today, since I'm going to go to the gym after work, and then have trivia tonight. Tomorrow, though, other than hopefully going to the gym and watching the big fireworks show they do really near my house, I hope to get some sewing done, and I think I may stay in all day on the 4th and sew. I'm not feeling very patriotic anyway, and my goal is to finish the little fixes I have for Cinderella for the show and to completely finish the red silk Regency dress by Wed night. That way, all I will have left is the gala dress, which is going to take a whole bunch of experimentation, since I'm still not sure exactly what I want to do anymore.