Waisted Efforts

Do we have time?

Do we have time, Miss Kelly?

 In the four days we had between Melanie’s final fitting and the wedding, MaritaBeth and I decided we needed new digs for this party, too! Melanie had stated on her invitations that her wedding was Victorian, and encouraged her guests to dress. I have not been able make MB anything Victorian except for a “few” corsets, so I really wanted to make her something. I, had brought all of my necessary undies, but not a single thing to wear over them, and I am not a parade-around-in-my-frilly-underwear kinda gal.
Therefore, MaritaBeth asks, “Do we have time, Miss Kelly”?

Pshaw! Of course we have time! I should have an electric shocker zap whenever I utter these fateful words, because no matter what… WE HAVE THE TIME! [period] This time however, I did not ever have an allnighter. I worked till 1am one night but that was it.

MB’s outfit is more a single jacket to go over a currently existing silk underskirt. I made her a little Tail Jacket from Truly Victorian. These are the most intelligent and successful patterns I have ever used. They make me so happy! :D

Here is a picture that MB took of her fabric.
It is a really pretty milk chocolate all over viney pattern. We lined it with a cream colored cotton damask. In the future she wants to make an underskirt of the damask to have as another matching piece. We may do that as an early 1890’s skirt since that is appropriate with this jacket as well.

Neither of us thought to take pictures of each other at the wedding, so I only have a couple. We will have to get all gussied up and do it on purpose or wait and see what others got.

Here is MB arranging Melanie’s dress for the formal pictures.

MB made an absolutely lovely jabot from a round doily that her Gammie had crocheted many years ago. Attached to a little silk collar she made, it was the perfect addition to her top.

My dress was not nearly so simple, and took the lions-share of our alloted time; much of it spent bitting my lip and clutching my head, trying to find the path to what I wanted to do. I took three of the TV patterns and married them into one polonaise. Silly me, I thought this would be easy. *snort* I have these moments where I am much impressed with myself…they usually blow up around me.

Here are a couple of sketches I just cobbled together on Photoshop, and the one MB took while I was dressing the bride.

Amusing I know, but it is just about the best I can do at the moment. At least until we have other photos.

Hopefully the sketches let you see that I combined the Dinner jacket with the Panier overskirt using the Polonaise pattern as a guide to turn these two into a polonaise. I used the floor length fishtail skirt as-is. Tricksy I is.

Wow! I do not recommend trying something like this yourself when you only have 4 days to do not only yours, but an entire other piece of clothing. I swore, alot. The cotton velvet I used is a great dark charcoal, and soft. That soft is just enough rayon, to make it mark if you even looked at it wrong. Yet more swearing. The blue fabric is some weird polyester that MB had laying around. She could not even figure out why she had it other than the lovely sky blue color. I think it is a crossweave because it tends to have violet highlights, but who knows with plastic fabric…might be sprayed with something. Oh!, and it also had some lycra in it! Yes, stretch. I hate stretch, but at least it was going the right direction to not impact my skirt at all. I trimmed the underskirt similar to the cover of the pattern. The bottom layer is velvet box pleats, covered be a ruched band of blue with the edges free to ruffle, and then the stitching coved by a flat bias band of the velvet. It turned out a little curlier than I wanted, but it is very cute.

The entire polonaise is the grey velvet, lined in black poly ottoman. (We expected this wedding to be outdoors where it was 50 degrees…we wanted to be warm) I trimmed the dinner length sleeves with little pleaty drapey bits of the blue, and a larger version of the same cut glass buttons I used to close the front. MB donated some yards of a lovely black cotton 2.5″ wide bobbin lace that trims the polonaise all the way around, and a band at the base of the exposed tail, again finished off with a couple of glass buttons.

At the very least I will try to lay out the polonaise and take pictures of the interior and seam lines so you can see where I married everything together. As soon as I do that I will update this again. Thanks for playing along.

Finally I have had space to put up my dressform, and put thus dress on it.
Charcoal Polonaise frontCharcoal polonaise back

The rest of the pictures are here under the tag Charcoal

This is my workshop in Georgia. I apologize for all the background clutter, but I wanted to take pictures, and do some additional work to the pieces before they sat in a garment bag for another couple of months.

I need to add one more button to the top, it is a little more revealing than I would prefer, for a dinner gown. Also the pleated lace around the neck is a little too frilly for me, so I am going to tack it down to the velvet. I hope to wear this again for Dickens this year. The lovely necklace that my friend made for me matches beautifully. :)


I wore this dress twice more this year, for Dickens in Galveston at Dinner at the Galvez, but I also wore it to CA to the Great Dickens Fair on Sunday. Thanks to my friend Richard Maritzer, I have some photos of me in the dress. I will add DotS ones, too when I get any.
in CA on SundayMeeting new friends