Miss Peasley respectfully inquires,
about acquiring New Outfits!
Of course! First the sketches…
Kat Peasley and I have spoken for the last couple of seasons about trying to get her some clothes made just for her. She had been doing a lovely job with some great pieces that she had scored from Pendragon, and a really cute paperboy outfit from 2007, goodness! What she really wanted though, was something just for her. I am always happy to oblige. So, this year during Bristol, I made her a corset, out of some beautiful pink-rum colored matte-satin. It is slightly gold, and slightly pink, anyway, a lovely color on her dark skin. We will eventually do an entire trousseau for her like I did for Sharon Thompson. For now she has a bustle and her corset.
Kat loves Navy and Lavender. I had never thought of this combo previously, but It worked great together. You would think both colors would be easy to find… not so much. We had a serious challenge to find colors that worked together, in fabrics we liked, that were available. We finally stumbled across some super gorgeous Dark Navy silk faille, a bright amazingly soft lavender velvet, a very fun patterned wool/silk blend in lavender, grey, and cream, and finally from Larry Giesen, a lavender/teal cotton damask. Of course all fabrics do not go in all ensembles, so I know they all sound a little odd together, but the end result turned out great.
I built the underskirt first from the damask. We were only going to see this fabric in a couple of places, and always in the background. Still, it was very important to the foundation of the outfits as a vest and the underskirt. The frill on the underskirt is deeply box-pleated Navy faille. Very simple and elegant. Just like Kat!, of course with a little geek thrown in with both outfits being deliciously asymmetrical.
This underskirt would be worn with both the day dress, and the ballgown. I built the ball gown first. Over the damask over skirt was going to be an overskirt and bodice of velvet with bunting and bows in Navy. I do not have any in process photos. I got in the groove, and went to town. This velvet was so easy to work with, and the bows just fell together. Of course, I am crazy, so when I went to close it up, I decided that white or silver grommets would look horrible, so I hand-sewed all her eyelets. And yes, I changed thread color, remember, crazy. My only issue was using the silk faille on the bias…it did not want to. I had to wrestle with it on the bodice, but I finally won, and Kat Loved it! She looked like Audrey Hepburn, so clean and elegant, when she wore it Dinner at the Galvez.
There are all of my pictures here in my flickr Set if you want more.
And here are some pics:
I was a little worried after shooting these pictures that the contrast between the colors was too harsh. I need not have worried. In the soft light at dinner it just heightened the textures of everything.
Here is a picture Kat took getting ready for Dinner.
Now, Ladies and Gentlemen, on to the Day Dress.
Both of these dress are simple, but he ball gown was fairly straight froward, but the day pieces involved some serious pattern manipulation. I have made a couple of double-breasted vests, but not a jacket. Also, I was building the turned back collar into the coat, and it was functional. The vest have faked collars that do not extend around the back of the neck. All this had to be accomplished and fit, with no fittings until Dickens. I stared at the pattern… A LOT!
I was working from a very cute picture in one of my books,
Frances Grimble’s Fashions of the Gilded Age vol.1.
I loved the vest showing through the double-breasted coat. I also thought this would be a way to work in more of the damask, and have a whole bunch of vests that would go with the coat, but not match anything else. She will eventually will also have a blue faille vest.
Since most of the front of the vest would show, I wanted to get some fun buttons. The vest is a really pretty cut glass iridescent button, and the coat button is also glass with a flower cut into it and a silver wash. They both worked great. The facing on the Collar and cuffs is the faille, and I trimmed the coat and skirt in 3 rows of a narrow dark navy velvet ribbon…again MJ Trims is my friend.
So how about some pictures:
Now in the last Photo, you can see that I made Kat a bonnet as well. It was a surprise! What new outfit does not deserve a hat to do it justice. It is the same general style as Sharon’s, but I did the short crown and brim, since Kat Is quite tall already. The construction was all the same, and the only real differences are that I had to pad the form with fleece(Thank you Stephen Bishop) to keep the buckram from showing through the silk. I did also, put most of the wire on by machine this time, much faster.
I trimmed it with a velvet ribbon called Helio, I assume like heliotrope. *shrug* Anyway, it is a great color match for the lavender/teal color in the vest and underskirt. I also used that damask to make a rouched feather and the neck ties. The best part for me the designer, is that I just happened to have a couple of feathers from Fair that are the same odd greenish-greyish-lavender color.
I am sure there will be more pieces in the future, so I will keep you updated as to those new acquisitions.