Alright...to the details now!
I bought the red wool I used last year, intending on making this outfit then, but what with one thing and another, I didn't...and I ended up with my long, too big, mustard yellow kirtle instead.
I'll take you through the construction of this Flemish/English dress from the kirtle out (mostly). One of the first things I did was take up the kirtle. It was too big on me last year and I have gotten a little thinner since then, so it really looked like a sack of potatoes on me. In addition to that, in my research, I read that the kirtle was a tight garment, laced up the back. Well, mine laces up the side, so that didn't get altered, but I did sew up the front and back princess seams, as well as the center back. It's still not super tight (which is fine), but it doesn't leave me feeling like a slob either.
It was decided, that due to my stature (short, you know) and my personality, a shorter skirt would be fitting. The Flemish peasants wore their gowns anywhere from mid-calf to floor length. Well, I know what happens with me and floor length stuff. :D So the next step was hemming the kirtle up about 8 inches (or more). (By the way, this stuff isn't necessarily in chronological order; more in logical order.)
Ah...now we're getting to the pictures! I don't have any kirtle-in-process-of-alteration pictures, but I do have the actual "dress"...though it's more of jumper. I don't know exactly what to call my red-wool contraption, but anyway.
Savannah helped guide me onto the right pattern, which she then fitted on me. Believe it or not, it was the same pattern I used to make one of my '40's dresses in the spring!
After conferring with my adviser (Savannah), I decided to rip apart my mock up and use the back piece for the lining. As the felt and wool stretch similarly, it worked pretty nicely. This way if the lining gets exposed at the front, it won't be noticeable since it's the same color as the outer layer.
Once this was done, it was time to move on to the skirt and the sleeves. The skirt was really straight forward. Savannah measured it, I chopped roughly 8 inches off the bottom of both skirt panels (outside and lining), stitched them together, turned them right side out, and ironed them. Then, I slid into the bodice and Savannah roughed in four inverted box pleats. After that, I took the whole to the ironing board and finalized the pleat placement. As is not unusual for me, I sewed the waist seam twice. Mama used to do that to all the clothes she made me as a little girl. Kept me from ripping the skirts off so easily. Anyway, she taught me the trick when she taught me how to sew.
I pinned the lining over the waist seam...and all the way around the front opening.
Then, I addressed myself to the sleeves. Plain and simple, the sleeves are the scraps from the bottom of the skirt panels. I had four pieces, so I stitched them together to form two tubes.
Yes, I am talking about a pocket.
I roughed out a pattern on a piece of scrap paper, cut that out, did a little measuring...and el-bam-o! It actually looked like it was going to work!
Alright, so with that said, how about some pictures of the finished outfit? (I would still like someone to give me a good explanation as to why photographs make one look wider than one does in the mirror...)
I am SO looking forward to this weekend's adventures!