Sunday, August 14, 2016

Renaissance Festival project progress: M6819 pt. 2

     So we are about day three into the McCall's 6819 project and it's almost done. The construction was pretty easy considering. My biggest praise is the lack of hand stitching involved. I hate hand sewing, and other than slip stitching the inside of the bodice lining once you attach the skirt there really isn't anything else that requires it.  The picture here is the version I am doing. No sleeves or all around skirt pleats.

     Originally I was going to include boning on the side and back seams for structure, but I have since nixed that idea since the bodice and skirt meet right at the waist line and my waist is short, even my apple shape doesn't warp the structure or how it hangs. Another change I mentioned doing was adding ties in the front to replace the hood and eye closure it called for, and I am still thinking of taking this route, or, I may do some buckles. Haven't decided that yet.

     The pattern calls for decorative lacing in the back, but I haven't done that yet, and I am debating if I want too. It's solely decorative, and if I make the wide waist belt that also comes with the pattern, it seems silly because the laces would be covered up. (However, I am thinking of wearing a corset under, so we will see.)

     This picture is everything that is included in the pattern packet. I am thinking for a second project of making the bodice with the all around skirt pleats, minus the skirt for a second project. There are so many ways to change the options up and have fun.

   So this is the inspiration for the project. Regina is my spirit animal... of fashion. When I saw this picture I immediately thought of my pattern and knew this is what I wanted to make/use as a base. Michigan Renaissance Festival starts August, and goes until October, so I knew I needed something that would offer versatility for the dramatic weather we see in that time frame. We get heat with high humidity, we get lots of rain, and then it gets cold very quickly. I opted no sleeves since my chemise has the long sleeves, and I'll later layer a cloak. I am not part of the cast so I can have more fantasy in my outfit, so I wanted it to be less formal, but still feminine, and along the lines of pirates and roguish. I love this pattern for that.

     The pattern calls for lining, and the jacquard I got from the upholstery section was durable, but not stiff, so it lacked structure. I decided I would take the muslin shell of the bodice I tested and attach that to the lining to have it as an underlining. To be honest, I will never do that again. This was my first time with a lining, and it was frustrating at times to work with not two, but three layers. In fact, I hated the slippery lining I used. unless its a dress or something more delicate, I am using a muslin or cotton linings from now on. I know I will for my next bodice I am already planning.

Here you can see the muslin and lining inside out on my dress form as I was checking the seams and preparing to pin to the main fabric.

     I LOVE THIS COLLAR. On my next project, I may exaggerate it even more. The little sleeve caps are so much fun too. Here is the collar, sleeve caps and bodice sewn up with the lining. It looks great. The collar and sleeves were so easy, you just pin to the edge of the fabric on the right side between the lining and outer shell, and sew it all up in once swoop. Once you do that and turn it right side out, everything just falls into place. The edge stitching was already done to the collar before it was attached to the bodice, I did double line of edge stitching on the collar, one line on the sleeves, and once it was all sewn together I did one line down the front and blended it into the collar.

     My moms' cat Abby kept hiding under the dress form as I was working on the skirt, which I assume was just one giant tent to her. She is a beautiful minx kitty though, so I decided it was a great time to get some shots of her. I posted a few more on my Instagram. Here she is trying to be sneaky.

     I got the skirt lining sewn and the unit attached but I still need to hem the skirt and lining. I deviated from the pattern instructions a little at this point. The pattern calls for the right sides of the skirt to be together and you sew up the sides, up the slit in the back and along the bottom, leaving the top open, but I needed to trim up fabric and lose some inches so I left the bottom open too.

     At this point, all I need to do is add the little decorative pleats, one on either side in the front closure, slip stitch the inside lining closed, which I'll do last in case I need to do anything inside the bodice, trim and hem up the skirt, add whatever front closure method I decide, and decide on the back ties or not. I also have some Kuchi jewelry from my belly dance days I thought about adding to the outfit for more of a pirate look. Not much more to go, and I should have it done in one, maybe two more days time. Fair is 5 days away.

I think this would easily be a long weekend project. I did work at my own slower pace, and on a few occasions I got over confident and ahead of myself which lead to me seam ripping and starting parts over. Over and over. Here is how it's panned out so far:

Day one: cut out pattern, made muslin shell of bodice to decide on fit and alterations (really more so a couple hours at night. I spent the day at JoAnns picking out fabric and notions.)

Day two: cut out lining, and main fabric, cut out sleeve caps, and collar, sew the bodice together, didn't do more because I was waiting for the boning to come in the mail. So I edge stitched around sleeves, collars, and caps

Day three: decided to nix the boning even though it came in the mail, cut out skirt and lining, and sewn them up. (at this point I think my sewing machine was over it because it started to jam on me all the time. I had to put the darning plate cover on to reduce the issues I was having. I have a singer curvy and I was told my the sales person it doesn't do well to layers and layers or heavier fabric.)

Day four: this will be the day I do my finishing touches, touch up anything else thing that needs it after I put on and move around, hem the skirt, and take lots of pictures for my conclusion blog. I'll make sure to get pictures of the details.


  1. When you attached the corset pieces did you machine stitch through the lining or hand stitch through the shell only?

    1. I was running out of time, and since I know the inside wouldn't be seen I just machined everything I could. I used a pleather material with boning in the front and then just did a cotton lining that I ironed the seam allowance down, and then I had sewn all together. The outside looked fine though, just like an edge stitch. SO I had visible seams outside but it looked fine. Next time I will do cleaner construction. I also really like these style corset belts, so I may do a blog on them alone.