The Contraband Crinoline – Update

(I think my cell phone is dying – it’s acting strange and refuses to upload photos to Dropbox. My camera battery is dead and I can’t locate the charger. So no photos today – aargh! – but I will show the steps as soon as I can.)

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"The Crinoline Factory" (French print, no date given)

“The Crinoline Factory” (French print, no date given)

I have a confession to make. As excited as I am about the concept behind this project, I was more than a bit worried about its execution. This happens every time I venture into new sewing territory and must blindly trust that whatever directions I’m given will get me where I want to end up. (Excluding operator error, of course.) And, for some reason, the mere size of the crinoline was intimidating. Why? I don’t have a clue. After all, it’s 90% open space.

However, one must start if one expects to finish. In the process of setting up my cutting table I decided to turn the dining room into the sewing space. It has better light and I’ll be closer to the heater in winter. That frees up the office space for fabric storage, patterns, mannequins, works in progress…all of those things.

Having full access to my cutting table again is wonderful. Once I got the crinoline pattern fully laid out (all one page of it) I realized it’s not nearly as big and cumbersome as I’d thought. And working with a Truly Victorian pattern really makes life easy.

First I cut the bone casing into lengths and marked the levels for each hoop.

Then I cut three pieces of muslin for the bag (the fabric that covers the bottom hoops to prevent accidentally stepping through the hoops), marked the folding and sewing lines and sewed the pieces together.

Today I start setting up the cage with the bone casing. It’s also the day I’m glad I am OCD enough to have thoroughly marked each length of casing.

Pretty dull without the photos, huh? To make up for it, here’s a look at one of my favorite Civil War Era dresses. Wish I know what the colors were. And I love those loops – I think they’re velvet!

1860's Dress with dark intersecting rings as trim on the skirt and sleeves.

1860’s Dress with dark intersecting rings as trim on the skirt and sleeves.

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