The Halloween Collection, Part 1

2017BlackSilverEarrings

Most design houses have a fall collection, but here at Fitting and Proper we also like to pay extra attention to that most important event which livens up the beginning of fall.  So here are some creations for the Halloween season!  Spooky earrings, with skulls and black crochet.

2017LaceBatClip

Clip made of a silver bat on a bed of cotton lace.  The lace is a scrap leftover from a friend’s project; another example of zero waste sewing.

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Crinoline

Crinoline of cotton fabric and nylon netting

To make your costume the right shape requires some structure, usually on the inside. This is a crinoline, a petticoat made with several tiers of stiff ruffles so it holds your skirt out. I made this one with a base layer of twilled cotton, so it will be comfortable and give some “swish” as you walk.  I have used the same cotton for the large ruffles in previous crinolines, but used nylon netting for this one so it can be lighter weight.  I designed this crinoline so that it gives the skirt the shape of the 1840s.

cotton skirt over Fitting and Proper crinoline

To compare how foundation garments shape the costume, see my previous post where I had this same skirt over a hooped petticoat.

Steampunk Corset, part 3

Gold cotton corset

The finished corset is curvy and supple.  It is all cotton so it breathes well. My lovely model lost some weight since the corset was made (kudos to her) so it is a tad loose, but you still see how it hugs the right places and supports the right places.

back of gold cotton corset

sitting in a Victorian corset and chemise

side view of corset with bust gussets

This last photo is a good example of how a corset should fit.  Rather than squashing the bust, the corset should lift and support it.  When drafting corset patterns for women above a D cup, I create a different shape of gusset, and different boning placement, than I do for a petite bust.

The making of this corset was illustrated here: Part 1, Part 2

1851 Day Dress in Cotton

1850s Day Dress with Ruching

This costume was a commission for Dickens Fair.  It is a 3 piece outfit that the peformer can put on herself without assistance, as the bodice hooks up center front.  To make the ruching trim I cut several yards of navy blue cotton into strips, joined them into several longer strips, hemmed both sides, then ran them through a ruffler machine.

Johnson ruffle machine

I had plenty more of this navy cotton, so I made it into a skirt to mix and match with the bodice.

The underblouse was gathered in rows across the front, in imitation of smocking.

Cotton Blouse for 1851 day dress

Here is one of my references, showing most of the historical fashion elements I used in this project.  The 1851 fashion plate shows the deep V neckline, the smocked-front underblouse, and sleeve shape on the left dress; and the right dress has 3 rows of vertical trim down the skirt (rather than having 2 rows like the bodice).

1851 fashion plate day dresses