|Peacock fairy dress diary
||[Jun. 4th, 2014|03:16 pm]
Here is the remaining diary for the Peacock Fairy dress. After we went to the garment district, we had all of the materials necessary to create the dress.
The skirt was made of five layers. The top layer was the embroidered mesh; it has peacock tail feathers embroidered on the width of the fabric. It has double scalloped edges on the fabric. I used one scalloped edge as the bottom of the skirt, which meant I didn't have to hem the skirt. I used the shape from the overskirt pattern to make the skirt. I planned on making it with a back opening. I had bought five yards each of green tulle, and peacock tulle, so I made the the skirt 180 inches long, and 39 inches long, which made the skirt ballet length, with two inches to fold over for the cartridge pleating. Since the tulle was very wide, I was able to make each color two layers. The skirt had two layers of green tulle immediately under the embroidered mesh, and two layers of the peacock tulle underneath the green tulle.
In order to cut the tulle, I basted the long edges of the tulle together, and then pinned the basted edge to a pattern board. Then I smoothed out the tulle, and cut it along the lines printed on the board. After I cut the green tulle, I cut the peacock tulle. Then I cut the embroidered layer 1/2 inch longer so that the scalloped edge would overlap the cut edges of the tulle layers nicely. I then basted the layer of embroidered mesh, and the two double layers of the tulle all together along the top edge. I cut a two inch strip of tan colored felt the length of the waist measurement plus three inches for overlap, to be used for the cartridge pleating. I folded the multiple layers of tulle over the felt strip and sewed it together,
Now that I had the skirt ready for cartridge pleating, I had to brainstorm how to make the markings on the skirt. With regular fabric, I could just use a marker or chalk to mark right on the fabric. Since I was working with a mesh fabric with tulle underneath, I couldn't make a mark that would stay visible. So I cut several pieces of tissue paper 2 inches wide, and taped them together to make a strip 180 inches long. Then I drew three lines on the tissue--one 1/4" down from the top, the second line 1/2" down from that line, and the third line 1/2" down from that line. Then I drew dots on the three lines 1" apart. After my tissue pattern was done, I pinned it to the top of the skirt, and prepared my three gathering threads. I sewed right through the pattern, and as I finished a section, I ripped the tissue away. It worked very well. I attached the pleats to my waistband that was made of peacock satin that had been flatlined with belting underneath for support. I put a privacy panel in the back, and closed the skirt with a hook and eye closure. I sewed a back seam in the mesh layer of the skirt, up to 12 inches from the waistband.
I made the chemise using the Italian Ladies' Undergarments pattern. I did have to take the chemise in--my model is small, and there was just TOO much fabric, so I took 20" off the front center panel and 20" off the back center panel. The body of the chemise and the grommets were made of the Italian linen. The sleeves were made of the same embroidered mesh that made up the outer layer of the skirt. The ends of the sleeves used the scalloping of one of the edges of the fabric. I used double folded bias tape for the sleeves elastic casings, so the elastic didn't show through the mesh. I cut some of the scalloped edge off the fabric to make a ruffle around the top of the chemise. The top was gathered with lacing so it could be adjusted.
Next I made the bodice. I attached the casings for the boning to the flatlining. I relocated the boning in the back, so that there would be two bones running down the center back that I could use to support the wings. I flatlined the peacock satin and assembled the bodice. I inserted the plastic boning. I assembled the lining, and married the lining and bodice. Then I marked and inserted the grommets along the side back opening, and attached the straps. I covered the bodice with peacock neck feathers, using teardrop shaped millinery pads (about 4.5" X 5"). I laid them down starting from the center out, and pinned them in place. I hand sewed the pads down, and used a few extra purchased feathers with glue to fill in any sparse spots. I trimmed the extra from the edges, and hand sewed down the gimp trim along the edges. Then I sewed the feathers onto the epaulette pieces, and stitched them onto the shoulder edges. I marked where the wings should be attached. I poked holes with an awl, and pulled through the elastic on the wing motor. I tied them on, and the bodice/wings were done. It will be spiral laced with a gauze ribbon, with a Renaissance bow and small pony bead at the top grommet to keep the lace from being pulled through.
I purchased flesh toned tights for underneath the skirt, and used a pair of panties as a pattern to make a pair of dance pants out of peacock colored cotton/spandex knit fabric. I used some scrap fabric to cover a pair of Chinese flats with the embroidered mesh so that they match the skirt. I sewed a peacock iridescent crystal to a ornate gold necklace that I purchased.
Michelle will have her hair freshly dyed black and her eyes will be made up with peacock colored (peacock blue, green and purple) eye makeup for the photographs.