It all started after Convention in January 2015. Texas Flower laid eyes on Peaches O'Day in her burgundy and gold natural form gown during Miss Tabitha's 'how to dress like a lady'.
The second phase of the desire? Winning the prize of the 1886 Garment Drafting Machine donated by Garnet Rose and Calico at the Victorian Tea,
Skip forward to Commancheria Days in Texas, I discussed the use of the machine for making this gown for Texas Flower and so began the acquisition of measurements to be able to set each piece of the drafting machine.
This is the desired outcome (some slight changes will be made for originality) – Peaches version, reconstructed in Burgundy but still using the original appliqué lace and gold fabric from the original gown. I am but in awe as we both viewed her gown up close and personal.
So….Texas Flower decided she would like it in blue and then I happened across the original (by chance) on Pinterest, to which Peaches advised that this was indeed a picture of the original gown – in blue!
Back to the drafting machine. The set has the original booklet explaining use and details in obtaining correct measurements. It also has the original measurement book, where a seamstress might take down a clients measure – there are measurements written in a delicate script inscribed within the pages of the book!
Now the book makes note that 'one should take correct measure to ensure a lady does not have to endure trials of said gown and should expect the finished product to fit correctly'.
So here goes nothing! Let's give it a whirl! What measurements do we need you might wonder. Well without divulging 'actual' measurements these are what is required according to the 1886 manual,
– back width
– under arm length R/L
– back length
– armhole R/L
– shoulder length R/L
– front length
– front dart height
– front dart size
– size of hip
– skirt length F/B
– safety measure (bicep) R/L
– size at elbow R/L
– wrist size R/L
– armhole to elbow length
– elbow to wrist
Now that I have all of these and we have decided on a colour, it is with colour in hand that I attempt to find the perfect fabric to fulfill the order.
At this point in the game I think I may need to consider turning to the learning library and attempt to dye fabric in the required colour.
The lace? Well the 'Mum' library has assisted with that. I've found a selection of patterns, threads in desired colours have been ordered and will be making said lace myself on the embroidery machine. The lace pattern will be different from the original keeping it unique from others and giving its intended wearer indeed, something original.
More on that later, suffice to say now the urgency comes back to the sourcing of fabric.
Keep your eye out for Pt 2!
Yours in creativity,