So, some small updates:

  • I ordered the fabric from The Remnant Warehouse on August 29th, and it shipped on the 30th; should arrive on the coming Tuesday. It’s going to be a bit of a race and I will likely have to miss a few things to get as much done as I can with the departure date incoming fast, but such is life.

  • I’ve double-checked the costs of the belt, brooch and cutlery, plus shipping, and…looks like I can’t get the cutlery. Sadface.

  • I’ve bought 0.5m of cream linen from DK Fabrics (cannot remember the width…it might have been 147 or something weird like that?) to make the faced necklines for my serks. I’ve had trouble finding guides on how to do this well on a garment that’s already finished, but I think I have a method that will allow it to work… I also have 0.5m of the cotton sateen from The Drapery - I ended up going with the lighter colour. Not quite perfect, but I’d rather not quite the perfect colour than risking ruining a silk neckline facing with sunscreen, or having to unpick it every time I want to wash the dress. They have a gorgeous copper silk dupion; it

  • I am really hoping I can get my hands on a chalk line, and large compass or circle guide soon as well, to try to make the neckline facings, hoods and cloaks a bit easier.

  • There have been…rumblings…about whether GSG will or won’t go ahead. I’m going to continue on the assumption that it will, but I’m keeping money aside for an earlier return from Melbourne should it all fall through. Fortunately, if it does, I’ve secured a cheaper and faster ride home.

But onwards to more positive news…

The smocks

Alterations are done, hems are awaiting possible changes once the cotes are done. As a sidenote, if you ever need to humidify a room and don’t have a real humidifier, try ironing ~4m of linen that’s just come out of the wash. I had condensation on the walls of my office.

I’ll write about my method for setting the gores in another post - it involves folding, to give you a hint.

By the way, anyone who tells you that you can’t flat-fell a gore clearly didn’t plan ahead for their flat-felling. It’s doable, and I’ll talk about how in the aforementioned setting method post.

I’ve also sat down and drawn up a template for the facing on them. It’s much easer to determine the neckline’s shape and size when the dress hasn’t had its side seams sewn up yet - but I’m not doing that much unpicking. I can also use this facing to make a cleaner neckline shape than these serks originally had.

Unfortunately, because of the change to the neckline shape, I’ve had to base the facing off of the cote’s neckline and expand it a little. It’s still cheaper and less effort than sewing brand-new serks though.

The first cote

I cut the 120cm wide cotton for the cote this weekend; all pieces are cut (the gores are not cut on the bias yet though) and I’ve sewn up the shoulder seams. Unfortunately, I misjudged the front neckline’s width on the first attempt, so I’ll have to hide that with the neckline facing. We’ll see how it goes.

It’s been somewhat more difficult to get this done, mainly because I’m mostly working on it alone for several reasons. It really does help a lot to have a second pair of hands for garb-making, but alas, I don’t.

I’ve also cut and hemmed my veil and wimple; it looks like I’ll need to make a linen filet (and possibly even need to sew in a couple of bobby pins) to get them to stay put though. Damn my healthy, conditioned modern hair.

Finally, I’ve realized that I goofed a little bit with the gores - the front and back gores are meant to be cut as full triangles, not two halves put together. I’ll just have to live with it here, but I’ll get it right on the linen cote since that fabric is much more costly. (I also now have a meter ruler to help with that.)

I’m still a tad lost as to how to get the sleeve seam to sit at the back (outside) of the arm when I’m making one-piece sleeves, but I’m sure I’ll work it out. If worst comes to worst I can just put a slit in at the forearm for the button closure.

And, I’m very, very sad that I can’t make a silk facing work - The Drapery has a gorgeous, true-copper silk dupion in stock (it’s not listed online, but I got a swatch) that survived a machine wash (with woolwash and the delicate/silk cycle) without any apparent issues. While I would need to pin it to some of the cote fabrics to see how it survives that, I’m fairly confident that it could have made a contrasting and machine-washable silk facing. Silk would also make an amazing liner for the rain cloak and hood, since it can’t be washed anyway (that would ruin the oil treatment), but alas, money. (It’d be really fun to do a muted blue, or a blue shot silk…is shot silk period? I hope so.)


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