Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Everyday I'm Bustling! Apron/Bustle Combination

Okay, well we are on to the Apron/Bustle Combination.  The fabric for this piece was reviewed in my prior post "Just Dyeing to Try It", about how I used a distressed silk wedding gown and went with a successful dye job from White to "Plum"!  I knew when I picked up the wedding gown that I was going to use the skirt portion of the gown for the apron/bustle.  I was able to cut the train of the gown down, so the back length is 29" (longer over the bustle pad) and the front length is 25".   There were four yards of fabric at the waist after I removed all the existing stitching.  I had to gather it back up to fit me and keep the front a "gather free zone".  I have tried the loose baste machine stitch, I have done the hand-stitched "rock & roll" gather stitch, I have done the "machine baste in segments" stitching, and none of those work as easy as this loose "zig-zig" with a contrasted thread down the center.  All the other efforts, I would break a thread here and there and it would just drive me crazy.  This zig-zag setup is fast, effective, and the threads will not break on you!  Once I got the fabric gathered as I wanted, I pinned it to the set-in waistband, and finished sewing that all together.  Add on the H&E, and I was almost done!  

For this piece I did not use a pattern.  I played around with the fabric until I got the look I wanted, which was based on a Victorian Fashion Plate.  I added 3-4 knife pleats on both sides of the back opening, plus some horizontal pleats down the sides where the ties were going to be.  The faille silk has an incredible drape and hand to the fabric.  Not as stiff as a Taffeta, but not as drapey as a crepe de chine.  The fabric is still a light-to-medium weight, so I could not go with my original idea of black gimp, as the 1/2" gimp was just too heavy and stiff for this fabric.  I opted to go with a simple black silk crepe ruffle.  I used the selvaged edge for the top of the ruffle, and completed a quick hem on the other edge.  Then, I used my ruffler foot at the 12 setting, so every twelve stitches, it placed a "tuck" for a soft ruffled look.  From there, it was an easy sewing job to attach the ruffle to the apron/Bustle all the way around the four yards.  Last thing to do was to add the ties at the waist to gather up each side.  I made these ties in the "Raisin" colored fabric to co-ordinate with the bodice and foundation skirt fabric. 

 What I really liked about these two fabrics together is that they have a matching sheen.  The foundation skirt is a medium weight textured cotton with a great sheen to it, so I knew I needed something that would be comparable.  The silk was a perfect match.  The "foundation" skirt does a great job of adding some supporting structure for the apron/bustle to lay against!  Nothing too fancy for the skirt and apron/bustle.  I like the understated detail work, as the bodice is where all the detailing is focused!

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