Sunday, 12 January 2014

Applique, Taxes and Petticoats

Like most people I know I hate paperwork. Especially when it comes to doing my taxes :S

My day job thankfully means I'm used to paperwork and filing so it's more of a boring experience than anything else, but this year instead of spending days together working at it I split it into sections and have done it all over three weekends. I have to say it's been so so much easier. I've hardly noticed all the fuss and bother that comes with doing it normally. Now I just have to wait for the bill!!!

One creative thing I have managed is that I finished my first fabric collage of this little vampire :)
I  made her to try out some ideas I've been having for gentler, more story book look; a portrait or picture made of fabric and trims. She came out nicely and looks quite sweet. And I'm really quite proud of myself :)
She's off to a young lady to decorate her Vampire Diaries bedroom, and I hope she enjoys her as much as I did making her. I'm already started on sketches for another character and hope to start a girl in a pumpkin patch soon.

My work on Victoria continues slowly with layers of petticoats and lace, ruffles and pleats. She's looking quite pretty, and I'm working now on her final petticoat in a dark grey paisley fabric that will have rows and rows of ruffles at the hem to help shape and control the train on her final gown.

To help with the shaping I made this petticoat from off white fine cotton and added a panel of silk taffeta to the front, trimmed with delicate lace at the hem with the top trimmed with a tight gathered ruffle of more lace.

I wanted to make sure that the front of her dress would stay quite flat until the next layer is added as that's the one that will add the bulk to the hem.
The silk was such a pleasure to work with and I found the taffeta really forgiving, which surprised me. I'd always thought it would be a difficult fabric to work with, but I'll definitely be using it again.

Behind her waist I've added layers of pleating as I attached the petticoat to start adding the bulk I need for the bustle shape. I don't want to add a stiff hard cage bustle. Something about Victoria always makes me think she would have insisted in some comfort even when dresses for state occasions, so I'm going to build up the shape with the softer layers and maybe a ruffles tie on bustle under this layer if the dress fabric adds a lot of weight and pulls the shape out.

The back of the hem is made up of a wide band of box pleated taffeta which covers about 3/4 of the whole hem around. The fabric holds the creases wonderfully and the shape is holding very well.
I may need to add some stiffening under the tight lace ruffle to ensure the shape holds up under the weight of the next layers, but I don't want to add a wire. I want my Victoria to sit as she does in the portrait of her I'm using as my inspiration. And I'm hoping I can get all the details I'd like.

I hope the start of your year is going well and :)

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