Monday, August 26, 2013

5 Hour Remodel-Dummy on Duty

I don't post a lot about myself on this blog ( I actually lead a pretty boring life), but this past Friday I did do something for myself blogworthy.  A weight loss made most, if not all of my clothes unwearable, and remodeling is actually more of a pain in the butt than starting from scratch.  BUT now I have my new dummy, plaster casted while wearing my stays, foamed, covered, mounted and ready to use.  Cannot even begin to tell you what a treat it was to work with, it made what should have been a painstaking fitting problem into a piece of cake.

My time frame was 5 hours, starting at 10am it had to be done by 3pm as I was heading out and would be out (ballroom dancing, ok I was having fun) until 10pm.  As always I work by hand, so this had to be all hand stitched.

This is how the gown looked on the dummy  at 10am.  I had to take it down from a 43 bust to a 36 bust and a 37 waist to a 30.

 So the first step was to take it apart,  because it was hand sewn and put together in the period way in the first place, this step took about 15 minutes. The second step was to retrieve the fabric that I had left over. ( I had come across it a few months ago and could put my hands on it right away, another time saver)  I always try to buy an extra yard if possible, I would not have tried this if I did not have fabric to play with.

The original bodice, sleeves and shoulder straps were discarded.  I recut the back panel using the new pattern piece that I knew fit me.   Cut new fronts and new sleeves also with the new pattern.  I did not refit those pattern pieces, just cut and sewed. (My kitchen is a mess in the background, hey, you can sew or clean, can't do both!)

I sewed faster than usual and the stitches came out more like an 18th century original gown than I could have imagined.

A short lunch break and it was onto sleeves and reattaching the gown skirts.

I was able to reuse the robings and back neck facing which saved time and was finished by 3:01, with a  15 minute lunch break and multiple episodes of the X-Files.  Ya gotta love Netflix for mindless background noise.

The new dummy was not only me wearing stays, but since it is entirely foam, I was able to pin directly into it, another huge time saver.

A quick pic with camera phone in the garden before jumping in the car.  Very pleased with the fit, I love the fabric of this gown, it is light and cool to wear.   An Indian cotton from Jo-Anns a zillion years ago.


  1. Hallie-
    You and the gown look terrific! What a quick turn around time in altering the gown. Impressive.

  2. Love everything about this gown and your workmanship! And you do look so very cool and crisp, not an easy thing in the summer.