Thursday, November 12, 2009

the curtain evolution

Here is a little blib on evolution:

I went to our wonderful St Lawrence Thrift store a few weeks ago perusing and looking for something I could use for my Civil War wardrobe. I came upon a large plastic tub with a huge chunk of curtain in it. There was a paper on the tub that said "one 90" by 107" curtain panel $10.00." I thought to myself "Dang, this would make a great dress" as I was lifting it up and checking it out. Then I realized what I was thinking and I started to giggle right out loud in the thrift store. You see, after Miss Scarlet's home was nearly destroyed by the Yankees, she heard Mr. Butler was coming and quickly made herself an amazing dress out of the curtains in her home. Yeah, I am definately not like Miss Scarlet O'Hara, and the fact that I wanted to make a dress out of curtains just made me nearly wet my pants.

So here is picture evidence of curtain to dress evolution:

Kelsey helped me one Sunday afternoon disassemble the curtains, pokie things and all.
After the curtains we dismantled, the true width of the curtains was 270 inches, not the pleated 107 inches! I also have a really nice lining chunk too. I am thinking tent floor or something. Woodpile tarp? Painting sheet? RV cover? Covered wagon? Slip and slide for the entire neighborhood? Who knows.
After I separated the two layers, I took the brown fabric to the laundry mat and washed it. I lined dried in on my deck. It was much longer than my deck railing though!
I used 180 inches of it for my skirt. So I cut a piece that was 180 inches by 46 inches from the brown fabric.
My neighbor Debbie helped me figure out how to make pockets. She said I needed them. Now after the parade, I am so GRATEFUL I listened! My camera, the car keys, business cards, and Rebel soldiers' email addresses were hidden away nicely!

This shows you my skirt fabric. This is the 180 inches, that is 5 yards, that had to be gathered up around the waistband.

My skirt before the gathering, I mean gauging.
Bad lighting, but the gathering, actually, GAUGING process. 2 lines of 1/4 inches stitches all the way around with super strong upholstery thread.

Gathering it up and getting excited! I mean gauging, I have to get used to that word.
Here is the gauged skirt attached to the waistband, ready for sewing.

Another bad lighting, but here the skirt is now attached to the waistband.

Finishing the waistband.

Waistband and skirt complete. Check out the 'period correct' button! REAL period correct would have hand sewn their buttonhole. Sorry, not me this time.

So I left the hem in the bottom of the curtain, so it could be the hem at the bottom of my dress. But unfortunately, all the online sewing tips I followed made me make my skirt too long! So I had to add a 'bum roll' to see if that would help. This is the first of the bum rolls. It was WAY too big. I put in on and got the giggles so badly I fell on the bed laughing. I looked just like one of Cinderella's evil stepsisters. When I asked Matt what I looked like he said "Cinderella's nasty stepmom" before he even knew what I was thinking.
But you notice how I compared myself to the sisters, YOUNGER. He compared me to the mother, much OLDER! Dang him!
By the way, this picture makes me realize how badly I need a corset!

So for parade day I made a much smaller bum roll and it worked out okay. The skirt is still a little too long, we will see what I need to do now.

Next project - a lighter day dress. I am pretty stoked about this. I just have the find the right fabric - 8 1/2 yards of it!


mom said...

Holy Hell you amaze me,,,,,,,There is no way I could look at an old curtain (drape) and envision a skirt,,let alone make it.
You have a awesome gift,you go girl!

LeEllen said...

It's beautiful!!!

Sarah said...

So much fun! I'll start the hunt here in the big valley for more old curtains! :) MISS YOU!!!

Camille said...

Man -- you are the hobby girl!! Where do you find the time. I am pretty darn impressed with you getting into all this dress, parade, old time stuff. That sounds really fun! The bum roll is hilarious, and I can totally picture you laughing out loud in the thrift store when you're thinking about making a dress out of curtains like Scarlet O'hara.....funny!!


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