Young Girl’s Loose Gown Skirt/Blouse Construction Part 4 (Final)

This is the final blog post for this costume. Below are links in order to the other posts in this work log.

Post 1. The Planning
Post 2. Costume Break Down
Post 3. Dress Mock up
Post 4. Mock up complete / Beginning Of Bodice Construction
Post 5. Bodice Construction
Post 6. Bodice Construction
Post 7. Bodice Construction / Skirt Construction
Post 8. Skirt / Blouse Construction
Post 9. French Hood Construction
Post 10. Photo Shoot Teaser Photos
Post 11. Photo shoot Official Photos


The first thing I did was even out the cartridge pleats and then and then begin the slow process of pinning the waistband onto it. I found the easiest way of doing this and kept the pleats from collapsing was to pinch the pleats into pairs and then pin every second pleat where it dipped down and connected with the waistband. Some areas of the skirt required more pins, meaning I pinned every pleat. This method worked perfectly and kept the pleats secure and in a correct formation.

Once the waistband was pinned on and I was happy with the pleats I began the process of sewing it together. When sewing I pushed the pleats toward the foot so it would run over them flat. This was a lengthy process but I decided it was best to go slow and get it right the first time. Now that I think about it, it would have been easier to push the pleats toward me away from the presser foot. This would have run more smoothly however I’m still very pleased with the end result.

I am so pleased with how the cartridge pleats look from the top fabric side. They are all even and give off a beautiful colour when draped.
I decided not to cut the yellow top stitching thread which I used to pleat down the skirt instead I let it there as it would be unnoticeable and it would be more of a hassle trying to cut and remove it than leaving it in.
My first attempt at sew the waistband down failed. With the whole waistband puckering and needed to be unpicked.
I started on the waistband again this time ironing it out. I found some scrap heavy cotton fabric laying around in the classroom so I put this over top of my fabric and turned the temperature up to prevent it from burning my satin. I ironed the waistband out flat and then folded it in half and ironed it down again.
I then pinned it in place and sewed a basting stitched along the bottom of the fold holding it in place.
Next I sewed the waistband down and this went perfectly! There is now puckering and it all lays flat.

I talked to my drama teacher and asked her if she had a number for someone who works in wardrobe at Blenheim Musical Theatre, I was given a number for Viv Patchett who said she’d look for a hoop skirt and petticoat for me. I picked up these item from her on Saturday and then brought them to school the following Monday.
After a discussion with my textiles teacher we agreed that the best finishing hem for my skirt would be a blind hem. Before I started on the hem I worked out how much the skirt needed to be taken up. I tried the skirt on with the hoop skirt underneath and with the help of my textiles teacher who pinned the skirt up at the front we found that it needed to be taken up by 5cm. At this point my textiles teacher informed me that hems shouldn’t exceed 4cm. Because of this I decided to finished the edge of the skirt with the overlocker, removing 1cm off the skirt as I went.
Next I needed to iron over the 4cm hem of the skirt. I used the same method previously when ironing with the setting on cotton and using a folded piece of heavy cotton over top of my fabric when ironing to prevent burning. I used a measuring tape to ensure I was getting the correct measurement.

This was simple going around the sides seams and front but the back of the skirt proved difficult. I first tried erasing the hem around but this was very difficult and ask my teacher what other methods I could used she suggested using two lines of gathering and then gathering the skirt down a little helping with the easing process. This was a lot easier and keeping the hem 4cm wide was manageable.
Next I pinned the hem into the blind hem position and started on some sample to make sure the stitch length would be correct and also to give me some practices sewing the hem itself. I cut the sample fabric from my satin to ensure the settings on the machine would be right for my fabric. It took me quite a few times for me to get it right. After I was happy with my test I sewed the hem down. And it worked perfectly! With the hem sewn down all of my in class sewing was complete and I was able to take the dress home on Friday.
Over that weekend I sewd in hook and eye sets onto the opening of the skirt. I measured the intervals out so that for every 3cm there would be an eye/hook sewn in. These came together and created a closing for the skirt.

With that the skirt was finished! 


For the blouse I used a light weight lining taffeta material in a soft white colour. I decided that this colour and the deep red satin I was using for the majority of the garment would coordinate well together. I initially had the idea of making a blouse with a high neck that I would pattern myself but after seeing the blouse pattern on Simplicity pattern 5582 I decided it was the better choice and had a much nicer style to it as well as being more accurate to the time period.
I used view B of the blouse patterns. This view had the low neckline alike the rest of the blouses but the sleeve finished just before the wrist where it was gathered. I liked this view a lot more than the rest because it was much more historically accurate. I followed the pattern all the way though up until it came to inserting the elastic into the neckline. I decided I wanted the blouse neckline to be much more fitted than the ‘off the shoulder’ look shown on the pattern cover. Because of this I shorted the elastic by 3 inches. And then continued with the rest of the pattern instructions. Doing this kept the neckline on the shoulders meaning the shoulder straps on the bodice would naturally lay over the neckline for the percent finish I wanted! I kept the length on the blouse rather that hemming it to a shorter size. This was because I wanted to tuck the blouse into the skirt/hoop skirt I would wear with it. This would make for less bulk and keep everything very flat which was much more comfortable to wear.

And that was the blouse finished !!!

Thank you all for following me with this costume. It was a lot of fun to make and I have learnt so so much from it! I won’t be making any more costumes this year but will be blogging on occasion over the next few months.
Thanks for reading,


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