Friday, September 08, 2006

My pouf has arrived!

I'm really excited about this, as you can tell. Now, I have to confess that between the departure of La Fab, and catching an irritating cold (not evil, really, unless it was caused by a really minor demon, possibly an imp), I have not taken a single stitch on this costume in a very long time. This is not to say I haven't been working on it, just that I haven't been sewing. I've been researching a lot, and I've decided on the embellishment for the robe and for the stomacher, and I've almost cut the pocket hoops twice. I really don't want to order hoopwire just to make these stupid paniers, so I am trying to track down a suitable replacement, and that is causing a considerable hold up in the whole process. I can't fit anything properly until these hoops are done.

I am in a fit of doubt about my own abilities again. The robe pattern I purchased is not quite the way I would like it, and I think that I am going to have to draft a pattern instead of using it. But anyone who knows me knows that I don't really buy into the process-not-product argument, and will take almost any shortcut in a reject, provided it does not cause a gown to magically melt away from my body. For example, I once made and wore an Alaska Day gown that had all the trim - almost thirty yards of it - applied with fabric glue. It warns you right on the bottle not to get it wet, and I just prayed that we would see one dry October day. Luckily, I got a ride, because it did rain, and I would have ended up looking like Cinderella at quarter after. The point of all of this is to say that pattern-drafting is painstaking and not for the faint of heart or for the impatient. But, dammit, the alternative is a gown that WILL NOT flatter me. I need a waist seam! I do! And this pattern is without one. So draft I must. All this necessarily takes place before the sewing.

And for those of you who are not costumers or obsessive checkers of facts like myself, a pouf is a construct of wire and wool that ladies of M.A.'s court wore to support the ridiculous hairstyles of the day. In my case, it is a wig of honey-blond curls and ringlets that I intend to stuff with tissue ( so it will hold its shape) and hairspray and powder to mimic those architectural miracles.

Once again, I have no pictures for you, but I have nothing nothing worthy of documentation, so there you are. I have given myself a new goal: all underpinnings completed in ten days' time in order to move on to more exciting things.

Fifty three days until Halloween. Fifty until the Ball.


  1. why do you need a waist seam if you are wearing a corset? ;)

  2. Without the front waist seam, the gown drapes in the front instead of nipping in. It obscures the the line of the waist and makes one look like she is wearing, well, a dressing robe. There is no inherent shaping of hte front at all. I can't imagine that it would be a flaatering look on me, given my less-than-18th-century proportions.