I had spent the week spring cleaning- well winter cleaning, and I have finally made progress on actual projects this weekend 🙂 get the bulk of the grunt work going on the remake of my Cleves gown 🙂
In the decade since I last wore my gown I have tried to better my understanding and on the whole not much has changed. I have however wanted to add what i thought was a more authentic flourish in my plush border and to add a border of my crimson velvet at all edged of the gown.
I finally have been able to find good evidence that I can do a wide border on my skirt and have the base fabric show at all edged before the fur/plush lining peeks out.
As I was trying to be as thrifty as a tailor, I did not apply the silk guarding over a crimson velvet base, but instead only used velvet where it was seen. this saved me a good two yards of fabric! In the time I am looking at stitching was very lowly considered, the price of the fabric was the lead, and 2 yards, or just over 2 els was a huge saving!
The tailor could not melt velvet down for precious metals (as they could cloth of gold or silver) so the tailor did not nave any real motivation to save the tiny off cuts that would be left over. They may be able to use larger pieces for pouches but not much more.
Apprentices were often minors or slowly working their way to journeyman so were not well paid. It made sense to piece ever smaller pieces of precious fabric as sittching was cheap.
So my gown has a hem made from narrow scraps of crimson velveteen mounted to white plush. The top edge by machine the edge that is seen is sewn using a beading needle and by hand:
Once assembled all the handsewing through layers folded back will create depth, so that the silk looks as though it is indeed mounted straight to the crimson velveteen.
Of course I am also on a budget and this gown has many sentimental connections so I wanted to use only fabrics I already owned. So I had a very limited amount of guarding fabric. This lead to some piecing in my sleeves but also at the very sides of my skirt.
Once assembled this is completely hidden.
And I love the really subtle difference the tiny crimson hem makes. But it is about a week of extra work on top of everything I needed to do to make this gown.