The Steampunk Bridesmaid, Part II: Finishing the Clothing

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I have finally finished this post and gathered pictures to show off the the outfit because, quite honestly, I LOVE how it turned out!

What you need to know about his tutorial:
-This is pic heavy; I find that pictures can do better than words to explain
-I will cover the finishing of the corset, peasant top, and finishing the box-pleated skirt so this is long one
-This is part two, so if you are making this, you’ll need to go back to part one πŸ™‚
-If it seems as though something is missing, go back to part one πŸ™‚
-You should have basic sewing knowledge πŸ™‚

Here we go–picking up where we left off!

Okay, you already have your muslins.  Now, after fitting and making notes on adjustments (if necessary), take apart the corset.  This should be easy because you basted these together.
Lay out your fabric just as we did when making the muslins and, using your muslin pieces as your pattern pieces, trace around them .  We decided to move all the seams over just a bit, so I traced out all the pattern pieces a little larger than the original.  You will need to do this for every fabric you use.  This corset is three layers, so I did this three times :).  I did not cut out multiple fabrics at once because I wanted the pieces to match as perfectly as possible.
This is the outside fabric.  It’s a taffeta-like fabric that was a black/cerulean color blend.  It was surprisingly easy to work with.

Pin your pieces OF THE LINING FABRIC together matching up the raw edges–even the curves.  Because of making sure the fabric was straight, the curves will stretch a little.  When working with curves, I find it easier to use more pins and to take my time sewing so that I don’t have to go back and fix mistakes.  We will work on the two outside fabrics later.
Here is one side of the lining together (not pressed).  I used a bottomweight cotton rodeo for the lining so that it would give more strength for the boning and corseting.  Finish the other side and press the seams on the wrong side to the back of the corset.
The walking foot made the project a lot easier as well, especially for this next step:
Victorian fashion uses a lot of lace, so we did a black lace overlay .  We are going to baste these together.  
The walking foot keeps the lace and taffeta from slipping when going under the foot, so I didn’t have to pin for this step.  You will want to baste the lace to its corresponding backing for each piece that makes up the corset.
After basing the pieces together, press them.
Here are the basted, pressed pieces lined up for pinning.  The pic on the right has the flash so you can see the blue under the lace.
Pin all the pieces, right sides together, and sew.
Trim all the frayed edges and seams.
Put together, looking at the wrong side, not pressed.  Press on the wrong side, pressing the seams to the back of the corset.
The picture on the left shows the seams well, the one on the right shows the color and sheen πŸ™‚
Now it’s time to attach the lining to the main fabric.  Make sure you match up the raw edges, wrong sides together.  Begin in the middle.
Pin all along the edges, make sure to line up the raw edges and keep the fabric straight.  Baste the two pieces together all along the edge using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Now, sew the corset together along the seams.  On the outside piece, simply sew down the seam, following that line.
Then, use a piece of boning to determine  how large the “pocket” needs to be to insert it; sew next to the seam you just created, determining its placement from the boning size.  Make sure this seam is also next to the other one moving towards the back of the garment (why you pressed your seams to the back of the corset–you will be encasing the seams in the pocket for the boning if that makes sense).
Here’s what these seams look like from the inside on the lining so that you can see a visual of the above instructions.
Cut your pieces of boning to length.  Since this corset is not going to be worn regularly and we’re not going completely authentic, I just used polyester flexible boning from Joann’s.  I did put the pieces in a pot of boiling water to warm the up so that when I put boards on top of them, they laid nice and flat.  Otherwise, because this   boning comes on a spool, it’s curved and a lot harder to work with.
I put a small piece of tape on the end of each piece of boning so that I could insert it into the pocket without getting it caught on frayed edges, etc…
What’s great about this boning is that you can sew right over it!  So, before I finished the edge, I based closed the top and bottom of the inserted boning to hold it in place.  Then, I used two smaller pieces of boning at the bottom-center point to help keep it down.  This point lays over the lower belly, so when Jo would sit, it would curl up–extended sitting would make it “pressed” up in a way, so the boning keeps it down and from creating a crease.  I sewed right over the boning and then used a satin stitch where the boning met in the center and at either end where it met the seam.  Don’t worry, no one will see it.
Now we’ll finish the back opening where we will put the grommets.   I decided I wanted 1.5″ for the panel, so I turned the fabric lining side up and measured 1.5″ from the boning and pressed in the fabric.
Just to double check, I went back to the front to make sure I had 1.5″ of fabric.
Back to the lining! Press under the raw edge about 1/4″ and pin.
Sew just next to the fold on each side.
Here’s what the finished edge looks like.  Repeat for the other side.
All that’s left to do is finishing the top and bottom raw edges and the grommets.  I completely forgot to take pictures during this part–I was very excited to finish it.  I bought a black satin blanket binding, cut it in half, to finish the top and bottom edge.  The grommets are the extra large brass ones from Joann’s.
Okay, now it’s time to finish the skirt!  We used a very light-weight faux-satin in a blue-black color that matched the overskirt from the costume shop very well.  Because this is a straight skirt, I finished the hem first because it’s a lot easier.  I cut a long strip of poster board 1/4″ wide.
Using this guide, I folded the fabric up around the paper once, pressed it, and then folded the  fabric, with the paper, up again and pressed it again.  I removed the paper and pinned the hem down.
I did not want to draw any kind of attention to the hem, so I  used my blind hem foot.
This literally too me 1/2 hour, start to finish–love this foot!  Then finish the skirt, pleating it and attaching it to the waistband exactly as we did in the first tutorial.  However, you will need to add a zipper so you can get the skirt on and off.  Done!  The entire skirt took me 2 hours–so simple!!!
I used Ginger to tape off my lines for the peasant top. 
Peasant shirts are simple rectangles and there are tons of tutorials out there.    I used this tutorial from Teresa at Things of Cloth because I DON’T do math and needed a formula to use.  Other than her formulas, the rest was my own way of doing a peasant top.  However, her tutorial is EXTREMELY well-done and I highly recommend it if you don’t know how to make one.
I used my handy three-in-one styling design ruler to do the armscye and neckline.
Cut!!!  I loved the fabric–it’ was a very silky, soft, smooth, light coat lining that was absolutely perfect for a very light-weight top.
Instead of using the same fabric for the sleeves, I used the same lace that I used on the corse.  I also made the sleeves out of three separate pieces because I wanted them to be comfortable and voluminous ;).  Needless to say, I forgot, again, to take pictures of the rest of the top.  This was before I took my break because I was feeling overwhelmed–I hope you can forgive me πŸ™‚

And here is what we ended up with!   Jo wore a pair of my shoes that had a very victorian look and the color popped and really added to the whole outfit.  The next tutorial explains how I made the awesome button-hooks on the front and the mini top hat (my FAVORITE part of the whole outfit!)

I was invited to the wedding but, unfortunately, could not attend at the last minute.  However, the pictures I’ve seen are awesome and everyone looked so cool!  I would have loved a theme wedding πŸ™‚  Please check out the tutorial for the buttons and hat!  And, as always, if you are using my tutorials and have any questions at all, please ask!

Thanks for reading!

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32 thoughts on “The Steampunk Bridesmaid, Part II: Finishing the Clothing

  1. OMG,gorgeous and stunning are not even words to describe. Amazing to say the least. I love the color, the structure and all the detail. What a wonderful and thoughtful friend to make such a beautiful, artistic garment.

    1. Thank you so very much–I’m humbled by all of the wonderful feedback! I’d love to link up, and I’ll add you to my party list πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by to check it out!

    1. Thank you so much!!! I just love your blog, so it’s an honor to be featured πŸ™‚ Thank you for checking out my project, hosting, and for the feature! Have a great weekend!!!

    1. It’s been a lot of practice and trial and error πŸ™‚ Thank you so much, and thank you for taking the time to stop by and check it out!

    1. You should totally give it a try–not as much difficulty as it was being as exact as possible and taking time. I’d love to see what you do πŸ™‚ Thank you for coming by!

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