Thursday, December 17, 2020

Historybounding to Thrill My High School Self

When I was in high school, I really loved the gothy witch look. I thought it was so cool and dramatic and just the perfect emo romance aesthetic, which, because I was in high school, seemed like the height of fashion. But I was also a teenager with little control over my life, and I knew my ultra-conservative parents would freak out if I showed any signs of wanting to dress this way (after all, they forbid me to read Harry Potter when I was a junior in high school, because WITCHCRAFT, and what if I decide to WORSHIP SATAN after reading it?!?? :P). Even in college, I would longingly look through the racks at Hot Topic, but then regretfully mentally shelve the idea for someday

Well, that day is this day, because I have finally made the witchy little cropped jacket of my high school dreams! As I said in my last blog post, I'm taking Advanced Tailoring this semester, and we are required to make two jackets/coats. After going floor-length drama on my previous coat, I went the opposite direction with this one and made a little 1903-ish bolero. I wanted to make something to match the skirt I made in Flat Pattern class (which I have yet to blog about). I was inspired by all the trimmed-out jackets with bell sleeves that I saw in fashion illustrations from the early Edwardian era. 

1902-03 fashion plates.

Basically the same, right? :D

Since my pirate coat was so involved and I was coming up on the end of the semester, I wanted this jacket to be fast and simple: no notched collar, no pad-stitching, few seams, no closure. Since the front didn't close and didn't need to hug the body, I was able to get away with no darts or seams at all in the front pattern piece. The collar was inspired the batwing lapel on @dressingprincelee's waistcoat, but to keep things easier, rather than having the thick seam allowance (suiting+interfacing, cotton back stay, velvet+lining) turned under and having a facing, I decided to just baste the lining to the shell, wrong sides together, trim down the seam allowance, and bind the edge with more of the satin. This worked wonderfully and the binding adds another neat trim detail. 

Other than the satin edge binding, I decorated the jacket with some Venise lace trim from the stash, and  cut up some of the motifs to add to the collar. The crowning detail was this little handmade beaded tassel that I added to the back collar point. It was a tedious 2+ hour project, making that tassel, but it's just the perfect extra touch!

If you look carefully, you see where the fabric is bubbling because of the poor fusing.


Pattern: Self-drafted

Fabric: 1.5 yards of 58" polyester suiting with a weird texture on the wrong side, from somebody's destash? I don't know, I've had it for years and have forgotten where it's from. The collar and cuff detail is more of this polyester velvet tablecloth that just keeps on giving somehow. I still have a few more scraps of it, so at this point it's pretty much the best $10 I've ever spent on a secondhand textile. The lining is a fairly hefty black poly satin for the body, and black rayon Bemberg for the sleeves. Both of those were from the stash as well, although they were originally purchased new. 

Notions: More Armo-Weft fusible interfacing, which I sorely regret using, as it did not fuse well with the weird texture on the suiting. And because the suiting's surface is so smooth, the bubbling is really obvious, and the whole combination is weirdly stiff. Well, I've learned my lesson and will be using fusibles with caution in the future. I also used stash batting scraps to make shoulder pads, fleece for sleeve cap easing/sleeve heads, and more sheet fabric for a back stay. 

Techniques: Beaded tassel, setting in tailored sleeves

Hours: 38 over the course of a month, mostly at night after the kids were asleep. A lot of this was spent on fussy hand sewing, which I used to scorn, but have now recognized as not only necessary, but enjoyable. The velvet collar and cuffs required so much hand basting, and I tacked down all the braided trim and lace points by hand, and the binding all had to be slipstitched, and of course there was the beaded tassel. 

Total Cost: $30 of materials, and then if I pay myself $15/hour, then $600 total.

Final Thoughts: I'm really angry at myself for falling into the laziness trap of fusible interfacing, because other than that huge glaring error, this jacket would be perfect. I think I'll still wear it, though, since I'm telling myself that that's something only other sewists would notice, and there's enough going on with the collar and trim to distract from the surface texture. I still need to get my act together to take pictures with all the components of my now-completed 1903 Slytherin outfit, but in the meantime, it works nicely with modern clothes too. You know, for when we actually go out in real clothes again, as opposed to staying home in sweats. 

Recognize those pants? They're also the product of a Canada College class

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Why yes, I do buckle all my own swashes!

Er, swash all my own buckles? Either way, I'm just happy to have finally made the fantastic pirate coat I've always wanted! 

I bought these red and gold damask curtains at a thrift store years ago and knew that I wanted to make them into some kind of fabulous floor length coat. I also knew that my skills then weren't quite up to the task, so I put them in my stash and waited. After making a shapeless coat that basically only had three pattern pieces in the Beginning Tailoring class at CaƱada College last winter, I was ready to move onto something more complicated. I figured that this would be the perfect chance to have the guidance of an expert while making my dream coat. Unfortunately, coronavirus had other plans for the world, and it turned out that instead of working alongside classmates with an instructor at the giant cutting tables at the college, I was going to be googling a lot of things and essentially learning to tailor on my own. Thank goodness for YouTube (cue the Schuyler sisters singing "How lucky we are to be alive right now!"). 

I really appreciated that this class made us document every step of our work; usually I just sort of make things up as I go along and then attempt to recall how long it took and what I did. It's ironic that even though I'm a science teacher and meticulous details are supposed to be my thing, I tend to be more loosey-goosey in my sewing. Anyway, our professor required us to write up a list of steps, then document all the time we spent on each step. We also had to do a sketch (beforehand, so that we could check how well our final garment matched opposed to my usual method, which is to make the garment first and then sketch what it looks like), write up a list of all materials and costs, and even record the sewing machine settings and thread type/color. 

The first step our professor required was a paper fitting, just to make sure there weren't any glaring issues with our patterns. Since mine was a frankenpattern of three different Big 4 patterns, I begrudgingly did this step (even though I thought it was silly in the previous tailoring class), then moved on quickly to the muslin. I know I'm very fortunate to be almost exactly the measurements of a Big 4 size 10 in the torso, so there wasn't much I needed to change. I made my typical pattern corrections: wider shoulders, longer sleeves, SBA, swayback adjustment, narrow back...but I wish I'd narrowed the waist and back a little more, since it's not as fitted as I would like, even though it is meant to be outerwear. 

We are required to make one hand-padstitched collar for this class. Normally we would get to see our professor demo this in class, but instead I watched Bernadette Banner's video tutorial featuring Royal Black Couture to learn how to do this. It took a little bit of doing to get used to the rhythm of all the diagonal stitches, and my stitches still aren't the neatest, but after steaming it I'm really pleased with how well it holds its shape. 

It's really incredible how much goes into making a structured coat or jacket. I used fusible Armo-Weft interfacing on all my fashion fabric pieces to add some body to the floppy curtain fabric, and this also helped prevent some of the fraying that this weave is prone to. In order to help the garment hang better and strengthen the back during movement, I added a back stay. And since this is a pirate coat, what better fabric to use than this (100% cotton, tightly woven and washed multiple times) map-print bed sheet? Secret treasure maps hidden in one's clothing for the win! In the front, I cut out a piece of horsehair canvas and basted on a couple layers of batting to make a chest piece. This fills in the hollow that can occur between the shoulder, arm, lapel, and bust area and helps the whole garment lie more smoothly. To help stabilize the edge of the lapel, I also hand-stitched 1/4" wide cotton twill tape butting up against the stitching line. In hindsight, I'm not sure that this was necessary since my lapel isn't cut on the bias (the way a typical blazer lapel would be), and the whole thing was topstitched anyway. 

I used to only set in sleeves with the two-rows-of-gathering-stitches method, but that never worked really well for me and I always got weird puckers. This time, I tried the method of gathering the sleeve cap with a piece of stretched-out fleece, and it worked beautifully! The thickness of the fleece keeps the fashion fabric from making actual puckers, and then once it's set in, you can just push the fleece into the sleeve cap to act as a sleeve head instead of having to sew one in by hand. SO NEAT. I love all-in-one steps. Gertie's video demonstrates the whole process here, but instead of using mohair or lambswool, I just used a strip of scrap polar fleece, which is obviously cheaper and easier to find. After setting in the sleeve, I also put in a handmade shoulder pad (just three layers of thin cotton batting basted together). I remember the first time our professor talked about shoulder pads, I was so skeptical; I just kept thinking of the massive 1980s shoulder pads. The nice thing about handmade ones, though, is you can use as many layers of batting as you want to make it thinner or thicker, and it really does help the whole garment hang more nicely. Consider me a shoulder pad convert!

For the skirt of the coat, I waffled a bit about whether I really wanted to make it floor-length. A floor-length half-circle skirted coat would definitely allow for the most dramatic flouncing and swanning about, but it would also be impractical and take forever to hem by hand. But then I realized that I had enough fabric to make it floor length, so in the interest of not leaving a bunch of unnecessary extra fabric in the stash, I decided to just go for the floor length version. To visually break up the expanse of red and gold fabric, I put some welt pockets with flaps in. The last time I made a pirate coat, my pocket flaps were fake, and I regret not having functional pockets. Not making the same mistake this time! Since I had a waist seam, I decided to go for another trick I learned from Bernadette Banner: I added a twill tape stay from the top of the pocket bag to the waist seam. This will help support the pocket and keep it from sagging when I put things in. 

The rest of the construction was pretty straightforward, if tedious. Lots of topstitching to help hold the velveteen facing, upper collar, cuffs, and pocket flaps in place, since I didn't want to press it too much, then all the hand sewing: I catch-stitched the hem of the skirt and sleeves, then slipstitched the lining to create a jump hem. 


I had originally entertained ideas of having the front lapel be "reversible," so that it could flip closed to be a double breasted coat, or stay buttoned back to show the velveteen facing. I even took a hand-sewn buttonhole class with that in mind, but in the end my samples were still too messy and the idea of doing twelve of them was Besides, I like the contrast of the red velveteen; without that showing, the front of the coat is just too much damask and the collar and cuffs look a little out of place. So rather than make ugly buttonholes, I just permanently sewed on the buttons. To close the coat, I just used a giant hook and eye. Joann's only carried white ones, so I used a combination of red Sharpie and brown fabric marker to color it dark red to (somewhat) match the fabric. 

Pattern: I used the collar from Simplicity 2333, the cuffed sleeve from Butterick 6602, and the skirt from McCalls 6819, then frankenpatterned the last two together to make a shoulder-princess-seam bodice, that I then extended past the center front so that it could flip back to make the lapel. The slant welt pocket with a flap was modeled after the one in this very helpful Waffle Patterns tutorial, but just rotated to be more horizontal than vertical. 
Fabric: The main fashion fabric was curtains that I thrifted at least four years ago, a surprisingly nice 60/40 poly-cotton red and gold damask. Once I picked apart the seams, I ended up with three 40"x88" panels. The red cotton velveteen (I used about 1/3 yard) was from the college's free shelf, a place where students can pick up other people's destashed fabrics. The lining was two different secondhand sheets; the torso was a microfiber with a faint swirl pattern, and the skirt was a cotton sateen. 
Notions: Armo-Weft fusible interfacing from The Sewing Place, then the cotton twill tape, horsehair canvas, and metal buttons were all already in my stash. 
Total cost: $20 for the curtains + $4 for the sheet + $18 for the interfacing (but with lots leftover) + $6 for the patterns + $5 for the bulk bag of buttons ages ago + $3 for thread = $53 total. Of course, once you factor in the 57 hours, even if I paid myself a measly only-slightly-more-than-CA-minimum-wage $15/hr, this coat is worth almost $1000. And this is why bespoke clothing made at a living wage is so expensive. Good thing sewing is my superpower?
Would you make this again? No, because I don't need two pirate coats. TBH, I'm not sure I needed *one* pirate coat, but hey, it's 2020, treat yo'self. 
First worn: Just to take pictures, because we aren't going anywhere, since, you know, global pandemic. 
Final thoughts: When I think back to when I first started sewing, I was pretty much allergic to anything involving hand-sewing and would avoid it at all costs. Thankfully, I got over that, and now I actually enjoy the process of slowly and methodically catching mere threads at a time as I invisibly stitch hems. That, and the whole fussy tailoring process, was actually really fun and you can't argue with the results. I can see how people get addicted to tailoring and/or jacket-making. Unfortunately, I don't see myself indulging in this process too often, as I have too many demands on my time and projects on my bucket list to allow for such slow sewing. Still, I'm really glad to have finally checked off one of those projects on the list, as well as moved some fabrics out of the stash!

When I had Mr. Cation take pictures for me, I of course had to wear my over-the-top tricorn with the coat, since it's all trimmed in red and gold. Then, to my chagrin, he said that the hat+coat combo made me look just like Captain Morgan. I had no idea that he was even a thing, but once I got over the fact that I accidentally cosplayed a cheap rum mascot, I of course had to do a pose with my foot up on one of our barrel planters. 

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Slytherin Gibson Girl Undergarments

There are certain tenets of historical costuming that everyone knows, like always put on your shoes before your corset, or don't choose polyester to make your ren faire outfit unless you want to pass out from heat exhaustion. Probably the most important one, though, is to always get your undergarments squared away, including the corset or stays, before making the pretty stuff that goes on top. Which is why, when I decided to make a Slytherin Gibson girl outfit, I started with the shirtwaist and then backtracked to the undergarments without ever having made or acquired an appropriate S-bend corset. And when I say undergarments, I really mean middle garments, because I made a corset cover, petticoat, and bum pad, not a chemise and drawers. Can it really even be called a corset cover if it's not covering a corset? Well, you know what they say: you gotta know what the rules are so you can break them, or some such nonsense.

Case in point: you're supposed to sketch your goal look before making the outfit so that you know what you're aiming for. I drew this after I made everything because I forgot that it was required for my assignment. 

In Canada College fashion department classes, besides the regular homework and the final outfit (of which the shirtwaist is the top half), we usually have to also turn in a lab garment. This is just another full outfit (covering an entire dress form, so a top and a skirt, or a dress) that demonstrates the skills we are learning, so we have to include the quarter- and full-scale patterns with the garments to show how we manipulated the basic sloper. At first, I had grand plans to make a tailored jacket to go on top, but that would 1) not be a complete outfit covering the dress form, and 2) take more time than I have to do it well. I think I'm going to save that for when I take Advanced Tailoring at some point in the future. In the interest of making a related but faster/easier lab garment, I decided to make a corset cover (basically, a sleeveless top that goes over the corset to disguise the hard lines of its edges) and a petticoat.

From here

I'm so glad that there are a lot of images floating around Pinterest that show pattern pieces or drafts for how to make a corset cover; that made it easy to manipulate the sloper to "match" the historical pieces. I also looked at a lot of extant corset covers (thank you to the Met for allowing me to just search "corset cover" and not the usual generic "undergarments" because that really made it a lot easier than having to sort through thousands of other kinds of undergarments) to get an idea for what kinds of variations were permissible. You know, so that I could then ignore them and do my usual "ehh, that's close enough" thing. I shifted the bust dart to the waist and then converted that dart to gathers, and converted the back darts to gathering at the neckline. The peplum was made by putting together the top sections of the skirt sloper to take out the darts, almost like making a skirt yoke, so as to keep it low profile when tucked into the petticoat.

Quarter-scale pattern work.
The finished corset cover. 

The back! Compare to this one from The Met, which is looser. 

The front closes with buttons, plus a hook and bar at the waist and a ribbon at the top. I decided to go Bernadette Banner and make hand-worked buttonholes...and let's just say that it's a good thing these will be under the shirtwaist. I still enjoyed the process more than making machine buttonholes, though, so it was still a net positive.

For the petticoat, I referenced the excellent material collected on Sew Historically and ended up doing what were basically curved trapezoids that gathered at the waist with a drawstring, with the ruffle being just a long rectangle gathered to the hem of the trapezoids. Ideally I would have had lace at the ruffle seam, and probably some tucks to help hold out the ruffle more, but in the interest of time, I left it plain.

I'm glad the historically accurate finish for the waist is so simple: slap on some bias tape to make a casing, and no need to even add a placket or closure to the opening.
I used the rolled-hem foot on my machine to finish all the yards of hem. 

Since I don't have an S-bend corset, nor do I plan on getting one just for this ridiculous little project, it was imperative that I have a bustle pad to help get closer to the right silhouette. I just sketched out a little curved semi-circle shape like the one in this historical patent, cut it out of muslin and then stuffed it with Costco bear innards (one of my students gave one to SHB#1 without my prior knowledge/consent, so I've been slowly deflating it every time I need stuffing) and sewed on a piece of twill tape for a waist tie. Once again, Bernadette Banner's video was very helpful, even if I mostly didn't do what she did.

My hair has gotten ridiculously long (I haven't cut it since getting pregnant with SHB#2, which was three years ago, so it's down to the small of my back) so I figured I would give the Gibson girl hairstyle a try. I used the black pudding plushie I made nine years ago as a hair rat, then used oh, a hundred or so bobby pins to secure my hair over it. I think it worked fairly well for a spur of the moment hairstyle!

Of course, I realized *after* I did my hair that I was wearing a t-shirt and not a button-up shirt. Rather than take it off over my head to change, I had to awkwardly shimmy it off over my hips. Good thing it's just an old work shirt from Mr. Cation, so it doesn't matter that the neck hole got all stretched out! 

So here's what it all looked like together:

Oh hai, I'm the Chinese Camille Clifford knock-off. 

My hair was falling down in the back. Looks like a hundred bobby pins wasn't enough. 

Nice rounding out of the bum area provided by the little bustle pad!

And why are all these pictures so awkwardly cropped? Because the small human beings were entranced by Mommy's funny hair and clothes and were hovering around.


Pattern: Self-drafted, based on historical pattern pieces/drafting directions

Fabric: For the corset cover, I used a leftover piece of thrifted white cotton sateen sheet (the rest of the sheet went to a Princess Leia costume for a friend). I dyed it with coffee to get it match the lace. The petticoat is a (unfortunately) polyester microfiber sheet in a pale mint green that somebody gave me "because you like sewing with sheets, right?" I used it because it fits the Slytherin color scheme, and all my other sheets were too patterned or earmarked for other projects already.

Notions: Three very anachronistic clear buttons for the corset cover, and a hook for the waist closure. I ran out of bars so I made a thread bar for the first time! The lace for the top is from a vintage fair I went to eight years ago, so I'm glad I finally got a chance to use it. The bias tape for the petticoat drawstring casing is from my school librarian's neighbor's destash, and the drawstring itself is cut off of an old bathrobe.

Hours: A couple hours for drafting, a couple for cutting out, 1.5 hours for sewing the petticoat, and probably four for the corset cover. Total: let's just say 14.

How accurate is it? The corset cover should be made with thinner fabric and probably should have a drawstring at the waist, too. The petticoat should probably be made with stiffer fabric and have more lace, tucks, and ruffles.

Total cost: The fabrics were all stash, given to me, or leftover from other projects, so I'm going to say $5 when counting the little bit of lace, cotton sheet, and buttons. And once again, I didn't buy anything new!

Final thoughts: The corset cover is a little tight in the armscye and bust area, so I'm thinking of going in and adding a little triangular wedge at the side seam. Again, we're theoretically not designing garments for ourselves, but for a mannequin, so I'm not surprised, but I would like it to be a little more comfortable to wear. I think once I do that and get a blousier fit, I'll be pretty pleased with the overall "ooh, I'm in my historical undahwears!" look though!

Old-timey filter!

Friday, May 1, 2020

Flat Pattern Class

In this unprecedented time of #canceleverything, I am grateful for the things that have not been canceled. I've missed out on a historical dance, a historical tea, and a cookie exchange with historical costuming friends, as well as several birthday parties. My school's play, A Little Princess, for which I was doing historical costumes (sense a theme here?), was also canceled. What *is* still happening, though, is the Flat Pattern Class I'm taking at Canada College. Of course, it's been moved online, but I'm glad that I happened to be taking a class more suited to distance learning than say, tailoring or fashion illustration. Our professor is still showing how to do pattern manipulations on Zoom, and we are emailing pictures of our patterns and garments. Obviously, we don't all have mannequins on which to display or test our garments, but it's working fairly well, all things considered.

But back up a little: if you don't know what flat pattern manipulation is, it's where you take a basic sloper pattern (plain fitted bodice + sleeve + straight skirt with darts in "standard" places) and by shifting darts around, adding fullness, and contouring, can totally change the pattern pieces to make anything you want. I realized after the class started that I'd basically already been doing this to a lot of my TNT patterns in order to get the style lines I wanted for various costumes, but it was nice to learn it "officially" so that I could pick up on the little tidbits of information I missed as a self-taught sewist. Things like the industry standard for how far to back dart tips off from the apex (instead of my usual "ehh, that looks about right!"), or the proper way to add fullness (slashing and spreading at multiple points, then truing the stitch line, instead of my haphazard scooting the pattern piece over until it looked right...are you sensing a theme here, too?). I confess I do get a little impatient sometimes about the pace of the class, because I feel like all these manipulations are obvious, but then I have to remind myself to take a deep breath because not everyone taking the class has been doing this for years. Teachers really do make the worst students sometimes.

Anyway, so one of our assignments was to make a top with a sleeve of some kind and a collar that had a closure, and show the pattern manipulation work that went into it. I didn't want to make some variation of a cutesy Peter Pan collar on a button up shirt with puff sleeves, which which is what a lot of people went with. So I started brainstorming...and coming off of my mourning for the Victorian costumes that I made for A Little Princess that would never be worn, I decided that I was going to make a turn of the century, early 1900s-style blouse, with a high stand collar, bishop sleeves, and a full gathered front, pouter-pigeon look. And as I looked at the fabrics available to me in my stash (lots of gray, green, and black), I decided that I was going to go all in and make myself a historical Slytherin costume. The final garments for this class have to include a top and a skirt (or an entire dress...basically it has to cover a dress form so that it's dressed "decently"), and if I made a top for this assignment, then I could just make a skirt to complete the final outfit. Was I making a lot of extra work for myself, drafting such a complicated outfit? The answer is yes. Did I care? No. I'm using all my Canada College classes as an excuse to indulge in my love for historical fashion (see Exhibit A, Fashion Illustration classes, and Exhibit B, Tailoring Class).

Here's what my quarter scale work looked like. We're supposed to work out our designs in quarter scale first so that the professor can check our work, then we make the full-scale pattern and mock it up. I didn't bother with a mock-up and just went straight for fashion fabric, because 1) we're designing for a standard size 8 mannequin, which is basically my size so I have a fairly good idea how things should look/fit, and 2) my fashion fabric is thrifted sheets, so no big loss if it doesn't work out. I did dress it up more with some stash lace, which was so shifty that I had to hand baste it all in place before I could start sewing, so that was also obviously an excellent time-saving decision in this time of extra work due to home-schooling.

I'm pretty pleased with how centered I got the lace motifs!

I think the side profile has the right kind of poofy pigeon-breast look. 

Oops, Cecily's skirt, my stand-in until I make the real one, is slightly off-center. It's a thrift store find that used to be a too big, 90s-tastic, empire-waisted, tea-length, burnout-velvet dress, so I cut off the top portion and redid the top edge with a petersham ribbon facing to make it into a floor-length skirt.

The back closes with hooks and bars, as do the sleeve cuffs, mostly because I had lots of them leftover from our anniversary trip to the UK, where I found a vintage pack of a hundred at a charity shop. I've gotten a lot better/faster at sewing them on now, but I still don't like doing it and mine aren't particularly neat. But they're all hidden, and black on black is hard to see, so I think ultimately the pragmatic Slytherin thing to do is to get them done functionally and save all the agonizing over perfection for when Voldemort is actually watching the parts that are actually showing.

More Slytherin secrets: the inside seams aren't finished. 

I had to look up how to finish the sleeve placket because I haven't done one in oh, at least five years. 


Pattern: Self-drafted, but based on period illustrations/patterns like the one below.

Source: the Original Pre-1929 Historical Patterns tumblr is a treasure trove.

Fabric: Half of a full-size flat sheet in gray cotton sateen, thrifted and leftover from drama costume making, for the main blouse fabric. The yoke was overlaid in black lace from a 1/2-yard remnant that I bought from Joann's years ago. I don't know the fiber content anymore, but it's definitely synthetic. For the cuff and collar lace overlays, I used scraps from a remnant pack that I bought at the Dark Garden trunk sale years ago. The strip of black fabric for back closure was from another thrifted cotton sateen sheet scrap, and the bias tape binding at the hem is silk dupioni leftover from my Ursula bustier. I'm really pleased with how I've been able to use all leftover pieces of fabric from my stash for this!

Notions: Interfacing for the collar, cuffs, and back closure, pieced together from the leftover of my tailoring class coat, and souvenir hooks and bars

Hours: A couple hours each for drafting and cutting, another hour of hand-basting lace, maybe five hours for actual sewing, and then another hour of hook and bar sewing, so let's say 11 hours total.

How accurate is it? Like everything else I do, not really: a cotton shirtwaist would need to be in thinner material, and obviously synthetic laces are right out, but I tried to get the overall impression of the look right? I think the thickness of the sheet fabric prevents the gathers from falling as nicely as they should, but my pattern pieces are pretty good I think.

Total cost: It's made from so many little scrappy leftover bits, it's hard to say, but I would say definitely less than $10.

Final thoughts: It's hard not to focus in on the one mistake I know I made: I cut the center front piece wrong, so there's something wonky going on in the middle. Plus, the stiffness of the sheet fabric makes for an awkwardly puffy-looking blouse (as opposed to period-accurate puffiness), so I feel like I should go back and redo it. That would involve A LOT of seam ripping though, so I may wait until the full ensemble is done to see if it still bothers me enough to warrant fixing it. I am hoping that once I finish everything else (skirt, belt, and Eton jacket/bolero-y thing), the overall look will be good enough that I won't feel like I need to.

Fingers crossed!