And it’s January, which means it’s time to start the first dress! Conveniently, the blackwork shirt has to be on hold for the next couple of weeks while my boyfriend is out of town, so I have lots of time to fuss with this project.

I bought this fabric last May in Los Angeles after immediately falling in love with it. Sadly, by the time I ran into it,I’d already spent a good deal of money and couldn’t buy quite as much as I wanted to. But, being 60″ wide, my friends recommended paneling the skirt, which meant purchasing only 6 yards (at $35 a yard).

Two weekends ago, I got to work and got the entire skirt done. After paneling, it came out to about 7.5 yards.

Ironing the seams after paneling.

Pinning the pleats down and ironing. As gorgeous as the fabric is, it is a total bitch to sew. The fabric and embroidery kept screwing up my tension on my machine and there’s more than one place on the hem that looks pinched. Luckily, a lot of the mess ups evened out in the ironing, but I’m really really glad it’s done. Really.Glad.

The finished skirt! It still needs a placket and skirt hooks, but is otherwise done. I should probably finish that this weekend, though I don’t really have enough fabric left to use on a placket so plain silk taffeta will have to do. Also, trying it on with the corset and at least one petticoat to get a better idea of how it looks.The side pleats are bothering me a bit, but hopefully some further ironing will help. Also it only looks that long because I’m bare foot. After the hoop and petticoats with my heels, it’s the perfect length.

Next is the bodice!I was really worried that after the skirt I wouldn’t have enough fabric to do a full bodice. None of the ideas my friends threw out really struck me as something I wanted to do, until we went to Disneyland this past week. And I saw this on display.

And now I must absolutely make this bodice.  Likely minus the gold trim because I don’t want too much separating the bodice from the skirt, but I adore the white trim and sleeves. Sadly, the people working at the store couldn’t bring it down for me to look at the sides/back, which was unsurprising but I had to try. So, the goal for this weekend and next weekend is to make a solid bodice pattern in one piece and then start drawing the lines for where it would be cut and pieced. There’s no room for error in cutting the taffeta, though, so I’ll have to be super careful that the mock up is exactly what I want.