Eleonora 2.0

About a month or so ago I decided to work on a 2nd mock-up of my Eleonora.  Since I needed something to wear out at Fest and didn’t want to wear a corset, I decided I would try a boned version of the bodice, but adjusted for my long waist.  Margo sent me a modified version of the bodice, but in my impatience to get it done sooner (which never works well) the Chick and I made changes to the previous bodice, which resulted in some issues.

Firstly, we made the bodice too long.  Two inches were added in length, and really we should have stopped at 1-1.5.  Also, making the boning channels the same length resulted in the bodice digging into my sides and being FAR too long in the front.  We had used the modified front version of the bodice Margo sent me originally, which had a tapered front that went into a curved point. Imagine a curved point on the bottom right side of the bodice picture below.

 The problem was that with the length adjusted so long on the sides it caused the point to buckle and just look odd.  I cut the point off and adjusted it upwards – which helped, but still had some buckling.  Margo suggested angling the sides more in the front towards the point, which would have likely taken care of it.  Also reducing the length of the boning channels would have helped as well.  You can see a bit of the buckling in the photo below.

Another issue I encountered is that I do REALLY need support in there for my cleavage.  Although I wore my square necked chemise with the shelf bra, that along with the boning in the bodice just was not cutting it.  I really needed something that held me in better.  An under corset of some sort or even binding would have worked better.  As it was, I spent a great deal of the day “hoisting” things into place again, and when I sat down my cleavage drifted out of site entirely. 

Part of this is due to the high neckline as seen in the portrait.  I should have a lower neckline as I am a bit too busty for this shape, but some sort of supportive undergarment would have worked far better.  And since I am making this dress to look like the portrait, I need to stick to the high neckline and find a suitable solution to my bust support problem.

As per my initial postings on this subject, I think I will wind up making an inner corset to wear underneath, with shoulder straps.  If this alone is not enough I will likely have to use a combination of corset and binding my chest.

The back looked lovely as always and the length of the bodice there didn’t seem to be as big of an issue. 

The fabric was a lovely printed linen with thistles on it that I got on clearance from Fabric.com.  I got more compliments on this fabric than any other I have ever used and at one point someone actually ran across fest to ask me where I got my fabric.  It was very comfortable, and with the linen petticoat I wore underneath it was not heavy at all.

Of course wearing a white dress out at fest is just asking for trouble.  It started raining the minute I walked in the gates, and by the time I got home the entire lower 4-5 inches was filthy.  Since I had inadvertantly hemmed the dress WAY too long, this isn’t really an issue other than I will lose the pretty border design along the bottom.  All photos were taken under the canvas of the Fest Friends tent in their glade in a 5 minute period, which is why I look A)damp and B)oddly positioned.  It is also my inability to take a good photo that is partly to blame.  I need to work on that. 

You might notice something different about this photo than the previous Eleonora – this one has sleeves.

I decided to try the paned sleeves that Margo had sent me based on her observations of the Eleonora pattern.   The sleeves have large tops that are hexagon shaped and fold over so that they touch each other when on the shoulder, like in this photo:

However, the hexagons were too large, so I chopped the tops of them off and tapered the edges in, like Margo’s original line drawing:

Another issue I ran into with the paned sleeves (which I have encountered before with other paned sleeves) was the roll factor.  Panes never want to stay flat against my wrist – they always want to roll forward, like in the photo below:

My friend Raven suggested a small cuff, but I want to try to adhere to the portrait as much as possible.  I think that tapering the ends so that they are JUST slightly wider than my wrist should do the trick.  It will then force those rolls more upwards, rather than down.  I might also need to put a ring or some sort of fastener on the panes near the top to tie them up closer to the shoulder for the “pouf” effect.  Gravity is hell on sleeves. 

Margo has decided she is going to use the Beret sleeve pattern for her Eleonora costume package, and I am going to test that sleeve on my final mock-up which will also use her bodice adjustments. 

Her commentary on the paned sleeves was thus:  “I drafted the sleeve with extra width to accommodate a full camicia sleeve. I also added extra length so that the spaces between the panes would spread open under the stress of the sleeve being not wide enough… obviously, it needs to be one or the other! I think I’ll take some of the fullness out of the panes and leave the length.”  She also recommended bar tacking the sleeves together at their joined points and then sewing pearls/buttons on top for added stability.  Since I sewed mine on vacation after several days of reduced sleep (and a night of sleeping in a cabin filled with gas from a blown out pilot light – still can’t believe that one) they are not the prettiest, so I am going to redo them following her advice. 

The accessories I wore with this gown were a pair of pearl drop earrings made for my blue courtesan from last year, a vintage pearl necklace and a coif/caul/whatever made of gold silk lattice sewn onto netting, with a gold silk binding and pearls sewn onto the individual joins.  I have 2 toupee clips on the top to hold it to my head, and a plastic comb in the bottom to hold it to the bottom of my hair.  I usually put my hair in a ponytail and twist a fun bun around it, or sometimes even two to give the fullness needed to fill out the coif. 

My next mock-up should be done by October 1st, and then it will be on to the real thing!  Making this mock-up out of a fabric that is more similar to the portrait was a nice way to get an idea of how the finished garment might look.  It was very striking in color compared to everything else out at fest.  I do think a mud guard is in order, though.

Extra thanks goes out to the Cheap Chick for being my own personal cutting machine.  My back thanks you!

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