The final stages of construction involved preparing and mounting the skirts. Both the outer silk fabric and the cotton lining had to be seamed and then hemmed by hand separately. I machine stitched the large rectangles of fabric for speed but worked the hems by hand to keep the stitching as invisible as possible. I also hand stitched 4" wide strips of cotton wadding into the hem of the lining as well as two 14" squares at the back waist. This wadding was a feature of the original gown and helps to give a little extra body to the hem and the back of the dress.
|Hem stitches worked on the silk|
|Pressing down the upper edges to match the point of the bodice|
|Cartridge pleats from above|
|Cartridge pleats viewed from the front|
|Mounting the skirt to the bodice - one stitch at a time!|
|A close up of the finished pleats|
So apart from the back fastening and some boning for the inside of the bodice this dress is now complete. These finishing touches will be added once I have tried on and fitted the dress for the last time to make sure that the back overlap is correct. The bodice will close with hooks and eyes and the boning will ensure that the bodice sits smoothly over the corset without any wrinkles.