Making a Susan Archery Dress

Dressing up Narnia-style! Visit the Wardrobe Door.

Moderator: Meltintalle

Making a Susan Archery Dress

Postby jesus_girl2016 » Jul 29, 2010 3:57 pm

Hello!

I'm new here and as part of a swap, I'm making Susan's green Archery dress. I've never made a costume like this before, so i'm trying to learn all I can to give my customer the best I can :) .

I've read up on the dress and I sorta think I know how to make it, but I have some questions:

What kinda of fabric should the dress get made from? Broadcloth? Wool?

How should the insert of green be put in the slits in the arms? I kinda get how to do the slits, but I've read that the fabric in the slits is part of the dress and not attached to the under-dress. Any ideas as to how to do this?

Thank you so much and I look forward to hearing your opinions as I continue my own research :) .
jesus_girl2016
NarniaWeb Regular
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Jul 29, 2010
Gender: Female

Re: Making a Susan Archery Dress

Postby jesus_girl2016 » Jul 31, 2010 3:02 pm

Update: My mom and I have been looking closely at the pictures of Susan and her dress, mainly looking at the seam lines. We've decided that there are 9 seams in the main body of the dress, including a side seam. We weren't sure about the side seam, but have decided that there is one.

I also got to go to Joann's today and look at their fabric and I 'think' I found the fabric I want to use for the dress. The color Ponderosa Pine in the Sew Classics was the closest I could find to what I imagine the color of Susan's dress and their Bottom Weight Rodeo solids has a beatiful weave to it that I think could pass as the dress. It's not as distinctive as a wool or wool blend would be, but it seems like it will be much cooler during the summer months and layer nicely for the winter months.

I didn't look around for any lining or underdress fabric yet. The dress itself looks like it is lined, at least at the neck and sleeves. What I might do is a partial lining or if no lining is wanted, then I'll use wonderunder or thin strips of stitch witchery to hold the hems up and out of sight :) .
jesus_girl2016
NarniaWeb Regular
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Jul 29, 2010
Gender: Female

Re: Making a Susan Archery Dress

Postby Lady Galadriel » Jul 31, 2010 5:19 pm

First off, welcome. :)

I'm afraid I'm not a good sewer, so I'm not one to ask for advice. But I thought I'd ask if you have tried looking at The Wardrobe Door? It gives detailed breakdowns of the Narnia costumes. It also has lots and lots of pictures!
User avatar
Lady Galadriel
NarniaWeb Junkie
 
Posts: 597
Joined: Oct 25, 2009
Gender: Female

Re: Making a Susan Archery Dress

Postby Lady Éowyn » Jul 31, 2010 8:11 pm

The slits are self-faced (see this image—very high-res). I've done this before on another dress, it's quite easy. Make small rectangle pieces, one for each slit, big enough to lay flat to the inside. Mark your elliptical slits, sew around each one, cut out the middle as close to the stitching as you comfortably can, turn them inside out and press. You can tack the facings down or topstitch.

The undersleeve layer that shows through these slits appears to be bag-lined to the green sleeve... we never see a separate undersleeve at the wrist. The whole sleeve could be sewn into the armscye with the green sleeve (worn with a sleeveless underdress), or the whole underdress could be attached to the green dress and worn as one piece. Either way, the undersleeve is a bit of a longer, bigger sleeve, as it bunches up under the slits frequently. Some people just fake an underdress at the neckline and slits, depending on the season.

I count eight seams in the body of the dress (it's symmetrical). Maybe that's what you meant, and you're counting the placket in the back as a seam?

Either way, because she has double princess seams, there's no direct side seam, but there is a side piece. Front princess seam, second princess seam, back second princess seam, back princess seam, placket with lacing. Or eight pattern pieces... front piece, front side piece, direct side piece, back side piece, back piece, and so on around to the front again.

Looking forward to seeing your progress! :-bd
Image
User avatar
Lady Éowyn
Moderator Emeritus
 
Posts: 2819
Joined: Feb 14, 2004
Location: Lone Islands
Gender: Female

Re: Making a Susan Archery Dress

Postby jesus_girl2016 » Aug 01, 2010 7:10 pm

Thank you so much, Lady Eowyn! That's what I had heard about the slits and it's great to have someone confirm it to me :) . That is an interesting theory on the undersleeve slits. I see that the fabric that pokes through the slits does bunch up, but I hadn't considered that the sleeves might be baglined from the hem up. That is something to consider in the making of the dress.

The side seam I'm refering to is what connects the direct side piece and the back side piece together. I'm fairly sure, after much looking and looking and wishing that they had photographed Susan with her arm raised and nothing in the way, that there IS a side seam. In my mind it makes sense. because if there isn't a side seam, then the side back and direct side lose fullness in the skirt, because they have to be cut on the same piece of fabric and right next to each other. So if they are two separate pieces joined by a side seam, then you can get the maximum fullness for the fabric. That's my logic :) .

And I've been given permission to blog about this dress! http://anartistslifeline.wordpress.com/ ... -shopping/
jesus_girl2016
NarniaWeb Regular
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Jul 29, 2010
Gender: Female

Re: Making a Susan Archery Dress

Postby jesus_girl2016 » Aug 02, 2010 8:42 pm

I did it! I took the plunge and spent today drafting the pattern and cutting the muslin. My basis is McCalls 4490 and since I own two copies of this pattern, I decided to literally cut up one copy and turn it into a Susan dress :) . It was loads of fun and also very terrifing at the same time.

But because I felt free to cut the pattern, it was alot easier to draft the changes to the front and add the side front panel. I ended up drafted the side front from the cut off piece I got from the front panel and from the skirt of the original side front panel. All in all I am VERY happy with the finished product. The panel looks almost exactly like the movie costume's panel, though it might be a tad thinner then Susan's. But I have a feeling it will look good on the girl :) .

I also added the point and the flare to the sleeves. I'm still not sure how it all will work, but I'm excited to be this far. Tomorrow I'm going to actually sew up the muslin and I hope to be able to send the finished muslin off by Friday so that she can try it on and get it fitted. Then I'll probably make another muslin for her to try one :) .

Blog Posts of the Day:
http://anartistslifeline.wordpress.com/ ... -drafting/
http://anartistslifeline.wordpress.com/ ... d-cutting/
http://anartistslifeline.wordpress.com/ ... -pictures/
jesus_girl2016
NarniaWeb Regular
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Jul 29, 2010
Gender: Female

Re: Making a Susan Archery Dress

Postby jesus_girl2016 » Aug 03, 2010 9:45 am

I'm sewing up the muslin of this dress and I'm to the point of the back opening and I have a question :) .

How far apart should the loops be for the back lacing? It almost looks like they are 1 to 2 inches apart going up and down the back. Is that about right?
jesus_girl2016
NarniaWeb Regular
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Jul 29, 2010
Gender: Female

Re: Making a Susan Archery Dress

Postby jesus_girl2016 » Aug 03, 2010 6:32 pm

I finished the muslin today! All in all, it took me about 6 hours to sew up the dress, which is not long, even for me. And I think the muslin looks AMAZING! I do see some things I want to change about the dress, like the side front piece needs to be wider and the direct side piece needs to be thinner. And I'm not sure how the girl is going to need the dress adjusted :) . But I am VERY pleased with how the dress is turning out so far.

http://anartistslifeline.wordpress.com/ ... ns-green-a…ing-the-muslin/
jesus_girl2016
NarniaWeb Regular
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Jul 29, 2010
Gender: Female

Re: Making a Susan Archery Dress

Postby jesus_girl2016 » Sep 08, 2010 5:04 pm

So I agreed to make a second one of these dresses for another girl who just loved it. She has the muslin at the moment and says it fits her just about perfectly, except for some minor neckline adjustments. I'm happy that it fits her so well and happy that the pattern is coming along right.

But the fabric I wanted to use for the dress originally is no longer being carried by the stores. For the one girl, that's not a problem, but for the other it is :P. The one girl will take a cream and I think I'm going to get a linen look for her dress. Can't wait to work with that fabric :) . The other girl's dress I'm not sure what I'm going to do for fabric, other then keep shopping around.

And since the pattern and dress are so beautiful, I've decided to make one for me :P . So as soon as I get paper to do the alterations on the pattern and some sheets to make the muslin out of, I'll start work on mine.
jesus_girl2016
NarniaWeb Regular
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Jul 29, 2010
Gender: Female

Re: Making a Susan Archery Dress

Postby jesus_girl2016 » Sep 17, 2010 9:45 pm

As I keep working on this dress and looking closer at pictures and looking at fabrics, I just get more questions :) .

The fabric of the dress has me at a quandary. The closeup looks kinda like an upholstery fabric I got for my Jedi tabbards, but I thought it was a wool. And then the inner fabric looks kinda like a pale blue polished cotton, or something similar. And the fabric on the sleeve looks the same on the neck.
jesus_girl2016
NarniaWeb Regular
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Jul 29, 2010
Gender: Female

Re: Making a Susan Archery Dress

Postby jesus_girl2016 » Nov 16, 2010 8:40 pm

I've been working on this dress and it's been coming together beautifully! I can't wait to get the ones for the girls I'm making them for done so that I can make mine :) .

Anyway, on the one I'm working on right now, I got to the point of embroidery. I'm using the design pattern that was shared on Wardrobe (the costume section) and a HUGE thank you to the girl who did the work on that! It's so helpful! So far I have the outlining done on one half of the neck.
Image

Next I'm going to do the satin stitch and then the other side. The sleeves will be a bit tricky, because on this dress the edge is straight, rather then curved with the point (that's the way the girl wanted it ;P ). But I'm sure I can figure out something :) .
jesus_girl2016
NarniaWeb Regular
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Jul 29, 2010
Gender: Female


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests