So... I get the parti-gown all done except for the bottom hem, right, and I try it on. It fits like a dream, you guys, snug in all the right places and the skirt nice and swishy. There's just one little problem: the lacing gaps and pulls and wrinkles. I guess the two layers of linen -- though strong enough -- just don't have what it takes to maintain a smooth line.
Easy enough to fix. I take some 2mm reed and stitch boning in between the hem edge and the eyelets. It's quick, and probably what would have been done in period to solve the problem. But since the reeds come in a giant roll, they have a little curl to them. I soaked them in water for a bit to ease that, and it helped, but not enough, and now my dress protrudes at the neckline and the waist like two tiny tents. To be fair, I have not tried it on my person. This is just how it looks on Imogene, my dressmaker's dummy. Perhaps when I lace myself in, the reeds will take up their tension as intended and stop fooling around. I hope so. If not, I plan to hit them with my iron on Heavy Steam and see if I can't persuade them to settle down.
I took a bad picture with my old cell phone just so you all could see the dress. This was taken before the boning was added. I have my square-necked white linen smock under it. I need to make another smock with a deeper, rounded neckline.The dress's neck hem looks uneven where it meets in the front, but it's not. That's just the crappy blurry picture. I get my new phone on Tuesday, you guys, so photo quality around here will improve accordingly. Hooray!
Update: I steam-ironed the dickens out of the reed boning, and it's behaving itself nicely now. Now to get working on a belt!