Monday, August 22, 2011
Beastly Day, but productive - Lisa
(but first, on Saturday night I was inspired to embroider a little squid on ribbon for the center of a bow...and yes, it looks more like an octopus)
I laced up my corset, put on my petticoat with portable bustle, and got ready to fit the polonaise, and mark the hem on the skirt. I put on my skirt and couldn't hook it. Hmmmm. Safety pin to the rescue. Pinned together the parts of the polonaise, slipped it on and took a picture. Decided I needed another petticoat. Hurray for fixing my old petticoat in case I ever wanted to use it again. Turns out I do. But wait, I can't hook this one either. Hmmm. With one petticoat around my knees, and the other (bustle snapped on) held over my head I re-laced my corset a big smidgen tighter. And then I shortened my bra straps. Or rather Rob did.
We fidgeted and fussed with the dart pins. This pattern (TV 410) effectively has two back seams, two side seams and two darts in addition to the front closure. Per the directions, the darts are the primary point of adjustment for fit. This is very important for me because I have a small back, a small rib cage, and a large bust. The back seams fit perfectly. I did find it necessary to extend the twill tape that holds the bustle to the back. It now goes around the front and will be tacked to all seams and boning. The weight of the bustle pulled the lower back off my actual back.
We got the darts pinned and went to work on the side seams which shouldn't need adjusted but did. They fit well in the muslin, but the world isn't perfect. After the side seams were pinned the darts looked bad. The lower front was pulling in odd and unflattering ways. Out came all the pins...tabula rasa. Robin totally recreated the two darts in front. The smaller, center dart became longer, and the longer outside dart became shorter and curved out toward the hip. I know it sounds odd, but it fits like a dream. In addition, we added a dart at the armscye. This was only because I have a large bust. Once that was done, I sewed the darts and the side seams (only to the waist). Once I pinned on the sleeves, it was clear that they were too wide around the elbow. I'm going to take them in about an inch.
I looked at a lot of pictures of dresses made from this pattern. Those pictures and my own experience lead me to think that, while this isn't terribly challenging to sew, it's quite difficult to fit accurately. Without proper fitting, the polonaise makes one look rather dumpy. This is to be avoided!
So with this fitting done, what do I have left to do? I still have to sew the sleeves including the alteration (which is a pain since they're bag lined). I have to re-sew the facing. I did it totally wrong, and also forgot to adjust for the hook closure. I need to bone the front darts. And then I need to finish the front closure and add decorative buttons. And finally, I need to add trim around the hem and at the neck. Which means I have to make the lace for the neck.
I never even got around to marking the hem of the skirt.