Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bad pictures of Nearly Done... - L

I'm headed down the last stretch on my outfit and took these admittedly poor phone pix to help me decide if the pleated-up lower sides were at a length that I liked before sewing them up  The front is pinned shut, some of the trim is pinned on, the bustle is not 'bustled' correctly, and the neck trim is missing completely.  The left picture is more accurate, and I just like the picture on the right because the angle of the mirror makes me look thinner than I am.  Also it's a better view of the sleeves. The front at the waist crosses over a lot more than I expected.  I will do a final fitting to see if I want to leave it as is, or take it in, or take in a dart.  Once the long darts are sewn, it very tough to access the center front from the inside.  If I take it in, I will be doing it by hand.  Overall, the result is as expected, and that makes me really happy. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Corset Begins - R

Here are the three layers of my corset finally all cut out, sewed and pressed.  Tomorrow comes machine embroidery on the silk dupioni fashion fabric.

Franken-skirt and a Hat - R

What do I do when I don't feel like continuing on to the next step?  Why, make a bonnet, of course!  From previous posts you see the buckram frame, but here I've covered it in black cotton flannel, something I've read is called "mulling".  No idea if I've done it right. (The bottom pic has not had the edges trimmed.  From here it will be on to the fashion fabric and trimming the bejeezus out of it with all my pretty leaves and flowers. All of this is hand sewing, something to do while watching Dr. Who reruns when my brain can no longer think.

This is what happens when polyester meets a hot iron. Yes, it was an accident and yes, I did overcome my immediate desire to take the whole thing apart and recut and resew the damaged parts. This is on the inside, top of skirt base. Yes, it's ugly and I've now dubbed this my Franken-skirt.
If only you could see what is under the trim on my would be appalled!  I'm heartily ashamed, but unrepentant. 

Lisa is urging me on to start the corset and things keep getting in the way. I only need two hours of uninterrupted time yet I can't seem to score that in life lately. I'm running out of things-you-can-do-in-only-30-minutes. Stay tuned to see if Robin makes the corset or gives up and just buys one.
You WILL make the corset.  Maybe just not right now?  You have assigned yourself a heavy load of sewing.  Also, you can't find the two hours....whereas I've just been sewing when I feel like it.  That's why I'm not losing weight, but nearly done.  Set yourself a time limit to be nearly done.  If you're not getting there, buy one.  The back-to-school madness has begun and I wan't be as able to help.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Focus on the Head, and the Agony of Pleating - L.

This weekend I decided to work on finishing my skirt.  When last I had worked on it, there was not enough fabric so I made it shorter than I wanted with the plan of adding a 'tier' around the bottom to lengthen it.  Great plan in theory.  In fact, I found myself at one point thinking that I should wear a most spectacular hat to divert attention from the disaster of my skirt.  Here's what went wrong:
  • I wasn't using a pattern, but rather a cutting diagram, so...
  • I didn't have pattern pieces but had to lay out the skirt and measure
  • There is no obvious right and wrong side to the fabric
  • The fabric is slippery
  • I STILL didn't have enough fabric (though I should have had)
  • When the hem curves were wrong I had to make little gores
I tried to lay it out correctly, and measure exactly.  I tried to get the curve correct.  I failed.  I ended up with a bunch of pieces with the correct length and the wrong curve.  When stitched together they were a lovely scalloped tier.  Oops.  I discovered this at the same time that I discovered that I had stitched some pieces right-sides together and some wrong-sides together.  This was after I scrounged up some lining material to use in place of the fabric I didn't have.  But I wasn't quitting.  Oh, no.  Then the top of the tier matched the skirt, but the bottom was 3 inches too narrow to maintain the seam line.  So I made small gores.  I measured carefully again, ripped apart and sewed both layers together to form the hem (this last tier is fully lined).  Then I pinned the tier to the bottom of the skirt, attempting to compensate for the scallops.  I tried it on.  It seemed to work.  Except for the 3 places that were longer that all the rest.  At this point, I give thanks for Greg who is a very careful and patient measurer.  It's sewn together and pretty much the same length all around when I'm wearing my bustle and petticoats. And I will not ever confess the ugliness that got me there.  Time to put on trim!  (Hides a multitude of evils).

And while I sat quietly attempting  to snatch a tattered victory from the jaws of defeat, my son was creeping through the yard in the early morning coastal fog, re-enacting the zombie apocalypse.  He popped in and reminded me 'focus on the head'.  Good advice.

I chose to trim my skirt with two layers of pleated satin ribbon, with a thin velvet ribbon over it.  It's a lot of pins.  More than I own.  I had to pin the pleats in stages, stitch them, and pin the next bunch.  And as I pinned the ribbon the skirt was pooling in my lap.  Ouch.  Bad plan.  Staring at all that dark brown for hours on end made me crave chocolate.  Here are two pictures showing a complete row and all the pretty pretty pins.  I will post a picture of the skirt with the polonaise soon.  Because the polonaise is getting close to finished too.