Thursday, December 26, 2013

Anteater is DONE! - L

All Anteater posts are here.  Please scroll to the bottom of this post for the most recent updates.  Thanks.

Remember this guy?

I finally cut a muslin and Robin fit it for me.  So now I'm ready to cut fabric.  The only thing....

I have a couple of things I NEED to do before Thanksgiving.  This does not count cleaning, shopping and prep for the actual cooking.

Here are my patterns.

The fabrics and trim:

The underskirt was fairly simple.  The pleating is going to take a long time because I decided to try to make the pleats look like pinstripes by pleating the white part  out.  Looks neat; takes forever.
 Finally a picture of the lobster tail bustle.  Fast.  Easy.

I added a layer of netting flat-lined to the back of the skirt to give the bustle extra pouf (recommended in instructions).

And a picture of the Sisyphisian pleating job I created.  I pleated one of the five panels and set it aside.  Also, I set the pleats with vinegar.  It really works.  The smell really goes away.  I can pick up the pleated panel and shake it, and the pleats lay down perfectly.  Which is good because I didn't have time to spent hours pleating.

This pleating will be a rainy day job for quite a while.

I did manage to squeak out the overskirt though.   It still needs a hem, and all of the trim.  I have sated my need to work on the anteater dress for now.

After nearly a month, missing in action, I am back with an update!  I have, quite literally, bled for this project!  Part 2 - Fit-erations.

You know when you have a good idea, and it totally poops the bed doesn't work?  It's been happening a LOT.  Let me list the things that have not gone as planned:

1 - The very cool pleating for the skirt.  Yes, the pleats stayed in, however the rayon fabric is just too soft and drapey.  After my first pleat-a-thon, I discovered that the fabric wrinkles easily and badly.  I re-pressed the pleats removing all horizontal wrinkles.  This knocked some of the pleats out of alignment, and the fabric wrinkled again (horizontally).  Making fancy pleats is boring but worth it.  I love 'em.  But I don't love them enough to know that I couldn't sit in a chair or a car for 20 minutes without wreaking havoc.  Even hanging on a hanger messed up my glorious pleats.  This idea will have to wait for a more appropriate fabric.  This girl knows when she's beat.  Moving on.  I ruffled the fabric and made two rows of ruching to go over it.  Not nearly so awesome, but I'm content that I've achieved the hairy, hairy anteater look.
(Ruching is merely pinned in this picture.  I wanted to make sure it looked straight.  And yes, the skirt sort of trains in the back)

2 -  The trim.  Here is yet another bad photo, showing the finished trim.  I sewed it onto the overskirt by machine, one layer at a time.  Mistake.  The white fringe stretched.  The satin black ribbon wouldn't give on the bias at all.  The brown lace stretched more than the white fringe.  So yes, I ripped it all out and sewed it on by hand.  I had to make careful snips in the black ribbon to get it around curves.  And the bodice has a lot of curves.

Here I am, hand sewing, in bed, watching Naruto Shippoden with my son, with a cat on my head.  (for the record, watching anything with subtitles while sewing is a really bad idea)

3 -  Fitting the muslin too snug.  Oh, yes I did.  Robin helped with this crime.  I flatlined my wool bodice with denim left over from my son's Assassin's Creed cosplay, plus I made a pleated center front that added bulk.   Luckily, I didn't cut all the seams to match the muslin so I could still close the front.

4 - Horizontal pleating on the center front.  This isn't a mistake.  I love it.  But ohhhh, the time.  Actually, these aren't pleats, they are tucks that are sewn in.  I sewed the tucks into the fabric before I cut it.  Otherwise it would have been 'change-of-plan' #4.  I'm not good enough to figure out how to measure for tucks on a curved edge before I cut.

Here is a sample - and no, it wasn't finished at this point.

I also started making a hat because just look at that anteater!  I need to have a hat.  I've made two other hats so I got brave and made up a pattern myself.  Lucky for me, feathers and ribbon hide a multitude of hubris.  Here's the hat pattern, and the pinned together decoration so far.  More to come.

 I still have a decent amount of work to do.  I need to fit and sew the sleeves.  I need to bone the bodice.  And I need to sew down the ruching on the underskirt.

And of course, I need to finish the hat.  Here are some views of the work in progress.  Please excuse the mess in the background.  Homework was being done on the floor all around me.  And it's entirely possible that Richard Armitage is on the TV in the last photo.  Because why not?  I'll be back to write a final post with a picture of the dress (and me in it).

And it's done.  Things got seriously annoying at the end.  Finishing work can be that way, can't it...

And I didn't quite finish it because I didn't get all the boning in so it is a bit rumpled in spots.  There is just something off in the boob region that I will have to fix.  But it's Christmas, we're all sick, and I am outta time.  So here it is: