Thursday, November 11, 2010

Work on Gown Has Resumed!

*Pics at end of post! ;)

Leave it to me to start a project seven months in advance, then pick it back up two weeks before it is actually needed!!!

But that's the work-under-pressure in me. I work better under pressure; my brain snaps into gear and I get ultra focussed! Of course, now that I'm totally into this project and into the zone, everything else is being neglected. Who said I'm supposed to feed the kids?

Thankfully, when I last worked on the gown, I did make good progress. Here's what WAS done:

- All dupioni pieces cut and underlined with silk organza (excepting the two side back skirt pieces)
- Bodice constructed with gathering
- Bodice interlining constructed (made from silk/cotton batiste)
- Bodice lining cut (from 18mm silk crepe)

The first task at hand was making a correction on the bodice. The front and pieces were not lined up well at the seam. I do not know what I was thinking at the time, but rather than ripping it then and there, I proceeded to sew the three lines of gathering on that seam for the ruching. D'uh! The bottom, waistline seam was nearling an inch off between the two pieces. I guess I was thinking that I could just "lose" the differences in the seams... upon thinking more, doing that could make the waistline sit way too high...

...SO, I bucked up and decided to do it right and ripped the seam, three lines of gathering and re sewed all of it. I'm glad I did!

After that was done I felt like I was progressing forward. I sewed the bodice lining. It has lots of darts for a very fitted shape: two angled side bust darts, two waistline darts and a center bust dart that is clipped at the center. *Note, remember when sewing large, curved darts like the center one to start from the center and sew OUTWARDS to the point. ;)

I hemmed and hawed about sewing in cups instead of wearing a bra. I fiddled and fussed with the placement of them and the silk crepe shifted around frustratingly. So I admit it, I said "sod it" and started on the channels for the boning.

I used plastic featherweight boning, not the industrial strength metal stuff. The pattern calls for sewing the casings directly onto the lining, but I chose to make the interlining and sew channels. There are four channels two just to the outside of the bust/inside the side seams and two at the back waistline darts.

When sewing channels, I always start at the top and sewn down to the waist, then repeat at the other side. This prevents the fabric from twisting/pulling because the stitching is going in the same direction.

After the channels were done, I sewed the lining to the bodice at the top neckline, understitched then pinned the lining to the bodice at the sides and bottom to adjust the ruching. THEN I tried it on! I was sooo excited! It's VERY fitted but the silhouette is just stunning! AND, the edge on the neckline is just perfectly smooth with no rolling!

After that, I started sewing the seams for the skirt. Ahhhh, nice long straight seams after the detailed work on the bodice!!! I then cut the silk organza for the last two skirt pieces and pinned them on, ready to baste!

SO, I'm on a roll! Please send me positive nothing-major-will-go-wrong vibes so that I can get this finished in time!

And oh yeah, it's great to work on a project like this! It's why I love sewing!

Skirt pieces underlined in silk organza:

Inside the bodice - lining:

The Bodice all ruched up:

Boning channels - sew both edges downwards in the same direction to prevent twisting:
Interlining in silk/cotton batiste:


Lizzy said...

WOW !! that's a beutifull dress and a very difficult project I guess, perhaps I'll be able to do somethink like that in 10 years hahahahaha!!! I really want to see the finished dress , I like the color!

Jessamyn said...

You commented on Sew Retro that you were concerned about how to pack this. I have packed a number of complex historical costumes for travel, and the most important thing is tissue paper!

If you can pack the dress separately in its own box or small case, that's best, but even if it's in with other things, tissue paper will make all the difference. (Do try not to cram every possible thing in with it, though. Breathing room helps.) You want big, slightly stiff sheets of tissue paper. Here's what you do:

Lay the dress down. Lay a piece of tissue paper on top of it, and gently fold both paper and dress. Each time you need to fold the dress, make sure you are folding it directly around tissue. The tissue cushions the folds, preventing them from becoming creases. It's quite amazing what a difference it makes.

And, of course, pack the dress last and unpack it first!

Eleen Fashions said...

Beautiful work. I can'at wait to see it complete!

When Ladies Dressed said...

Thank you SO MUCH! Tissue it is! AND, I have some good sized Zappo boxes that I can place the gown in for added protection.

You ladies are the bestest!

glorm said...

It looks like it's going to be a fabulous dress. Don't forget to breathe while you are sewing and things will turn out well.

And here is proof: the Word Verification is "dressess". LOL

The Long & Winding Bobbin said...

Cannot wait to see this finished!!!

Anonymous said...

BEAUTIFUL!!! Having been young in the 50's I had owned this kind of dress.Small waist was enhanced by Merry Widow under garments.I am in pain thinking about it.LOL