Monday, November 29, 2010

Updated Gown Pics from Cruise - McCalls 3101

As promised!!!

Next up, I'll be finishing several projects that are CUT, but not sewn! But first, I need to unpack and resume my regular, healthy eating!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Gown!

Here it is!!! The stole is almost done, but I wanted to get the gown documented... I spent today slipstitching the bodice lining into place.
I am thoroughly AMAZED that there were no major disasters making this! I will say one thing regarding fit: the waistline is a true 50's wasp waist. This is a 32B-26 1/2 W. My waist is 27" and there is NO ease whatsover.
Having said that, with all of the ruching, the waist NEEDS to be pulled taught otherwise it would look like a sack of gathering and the curves would be completely lost. Just keep that in mind if you ever decide to make this.

I will get more pictures from the cruise and promise to post them so that everybody can see the final, finished look!

Thank you all for following me on this project!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gown is Coming Together

I've been working flat out on the gown for several days now. The plants haven't been fed and the children haven't been watered. I apologize in advance for any typos or non-sensical statements!
I've got it all put together: lining facing to skirt lining; skirt lining to skirt; skirt to bodice, the zipper is in. The hemline has the hem tape sewed and is turned up ready to sew. Then the bodice lining will need to be slip stitched into place.
Skirt Facing - dupioni underlined with organza:
Skirt Facing sewn to skirt lining (18mm silk crepe). Understitiching - you can see how it prevent rolling. It also provides shape and control of fabrics:
Skirt Facing attached to Skirt Lining:"
Close up of zig-zag for sewing top of skirt facing to the lining:
There have been very few REAL problems. The zipper went in with one shot which one can only hope for when ruching is involved. Admitedly, I took time and hand basted in place first. And admitedly #2, it's a bit wonky in one spot, but the ruching disguises it so I left it! Ssshhh!
The one problem I did have was last night while trying the gown on, the ruching popped on the right seam. This was entirely my fault because earlier in the day, I was feeling cocky and clever and thought I'd try something... I seamed the zipper side from the notch side up to the top which made it too small to get over my head and even my very small bust... while wriggling and worming out, I heard a "pop". It seemed OK at the time when I inspected, but alas, it came to roost a bit later.
Ideally, I should have put binding strips to back the ruching on the inside and I'm surprised the pattern doesn't say to that. Fortunately, the fix was quick. The ruching popped at the very top so I took the stitching down 1 1/2", tied off the ends, and re-sewing the three lines of ruching stitching in that top 1 1/2".
So off to hem I go. With any luck, I'll be able to knock out the stole and pics tomorrow!

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Skirt

In the world of dresses, there are skirts... and then there are skirts.

This gown has one helluva skirt!!

It's not complicated really. It's eight gores with ruching at the top several inches. While the bodice is ruched in four places (front and back centers and both sides) the skirt is ruched at every seam, giving a swag effect.

It's simplicity makes it elegant. The elegant swags pick up the lustre and body of the shot dupioni. I know when walking in it, the movement will make it dance under the light.

I quickly pulled up the ruching and before fastening off at the top, the gathering needs to be lengthened a bit. They are a bit too tight and poofy in the pic and need to be elongated to swag. But that's just a little minor adjustment.

Next up is cutting and sewing the skirt lining from the silk crepe. I'm going to try to make headway on that this evening so that it can be sewn together tomorrow.

Finally, these are the shoes that I'll be wearing the gown! I found them earlier this year when I decided on the fabric and pattern and instantly KNEW they were perfect. They are Ellen Tracy strappy heels encrusted with coppery glitter. They'll peep out from beneath the skirt giving off a flash and sparkle!!!

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: