Friday, August 17, 2012

Skirt trim progress and pictures!

I had a burst of energy to work on sewing tonight, so I spent the past few hours catching up on Project Runway and tackling the trim for my dress.  I had already cut out the individual pieces last week, but I haven't done much with it since then.

I started a black strip motif on the overskirt, and I wanted to carry that into the skirt trim as well.  Apparently this dress should be called "glutton for punishment" because I wanted two strips on each triangle.  All eighteen of them.  Most of the time tonight was spent on finishing just two of them.  But for all of the learning curve I somehow tackled tonight, I do have pictures on the process.

I gave each triangle a half inch seam allowance, so I pressed and stitched down the slanted sides first, leaving the stright side alone, for now.  One negative thing about working with twill like this is that it doesn't like to stay down, so it actually looks better stitched down.  There's a ton of visible stitching going on in this dress, so what's a bit more?  It's either that or kill my hands slipstitching.  I'm sorry, I'm not THAT anal.  And as my sewing teacher said, if someone is that close to notice, then you better be married to them or about to be married to them.

Next, the strips.  I needed the strips in a chevron, so I found it easier to cut on the bias the opposite way I wanted the chevron to go (so after you stitch, you end up with the seam allowance being a triangle, not a...trapezoid?).  It's easier to press and easier to trim.

So here's what the triangle looks like with both strips stitched down:

I'm still having problems concealing the little extra fabric at the points.  I just kinda tucked it back against the fold line.  Any suggestions for that would be appreciated, since I have, ugh, sixteen more to go for this.

Another thing I was having a problem with (again, due to the bulkiness of this fabric) is the strip at the top of the main part of the trim.  I first did seperate strips, but it was murder to press and still didn't work out.  So I had to use the same method as all the other stuff and sew a strip of red onto the black fabric.  I swear, if I can't sew perfectly straight boning channels by the end of this, then there's no hope for me.  Oh, and I'm using just the regular foot, not a zipper foot.  Better results that way.

So this is a small part of how the trim will look:

Oh, and here's a shot of the overskirt trim.  If you notice up close, the strip closest to the hem is more wrinkled.  That's what happened when I used the zipper foot

And a bit of a surprise for you!  I have a picture that my sewing teacher sent to me of my modern red and black dress.  It's not a great picture, but you'll get the gist of it.  No front shot though, so I'll see if she can send me a shot of that too.  You will notice I am in heels.  Yes, that's a big deal, because the next time I wear heels will be, one, if someone else I know gets married, or two, I get married.  Neither of those things are in the foreseeable future, so enjoy that while you can.  Also, isn't that black piping SEXY?

There.  Now you can't say I never show you pictures.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Long time no post, but I have been working on stuff

Yeah, I know, it's been a while.  I don't have any pictures yet of my red and black modern dress (mostly because someone else took pictures of me, so they're on someone else's camera/iPad/whatever.  Pictures will hopefully come for that.

With that dress in mind, I learned a few things:
  • Piping needs to be 1/8" wider on each side (so 1/4" wider).  I took into account the allowance for the cord width but not the cord circumfrence, so my 5/8" piping was only 1/2", which messed up seams, which meant I ended up with an extra inch of room in the end.  So yeah, tiny things like that are important.
  • The way they wanted me to attach the front and back shoulder seams don't work with piping.  Pretty much it had to be done by hand after the facing front and back and the outter fabric front and back were sewn together.  More work, but it was worth it.
So yeah, I would recommend this dress.  I'd take some width off the hem (I took 2" off of each side except for the back seam) but other than that, it was a nice dress pattern to work with.

Onto more Victorian things, I have started my red and black dress.  Progress is slow because my wrist has been on the fritz, but I do have the skirt sewn except for the side seam and waistband, and the overskirt is cut out and the side pleats are basted.  The bodice mockup is in the works, and I'm trying to find a way to alter my glove pattern since my fingers are longer than the original's.  I plan on using the leftover black sateen for the gloves and trim, if I have enough, since that will be more cooperative than making 1/2" strips of black twill.  Plus it will be a nice contrast.

I'm basing the design off of the lavender dress in this fashion plate:

I won't be putting in ALL of the stripes, and it looks like based off of my practice run, the pleats on the skirt trim may not work well with the fabric I'm using, so I may just use the triangle motif and run with that.

I think a lot of my time, like with the modern dress, will be cutting and making bias strips for trim...which I really should get started on so I can finish the overskirt.  But if (I hope) there aren't any fitting problems with the bodice or the corset (yeah, I need to put some boning in it, but it looks like it'll work this time) this project shouldn't take nearly as long as the first one.  I'm improving!

Pictures to come when I actually make something interesting...