Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Project Reveal III: Finally Sewing

I finally started sewing last week.  I had a bit more than a yard of silk/rayon velvet which I decided to use for my skirt.  I kept trying different designs but realized 1 1/8 yards is not really a lot to do things with, so I ended up with a mock wrap skirt.

Here are the gory details if you want to read, if not, see the photo and continue on! Originally it was to be a wrap skirt, then I realized I didn't have enough coverage when I walked so I decided to add a silk dupioni addition, which took me three hours and still looked horrific.  I then went out and rode my horse to clear my mind.  In that time I decided to make a mock wrap skirt.  So, I purchased a zipper, then sewed the inside wrap down, and unfortunately, I sewed it a bit crooked.  I sewed the other side down.  Then decided I had to fix the crooked seam.  If you have sewn velvet you know that if you take out  a seam you are left with a trail of bad decisions.  So, I covered it up with an added piece of velvet.  I finished the zipper, tried it on, asked my son's opinion, who immediately said, "Isn't this a sewing contest?"  Yes, I replied.  "Well, you aren't going to win.  That zipper thing on the front looks really bad."  Out of the mouth of babes....  I took off the added velvet piece in the front that was supposed to hide my crooked seam, and was left with a trail.  I straightened my original seam, then decided to toss it into the wash.  What have I got to lose?  You should know that I did wash and dry this fabric before I started cutting it.  Well, happily, the traces of the seam disappeared, but horrifyingly, the seams puckered.  So here I was at 9 pm panicking over the seams.  I tried steaming out the puckers, but they were stubborn.   Happily, the bottom seam looked much better.  I went to bed...

Happily, the next morning, the puckers had miraculously disappeared!  Hurray.  So, now I have the velvet skirt sewn except for the lining.  (another long story for another post)  You can't tell from the photo, but the skirt hem is cut and sewn as a curve to match the curve designed into the coat.  The velvet is so dark you can't see the details, but the judging starts with the clothes and a portfolio, so that the judges can really look at the sewing.  Hopefully, lining will cover many of my sins!

Now that the skirt is out of the way, I can start sewing my coat, Yea!   Sewing the wool coat is a piece of cake compared to the velvet.  I love velvet, but hate sewing it.  No matter how hard you work, the stuff slips.  The best solution has been that spray glue for sewing seams that just lasts a bit.  It really works!  However, the chemicals in  it are mind altering.  I try  not to use it very much.  

Now for the trials and tribulations of the coat.  The coat took some real work to figure out how to cut it out, from all the pieces of the previous coat.  I was originally going to have a pretty long coat, but the pattern had other ideas.  So, it will be  a 3/4 length more or less.  Then, I didn't have enough fabric for the back pieces, so I had to take the back and cut it into four pieces instead of two.  I messed with the pattern so that the shoulder piece would not be cut, and that the bottom of the back would not be affected.  So, what happens is that the pieces come to a point at the very back, and then the back pieces line up with the bottom skirt pieces of the coat.  I really like how the pattern came out now.

As for the front, we took an existing piece and draped it so that it came just under the bust.  Kimberly from Les Fabriques helped me and was teaching me to drape.  (I need a lot more practice at draping, maybe a class would help!).  We ended up deciding to put in those pleats for the bustline.  I think it is a fun look.  It looks like a  lot of gaping at the front, but on my body, that big gape is not there.  I am still trying to get this dressmaker's form to fit me a bit better.  She is still too hippy, and lumpy in all the wrong places.  

Today, I am going to try and put on the sleeves.  I will leave the easy part, the skirt pieces for last.  I am still trying to figure out what to do about the collar.  You can see my inspiration photo below from Selvedge.  I want to use the poplar leaves that I cut out to make the collar, but I have no wool left for facing.   I may use silk bias for finishing all the seams, but we will see...

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