Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"Sabrina" Dress, Finished

I can't get the upload to work so I posted the photos on my old blog- iWeb always works :) 
I'll move them over here when Blogger is working again.

Monday, April 28, 2008

"Sabrina" Dress, Part 3

The dress is put together, zipper, hook and all :) Now its Lace-Time. Just finishing stitching on the upper border.

Here's the bodice pattern.

I underlined it with organza and stitched it to the lining as shown below.

Here's the finished petticoat before it's attached to the skirt at the waist. Marji asked if I attached the netting to the lining at hem: No, I attached the crinoline fabric to the lining at them. The word Crinoline is confusing to me. From what I understand it can mean two things; the finished petticoat, or, the fabric. In my case I use the word to describe the fabric I used on the bottom of the lining. That's what they called it at F & S Fabrics.

An up close of the back.

DD is staying a few more days so I'm hopeful I get a good photo of her wearing it. She found a super adorable pair of shoes at Nordstrom.
And off topic: Boy is it hot in LA,  91 F!! Not complaining, just amazed.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

"Sabrina" Dress, Part 2

DD is home :-) and it's so nice to see her again. Above is a temporary placement of lace, it will be all filled out below the upper border. DD approved. But as always, plans may change. I have to see it on the black top to know for sure.

I'm almost done with the skirt. I underlined with organza, and also added organza facing to the hem. Below is a photo of the notched SA before the facing is turned and hand stitched to the underlining. Another good reason to use underlining: No stitches on the self fabric :-)

Here's the inside. I used a Hong Kong underlining seam finish for the side seams.

And below is the lace on the hem. I cut out each piece, secured the bead thread (a hassle!) and stitched them on by hand. I still have quite a few more to attach, and will do so while I watch TV tonight :-)  Think it will add some sparkle on the dance floor due to the sequins. 

Vicky asked where DD will be wearing this dress: She has a prom coming up in the end of May, her boarding school does this every year. The theme this year is 'classic' or something like that. This is her third dress and I made the other two as well. The first one was a silk and nuno felt dress, and last year was the Bollywood dress, you can see the review Here. I'm so happy she still wants me to make them, it warms my heart.   

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

"Sabrina" Dress, Part 1

DD  requested this dress... Thankfully she also asked me to put my own "spin" on it :-) A good thing, since I haven't had time to watch the movie again, and there's not much info on the internet. Think it's made of silk satin, but at $50/yard, I said 'NOT'! I'm using silk taffeta, here's a link to my old blog and the fabric . She did request the dress be longer, so I'm cutting the skirt 32".
She's coming home tomorrow for a surprise visit from boarding school, so I'm trying to get as much done as possible before I fit it on her. I made a muslin on her a month ago, but there's nothing like having the 'real thing' fitted, is there ?!

The time consuming deal here is the petticoat (especially with two rambunctious kittens forever present... )I bought 10 yards of 45" wide stiff netting, 32 yards of 1/4" double folded bias binding, 3 yards of lining, and 1 1/2 yards of crinoline. Below shows how I cut the netting: I divided the 10 yards into 3 equal 10 yard strips. I used a masking tape on the table, and that made it pretty easy to get sort of accurate. I attached two of the strips to make one 20 yard loop.

Then I attached the binding to one edge of this loop.

I marked the loop into 8 equal sections and machine basted between each, leaving loose threads at each start and stop. Then I used 6 yards of the remainder 10 yard section, marked this one also into 8 sections, and then gathered and attached them by machine, section by section. I finished the raw edge with a 3 thread wide on the serger.

Here you can see what 26 yards of netting looks like, pretty neat I think :-) The crinoline is attached to the lining at both the hem and the top, it reaches up 11". Finished the lining hem with bias as well. I'm now in the process of cutting the dress skirt, and will finish the petticoat afterwards... need to see how puffy I want it near the waist. Contemplating where the lace should go as well. I like to "see" it as I go along.

Should I use silk organza underlining? Thoughts on that anyone??...

This dress is fun- so nice to have a dainty young woman to sew for :-) 25" waist- I wish, oh I wish...

If you haven't visited Marji yet, please do so. She had a terrible accident and needs all our support for a quick recovery.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Dyed but not pleated

The dying is done and I'm off to see Warren. The color came out pretty close to what I wanted, certainly has the Bohemian feel to it. 

Here I'm painting the dye on. I put all three layers at once, which turned out to be a hassle due to the relative dense chiffon. I had to separate the layers afterward and fill in the gaps.

Here the smocking is painted. Painting instead of immersing gives that uneven look. I don't know how to express how much I love fiber reactive dye. It's pure magic every time. If you haven't tried it yet, do! Okay, I'm off to the pleater...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Smocking done

That was really time consuming, but a bit of fun as well. I put the panels together and will finish the yoke after it's dyed, just in case it shrinks more. Below shows the threads connected in each panel.

All six panels. There's discoloration, think the kitties had some fun with the red chalk :-) Oh those felines, just can't live without them.  The dye will hopefully take care of it.

Today I cut the skirt panels, and the cutting table was really useful here. Warren at A-1 pleating said to bring in half circles, so instead of cutting out the pattern, I marked it with contrasting thread- well, it will be contrasting after the fabric is dyed :-). I didn't have enough for three half circles; the pattern is more like 2 and 2/3. So on the front right half circle I marked the seam line and the center front. Crossing my fingers this will not be a problem...

I'm still thinking about the dye and the design. Probably less is more. I tested a Blue Gray and it looks quite lovely with the blouse. Maybe I'll add just a touch of the color that's in the blouse. Painting the dye on might give some interest as well.

And on a completely different subject: Is it normal to have problems on Blogger- like today, when images couldn't be downloaded for the longest time? Just curious...

Monday, April 7, 2008

One done, five more to go.

The most boring part is copying the pattern to the fabric. Wish I could come up with a speedier way. I'm using a pencil to trace over the pattern, can you spell t-e-d-i-o-u-s... :-(  But I'll be great at basting after this... always look at the bright side.
The pattern is repeated 4 times in each direction, and the finished piece measures 8" long and 6-7" wide (depending on how tight I pull it in.)

I starch the fabric until it behaves almost like paper. I just wonder, if I were to smock on a firm weave fabric (like the author did, using muslin), how would I copy the pattern? Hmm, yet another thing to ponder as I baste away.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Where to put the smocking...

The smocking will take awhile, already giving me plenty of time to ponder what to do with it. I work things really backward sometimes :-) The book had me excited about trying new techniques, so who cares where they go in the end. I'm now thinking it would make a perfect yoke for this skirt, which will give me an excuse to go down and visit Mr. Pleater Man, Warren, 
at A-1 Pleating. The skirt is from BWOF November '07, style 107 A.

And wouldn't you know, just as I was looking up the line drawing, DD sticks her head over my shoulder, "You know mom, that would be a beautiful skirt with this", walking over to my blouse on the dress form. She's six! Guess money well spent buying her a sewing machine.

I think the skirt will look good a bit longer, and extend the yoke  as well. But plans change so who knows. In the meantime this design- and those pleats!- have my heart all aflutter :-) 

Friday, April 4, 2008

Contoured Italian Smocking On Silk Chiffon

This image is from the book "The Art Of  
Manipulating Fabric", by Colette Wolf. It's done on natural muslin fabric.

And this is how my test turned out on chiffon. I didn't pay attention when I combined the pattern, hence the ruffled middle :-) I will use this piece as reference for measurements and lines. And I'll test with dye as well, so all is not lost.

The pencil show where I went wrong. That notch indicates pattern repeat -duh!

It was time consuming yet quite therapeutic in a way. The stitches are simple, and yes; repetitive. And the pattern reminded me of a driving course. Go left, BEEP stop!, turn up BEEP stop... Those little dots are the BEEP stop! signals. The lines represent the thread driving left and up or down :-)
The pattern is enlarged 200% from the original in the book.

Here I'm "on the course", BEEP BEEP, look out!

Now I have to go figure out how to  link to all the fabulous sewing blogs out there. I still miss my iWeb, hopefully this will get easier with time.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

I'm in blog-land!

Well, Vicky, I'm up on a new blog! Have no clue what I'm doing. Hopefully it will all work out. Let's try out something; add image, I'll try that one... It worked!! Now I have to see how this looks. Okay.