Here's where I am with my By Hand London pattern:
Rather pathetic, I know. Not hardly much to show after starting this dress, oh, sometime back in June.
I decided to use this as my pattern for Susan Khalje's Couture Dress class on Craftsy. I wanted to get some practice with couture techniques before starting on the wedding dress (more on that later). Some of the problems have come from my choice of fabric, a stretch cotton sateen that I fell in love with from Fabrics and Trimmings (Etsy shop). And then there's also my lack of experience with these techniques - yes, that. Here's what I've done so far:
- Made a muslin of the bodice.
- Made alterations (little bit here, little bit there, nothing big).
- Cut and marked (with waxed tracing paper, no less) the underlining. I'm using a cotton batiste for the skirt, bias cut organza for the bodice (I managed to squeeze this question in when Claire Schaeffer had a lunchtime discussion on the Threads fb page).
- Cut fashion fabric.
- Hand basted underlining to fashion fabric.
- Hand basted pieces of bodice and skirt together.
- Tried on bodice with help from friend Nancy.
- Realized that my underlining was causing some bubbles. Unpicked and hand basted underlining again.
- Made piping.
- Tried on bodice and skirt together (but not attached).
- Wondered what the hell that barrel was doing around my legs.
- Realized I really should have done a muslin of the skirt, too.
- Put dress away for a while to gather more courage.
- Fitted skirt with help from Rhonda, then took a total of something like 12 inches off in various places from the skirt (width) and another 4 inches in length (I already chopped 4 before I cut the pattern).
- Machine stitched skirt pieces together.
- Stay stitched waist in skirt.
- Finished seams allowances in skirt with lavender Snug Hug.
- Felt happy again. Doesn't a nice seam finish make you happy, too?
- Basted piping to waist seam on skirt.
- Machine stitched bodice together.
- Catch stitched seam allowances in bodice to underlining.
- Went to put bodice and skirt together and the pleats in no way matched the seams in the bodice.
- Removed piping from skirt, unpicked staystitching, and took apart pleats.
- Unpicked shoulder seams in bodice and center back seam in skirt so that I could lay them out flat.
- Reconfigured pleats so that they matched the seams in the bodice.
- Decided I wanted thinner piping (not 3/16" but 1/8"). .
- Decided that I might want piping at neckline as well as waist.
- Ordered more 1/8" cord.
And that's where I'm at, waiting for the cord to arrive so that I can make more piping. I'd like to have the option of wearing this dress to a wedding on September 28, so I'm going to try to blast through on the next couple weekends (providing that cord arrives). What do you think? Was I right to want the piping at the neckline as well as the waist?
I have had more success in my other ongoing WIP, my sewing room. I bought a cone thread rack with some of the money from Camp Runway, and someone (the sewing fairy??) kept whispering in my ear that it would look much better if I painted it, so I did.
And then she told me that since I had ROYGBIVed the cone thread, I really should do the same with the regular thread:
But when she started whispering about the bobbins, I told her she really needed to start concentrating on that Elisalex . . .