Was this so much more complicated than the vague Marfy picture hinted, was more time spent than it took to sew a formal gown?, more frustrating, confusing and yet ultimately more satisfying that anything else I have ever made?!
Yes, yes and yes.....
and really, removing from the equation the construction puzzle, the amount of handsewing, and the four piece sleeve which I was convinced was the tricky part, it all came down to the back facing and ties.
This was so much more complex than I had imagined, the back facing does not remain tucked under, it actually rises above the shoulder seam about a third of the way towards the front, and is joined there by the upper and lower ties. Aside from the thickness of all the seams joining, which caused a ridge even when graded, I found if it did not meet exactly on either side of the shoulder - as shown below :-(
This stops the bias curve on the ties from lying flat I think, causing a "pulling" line along the top. I had to unpick this entire unit and resew, re-cutting the back bias facing with a half inch additon.
Its certainly better on one side now but even with both sides matched perfectly and the bias and ties cut at the same time the left side still does not lie as well as the right.
I spent more time than I care to admit trying to solve this and ultimately think that its both a fabric issue and almost definitely a sewing mistake on my part.
It could also come down to the order of my construction. I sewed the back facing and lower tie together, then attached the entire piece to the bodice, flipping this back out to sew the top tie in place and then turn the right side out.
If I was making this for a customer I would have gone back a third time to work this out, but as it is only for me, and its not that noticiable to anyone else, (trust me I asked people!,) I am moving on.
The lining was more straight forward and in the end it seemed more logical to sew the sleeve lining to the hem and side seam, and then attach the sleeves to the bodice.... using a thick crepe de chine I had in my stash....its so nice!
I then joined the bodice to the lining from the hem on the left all the way around the collar and back down to the hem on the right.
I tried so hard to get this finished up because I had to drive to Washington DC on Friday, my daughter aka the volleydork :-) was playing in the Capital classic, over 80 games playing at the same time, ten hours each day...crazy...
Its been a few years since we last visited and aside from the horrendously cold weather, we had such a great time.
A trip to Georgetown Cupcakes to fulfil my youngest daughters wish, shes crazy about baking shows.
and on a cupcake side note, this is what my husband bought home for Valentines day, THREE boxes of gluten free heaven from Babycakes NYC. Having four kids is very helpful when you have this many baked goods in the house.
My innter geek then got to flip out when we drove over to the Smithsonian Air and Space museum, and I actually stood next to the Discovery space shuttle, really cool.
I will get some pics up as a extra post in the next day or so.