and how did I get off the wall in heels? (J.Crew btw...amazing!!)
This really was one of those "because I could" projects...I fell in love with the pattern..which was given the highest of praise for its exceptional drafting and fit by all in Baltimore!
Then found the perfect Dior fabric on line at Tessuti, in their 2012 Christmas sale..extra happy!
and knew that this would be the an incredible project for my Susan Khalje October class.
I think overall I would consider this a success, the fit is not perfect. I could not get it as smooth as I wanted despite trying all week, it needs about a 1/4 inch removed again off every seam but I was not going in to hack more off without some fitting help,..so its staying just as it is for the moment.
and of course I have absolutely no where to wear it, so that take's the pressure off :-)
I've pulled up the lining so you can see the skirt folds better, its so beautiful...the hem is actually exact but the wall is sloping enough to make it look off!!
and I have to thank Cissie for the hem idea, she showed me this photo...and I knew it was the perfect finish for this dress....and the fact that it shows off my shoes, extra happy!
This was my first attempt at bridal and corsetry and it was hard, really hard! I have so much new found admiration for bridal designers.
The taffeta was lovely to work with, easy to cut, iron and sew but getting it to lay smoothly and not pucker on the princess seams was technically so challenging. It needs to fit perfectly in order to lay flat which then reduces seam tension and puckering but of course the lining and the corset are almost working individually and getting the three of them to be one was beyond my limited skills.
but I've learnt a huge amount and overall its been a fun couple of weeks. Would I use this pattern again? absolutely! its stunning....but in taffeta? probably not...unless I had a month or two and I was making it for somebody patient enough to have repeated fittings, or if Susan was willing to relocate to Connecticut for a week or two!!
So some details...
Its a very straightforward pattern, one front and back, one side back and side front.
and two enormous skirt pieces, the front cut on the fold and the back cut twice. More details of that here in a previous post. I wanted to make the first dress as the pattern intended and so did not reduce the hem at all, but after trying it on I did cut it by 11" (I'm 5'7" and the shoes added 3")
All three pieces were underlined with silk organza to help shape the taffeta and reduce creasing and the bodice was lined with a heavy cotton which stops the corset boning from showing through.
Originally I had underlined all the bodice in a light flannel, but I could only find a off white which dramatically changed the colour of the taffeta. So Target came to the rescue...and after a quick shopping trip with Poppykettle we found a high thread count, pure white sheet which was perfect.
I had enough fabric left over to self line the bodice so these picures are actually from the inside...this is the side back seam joining the back seam and all the snipping it took to ease it in properly.
Once I had the bodice sewn to and adjusted, I fell stitched the lining in by hand , and added some tiny pick stitches along the neckline to stop the facing from rolling onto the front.
and I still had just enough fabric left to cut another entire bodice, so should a daughter ever want to wear this I will be ready to go!
I ordered and used almost all of the six meters I had, as the skirt was so curved I was able to slot in bodice pieces all over the place and make two full bodices and a lining.. but its a big dress. The only thing I would do differently if I made it again was order a much wider fabric...60" at least.
The corset was interesting from start to finish....I was going to do a full write up here on the details but I am still not completely sure I know how to fit the cups, so I am going to wait until I make the black wool version and then do them both in one review. However it gets five stars for design and fit again, the wide split cups and shaping are unusual to find apparently and this makes it a keeper.
Susan had suggested I try and find some Sea Island cotton for the corset, and I happily obliged. Have you ever seen this fabric? it.is. divine. It has a very tight sturdy weave and its so so soft, perfect for corsetry.
I eventually found some at B & J Fabrics, they don't have it listed online but after much searching they did find bolts of white, black and red in the store, I paid about $30 for my yard I think.
It's a light/medium weight cotton, but has the finish and feel of silk with a lovely drape, it's incredible. I can imagine it making the perfect shirt or dress for a hot summer ... some history is here if you are interested but unfortunately this is only for the yarn, I could not find the fabric for sale anywhere online.
When the corset was made and before the boning was inserted, Susan pinned the bodice and corset on me, and marked where to shorten, grade etc so it would be invisible underneath the dress and from there it was all straightforward, the channels were sewn for the spiral boning, (I used thirteen in total ranging from 12' to 4". ) and then....
I just attached it to the skirt seam allowance as per Susans suggestion and flipped the bodice over the top, which closed all the seams in between the two layers...very neat! ..the photo below shows the bodice hanging down towards the floor. It also eliminated the need for a waist stay which was great as the join keep the two in perfect alignement.
and the inside (before skirt lining)...
Audible this week was a the first and second of nine books by Louise Penny called the Chief Inspector Gamache series. I think they are so well written, easy to follow..with the same characters and not much swearing or violence....I love not having to pause them when a child walks by!
Book was Liza Klaussmann Tigers in red weather. This would be the perfect beach book, very quick read. There was a lack of character history and plot progression but I enjoyed it, lovely lazy weekend book.
and I wanted to add a link completely unrelated to sewing.
I love the ballet and when you live a hour away from the city, its fabulous to head in occasionally. Last Sunday I had a date afternoon with my husband to watch Balanchines black and white at the Lincoln center. It was absolutely extraordinary and so incredibly physical that I got curious about the amount of practice involved in staging such a large production which led me to this...
Part 1 of 3
I shall never complain about back ache after fell stitching again!!!!
Project/s for the next couple of weeks are 2630, in black cashmere and 3232 , I'm giving it another try, Alessia at Marfy recently sent me a email...with some great tips and fabrics suggestions..and I offered to make it again in a more stable fabric as it was entirely my fault it did not work out the first time!
FRENCH JACKET UPDATE
The lovely Inna has posted Part 3 - Quilting to her blog, the chevrons are something to behold!!
I will be starting my quilting later today, and so will add a extra post late Wednesday of my trials and tribulations and of course my daughters!
Back next week with the French sew along basting post...
Have a great week!