Vogue Couturier 167 Part III
I haven't been able to sew very much the past few days, but I did get a few things accomplished, so here they are . . . .
Saturday, I (drum roll, please) put in a facing! If that doesn't keep you on pins and needles I don't know what will. A neck facing. Not nearly as terribly exciting as I made it out to be - only being a little facetious. (Did you know that facetious is one of those words in which the vowels appear in order? aeiou.) The facing didn't surprise me, as this dress was designed to be unlined in the top and underlined optionally in the skirt. I'm not super fond of facings, and don't really like them flopping about, but I put it in since I wasn't lining the top, only underlining. I did construct it out of non-fusible interfacing and the china silk in my usual way, and not the way of the instructions. The instructions have you catch-stitch the interfacing to the neck area, assemble the facing and then stitch the facing to the neck, right sides together, trim, turn, press. My usual method is to stitch the interfacing sections together, the facing sections together and then stitch both units together on the unfinished edge with a 1/4" seam. This produces a finished edge and is usually not too bulky, unless the original fabric is, in which it's wiser to use another method so that there isn't a ridge on the right side of the garment. To fix the facing flop, I invisibly stitched the facing down to the underlining. I could have catch-stitched it, but wanted a cleaner edge. I also prickstitched the neckedge on the inside instead of machine understitching. You can just make out the prickstitching at the top of the photo.
Wow. Did I just write a super large paragraph about a neck facing?!? Someone help me . . . . this must be a desperate silent call for help. Anyway, here are the rest of the pictures.
Complete facing, ready to put in, turned back to show the interfacing side:
Complete neck edge at the corners:
Neck edge without collar:
Today I worked on the skirt - for some reason the back of the skirt was really fighting me on the ironing board - you know, it looked like something was askew or off grain or something, but once I pinned it to the dressform to let it hang it looked fine. The back of the skirt has a walking pleat, but different from any one I've done before. The pleat extends all the way up the center back seam, and there is no visible stitching for the pleat on the outside. The pattern piece does not have an extension for the pleat, but is about 3" wider all the way from waist to hem. The center back seam is sewn and then, without pressing the seam open, it is stitched about 3 1/4" away, with a curve near the pleat opening out to the center back seam. Looks really seamless from the outside, and I hope it's as secure as the extension arrangement. I've had more than one skirt brought to me to be fixed that ripped out or shredded at the topstitching on the extension caused by undue stress.
Here's the stitching on the pleat on the inside and the finished product.
Everything is going swimmingly along on this project, and even though I haven't sewn as much as I'd like, that's ok. Trouble in paradise occured when I unpinned the skirt front pieces from the pattern to prep it for joining with the underlining and found this:
A small funny spot the size of a dime on the *front* of the skirt about 6 inches from the center, mid-thigh. There is a small, corresponding one on the other side - a matching set. Ugh. Talk about a bummer - I looked over the fabric, too, before cutting and didn't see these flaws. I'm definitely not happy, but what can I do at this point? There's not enough fabric to cut another skirt front, so I think I'm going to just finish the dress as is. It is vintage fabric and flaws are to be expected - it will be underlined and I may catchstitch some organza in for extra support as long as the stitching or organza doesn't show. Besides, the collar is the main attraction and if people can actually see the flaws in the pink fabric on my thighs, then I think they're a bit too close to my thighs! It's not going to be a high use dress, so it should survive. Can you tell I'm trying to convince myself it will be ok?
Not exactly a happy ending, but I do have some good news! Have you looked around recently for a kit to make a belt with a covered buckle? This dress needs one and guess what? Dritz doesn't make them anymore - guess people weren't buying them. No surprise, really. After looking online and not finding one (yes, I even checked Greenburg and Hammer online, and no they did not have one online - I guess if I'd have called, they might have found one in the recesses of their basement way back behind some shelves where it fell 50 years ago.) Anyway, I turned to the mother of all garage sales and flea markets, eBay. Sure enough, I won an auction for not one, but *two* covered belt kits! They are on their way, so that should keep me busy this week.