Midnight Garden - Jacket - Part XIV
The Best Laid Plans . . .
are always subject to revision. This week I didn't plan any other sewing projects except to work on Midnight Garden (of course you do know that while I haven' t had any alterations for two weeks, I got 9 in on Sunday!). I had planned on getting a lot of work done on the applique. Today's post was going to be all about how to make the leaves and flowers for the applique. I had all the leaves done for the vines (30 leaves) and was working with on making the flowers. When I saw the results I decided I didn't like the flowers and leaves. [Insert rewind sound here] "What? You don't like the flowers and leaves? They're an integral part of the design. They are the design!" Exactly. The problem really isn't the flowers, but the fabric they're made of.
Normally, I work with silk and cottons for applique. They mold so well around the templates and really make a nice crisp crease. If you've ever worked with silk and cotton and then worked with a synthetic, you'll know exactly what I mean! They don't iron the same, feel the same, or look the same. In this case, the right fabric makes a big difference. The synthetic flowers frayed terribly, didn't iron up nicely or play nice with the templates. I sort of had an inkling this would happen a few weeks ago when I made a test flower and wasn't immediately thrilled. I thought I'd work it out when I actually when into production mode. I made four flowers this morning out of synthetics. I came home this afternoon and made a few out of the silk. I compared the two, and there is NO WAY the synthetic flowers/leaves/vines are going on that jacket. There is no comparison between the two.
Check out the photo below. The silver flower on the left is a synthetic, and the navy is the silk. The navy one isn't quite finished, but just look at the crispness of the edges and of the overall image. Both flowers are oriented the same way and are the exact same template. The details are much clearer and the petals look so much better.
This means that all the vines must be ripped off and redone, just when I was finishing the last section. Luckily for me, I'm going to trace the position of the current ones and at least have guidelines for the new ones. I went right up to the Silk Baron and ordered silk dupioni in a variety of silvers/blues to work with. This will put me a bit behind, but I just can't work with an inferior product and then put my name on the label for the whole world to see.
So, what am I going to do with the synthetics? Well, I am going to use them on the velvet side as I had originally intended: to cut out shapes with the wood burning tool and applique them with a fusible and then embellish them. This means that I am not at a dead end waiting for the silk to arrive. This week I've decided to work on the skirt and to carry out all the experiments for embellishing the velvet side. So, look for those posts this week! Tonight I'll get started on the quilted side of the skirt - I've taken a break from all the quilting, but now I'm ready to finish it up!
Q/A: Thank you all for the compliments on my son's new coat! My son is God's gift to me. He's very excited about the coat and can't wait for the weather to be cooler so that he can wear it. Today's Q/A has to do with the silk batting. A few of you mentioned that you were unfamiliar with it. It is a relatively new product from Hobbs Bonded Fibers that had come out within the last year or so. It is 90% silk and 10% fine polyester. It is soft and drapey, really nice. I can split it into two layers for my garments projects, which is nice. I have noticed a bit of bearding with it, but that may be due to the needle/thread I'm using. Bearding is when some of the batting is pulled through the surface of the quilt during stitching. It looks particularly bad when the batting is light colored and the quilt is dark colored. Here's the label from the batting:
Parting Shot: My husband gave me one last, late birthday present today: Blueprints of Fashion , 1950's. This book is incredible! I already own the Blueprints of Fashion of the 1940's, but this one is the real treasure. The patterns are fabulous, and although I haven't read the text in the front of the book, I'm sure it will be good. Mr. Laboissonniere does an excellent job on the history and influences on home sewing during each era for his books.