Saturday, June 16, 2007

Waiting For A Dress - Part 3

0Well, we made it to Georgia without any major trouble! For those of you who posted about that DC traffic - yes, I hear you! I usually try to go through there around 5am or take the 81 through the Shenandoah Valley, thus avoiding the Eastern seaboard. The 95 is pretty much the most direct route to Georgia, plus I had planned on the 2 stops, soooooo, I ended up doing what I did!

Since I brought my machine, I've started work on the white silk version of the dress. I got everything cut out yesterday, and started work on the cuffs and collar. I got the wavy green line quilted in and the gold trim put on.

Before any stitching is done, the fabric pieces are marked using water soluble pens and a ruler. I trace the stitching lines, so that I have an idea of what size the pieces will actually be, and thus where to place the trims/embellishments.

After marking the wavy line with a stencil, I stitched using a twin needle. You know, I need to put in an advertisement here for stencils and templates. I use a lot of templates! Because a lot of my artwork has repetative motifs, a template is the way to go - I only have to make one original image and after than it's easy to get an exact copy of it. With a template, I can take it to a photocopier and reduce or enlarge the image, too!

Anyway, here's the set up for two spools of the thread on the machine. I find that the metallic threads run better if on the upright spindle, but technically, I've been told that you're supposed to run crosswound spools on the upright spindle. Crosswound meaning that when you look at the thread on the spool, it crosses itself, forming x-shapes along the spool. At any rate, it doesn't matter here, because I'm using two spools.

Here's the finished product so far, both the wavy quilting and the gold trim:

I also got my sequins from C. Cartwright's - they arrived in Georgia in 3 or 4 days. I think I ordered them on Monday, and they were here on Thursday. Most of them of course, were the snowflakes - Monday, I'll show you what I'm going to do with them. I'm going to work on the sleeves today and tomorrow.

Parting Shot: Meet Miss Kitty. She's my parent's, actually my brother's, cat. She's lived with them for a while, probaby 4 years? I can't remember. They got her before he went to live in England and Israel, and never picked her up when he moved back to the States to attend UCLA.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Waiting For Spring - Dress, Part 2

Planning Session

First, I am *almost* done with the flowergirl dresses! I have to get them done before I leave for vacation on Wednesday. I will deliver them tomorrow night.

Speaking of vacation, I will be taking my sewing machine and laptop, so there still will be posts. I will be packing up the children and leaving very early Wed. morning, stopping in Richmond, Virigina for the night and driving the next day to Dublin, Georgia, where my parents currently live, to spend a week or so with them. I then will drive to Virginia and pick up my husband at the airport (he won't be going to Georgia with us) and the four of us will spend in a week in Williamsburg, Virginia. On my way to Georgia, I am going to stop at G Street Fabrics! I figured out that there is one close to I-95, and I'll be passing through Washington, DC sometime early afternoon, so I think a stop is in order!

Second, here's the result of some planning I did today for the dress:

My husband walked into the studio and wanted to know why I was drawing on the dress. I told him it was only a muslin made of $1 a yard fabric (nasty, weird polyester in a color I wouldn't pick for myself, might I add!) and I wanted to see how the quilting/stitching was going to look before actually stitching the silk. Works for me - that's why we make muslins, right?

Notice that I was playing with the stitching/beading at the waist. The collar and cuffs will have the same trim as the green side of the vest, and I'm going to add a section of trim to define the waist a bit. The front didn't turn out so well - too wide and too low! The back is better, and I think it's going be a bit higher and go straight across or with a slight curve to imitate the bottom of the vest.

The only thing I need to decide now is colors, as the dress itself is going to be white (symbolizing the snow, of course!). I'll need to pull the colors into the dress a bit - but not too much, I don't want to lose the contrast. I'm thinking of doing the trim/beading on the collar and cuffs in the exact same colors as the vest, but I'm not sure about the "belt" section. All the rest of the stitching/embellishments on the dress will be white. Any ideas/thoughts? Just don't tell me I'm insane. I already know that.

I also ordered some sequins from C. Cartwright's. They have a $10 minimum, so not only did a I get quite a few packs of snowflake sequins for the dress, but I picked out some square blue and leaf sequins, too. I'm percolating another project, so the leaves are for inspiration. Here are some of the things I ordered:
Parting Shot: Mail from Portugal! Tany was kind enough to send me the latest Patrones and beautiful post card! Note to US Postal Service: Hurry up and get her box that I sent last week over there!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Waiting for a Dress

Thanks you for the encouraging words regarding the teal dress! I really value the compliments, especially from those who I know are better seamstresses than I am. For me, it's inspiring to see their work on their blogs, to read about their techniques and motivating to actually try them!

Remember Waiting For Spring, that vest I almost went blind putting all the beads on? It needs a dress to be able to compete as an ensemble. No, I know you're wondering why does it have to compete as an ensemble? I could just enter as a vest, like I've done before, but some shows don't have a vest/jacket category and only accept ensembles. Hence, it needs more pieces before it can meet the definition of ensemble: "garment or group of garments that need no other items to make it ready to wear in public." By definition, just a vest isn't going to cut it in public, no matter where you live or who you are. A dress is the easiest answer.

This vest was inspired by a pattern, circa 1969/1970, so it makes sense that it would need a dress from the same era. I realize that this is a bit outside of my usual vintage comfort zone, but you know, it's good to get outside the comfort zone once in a while. Jen, of Mom's Pattern had a pattern that was exactly what I was looking for. It has full sleeves with cuffs (I have a plan for these), a little collar, and an easy to fit a-line shape. I've shown you this before, but here it is:

It only has 5 pieces, which is a blessing. Here's the muslin I put together in less than an hour:

There weren't any surprises with the fit - I only need to shorten the neck to waist length by an inch, and shorten the sleeves by an inch as well. Surprisingly, the bust/shoulders fit pretty well. The muslin is a bit more drapey than the silk dupioni (from the Silk Baron, of course) I'll be using, so the slight a-line shape will be a bit more obvious.

The more I look at this, the more I realize it is out of my comfort zone! What have you done or made recently that's out of your comfort zone, and how did it turn out for you?

Parting Shot: Piano Recital! Last night was the annual piano recital. My child take lessons from different teachers, but they combine their students for one recital. This is the third recital for my daughter, but the first for my son.