Inside The Envelope
Advance Import #113
Thank you all for the congratulations on my latest ribbon! I'd also like to thank you all for asking about my husband's exam - it was today. He's done now, and he called me this afternoon. He feels very good about the work he did. He understood how to do all the tasks and completed them all, but still is anxiously awaiting the results. Very few people pass the first time, so he is understandably nervous. We'll know either late tonight or some time tomorrow morning.
Before we go inside this envelope, let's take a look at the back, because there are some interesting things back there. The description of this pattern from the envelope is: Princess line dress with waistline seam and short sleeves. Neckline - deeply scooped and edged with band which stands up and away from neck. Short, formal length. Extremely wide twelve-gored skirt has insets of fabric folds in each seam, and godets set into skirt edges. View 2: Regulation dress length, without insets and godets.
Here are the pattern pieces - note that there are six pieces each for the skirt and bodice which need to be cut twice for a total of twelve sections.
Here are the figures from the back of the envelope. The skirt width of View 1 (with godets) is about 13 yards! That is about 468" or 1189cm! Wow. Certainly a job for machine hemming. That also makes me wonder what sort of petticoats would be needed to support that skirt and show it off to the fullest extent. Also note that the pattern calls for about 9 yards of 44" wide fabric. Brings new meaning to the phrase, "the whole nine yards".
Now for the instructions. To be honest, this really isn't a hard dress to construct. The complexity comes in the number of pieces the must be labeled and assembled in the correct order to make the dress.
The dress is unlined, but the neckband is finished nicely on the inside with a narrow facing that covers the seam between bodice and neckband:
There are not separate pieces for the sleeves, they are "cut on" or "kimono" very short sleeves, basically an extension of the bodice side front and back. They too are finished nicely with a facing:
The dress also features a side zipper and an waist stay for the waist seam. If it didn't have one, I would have added one, the skirt alone must weigh quite a bit.
The insets and godets of the skirt seams are actually assembled and inserted separately. There are actually four inset units per skirt seam (let's see, that's 48 individual units!) The oval units are made by laying a piece of yarn in four flat rows aligned with the marking and stitching the yarn in place at the ends in the seam allowances. The unit is then folded in half with the yarn inside and basted closed.
Four units are made for each seam, with two basted to each half of the seam. The seam itself has rounded extensions to baste the units to (refer to the pattern piece photo above - there are little ear-like extensions from each skirt piece). Once the units are in place, the skirt pieces are placed right sides together and the seam is sewn. Interesting, isn't it?
Here are the godets, shorter than they seem from the envelope picture because the insets are constructed separately:
I've got a very clear idea of a gown from this pattern, but I think I might have to modify those skirt seams to do what I want to, but still keep the same look as the pattern. I might actually lengthen this to floor length, too. Any one want to guess how big the hem circumference might be for that?!? I have no idea, and might not want to know!
This *might* be this winter's and next spring's project - who knows? I do know that when I make it, it will be called "Cherry Blossom". Of course, I have a list of ten art garments right now that I want to make, all of which I have already designed in my mind and I even have some of the patterns. That should keep me busy into, let's see, oh, 2011?!?
Parting Shot: AQS Goodies. I know, that's not a lot of stuff, is it? You think I would have bought more at the show, but I didn't, just some thread, more straw needles, a few pieces of jewelry and some fabric dye (sorry, not shown!). I actually forgot to get a couple of spools of Superior Glitter thread in gold, but since I'm not sure which shade of gold I want of the three they make, I suppose it's not a bad thing. I need to match it to some fabric for a project for this summer. I also don't buy a lot at shows because mainly these show vendors cater to quilters and supplies for piecing and quilting quilts. I use many of the same threads and tools, but not necessarily the same patterns and fabrics. The pin and hair clip are from Quilted in Clay. Check out their website - they make all of the jewelry themselves from polymer clay and are a fantastic couple!