Bluebird of Happiness - Coat - Part VIII
Vines, vines and more vines.
I've actually been working on the vines for a while and realized that I had not done any posts regarding them. Part of the border design is green vines with flowers and leaves that intertwine with the feathers.
To make the vines, I start with bias strips of silk dupioni that are rotary cut 7/8" wide.
You can see in the photo below that along the edge of the fabric that I'm cutting into strips, there are some pins. Whenever I cut bias strips and I know I'll be cutting more at a later time, I place pins all along the edge to keep the cut edges perfectly aligned. I can then move the fabric and not have to try to realign or trim a bias edge. I do not always cut all the strips at once, as I never know how many I'll need and I'd rather not cut any more than necessary. It is also easier mentally to make four pieces of bias tubing than twenty four.
The finished width is 1/4", plus 1/4" (to make a tube), plus 1/4" for the two seam allowances, plus an additional 1/8" just for turn of cloth so that I can get the press bar into the tube properly. (Was that enough fractions for you?) These strips are then stitched *wrong* sides together with a 1/8" seam.
This does place the seam on the outside of the tube as you can see above. It doesn't matter as both edges of the tube are stitched down and the wrong side never seen. Turning all the tubes it takes for this sort of project isn't very exciting and since it doesn't need to be done, I don't do it.
Once they are stitched, they are then pressed using a quilter's press bar that corresponds to the finished width that I'm making. The bar slides into the tube, the seam is centered on the bar and the tube is pressed. The press bar is then moved along the tube until it is all pressed.
After pressing, the vines are pinned carefully in place and stitched down by hand.
Once all the vines are in place, the piece will be ready to go back to the machine for several steps of embellishment and quilting. After that there will more hand embellishment, machine construction, hand construction and final beading. That is probably why this process takes on average four months to complete an ensemble!
Q/A: There were a few questions regarding the bobbin work I showed in the last BOH post, so I thought I'd answer them on a BOH post to try to keep everything in one topic.
Kristine wanted to know, "When you do your bobbin work (or any non-linear design), do you drop the feed-dogs and follow the lines you've drawn?" Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. It depends on the design and the look I'm trying to achieve.
Nina wanted to know, "Which settings do you use for the stitch during your bobbin work?" I usually use a straight stitch and whatever tension settings needed to get the tension correct.
Parting Shot: Advance 6124. This is my latest eBay find. The dress is fairly simple, but I liked the inset cowl. Check out how many ways that drape can be worn.
Also, note these cool t-strap sandals: