Saturday, March 29, 2008

Forget Me Knot - Dress - Part II

Some Details and a Detailed Plan

Now that Midnight Garden is out to a show, I need to turn my attention back to Forget Me Knot and get it ready for a show in mid-April.

Let's look at the dress first, I don't think I've ever shown it. It is not terribly exciting by itself, but works very well with the vest. I did try the ensemble on before I shipped it out to the previous show and it really is very pretty.

The bodice overlay is the same as the vest's peplum:

The dress is fully boned, and includes an inner waist belt. You can see the boning and belt tacked into place below right before the lining was stitched into place.

Finished, the belt looks like this, with the ends coming through large buttonholes in the lining:

The dress has a side zipper, which is hidden by overlapping flowers:

I also put dress hangers in the dress which are attached at the waist. They are passed through thread loops for hanging and when the dress is worn the ribbon is pulled out of the loops and hang down inside the skirt.

Now, let me tell you about the detailed plan. While this ensemble is wearable as is, it is not yet finished to my satisfaction. (Carolyn, I think you know what I mean!). During the next week or so, I will be doing a few things to improve and finish the ensemble to my satisfaction.

The vest only needs prick stitching around the neck edges and armholes. This is a bus project. I also need to replace a few missing rhinestones.

The dress needs more work. First, I need to add the net ruffle to the lining to add fullness to the skirt. The skirt is a full circle skirt and looks a little flat without any petticoats. I will, of course, be wearing an extra petticoat in addition to the net ruffle sewn to the lining when I'm on the runway in April. Second, I'm unhappy with the white invisible zipper. I'm going to order some orchid colored zippers from Zipper Stop next week and get that fixed. I am going to keep the invisible zipper because I want the look of the invisible zipper, especially below the waistline. Third, I need do all the prick stitching around the top edge. Lastly, I just need to go over the overlay carefully making sure everything is tacked down properly and all the rhinestones are in place.

I also need to get all the accessories together! I'll show you those once I get them or get them done.

Parting Shot: My Sewing Friend. Kiwi is trying to get my attention while I'm trying to take pictures of something else. She definitely is becoming domesticated! She will visit me often when I'm working in the studio and demand attention. She still a bit shy of my husband and children, but she's getting better.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Midnight Garden - Blouse - Part IV

The Redo

Surprise! I bet you weren't expecting Midnight Garden to show up in the title! Why am I working on MG again? Let me tell you, the blouse was not quite right. There were some strange wrinkles in the armhole area, like the sleeve wasn't set in or pressed quite right. Then there was something wrong with the hem - the fashion fabric was longer than the lining and that led to some strange folds at the bottom. So what did I do this week, as soon as I got it back from the most recent charity fashion show?

I took out the sleeves, made new ones and put them in. I wanted to make sure that the sleeves were cut accurately for the armholes and I wanted to set the sleeves in differently. First, I stitched the sleeves right sides together at the hem, then turned and pressed. I then had a sleeve unit which I stitched into the armhole. I stitched the sleeve unit to the fashion fabric armhole only. Once the seam was pressed toward the body of the blouse, I turned under and slip stitched the lining over the seam to finish the inside of the blouse. Once all that was done, I prick stitched the hem and put the beads back on. You can see the new sleeve in the photo below:

I also took out the bottom hem completely, pressed the garment well, trimmed the excess fashion fabric and restitched the hem, including the prick stitching.

This is not want I wanted to do this week. Sometimes you do what needs to be done, not what you want to be done. The first version of the blouse was not my best work - it was hurried work - and it showed if you inspected it closely. In pictures and on a person the blouse wasn't that bad and I'm sure that people who don't sew might not even notice. I wasn't happy with it and knew it needed some work, so I fixed it. This time, I took my time and am much happier with this second version.

It still needs a good pressing on the side with the button opening in the photo below, but with the pressing it looks like the other side. Believe me, I've done the pressing and the blouse in the box, ready to send with the suit to Paducah, KY for the AQS show in April and looks much better.

The next time I see this garment will be in four weeks and I'll be wearing it in the fashion show!

Parting Shot: It's Back. Yes, that's fresh snow. We're supposed to get another 4 to 8" today. Just when the snow was starting to melt and we could actually see a bit of the front yard, there's more.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Forget Me Knot Vest - Part XIII

Almost, But Not Quite Done

I haven't posted about FMK in a while, and I'll explain why. I actually don't even have the ensemble right now. Today, it was to be delivered to Springfield, IL along with 6 other ensembles/garments for a fashion show this coming weekend. That means, the vest and dress needed to be wearble. After some concentrated efforts (to say the least!) they are wearable, but lack a couple of minor details, such as a some prick stitching for both garments and a net ruffle attached to the dress lining to act as an attached petticoat. Those are small, minor details that can be done when the garments return in a few weeks.

You can see the vest below, as it is now. The peplum is now complete with all the rhinestones in place.

The beaded trim around the neck and armhole edges is all done, too. The beading is the same type that I trimmed Midnight Garden with. I was afraid it would be too much before I started, but once I saw the beads in place, it was just the right finishing touch.

Both the dress and vest have their labels. I even remembered to put in the labels before I finished the garments - it is much easier that way!

I did try everything on before shipping it out - and I'm pretty happy with the ensemble. I will post more about the gown tomorrow and once I get the ensemble back there will be detailed photos and the final photo shoot.

Parting Shot: Patrones! I was able to get Patrones through Paco with a little help from Tany - thank you both so much! I will be making the jacket on the cover when I am done with SWAP, in red pique with white top stitching and buttons.